The 2005-06 realignment was the first serious shift. In one fell swoop, Conference USA lost Cincinnati, Louisville, DePaul, Marquette and South Florida to the Big East. Saint Louis and Charlotte dove at the Atlantic-10. With just five original members remaining (we’ll count Houston, which joined in 1996 when C-USA began sponsoring football), the league had to add inventory, and quickly. So it snapped up UCF, SMU, Tulsa, Marshall, Rice and UTEP. While regionally consistent, these were hardly one-for-one trades; C-USA was never the same basketball league again. Now, after two years of wide-ranging realignment at nearly every level of the sport, the C-USA looks nothing like its charter configuration. It has been decimated. Just two original members, Southern Miss and UAB, remain, while six teams — Memphis, Tulane, Houston, East Carolina, Central Florida, SMU and Tulsa — are joining the newly formed American either this year or next. In response to the exodus, the league again has had to replenish its ranks, only with slimmer pickings. Florida Atlantic, Florida International, Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, Old Dominion, UTSA, Western Kentucky. These are good schools, to be sure; there are some interesting additions in there. But let’s keep it 100 here: Conference USA is unrecognizable. It’s a shell.
USA vs Jamaica Live Stream Free Soccer: Watch Online World Cup CONCACAF Qualifying Football (ESPN TV Schedule)
But while most of the contestants are only fighting for the crown, one Scottsdale woman is also fighting for her life. In July, 25-year-old Kristina Anderson was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of ovarian cancer and began chemotherapy treatments just three days later. As she continues to battle the disease, Anderson said preparing for the pageant has been an escape for her. Miss Arizona USA pageant is a little different than the county fair pageants Im used to, Anderson said. With her family living in Illinois, Anderson has found her support system in an unexpected place the doctors office. One of Andersons nurses, Sandy LeDuke, has been helping her focus on pageant details. Im just kind of along for the ride, LeDuke said. I went with her to pick out some dresses and things. If both cancer and the upcoming pageant werent enough to think about, Anderson is also struggling to pay for her treatments. Her insurance has denied her the specific coverage she has needed for the last six months. Fortunately, fundraisers have been set up in Scottsdale to help Anderson pay some of her medical bills. Though Anderson still has a long way to go, she hopes her journey to Miss Arizona will help inspire others to keep fighting too. Just be positive and be grateful for what you have, Anderson said.
(Photo: Reuters/Matt Sullivan) USA vs Jamaica takes place in the World Cup 2014 CONCACAF qualifiers on Friday night, in a game that should see the United States’ players relaxed and assured. Jurgen Klinsmann’s men have already qualified for Brazil 2014 with two games to spare, and they will now begin their preparations for next summer’s World Cup Finals. The game is scheduled to kick off at 6.30 p.m. ET and can be watched on TV on ESPN or online through free live stream (details below). The United States have had a fantastic CONCACAF qualifying campaign and have booked their place in the World Cup with two Hexagonal games to spare. However, if you ask USA manager Jurgen Klinsmann whether he is satisfied he is likely to tell you the real test is just getting started. It is unlikely that the former World Cup and European Championship winner will be satisfied with just making an appearance at the World Cup Finals next year as a player he was someone only satisfied with winning, and it is unlikely his stance will have changed in management. Winning the World Cup next year might be a goal too far for this United States team, but Klinsmann will be wanting to get out of the group stages and try and cause a few upsets, potentially making the quarterfinals or even semifinals. The United States manager will see every game between now and next summer as a chance to try out his squad and see who his best 11 are, and of most concern to many players, who will be getting on the plane to Brazil and who will be left behind. The current USA team is certainly an exciting one; in previous years the United States have been able to trouble some of the biggest teams around, but have always lacked depth in the talent they were able to put out. When it comes to major tournaments, having a depth of talent is vital, and it now appears as though Klinsmann is bringing together a squad that most teams will know could cause them serious trouble. Tonight’s game might now be the most important for the USA as they are already through but every single Team USA player will be tense now to ensure they show themselves as indispensible to the squad to book their spot on the plane. USA vs Jamaica will kick off at 6.30 p.m.