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FC Tucson captures second straight division title

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FC Tucson won big Monday night without having to step on the soccer field.

FC Tucson clinched its second consecutive division crown when the Albuquerque Sol tied host Midland/Odessa 0-0. Albuquerque needed a victory to win the Premier Development League Mountain Division.

FC Tucson, which was in second place most of the season, finishes the regular season with 28 points and an 8-2-4 record. Albuquerque has 26 points to go with an 8-3-3 mark.

The men in black will host Albuquerque on a date to be determined in the first round of the playoffs.

FC Tucson lost to Albuquerque 1-0 on June 6 but beat the Sol 2-0 on July 4.

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The hastily assembled American squad was a ragtag group that included a mailman, a grave digger, a dishwasher and a school teacher the first time the United States faced England at the World Cup. The 1-0 upset in 1950 is often likened to the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” win over the Soviet Union at the Lake Placid Olympics as being among the biggest moments in American sports history. The disparity between the two national soccer teams isn’t nearly as wide 72 years later as England and the United States get set to play Friday in Group B. Wales plays Iran, Qatar faces Senegal and the Netherlands takes on Ecuador in other games.

Saudi Arabia scored one of the biggest World Cup upsets ever by beating Lionel Messi’s Argentina 2-1. Messi’s quest to win the one major title to elude him got off to a shocking start and brought back memories of Cameroon’s 1-0 win over an Argentina team led by Diego Maradona in the opening game of the 1990 World Cup. Goals by Saleh Alshehri and Salem Aldawsari in a five-minute span in the second half gave the Saudis their greatest win.

American players wanted more than a 0-0 draw with England in what was likely the most-watched match of their lives. The U.S. shut out a European opponent in the World Cup for the first time since 1950 yet left the tent-like stadium in the Arabian desert knowing a win in Tuesday’s politically charged matchup with Iran is a must to reach the World Cup’s knockout stage. The British tabloid The Sun ran a headline calling the result “Yawn in the USA.” England supporters booed loudly at the final whistle and American fans cheered.

Germany is trying to avoid elimination from the group stage for a second consecutive World Cup when it faces Spain on Sunday. A loss to Spain would mark three consecutive World Cup defeats for Germany. The team had not failed to advance out of group stage since 1938 prior to its early elimination in 2018. Spain is coming into the game off a 7-0 victory over Costa Rica in the most lopsided game so far of the tournament. Canada plays Croatia, Japan plays Costa Rica and Belgium faces Morocco in other matches.

Kylian Mbappe scored two goals and put defending champion France into the knockout stage of the World Cup with a 2-1 win over Denmark. Mbappe put France ahead in the 61st minute and scored the winner in the 86th with his right thigh as Les Bleus became the first team to advance to the next round. Denmark dfender Andreas Christensen equalized for his team with a header in the 68th. Mbappe has scored three goals so far in Qatar. He scored four goals when France won the World Cup four years ago.

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