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June 05, 2006
June 05, 2006

Table of Contents
June 5, 2006

SI Bonus Section: Golf Plus
SI Players: Life On and Off the Field
DETROIT TIGERS
Features
2006 World Cup Preview
  • Thirty-two teams will meet in Germany beginning June 9. Can the U.S. emerge as one of soccer's global powers? That will depend on the leadership of four young players who learned how to win together as teens

2006 World Cup Preview
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FEATURES

This is an article from the June 5, 2006 issue

BASEBALL
40 The Tigers?
Detroit--yes, Detroit--raced to the best record in the majors
by Tom Verducci

NBA
50 Dallas Does Dirty
The Mavs may have buried for good any doubts about their toughness
by Jack McCallum

NHL
54 The People's Team
Edmontonians act as if they own the Oilers--and many of them do
by Michael Farber

MOTOR SPORTS
58 Dream Finish
Sam Hornish Jr. made a pass on the last lap to win his first Indy 500
by Lars Anderson

World CupPreview
How far can the U.S. go? Who are the players to watch? And which team willwin?
* The U.S.'s fearless foursome
* Rating global angst
* Brazil's magical midfielder
* 5-minute guide (with picks)
PAGE 60

Departments
6 Leading Off
12 Letters
15 Air and Space
A long, strange trip with Flip: from a Minnesota backyard court to the NBAsemifinals by Steve Rushin

16 Scorecard
• Why the NBA is must-see again
• Duke lacrosse: the women's view
• Remembering Ironhead Heyward

26 Faces in theCrowd

29 Players

80 Life ofReilly
A Division III distance runner hits the wall before his race: the brick-headedNCAA by Rick Reilly

Inside ...

76 Baseball
• Barry Bonds gets 715. Finally
• The A's are likely to shop their ace

78 CollegeBasketball
• A big splash by Bob Huggins
• Three key spring signings

Cover

PHOTOGRAPH BYSIMON BRUTY
INSET PHOTO: Chuck Solomon

SI Extra
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For the secondyear in a row, SI.com has won the EPpy Award for the Best Internet SportsService with more than one million unique visitors per month. It's a testamentnot only to the magazine's writers and photographers, many of whom contributeto the 24/7 news site, but also to the site's dedicated personnel. Make a dailyvisit to SI.com, where you'll find Monday Morning Quarterback by Peter King(below), Tom Verducci on baseball, Riffs of Reilly, Pete McEntegart's 10 Spotand much more.

>>FRENCHOPEN

"One is neverquite sure what's up on planet Venus," writes SI.com's Jon Wertheim of theelder Williams sister (above). "Still makes too many errors to win thetitle. [But] could she beat a nervous Amelie Mauresmo in the quarters? Iwouldn't bet against it." To find out what else Wertheim has to say aboutthe French Open, including his thoughts on the Roger Federer--Rafael Nadalrivalry, go to SI.com/tennis.

>>U.S.OPEN

Tiger Woods(right) has decided to skip this week's Memorial, but he did spend lastSaturday playing a round at Winged Foot Golf Club, site of the U.S. Open fromJune 15 to 18. Will Woods and Phil Mickelson duel for golf's second major ofthe year? How much will Tiger be affected by the recent death of his father,Earl? Find out what the experts think at SI.com/golf.

PHOTOJOHN W. MCDONOUGH (NASH)50 BIGGER D Jason Terry (31) and Dirk Nowitzki of suddenly rugged Dallas put the squeeze on Steve Nash in the Suns' Game 2 loss.PHOTOGERARD RANCINAN (RONALDINHO)RONALDINHO is the world's best player.PHOTOROBERT BECK (BONDS) 76
I GOT YOU, BABE Barry Bonds responded to an ovation from his San Francisco fanson Sunday after he passed Babe Ruth on the alltime home run list.
THREE PHOTOSMEL LEVINE (KING); MELCHIOR DIGIACOMO (WILLIAMS); SIMON BRUTY (WOODS)