Was it any coincidence the reports of Ricardo Kaka retuning to Sao Paulo FC, where he’ll play the remainder of the year before joining Orlando City Soccer Club in Major League Soccer in 2015, came out the same week the clubs were scheduled for an international friendly?
While Kaka was back home in Brazil, Orlando City and Sao Paulo played to a scoreless draw. The match came down to Orlando City goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo, who made a save in the 90th minute off the foot of Alexandre Pato from the top of the box. It felt anything but routine despite the one-timer being offered up to his chest.
If you’ve been watching the World Cup this month you may remember the impressive day turned in by Mexican goalie Guillermo Ochoa against Brazil during a 0-0 draw in group play. Gallardo, who is of Mexican decent, was asked about the coincidence.
“I’m just happy that Brazilians couldn’t score on Mexicans,” he said with a laugh.
If you’re looking for an underdog franchise to root for in the NHL postseason – which got underway this week – look no further than the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Blue Jackets joined the NHL in time for the 2000-01 season but are playing in just their second playoff series. And they’ve yet to even win a single playoff game, a streak that increased to five losses in a row Wednesday after a late goal by the Pittsburgh Penguins ended in a 4-3 setback.
It’s been five years since Columbus was swept in the opening round of their first postseason trip by the Detroit Red Wings, who later lost in the Stanley Cup finals to the Penguins in seven games. This time Ohio’s only pro hockey team is matched up against the state’s biggest sports-town rival in Pittsburgh.
If that’s not reason enough to make sports fans in Columbus take notice, perhaps learning of the similarities between the two Blue Jacket playoff teams will be enough to satisfy the hockey appetite.
I’m historically mediocre at filling out March Madness brackets. But I do it ever year, just as I’ve become programed to do over the past three decades. For most sports fans it adds a little more flare to the wild and unpredictable opening rounds of the tournament.
This time I waited until the last minute to fill one out. I wasn’t tempted to wager a single penny on it either, for the first time in years. And then I started to wonder what could have been after watching as my Final Four, and seven of my Elite Eight selections, remained intact entering Thursday and Friday’s Sweet 16.