Soccer: U.S. Women's National Team
I’m not normally one who would make an effort to watch a team or an individual play in a staged exhibition, but I’d easily make an exception to see the World Cup Champion U.S Women’s National Team when they play Portugal at Allianz Field, Tuesday night.
Even though the USWNT played last Thursday night without Kelley O’Hara, Alex Morgan, Rose Lavelle and Megan Rapinoe, they still boasted a lineup that produced four goals in a shutout win over Portugal at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
Almost 50,000 fans showed up in Philly because these players know only one way to play, and when they take the pitch there is no such thing as an exhibition or a “friendly.” The popular refrain is that the USWNT is an inspiration to girls, but there is something to be learned for all of us when it comes to how these women approach their craft and play together as a team.
MLB: Minnesota Twins
I know they know much more about it than I ever will, but I don’t understand why the Minnesota Twins don’t have Jose Berrios skip his next start in the rotation? It’s obvious Berrios has been struggling for a month, and every time the Twins send him out there the situation only gets worse.
It’s not like they haven’t done this before. The Twins have already shut down Michael Pineda twice this season for precautionary reasons. They also had Jake Odorizzi skip the All-Star game and his following start to deal with a blister on his pitching hand, and they managed to survive.
While the thought of sitting Berrios is painful, especially in the heat of the stretch drive of a pennant race, it’s not nearly as painful as watching Berrios pitch like he has for the past three weeks.
The player is clearly out of gas and the numbers bear it out. The thought of trotting him out there against Boston and Cleveland in the coming weeks, pitching the way he is right now, could do psychological damage that goes beyond this season. He needs a break. Do us all a favor and let him rest.
College Sports: Augsburg Wrestling
Augsburg University has added women’s wrestling, and the Auggies, already a perennial power in DIII men’s wrestling, are already in it to win it.
Of the nine first-year wrestlers on the 2019-20 Augsburg women’s team, six are ranked among the top 100 women’s wrestlers, regardless of weight class, of the high school class of 2019 by The Open Mat, an amateur wrestling website.
The Open Mat’s No. 1 ranked wrestler, Emily Shilson of Maple Grove, MN and Mounds View H.S., is a six-time Minnesota girls state champion and three-time Minnesota high school state qualifier in boys wrestling. Emily is just the second woman ever to win all six junior and cadet national titles available in a youth wrestling career.
Make no mistake about it, Augsburg landing Shilson was pivotal in bringing in all out-of-state talent where the women will also focus on trying to earn places on the 2020 U.S. Olympic team.
National Sports Center
It was recently announced that I will be doing a podcast with Minnesota State University, Mankato professor and high performance coach to professional athletes, Cindra Kamphoff, based on Cindra’s book, “Beyond Grit.”
I started reading Cindra’s book on a business flight and almost had to be restrained! That’s because “Beyond Grit” not only tells you how to attain peak performance, Dr. Kamphoff also gives you tools and exercises to take you there, step-by-step.
This will be a podcast for parents, coaches, athletes and anyone who wants to live their best life at the highest level. I’ve never been more excited about any process or system than the one Cindra Kamphoff has created, and I can’t wait to share it with you. The Beyond Grit podcast will be available on Beyond the Bench soon.