SI.com's Grant Wahl wrote with the U.S. team "off to a four-points-in-two-games start" at the FIFA World Cup, MLS "deserves a little credit." Playing in MLS "doesn’t prevent you from having a good World Cup." Galaxy F Landon Donovan showed that in '10, and now several MLS players are "enjoying terrific World Cups," none more so than Sounders F Clint Dempsey. MLS players "aren’t just performing well; their numbers are also up at this year’s World Cup." At the '10 event, only four of the 23 players on the U.S. team "came from MLS." That is up to 10 this year (SI.com, 6/24). Meanwhile, ESPN's Keith Olbermann said if the U.S. gets "clocked by the Germans, especially if they don't then get the requisite breaks and have to go home, there will be no surge in interest" in MLS and there will be "no exponential growth in America embracing the 2018 World Cup." However, he sarcastically added, "If the U.S. beats the Germans, there will still be no exponential growth in America embracing the 2018 World Cup and no surge in interest in Major League Soccer" ("Olbermann," ESPN2, 6/25).
MR. DESTINY: In DC, Deron Snyder writes the fact that LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony have become free agents makes the NBA offseason "a lot more interesting, filled with drama, suspense and intrigue that otherwise wouldn't exist." The Bulls, Rockets, Clippers, Lakers and Cavaliers all can "fantasize about landing James and Anthony, giving everyone else plenty to talk about" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 6/26). In Akron, George Thomas writes under the header "'Decision II' Begins Its Sports Domination" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 6/26).
GIRL POWER: In Boston, Michael Whitmer writes LPGA Commissioner Mike Whan “must be thrilled with what he has seen in 2014, because his tour is having the best year -- viewed from a US golf fan’s perspective -- of all the professional circuits.” Whitmer: “Imagine Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson, Adam Scott, and Sergio Garcia taking turns winning every week, at the expense of each other?” That is what the LPGA “has delivered -- at least its version -- almost every week” (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/26).