Getty Images

Bob Corkum named U.S. women’s hockey head coach

Leave a comment

Bob Corkum, who played 12 NHL seasons, succeeds Robb Stauber as head coach of the U.S. women’s hockey team this season.

Corkum was announced as head coach Monday, along with assistants nine-year NHL defenseman Brian Pothier and Joel Johnson, who is in his 14th year on the University of Minnesota women’s team’s coaching staff. Corkum’s deal is through the 2019 World Championship. Pothier and Johnson were named on the staff only for next week’s Four Nations Cup.

Reagan Carey, director of U.S. women’s hockey since 2010, stepped down to pursue other opportunities.

Corkum previously was an assistant coach for the U.S. women’s under-22 team and head coach for the U.S. men’s team at the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. He played center for seven NHL teams between 1990 and 2002.

Stauber, a former Los Angeles Kings goaltender, was U.S. women’s head coach for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons, guiding teams to world and Olympic titles. PyeongChang marked the Americans’ first Olympic hockey gold since the first Winter Games women’s hockey tournament in 1998.

Stauber and his wife were named co-head coaches of the newest NWHL team, the Minnesota Whitecaps, in May.

It is unknown if Stauber could return to the U.S. coaching staff before the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

The U.S. plays its first international tournament since the Olympics next week at the Four Nations Cup in Saskatchewan, an annual event that also includes Canada, Finland and Sweden.

The roster includes all of the stars from the Olympic team save captain Meghan Duggan, who is sitting out with an injury but plans to return to the national team later in this Olympic cycle, and twins Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando, who are pregnant.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: NHL helped end USA Hockey, women’s national team wage dispute

Beach volleyball player’s dog becomes social media sensation

Mathias Berntsen
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Norwegian beach volleyball player Mathias Berntsen‘s dog, Kiara, captivated social media this weekend.

A video of Kiara peppering with Berntsen and a pair across the net on a grass field spread from Berntsen’s Instagram across platforms. Kiara now has 12,000 Instagram followers, more than twice the total of Berntsen.

Berntsen, 24, is one half of Norway’s second-best beach volleyball team.

He and partner Hendrik Mol are ranked 45th in the world and well outside the Tokyo Olympic picture (24 teams go to the Games), but could get in the mix depending on how qualification is amended once sports resume.

Berntsen and his cousin Mol are part of a group called the Beach Volley Vikings. Mol’s younger brother, Anders, and family friend Christian Sorum are the world’s top-ranked team (profiled here).

MORE: Beach volleyball players fly to Australia, learn event is canceled

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

FIFA rules on Olympic men’s soccer tournament age eligibility

Gabriel Jesus
Getty Images
Leave a comment

For the first time since 1988, some 24-year-olds will be eligible for the Olympic men’s soccer tournament without using an over-age exception.

FIFA announced Friday that it will use the same age eligibility criteria for the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 that it intended to use in 2020 — that players born on or after Jan. 1, 1997 are eligible, plus three over-age exceptions. FIFA chose not to move the birthdate deadline back a year after the Olympics were postponed by one year.

Olympic men’s soccer tournaments have been U-23 events — save those exceptions — since the 1992 Barcelona Games. In 1984 and 1988, restrictions kept European and South American players with World Cup experience ineligible. Before that, professionals weren’t allowed at all.

Fourteen of the 16 men’s soccer teams already qualified for the Games using players from under-23 national teams. The last two spots are to be filled by CONCACAF nations, potentially the U.S. qualifying a men’s team for the first time since 2008.

The U.S.’ biggest star, Christian Pulisic, and French superstar Kylian Mbappe were both born in 1998 and thus would have been under the age limit even if FIFA moved the deadline to Jan. 1, 1998.

Perhaps the most high-profile player affected by FIFA’s decision is Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus. The Manchester City star was born April 3, 1997, and thus would have become an over-age exception if FIFA pushed the birthdate rule back a year.

Instead, Brazil could name him to the Olympic team and still keep all of its over-age exceptions.

However, players need permission from their professional club teams to play in the Olympics, often limiting the availability of stars.

MORE: Noah Lyles details training near woods, dog walkers

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!