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Angelique Kerber’s title defence ends but Serena Williams rallies to victory

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It is well over two decades since any woman other than Serena Williams and Venus Williams successfully defended the women’s title at Wimbledon. Angelique Kerber, in such style 12 months ago, will not be joining them after she was ousted 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 by the American Lauren Davis in the second round.

Davis, at 5ft 2in one of the smallest players on the Tour, only got into the draw as a lucky loser. A brilliant mover, she chased down everything and made the usually rock-solid Kerber miss, with 31 unforced errors from the German telling their own story.

“I was trying to find my game the whole match, actually,” said Kerber, who will drop out of the world’s top 10 after . “I was not really feeling good from the beginning. I don’t know why. The energy was not there. I tried. She played well. She was going for it. She took the match in her hand. I was too defensive in the important moments. Of course I’m disappointed. It’s not the way I would like to finish here or to play here. But you have sometimes days like that. You have to accept it. You have to learn from it, try to forget this as soon as possible.”

Davis was ranked inside the top 30 just two years ago but injuries have dropped her down to her current mark of 95. Here, though, with Kerber off-colour, she took full advantage to take her place in the third round, where she will play Carla Suárez Navarro, the No 30 seed from Spain. Having lost in the final round of qualifying, it is almost like she’s playing with house money and she is enjoying the ride.

“It’s definitely been incredible,” she said. “I was super-disappointed, having lost last round of qualies. I found out less than two hours later that I got into [the] main [draw]. I was ecstatic about that. It’s honestly a dream being here. I played qualies last year, so I wasn’t able to come here. It feels amazing.”

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, was there to watch in her second-round match against Kaja Juvan, an 18-year-old Slovenian who likes the philosophy of Socrates and Descartes. Her tennis wasn’t bad, either, as she took the opening set against a rusty-looking Williams but the American, trying to equal Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 grand slams, pulled her game together when she needed it. Her 2-6, 6-2,abao Cup semi-final is evenly poised after the first-leg finished 1-1 at King Power Stadium.”I thought we played well,” Rodgers told LCFC TV. “In the first half, we were too slow both in attack and when we pressed the game. We were too passive.”They 6-4 victory sets up a third-round meeting with the 18th seed, Julia Görges of Germany. “It was definitely coming together as the match went on,” Williams said. “I’m just low on matches basically. I could feel it. But I’m getting there.”

She will get plenty of matches if she keeps going deep into the second week as she partners Andy Murray . While the media might like to claim credit for putting the pair together, W-1 defeat of Bournemouth.The Magpies made it successive wins in the Premier League wins thanks to goals from DeAndre Yedlin and Ciaran Clark who helped cancel out Harry Wilson’s opener.Bruce admitted there was still room for improvement, he said: “Ifilliams said she and Murray had discussed it a few days before and were excited to get on the court together. “It made sendy on a six-month deal after he was released by Wolves.The 21-year-old Scot began his career with Rangers before moving to Spain with Real Murcia.He joined Bury in 2014 before a three-year stint at Molineux that included loan spells with Oldham, Ayr se for me because I really could use some matches at this point,” she said. “It made sense for him. We both want to do well. We both love Wimbledon. Playing with a British icon like Andy is going to be really exciting. I’m looking forward to sharing the court with him and maybe I can learn a thing or two from him.”

Petra Kvitova, meanwhile, continues to defy expectations as she battles the arm injury that forced her to miss the French Open. The Czech, whose two grand slam titles came here in 2011 and 2014, beat Kristina Mladenovic 7-5, 6-2, serving a whole game of aces early on and saving three set points before pulling away for victory. She will play Mandy Minella, of Poland, a surprise winner over American teenager Amanda Anisimova, who reached the semi-finals at the French Open last month.

‘I am truly sorry’: Patriots owner Robert Kraft breaks silence over prostitution bust

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owner Robert Kraft has broken his silence for the first time since he was charged with two misdemeanor counts of soliciting another to commit prostitution in Florida.

“I am truly sorry,” Kraft said in a statement. “I knng eight goals yesterday.Speaking after the match, Foster conceded his side were far from their best, but said at times he could only stand and admire the way City were playing during the thrashing.”It’s probably a bit of shock, embarrassment,” said ow I have hurt and disappointed my family, my close friends, my co-workers, our fans and many others who rightfully hold me to a higher standard.”

Kraft, the billionaire businessman whose Patriots won the Super Bowl last month and who is one of the most powerful figures in American spij says there’s no reason to dwell on their preseason defeat to Manchester United.The Nerazzurri opened their International Champions Cup campaign in Singapore with a 1-0 reverse.“Manchester United have a lot of quality, we tried to play with organorts, was said he had remained silent since the charges “in deference to the judicial process.”

“Throughout my life, I have always tried to do the right thing. The last thing I would ever want to do is disrespect another human being. I have extraordinary respect for women; my morals and my soul were shaped by the most wonderful woman, the love of my life, who I was blessed to have as my partner for 50 years,” Kraft said in the statement.

“As I move forward, I hope to continue to use the platform with which I have been blessed to help others and to try to make a difference. I expect to be judged not by my castle United supporters have not seen the best of him.The winger has spent three years at St. James’ Park, but he believes his body hasn’t been 100 per cent.Atsu said: “The biggest thing for me this season is to be consistent. I have had some good pwords, but by my actions. And through those actions, I hope to regain your confidence and respect.”

Kyrie Irving apologizes after profane dismissal of Thanksgiving

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star Kyrie Irving has apologized after replying to a reporter who wished him a happy Thanksgiving after Wednesday’s loss to the New York Knicks by saying he doesn’t celebrate the holiday, adding “fuck Thanksgiving”.

On Thursday Irving expressed regret over the comments. “I spoke w/ frustration after last nights game and spoke words that shouldn’t be in a professional setting no matter what,” he wrote on Twitter. “Meant no disrespect to the Holiday and those who celebratl return to Liverpool this week to assess his latest injury.The Wales international, on loan at the Cherries this season, was not able to face Chelsea on Saturday due to “strange” leg injury.Asked for an update on the Wrexham-born star’s injury, Howee it respectfully. I’m grateful for the time We all can share with our families. We are always ONE.”

Irving told NBC Sports Boston that he is opposed to the celebration of the holiday due to his Native American heritage. Many in the Native American community and beyond , given the suffering and racism they have suffered since European colonization.

Irving’s late mother, Elizabeth Ann Larson, was a member of the Standing Rock Sioux and lived on the tribe’s reservation until her adoptiours Wilfried Zaha could join Arsenal.The Gunners are trying their best to nab the Ivory Coast international, who reportedly wants to join the North London outfit. He would directly compete with fellow winger Iwobi, but the Nigeria star isn’t fazed byn as a child. In August, Irving and his sister and he was given the name Little Mountain.

Irving is a is a five-time All-Star and won a championship with the Cleveland Cavalierss has been dropped for England’s Nations League clash with Switzerland today.Stones, who was at fault for Holland’s first two goals and played a part in their third in Thursday’s 3-1 extra-time semi-final defeat, will be replaced by Liverpool defende in 2016. His Boston Celtics were tipped as one of the league’s best teams at the start of the season but have struggled in recent weeks and have lost seven of their last 10 games.

The Joy of Six: seasons from hell

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1) Cleveland Browns (1995)

Ten years before he made his name as the inscrutable, hooded overlord of the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick was handed his first chance as an NFL head coach by the , a historic franchise wounded by years of failure.

A giant in the sport’s formative years, the Browns had never made the Super Bowl, and a run of spectacular near-misses in the 1980s had shattered morale. After a 3-13 season in 1990, the owner, Art Modell, lured Belichick from the New York Giants, where he had just won the Super Bowl as defensive coach with a game plan so good that it’s now in the Hall of Fame.

Belichick set out to build a rugged team built for the hard winters on the shore of Lake Erie, where the team shared a rundown municipal stadium with the Cleveland Indians. Progress was slow – the Browns posted narrow losing records in his first three seasons – but the wily head coach engineered a run to the play-offs in 1994.

Despite frequent clashes with Modell over money, Belichick had the Browns primed for a Super Bowl run. Nearly 75,000 fans poured into the Cleveland Stadium to see the win over Kansas City, which sealed a 3-1 start. Off the field, Modell was watching revenues fall after the Indians’ departure. Rumblings began that the owner was about to take a hammer to the sturdy foundations Belichick had built.

On 6 November, Modell announced his intention to relocate the Browns to Baltimore. From dreaming of a Super Bowl, ever-faithful Browns fans were facing the death of their team. Cleveland lost nine of their next 10 games, falling apart on the field as fans turned to mutiny. The final home game of the season against Cincinnati became a riot. Spectators , raw grief giving way to rage.

Somewhere in the NFL’s corridors of power, the anguish poured out that day struck a nerve. The fans won their battle to keep the team in Cleveland (Modell’s Baltimore team became a new franchise), though they had to wait until 1999 for their return. The Browns avoided a death sentence but for the expansion side, the ghosts of what might have been are everywhere.

The relocated, rebranded Baltimore Ravens have won two Super Bowls. Belichick, fired by Modell over the phone, learned from the chaos in Cleveland to build a dynasty at New England. He slipped on a fifth Super Bowl ring this year; the Browns have won one of their last 24 games.

2) Doncaster Rovers (1997-98)

The free market rules in English football, which means pretty much anyone with a bit of spare cash can buy themselves a club. Some teams find their perfect match, a steady hand on the tiller that unleashes a club’s true potential. Doncaster got Ken Richardson. Under his ownership, Rovers lost their league status, their main stand to a suspicious fire, and their dignity.

Richardson had a curious hands-on/off approach, rarely investing in or even visiting the club’s run-down Belle Vue home but regularly interfering with team affairs. He would fax in team talks from the Isle of Man with missives like “show the bastards” scrawled on them. After a string of managers walked out, he installed a “general manager”, Mark Weaver, to do his bidding.

With Richardson’s cash cut off and home gates dwindling to below 1,000, Doncaster descended into little more than a Sunday league side. A followed the farcical final acts of the 1997-98 season, from angry supporters’ meetings to players training in the park, and getting trapped in the dressing room by a faulty door. On the pitch things were no better.

As the owner focused on selling off their ground, Doncaster’s motley crew of loanees and youth players were left to sink slowly, finishing the 46-game season with a record 34 defeats. They lost 7-1 to Cardiff City, and 8-0 at Leyton Orient. In the League Cup, Nottingham Forest beat them 10-1 on aggregate. Coach Danny Bergara tried swapping players’ numbers in a tactical move, outfoxing only himself.

Witzkid James Maddison, according to reports.The attacking midfielder shone in his debut Premier League season after moving from Norwich City last summer.At 22 years of age, Maddison’s potential has got the top clubs vying for his signature.The Independh Richardson absent, fans turned on Weaver, a yes-man installed above his station to do the owner’s bidding. At the final home game, fans staged a mock funeral for a club they expected to fold. Weaver turned up having vowed to stay away. The police advised him to leave for his own safety.

As the club fell apart, police were closing in on Richardson over his involvement in a fire in the summer of 1995 that had almost gutted the main stand at Belle Vue. He was eventually charged with offering a former soldier £10,000 to start the fire, part of a hare-brained scheme to get his hands on lucrative land. Detectives labelled him “the type that would trample a two-year-old to pick up a 2p piece”.

From the ashes, Doncaster at least found the owner they deserved. As Richardson was sent to jail, the local businessman John Ryan stepped in, and set about reviving the club. Ten years after their season in hell, with a new ground built and Belle Vue left behind, to seal promotion to the Championship.

3) Vince Spadea (2000)

Some tennis players are driven by rivalry, or a quest for sporting immortality. Vince Spadea’s motivation was more practical. “No one wants to travel the world to lose money,” he wrote in 2006. “Tennis players are paid to win.”

The year 2000 was a lean one for Spadea, a journeyman pro who had just enjoyed a breakthrough season. He had reached No19 in the world, and upset Andre Agassi on his way to the 1999 Australian Open quarter-finals. Spadea flew out to Melbourne seeking a repeat run to kick-start flagging form, but lost in the first round to the world No95, Adrian Voinea.

That early exit proved the catalyst for a historic run of defeats. Winter turned to spring, the hard courts gave way to clay, and Spadea lost, lost and lost again. By the time he reached Wimbledon, he had lost 21 straight matches. In the first round, he drew the British No2, Greg Rusedski. His parents decided to stay in Florida.

What happened next was predictable in its own way. Spadea overcame two lost tie-breaks and a two-hour rain delay to win the deciding set 9-7. The shame shifted to Rusedski and for the watching world, that’s where the story ended. “I can lose to anyone, but I can battle,” a jubilant Spadea told the crowd. “Because I got game.”

How much game? As it turned out, not much. Spadea lost his next match at Wimbledon, crashed out of the US Open and Olympics at the first hurdle, and lost in Tokyo to a player ranked outside the top 300. Dropping down to the Challenger circuit in autumn to regain his form, he lost his first match 6-1, 6-0.

Spadea ended the year with three wins and 28 losses at ATP Tour level, and a world ranking of No237. He would fight his way back up the rankings in tenacious style, but his losing run still hit him where it hurt – his pocket. Spadea has claimed that his season was so bad, he actually lost money on the tour. For him, that was the true price of failure.

4) Ferrari (1980)

Dominance in can be a fragile thing. With cars constantly tweaked and tuned up to stay ahead of the field, a wrong turn in the garage can wipe out years of progress. McLaren found that out in 2015, when a switch to Honda engines saw the historic team, with Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button on board, reduced to a laughing stock.

In 1980 made a more subtle change, updating the 312T car that had won them four of the previous six constructors’ titles. The upgrade proved to be an unmitigated calamity in a tumultuous season blighted by safety concerns. The first two races, in Argentina and Brazil, saw drivers including Ferrari’s defending world champion, Jody Scheckter, threaten a boycott over track conditions.

1980 proved a turning point for the sport, with Bernie Ecclestone winning a power struggle with the F1 chief, Jean-Marie Balestre. It also proved a watershed for the Scuderia, who were outclassed in the early races as Williams and Brabham emerged as title contenders. Ferrari suffered reliability issues with their retooled engine, and did not pick up a point until Scheckter came fifth at Long Beach.

While his team-mate Gilles Villeneuve at least battled for the odd podium place in a chronically underpowered car, Scheckter took only two points all year, failed to even qualify for one race, and promptly retired at the end of the season. Scheckter’s sharp exit was, however, more than an indictment of his car.

He had once been the bad boy of F1, causing crashes and winding up rivals with his daredevil antics. Then, in 1973, he was first on the scene at team-mate François Cevert’s fatal crash at Watkins Glen. What he saw changed him profoundly and, after winning the world title ahead of Villeneuve in 1979, he saw no reason to put himself at risk any longer.

Villeneuve was not so fortunate. The Canadian was killed in a qualifying crash in Belgium two years later, perhaps the highest-profile victim of F1’s most unsafe era. Scheckter spoke at his funeral in a rare, fleeting return to the spotlight. The South African retired to Hampshire, where he now runs an organic farm.

Ferrari switched to a brand new car in 1981, and promptly returned to the podium places in the constructors’ championship. The previous season still left its maraller and Romelu Lukaku.The £40m signing from Eintracht Frankfurt has drawn comparisons with Manchester United striker Lukaku for his ability to score goals and hold up play.And Diop thinks his France U21 teammate, who scored 20 goals last season, wk – they did not produce another world champion driver until Michael Schumacher, some 20 years later.

5) Milan (1981-82)

Under the leadership of Arrigo Sacchi and Fabio Capello, Milan’s 1987-94 vintage won 14 trophies in seven seasons, blending Italian defensive nous with Dutch attacking flair to formidable effect. That golden age was forged in response to the club’s greatest embarrassment, only five years earlier.

For Serie A’s elite clubs, not winning the Scudetto is failure enough; they rarely have cause to consider the other end of the table. Internazionale have never been relegated, and Juventus’s only demotion . Milan were also relegated “off the field” once, in 1980, after the Totonero match-fixing scandal.

Milan bounced straight back and expected to breeze up the table, with a defence built around Franco Baresi and their new striker Joe Jordan banging in the goals. But Baresi missed four months with an injury, and in his absence Milan picked up eight points in 12 games. Jordan was the first player to score that season – in their eighth game.

Milan had returned to a league that was no longer afraid of them, and a run of one point from games against Catanzaro, Ascoli and Como appeared to confirm the unthinkable – relegation “on the field”. The youth coach Italo Galbiati replaced Gigi Radice and the club still had a chance of survival on the final day at Cesena.

After going 2-0 down early on, the team with 18 league goals all season found three in 15 minutes to grab victory. With Genoa behind at Napoli, Milan appeared to have avoided eternal shame, and their fans raced onto the pitch to celebrate. Then Genoa won a last-gasp corner, and scored.

Milan fans maintain that the Napoli goalkeeper, Luciano Castellini, intentionally threw the ball out to hand Genoa that corner. You can judge for yourself . Either way, this was not an experience the rossoneri ever planned on repeating. After securing an immediate return, Silvio Berlusconi bought the club, brought in Sacchi and signed Ruud Gullit, Frank Rijkaard and Marco van Basten. The rest is history.

6) Derbyshire (1920)

County cricket’s meticulous record-keeping means no landmark season of any description will be forgotten. Which, for Derbyshire in particular, is a shame. After regaining first-class status in 1894, they failed to win a County Championship match in three separate seasons: 1897, 1901 and the historically abysmal 1920 campaign.

With county cricket returning to normality after the first world war, the captain, John Chapman, fielded 38 different players across 16 completed matches. It was an early example of over-rotation; Derbyshire lost them all – on six occasions, their opposition only had to bat once to get the job done.

This was a team caught between two eras; the previous captain, George Buckston, had retired, but came back to reorganise the side for the following season. Billy Bestwick, a 45-year-old seamer with a quick arm and quicker temper, featured in only one match. They were replaced by nent Wanyama is eyeing a move to AC Milan.While Club Brugge are in talks with Spurs over a fee for the Kenya international, any move could hinge on the Rossonero.Soccer Link says Wanyama favours a switch to Italy at Milan, where he is under consideratiwcomers who would go on to better things. The wicketkeeper Harry Elliott went on to earn England caps, as did the batsman Harry Storer – in football.

Guy Jackson, a 24-year-old batsman with a season-high score of 14, later became the county captain under the tutelage of Buckston. According to Wisden, Jackson “steadily raised the standard” within the county, laying the foundations for the 1936 season, when Elliott and Storer helped deliver Derbyshire’s only County Championship.

• , showcasing a selection of our sport features from the past seven days.

Toronto Raptors stand arm-in-arm for anthems: ‘We’re all human beings’

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The made a show of solidarity by linking arms during the anthems before their NBA pre-season game with Golden State on Saturday night.

Raptors players and staff stood arm-in-arm for the Star-Spangled Banner and O Canada at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, where the game was played. Some bowed their heads. Their statement was the latest entry in a series of recent protests designed to raise awareness of racial injustice and other social problems.

“We wanted to show solidarity,” said Raptors guard Kyle Lowry. “We’re a team, we’re all together, we’re all one race, we’re all human beings. We all understand that things in the United States and the things in the world [aren’t] the best right now.”

The Raptors, who won 97-93, held discussions all week before the decision to link arms was made.

“I told our players, understand why you’re doing it,” said Toronto head coach Dwane Casey. “It’s not against the military, it’s not against the flag, it’s not against the country. It’s their feelings on social injustice.”

Casey said their statement was intended to start a conversation. “Guys were real, guys had sincere feelings, sincere thoughts, sincere things to talk about and concerns,” he said. “That’s what all this should be about – to induce conversation.”

Since San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first refused to stand for the national anthem in August, America has grappled with questions of patriotism, free speech and the American flag, and many sports stars have opted to show their support. Several NFL players have sat, knelt or raised fists, and many high school and college players have also picked up the cause.

The has a rule that players and coaches must stand during the anthems, although it wasn’t mentioned in a recent letter to the players.

The Warriors’ players and coaches who were on the floor in Vancouver all stood as usual. In Bossier City, Louisiana, so did the Dallas Mavericks and the New Orleans Pelicans, some with their hands over their hearts.

Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan said he hoped the team’s unique perspective as a Canadian team with many international players could

“We have guys who are not from America,” he said. “They go through their own problems in their own country, or whatever the case may be. If we can help inop four hopes tomorrow night.The Gunners travel to Stamford Bridge in 10th place, looking to reduce a 10-point gap on the Blues in fourth.Lampard insists Mikel Arteta’s side will not be out of contention if they lose but warned his side not to allow any type of way in a positive way, help a kid have a different outlook on something or have the right approach to something in life, that’s beneficial.”

DeRozan said it didn’t take long for the team to come to a consensus. “We all know what’s right is right, and we all know what’s wrong is wrong,” he said. “That’s just common sense of us all being genuine people. Once we put that in perspective it was easy.”

Meanwhile, Kevin Durant, the Golden State Warriors’ latest star element, took the first shot of the pre-season, a step-back jumper from the right side that was well short. The former Oklahoma City star’s first basket with the Warriors was a dunk with about a minute left in the opening quarter, one that drew a loud reaction from the sellout crowd of 19,000.

“Felt good to play and play against someone else,” Durant said. “We can start building for the season and what we want to be. So it’s a good first step.”

Durant heard some boos during the game, though said afterward he felt there were more cheers.

“Once the ball was tipped, it was juste as Man City women manager leaving his team top of the WSL after a harce James.The Sun says Newcastle and Leeds are expected to tussle it out for James in January.Steve Bruce has a strong interest in the right-back, who has broken into Frank Lampard’s first-team squad this season.The Newcastle boss hopes he can convincd fought 2-1 success over title rivals Arsenal.City went in at the break 1-0 to the good after being second best for most of the first half in this clash of the joint leaders in t another game for me,” Durant said.

Andy Murray has no qualms about Dani Vallverdu in Grigor Dimitrov’s camp

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Andy Murray’s hopes of winning a second US Open might have taken a minor hit during his three hours and 17 minutes but he faces an altogether different sort of challenge against Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round on Monday.

There is the piquancy of Dani Vallverdu’s presence in the Bulgarian’s box, a slightly weird second edition of Murray’s former training assistant’s journey through the game, after a brief spell with Tomas Berdych. It is not lost on Murray, although he does not see it as an issue.

“It doesn’t really [change the dynamic],” he says. “The first time when I played Berdych after me and Dani stopped working together, it was awkward for sure, because he was one of my best friends and the media were trying to make it out like it was a grudge match.”

That is slightly disingenuous given the vocal part Murray’s now-wife Kim played in ramping up the energy levels on court with directed in Berdych’s direction during his match against the Scot at the Australian Open almost two years ago.

He added: “There was a lot of different emotions going on in that match and I thought it was a bit unfair. I played Berdych a few times since then and had no issues dealing with it. [It] doesn’t change anything now.”

Murray has always admired Vallverdu’s tennis knowledge and despite everything, they are still friends. “He works hard, that’s important. When that’s the case I thinReal Betis have penned a deal with online betting company RB88 through to 2021/22, reports, /.The company will sponsor the team’s digital content for the Asian market.k it tends to rub off on your player as well. He doesn’t want to take four, five weeks off at a time. He is there all the time and he does a lot of weeks, so you build a strong bond that way.”

And they still see each other socially. “We do go out for dinner. We went out for lunch the first day we got here. We flew together here from Cincinnati. I just don’t talk to him about my tennis, but I didn’t used to talk to him about my tennis before he started coaching me either really.”

Jamie Delgado, whom Murray has known longer than he has known Vallverdu, fills that role now, alongside the coach Ivan Lendl. “He doesn’t necessarily get the credit he deserves,” Murray added. “He works harder than any of the other members of my team. He does 40 weeks a year with me which is way more than anyone else that I work with. He deserves credit for that. It’s not easy to do that, to spend that much time travelling and away from home but he does particularly impressive individual scoring record when his current team Atletico de Madrid face his former side Real Madrid in next Saturday’s LaLiga Santander clash.Morata has made a habit of scoring in big derbies, and against his fos to Everton.West Ham are also in contact, reports Sport, though the Blues remain favourites for Gomes’ signature.The midfielder enjoyed a superb year on-loan with Everton and he is settled on Merseyside.A fee in the region of €30m is being discussrmer clubs, acit.

“He loves tennis, he has a very good understanding of the game and we get on well together. We’ve had good results so far, he helped turn my year around when I was struggling.”

Once sure things, Griffin III and Kaepernick now linked by vague futures

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The NFL never knew what to do with and Colin Kaepernick. Neither fit a simple script for a quarterback.

There was a time in a not Che Adams.The Telegraph says Southampton might be in for a battle to keep hold of Adams this month with Leeds planning to offer the striker first-team football at Elland Road.Marcelo Bielsa is in the hunt for a new striker with Eddie Nketiah recalle-very-distant past when Griffin III and Kaepernick were the future of the – two quarterbacks who would change everything about the way the professional game was going to be played. Now they twist in limbo, their trust broken with the organizations that made them, unsure of their next destination.

But are they really donepointment after the 1-0 home defeat to Valencia for their Champions League opener.With quarter-of-an-hour to go, Valencia took the lead from a free-kick and subsequently Chelsea failed to convert a penalty that was awarded after VAR had intervened.”W as football players? Or are they simply on the verge of something big and new?

Griffin will soon be released or traded by and will be off to rebuild himself in Dallas or Denver or someplace where he is not known as the franchise’s fractured savior. Kaepernick is locked in a more complicated battle with the 49ers who seem to want to keep him while he fights to be traded away. As with Griffin, it seems likely he could soon be somewhere else himself – perhaps the New York Jets.

While both quarterbacks crashed last season, living all or much of 2015 on the bench, they are hardly old. In fact, Griffin at 26 and Kaepernick at 28 are the perfect ages for a professional renaissance. Their careers might not be done, rather they might be at the start of another rebirth.

Perhaps more than any professional sport, the NFL is a league of instant reactions. Players, especially quarterbacks, are judged too much on day-to-day performance rather than their long-term growth and potential. Coaches have too much data and too much time between games to see big-picture development. They grade every game, every practice and build cases for or against a player in these small sample sizes.

Often the player who has a basic understanding of that coach’s system will thrive the way Kirk Cousins did with Jay Gruden in Washington. Griffin didn’t grow up in college football with an offense like Gruden’s. It didn’t come naturally. Likewise, Kaepnerick never seemed comfortable trying to do what the 49ers wanted last season. Both seemed lost.

But to discard them now is to forget what things they have always been able to do. Both are smart men who received praise from their teams for quickly grasping complicated offenses. Both have strong arms and quick releases – accurate on throws both long and short. Both have been good at taking care of the ball. Griffin has 40 touchdown passes against 23 interceptions in his career, compared to 56 touchdowns and only 29 interceptions for Kaepernick.

Teams love numbers like these. They long to have quarterbacks with the skills Griffin and Kaepernick possess. With the right coaches in the right systems and the right amount of patience, there is no reason either can’t be a star in this league again.

Griffin is a gregarious but sensitive man. No one had seen a quarterback quite like him in Washington, sharing his life on Instagram, begging everyone to like him. When he won Washington loved him. When he got hurt and couldn’t play, Washington dect how his side have proven the critics wrong about their Premier League chances.The newly promoted club were written off by most pundits as certainties to go down.But they have thrived in the top flight and could win European qualification for next sided he was moody and passive aggressive.

Kaepernick was as reticent as Griffin was effusive. He seemed dismissive of everything that came with his fame and this appeared to confuse people. As with Griffin, Kaepernick didn’t act the way people expected a quarterback to behave. When the 49ers winning turned to losing, he became easy for everyone to dislike.

One of the great ironies of the NFL is that their coaches are forever striving to innovate while at the same time closing their minds to quarterbacks who don’t fit in a proper box. Even after Cam Newton dominated the NFL, won the MVP and took his team to the Super Bowl, he faced criticism in his own league for his and the .

Things like performance and ability do matter and Griffin and Kaepernick have both thrived in the NFL. They have taken teams to the playoffs and won big games. There is no reason they can’t do this again. Griffin has now spent two seasons learning to be a pocket passer, something he never was in college or early in his NFL career when his coaches – hungry to win – let him run free. Perhaps the time he worked on a rhythm-based offense in practices will pay off in his next opportunity.

Kaepernick will either be working in Chip Kelly’s fast-paced offense or starting new somewhere else. Whether he stays in San Francisco – where he could be a good fit for Kelly’s system – or goes to New York or Cleveland or Buffalo or whatever team wants a quarterback who has won three road playoff games, he will get every chance to be the starter.

And maybe he, like Griffin, will show that this isn’t the end of a brief career but another chapter in a life that helped to change a league.

Lamar Odom ‘overdosed on cocaine’ after being found in Nevada brothel

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Lamar Odom is believed to have overdosed on cocaine and other drugs before he was , according to search warrant records.

The court document includes testimony to a Nevada state judge from Michael Eisenloffel, a Nye County sheriff’s detective, on 13 October after the former player was found at the Love Ranch in Crystal.

“I believe that Mr Odom may be – or may have been – under the influence of a controlled substance,” Eisenloffel told the Fifth Judicial District judge Robert Lane.

On Wednesday, Odom and the reality TV star Khloe Kardashian filed a court petition dismissing a divorce filing from December 2013. A clerk granted the request in such a way that the divorce papers can be refiled at a later date.

Kardashian has been by Odom’s side since he was found in extremely critical condition at the brothel.

Odom has been transferred from Las Vegas to Los Angeles, where his family said he was undergoing therapy and showing improvement.

“He is beginning to gradually flourish both mentally and physically,” said a statement from Alvina Alston, publicist for Odom’s aunt JaNean Mercer. “His use of speech has increased, and he’s more cognitively responsive.” Alston called Odom’s therapy regimen “aggressive” but did not elaborate.

Brothel staff have said workers saw Odom drink alcohol and take supplements sold as herbal Viagra but no employees saw him take illegal drugs. The Food and Drug Administration issued a warning in 2013 against one brand of supplement they said he took, Reload, after it was found to contain sildenafil, the active ingredient in prescription Viagra.

A six-page transcript of the detective’s request for the search warrant said Odom was seen by witnesses and on security video taking an unidentified pill from an unmarked plastic bag in his pocket, and two prostitutes told police they had “vague knowledge” that Odom was using illicit narcotics.

The court document said the women told police they believed Odom snorted cocaine in a bathroom while they were in the adjacent bedroom.

The Love Ranch owner, Dennis Hof, has said Odom arrived on 10 October for a four-day stay and spent $75,000 (£49,000) on two women who accompanied him in a VIP suite.

The by AC Milan.Prandelli says the players were not up to Giampaolo’s demands.“Seeing the team from the outside, I did develop a theory as to why things went so wrong,” Prandelli told La Gazzetta dello Sport.“Giampaolo loves a reasoned-out style of Nevada judge issued a search warrant authorising police to obtain a blood sample from Odom after hed out.The Bln Rodgers among the highest paid managers in the world.The Sun says the 46-year-old is believed to have DOUBLED his previous salary at Leicester – taking from £5million-a-year to £10million.This means that only old foes Pep Guardiola and Jose Mouriues lost at home to Bournemouth on Saturday.”I watch Chelsea a lot and if you can get through the first 20 minutes against them, their confidence seems to go,” Merson told Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday.”They’ve got a lot of young players ae was taken to the Las Vegas hospital but test results are pending. The authorities have not ruled out the possibility of taking action against the brothel or Odom.

Odom spent most of his 14-year NBA career in Los Angeles with the Lakers and Clippers.

US Open 2015: order of play for Saturday 5 September

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Play begins on all courts at 11am ET/4pm BST

Arthur Ashe Stadium

(5) Petra Kvitova (Cze) v (32) Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (Svk), (29) Philipp Kohlschreiber (Ger) v (2) Roger Federer (Swi), (20) Victoria Azarenka (Blr) v (11) Angelique Kerber (Ger), Shelby Rogers (USA) v (2) Simona Halep (Rom), (30) Thomaz Bellucci (Bra) v (3) Andy Murray (Gbr)

Louis Armstrong Stadium

(18) Andrea Petkovic (Ger) v Johanna Konta (Gbr), (13) John Isner (USA) v Jiri Vesethout each other.Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes have been excellent playing up front together this season.”A lot has been made of me playing two centre forwards, but I think centre forwards are the best players, in that it’s the hardest job, so if therly (Cze), Varvara Lepchenko (USA) v Mona Barthel (Ger), (5) Stanislas Wawrinka (Swi) v Ruben Bemelmans (Bel)

Grandstand

(24) Bernard Tomic (Aus) v (12) Richard Gasquet (Fra), (16) Sara Errani (Ita) v (22) Samantha Stosur (Aus), (20) Viktor Troicki (Ser) v Donald Young (USA), Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (Cze) v (24) Sabine Lisicki (Ger)

Cour new goal-kick rules.A significant change is coming to the Premier League this season, with defenders allowed to come into their own penalty box during a goal-kick.Opposition players must remain outside the box, but can stand right on the edge to attt 5

Eric Butorac (USA) & Scott Lipsky (USA) v Gilles Muller (Lux) & Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi (Pak), (1) Martina Hingis (Swi) & Sania Mirza (Ind) v Timea Bacsinszky (Swi) & Chia-Jung Chuang (Tpe), Jeremy Chardy (Fra) & Lukasz Kubot (Pol) v (9) Daniel Nestor (Can) & Edouard Roger-Vasselin (Fra), Sachia Vickery (USA) & Francis Tiafoe (USA) v Su-Wei Hsieh (Tpe) & Henri Kontinen (Fin), Eugenie Bouchard (Can) & Nick Kyrgios (Aus) v (4) Martina Hingis (Swi) & Leander Paes (Ind)

Court 6

Aliaksandr Bury (Blr) & Denis Istomin (Uzb) v Dominic Inglot (Gbr) & Robert Lindstedt (Swe), (3) Timea Babos (Hun) & Kristina Mladenovic (Fra) v Dominika Cibulkova (Svk) & Magdalena Rybarikova (Svk), Frantisek Cermak (Cze) & Jiri Vesely (Cze) v (3) Jean-Julien Rojer (Ned) & Horia Tecau (Rom)

Court 7

(7) Marcel Granollers (Spa) & Marc Lopez (Spa) v Lucas Pouille (Fra) & Sergiy Stakhovsky (Ukr), (6) Rohan Bopanna (Ind) & Florin Mergea (Rom) v Mariusz Fyrstenberg (Pol) & Santiago Gonzalez (Mex), Lisa Raymond (USA) & Jamie Murray (Gbr) v (6) Yaroslava Shvurgen Klopp admits he’s a big fan of Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy.The Reds go to Leicester on Boxing Day having won the Club World Cup.”We will try [to stop him],” Klopp said of Vardy.”He is one of the top three strikers in England since I haveedova (Kaz) & Juan Sebastian Cabal (Col), Alla Kudryavtseva (Rus) & Alexander Peya (Aut) v (2) Yung-Jan Chan (Tpe) & Rohan Bopanna (Ind)

Court 11

(4) Marcin Matkowski (Pol) & Nenad Zimonjic (Ser) v Marco Cecchinato (Ita) & Andreas Seppi (Ita), Samuel Groth (Aus) & Lleyton Hewitt (Aus) v Colin Fleming (Gbr) & Treat Huey (Phi), Eugenie Bouchard (Can) & Elena Vesnina (Rus) v (6) Raquel Kops-Jones (USA) & Abigail Spears (USA), (11) Sara Errani (Ita) & Flavia Pennetta (Ita) v Asia Muhammed (USA) & Maria Sanchez (USA)

Court 13

(17) Karin Knapp (Ita) & Roberta Vinci (Ita) v Margarita Gasparyan (Rus) & Alexandra Panova (Rus), Adrian Mannarino (Fra) & Fabrice Martin (Fra) v (15) Raven Klaasen (Rsa) & Rajeev Ram (USA), Leonardo Mayer (Arg) & Joao Sousa (Por) v Federico Del Bonis (Arg) & Diego Sebastian Schwartzman (Arg)

Court 17

(6) Tomas Berdych (Cze) v (31) Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (Spa), (26) Flavia Pennetta (Ita) v Petra Cetkovska (Cze), Bethanie Mattek-Sands (USA) & Sam Querrey (USA) v Daria Gavrilova (Aus) & John Peers (Aus), (15) Kevin Anderson (Rsa) v (20) Dominic Thiem (Aut)

The gifs that keep on giving: Cristiano Ronaldo, Cafu, power play and a golf trick

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Show offNo one man should have all that powerCafu’s keep-upsBallsIf at first you don’t succeed…SliderA few clas Saint-Ges’ move to VfB Stuttgart was influenced by manager Jurgen Klopp.Phillips, the son of Bolton Wanderers hero Jimmy Phillips, is on a season-long loan with VfB.”My relationship with Jürgen played a role in this transfer,” VfB sports director Sven Mislirmain superstar Kylian Mbappe.Mbappe has been strongly linked with a big-money move in the summerholes has been fined after admitting breaking Football Association betting rules.The Mirror says he has been hit with an £8,000 fine and warned over his future conduct after admitting breaking Football Association betting rules.United legend Scholes, with Real Madrid and Liverpool among the teams understood to be keen on signing the French World Cup winner.The French World Cup winner, 20, isy touches from the U20 World CupThe short gameBe better than the gap

USA at the Women’s World Cup: what we learned from the group stage

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1) USA’s attacking prowess isn’t what it used to be

Here’s a fun fact: Going into their easiest match of the group stage against Nigeria, the Americans had been shut out five times in their previous 13 games since December. But before that, it took them 176 games to be shut out five times, stretching all the way back to 2007. Against a Nigeria team that appeared to have a pretty poor defense in their previous group games, the Americans managed just one goal – even after Nigeria went down to 10 players for 20 minutes.

There’s no question that the world’s competition is getting stronger. All we have to do is look at upsets in the group stage and the struggles of the top teams, such as Tuesday’s other results, which saw Sweden draw to Australia and Cameroon beat Switw Real Madrid fullback Ferland Mendy has been ruled out for a month after picking up a thigh injury in pre-season.The latest blow for Los Blancos comes just days after Marco Asensio suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament which will keep him on thzerland. And as the rest of the world improves, the numbers suggest USA are having trouble maintaining the performance gap they’ve enjoyed throughout the years. The big question going into this Women’s World Cup was to win the toughest World Cup to date. Early results suggest the answer is perhaps not.

2) Abby Wambach is still an important player

We know some things about Wambach that might make it seem like she shouldn’t play a huge role in this World Cup. She is 35 years old and visibly slowing down. She is less productive than she has been in the past. The team has plenty of other talented, young, productive forwards that can play big roles. But when the USA needed a goal to top the Group of Death and advance to the knockouts, Wambach could be counted on to make it happen.

As good as Wambach is on set pieces – she scored Tuesday’s game-winner over Nigeria off a corner – she has a toolkit of intangibles the team seems to rely on, such as her experience and leadership. The team played with a spark against Nigeria that they didn’t have straight out of the gate against Sweden. Maybe Wambach is that X-factor or maybe she’s not, but it’s hard to argue that she didn’t score the most crucial USA goal of the group stage. Her role with the team , and she seemed to provide an answer.

3) Hope Solo’s off-the-field distractions don’t matter

This shouldn’t be news to anyone, but Solo has been involved with some off-the-field issues. Her personal problems have been distilled into one code word: “distractions”. That’s a good code word when there seems to be a new detail or wrinkle, and a new article or column everyday about her arrest, which took place nearly a year ago. For some reason, Senator Richard Blumenthal didn’t think there were more important things going on in Connecticut during this World Cup and asked US Soccer to investigate her arrest.

But it’s now safe to say, these distractions simply don’t matter. Firstly, they aren’t affecting Solo’s on-field performance. She came up with two massive saves against Australia that were probably responsible for securing USA’s win to open the tournament. The reaction from the players was universal: Only Solo could have made those big-time saves. That leads into the second point, which is that with the way Solo is playing, she is worth every bit of trouble she causes for US Soccer’s public relations team. Solo is simply too valuable to bench.

4) The USA defense may be what wins them the World Cup

Can the Americans win a World Cup when arguably their two best players are their two starting centerbacks, Becky Sauerbrunn and Julie Johnston? USA coach Jill Ellis thinks so: “If you don’t give up any goals, you have a hell of chance,” she quipped after USA beat Nigeria, in another performance where the biggest plays seemed to happen in the Americans’ half.

When it’s not Sauerbrunn and Johnston tracking back and beating some of the fastest forwards in the tournament, it’s Meghan Klingenberg making a monster save off the line with her head. Add in nham star Harry Kane has been ruled out of action until April with a hamstring injury. The 26-year-old suffered the injury during Spurs’ loss to Southampton on New Year’s Day.He will return two months before Euro 2020 commences.”Following ongoing assSolo and her heroics, and USA are looking defensively more than capable of helping secure a World Cup come 5 July.

5) The real tournament begins now

The Group of Death didn’t end up that deadly. Indeed it probably earned its name in large part because No5-ranked Sweden were controversially not seeded. But Sweden did not live up to theiral Madrid, the Croatia international completed his spell a Europa League title winner last night.The midfielder is now due to return to Madrid, though AS says Kovacic’s preference is to stay with Chelsea next season.His situation raises the prospect responsibility, drawing with both Australia and Nigeria, teams the USA managed to beat, albeit unconvincingly. To compare it to the men’s World Cup last year, Sweden were like Portugal in the USA’s group – uninspiring where they were supposed to be deadly.

So what lies ahead for the Americans? A team like Germany that beat Ivory Coast, 10-0 and Thailand 4-0, maybe. Perhaps a team like reigning world champions Japan, who have swept their group. The last 16 should gift the USA a low-ranked team, but after that, all bets are off. USA won’t be able to afford another subpar showing once the win-or-go-home format kicks in.

‘Scapegoat’ Lance Armstrong a victim of USADA ‘witch hunt’, says Pat McQuaid

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Banned cyclist was the victim of “a witch hunt” and made a scapegoat by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, says former International Cycling Union president Pat McQuaid.

A cancer survivor and once a hero to millions, Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France victories and banned for life from racing in 2012 by USADA after it accused him in a report of engineering one of the most sophisticated doping schemes in sports.

“He was very much made a scapegoat, there was a witch hunt after Armstrong,” McQuaid told BBC Radio 5 live, before adding that he had “ard cannot be considered for the No7 shirt.The No7 has been worn by some of the greats over the years including George Best, Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Eric Cantona and Cristiano Ronaldo.And Saha believes Lingard can’t just demand the shirt because certain sympathy” with the American.

Irishman McQuaid, UCI president from 2006 to 2013 before being replaced by Brian Cookson, made his comments a day after Armstrong had told the BBC he would not have needed to resort to doping in the sport’s current era.

Following his return from cancer in the late 1990s, Armstrong was regularly subjected to claims of doping, which he stoutly refuted until the release of USADA’s “reasoned decision”.

The 200-page document – supported by a further 1,000 pages of evidence – finally led to Armstrong’s confession in an interview with Oprah Winfrey in January 2013.

“That’s the way it was,” said McQuaid. “USADA wanted a big name. They weren’t really interested in the smaller riders and also they made deals with the smaller riders in order to get the information they needed on the big guys.

“I can have a certain sympathy because I don’t think in sport, people in those situations, I think they should be treated equally.”

On Monday, Armstrong said he regretted the “unacceptable and inexcusable” behaviour with which he subjected other riders and figures within the sport during numerous attempts to rubbish their allegations of doping.

“I would want to change the man that did those treportedly rejected to the chance to speak with Real Madrid about Gareth Bale.Real bosder Dominik Szoboszlai has revealed the interest of Serie A clubs.The youngster admits a move to Italy tempts him.He said, “I like it Italy. I spent my summer holidays there. But I don’t know now which direction my career will go when I change clubs s Zinedine Zidane does not want the Wales international at the Bernabeu next season.United have long been linked with four-time Champions League winner.However, ESPhings, maybe not the decision, but the way he acted,” he continued. “The way he treated people, the way he couldn’t stop fighting. It was unacceptable, inexcusable.”

Armstrong’s seven Tour victories between 1999 and 2005 have been rescinded but not assigned to anyone else because of the prevalence of doping at the time.

Pittsburgh Pirates: picture of militant in team’s hat ‘absolutely sickening’

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The released a strongly worded statement distancing themselves from the Islamic State after a photo surfaced of Mohammed Emwazi – the knife-wielding militant known as ‘Jihadi John’ – wearing a cap with the team’s inswoe-is-me stuff. If Romelu Lukaku maintains this approach at Inter Milan, he’s not going to last long.In context, there is a rationale to his complaints. In his two seasons with Manchester United, Lukaku was barracked by a section of the support. He ignia.

Sky News published a photo on Friday of Emwazi obtained from University of Westminster student recordsanchester City hero Micah Richards has questioned the importance of the Manchester derby after Sunday’s defeat at Manchester United.Richards, who played for City between 2005 and 2015, expressed his concerns for City who showed a lack of hunger for m in which the 26-year-old is wearing a Pirates hat.

“It is absolutely sickening to everyone within the Pirates organization, and to our great fans, to see this murderer wearing a Pirates cap in this old photo,” the team said in a statement issued from their spring training camp in Bradenton, Florida.

“The classic gold P stands for Pittsburgh and is worn by our players, coaches and fans with a great sense of pride.”

The Guardian that Emwazi was Jihadi Jing Juventus and Barcelona.Both have made an offer of a professional contract to the young defender, says Sport.Lacroix is an U17 international with France and is training with the Metz first team, even though he hasn’t signed an official contract yeohn, the masked man who has beheaded several Western hostages in a series of gruesome videos widely disseminated online.

The name was first published Thursday morning .

b to re-ignite their interest in Nabil Fekir.The R

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A league source said the have told closer will for a trade leading up to the July 31 non-waiver deadline, according to .com. Cishek is under team control this season, will reach arbitration next year and won’t be available for free agency until 2018.

Cishek is 1-4 with a 4.50 ERA and 1.38 WHIP through 24 appearances this season. He is 5 for 7 in save chances.

More News 29D ago • by RotoWire Staff 03/20/2020 • by RotoWire Staff s form.Referring to Everton’s defeat to Brighton, Cascarino wrote for The Times: “Yet another entry in the catalogue of Jordan Pickford errors shows why the Everton keeper’s days as England’s number 1 are numbered… beaten easily by a set piece, (wh 01/07/2020 • by RotoWire Staff 08/21/2019 • by RotoWire Staff ws where Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba plans to with the club’s summer signings.Che Adams has joined from Birmingham City and Moussa Djenepo from Standard Liege.”Southampton have strengthened pretty well,” he said.”Ralph identified the areas of the squad that were a bit lacking and pace was one omove.Pogba’s future is up in the air at United, with Real Madrid and Juventus both keen.Former Juve coach Conte was seen in conversation with Pogba before Inter’s defeat to United in Singapore 08/19/2019 • by RotoWire Staff 08/17/2019 • by RotoWire Staff

Bryan Cristante has signed a new deal with AS Roma

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catcher enjoyed a big day at the plate as he launched his first home run of the season and drove three runs Saturday against the Rockies. Federowicz took starter Jhoulys Chacin deep for a solo home run in thsurge with Trabzonspor has him attracting fresh interest from China.Having cut ties with Liverpool over the summer, the former England striker had a sluggish start to his time in Turkey.However now fully fit, Sturridge is flying, having scored five ge third and slapped a two-run single in the sixth. He finished 2 for 5 with a run scored and three RBI in a 7-6 defeat in extras.Federowicz is hitting .200 (2 for 10) in his last three games since his recall from Triple-A Alburquerque.

More News 12/19/2019 • by RotoWire Staff 11/04/2019 • by RotoWire Staff 09/20/2019 r Diego Costa has seen offers dry up for him this summer.Atletico’s board have made Costa available this summer after his meltdown at Barcelona last season and subsequent season-ending suspension.That’s according to Okdiario’s chief pundit Eduardo In • by RotoWire Staff 08/04/20 Anil Murthy has hit out at the press after a chaotic start to the season.Before their Champions League win at Chelsea, Murthy was asked directly if he had apologised to the players on behalf of club owner Peter Lim over the sacking of Marcelino.But 19 • by RotoWire Staff 08/01/2019 • by RotoWire Staff 07/24/2019 • by RotoWire Staff