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Tuesday , December 17 2013
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Welcome to The Sports Brief

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By: Richard Hanna

In soccer news, the Houston Dynamo remains in third place in the Eastern Conference of Major League Soccer, still four points behind leaders Sporting Kansas City. The Dynamo played Toronto FC to a 1-1 draw this past Saturday night as the home team at the BBVA Compass Stadium. They still remain unbeaten at home, with 21 regular season home games. The next Dynamo game is on September 6th against Real Salt Lake. If they are to win or draw that match, they will go into second in the all time home unbeaten record, ahead of the Columbus Crew. The next Dynamo match is the CONCACAF Champions’ League group Stage match against CT OLYMPIA in Honduras. In other Dynamo news, English midfielder Giles Barnes was by the team as their newest player. The 24-year-old, who was signed as a free agent midfielder, has eight years experience with the top level (level 1) of the English Premiership. His last club was a short stint with Doncaster Rovers of the English second division. The Dynamo will be without four of their players from September 7 to September 11, as players are called up for their national side’s World Cup qualifying duties. Midfielder Boniek Garcia will be called up for Honduras’s home and away games against Cuba. Defender Andre Hainault will be called up for Canada as they play a home and away match against Panama. Defender Jermaine Taylor and midfielder Je-Vaughn Watson will be called up to play for Jamaica against El Salvador in their home and away matches.  The home matches will be played on September 7 and the away matches will take place on September 11. All players will be back with the Dynamo for their September 14 showdown against Sporting Kansas City.

In other news, on Wednesday, in the Spanish league, Real Madrid defeated Barcelona 2-1 in the Super Copa, winning its first since 2008. Now, Coach Jose Mourinho has won titles in each of the major leagues in which he has coached: England, Italy, Spain, and Portugal.

In England, after sustaining an injury in Manchester United 3-2 win over Fulham, star Wayne Rooney injured his leg and will be out for at least a month. He will miss England’s World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine. This has built speculation that perhaps boss Sir Alex Ferguson is planning on dumping Rooney before the transfer window closes this Friday, though both parties have denied the speculations– Rooney even tweeted that it was “absolute rubbish.”

In cycling news, 7-time Tour De France champion, Lance Armstrong, denies reports issued against him by the US Anti Doping Administration. Armstrong, who had been fighting allegations of doping for years, said last week that he was not going to fight the new allegations trough independent arbitration. In doing that, the USDA banned him for life and stripped him of his results from 1998 that includes his tour victory. They stated, among other things, that he had been involved with numerous counts of doping and administering banned substances to other cyclists. He still says he will continue his campaign and continue to work with cancer research as well as his foundation.

The Paralympics Games started in London on Wednesday, as the Queen of England was on-hand for the opening of the games. Unfortunately the United States rights-holder, NBC, has decided to show none of the games live. They are showing only 5 hours total on their NBC Sports Network, all of which are taped programs– unlike the rest of the world that is giving the event unprecedented coverage. This is set to be the largest Paralympics ever held since 1960 when the first games were held in Rome, Italy, a week after the Olympics. It is also a homecoming of the games, as the first Paralympics took place in 1948 in the village of Stoke Mandeville, Buckinghamshire. The German born Dr. Ludwig Guttmann was a doctor working with war veterans at Stoke Mandeville Hospital when he came up with the idea of using sport to improve the lives of those patients with spinal injuries. This went on to be the origins of the Paralympics Games, originally created for World War II war veterans. Something to note is that the symbol for the Paralympics Games is 3 swoops– rather than Olympic rings– that are symbolic meaning sprite in motion. If you get a chance to view any of the event, it will– without a doubt– be very inspiring.

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