Utley Utterly Awesome … and Other Sports Stuff

Chase UtleyHey – the Phillies are in first place as of last night’s win over the Giants – and Chase Utley is chasing a Hall of Fame kind of season with the best April he’s ever had – and almost the best in Phillies’ history! Now, if only Ryan Howard and a couple of pitchers could get on track! The taciturn Utley is known for saying little and letting his play on the field do the talking. Still, I found this sheet of his quotes … as well as some comments about him … and you can see why he doesn’t get sought out by reporters the way Jimmy Rollins does! Anyway, it’s refreshing – a hardworking, humble hero – and no mention of performance-enhancing drugs, either!

On the soccer front, we’ve got the USWNT on TV later today. Wow! How long has it been? I want to say that they’ve not been viewable in US TV since the World Cup … is that possible? Here’s Coach Pia Sundhage, from the USSF Site, on what the US needs to work on today against Australia:

Their presence in the air is very good so we’ve been talking a lot about crosses. In the Olympics, Norway of course is always good in the air, so this is a good game for us. So we talk about crosses and runs into the box. If you are standing still, you don’t have the speed and can’t separate and (Australia is) just too good. You could see that in the last game. It’s first about the quality of crosses, we should do better with that, then about the runs into the box. Also on set pieces, corner kicks or free kicks out of shooting range. We need to mix it up a little bit and be a little more creative.

Just up on the WNT Blog are the 18 players Pia has selected for today’s game. Getting a rest are Lori Chalupny, Amy Rodriguez and Tobin Heath. I’m guessing that we’ll see Briana Scurry in the goal .. hope so, anyway. Here’s a piece by Dan Wetzel, from back in September 2007 (after the Ryan-Solo debacle) that pretty much sums up how I feel about Bri – and why that whole episode was such a damn shame. It’d be nice if there were a way for her to close out her career on a high note.

According to the preview at the USSF site it sounds like the weather is likely to be bad (again). If you’re setting up to tape (as I am, unfortunately) be generous with adding time at the end in case there’s a rain delay. Hopefully Fox Soccer will stay with the women and show the whole game even if it’s delayed! I won’t be able to see the game ’til tomorrow night … but I’ll definitely be checking the score and attempting to blog the basics.

Finally, as this match is on TV, I’m hopeful that sometime after the game, if you go to Beulah’s site, you’ll find one of her wonderful write-ups! 🙂

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