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Tiger softball earns Tuesday sweep -3/3/2015, 7:45 PM

Season ends for FHSU men -3/3/2015, 10:20 AM

Claflin great Jackie Stiles inducted into NFHS Hall of Fame -3/3/2015, 10:19 AM

KU's Big 12 streak one for the ages -3/3/2015, 10:10 AM

FHSU's Keehn wins second MIAA title in track -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

Wessel continues to spark Shockers -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

Ronda Rousey's fast work, like at UFC 184, a big draw -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

Minnie Minoso's love of baseball never waned -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

FHSU wrestling sending four to nationals -3/2/2015, 10:28 AM

Kansas State rallies late to put away Iowa State -3/1/2015, 9:33 AM

No. 8 Kansas holds on to defeat Texas, 69-64 -3/1/2015, 9:31 AM

Wichita State captures MVC crown by beating Northern Iowa -3/1/2015, 9:30 AM

Ellis' Younger cruises through Friday at 3-2-1A -3/1/2015, 9:39 AM

Hays High's Deterding second in 4A -3/1/2015, 9:58 AM

Norton wins title with backside points -3/1/2015, 9:36 AM

Hoxie's Porsch repeats in 3-2-1A -3/1/2015, 9:43 AM

FHSU splits at Northeastern State -3/1/2015, 9:41 AM

HHS girls win on senior night -3/1/2015, 9:40 AM

HHS boys roll by Great Bend -3/1/2015, 9:39 AM

Class 3-2-1A State Wrestling finals results -2/28/2015, 9:37 AM

Tigers fall, need win to host first round -2/27/2015, 10:20 AM

Tiger women, MIAA champs, hang on -2/27/2015, 10:29 AM

Monarchs survive on senior night -2/27/2015, 12:17 PM

With KU back in control, Jayhawks prepare for 'high drama' -2/27/2015, 10:19 AM

Nino Williams takes long road to success at Kansas State -2/27/2015, 10:18 AM

Sub-state basketball pairings -2/26/2015, 10:37 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Younger part of youth movement for Railers -2/26/2015, 10:48 AM

Big 12 reprimands K-State after court-storming -2/26/2015, 10:53 AM

Hays High's top four headed to Salina -2/26/2015, 10:36 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- HDN area state qualifiers -2/26/2015, 10:48 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Porsch seeks a repeat in state finale -2/26/2015, 10:49 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Freshman Hutchinson leads young group of Redmen -2/26/2015, 10:49 AM

3-2-1A wrestling -- Norton steps up again to have shot at 3-2-1A state crown -2/26/2015, 10:50 AM

Shockers fight past Indiana State, set up big Saturday -2/26/2015, 10:27 AM

Rhoades back at state -- this time in 4A -2/26/2015, 10:36 AM

TMP survives Plainville -2/25/2015, 11:26 AM

K-State issues apology -2/25/2015, 10:22 AM

HHS swept at Dodge -2/25/2015, 10:22 AM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -2/25/2015, 10:21 AM

Royals still hoping for Starling to break out -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Penske revels in Logano's victory at Daytona 500 -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Wildcat's win throws a roadblock at Jayhawks -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

KBCA prep basketball rankings, Feb. 23 -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

Wildcats get it done -2/24/2015, 10:22 AM

No-name Hahn wins Northern Trust Open -2/23/2015, 10:24 AM

FHSU softball splits on Sunday in Minnesota -2/23/2015, 10:15 AM

Logano wins first Daytona 500 -2/23/2015, 10:15 AM

Lutz: VanVleet has another day to remember -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

VanVleet takes Wichita State's assists title in win -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

'Cats seek confidence before game with KU -2/23/2015, 10:14 AM

Perry Ellis, No. 8 Kansas rebound from loss, beat TCU -2/22/2015, 12:47 PM

Baylor drills K-State -2/22/2015, 12:48 PM

Monarch girls run away from Stockton -2/22/2015, 12:38 PM

TMP wins physical game at Stockton -2/22/2015, 12:39 PM

Mathews all-state for HHS -2/22/2015, 12:48 PM

HHS wins at Garden, jumps back into WAC race -2/22/2015, 12:41 PM

Wrestling roundup -- Hays High sends four to 4A state -2/22/2015, 8:19 PM

Victoria puts together complete game in win at Ness City -2/22/2015, 12:40 PM

HHS girls fall down early, lose at Garden -2/22/2015, 12:39 PM

Earnhardt Jr. makes Duel history, Patrick qualifies -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

HHS sends relays to state -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

Tiger baseball takes two from UCM -2/20/2015, 10:19 AM

Gene Stephenson says he's filed his own appeal -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

TCU takes out K-State -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

Bohuslavsky keys win for Tiger women -2/19/2015, 10:59 AM

Tiger men rally for MIAA win -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

Tiger women No. 1 in Central Region -2/18/2015, 5:04 PM

Tuesday's area prep basketball boxscores -2/18/2015, 11:22 AM

Barton's Hensley named Player of the Week -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

TMP boys win, girls fall in Great Bend -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

K-State hopes to build some momentum at TCU -2/18/2015, 10:24 AM

Two in a row for HHS girls -2/18/2015, 10:47 AM

Hot early, HHS boys get win at Abilene -2/18/2015, 10:47 AM

All is possible at Daytona -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

WVU tops Jayhawks in wild finish -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Chiefs can find impact receiver in NFL draft -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Chargers set sights on LA, push San Diego officials for action on stadium -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Defense a constant for Shockers -2/17/2015, 10:26 AM

FHSU, UCM series moved to Hays -2/16/2015, 10:55 AM

KU prepares for full-court press -2/16/2015, 10:17 AM

Foster lifts Kansas State past Oklahoma on Saturday -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Three Tigers crowned MIAA champs -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Bowyer, after crash, slams qualifying format -2/16/2015, 10:16 AM

Phillipsburg girls knock off TMP at the buzzer -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Hays High girls snap losing skid -2/15/2015, 2:21 PM

Hays High stunned by Liberal at the buzzer -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Tiger women's streak halted at Pitt State -2/15/2015, 10:26 AM

Tiger softball 1-3 to start season -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Tiger men fall at Pitt -2/15/2015, 7:54 PM

Tigers drop to 0-2 with losses to Mines, Regis -2/15/2015, 1:10 AM

KU coach kicks off tour in Hays -2/13/2015, 11:10 AM

K-State guard Johnson laughs off hecklers at W. Virginia -2/13/2015, 10:13 AM

The Tigers' do-it-all Shaw -2/13/2015, 11:10 AM

Samac staying on court, providing big games for Tigers -2/13/2015, 11:09 AM

Wichita State baseball players see winning as antidote to distractions -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

Royals, Herrera agree -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

Royals purchase contract of Derek Gordon -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

KU's Ellis near 1,000 points -2/13/2015, 10:12 AM

Hoxies' record just a matter of time? -2/12/2015, 3:26 PM

New coach, new season for FHSU softball -2/12/2015, 11:25 AM

Sports Scores

Tuesday

Prep basketball

Boys

Atwood 76, St. Francis 65

Dighton 62, Oberlin 47

Hillsboro 50, Goodland 47

Lakeside 42, Lincoln 32

Minneapolis 68, Russell 35

Rock Hills 42, Natoma 37

Salina Central 62, Andover 58

Salina South 62, Sacred Heart 47

Sharon Springs 75, Leoti 38

St. John's Beloit-Tipton 57, Osborne 34

Sylvan-Lucas 61, Thunder Ridge 48

Girls

Dighton 44, Atwood 11

Dodge City 71, Hays High 28

Hesston 51, Goodland 18

Hoisington 60, Victoria 46

Hoxie 65, St. Francis 13

Lincoln 33, Lakeside 26

Minneapolis 47, Otis-Bison 24

Osborne 59, Wilson 34

Sharon Springs 63, Oberlin 42

Sylvan-Lucas 43, Natoma 41 (ot)

Tescott 41, Rock Hills 33

Trego 56, Leoti 27

Thunder Ridge 33, St. John's Beloit-Tipton 30

Click To View All


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SPOTLIGHT
[var top_story_head]

Brazil to open World Cup

Published on -6/12/2014, 10:17 AM

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By KEVIN BAXTER and

VINCENT BEVINS

McClatchy-Tribune

SAO PAULO, Brazil -- His full name is Neymar da Silva Santos Junior, an unmanageable mouthful he has thankfully shortened to Neymar.

And though he stands just 5 feet 9 on his tippy-toes and weighs 142 pounds dripping wet, for the next month the unpretentious 22-year-old will be asked to shoulder the hopes of a nation as he leads host Brazil into the World Cup.

"I don't want to be the best player in the World Cup. I want to win the World Cup," he said Wednesday. "I am anxious, of course, but also I'm extremely happy because many people would like to be here."

The five-time champions, playing a World Cup at home for the first time in 64 years, kick off the tournament Thursday afternoon against Croatia at the 65,000-seat Arena Corinthians, a stadium so new finishing touches were still being applied Wednesday night.

But ready or not, the games are about to begin.

"For all Brazilians, I want to say our time has arrived," Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said. "I want to go together. This is our World Cup. But to start we have to think of the first step. The first step is against Croatia."

Each subsequent step Scolari's team takes toward next month's final in Rio de Janeiro will get tougher. Not only is this 32-team field arguably the deepest in World Cup history but the tournament's $11 billion price tag makes it the most expensive World Cup of all time.

And that leaves Brazil, the tournament favorite, facing enormous pressure to unite an anxious and restive public, many of whom are unhappy about the cost of the games yet still expecting their team to win a record sixth championship.

"Brazil is so different. They are born with football in their blood and you will feel that now," said U.S. coach Juergen Klinsmann, who coached the German national team to the World Cup semifinals before a hopeful _ and ultimately disappointed _ home crowd in 2006.

"Obviously, they expect the title. At the same time the fans and the people will embrace it for the next four weeks and make it a big party throughout the country.

"It's easier to party if your team wins and scores many goals. It's always that way."

Soccer has often given Brazil reason to party. The national team hasn't lost at home since September 1975, a streak of 57 consecutive games that includes last summer's 3-0 win over defending World Cup champion Spain, the No. 1 team in the world.

Spain will challenge for the title again, as will No. 2 Germany. But no European team has ever won a World Cup played in the Americas, which could open the door for Argentina, Brazil's neighbor to the south.

And though Neymar _ who former Brazilian great Pele said may someday follow him as the best player in the world _ is the brightest star in Brazil's universe, he's not the only one. The deep roster includes captain Thiago Silva of Paris Saint-Germain, midfielder Oscar of Chelsea, and Fred, the team's high-scoring striker.

But if Scolari and Neymar were hopeful Wednesday, outside the stadium there was a mix of emotions.

It's still not clear whether the country has resolved all of the issues that could disrupt the tournament, and many in this soccer-mad country of 200 million remain divided about whether having the World Cup here was a good idea in the first place.

Brazil's Homeless Workers Movement has had its demands met and will host a party rather than a protest Thursday while the transit strike that paralyzed Sao Paulo for most of the last week has been halted.

At the same time, 9,000 supporters of the "There will be no World Cup" movement have pledged to congregate along the city's subway line at a point between downtown and the stadium, from where they could disrupt the train service most fans will use to get to the opening game.

Police say they'll be ready to guard the subway stations, with backup from the army if needed.

Even if mass protests don't materialize, much of the general population remains ambivalent about the tournament.

Recent polls show more than half of Brazilians think the World Cup will do more harm than good for the country and said the money their government spent on the event could have been better used on needs such as health care, education and transportation infrastructure.

Residents also say the streets feature less green and yellow -- the colors of Brazil's national team _ than they have before any other recent World Cup.

"For the first time in my life, I'm going to cheer against Brazil," Gilson Cunha, a 54-year-old contractor, said watching as workers painted a wall downtown Wednesday. "I'm not against the team itself, but I'm against all of the politics revolving around the tournament. If all of that money had gone to health care, we'd have better health care."

Behind him Albenia Abla, a 19-year-old deli worker, disagreed.

"For me, it's all good. Of course, people have complaints, legitimate complaints, about where our country has invested. But I'm excited and I'm going to cheer like crazy at home," she said.

"No one agrees right now. Some people are really upset, and others prefer to enjoy the tournament. We're divided."

Now it's up to Neymar to give them all a lift.

"I really hope I can help my team in the best possible way to fulfill the dream of ... Brazilians, which is to win the World Cup," he said.

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