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The Women’s World Cup is a year away and the Paris Olympics don’t start for more than two, but both tournaments are the primary focus of the United States women’s national team over the next two weeks.

The first goal? Qualify for them. The Americans took their first step on that front Monday night by opening play in the new Concacaf women’s championship with a 3-0 victory over Haiti in Monterrey, Mexico.

Alex Morgan scored twice in the first half and Midge Purce added a late clincher in a wild game that involved disallowed goals, a missed penalty and an overturned red card.

The revamped eight-team tournament, officially branded the Concacaf W Championship, is serving a dual role — as the qualifying tournament for next summer’s Women’s World Cup and for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Under its new format — a group stage followed by a knockout round — the first task should be a simple one for the Americans: The top two finishers in each four-team group qualify automatically for the Women’s World Cup, where the United States is the two-time defending champion.

The latter job may be a little more tricky. Only the champion in Mexico will claim an automatic place in the 2024 Summer Games, while the runner-up and third-place nations will have to contest a Concacaf Olympic playoff in September 2023. That would be a bit more jeopardy than Coach Vlatko Andonovski and his world-beating and well-paid players might want at this current moment in their evolution.

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Credit…Daniel Becerril/Reuters

Andonovski has made no secret that he is managing a team in transition, and that has made these games — every game, really — an important chance for players to impress the coaching staff, and ensure they are in his plans for the next year or more. It is another opportunity for rising players to force their way into the mix, and for veteran players to defend their positions. Not all have succeeded.

The future of the U.S. team, regardless of what happens in Mexico, remains a bit of an incomplete picture. Morgan, who scored twice on Monday, and Megan Rapinoe both received their first call-ups to the team since October for the Concacaf event. But Morgan, 33, is already defending her position from rising stars like Catarino Macario, who is currently out with a knee injury. And young forwards like Mallory Pugh, Sophia Smith and Trinity Rodman all play the same position as Rapinoe, who turned 37 on Tuesday.

“It’s not easy being a forward in the United States right now,” Andonovski said when he announced his roster for the Concacaf championship. “Obviously, it’s great, but it’s not easy because the competition is getting bigger and bigger.”

Similar battles are playing out across the field in every position, in every roster decision, as the United States transitions from a roster that led it to two straight World Cup titles to one that might carry it to a third against regional rivals like Canada, the reigning Olympic gold medalist, and European contenders like Sweden, Germany, Spain, the Netherland and England — among others — who are contending the European championship this month.

The Americans’ remaining group-stage schedule includes games against Jamaica (on Thursday) and host Mexico (on Monday). Canada leads Group B, which features Trinidad & Tobago, Costa Rica and Panama. The final is July 18.

To get there, Andonovski will rely on a blend of the experience, the talent and the generations at his disposal: Of the 23 players on the U.S. roster, seven are in their 30s but eight are 25 or younger. And for now, he has been making no promises to anyone.

“It doesn’t mean that all these players that have done well in the past are just going to come back here in the next camp because they’ve done well a year ago or two years ago,” Andonovski said in February, when an earlier roster also omitted several accomplished veterans.

“There’s a reason why we’re not calling Mia Hamm or Julie Foudy in camp, right? So the same goes here: They need to perform.”

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By: Andrew Das
Title: For U.S. Women’s Team, One Tournament Offers Two Prizes
Sourced From: www.nytimes.com/2022/07/05/sports/soccer/uswnt-concacaf-w-championship.html
Published Date: Tue, 05 Jul 2022 11:43:00 +0000

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Baller Awards

Is Megan Thee Stallion a ‘Jujutsu Kaisen’ fan? ‘Gojo Thee Stallion,’ explained

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Prior to the 2024 Crunchyroll Anime Awards, some anime fans had no idea that rapper Megan Thee Stallion was an anime enthusiast. But watching her speech as she presented the Anime of the Year Award, there can be no doubt about it: Megan is a weeb.

Personally, I’m Megan Thee Stallion’s newest fan and follower, and I hope I’m not the only one whose heart she unexpectedly won. Despite not being too familiar with her music and her career, the way her personality shone during the ceremony, and everything I’ve found out thereafter, contributed to a feeling of kinship. United by nerdiness, we could say.

Megan has previously cosplayed as other anime characters. One such instance that broke the internet – but not as much as recently – was when she cosplayed My Hero Academia’s pro-hero Mirko. And, objectively, she looked stunning.

But, even though some like myself only found out about her passion for anime recently, the American artist has never truly hidden it, in fact, and admirably, she seems proud of her nerdy side.

Megan Thee Stallion many cosplays
Screengrabs via X/IG

But when she cosplayed a female version of Satoru Gojo from Jujutsu Kaisen – who also won the Crunchyroll award for secondary anime character of the year – the internet went wild as if she had cast Domain Expansion over social media.

Megan Thee Honored One

Megan Thee Stallion is a Gojo fan
Screengrabs via Crunchyroll Anime Awards/theestallion

When she “made it to Japan,” Megan Thee Stallion posted on her social media pictures of herself dressed up as a female Gojo – arguably, the most widely adored character in the series. The combination of the beloved rapper with the beloved S-rank jujutsu sorcerer took the internet by storm, or, shall we say, by Hollow Purple. It escalated to the point that the hashtag “Gojo Thee Stallion” was trending on X (formerly Twitter).

The match made in heaven had people collectively losing their minds. So much so that many talented artists scrambled to make incredible works of fan art, further immortalizing the moment:

Megan thee Stallion Gojo cosplay fan art
Screengrabs via X (@shibewave_art/@feenwege/@kuroxcho/@NICOx2N/@ethjay)

@chicorish_

Megan has such a gorgeous smile btw💜@Megan Thee Stallion . . . . . . #fyp #foryou #chicorish #megantheedtallion #gojotheestallion #satorugojo #gojo #gojoedit #gojocosplay #gojofanart #jjk #jujutsukaisen #art #blackartist #digitalart #procreate #smallartist

♬ HISS – Megan Thee Stallion

If the Crunchyroll Anime Awards were aiming at reaching a wider audience and generating more chatter this year, they surely have managed to attain the feat. Bring Megan Thee Stallion again next year and I’ll sit down – along with many others surely – to watch the event once more in 2025.

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By: Margarida Bastos
Title: Is Megan Thee Stallion a ‘Jujutsu Kaisen’ fan? ‘Gojo Thee Stallion,’ explained
Sourced From: wegotthiscovered.com/anime/is-megan-thee-stallion-a-jujutsu-kaisen-fan-gojo-thee-stallion-explained/
Published Date: Sun, 03 Mar 2024 17:15:47 +0000

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Baller Awards

Oppenheimer Wins Big at the MPSE Golden Reel Awards

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Oppenheimer has now won both the Cinema Audio Society and the two key awards at the Motion Picture Sound Editors Guild. It is sweeping the season at an astonishing pace. The Zone of Interest did not win in its category, and was beaten by Society of the Snow. But really, Zone is more of Sound […]

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By: Sasha Stone
Title: Oppenheimer Wins Big at the MPSE Golden Reel Awards
Sourced From: www.awardsdaily.com/2024/03/03/oppenheimer-wins-big-at-the-mpse-golden-reel-awards/
Published Date: Mon, 04 Mar 2024 05:22:18 +0000

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Did you miss our previous article…
https://mansbrand.com/attack-on-titan-should-have-been-nominated-for-anime-of-the-year-and-ill-die-on-that-hill/

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Baller Awards

‘Attack On Titan’ should have been nominated for Anime of the Year and I’ll die on that hill

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This article contains spoilers for the final season of Attack on Titan

The Crunchyroll Anime Awards was a night to remember, partly because of the obvious snubs that fans like me couldn’t overlook. And yes, I’m talking about Attack On Titan’s snub for Anime of the Year.

Between the Bleach and Vinland Saga snubs, the anime community was in a justified uproar. However, the Anime of the Year award, the most anticipated award of the night, didn’t interest me because the near-perfect Attack On Titan didn’t even make the cut.

To put it mildly, Attack On Titan had an explosive year in 2023, finally concluding the highly acclaimed series after over 10 years. But the penultimate offering might have been arguably the most emotionally gripping moment in anime history. So why wasn’t it even a contender for the award? Crunchyroll, you will pay for these crimes! 

Why AOT Deserved an Anime of the Year Nomination

Two words: The Rumbling.

Attack on Titan has been a global phenomenon since its first season, but the twists and turns that led up to The Rumbling were the most satisfying. The plot only seemed to get more complex and mysterious with every new season, and every answer unveiled only led to a new question. The Final Season: Special 1 begins with The Rumbling, the highly anticipated catastrophic march of Colossal Titans on Marley, led by Eren, and covers how the characters rally together to stop him.

This special episode was perfect for many reasons. It brought us back to Eren’s point of view, showing us how he justified his actions to himself and how he had been grappling with the reality of his fate since he arrived in Marley. MAPPA also spared no details in depicting the devastation of The Rumbling, in a sequence that was quite difficult to watch, despite Attack on Titan’s reputation for gruesome scenes. Moreover, the special also had an emotional core, loaded with scenes like Armin and Annie’s heartfelt conversation, and Hange’s heart-wrenching send-off.

Altogether, all the themes of AOT were laid bare, and we saw the characters at their most vulnerable. Attack on Titan has been a colossal anime for a decade (pun intended), so a snub in the most recognized category seems quite dismissing of a decade’s worth of excellence. There is no doubt that this finale was more than award-worthy, and deserved to be recognized as such.

Did AOT get any nominations?

Fortunately, Attack on Titan wasn’t totally snubbed by the Crunchyroll Awards. Although the second part of the final episode wasn’t eligible for nominations due to its late release date of November, The Final Season, The Final Chapters: Special 1 received multiple nominations. Here are the categories that AOT received nominations in:

• Best Animation

• Best Continuing Series

• Best Director

• Best Cinematography

• Best Action

• Best Drama

• Best Main Character – Eren Jaeger

• Best Supporting Character – Hange Zoe

• Best Score

• Best Voice Artist Performance (Japanese) – Yuki Kaji

Overall, Attack On Titan earned many nominations at the 2024 Crunchyroll Anime Awards, but that is the precise reason why it deserved to have a spot among the Anime of the Year nominees. Nonetheless, the anime took home the awards for Best Drama and Best Score. Crunchyroll had better come through next year, and reward the fans, crew, cast, and of course, Hajime Isayama, with an Anime of the Year nomination for Attack On Titan at the 2025 Anime Awards.

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By: Demi Phillips
Title: ‘Attack On Titan’ should have been nominated for Anime of the Year and I’ll die on that hill
Sourced From: wegotthiscovered.com/anime/attack-on-titan-should-have-been-nominated-for-anime-of-the-year-and-ill-die-on-that-hill/
Published Date: Mon, 04 Mar 2024 10:37:56 +0000

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