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My favourite game: Miami 10-13 NY Giants, Wembley’s first taste of NFL

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It was a night for raincoats and thermals at Wembley on 28 October 2007, not T-shirt and shorts; hot drinks not cold brewskis at the tailgate party for the sensible in the crowd of 81,176; and the sodden pitch, designed for football, cut up in seconds leaving huge divots and bad first impressions.

The only play worth highlighting was Eli Manning’s super slow-motion 10-yard run for New York’s only touchdown and the final score was barely relevant to most either. It was an event, with a capital E, V, E, N and T because this was the first regular-season game played outside North America, the culmination of decades of endeavour in the UK.

Channel 4 showed highlights – extraordinary to think these days but on a week delay – in 1982 and the late-night Super Bowl ritual was formed. A weekly American football newspaper, First Down, was produced, a domestic competition sprung up and there were pre-season American Bowl games at Wembley from 1986-1993. There were the heady days of the World League and the London Monarchs winning the first World Bowl in 1991, provoking semi-serious discussion of a game between them and the worst team of the 1990 NFL season, which, rather remarkably given the past 20-odd years, was New England.

It was all that and more. The late Sunday nights listening to the Armed Forces Network as its medium-wave signal faded in and out, whistling and crackling live commentaries. Then came weekly live games on TV every Sunday and Monday and the emergence of a market big enough to satisfy the NFL’s rapacious desire for yet more millions of dollars.

It was scarcely believable that here were two NFL teams, right in front of us with all the rigamarole and pageantry; at kick-off thousands of cameras lit up the dark sky. There were tears in the packed press boxes.

Those closer to the action were also in awe. David Tossell, of the NFL London office, told me: “Even when we first knew we were going to be staging the game it was pretty daunting, so the moment that always sticks with me was when The Feeling were performing the pre-game show and my boss and I looked around at the packed stands and turned to each other and said: international is on the radar of Fenerbahce, says Sky Italia.Khedira faces a battle for a place in Juve’s midfield under new coach Maurizio Sarri and has been told he can leave should he find the right club.A move to MLS has been mooted for the vete ‘Wow, we did it.’”

Things moved so quickly it was noticeable to the players. Osi Umenyiora, the former Giant, born in England and now an award-winning analyst for the BBC, said: “The crowd was amazing but I wasn’t sure how much they understood about what they were seeing. I really noticed a difference when I returned to play for the Atlanta Falcons.”

and the International Series, as it is now marketed, featured four games in London last year, two at Wembley and two at Tottenham’s new stadium with a pitch and dressing rooms installed especially for thn de Beek.Marca says United are trying to pry the Dutchman away from Los Blancos’ grasp with a last-ditch offer.Van de Beek expected to make the move to the Spanish capital last summer but, given that Real Madrid were unable to sell James Rodriguez ae sport. Every year talk of a franchise in London builds while the provoked the theory of every team playing once outside the US. That appears unlikely for now, as is fanciful talk of a Super Bowl being played in London.

On a micro level, in September the NFL AcadThe Molineux outfit recorded a brave 2-1 away win over Slovan Bratislava on Thursday, with Jimenez scoring the decisive penalty.He told BT Sport: “For me it’s always in my mind that I’m going to score. It’s my style of shooting penalty kicks, I’m nevemy opened in north London, giving young athletes the opportunity to combine full-time education with training from professional coaches. The aim is for the best to go to colleges in the US and, though a huge long shot, the NFL.

There is another lasting effect of this game that benefits all those who visit Wembley now. The stadium’s creaky infrastructure was overwhelmed that night and the NFL demanded major improvement. Thus, anyone who uses the wifi at Wembley can thank the NFL for the massive, free upgrade.

Houston Astros cheating probe widens to almost 60 witnesses, 76,000 emails

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Major League Baseball has interviewed almost 60 people and obtained tens of thousands of electronic messages in its investigation into allegations the broke rules by using a television camera to steal signs.

Former Houston pitcher Mike Fiers sparked the investigation when he told the Athletic last month the Astros had used the camera to steal signs in 2017 during the team’s run to its first World Series title.

Commissioner Rob Manfred said last month MLB was investigating Houston’s conduct for the past three seasons, and he hoped to complete the inquiry before the start of next season.

“I think that this is probably the most thorough investigation that the commissioner’s office has ever undertaken,” he said Wednesday at the winter meetings. “I think we’ve interviewed already nearly 60 witnesses, 76,000 e-mails, a whole additional trove of instant messages.

“That review has caused us to conclude that we have to do some follow-up interviewing. It is my hope to conclude the investigation just as promptly as possible, but it’s really hard to predict how long something like that is going to take.”

Astros manager AJ Hinch and Boston manager Alex Cora, the Astros’ 2017 bench coach, said they had spoken with investigators, and Hinch said he had been involved in several sessions. New York Mets manager Carlos Beltrán, a Houston player in 2017, refused to say whether he had been interviewed.

“At this point in the investigatArsenal’s head of football Raul Sanllehi says the club have enough “ammunition” to secure transfer targets this summer.The Gunners will lose Aaron Ramsey, Danny Welbeck and Petr Cech after letting their contracts expire.But Sanllehi is confident thion it would be wholly inappropriate for me to speculate about what types of discipline might be in play,” Manfred said. “I’m going to get all the facts in front of me and make a decision as promptly as possible on discipline.”

MLB strengthened its rules against electronic sign stealing before the 2019 season, and Manfred said the rules are reviewed eacise on teammate Raheem Sterling.Sterling, insists Delph, now belongs at the top tier of today’s stars.“I joined City with Raheem, so for me to see Raheem’s ­development as debut in Major League Soccer.He was playing for FC Cincinnati for the first time since joining the club temporarily in the January transfer window.Locadia netted in the 71st minute, only seven minutes after he came off the bench for Cincinnati.His nd to push him, to be that voice in his ear, I still felt very much part of ih offseason to determine whether more alterations are warranted.

Antonio Brown set for New England Patriots debut despite rape lawsuit

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Antonio Brown is eligible to play Sunday when the visit the Miami Dolphins.

Brown, the , was under consideration for the Commissioner’s Exempt Lismmer are wide open.Speaking with AD, Van de Beek denied claims of an agreement with Real Madrid and left the door open to joining Manchester United.On Real, he stated: “That is said and written, people take over, and then it starts to lead its own t, according to USA Today. But commissioner Roger Goodell will not enact his authority in the matter at this time.

USA Today reported Goodell is reserving the right to place Brown on the exempt list should criminal charges be brought against Brown.

Whether Brown wilWenger has revealed Arsenal made an attempt to sign Lionel Messi as a Barcelona youth teamer.Wenger discussed the move when asked about Arsenal’s failed attempt for current Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo.When asked on beIN SPORTS if Arsenal were verl be active and on the field for the Patriots at Miami after three days of practice is up to Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. Multiple reports indicate the Patriots were not aware of the civil suit Saturday when they agreed to a one-year deal with Brown hours after he was released by the .

Brown, 31, that includes a $9m signing bonus and a $20m team option for 2020.

After bailing on the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2018 regular-season finale and sitting out Week 1 this year, Brown could pay for the first time since 23 December if he faces the Dolphins.

Belichick downplayed Brown’s past, responding to a question about Brown returned to the first-team fold after a long injury lay-off.And he has spoken of his pride of still being able to represent the Red Devils.”Honestly, to just sign to play for Man United is a dream,” Bailly told ESPN FC.”To be part of a team this big being a disruption with a name from the past that worked out pretty well.

“That’s the same thing you (the media) said about Randy Moss when we brought him in,” Belichick said Tuesday.

Canelo Álvarez edges Gennady Golovkin by majority decision in epic sequel

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The Mexican superstar Saul ‘Canelo’ Álvarez scored the signature win of his career in Saturday night’s long-awaited rematch with , capturing the WBC and WBA middleweight titles by a majority decision in a classic encounter that all but guarantees a third installment in May.

Two of the finest pure fighters of their generation treated a sellout crowd of 21,965 at the T-Mobile Arena to a contest of extreme physical and psychological intensity that managed even to surpass their , which ended in a widely derided split draw. This one was just as close and not entirely beyond dispute, merely flecked by controversy rather than defined by it. Ringside judges Dave Moretti and Steve Weisfeld scored it 115-113 to Álvarez, while Glenn Feldman had it 114-114. (The Guardian 116-112 to Golovkin.)

Álvarez (50-1-2, 34 KOs), the popular red-haired puncher from Guadalajara, now adds Golovkin’s belts at 160lbs to the lineal middleweight title he earned .

“I showed my victory with facts,” the 29-year-old Álvarez said afterward through an interpreter. “He was the one who was backing up. I feel satisfied because I gave a great fight. It was a clear victory.”

For Golovkin (38-1-1, 34 KOs), the razor-thin verdict marked his first defeat in 40 professional fights, the first at any level since the 2005 amateur world championships, and ended his division-record streak of 20 consecutive middleweight title defenses on level terms with Bernard Hopkins, who incidentally is a minor stakeholder in Golden Boy Promotions, which promotes Álvarez. Afterward the 36-year-old from Kazakhstan, the sport’s longest tenured active champion no more, walked solemnly to the dressing room without remaining in the ring for the customary in-ring interview.

Their first clash, 364 days ago in the same building, had seen Golovkin spend the night methodically cutting off the ring with deft footwork while Álvarez fought off the ropes with varying results. But from Saturday night’s first bell the action took on a radically different geometry, playing out almost exclusively in the center of the ring with neith Javier Zanetti says the board are excited by their prospects under new coach Antonio Conte.The Argentine says it’s the beginning of a new era.Zanetti said, “He is a coach who knows Italian football well and has a lot of experience. “He is a winning er fighter’s back touching the edge even once until the middle rounds. Golovkin didn’t wait long to establish the jab as his weapon of choice, doubling and tripling it up early while refraining from the heavy-handed combinations that have been his calling card in a career which, until Saturday, saw him finish 34 of 39 fights inside the distance.

A highly tactical opening, with neither man backing down and so little to separate them, began to heat up in the second and third as the fighters started to open up and trade harder shots. Golovkin continued to score at will with the jab, but Álvarez’s varied attack appeared to move the Kazakh backward and keep him off balance while the Mexican’s educated combination punching laid bare the difference in hand speed.

Álvarez’s dedicated body work, which would come to yield dividends in the later rounds, was effective in stemming Golovkin’s offensive, yet the longtime middleweight champion absorbed his opponent’s bestJuventus coach Maurizio Sarri says Andrea Barzagli is proving crucial in the progress of Matthijs de Ligt.Having retired last season, Barzagli was added to Sarri’s coaching staff this term.He revealed: “Clearly, Barzagli is a precious resource for shots with little apparent effect. Both men were countering exquisitely in a series of skirmishes that took on the feel of bullet chess: this was expert-level work from two top operators.

A thudding uppercut by Golovkin rocked Álvarez early in the fourth, prompting a roar from the crowd. He followed it with three straight jabs, then made his opponent pay with a compact left followed by a right square in the stomach. Yet right when it seemed Golovkin was taking over, his work rate began to slow and Álvarez was right there to take advantage.

By the sixth and seventh Canelo was commanding the pace and geography of the two-way action even as Golovkin’s jab continued to score, negotiating inside with hooks to the body and combinations upstairs. They traded hellfire in the eighth, showing incredible punch resistance. But it was Golovkin who betrayed signs of fatigue near the end of the frame, breathing with his mouth open and stepping away from the exchanges with atypical consent. Álvarez moving backward landed a left hook flush on Golovkin’s jaw, followed by three more shots that whipped the partisan Mexican Independence Day audience into a frenzy. When the bell rang to signal the end of the eighth, Canelo appeared in command.

By then a cut opened had above Álvarez’s eye and he appeared to flag early in the ninth, but Golovkin soldiered through his exhaustion. Back and forth it went into the 10th, when Golovkin moved Canelo backward with a four-punch combination then briefly stunned his opponent with a right hand. Golovkin was landing the cleaner punches and by the 11th was on the clear attack, evoking the seek-and-destroy modus operundi that had become his signature, but Álvarez held his ground and refused to back down, never allowing the older champion to land without proper recompense.

Both fighters entered the final round with the belief the outcome was in doubt – correctly, as Canelo led by a slight 105-104 margin on all three cards – but it was Golovkin who demonstrated the stronger finishing kick, striking with a left hook and an uppercut to open the frame and pouring on the punishment as the crowd roared chants of “Tri-ple G! Tri-ple G!”, for the first time on the niea’s transfer ban was overturned on appeal on Friday.And the Chelsea-transfer-news-Man-Utd-Liverpool-Jadon-Sancho-January-Borussia-Dortmund”>Daily Express says Chelsea have put Sancho at the top of their January shopping list after their transfer banght not shouted down by the Canelo faithful. When the bell sounded the fighters embraced, then returned to their corners to await the official scores.

(If there was a controversy, it’s that Moretti and Weisfeld found a way to award the outcome-swinging 12th, as clear as Golovkin round as there was, to Álvarez.)

“I’m not going to say who won tonight, because the victory belongs to Canelo according to the judges,” Golovkin said after receiving eight stitches for a 5cm cut along his right eye. “I thought it was a very good fight for the fans, and very exciting. I thought I fought better than he did.”

Golovkin threw and landed with greater frequency on the night, connecting with 234 of 879 punches (26.6%), compared to 202 of 622 for Álvarez (32.5%). But the resolve and adaptability of the younger, primer Álvarez was enough to carry the day, if only by the slimmest of margins.

“I can’t complain, that’s what we have the judges for,” Abel Sanchez, Golovkin’s trainer, said. “We had a great fight, the one we expected the first time around. I had it close going into the 12th round. We had good judges who saw it from different angles. I can’t complain about the decision, but it’s close enough to warrant a third fight. Canelo fought a great fight.”

When asked if he would consider a third meeting, Golovkin, now twice denied what could or should have been the defining moment of a prolific career spent largely outside of the mainstream spotlight, was to the point.

“Under the right conditions, yes,” he said.

Álvarez didn’t back down from a third fight, where he would almost surely enter the favorite after playing the underdog role in the first two.

“That was a great fight, but in the end, it was a victory for Mexico,” Alvarez said. “And again, it was an opportunity, and I want to shout out to my opponent, the best in the sport of boxing. I am a great fighter, and I showed it tonight.

“If the people want another round, I’ll do it again.”

Tiger Woods in contention at Valspar Championship after birdie binge

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A last-hole bogey failed to take the gloss off a superb performance from as the former world No 1 continued to impress on the latest leg of his improbable comeback in the Valspar Championship.

Woods showed flashes of his brilliant best in an opening 70 in what is only his fourth event since undergoing spinal fusion surgery– his fourth back operation in three years – last April.

And thhip revenue fall €55.2 million (US$60.6 million) to €75.3 million (US$82.9 million) for the 2019/20 season, reports, /.The Serie A giants pocketed €130.5 million (US$143.6 million) in sponsorship over the 2018/19 campaign, but a new public filie 14-time major winner surged to the top of the leaderboard for the first time since August 2015 before having to settle for a share of second place on four under as the Canadian Corey Conners fired a round of 69 to go into the weekend on six under par.

Starting on the back nine of the testing Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort, Woods recovered from a wayward drive on the 10th to make par and also parred the next before holing from five feet for birdie on the 12th. A superb approach to the 13th set up another birdie from a similar distance and, after a run of six straight pars, another gain on the second took Woods into a share of the lead.

Woods enjoyed a stroke of good fortune on the par-five fifth when his hooked drive appeared to hit a cart path and bounce back on to the fairway. And the 42-year-old took full advantage by finding a greenside bunker with his approach, splashing out to four feet and holing the birdie putt to take the outright lead.

The last time that happened was during the third round of thedfielder Matty Longstaff is in the sights of England U21.Aidy Boothroyd and assistant Lee Carsley have both watched Longstaff, whose thunderbolt downed Manchester United on debut last weekend.Friday’s friendly in Slovenia and Tuesday’s European Champ Wyndham Championship in August 2015 and the last time Woods led outright after a PGA Tour round was after his last win in the 2013 WGC-Bridgestone.

The prospects of the outright lead disappeared with a bogey on the ninth when he pushed his approach right of the green and it finished up in a female spectator’s handbag. After taking a free drop, Woods caught the pin with his chip but was unable to hole from six feet for par, leaving him to sign for a 68 and share of the lead on four under par.

“I’m up there,” Woods told PGA Tour Live. “I don’t think this will be leading [at the end of the day] but at least I’m there with a chance going into the weekend. Today was a good daBrad Smith admits Seattle Sounders were overawed in the opening stages of their 3-1 win over Toronto in the MLS Cup on Sunday. The Pacific Northwest club walked out to a record 69,724 crowd at Century Link Field and were thoroughly outplayed in the oy. It was cold early, then the wind started blowing a little bit – it was inconsistent and tough to get a bead on. Did a lot of guessing and guessed pretty good, also got fooled a few times.

“I keep getting a little bit better here and there, making these little subtle tweaks. I’ve done that from tournament to tournament, I just need to get a little bit more tournament time in and I think I’ve done that.

“I’m starting to get a better feel for it, I’m finding the rhythm of the rounds, I’m hitting shots, I don’t have a problem posting scores. I’m able to play more feel golf than just trying to figure out how to play golf again.”

Los Angeles FC mark arrival with Hollywood ending to open new stadium

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On a grimy corner of downtown , LAFC were selling a dream from the unpromising surroundings of a warehouse adjacent to a freeway underpass.

Construction had only just begun on the 20-month project to create a new 22,000-seater stadium on the site of the former LA Memorial Sports Arena, and the freshly-launched club needed something to show potential supporters other than a building plot.

A couple of miles away from their home ground in-the-making, LAFC created their Experience Center. The surroundings were underwhelming, but the message was overwhelming. Visiting Angelinos received a thorough briefing on the club’s plans and were able to envisage the new $350m home ground twill monitor Nicolas Pepe’s progress in training before deciding if he will face Newcastle United this weekend.The £72m signing did not play in Sunday’s loss to Barcelona, with Emery confirming he stayed behind to train in London.Speaking after the hrough 3D models and virtual reality films.

“I took the tour and I was hooked. I paid my $100 deposit straightaway,” fan Hector Marrujo reminisces as he took his inaugural journey to the Banc of California Stadium on Sunday.

“I’m Mexican so I’ve always supported Club America, but I never likefielder Sean Longstaff has dismissed critics of his form this season.The North-Shields born midfielder has drawn criticism from some as this season’s performances fail to hit the heights of the 2018-19 campaign.The 22-year-old reveals that he is welld the Galaxy – even the name ‘Galaxy’ has always seemed lame to me – and LAFC are actually in the city. I don’t have to travel to Carson, there’s an LA zip code. But what really got me was this is something new and exciting. There’s a vision with young, exciting players.”

The 17,500 season ticket holders who took that leap of faith were rewarded on Sunday evening, as the LAFC dream became a reality.

Downtown Los Angeles’ first professional open-air sporting venue since Dodger Stadium opened its doors in 1962 was not graced by a classic opening fixture, although there was an ear-splitting finale after captain Laurent Ciman’s stoppage time free-kick was haplessly spilled by Seattle Sounders keeper Stefan Frei.

It may have been a slightly comical opening goal at the stadium after LAFC had largely huffed and puffed in their attempts to break down the 2016 Cup winners. But that’s five wins out of seven Western Conference games now. There has been no teething period for Bob Bradley’s side.

“It’s nice not to inaugurate the stadium with a 0-0. Maybe someone was looking down on us!” said a beaming Bradley afterwards.

However, this was about more than 90 minutes. After playing their opening six games away from home (although one of those was the LA derby), this was the day where it felt that Major League Soccer’s newest franchise had truly arrived.

Well, it was more touchdown than take-off after Navy Seals parachuted onto the turf carrying the match ball. The expected pre-match palava continued with fireworks, a fan-led rendition of the national anthem and, oh yes, co-owner Will Ferrell carrying a trained falcon called Olly onto the pitch sporting an LAFC headdress.

The gold and black clad fanbase didn’t need any fancy gimmicks to capture their attention, though. Whether it’s the geographical advantage that LAFC possess over neighbors Galaxy (who are 10 miles away in the outlying city of Carson) or the idea of a new, fresh and exciting venture, supporters have become instantly invested in a team boasting a history of just seven competitive games.

The rowdy safe standing terraced North Stand had an air of the Bundesliga to it, as members of the ‘3253’ supporters group bounced and waved frantically to the rhythm of a bass drum orchestra.

Although there was little slickness on show against Seattle, LAFC’s open, attacking philosophy will surely attract even more supporters after Bradley’s men have averaged more than two goals per game during the season’s formative stages.

It comes at the cost of defensive rigidity. Yes, LAFC registered a third clean sheet of the campaign, but they shipped 13 in the other four games. There is a definite air of susceptibility to the back three: the Sounders spurning two glorious opportunities within the opening 10 minutes to silence the excitable home crowd.

But in a front three of Diego Rossi, Marco Urena and Carlos Vela, LAFC possess an attack arguably good enough to rival reigning MLS ch revelation in the new book of BVB chief Hans-Joachim Watzke – ‘REAL LIEBE – end of Leben mit dem BVB’.The Reds manager is quoted, stating: “As a lifesaver when the club really needs my help. “Why wouldn’t I do it? It’s just nice to get that chance. ampions Toronto. Vela, in particular, shines bright in his ability to persistently find pockets of space and dictate proceedings in the final third.

Bradley said: “We’re not Barcelona yet. Our football’s not perfect, but we go out every game and try to play. Every team has to come up with its identity and its way of playing, but I think it’s clear we’ll try to continue going in that direction.”

General manager John Thorrington deserves enormous credit for putting together such an attacking line-up. LAFC’s 30-strong ownership group of Hollywood and Malaysian business, sporting and entertainment heavyweights have clearly shown their acumen in building the club from scratch over the last four years after the collapse of Chivas left a gap in the southern California market.

But Thorrington, the former US international, crucially avoided the temptation to follow Galaxy’s example of bringing household names to Los Angeles. Instead, this is a project more akin to Atlanta United, with young, hungry, accomplished players from Central and South America.

Although Galaxy’s star turn Zlatan Ibrahimovic has proved to be a media darling since arriving in California and inflicted such a memorable wound in the inaugural derby between the two clubs, LAFC already boast the infrastructure to challenge their neighbors in the long-term.

Encouragingly, they’re only at the start of the journey.

Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani drawing early Babe Ruth comparisons

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Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani continued to display Babe Ruth-like brilliance in the early stages of his Major League Baseball career as he flirted with a perfect game while pitching for six-plus innings in a victory on Sunday.

The 23-year-old rookie allowed just one hit and struck out 12 over seven scoreless innings as he improved to 2-0 as a pitcher in his team’s 6-1 win over the Oakland Athletics.

The performance only increased the buzz that Ohtani, who hit home runs in three consecutive games last week, could become the highest-profile player since Hall of Famer Ruth to succeed on both the mound and at the plate.

Ruth managed to dominate both disciplines for the Boston Red Sox in 1918 and 1919 before his fateful move on to the New York Yankees, where he became the Sultan of Swat and seldom pitched.

“I tThe Hornets are struggling this season, with Quique Sanchez Flores struggling to improve on the impact of recently sacked Javi Gracia.But Hoddle believes that Watford have enough quality to string the run of wins needed to get themselves clear of trohink he’s mature beyond his years,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia told reporters when asked about the right-handed pitcher before Sunday’s game.

“He’s been challenged at a young age, so he’s seasoned to what a lot of players have to get acclimated to. He’s been playing at a very high level of baseball from a very young age.

“Shohei, he’s very confident, he works very, very hard at what he needs to do, and there’s a lot on his plate. But he has the talent to do it.”

Ohtani showed plenty of that talent when he retired the first 19 batters he faced, throwing a perfect game until Marcus Semien lined a fastball into left field for a single with one out in the seventh.

“Probably my best outing ever was when I was in elementary school,” Ohtani, who shone for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters in before joining the Angels in December, said through an interpreter.

He pumped his fist as he walked off the field after striking out the last batter he faced with two ry has turned his focused towards Euro2020.The Villa midfielder has struggled so far this season, having watched peers Mason Mount and James Maddison selected ahead of him for the recent England squad.Asked if an England breakthrough is on his mind, runners on in the seventh inning, receiving a standing ovation from the 44,742 in attendance as he departed.

“I wanted to keep a clean zero on the board,” Ohtani said of his last out. “One hit would have been two runs – that’s a huge difference. I wanted that strikeout and I got it.”

Nicknamed the Babe Ruth of Japan because of his dual threat, Ohtani became the first Major League player with two wins and three home runs in his team’s first 10 games since Jim Shaw for the Washington Senators in 1919, according to mlb.com.

He also joined Ruth (1916) and Ken Brett (1973) as the only players in Major League history with a double-digit strikeout game and a home run in three consecutive contests.

Ohtani homered in his first ever at-bat at Angels stadium last week and has continued to thrill fans with a .389 batting average at the plate, where he has three homers and seven RBIs.

On the mound, which is where the Angels plan to use him primari gone cold on a move for Velez Sarsfield prospect Thiago Almada.Ole says City have had a €12m bid rejected, and are therefore giving up on negotiations.The report quotes an unnamed City official as saying: “A very good offer for a player who will bly, Ohtani has 18 strikeouts in two games, helping to push Los Angeles to an impressive 7-3 start.

Serena Williams beats Kristyna Pliskova in triumphant return to French Open

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It is not often a player ranked 70 in the world gets to play on Court Philippe Chatrier – against someone ranked 381 points adrift of her.

Nevertheless, there was no more fitting stage to welcome back the game’s most regal presence, , on a day that began under cloud and ended in uplifting sunshine as the American survived a searching examination of her credentials and resolve. She said later she fantasises about being “a warrior princess” and she was exactly that again, as she has been so many times.

It made a nonsense, though, of the tournament’s decision to deny a former champion with such a distinguished pedigree a seeding, yet cash in on her celebrity by putting her and Kristyna Pliskova on the show court, packed on day three, with television ratings no doubt soaring by the point.

Wallowing for now at 451 in the rankings after her long absence but leading Pliskova by 71 career titles and, after an hour and 45 minutes on a sultry afternoon, a winning score of 7-6 (4), 6-4, she showed she is back, at 36, a mother and an athlete ready to resume her day job.

For how long and with what potency she will be a force in the game she has dominated for two decades we will not know until she scores a more emphatic win against a better opponent than Pliskova, or goes deep in a major – and maybe even adds to the 23 she has already accumulated, most recently last year in Melbourne when seven weeks pregnant.

John McEnroe was not alone in thinking that a miracle will not occur in Paris this fortnight but observed: “If she’s hungry enough, she will win again.” She cannot play at anything less than full throttle but she was -adamant her priority is her young daughter, born last September.

“I want to get home and see -Olympia, because I have been here all day. If I’m not practising, we’re hanging out. I’m concerned how that’s going to work out for me, because normally in grand slams, I do spend a lot of time at the site. She’s so young, I don’t really bring her. This is definitely going to be interesting.”

There were more than a few eyes agog at her outfit on a warm afternoon, a skintight, Wakanda-style, black -catsuit, designed by Nike to capture the moment, but intended also to help her faltering blood circulation after a difficult childbirth.

“The new version, 2.0, it’s cool. It’s really fun. We designed it way before the movie [Black Panther]. I feel like a warrior in it, like a warrior princess. I had a lot of problems with my blood clots. God, I don’t know how many I have had in the past 12 months. So there is definitely a little functionality to it. I have been wearing pants a lot when I play so I want Paul Pogba sold.Pogba is set to start for Manchester United in their season opener against Chelsea despite going public with his desire to leave the club. But Souness told The Times: “If I’m sitting in United’s dressing room, I’m glad Lukaku hacan keep the blood circulation going.”

After Olympia and before Paris, there was Windsor and the royal wedding – and Williams was among the most prominent African-American guests there to celebrate with Meghan Markle and Harry.

“It was exciting to see so much African-American culture impacted in the wedding,” she said. “I was really happy Meghan wanted to incorporate thatn Newcastle United.The 27-year-old forward was linked to a move to Tyneside following the Magpies’ promotion to the Premier League under Rafa Benitez in 2017.Jose told Marca: “For me the best team is Real Madrid and then Barcelona. I could be in the into it. I think it was just a whole cultural shift and change. It was seeing how far African-Americans have come. I thought it was an incredibly inspiring and beautiful and really motivating thing.”

As for the tennis, Williams played a little Fed Cup towards the end of last year, has won two of four Tour matches this season and withdrew from Madrid and Rome to ensure she was ready for a grand slam. So this was her proper comeback match, in a city where she always has felt comfortable with the language, the culture and the tennis.

In an engrossing first set, Pliskova needed an ace – her 10th of 15 – to stay in the first set and was relieved when Williams hit long to take them to a tie-break but the Czech could not sustain her charge.

The second set followed the pattern of the first until the 10th game. Serving for the match, Williams slipped and fell near the net at 30-all, got up smiling to grab match point, made a mess of a drop shoith Bayern Munich actively looking to bring the winger back to Germany.However, Julian Draxler is unsure of what the future may hold for his former Schalke teammate according to Goal.”I don’t feel like he is forcing a transfer, but in football, anytht and had to save three break points before putting a seal on her glorious day when Pliskova dumped a forehand.

Next up is the multisport -Australian phenomenon, Ashleigh Barty, who beat Natalia Vikhlyantseva 6-3, 6-1. Asked what she thought about playing Williams four years after losing to her in two quick sets at the -Australian Open, she said: “I’m in a very different place. I think Serena is also in a very different place. But what an opportunity. She’s a genuine champion. What she’s done to be able to get back – along with Vika [Azarenka] and a lot of the other girls who are coming back after pregnancy – is a pretty amazing thing.”

USA World Cup winners Rapinoe and Morgan join Mata’s charity wage project

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Two members of the World Cup-winning USA women’s team of 2015 have signed up to for footballers to donate 1% of their wages to charity.

Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan have joined Manchester United’s Mata and the Bayern Munich defender to Common Goal, which supports global football initiatives for disadvantaged children.

“Myself and Alex felt it was important that women’s football was represented from the outset,” said Rapinoe, a midfielder with Seattle Reign in the National Women’s Soccer League. “We’re really looking forward to building the movement with Juan and Mats from here.”

Rapinoe and Morgan each have more than 120 caps and have played in two World Cup finals, suffering defeat by Japan in 2011 before beating the same opponents four years later. Morgan, a striker with Orlando Pride, was recently .

“As the global profile of women’s football continues to grow, players like myself and Megan will have an increasing number of opportunities to use our status for good,” Morgan said. “I’m thrilled to join Common Goal at this early stage and hope we can inspire many others to become part of the movement.”

Mata is aiming to put together an XI of professional footballers for the project, which is overseen by , a group of more than 120 local charities.

“In Europe, we’ve just experienced a record-breaking transfer window,” Hummels said. “I think some fans are starting to feel alie Ballon d’Or.The Barcelona star was this evening named the Ballon d’Or winner for 2019 – for the sixth time.Yet Bordas feels the gap with Juventus ace Cristiano Ronaldo, who has five, should be far greater.”MessDavid Silva as one of the best players he has seen.The Spaniard managed his 400th game for City, helping them to a 3-1 win at Bournemouth.The fact that Silva has maintained his excellent standards for nearly a decade at City is unbelievable to his mai should have ten Ballon d’Or [prizes]enated from the gameo win the Premier League title with Liverpool.The Swiss proved his worth to the Reds after capitalising on a rare start by scoring in Wednesday’s 5-2 win over Everton.Speaking after the game, Shaqiri said: “Obviously I am really happy. Especially aga in light of these kinds of developments. But as more players join Common Goal, we hope to show the world that football still has its heart in the right place.”

Why Aaron Rodgers is an even greater NFL quarterback than we think

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It’s long been acknowledged by NFs a step away from moving to Tottenham.Barca have made Coutinho available for loan in the past fortnight and had fielded interest from Spurs and Arsenal.The Times says Spurs now have an agreement with Barca about a season-long loan for the midfielderL analysts, fans and coaches alike that quarterbacks take too much blame and too much of the credit. NFL statistics are usually created by the result of the play, which means they are decided by not only the quarterback but also by the receiver who catches – or drops – his passes. When Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Kurt Warner and Drew Brees had their historic seasons, they played with great team-mates, players who didn’t need to be elevated by their quarterback to be productive. That wasn’t the case with Aaron Rodgers last season – and explains why many don’t realize how great the quarterback is as he prepares for his first game of the season this weekend.

Sixty-seven times last season Rodgers threw an accurate pass that was turned into an incompletion by his team-mate. Those 67 plays cost him at least 875 yards, the most in the league, and at least 11 touchdowns, again the most in the league. Explaining Rodgers’ struggles over the first five games of last season – when – is easy. Twenty of his 67 lost receptions came in those games, they cost him at least 273 yards and at least two touchdowns.

Take the play above from Week 1 against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Rodgers finished this game with 199 yards on 34 attempts. This play alone cost him 41 yards after Davante Adams dropped the ball. Not only that, Rodgers did everything perfectly. He bailed out of the pocket as pressure arrived before making an exceptional throw while moving to his left. The defender didn’t knock the ball away from Adams or hit his hands as the ball arrives. His presence alone is enough to make Adams fluff his responsibility.

Adams was a big problem throughout last season. His raw numbers were fine – he caught 12 touchdowns during the regular season – but no other quarterback in the league would have got those numbers from him. Adams cost Rodgers . Twenty-eight teams didn’t lose that many touchdowns to receiver error last year – Adams did it on his own. Rodgers can make a receiver like Adams productive because of his superhuman consistency making difficult plays.

When Rodgers’ receivers mess up, he simply creates another opportunity for a big play. This could be seen during the in last season’s playoffs. Rodgers set up the win with a brilliant throw (). But if we go back two plays before that incredible throw, we can see Cook ruining two more opportunities created by Rodgers’ outrageous skills. Most quarterbacks can’t make those thrchester City are worthy Premier League champions.The Citizens clinched back-to-back titles with Sunday’s win over the Seagulls, finishing one point ahead of Liverpool.And Murray thinks Pep Guardiola were the Premier League’s best team over the courseows once, never mind three times in a row when the game is on the line.

The above play is the first of the final drive. Cook runs down the seam and has safety Byron Jones on his inside shoulder. Rodgers recognizes this and throws a perfect backshoulder pass to Cook. He creates the separation for his tight end by putting the ball in a spot where the defender can’t see it but Cook can grab it. The difficulty of this throw is huge because the quarterback has to time and place the ball perfectly without an angle to work with. Cook had the easiest job but instead of catching the ball he clapped his hands to applaud the throw.

On the second throw, Rodgers is flushed from the pocket, Cook is blanketed in coverage, but the quarterback still puts the ball in the perfect spot. Byron Jones has his hand in front of Cook’s chest but Cook’s hands reach the ball first and he has a clean opportunity to catch the ball – but fails. Another great play from Rodgers, and another missed opportunity by his receiver. Cook eventually made the big play down the sideline to set up the game-winning field goal, but Rodgers is the only quarterback in the league who makes those three throws so consistently that his receivers’ limitations are almost completely ignored.

That precision Rodgers shows off making difficult throws translates to simpler throws too. I created , part of which charts an accuracy percentage. It’s a relatively simple idea. Accuracy percentage doesn’t look at whether the receiver caught the ball or not, it only judges the play based on where the ball was placed. None of the throws shown so far in this article were caught, but all would go down as accurate passes for the purposes of accuracy percentage.

Rodgers ranked third in overall accuracy percentage but when you break the numbers down based on where each pass was thrown, it becomes clear that he was the most accurate passer in the league.

In the above chart there is a random selection of the top quarterbacks from last season. Each column shows off the percentage to that yard range on the field as well as where that percentage ranked league-wide. Rodgers ranks in the top five in four of the six categories and the lowest he drops in any category is seventh. That is astonishing consistency. Brees was the closest to matching Rodgers while the rest of the league looked more like Rivers, Brady and Roethlisberger: quarterbacks who had great strengths in some areas but major weaknesses in others.

With that accuracy it’s no surprise that Rodgers has avoided interceptions at an incredible rate over the course of his career.

Eleven quarterbacks have thrown as many, or more, touchdowns as Rodgers has in his career (297). Of those 11 Rodgers has not only thrown the fewest interceptions (72) but if you doubled his interception total he would . Rodgers has thrown 4,657 passes in his career. He has been intercepted on 1.55% of thominent agent believes players will remain loyal to Manchester City are being treated extremely well over the years.City are in the process of appealing a two-season Champions League ban handed down by UEFA last week after they were found guilty of bose throws. Brady has a 1.85 interception percentage, no other quarterback in history who has thrown at least 4,500 passes . Rodgers is by far the best quarterback in NFL history at taking care of the ball and the Quarterback Catalogue charting re-emphasizes that. In 2015 he threw a pass that should have been intercepted once every 70.2 attempts, almost twice as good as the second-best quarterback, Sam Bradford. In 2016 he threw an interceptable pass once every 40.89 attempts, fifth-best in the league. None of the quarterbacks ahead of him were as productive and none of them consistently threw into tight windows as regularly or with as much success.

That precision plays a big role in Rodgers’ ability to avoid turning the ball over but that’s only part of it. He’s also a very intelligent quarterback, something that is regularly discussed, and possesses rare ability to maximize his pass protection with his footwork, something that is never discussed.

Rodgers has had all this success while playing in a scheme that doesn’t use a lot of play action or create a lot of yards after the catch. Twenty-eight quarterbacks used play action more often than Rodgers last year while 17 gained a higher percentage of their yards after the catch. It’s not a scheme that creates easy reads or changes every week to attack the specific weaknesses of its opponents. The only reason the Packers offense works is because it boasts the best quarterback in the . Quarterbacks in general don’t control as much as is suggested but those at the extremes — the Blake Bortles and Jared Goffs at the bottom, or the Tom Bradys and Aaron Rodgers at the top — can drag down or elevate everyone around them.

Because the NFL focuses more on counting Super Bowls and playoff victories when it comes to evaluating quarterbacks, Rodgers – with his one championship so far – will always be regarded as one of the best quarterbacks of his generation. That’s wrong: he’s the best quarterback of his generation.

Kieron Pollard’s poor show, the return of NFL and a Gaelic football curse

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1) Kieron Pollard attracted ire for bowling an in the Caribbean Super League, denying St Kitts’ Evin Lewis a chance at a century. Pollard’s no-ball sealed defeat for his Barbados team, leaving Lewis stranded on 97. Back in 2010, Sri Lanka’s Suraj Randiv was banned for one match for to Virender Sehwag.

2) This weekend sees a true Super Sunday, with the return of NFL and a long evening of becoming one with the sofa. The game of week one is Seattits that it would be a challenge for the club to keep Dwight McNeil if top teams come calling.The England under-21 midfielder is being linked with a move to the likes of Manchester United following his impressive displays this season.They want to keele at Green Bay, who memorably met in the 2014 NFastle United striker Ayoze Perez is a target for Napoli.The Northern Echo says sources in Napler a promotion at Chelsea.Chelsea are set to clear the decks for Frank Lampard with Maurizio Sarri’s entire coaching staff set to be released or reshuffled.The Chelsea-remove-Sarris-ENTIRE-coaching-team-Frank-Lampard-set-bring-Jody-Morris.html”>Daily s suggest the Italian giants have been watching Perez over the second half of the campaign.And apart from being near the top of Napoli’s wishlist, he is alC Championship Game. That comeback overtime win for the Seahawks involving , , , and will be hard to top. Red Zone has us covered if the Carolina Panthers utility back (montage warning) gets going, or Cincinnati Bengals punter Kevin Huber . Finally, and the worst of pre-season:

3) It’s been a big week for sports that may not actually be sports. There was the and a in – where else – Germany. Central Europe is also the spiritual home of Kaninhop, or rabbit show jumping. That’s right. Enjoy , and even .

4) T20 Blast finals day threw up some stunning catches. Perhaps the best was from Birmingham captain Grant Elliot to dismiss Glamorgan’s Colin Ingram with a . Birmingham eventually lost the final to Notts as Samit Patel to their second white-ball trophy of the season:

5) In Ireland, the GAA season is reaching its climax. In the All-Ireland hurling final, for their first title since 1988. In the Gaelic football final, Mayo will take on Dublin looking which has seen the county lose eight finals since 1951. Last year, they in a draw with Dublin, then lost the replay – so maybe there’s something in it. And if you think that’s unbelievable – here’s Chris Kamara in County Tyrone.

6) Syria’s brave bid to reach the World Cup looked over with the side 2-1 down in Iran – but a late equaliser saw the war-ravaged nation into a play-off with Australia, and it all .

1) In 1964-65, newly promoted Leeds made a surprise title bid, but because there was no TV gantry at Elland Road, they didn’t appear on Match of the Day . Leeds won 2-1 but lost the title to Manchester United, and Norman Hunter was on the receiving end of some very un-Arsenal language (at 38.35, should you want to avoid it).

2) Ali Mabkhout and Ahmed Khalil score two beauties for UAE in their World Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia:

3) Guy goes surfing … .

4) Here’s a nice way to .

5) And finally, New Mexico State’s wide receiver Jaleel Scott makes an .

StuartRG, whobroughtoranges, BlackCaeser, garethr,

Guardian YouTube sport channel

Dak Prescott continues strong start to lead Cowboys past Bears

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Dak Prescott led scoring drives on all four Dallas possessions in the first half before throwing his first career touchdown pass, and the Cowboys beat the 31-17 on Sunday night to snap an eight-game home losing streak.

With his second straight win, Prescott doubled the number of victories the Cowboys (2-1) had in 14 games without injured quarterback Tony Romo over three seasons before the rookie fourth-round pick showed up.

Prescott’swas a 17-yarder to Dez Bryant for a 31-10 lead in the fourth quarter, and he’s up to 99 throws without an interception to starenging Arsenal for Sampdoria defender Joachim Anderson.Arsenal have failed with two offers for the stopper and the Denmark international is open to a departure.Gazzetta dello Sport says Juventus, Tottenham, Arsenal and Lyon are all in contact with Sat his career.has 102, and those are the two highest career-opening totals in NFL history.

Brian Hoyer had trouble moving the Chicago offense early with Jay Cutler sidelined by a sprained right thumb as the Bears fell behind 24-3 at halftime and dropped to 0-3 for the second time in two seasons under coach John Fox.

Making his 27th career start for his fourth different team, Hoyer was 30 of 49 for 317 yards — a good portion of that with the game out of each late in the fourth quarter — and threw for two scores to Zach Miller.

Rookie fourth overall pick Ezekiel Elliott had his first 100-yard game for Dallasnged the format of the tournament which will now be played once every four years.That means Liverpool – who beat Tottenham 2-0 in Saturday’s Euro showdown- will eventually face world’s best clubs.But not earlier than in 2021 – when the competition is, finishing with 140 yards on 30 carries and awhen he hurdled safety Chris Prosinski.

It didn’t even bother Prescott that Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith missed just the second game of his six-year career after his back tightened up during the week.

Prescott was 19 of 24 for 248 yards in Dallas’ first home win since last year’s opener, which was a Usmanov and Farhad Moshiri – for naming rights to a new ground.The Toffees revealed plans to build a new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.The club confirmedAlisher Usmanov’s holding company, USM, will pay the club £30m this year for the option of becomweek before the first of two broken left collarbones that kept Romo out of 12 games last season. Romo is expected to miss about another month after breaking a bone in his back in the preseason.

Prescott hadfor the Cowboys, who have seven this season after getting eight all of last year, when they finished 4-12.

Because the Bears fell behind again, they couldn’t do much with the running game. They had just 15 carries for 73 yards and lost leading rusher Jeremy Langford to an ankle injury in the second half.

Ryder Cup 2016: US face pressure test as Darren Clarke backs young team

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For all that the involves two sides, it is difficult to deviate from the notion that the narrative of this, the 41st playing of the event, focuses mainly onone.

The desire of the United States to end a dismal run against Europe has taken them from one luminary, Tom Watson, to a taskforce and renaissance man in the form of . The US wildcard process has been modified, Tiger Woods has completed a journey of full circle from Ryder Cup indifference to the heart of the backroom team and an already fevered scenario has been ramped up even further. One is left to wonder what on earth the Americans will do if they have not wrestled back the Ryder Cup when time is called at Hazeltine next Sunday. Abandon all hope, perhaps.

US favouritism may be merited on the basis they have, on paper, the stronger team. They are also at home, but determination can become desperation pretty easily and to a team’s detriment. The involvement of Woods and Phil Mickelson may present Love with an issue over strong personalities above whom he should, in theory, exert authority. One glance at US preparations reveals a seriousness that has so often proved their undoing.

The Europeans have no need whatsoever to modify a team approach that has leaving Tottenham.Kicker says Vertonghen has not featured under Mauricio Pochettino this season despite making 22 appearances last term.Pochettino seems to have axed the Belgian from his first-team plans after several contract refusals from the playereturned the Ryder Cup three times in succession. In Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson, Martin Kaymer and Sergio García they have a formidable backbone. Lee Westwood would cherish celebrating his 10th appearance with yet another win. For all the fresh-faced nature of the European contingent has been heavily played upon, there is a natural team evolution that need not necessarily be harmful. One of Darren Clarke’s rookies, Daity are moving for PSG striker Kylian Mbappe.El Pais says, however, PSG will attempt to block a huge offer from City for Mbappe by offering him a whopping £860,000-a-week new contract.However, it all depends on Barcelona buying back wantaway Neymar nny Willett, is .

“It’s unquestionable that it’s going to be a very, very big task ahead of us,” Clarke said. “Davis’s team is also shaping up very, very strongly. But with this team, those guys have earned their right to be on the team. They have embraced the challenge. They have got on there and they are world-class players in their own right.

“With adding Thomas Pieters to that list, there are six rookies there, but with the talent that they all possess, I’ve got no worries at all about the strength of that team going to America. I’m proud of that team. It’s a team that’s going to go there and do everything we possibly can to bring that trophy back home again.”

The fearsome length of Hazeltine – it can stretch to 7,600 yards – will only have been intensified by the deluge of rain that has battered that corner of Minnesota in recent days. Still, it would be curious if Love insisted upon the venue playing at its full distance. A slog fest appeals to nobody; birdie and eagle putts to win holes provide enduri form slump after defeat at home to Tottenham.The Hammers held their own for 36 minutes in Jose Mourinho’s first game in charge of the visitors, only to concede twice before half-time to Heung-min Son and Lucas Moura.Harry Kane’s header seemingly putng Ryder Cup memories.

“If we don’t win, if Europe doesn’t win, Darren and I are going to have a lot of explaining to do,” said Love. “That’s part of it. But we’re used to the pressure. We’re used to wins and losses. One thing [the sport psychologist] Bob Rotella told me: if you’re going to base your happiness on winning and losing, golf is not a good sport to be in because you’re going to lose a lot. Tiger Woods has won more than anybody but he’s lost a lot of tournaments.

“But we enjoy the challenge and we love being on the stage and you’ve got to take the wins with the losses. I certainly hope that these 12 guys understand that this is their team. It’s not about me. I’m not playing. Tiger Woods is not playing.”

Mickelson is and, coincidentally, the USA’s horror shows have matched the left-hander’s involvement. Mickelson first featured in the Ryder Cup of 1995; in 10 appearances, the USA has won twice. Two years ago Mickelson’s provided an epic Gleneagles denouement. But here is the crunch; having been so outspoken and taken on increased prominence thereafter, Mickelson has a pressure of his own to deliver.

Since announcing his captain’s picks in late August, Clarke has been absent from the public eye. A perfectionist to the point of obsession on occasion – there is no chance whatsoever of a Medinah/Rory McIlroy-esque timing issue at Hazeltine – Clarke will leave nothing to chance. By his own admission, though, the challenge is a formidable one, not least because the next European captain who does not continue a run of glory will automatically be criticised.

There is logic behind bookmakers having a fancy for the US. There is considerably more in the sense that such an outcome would benefit the Ryder Cup as a whole. Nonetheless, recent history has served valuable lessons; they all intensify focus on Love and his players. Three intense days will tell whether or not Europe can quietly benefit from that.

USA’s Kayla Harrison wins second straight Olympic judo gold

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This time was nothing like 2012. But nothing would ever be like 2012. For on that July day in London when Kayla Harrison went from unknown to American judo sensation, everything exploded inside her: the sexual abuse from of a previous coach, the years of fighting to prove herself strong and the realization that she was the first US woman to win a judo gold. She ran. She jumped. She screamed. She cried. Rare has been the Olympian who celebrated the way Kayla Harrison celebrated when she got her first gold medal.

On Wednesday she still ran and jumped and screamed. Just not as much. Instead, she stood on the medal stand and sang the Star Spangled Banner. The women beside her must have heard. Half the arena might have heard. But she has long shed any sense of shame. The anthem was playing, she wanted to sing, what elloway has hit out at criticism of Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.Holloway thinks that any criticism of the United boss has ‘unbelievably harsh’.He told the TheSackRace: “I’m a bit sick and fed up of it to be honest. He’s earned his slse would you expect from a friend of Ronda Rousey, who might soon join her in the UFC?

“I’m a woman of many talents and singing is one of them,” she said. “You should have seen me dancing.”

Harrison is the kind of story every parent of every girl should want to tell their daughters. Like Rousey the UFC star who won a bronze in the 2008 Beijing Games, she is a survivor, a fighter and a woman who refuses to believe gender defines anyone in a combat sport. Before London she repeatedly told the story of how a former coach, Daniel Doyle, sexually abused her and how she finally reported the abuse and moved away to Boston where the famed judo father and son team of James and Jimmy Pedro built her into an Olympian. After London she became an essential voice on sexualalks with Carlo Ancelotti to become their new manager.The Italian was sacked by Napoli just an hour after he helped the club advance to the Champions League knockout stages.Ancelotti was with the Serie A club for 19 months.Sky Sports says Arsenal are abuse, starting a foundation for victims that she called “Fearless”.

Her fights on Wednesday in the 78kg division were indeed fearless. Her Olympicond half of the Club World Cup final against Flamengo.Before victory was secured in extra-time, the midfielder appeared to suffer an ankle injury in a tackle and was on visible distress on the turf.A stretcher was brought on and it looked as if Oxlacs was fearless. Her closest fight was the gold medal match when she forced France’s Audrey Tcheuméo to tap out with only three seconds left. She ran off the mat and leaped into Jimmy Pedro’s arms. She tried to jump into the stands. She draped herself in an American flag and she threw back her head and screamed.

When she finally stopped she said the last four years since London had been “the hardest of my life”. There had been the pressure to repeat, the demands she appear at every judo tournament everywhere and push and struggle to maintain her elite status. There, too, was the aching left knee that turned out to be a ligament issue and required a reconstruction in 2013. Nothing was easy. Everything hurt. Many times she wanted to stop. “I didn’t think she would come back from that,” Pedro said. And yet she did.

“When I showed up today I knew I had worked harder than everybody and no one was going to take that away from me,” she said.

Then came the UFC questions. Harrison gets these almost daily now. Given the way Rousey has gone from a judo bronze to superstardom, the natural assumption is that Harrison will too. Back in March she told the Guardian she had two post-judo career choices She did not say what the other was then, though she has talked in the past about wanting to be a firefighter. She was uncharacteristically vague about a UFC future on Wednesday, saying she wanted to enjoy her second gold medal for a few days before deciding on her next pursuit. Whatever that is, it won’t be judo. “I’m retired,” she said.

She may have to decide if she likes hitting people or being hit. Many non-boxers cannot adjust to this aspect of MMA fighting. She has said in the past that this is something she was still getting used to during her few ventures into the sport.

But all of that is for another day. The UFC can wait.

“I’m sure they were watching today,” she said. “If they weren’t, they were missing out.”

Someone asked about the “Fearless” shirt some family members wore in the stands on Wednesday. She smiled and she said this was a constant reminder for not only herself but the children who who are helped by her foundation. The words is more than just a collection of letters, she said, it’s a mindset, a belief, a beacon.

“I want these boys and girls to feel fearless and to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel and a gold medal too,” she said.

“And maybe two gold medals.”

Then she laughed again.

Athletes disappointed to find Pokémon Go inaccessible at Rio Olympics

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So the plumbing and electricity in the athletes’ village took several days to fix. Who cares?

But no ? That’s an outrage!

If there were ever a more “first world problem” for the Zika-plagued, water-polluted Rio Olympics, it’s Brazil’s lack of access to the hit mobile game, which has united players the world over.

Since to wild adulation in the United States, Australia and New Zealand this month, the game from Google spinoff Niantic Inc has spread like wildfire, launching in more than 30 countries or territories – but not Brazil.

For athletes and other visitors caught up in the wave, not having access is just one more knock against an Olympics that officials are racing to get ready. The opening ceremony takes place on Friday.

“I wish I could run around in the [athletes’] village catching Pokémon,” New Zealand soccer player Anna Green said. “I just can’t get it on the phone. It’s fine, but it would have been something fun to do.”

What will she do instead? “Train,” she replied.

Niantic didn’t reply to a request for comment on when the game might be released in Brazil. Ao Martinez says he deserves a shot at being their No1.Martinez has thrown down the gauntlet to team-mate Bernd Leno, after he claimed to be the more capable of the two keepers. Speaking to the Arsenal En America podcast this week, Martinez said: “He nd though social media rumours point to a Sunday release for the game, similar rumours in Japan resulted in heightened expectations and the sense of delay before its debut there last week.

This week, British canoer Joe Clarke – with a broken-hearted sad face – a screenshot of his player on a deserted map near the rugby, equestrian and modern pentathlon venues in Rio’s Deodoro neighborhood. The map was devoid of PokéStops – fictional supply caches linked to real-world landmarks. No Pokémon monsters to catch either: There was nary a Starmie nor a Clefairy to be found.

“Sorry guys no #pokemon in the Olympic Village,” French canoer Matthieu Peche, followed by three crying-face emoji. Getting equal billing in his Twitter stream was a snapshot of a letter of encouragement from French President Francois Hollande.

Players with the app already downloaded elsewhere appear to be able to see a digital map of their surroundings when they visit Rio. But without Pokéstops or Pokémon, the game isn’t much fun. It would be like getting on a football field – soccer to Americans – but not having a ball to kick or goals to defend.

Many competitors in the athletes’ village took it in stride, though. Canadian field hockey player Matthew Sarmento said it would give him more time to meet other athletes. But he would have welcomed Pokémon during downtime in competition, adding that “sometimes it’s good to take your mind off the important things and let yourself chill”.

Athletes might not get Pokémon, but they’ll have access to 450,000 condoms, or three times as many as the London Olympics. Of those, 100,000 are female condoms. Officials deny that it’s a response to the Zika virus, which has been linked to miscarriages and birth defects in babies born to women who have been infected.

In Pokémon countries like the US, Pokéstops are being used to attract living, breathing customers. In San Francisco, for example, dozens of bars, restaurants and coffee shops have set up lures that attract rare Pokémon, along with potential new patrons looking to catch them.

That’s presumably one reason why Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes – plagued by a host of bad news from player robberies to faulty plumbing – urged Niantic investor Nintendo to release the game in Brazil.

“Everybody is coming here. You should also come!” Paes , adding the hashtag #PokemonGoNoBrasil – “Pokémon Go” in Brazil.

His post generated responses such as this: “The aquatic PoJong says the players are still adjusting after a midseason change of coach.Quique Setien has been in the job for a couple of weeks now, having succeeded Ernesto Valverde, and De Jong was asked to compare the two.”There are differences,” the Dutchmankémon died with superbugs.”

Paes didn’t respond to requests for interviews.

One video circulating virally, with more than 3.5m views, shows one fan identifying himself as Joel Vieira questioning how Brazil can host the Olympics but not Pokémon.

“I can’t play! I am not allowed to know how it really feels to see the little animals on my cell phone,” he said . “Because we don’tl.The midfielder penned undisclosed terms this morning.Emery told Arsenal’s website: “Joe has progressed a lot in the last year. “He is technically strong and has shown the confidence to take responsibility and play his game whatever the occasion or have it in Brazil, yet. But we are having the Olympics.”

The Olympics kick off next Friday. Will Pikachu be there to witness it? The world is watching with baited Poké-breath.