Ranking top 10 sports events of the week:
NO. 1: FIFA WORLD CUP:
U.S. vs. GHANA
Details/TV: Monday at 3 p.m., at Estadio das Dunas, Natal, ESPN
U.S. vs. PORTUGAL
Details/TV: Sunday at 3 p.m., at Arena Amazonia, Manaus, ESPN:
Believe what you want. Jurgen Klinsmann has said the U.S. team no realistic chance of winning this event. So why bother playing? “This will come as a surprise to nobody, but I don’t agree with Jurgen,” said Landon Donovan, the all-time U.S. leading scorer and Galaxy star left off this year’s roster in another controversial move. Donovan, who’ll be an L.A.-based analyst on the event during ESPN’s coverage, isn’t included in the network’s latest “I Believe We Will Win” promos, where people like Kevin Costner, Whoopi Goldberg, Ice Cube and Jon Hamm are riffing on this chant that is supposed to inspire one to tweet out #IBelieve and be part of the “American Outlaws” alliance. Well, whoopee-do and cupcakes, too, right? “As someone who has been in the locker room with these players, we believe in the ‘American Outlaws’ that we will win,” Donovan continued. “One point I want to make is if we’re really expected go out and beat Portugal and beat Ghana and beat Germany (the last pool play opponent on June 26) – and Germany is one of the best teams in the world – if you can beat Germany, why can’t you beat anyone else? It doesn’t mean it’s going to happen, but I believe it and I think all of America believes we can do it.” Many believe that for the U.S. to advance past Group G, it has to rack up a large-margin victory in the opener against Ghana – which thwarted the Americans in 2006 and 2010 by 2-1 scores –, then at least tie Portugal before meeting up with a German squad that by then will have locked up a spot and may be easing back on the throttle. It’s a strange series of events that need to happen, but …. This is why they play the games.
KINGS’ STANLEY CUP CHAMPION PARADE
11 a.m., FSW
The double-decker buses go down Figueroa Avenue again, starting at 5th Street and ending up where most of the fans will be gathered at L.A. Live. If we learned anything from 2012, it’s to have the seven-second TV delay ready for whenever Jonathan Quick is near a microphone.