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Soccer

The “fetch” to our Gretchen Wieners as sports fans, for years we never thought we were going to make professional soccer happen in the United States. But with The United States Women’s National Team’s trouncing of Japan in the World Cup, have we finally come around to professional footy as a nation?

Every few years – World Cup time, typically – think pieces like this one rush out from media outlets as disparate CNN.com and ReturnofKings.com (ugh), pushing opinions on whether or not professional soccer will ever achieve “real” success in the United States. The overarching opinion seems to remain that Major League Soccer will never really get *there*. In fact, most commentators and opinion hurlers seem to think that the widespread love for MLS is a pipedream fostered by hordes of former fullbacks with desk jobs and nostalgia streaks a mile wide. And while I can’t disagree that MLS will probably never achieve NBA or NFL levels of commercial success, I do think the tide is changing.

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Notable Quotable Sepp Blatter

With the recent arrests of top FIFA officials (not including Blatter himself), the sport regulatory body has been thrust into the spotlight here in the U.S. Possibly antithetical, considering professional soccer is still struggling a bit stateside, we do love a good scandal. Though there are loads to know about FIFA, the corruption charges, and their president, Sepp Blatter, we really want to highlight the man in charge. Here is our rundown of the dumbest piles of nonsense Sepp Blatter has ever said. This was a tough list to compile, we were spoilt for choice. Take a moment and hear what Last Week Tonight's John Oliver had to say, then we'll count 'em down.

So, in no particular order, here are our favorite* Sepp Blatter quotes.

"Let the women play in more feminine clothes like they do in volleyball. They could, for example, have tighter shorts."

The gentleman in charge of international regulations regarding the sport has some... interesting thoughts about female athletes. And by "interesting" I mean archaic and misogynistic.

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The Best Number 7's in Sports History

In honor of TicketNetwork.com 7th Anniversary celebration this week, we are talking about all things "7". We are giving away a gift card for $777, giving customers the chances to save 7% off of their next order of $200 or more (use the code "TN7Years" if you're interested), as well as having 7 days of silly giveaways on our Facebook page. Today, I've decided to post my choices of the best sports stars to ever wear the number 7 on their jerseys. In honor of George Costanza, we kink off the list with "The Mick":

Mickey Mantle

From 1957 to 1968, Mickey Mantle was arguably the best player in the game of baseball. Mantle was an All-Star 20 times (MLB used to have two All-Star games per year), was the league MVP three times, and helped lead the Yankees to seven World Series titles over his career. His #7 is retired by the Yankees and he was a first ballot hall-of-famer in 1974. All of those accomplishments led to George Constanza to want to name his first child Seven, which is perhaps Mantle's greatest honor.

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World Cup 2014: A Running Diary of USA vs. Ghana

So yeah, that happened.

Saying that I'm a soccer "fan" would probably be considered a stretch. I don't really ever watch any soccer, and if it wasn't for video games, I probably wouldn't know any of the players. That is except for every four years when the World Cup rolls around. This year was no exception; I fell directly into the World Cup hype machine. I have been watching as much of this year's World Cup as I can, and last night's game between the United States and Ghana was a can't-miss event. There was so much build-up and anticipation for the game, it was finally show time. Here is a diary of my viewing experience:

Pre-Game: As Jürgen Klinsmann shakes hands with the coaching staff from Ghana, I started to feel the same jitters I feel when watching my favorite teams. I guess I do care about this game. I'm getting thirsty...

Moments Before Kick-Off: Okay, this thirst is starting to dominate my life. I can run to the kitchen real quick to drink, nothing happens in the first few minutes of the game.

0:34: As I stand in my kitchen, I hear a loud yell from the Ian Darke (ESPN play-by-play guy): "DEMPSEY!" Oh no, after waiting all this time for the game, I missed the big moment as Clint Dempsey knocks it in. That's okay though, the U.S. leads 1-0, that's all that matters.

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The following is a guest article by Aaron Walker.

Soccer

With Manchester United taking its 20th Premier League trophy with four games left to play in the season, soccer fans are already looking to the next season for their team to steal the glory. But before that comes months of player trials, trading speculation, and the updates on rigorous training for their team in off-season. Fortunately, the time goes fast. That’s because during the 3 months of off season, luckily for us United States citizens, we're able to see some of the world’s most prolific soccer teams come to play on our own home turf. Here are some of the big games going on this summer.

Real Madrid vs. LA Galaxy

While this is still a tentative match with no conclusive date, soccer bloggers and online publishers are all buzzing with gossip that one of the world's biggest soccer brands, Real Madrid, will be coming to Los Angeles on August 1st, to play the home team. As part of the International Champions Cup, an annual soccer tournament to mix some of the biggest teams from across the world, Real Madrid will hope to finish on top of their group, allowing them to play the final in Miami on August 11th. Surely with Real Madrid having one of the largest sports fan base to span across the world, this will be a popular event. So make sure you reserve your tickets fast!

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