Earthquakes

Quakes choose young FIU defender with their first pick in 2018 MLS SuperDraft

Quakes choose young FIU defender with their first pick in 2018 MLS SuperDraft

The San Jose Earthquakes are hoping they've caught lighting in a bottle twice. 

Last season, Nick Lima emerged as one of the game's best young defenders. And on Day 1 of the 2018 MLS SuperDraft, San Jose went to the fullback well with the selection of Paul Marie from Florida International University with the 12th pick in the first round. 

"Paul has the profile we were looking for from the very beginning heading into the combine and the draft," said Earthquakes general manager Jesse Fioranelli via press release. "We were looking for a fullback. We see in him an offensive-minded outside back that has technical qualities and the ability to read the game."

Experts pegged Marie, 22, as a late-first, early-second-round selection. But a pair of solid days during the MLS Combine boosted the Frenchman's stock -- especially on San Jose's board. According to Fioranelli, Marie was No. 4 on their draft board -- having him there at No. 12 must have felt like a steal for Fioranelli and staff. 

"We especially liked that he has character and in the interview that we had with him, he convinced us," Fioranelli said. "The entire coaching staff are really excited about having him part of the club."

San Jose not only lucked out that their fourth-best footballer was there at 12, but with American parents, he does not take up an international slot for San Jose -- the team is still three players over their allotment.

In an interview after his selection with Jason Davis of Sirius XM radio, Marie told San Jose fans what they can expect from the defender. 

"They can expect Paul Marie to give it all for San Jose," he said. 

The Quakes were in need of defensive depth going in to Day 1 of the SuperDraft. In Marie, they have a fullback who can stretch the pitch from the right side and be a backup to Lima. 

Women's World Cup bracket: Knockout stage matchups, dates, times

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AP

Women's World Cup bracket: Knockout stage matchups, dates, times

The knockout stage of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup is well underway, and that match of the tournament looms.  

The United States Women's National Team advanced to the quarterfinals Monday, setting up a showdown with host nation France on Friday. 

Both sides are good enough to win the tournament and were considered co-favorites coming in, but only one will advance from Friday's match in Paris.  If the USWNT loses, it will be their first time in their history that they've missed out on the semifinals.

Here's the full knockout stage bracket:

Round of 16

Match 37 -- Norway 1, Australia 1 (Norway advances 4-1 on penalties)

Match 38 -- Germany 3, Nigeria 0

Match 39 -- England 3, Cameroon 0

Match 40 -- France 2, Brazil 1 (Extra Time)

Match 41 -- USA 2, Spain 1

Match 42 -- Sweden 1, Canada 0

Match 43 -- Italy 2, China 0

Match 44 -- Netherlands 2, Japan 1

Quarterfinals

Match 45 -- Norway vs. England -- Thursday, June 27 at 12 p.m. PT

Match 46 -- France vs. USA -- Friday, June 28 at 12 p.m. PT

Match 47 -- Italy vs. Netherlands -- Saturday, June 29 at 6 a.m. PT

Match 48 -- Germany vs. Sweden -- Sunday, June 30 at 9:30 a.m. PT

Semifinals

Match 49 -- Winner of Match 45 vs. Winner of Match 46 -- Tuesday, July 2 at 12 p.m. PT

Match 50 -- Winner of Match 47 vs. Winner of Match 48 -- Wednesday, July 3 at 12 p.m. PT

Third Place

Loser of Match 49 vs. Loser of Match 50 -- Saturday, July 6 at 8 a.m. PT

Final

Winner of Match 49 vs. Winner of Match 50 -- Sunday, July 7 at 8 a.m. PT

Women's World Cup: Uninspiring USA win vs. Spain sets up France clash

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AP

Women's World Cup: Uninspiring USA win vs. Spain sets up France clash

By the skin of their teeth, the United States Women's National Team advanced to the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup quarterfinals Monday.

The United States beat Spain 2-1 in Reims, France, thanks to two penalty kicks from captain Megan Rapinoe to set up a match with the host nation Friday. 

Rapinoe stepped up to the spot and gave the Americans a lead in the seventh minute, but Jennifer Hermoso equalized two minutes later when she caught goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher off her line. The Spaniards' press picked veteran American defender Becky Sauerbrunn's pocket, and the USWNT conceded its first goal of the tournament.

Midfielder Rose Lavelle was fouled in Spain's box late in the second half to set up Rapinoe's second penalty, before the three most-dreaded letters of the tournament appeared. The referee turned to VAR -- video assistant referee -- to determine if there was a "clear and obvious error," but the call was upheld. There wasn't much contact on Lavelle, but it was enough for the referee to point to the spot again.

Rapinoe's finish left no doubt, even as the Americans absorbed late pressure from the Spaniards, who hoped to keep their World Cup dreams alive. The USWNT advanced, but the win raised far more questions than answers.

Coach Jill Ellis opted to sit Lindsey Horan, with the midfielder facing a suspension if she picked up another yellow card. Ellis' squad failed to generate much of anything moving forward, but she did not make her first change to the lineup until the 85th minute. The USWNT attempted fewer shots on target (three) than any game in the tournament, and there wasn't all that much in the way of quality, either.

Monday's win won't settle concerns about the USWNT headed into Friday's showdown with France in Paris. Although the French needed extra time to dispatch Brazil on Sunday, they already have beaten the Americans this year. France defeated the USWNT 3-1 in a January friendly, and jumped out to a three-goal lead in that match.

The Americans won't enter the rematch on a high, but Ellis said she believed that could work to her team's advantage -- using some NSFW language.

[RELATED: How Women's World Cup bracket shakes out]

Ellis has to hope it does. In any other World Cup, Friday's match would be worthy of a final. The USWNT and France entered as two of the favorites, but one's tournament will be over before the semifinals by the time Friday's last whistle blows.

If the Americans don't improve upon Monday's performance, it very well could be them.