No dramatic late goals in this one. Not even a win. But despite a 1-0 loss to Germany, the United States was good enough to advance to the knockout stage of consecutive World Cups for the first time and good enough to hold onto the national attention that soccer has finally grabbed in America.
DUKE'S PARKER AND HOOD LIKELY LOTTERY PICKS IN THURSDAY'S NBA DRAFT
Brought together to lead Duke to another NCAA championship, Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood saw their Blue Devil careers end far short of that.
Yet, even though they played just one season together for coach Mike Krzyzewski, they formed a bond they will carry into the next level of basketball at the NBA Draft tonight.
Having worked out for only the draft’s top teams, Parker said Milwaukee has told him it will take him with the No. 2 pick if he’s available.
Hood made a tour of NBA teams this month, holding 11 workouts. From Phoenix and Sacramento to Charlotte and Philadelphia, Hood showed off his accurate shooting stroke for them all.
All along, Hood and Parker remained in close contact, trading notes and talking basketball.
“I’ve been working out for a lot more teams than he has,” Hood said Wednesday. “But it’s been great going through it with somebody that you know and care about and you hope he does well. I know he hopes that I do well.”
Parker led Duke in scoring with 19.1 points per game on the way to being named a first-team all-American as a freshman. Hood was next at 16.1 points per game while also carrying the responsibility as a team captain for the Blue Devils.
In those pre-draft workouts, Hood has impressed teams such that Sacramento at No. 8 and Charlotte at No. 9 have considered him for those slots.
When Jermaine Jones stands for the national anthems of his countries Thursday night, he will soak in the moment. Jones, like four American teammates and his coach, will be familiar with both "The Star-Spangled Banner" and the "Deutschlandlied" before the United States' World Cup game against Germany.
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RIVERSIDE'S TJ WARREN IS LIKELY 1ST ROUND PICK IN THURSDAY'S NBA DRAFT
From the ACC blood running through his veins to pickup games with future NBA players across town when he played at Riverside High School, T.J. Warren seemed destined to make Durham basketball history.
He did so last season at N.C. State by winning ACC player of the year and he’s set to take it a step further at the NBA Draft tonight.
Warren joins 19 other top prospects as invited guests to the NBA Draft at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, where he’s projected to be a first-round pick.
If things go as expected, the 6-8 high-scoring forward will be the first Durham native since Hillside High School’s Rodney Rogers in 1993 to be a first-round pick in the NBA Draft.
“That means a lot,” Warren said. “Growing up in Durham in a tough environment, just to be able to do something positive playing the game I love is big for me and for the city as well.”
Warren followed his father, former N.C. State player Tony Warren, to play for the Wolfpack. He topped his father by being named ACC player of the year after averaging a league-leading 24.9 points per game last season and leading the Wolfpack to a third consecutive NCAA Tournament berth.
His bloodlines were only the beginning of his indoctrination to high-level basketball. When Warren played at Riverside early in his high school career, he would head to Duke for pick-up games with guys like Nolan Smith, Jon Scheyer and Kyle Singler — all starters on Duke’s 2010 NCAA championship team.
EX-UNC KEEPER SHUTS OUT L.A., DONOVAN IN CARY
Landon Donovan now has even more reason to be upset with his summer — thanks in no small part to former North Carolina goalkeeper Scott Goodwin.
Goodwin and the Carolina RailHawks shut down Donovan and the L.A. Galaxy over 90 minutes of regulation and 30 minutes of extra time to come away with a 1-0 win Tuesday in the U.S. Open Cup.
Donovan, the leading scorer in the history on the U.S. National Team, wasn’t selected for the 23-player 2014 U.S. World Cup team. So instead of facing Germany on Thursday in front of hundreds of millions of viewers in Brazil, he joined his club team for a round of 16 game against the RailHawks in front of 3,000 fans at Koka Booth Stadium.
The auxiliary field at WakeMed Soccer Park was used because the 10,000-seat main stadium is being resodded.
“I enjoyed it,” Donovan said. “I can’t speak for everybody but I enjoyed it. It’s different. I thought the crowd was great, they gave us a good game, the field was great, the weather was great. It was an enjoyable night except for the result.”
Because of an injury to Carolina’s regular goalie, Goodwin was pressed into service and stopped eight shots — including one from inside the penalty area by Donovan, who came in as a sub in the 64th minute and played the rest of the game.
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