France’s Kylian Mbappé and the U.S. Men’s National Team Highlight Dual Covers of Sports Illustrated’s World Cup Preview Issue
Inside the December issue of Sports Illustrated, available at SI.com and on newsstands today: Can the
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Global superstar Kylian Mbappé on the cover of Sports Illustrated, on sale now. (Photo: Business Wire)
Young and Hungry: The U.S.’s recent
World Cuphistory has not been pretty, but the current USMNT represents a chance for a fresh start with a young roster lacking experience but full of talent. Their performance in Qatarwill be a referendum on our world soccer standing and this country’s increased focus on developing soccer talent, according to Brian Straus.
The Champ Is Here: After leading France to the 2018
World Cuptitle, Kylian Mbappé became a global superstar. He’s the world’s most expensive player, arguably its most talented—and on the cusp of bringing his complicated country a rare World Cuprepeat.
The Road to the World Cup: A timeline of Qatar’s complicated path to hosting. Plus, Sports Illustrated breaks down the favorites, the wild cards and the matches to watch for each of the eight
World Cupgroups. Plus, SI’s predictions for the knockout stage. SI’s call for the final: Brazilover France.
The [Not Always] Sweet Science of Penalty Kicks:
Ben Lyttletonexamines the World Cup penalty kick and how it might be the most dramatic moment in sports. Match-deciding shootouts might look like they come down to dumb luck, but the psychology and preparation behind them are deep.
The Upside Down Worldof Long Snappers: Long snappers might be the most overlooked players in football but—as a handful of NFL teams have discovered this season—they’re essential to success. Inside the economy and evolution of these NFL specialist’s specialists, from Alex Prewitt.
Jon Wertheimdetails the Memphis Grizzlies’ origin story—they’re the darlings of the NBA, with a cult-like following and a young superstar in Ja Morant. But the franchise’s start in Vancouvertwo decades ago wasn’t nearly as exciting. Wertheim examines the NBA’s learning experience of having a team in Vancouver, and how many fans there dream about the league’s potential return to their city.
Same As Always, And Like Never Before: When
Brandon Thomas, a talented high school linebacker in Eastern Washington, was diagnosed with cancer, a leg amputation gave him his best chance at survival. Two years later, Thomas is more than surviving: the senior is thriving as a student and a player, dominating on the field, weighing his options to play in college and reflecting on how his love of football powered his inspiring recovery. By Greg Bishop.
When Bo Chose Baseball: We all remember
Bo Jacksonas the ultimate two-sport star, but he might not have made it to MLB if the hapless 1980s Buccaneers hadn’t mucked up his NFL ambitions. In an excerpt from his new biography, Jeff Pearlmanexplores a forgotten fork in Bo’s path to baseball and football stardom.
Also in this issue:
Leading Off: A snapshot of the Heisman race, contender by contender:
Blake Corum, C.J. Stroud, Stetson Bennett, Caleb Williams, Hendon Hookerand Bryce Young.
Alex Prewitton Qatarand the art of greenwashing, which is sports organizations claiming to be more eco-conscious than they really are.
Gameplan: Mark Bechtelreviews Netflix’s Redeem Team documentary.
SI Eats: Celebrity chef Tom Colicchiodiscusses his fandom of the North Carolina Men’s Basketball Team and what meal he would make for the entire team if requested.
SI Full Frame: The U.S.’s last strong
World Cuprun from 2002.
- MLB offseason forecast: The Top 25 free agents this offseason.
The World At His Feet:
Bert Patenaudeis highlighted as the USMNT’s shining star at the very first World Cup.
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Manager, Public Relations