Tony Dicicco
Getty Images

Tony DiCicco, coach of historic U.S. women’s soccer teams, dies at 68

Leave a comment

Tony DiCicco, who coached the first U.S. Olympic women’s soccer team to gold in 1996 and the 1999 Women’s World Cup winners, died Monday at age 68.

“While the health challenges Tony faced were confronted head on and with eyes open, we never could have foreseen the beautiful journey that truly defined the magnificence of this man’s life,” was posted on son Anthony DiCicco‘s social media.

DiCicco is the only U.S. coach to win a World Cup and the Olympics. He compiled a 103-8-8 international record at the helm of the U.S. Women’s National Team from 1994-99.

A former goalkeeper, DiCicco succeeded Anson Dorrance, who stepped down as U.S. coach in 1994. He was businesslike and uniquely humored, with a trademark thick black mustache.

Mia Hamm once told him, “Coach us like men, treat us like women,” and he stuck by it.

“I don’t yell at them [my players] a lot because I’m too busy yelling at the referees,” he said in 1999, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I’m a passionate guy, but I have a pretty good idea of how to impact a player’s performance. It’s not my style to get in their faces.”

DiCicco was largely out of the spotlight during the U.S. run to its famous 1999 Women’s World Cup title, but he was of course very instrumental in their success.

Take the final shootout against China, and Brandi Chastain‘s winner.

“Most soccer fans aren’t even aware that Chastain wasn’t supposed to take the penalty kick that changed her life,” according to Sports Illustrated in 2000. “On the original list [Julie] Foudy filled that spot, with Chastain in reserve. But just before the kicks began, DiCicco switched the order because he believed Chastain’s grittiness suited the moment.”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: U.S. Soccer, women’s national team agree on new contract

Watch trailer for Usain Bolt in Pro Evolution Soccer video game

Leave a comment

Whether Usain Bolt plays competitive soccer in retirement is to be determined, but he’s already suiting up digitally.

Bolt is available for gameplay to those who pre-order the Pro Evolution Soccer 2018 video game to be released in September.

Though there is a dearth of track and field video games, Bolt was previously included in Temple Run 2 in 2013.

As for real-life competition, Bolt said in November that he expected to train with German club Borussia Dortmund in 2017 or 2018.

Bolt has long desired to play professional soccer, with most of his comments about his favorite Premier League club, Manchester United.

Bolt and Dortmund already have a tie-in with apparel sponsor Puma.

In the past, Bolt has been linked to Jamaica’s national team and played with Sergio Aguero.

Bolt has three track meets left in his farewell season — Ostrava on June 28, Monaco on July 21 and the world championships in August in London, where he plans to race the 100m and 4x100m relay.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Top rival not convinced Bolt will retire this summer

Zinedine Zidane promotes Paris 2024 Olympic bid with 1998 World Cup scenes

Leave a comment

Paris 2024 hopes the spirit of 1998 will help its bid for the Olympics.

After announcing soccer legend Zinedine Zidane as a bid ambassador, Paris 2024 published a video with Zidane and longtime teammate Laurent Blanc discussing France’s 1998 World Cup win at home. Zidane’s Real Madrid stars, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, also make appearances.

The video included images of mass celebrations in Paris from July 1998, including on the famed Champs-Élysées.

“To be around 1.5 million people taking the streets, I will never forget that,” Zidane said. “It gives me goosebumps every time I talk about it.”

Zidane scored the first two goals in France’s 3-0 win over Brazil in the 1998 World Cup final. That match was held at the then-new Stade de France in Saint-Denis, just north of Paris.

The Paris 2024 bid lists Stade de France as its Olympic Stadium, which would host Opening and Closing Ceremonies and track and field.

That’s the same plan as Paris had for 2008 and 2012, when it lost to Beijing and London, respectively, when Zidane was also a Paris Olympic bid ambassador.

“I was involved in several bids, but this one stands out,” Zidane said in this week’s video.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Paris 2024 venue plan includes Eiffel Tower area