TIME space

Astronomers Name Newly Discovered Galaxy After Cristiano Ronaldo

Portugal player Cristiano Ronaldo gestures during the UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifying - Group I soccer match against Armenia held at Republican Stadium in Yerevan, Armenia on June 13, 2015.
Hugo Delgado—EPA Portugal player Cristiano Ronaldo gestures during the UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifying - Group I soccer match against Armenia held at Republican Stadium in Yerevan, Armenia on June 13, 2015.

The soccer fans call it CR7

It pays to be an astronomer when you can name newly discovered galaxies after your favorite sports heroes.

A group of scientists has dubbed a recently discovered galaxy COSMOS Redshift 7, or CR7. That’s also the nickname of Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, who wears No. 7 on his jersey, and the inspiration for a Nike cleat dubbed CR7. The lead astronomer, who hails from Ronaldo’s native Portugal, cited Ronaldo as inspiration for the galaxy’s name, the European Southern Observatory said in a statement on Wednesday.

It was described as “an exceptionally rare object, by far the brightest galaxy ever observed at this stage in the Universe.” The name is also a measure of the galaxy’s place in terms of cosmic time.

TIME Soccer

English Soccer Club Sacks 3 Players Over Racist Sex Tape

James Pearson of Leicester in action during the Capital One Cup second round match between Leicester City and Shrewsbury Town at The King Power Stadium on Aug. 26, 2014 in Leicester, England.
Michael Regan—Getty Images James Pearson of Leicester in action during the Capital One Cup second round match between Leicester City and Shrewsbury Town at The King Power Stadium on Aug. 26, 2014 in Leicester, England.

The players from Leicester City Football Club had previously apologized

A soccer club in the U.K. canned three players, including the manager’s son, after investigating reports of sexual and racist misconduct in Thailand.

Leicester City Football Club, part of the Premier League, said in a statement released Wednesday that Tom Hopper, Adam Smith and James Pearson’s contracts were terminated after “the conclusion of an internal investigation and disciplinary proceedings, as a consequence of events that took place during the Club’s end-of-season goodwill tour of Thailand.”

The trio, which has apologized, was accused of making racist remarks to women they were apparently engaged with sexually in a hotel room in Thailand, with one alleged to have called one woman a “slit eye.” News of the remarks spread after a video was supposedly shown to friends when the players had returned to the U.K., and then obtained by the Mirror in May.

“Leicester City Football Club is acutely aware of its position, and that of its players, as a representative of the city of Leicester [and] the Premier League…It is committed to promoting a positive message of community and family values and equality, and to upholding the standards expected of a Club with its history, tradition and aspirations,” the statement read.

TIME Soccer

Swiss Prosecutor Identifies 53 Possible Incidents of Money Laundering at FIFA

FBL-FIFA-CORRUPTION
Fabrice Coffrini—AFP/Getty Images Sepp Blatter attends a press conference in Zurich on May 30, 2015

Michael Lauber said he "does not exclude" interviewing FIFA President Sepp Blatter in the future

BERN, Switzerland — Swiss banks have noted 53 possible money-laundering incidents in the investigation of FIFA’s 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding contests, the country’s attorney-general said Wednesday

Michael Lauber said the “suspicious bank relations” were reported within the framework of Switzerland’s anti-money laundering regulations.

Lauber said he “does not exclude” interviewing FIFA President Sepp Blatter and secretary-general Jerome Valcke in the future, though neither are currently under suspicion.

Addressing the media for the first time since the Swiss investigation into FIFA was announced three weeks ago, Lauber said the case is “huge and complex.”

Lauber declined to discuss a timetable for the case, which targets “criminal mismanagement and money-laundering” in the bidding contests which sent the 2018 World Cup to Russia and the 2022 tournament to Qatar.

Still, the federal prosecutor is prepared for either country to be stripped of the hosting rights if new evidence proves wrongdoing.

“I don’t mind if this has some collateral (damage) somewhere else,” Lauber said. “I don’t care about the timetable of FIFA. I care very much about my own timetable which I can’t disclose.”

Lauber would not be drawn on whether South Africa’s successful bid for the 2010 World Cup — which allegedly involved a $10 million bribe — was also within the scope of his investigation.

FIFA began the 2018 and 2022 case by filing a criminal complaint against “persons unknown” last November.

“This is a dynamic process,” Lauber said. “It could really go everywhere and that is why I don’t want to tell you which direction I put my focus.”

“‘I have coercive measures and I am independent,” Lauber said at a news conference called after his re-election by federal authorities for a four-year mandate.

Football’s world governing body sent Lauber a 430-page investigation report submitted last September by FIFA’s former ethics prosecutor, Michael Garcia.

The former U.S. Attorney from the Southern District of New York led a team which spent two years investigating the World Cup bidding contests, which included nine candidates from 11 countries.

However, Garcia could not compel some FIFA voters to meet with him and did not have subpoena powers to gather key evidence. Russian officials failed to provide much evidence, claiming computers used by bid staffers were leased and later destroyed.

 

TIME Basketball

See the Adorable Curry Clan Celebrate the Warriors’ NBA Win on Instagram

Daddy did good

To God be the glory!!! So very proud of @wardell30 and the @warriors 😄😄😄💛💙

A photo posted by Ayesha Curry (@ayeshacurry) on

The cuteness never ends with the Curry family.

Ayesha Curry, wife of the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry, posted this adorable snap of her daughter, Riley, celebrating her Dad’s NBA victory with her happy parents on Instagram.

And Riley even mastered the art of the photobomb immediately after the team’s victory.

TIME Basketball

The Golden State Warriors Are a Team for the Ages

The small-ball gunslingers will never be forgotten

The Golden State Warriors, NBA champions, were so clearly the deeper, more athletic, more skilled team in these NBA finals. So much was made of LeBron James’ singular brilliance, in the face of injuries to his All-Star teammates. Yes, James was the reason Cleveland took a 2-1 series lead, the reason the Finals stretched to six games. His performance seemed to overshadow everything in this year’s Finals.

Years from now, sports fans may remember James’ big numbers. But mostly, they’ll marvel at how the Warriors won it all.

They did it with a wizard, Stephen Curry, at point guard. Curry nailed three key threes in Golden State’s 105-97 Game 6 victory in Cleveland Tuesday night, because that’s what he does. In the clincher, however, the regular-season MVP’s passing stood out. He patiently let the Cavs double-team him far from the basket – what choice did the Cavs have against a guy who can sink shots from Cincinnati? – and hit cutters down the lane. Or flipped one-handed passes down low. Or skipped the ball cross-court, or into the corner, to open three-point shooters. Curry had eight assists. Golden State finished with 13 three-pointers.

How deep is Golden State? The MVP of the series, Andre Iguodala, didn’t start a game the whole regular season, and can barely hit a foul shot (he shot 6-21 in Games 5 and 6). In Game 6 a guy named Festus Ezeli, who played three minutes, and scored no points, in Games 4 and 5, sparked the Warriors by scoring nine points in the last four minutes of the third quarter. Draymond Green finished Game 6 with a triple double: 16 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists. Harrison Barnes shot 3-4 from downtown.

Once Golden’s State first year coach, Steve Kerr, decided to stick with a small lineup against Cleveland in Game 4, his Warriors didn’t lose again. Soccer is called the beautiful game. But basketball, as the Warriors played it Tuesday night, is mighty pretty too. The ball zipped around, and almost always found the open man. No plodding here. Just speed. Just fun.

In the fourth quarter, LeBron James’ legs were shot. His attempts fell consistently short. It took a few Hail Marys from J.R. Smith, a shooter who went missing for most of the series, to keep it close. But when you looked at the players on the floor, no way could the Cavs keep it any closer. For example Matthew Dellavedova, the Game 3-grit hero, looked like he didn’t belong on an NBA court.

Cleveland should feel no shame. The more deserving team won the title. The gunslinging Golden State Warriors: small, unselfish, and simply unforgettable.

TIME Basketball

Golden State Warriors Win NBA Title, Beat Cavaliers 105-97

James could do nothing more. He extended a conceding hand and congratulations

(CLEVELAND) —As the final seconds ticked off and the Warriors began bouncing in celebration on their bench, Stephen Curry looked up and saw LeBron James coming at him.

James could do nothing more. He extended a conceding hand and congratulations.

Moments later, Curry was hoisting a trophy in the air — one as golden as his team.

Revived by Curry, their fresh-faced shooting superstar, and bonded by first-year coach Steve Kerr who made them believe, the Warriors ended a 40-year NBA championship drought on Tuesday night by finishing off James and the undermanned Cleveland Cavaliers 105-97 in Game 6.

Curry and finals MVP Andre Iguodala scored 25 points apiece, Draymond Green recorded a triple-double and the Warriors — using a barrage of 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to put Cleveland away — won their first title since 1975 when Gerald Ford was in the White House, disco was in vogue and Rick Barry was flicking in free throws under-handed.

And these Warriors are a lot like Barry and his old crew: fluid, balanced, together. Just like Steve Kerr hoped.

“I’m kind of speechless,” said Curry. “This is special. To be able to hold this trophy and all the hard work we’ve put into it this season, this is special. We’re definitely a great team and a team that should go down in history as one of the best teams from top to bottom.”

James, who fell to 2-4 in the finals, didn’t hide his dejection.

“Doesn’t matter if I’m playing in Miami or playing in Cleveland or playing on Mars,” he said. “You lose in the finals, it’s disappointing.”

After the Warriors were presented with the glittering Larry O’Brien Trophy by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, hundreds of gold-and-blue clad Warriors fans inside Quicken Loans Arena serenaded the new champs by singing “War-eee-ers, War-eee-ers” a cry that filled Oracle Arena all season and will greet the team on their return to California.

Golden State allowed the Cavs to creep within eight points in the fourth before unleashing a flurry of 3s to ensure there would be no Game 7. Curry’s step-back made it 78-68, and after the Cavs closed within seven on J.R. Smith’s trey, Iguodala, Curry and Klay Thompson each drained one in a span of 81 seconds to make it 89-75.

Iguodala, who had the added duty of guarding James, knocked down another long shot for good measure before he strutted back on defense holding out three fingers on each hand.

He could have shot an index finger into the air at that point — Golden State is No. 1.

“This has been a long ride,” Iguodala said. “It’s been a great season.”

While Golden State’s drought ended, Cleveland’s half-century of sports misery rolls on.

James returned from Miami last summer to deliver a title to his home region, but the 30-year-old superstar, left to do most of the work after All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love were injured in the postseason, came two wins shy of giving Cleveland its first pro sports championship since 1964.

The city’s three pro teams — the Cavs, Browns and Indians — have gone a combined 144 seasons without one of them winning it all.

It’s not that James didn’t do everything possible. He finished with 32 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists and was dominant throughout the series, showing why he’s the world’s best player.

The Warriors were simply the better team.

“We ran out of talent,” said James, who sat facing his locker with a towel over his head for nearly an hour after the game. “We gave everything we had.”

This series, which opened with two overtime games in Oakland, flipped when Kerr employed a small lineup in the fourth quarter of Game 3 and the Warriors nearly overcame a 20-point deficit before losing.

Kerr stuck with revamped lineup in Game 4, giving Iguodala his first start this season, switching Green to center and benching the ineffective Andrew Bogut. The move was as golden as the Warriors, who finished with 83 wins, the third-highest single-season total in history.

Only the 1995-96 and 1996-97 Bulls won more, and Kerr was on both of those teams.

The fact that Iguodala, their sixth man, took MVP honors perhaps sums up the Warriors best.

“I always said Andre’s a pro’s pro,” Green said. “He’s a professional guy and it showed, and that’s why he’s MVP of the series and that’s what we’re champions.”

Down early after missing open shots, the Warriors began finding their range. Golden State capitalized on nine turnovers in the first quarter, made four 3s and built a 13-point lead when Harrison Barnes knocked down a long 3 — a shot that sent those Warriors fans into a frenzy.

This was their night, the one they’ve waited for 40 years.

While Golden State had some solid teams in the past — the “Run TMC” version coached by Don Nelson and featuring Tim Hardaway, Chris Mullin and Mitch Richmond among them — the franchise has been undermined by dysfunction. Along with long playoff gaps, there were bad trades, poor drafts and numerous coaching changes.

The Warriors often made headlines for the wrong reasons. Remember when Latrell Sprewell choked coach P.J. Carlesimo?

Well, those days are gone, washed away by Curry and Thompson — the “Splash Brothers” — and a roster of selfless players who bonded under Kerr and have returned basketball glory to Oakland.

“I remember coming to Oracle as a player year after year playing against lousy teams,” Kerr said. “I could not be happier for our fan base.”

These new Warriors have been a model team: sharing the ball, defending together and sacrificing individual goals.

“Strength in Numbers” was their motto as the Warriors used depth and balance to jump from 51 wins to a franchise-record 67 during the regular season.

Kerr molded them. Hired last summer after spurning an offer from the Knicks, the 49-year-old former NBA guard who won three of his five titles as Michael Jordan’s teammate in Chicago and two playing for Gregg Popovich in San Antonio, Kerr brought out the best in his team.

From the first day of training camp, he emphasized unity. A California-born kid who still surfs and would prefer to wear jeans and a pair of Vans on the sideline, he kept things loose by taking the Warriors bowling and letting them blare music during practices.

With Curry, the team’s first MVP since Wilt Chamberlain, leading them, the Warriors outgunned everyone in the rugged Western Conference and entered the postseason as a No. 1 seed. They swept New Orleans, rallied from a 2-1 deficit to beat Memphis and then blew through Houston in five games to make the finals for the first time since ’75.

They then held off James and the Cavs, who just didn’t have enough.

TIME Soccer

Wambach’s Goal Gives U.S. a 1-0 Win Over Nigeria

Julie Johnston, Courtney Dike
Darryl Dyck—AP Julie Johnston, left, and Nigeria's Courtney Dike vie for the ball during the first half of a FIFA Women's World Cup game on June 16, 2015

The U.S. hasn't won a World Cup since 1999

(VANCOUVER) — Abby Wambach scored late in the first half and the U.S. women’s national team went on to beat Nigeria 1-0 on Tuesday night for a first-place finish in its group at the Women’s World Cup.

It was Wambach’s 14th World Cup goal, pulling her even with Birgit Prinz for second on the all-time list behind Brazil’s Marta, who has 15.

Wambach came off the bench for the United States in the team’s last match against Sweden. Tuesday, she started up top with Alex Morgan, who was making her first World Cup start in Canada after working her way back from a bone bruise in her left knee.

The United States, ranked second in the world behind Germany, has two World Cup titles, but hasn’t won since 1999.

Four years ago in Germany, the U.S. advanced to the final but fell to Japan on penalty kicks.

The win sent the United States through as the leader of its group for the sixth time in seven Women’s World Cups. The team heads to Edmonton, Alberta, for the first match of the knockout stage. The opponent has not been determined.

Nigeria, which has won seven of nine African championships, has been to every World Cup since it started for the women in 1991. The Super Falcons were eliminated after the loss to the United States after playing to a 3-all draw with Sweden in the opener and falling 2-0 to Australia.

The U.S. opened Group D with a 3-1 victory over No. 10 Australia, before playing to a 0-0 draw with No. 5 Sweden.

Morgan hadn’t started a match since April. The speedy 25-year-old played 12 minutes as a sub in the draw with Sweden.

Wambach also came in as a sub in the match against Sweden last Friday. It was the first time she had played off the bench at a World Cup since her first in 2003.

Wambach, who didn’t score in the first two U.S. group stage matches, had never gone without a goal in the opening round in four World Cup appearances.

Julie Johnston had the best chance for the United States early, but her strike in the eighth minute was ruled offside. Minutes later, U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo dove to stop Nigeria forward Asisat Oshoala’s attempt.

Nigerian goalkeeper Precious Dede had to punch Megan Rapinoe’s long 25-foot blast in the 17th minute. Johnston battled to catch Oshoala on a fast break, sliding to deflect the ball as Solo charged.

Wambach finally put the United States ahead just before the end of the half when she rushed in on a corner kick from Megan Rapinoe and volleyed the ball into the goal at the far post.

Dede stopped a shot from an onrushing Morgan to open the second half.

A scary moment came when Wambach and Josephine Chukwunoye appeared to bump heads. Wambach got up quickly, but Chukwunoye — who got a yellow card on the play — was helped off but returned a few moments later.

Sydney Leroux, who grew up in the Vancouver area, replaced Morgan in the 65th minute. Leroux, who has an American father, left Canada as a teenager to pursue her goal of playing for the United States.

Nigeria, which was physical all game, was hurt when Sarah Nnodim was sent off with her second yellow of the night for a tackle on Leroux in the 69th minute. That put Nigeria at 10 players for the rest of the match.

Morgan, who has 51 goals in 84 international appearances, had not started in a match since April 11, the season opener for the Portland Thorns of the National Women’s Soccer League. Her last start for the United States came in a 4-0 victory over New Zealand in St. Louis, Missouri.

She wore pink tape on her knee during the match.

TIME Soccer

A Country of 1.2 Billion Just Lost a Soccer Match to a Tiny Island Ranked 174th in the World

India vs Oman
JAGADEESH NV—EPA Indian football player Leihaorungbam Dhanachandra singh (L) and Oman football player Qasim said ( R) in action, during a World Cup Qualifier match against India, in Bangalore, India 11 June 2015.

"We are disappointed," India's coach said

India, a cricket-obsessed nation, is not really known for its soccer prowess. Ranked 141st in the global FIFA rankings, the South Asian nation of 1.2 billion is commonly known as one of the sport’s “sleeping giants.”

The giant stayed asleep on Tuesday, as the Indian team slumped to a 2-1 defeat against the tiny Pacific island of Guam — a U.S. territory ranked 33 spots below it at 174 and with less than 200,000 people — in a World Cup qualifier.

It was Guam’s second consecutive win after beating Turkmenistan 1-0 and it puts them at the top of their qualifying group, CNN reports.

India, on the other hand, were dealt their second consecutive defeat after losing 2-1 to Oman at home last week and face an uphill battle for qualification.

“We are disappointed,” Indian football coach Stephen Constantine said after the match. “Today the difference was very much visible between a group of players who have the best football education and the rest. Seventy-five percent of the players who represented Guam have been born and brought up in the U.S. and that made a huge difference.”

[CNN]

TIME Football

Joe Paterno Will Be Inducted Into Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame

Penn State football coach Joe Paterno acknowledges the crowd before an NCAA college football game against Wisconsin in State College, Pa. on Nov. 5, 2005.
Carolyn Kaster—AP Penn State football coach Joe Paterno acknowledges the crowd before an NCAA college football game against Wisconsin in State College, Pa. on Nov. 5, 2005.

The late Penn State football coach's legacy was marred by the Jerry Sandusky scandal

Joe Paterno, the late Penn State football coach whose legacy was tarnished by a child sex abuse scandal involving a team colleague, will be inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.

The ceremony will take place in October, the university announced on Tuesday. Paterno led the Nittany Lion football program for 46 years—after 16 years as an assistant coach—and holds a NCAA Division I-record of 409 victories. He also helped produce dozens of nationally recognized scholar-athletes, eventually achieving an 87% NCAA graduation success rate in the year before his passing due to cancer on Jan. 22, 2012.

The coaching legend’s career ended in November 2011 after former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was arrested and charged with 52 counts of child sex abuse. Paterno was dismissed by university officials on grounds that he had allegedly failed to act after being alerted to Sandusky’s actions in 2002. Following Paterno’s death in early 2012, an independent report by former FBI director Louis Freeh showed that Paterno had concealed facts relating to Sandusky’s crimes. (Paterno’s family and lawyers have challenged the findings.)

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