LEADING OFF
Inside: THE WEEK IN SPORTS
The Next Step
The U.S. got a glimpse of the top at the Confederations Cup—now it must apply its lessons to 2010
COACH ED THOMAS
'He Was the Rock That This Community Was Built On'
In Parkersburg, Iowa, it was a high school coach who led the townspeople out of the rubble of a tornado, showed them how to live a Christian life and brought honor to a football field he mowed himself. What they can't understand is why Ed Thomas was gunned down by a former player
BASEBALL
Swinging For the Border
Padres slugger Adrian Gonzalez honed his sweet stroke in a pair of cities on either side of the U.S.-Mexico line—one that he'd love to call home for the rest of his career and the other too dangerous even to visit
PRO BASKETBALL
SOCCER
How Beckham Blew It
When he came to L.A. two years ago, David Beckham was supposed to lift soccer's profile in the U.S. and help the Galaxy vie for a title. Instead he failed as a leader, foundered on the field and alienated his most important teammate
NASCAR MIDSEASON REPORT
It's All on the Line Now
With nine races to go before the field of 12 is set for NASCAR's title Chase, the pressure is on to earn a playoff berth—or the season is a bust. Any driver who still has a shot at the Sprint Cup better get running
Room For One More?
A star in the Nationwide Series, Brad Keselowski is ready to toe the line with the big boys in Cup competition. But don't call him a phenom. He's 25, not 18, and he has paid his dues
Point After
Departments
Gameplan
What smart fans should do this week
Three Strikes
SI's lead baseball writer goes inside the game. This is just a taste of what you'll get online.