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Kyrgios clashes with tennis authorities again in US Open row over shirt message

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Nick Kyrgios courted more controversy at the US Open before his second-round match against Antoine Hoang had begun.

The Australian, already in hot water this week , was told to fold his collar down because the motto written underneath it, “Just Do You”, apparently contravened the rules.

Kyrgios called the match supervisor and asked what the rule was. “I’m not going to play until you show me the rule,” he told the supervisor. “I want to know the rule. I want to see the rule. I’ve seen shirts worse.”

He also had another of his familiar tantrums in the third set after the umpire allowed a Hoang challenge having previously called game.

The 24-year-old demanded the supervisor came back onto the court to explain that rule as well.

“I’d won the game. He called game then my opponent challenged. I thought that wasn’t right,” he said. “[The collar] I think it was a misunderstanding. I think they thought it was a slogan but it wasn’t. I knew the supervisor was wrong, but I just folded my collar down.”

The 24-year-old was later told he could di Cutrone.Nuno was happy with the former AC Milan striker for their Europa League win over Pyunik.He said, “Positive performance, as already with Leicester. “Monday will be tough, Manchester United will put us to the test, I’m happy with the ethics ansplay the logo in future matchesEvening Standard says the 19-year-old, who can operate in midfield or defence, is currently on loan at German side RB Leipzig but he has struggled for action.Ampadu has made just five appearances for them this season and it has alerted other clubs to at Flushing Meadows.

He defeated French wildcard 6-4, 6-2, 6-4, and will next meet Andrey Rublev of Russia. Kyrgios already faces two ATP investigations for his conduct during and after his previous two matches and New York.

On Wednesday he called the ATP was long loan.Sky Sports News says a move back to Bramall Lane has been agreed and will be confirmed this week.The United keeper spent last season on loan with the Blades and helped them earn promotion to the Premier League. Henderson is expected to sig“pretty corrupt” for fining him $117,000 for his outburst in Cincinnati a fortnight ago, then back-tracked in accused the governing body of having “double standards” following his first-round win.

Second seed Rafael Nadal moved into the third round after Thanasi Kokkinakis withdrew ahead of their night session encounter with a shoulder injury.

Alexander Zverev came through yet another gruelling five-setter to reach the third round, coming through against American Frances Tiafoe, just two days after going the distance against Radu Albot.

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.

Daniel Dubois: ‘Boxing is my calling and so I have no fear of getting hurt’

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There is a statue of a dead boxer outside the Peacock Gym in Canning Town. In this gritty little corner of east London the gold inscription on black marble reads: “In loving memory of Bradley Stone – A brave young man who died in the pursuit of his dreams.” Stone was 23 , and a British title fight against Richie Wenton, in April 1994. He was a super-bantamweight who trained at this very gym.

Twenty-five years later the new Peacock prodigy is a young heavyweight who cuts a much more formidable figure. walks past this reminder of boxing’s dangers every day. Born three and a half years after Stone died, and dreaming of becoming a world heavyweight champion, Dubois is entitled to ignore these haunting echoes of the past.

“A lot of things can do damage,” he says, quietly. “I look at it differently. is my calling and so I have no fear of getting hurt.”

After knocking out eight of the men he has beaten in , is he ever concerned about causing lasting ange after a knee injury to Calum Chambers.The defender suffered the injury in Sunday’s loss to Chelsea at the Emirates.A prognosis has yet to be given but there are fears Chambers could face a lengthy spell on the sidelines.“We will discuss in thedamage to an opponent? “I never worry about that. I never take that into consideration. When I’m in a ring, I’m there to hurt you. That’s the objective in a fight. Your wellbeing is not my concern.”

Does he feel excited when he hurts his opponent? “Yeah,” he says with a soft exclamation which makes it unsurprising to learn is his favourite fighter. “Definitely. That embodies boxing. He took it to an extreme level but in this game people get hurt and their lives are are confident they can beat Tottenham Hotspur.The two Premier League clubs will clash in the Champions League final on June 1.After beating Spurs twice already this season, Matip believes the Reds can do it again.”It was a great season and we can fion the line. Tyson was my boxing hero. I took a shine to his ferociousness. I’m trying to use that to inspire me.”

Dubois is a much calmer presence than the Tyson I remember from past . But he harbours a similar relish for his dark and often chaotic calling. “I feel like, as boxers, we’re not like normal people. After a while doing this, you get that buzz. It can be wild and out of control. I have to try to control myself. That’s what boxing is about – control.”

Dubois is 21 but his reputation is growing. There have long been rumours he floored Anthony Joshua when they sparred a few years ago and that speculation flared again last week. Jarrell Miller, the talkative American who calls himself Big Baby, will be in New York on 1 June. In hyping a fight for which he will be the overwhelming underdog, Big Baby has done lots of yapping. and boasted about flying Dubois to New York to help him prepare for this world title fight: “I wanna say one name,” Miller stressed. “I heard the kid’s a badass – Daniel Dubois. I like the kid a lot. He’s thumped AJ a couple times in the gym.”

Unlike Miller or Tyson, Dubois is not a great talker. This could be down to his age but, I suspect, owes more to the fact he is a detached character. Dubois is less interested in Big Baby and New York than hearing that Tyson told me his hardest opponent was always himself. “Definitely. So much of boxing is to do with your mental state. Evander Holyfield talks about spirit. I definitely have that spirit and feel like I’ve got something special inside me. It’s about me bringing it out, controlling it and using it to become world champion.”

Will that spirit emerge fully only in adversity? “Probably. Sometimes you need to learn hard lessons. You have to look deep within yourself to bring out your best.”

What is the hardest facet of boxing? “Keeping control. Staying disciplined and in control is not easy.”

Even though Dubois starts smiling I sense the struggle to control himself when I ask about his infamous spar with Joshua. “I’m not going into that. We had a good spar and that launched my pro career. So I’ve got good memories from that sparring session when I was with the GB [amateur] squad. I caught him with some big shots. He was good work for me.”

Did he knock Joshua down? Dubois laughs, making faces to tell me his lips are sealed. He shrugs cheerfully when I say I’ll take his response as a yes. I’ve heard a big left wobbled Joshua and, apparently, put him down. “Yeah, it was a good shot.”

Was Joshua shocked by his power? “Every fighter I’ve fought has been shocked by my power.”

Did he feel Joshua’s power? “He’s a big man, throwing punches with bad intentions. You feel it. Every punch is hard. It was about avoiding them, being quick.”

Does he like being called a “badass” by Big Baby? “No. It’s irrelevant. I’m going to New York to get a wider glimpse of the world and boxing. Big Baby carries a lot of weight but he’s obviously done enough to earn a title shot. But, right now, the top heavyweights in the world are in England. America’s had its time at the top. It’s not like in Tyson’s day.”

Who does he think is the best of the three unbeaten heavyweights at the peak of his division – Joshua, Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder? “I’d go with the guy who’s got most of the belts. Joshua. He’s just ahead of Fury and Wilder but they’re all good. They need to fight each other. Then we’ll see who is the last man standing.”

How is Joshua after all the knockdown talk? “He’s fine. He understands it’s not personal. We don’t want to hurt each other outside but, in the ring, that’s our mentality. I also like Tyson Fury. We sparred once and he was very tricky. He’s got it all upstairs but I did OK and he did an interview straight after and called me an up-and-coming world champion.”

When will he be ready to challenge Fury and Joshua? “Probably in two years. I’m building towards those huge fights.”

Some boxing insiders believe Dubois turned pro too soon and he would have benefited from learning more at the highest level of amateur boxing. He fights for the 10th time as a professional on Friday at the Royal Albert Hall against .

“On paper he’s my most experienced opponent. He’s pretty tall, mobile, capable, but he’s not a hard puncher. I’m going out there to destroy him.”

It’s hard to know how good Dubois might be until he gets hit hard himself. He might crumble or he might prove to be as impressive as the hype suggests. Unlike his gifted sister Caroline, however, Dubois is not unbeaten. “I lost six times from when I was 11 to 18. I tried to bring out the emotion but I never cried. I thought: ‘What’s wrong with me?’ But I lost doing my best.”

Caroline won the Olympic youth lightweight title last year, aged 17. Her dazzling skills prompted the BBC’s venerable commentator Mike Costello to say: “I am tempted to .” Unbeaten in almost 40 amateur fights, Caroline also stuns her big brother with her talent and commitment.

“She’s so disciplined. Caroline puts me to shame sometimes. The way she’s so hard-working amazes me. We are close and [among a family of 11 children] seven of us still live together in Greenwich. Me, Caroline and our brother Prince are boxers. Prince is only six so this is a bit premature but he will be a world champion.”

It might be hard to believe but Dubois claims that, in his late teens, he would do press-ups on his knuckles for three hours without stopping. He shows me his deeply scarred knuckles. “I would do thousands of press-ups in three hours. I now only do 30 minutes in a row.”

How could he withstand the pain for a barely credible three hours? “I’m single-minded. When you get past it, pain is nothing.”

He takes off his shirt for the photo and shows off his imposing physique. I ask Dubois about Miller’s allegations that Joshua might have used performance-enhancing drugs – which the Briton . But Dubois’s friendly trainer Martin Bowers leans in: “We don’t talk about that.”

Surely there are concerns about doping and boxing? “We get tested a lot in this country,” Dubois says. “I was tested two weeks ago.”

There are other demons in boxing. Any man closing in on the world heavyweight title is bound to be stalked by admirers and hangers-on – few with good intentions. “I see them comimes has already gone through ankle surgery after his injury against Tottenham.Gomes seriously hurt his ankle after a Heung-Min Son tackle led him to awkwardly collide with Serge Aurier.But the club says he has gone through a procedure and is now recong over the hill,” Dubois says, wryly. “But they’re not here yet.”

Does he have a girlfriend? “I was seeing a girl recently but boxing’s so demanding I can’t afford to waste much time. You need a tailor‑made woman but it’s hard to find anyone who would understand this dedication. I need to be controlled – no messing around before a fight.”

The ring is darkened while Dubois shadowboxes. It’s raining outside, making the green ivy and red bricks around Stone’s statue glisten. The fallen fighter’s gloved hands are raised while, on the inscription, he is hailed as a “Little Gem” who is “Forever as proud as a Peacock”.

The same raw and compelling dreams of big fights and world titles roll on in this small corner of Canning Town.

Danielle Collins: the feisty US college star causing upsets at the Australian Open

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Early in on Tuesday, Danielle Collins challenged a line call that had gone in her opponent’s favor. Her challenge was incorrect, and a frustrated Collins complained loudly about the outcome. That reaction was unsurprising: during her run to the semi-finals, Collins has established herself as someone unafraid to make her opponents uncomfortable. Before now Collins had never won a main draw match at a major, and her boldness is one of the reasons she is deep into the second week in Melbourne.

Collins hasn’t exactly come out of nowhere – she is the world No 35 – but the casual tennis fan can be forgiven for having no idea who this vocal, unflinching American is. The 25-year-old was ranked 162nd a year ago, before she put together wins over Madison Keys on her way to the quarters at Indian Wells, Coco Vandeweghe and Venus Williams during a semi-final run in Miami, Victoria Azarenka en route to another semi-final in San Jose, and Carla Suárez-Navarro in Eastbourne.

The reason she is finding success relatively late on is simple: education. Rather than turn pro as a teenager, Collins attended the University of Virginia and graduated in 2016 with an undergraduate degree in media and a masters in business. She was national college champion twice and is the first former collegiate female player to make a major semi-final since Meredith McGrath did so at Wimbledon in 1996. She cites her college experience as a at the Australian Open as she was given the chance to mature before embarking on the grueling professional tour.

“I think not being a superstar at a young age certainly humbled me, made me work harder for things,” . “I was talented and athletic, but maybe not to the level that other players were at, like, 14, 15, 16. Not being a child prodigy, I went a different route. I wasn’t really sure if I could make it playing professional tennis when I was that age. Going to college was really crucial for me and my development. I think it’s made me hungrier.”

It shows, especially in her wins against Pavyluchenkova and in the last 16, during which the 2016 champion only won two games. At one point Collins repeated the German’s “come on!” yell after winning a point – except louder and more purposefully. It was a cry that teetered close to provocation.

She knows not everyone appreciates her on-court temperament – habits inherited from the rowdy environment of college matches – but she thrives on that discomfort, admitting: “I’m feisty. I love making it kiny Ings.The veteran frontman played a pivotal role as his side picked up a key victory against Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday.Ings has seven goals in seven games, and is the third Saints player to ever score 10 Premier League goals befnd of a war. If somebody wants to get in my face on my unforced errors, I have no problem getting right back at them and making it a feisty match.” Her confidence on the court is as enjoyable to watch as her main weapon: her two-handed backhand. Indeed, it’s almost more fun to witness her succeed because she is so unapologetic.

At points, her boldness can come across as gamesmanship. Against Pavlyuchenkova she twice “forgot” new balls had been put in play and lost a point before realizing she hadn’t changed racquets to accommodate springier balls. The second time, late in the match, Pavlyuchenkova complained Collins was violating the serve clock by heading to the bench in the middle of a game to fetch her racquet. One instance, Pavlyuchenkova appeared to be suggesting, could have by moved to Juve in the summer on a free transfer, but has found it difficult to get game time.The Italian champions have a packed midfield and Rabiot is often the odd one out under Maurizio Sarri.Footmercato says Everton have contacted Rabiot’s motheeen a reasonable mistake but the second was harder to chalk up to forgetfulness.

Are her on-court escapades and interview soundbites merely her media degree emerging as another weapon in her arsenal? Or is it just her distinctive personality working to her advantage on a tour where she is a comparatively uninhibited player?

It is most likely a mix, and that mindset has got her close to winning a major. On her third match-point against Pavlyuchenkova her victory came on a slight delay when the Russian challenged the call. This time the challenge went Collins’s way and she got loud once again, screams accenting fist pumps as she celebrated. She’ll next play the two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in a rematch of a loss in Brisbane a few weeks ago, which Collins said was “one of the best matches I’ve played”, despite the outcome.

After dispatching Kerber, Collins admitted in her on-court interview: “I may not have won a grand slam match before this week but I gotta tell you, I think it’s gonna keep happening.” Her prediction hasn’t been disproved yet, and that confidence now has her two matches from on-loan with Killie this season.“The person who deals with players on loan from Liverpool came up to watch me when we played Hearts away,” he told the Kilmarnock Standard.“He said I was good, he said I was defensively decent and going forward I the title.

Steve Bartman, America’s most infamous fan, receives Cubs redemption

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Steve Bartman, the fan vilified and blamed for ending the team’s championship hopes in 2003, has been awarded a World Series rinew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold.The young pair were outstanding in their Champions League triumph last season.”Both Andy and Trent [Alexander-Arnold] on the other side had incredible seasons,” Warnock told Liverpoolfc.com.”I think last seasong to commemorate Chicago’s title win last year.

The Cubs were mired in their legendary title drought – – when Bartman made his mark on history in 2003. The team appeared to be headed for the World Series when he stretched out to catch a foul ball with the Cubs leading late in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series against the Miami Marlins. Bartman instead deflected the ball away from a Cubs fielder, the Marlins came back to win the game and then sealed a place in the World Series with victory in Game 7.

Bartman’s name later appeared online, and he and his family were given police protection. The governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, . The incident was infamous enough for ESPN to make a in 2011. Bartman, still scarred by the abuse he had received, chose not to appear.

Cubs management and players have repeatedly stated that Bartman was not to blame for the incident, and on Monday the team’s owner, Tom Ricketts, presented him with a championship ring.

“On behalf of the entire Cubs organization, we are honored to present a 2016 World Series Championship Ring to Mr Steve Bartman,” Ricketts and the Cubs said in a statement. “We hope this provides ardi is successfully rebuilding his relationship with the Inter Milan locker room, it has been revealed.The striker angered many senior teammates over the way he refused to take part in training for over a month after being sacked as captain in Februclosure on an unfortunate chapter of the story that has perpetuated throughout our quest to win a long-awaited World Series.

“While no gesture can fully lift the public burden he has endured for more than a decade, we felt it was important Steve knows he has been and continues to be fully embraced by this organization. After all he has sacrificed, we are proud to recognize Steve Bartman with this gift today.”

For Bartman, who has been haunted by the incident, and has kept a low-profile for the last 14 years there was relief. “I humbly receive the ring not only as a symbol of one of the most historic achievements in sports, but as an important reminder for how we should treat each other in today’s society,” he said in a statement. “My hope is that we all can learn from my experience to view sports as entertainment and prevent harsh scapegoating, and to challenge the media and opportunistic profiteers to conduct business ethically by respecting personal privacy rights and not exploit any individual to advance their own self-interest or economic gain.”

The move was also welcomed by players. The former Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster toldndan Rodgers has admitted to being disappointed by their January transfer window.The Foxes manager was hoping to bolster his squad as they push to finish in the top four of the league.Rodgers knows that his team will face tough tests in the second ha the Chicago Tribune: “I guess that is closure at its finest … To do something like that for Steve Bartman, who got ridiculed for something that any fan would have done, is pretty awesome.”

USA score three goals in nine minutes to win Brazil thriller 4-3

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Julie Ertz came off the bench and scored in the 89th minute as the United States overcame a late two-goal deficit to beat Brazil 4-3 on Sunday night in a thrilling match at the Tournament of Nations. The United States were in danger of losing for the fourth time this year before the three-goal flurry in nine minutes.

Two minutes after Brazil’s Andressinha scored a free kick in the 78th minute for her second goal of the game, Christen Press countered to make it 3-2 with her 43rd internatio Tottenham’s squad for their Champions League trip to Red Star Belgrade.Son was left traumatised after his tackle led to Andre Gomes’ horrific injury at Everton on Sunday. But he was named in the squad which flew out to the Serbian capital this morninal goal and second of the year. Press fed Megan Rapinoe for a spectacular blast that tied it in the 85th minute, and Ertz put the Americans ahead four minutes later.

Rapinoe, who was recovering from knee surgery for much of last year, had not scored for the national team since the 2015 World Cup. She has rebounded this season with the NWSL’s Seattle Reign and leads the league with 12 goals.

The United States were coming off in the team’s Tournament of Nations opener in Seattle on Thursday night. It was the first time that the Australians had beaten the Americans in 28 previous matches.

Coach Jill Ellis tinkered with her line-up against Brazil, surprisingly moving Becky Sauerbrunn to a defensive midfielder role rather than her usual spot at center back. The United States has never dropped four games on home soil in a single season. In addition to Australia on Thursday, the Americans fell to England and France in the She Believes Cup in March.

Australia, ranked No7 in the world, lead the tournament standings.l has had a slow start to the season.Lampard said today, “I have four wingeat’s on the advice of former United midfielder Kleberson.”I don’t think it would be great for Maddison to join United,” the World Cup winner told US-Bookies.com.”They [Leicester] have had a good start to the season but when you do a big jump from a srs to choose from. They’re all fit. We all forget Christian has just turned 21 because of the price tag and because he’s come through from a very young age. It’s normal to exp The Matildas will wrap up the round-robin tournament against Brazil on Thursday in Carson, California. The United States will face Japan.

Why are foreign soccer stars buying up lower league teams in the US?

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For years, the foreign soccer star was a fleeting sight on American soil: they came, they partied, they played a few games and then … they left. Now though, they’re not just passing through on an or seeing out their careers in MLS. A new wave of stars are putting down roots by investing in America’s professional game.

But it’s not the top league – MLS – that they’re interested in. They’re throwing themselves into second-tier competitions such as the and . They’re either joining fledgling, ambitious outfits, as , or creating new clubs altogether: , while Demba Ba, Eden Hazard, Yohan Cabaye and Moussa Sow recently co-founded a San Diego club .

Many American fans, to the extent that they think about the lower rungs of professional soccer at all, imagine ropey matches played in front of sparse crowds at small-college stadiums. The reality is that the experience varies widely: FC Cincinnati, for example, regularly pull in more than 20,000 fans. Still: for stars used to playing in massive stadiums to a worldwide audience, why start so small (Drogba’s Phoenix Rising play in a stadium with a capacity of 6,200)? The answer lies not only in the game’s potential in America, but also the idiosyncrasies of Stateside soccer.

For starters, MLS is a single-entity structure. It’s centrally owned and shares revenue among its teams. This business model, created from lessons learned in the aftermath of the supernova-like collapse of the Pelé and Johan Cruyff-era , has ensured the long-term health of the league. Its critics, however, say that “owning” an MLS team really means owning the rights to a team: owners essentially buy membership into the league, and agree to its terms. Likewise, every MLS player technically has a contract with the league, not with his club. For European-based players who’ve spent their lives in the system used by the rest of the world, where branding, commercialization and player transfers are the revenue-generating engines of clubs, this can all seem especially – yes – foreign.

And then there’s the cost: the franchise fee to join MLS is $150m. In addition to that, the league demands that expansion teams play in a soccer-specific stadium. In other words, to simply get a meeting with Major League Soccer requires proof you have over $100m at your disposal; the ability to build or renovate a stadium; and the full cooperation of a city government. And that’s before you put together a team of players technically owned by someone else.

Now compare that with the second-tier. For less than $10m and an agreement to rent a stadium, you’re in business. The most vivid real-world juxtaposition between MLS and the lower leagues is David Beckham’s , while across town, Italian billionaire Riccardo Silva and Paolo Maldini launched Miami FC in the NASL within one year. The club plays at Florida International University’s stadium, employs Alessandro Nesta as its coach, and recently won the league’s first-half championship in only its second season.

But it is in player acquisition and development that the differences are starkest. In transfers involving an MLS player to an outside league, the league office has a seat at the bargaining table — and it’s hard to imagine it wants its best players to leave. (this proportion rises in favor of the club if the player is “homegrown”). But of the club’s takeaway, anything beyond $650,000 must go toward team operations.

In nearly every other league around the world, player movement is one of the main drivers of revenue, since players are contracted to their team current predicament.United find themselves two points off the bottom three places in the league after a 1-0 loss away to Newcastle United.While many believe boss Ole Gunnar S Frenkie de Jong at Barcelona.The teenage defender joined Barca last summer from MVV Maastricht and has regularly been invited to train with De Jong, Lionel Messi and the rest of the first team squad.”He took me aside a little bit that (first) day anolskjaer is out of his depth at United, Neville believes the Glazers and Eds. And in America’s lower leagues, the reality is if a club sells two or three players they’ve developed, they can pay their bills for two years. And it just so happens that places like San Diego, Phoenix and Miami are not only great cities to retire for a moneyed professional athlete – Drogba is said to love life in Arizona, and has brought his family out to live with him – they’re also among the most fertile soccer regions in the country.

“You’ve got Demba Ba and looking at this and going, OK, where’s the most talent in America?” says Eric Wynalda, the TV analyst and former US international. “Well, it might be the Hispanic kids living right next to the border. OK, let’s move there.”

In fact, Ba’s San Diego team arose from an initial attempt to create a youth academy in southern California. In 2013, Alexis Gallice, the son of former France international Jean Gallice, started the French Soccer Institute in San Clemente. According to his associate, Pascal Soares, finding the money was a challenge — as was convincing local youth clubs that they wanted to work with their coaches and players, not steal them.Right call. Right tone. Right time. Kia Joorabchian had to act. The chatter was getting out of hand. It’s been humiliating. Malicious. And all designed to belittle his client, Philippe Coutinho…Someone. Maybe more than one? But there is a heavy inf Eventually the group realized that, for developing talent, a professional team was the way to go. For that, they needed stars with name recognition and money to invest.

They contacted an acquaintance, Alex Gontran, Demba Ba’s adviser. Ba in turn recruited his friends Hazard, Cabaye, Sow and Vagno Chandara, a French futsal player. , intricate network of youth clubs, and a huge hole in the city’s professional sports scene – the NFL’s Chargers recently relocated to LA – made the choice simple. Soares put Ba’s group in touch with local entrepreneur Bob Watkins, who has been involved with developing rugby in the US but was unfamiliar with soccer. He quickly saw an opportunity.

“The day I met Demba, I took them out to a soccer complex [nearby] in Del Mar,” Watkins said. “We pulled up to the field unannounced, and as we walked across the fields there were about 1,000 children playing soccer in ages from 10 to 15. As we walked closer, they all stopped playing soccer and they said, ‘That’s Demba Ba!’ They ran over and basically smothered him, while the coaches were saying, ‘Hey, you gotta go back and play!’ and the referees were blowing their whistles, and parents were saying, ‘Who is this guy?’ I said to myself, ‘There’s something magical about this.’”

After learning about the entrepreneurial limitations of MLS, Watkins said his group agreed that NASL was a better fit for their ambitions. That league, though, . Several clubs left, the league parted ways with the troubled Traffic Sports and reorganized as an owner-run operation. It currently has eight teams, with at least two (San Diego, Orange County, and possibly more to come) scheduled to start next year. The league needs to get back up to 12 teams, and be in three time zones, to have waivers removed by US Soccer that officially recognize NASL as the nation’s second-tier league. From this perspective, it’s hardly a safe investment. Ronaldo certainly couldn’t save the troubled Fort Lauderdale Strikers .

“It was an entrepreneurial risk,” Watkins said of his San Diego project. “And Demba is a very entrepreneurial fellow.” He says Ba and his group saw an untapped market: Americans are good athletes for the most part, and soccer in the US is becoming more organized. What could they accomplish if they applied the French approach to player development to the US?

While Drogba’s and Maldini’s shares of their clubs aren’t public, sources speculate that their ownership stakes are more symbolic than material – the value they bring is in their technical expertise and marketability. But according to Watkins, Ba is actually the lead investor in the San Diego team. He owns the mandated 35% minimum for a lead owner, and Ba and together, the players are majority owners of the team.

But of all the ways for an athlete to spend their wealth, why put it into soccer? Peter Wilt is a longtime soccer executive who’s currently managing director of Club 9 Sports, an investment bank and advisory organization who assisted Ba’s group with its application. He says that investing in second-tier soccer is a long-term strategy.

“There’s opportunity, whether it’s as a business or a challenge,” Wilt says. “They recognize that pro soccer in the US is not a mature industry yet, and there’s an opportunity to invest in it at a relatively low level and build it. To a certain extent, MLS is becoming a mature property, but when you look at lower division soccer in America, there’s tremendous room for growth. And I think these guys recognize that.”

So will any of these player-owned, lower-tier clubs make the leap to MLS, as many of the league’s clubs, such as Minnesota, Orlando, Portland and Vancouver did? That’s exactly what Drogba’s Phoenix side are aiming to do. MLS has visited with the team, and Phoenix is now a fixture on the shortlist of rumored expansion teams. Silva has said elsewhere that he’d consider MLS for his Miami club if the league would change some of its rules.

At the very heart of it though, owning your own soccer team is for enjoyment. Be honest: every fan has dreamed about it at some point. “To these players, the idea of owning a football club just sounds fun,” Wynalda says. “We all chip in a little bit, and we have our own team. We play games. We find talent. We create a culture. And it’s ours. It’s our club. You can’t really say that if you go the MLS route. It’s a franchise that’s part of a bigger plan, but it’s not yours, really.

“Even if you’re not part of the big show, it doesn’t mean you can’t be a show.”

Kansas City Royals roar back to level ALDS at one game each

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The whipped out the same formula that carried them to last year’s World Series to turn back the Houston Astros and tie their AL Division Series at a game apiece.

Some clutch hitting. Stingy defense. An unflappable bullpen.

Even a little help from replay.

“Just battling,” first baseman Eric Hosmer said. “That’s what this team does so well.”

The Royals rallied from a three-run deficit ase a top four finish.They play Watford at home on Sunday with the final league game to come after the Europa League second leg. That is away at Leicester.”We are going to take one after the other one,” said Giroud. “We have our destiny in our hands Friday, getting a go-ahead single from Ben Zobrist in the seventh inning, and then watched Wade Davis and the bullpen make it stand in a 5-4 victory that brought back memories of their nip-and-tuck postsee his move to Manchester United.The former Sporting CP captain made the switch yesterday.And Carvahal, who coached in the Premier League with Swansea City, declared: “He goes to a league where the level is high, but I think he has value in being a reason of a year ago.

The Royals knotted the game at 4 off Scott Kazmir and relievers Oliver Perez and Josh Fields in the sixth. Kansas City took the lead in the seventh when Alcides Escobar led off with a triple against Will Harris (0-1) and Zobrist followed with his single through the left side.

Kelvin Herrera (1-0) and Ryan Madson each tossed a scoreless inning for the Royals, and Davis came on to close it — though the real drama was only beginning.

Davis walked Preston Tucker with one out, and speedy Carlos Gomez came in as a pinch-runner. Davis snapped a throw to Hosmer at first, and he neatly snagged it on one hop as Gomez made a dive back to the bag. Gomez was initially ruled safe, but the call was overturned upon review.

“That play that Hos made on the pickoff, I don’t know if there’s a lot of first basemen that can make that play,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “It was tremendous.”

Jose Altuve then grounded out to end it, giving Davis the save.

It was a crucial victory considering what awaits Kansas City in Game 3 on Sunday: Astros aceDallas Keuchel, who was 15-0 at home this season. Edinson Volquez will start for Kansas City.

“We were in position to win that game. Their bullpen did a very good job of shutting us down,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “We’ve got some work to do to win this series. It’s going to be a good series. These are two really good teams.”

Two starters acquired with October in mind, Kazmir and Royals counterpart Johnny Cueto, pitched mostly to a stalemate Friday, which meant the outcome hinged on the bullpens. Kansas City’s relief corps was simply better, preserving the first win by a home team this postseason.

“They compete,” said Salvador Perez, who homered for the Royals. “Pretty good stuff.”

Colby Rasmus homered, doubled and drove in two runs for Houston, becoming the first player in major league history with an extra-base hit in his first six postseason games. George Springer had a pair of RBI after hitting a solo shot in the series opener.

“Just to let it slip away late is kind of a downer,” Astros reliever Tony Sipp said. “We had a lead late and let it slip away. We had the momentum going.”

The Astros jumped on Cueto right from the start, just as they did Yordano Ventura in Game 1 on Thursday night. Rasmus doubled in a run in the first inning, and Springer added a two-run knock in the second as restless Royals fans began to shower their ace with boos.

Perez got one back for Kansas City with his homer to left in the bottom half, but Rasmus matched him with his third home run in three games this postseason.

Cueto finally settled in, but it looked as if it would be too late. Kazmir allowed a run in the third, but otherwise had Kansas City off balance until the sixth inning.

Still trailing 4-2, Lorenzo Cain got the Royals’ tying rally started with a double, and Hinch called for Oliver Perez. He alndly with Napoli is set to be arranged.Napoli legend Diego Maradona was appointed coach of the Argentine club.“We’d been asking for some time if Diego could do well with us and we asked an intermediary if he was available,” Pellegrino told Radio CNlowed back-to-back singles and a walk to leave the bases loaded for Fields, who walked Salvador Perez on four pitches to tie the game.

When the Royals took the lead the following inning, their shutdown bullpen made it stick.

“I’m happy we’re going home,” Hinch said. “We’ve got home-field advantage for the rest of this series. We have to take care of business in our own yard.”

Kei Nishikori up to world No4 after downing John Isner in Citi Open final

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On Saturday, after a tight semi-final victory in Washington DC, John Isner told the crowd that he’d need them out in full force the next day to win the title. They did their part on Sunday, showing up and providing him with backing in the championship match against world No5 Kei Nishikori, but it was not enough as the top-ranked American lost in a hard-fought three-setter, 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.

In a match where Nishikori was only a little better than his opponent, the final outcome was never obvious until late in the match. That’s in part because it featured just three breaks of serve. The first was for Isner, but it was the latter two for Nishikori that were ultimately the difference.

“I just didn’t make enough in-roads on his first serve, which a lot of times I struggle with,” a disappointed Isner said following the match. “And from there, he’s arguably one of the best in the world from the baseline, so it’s tough.”

The 6ft 10in Isner, known as much for his booming serve as his size, was not the better striker on this warm, slightly overcast afternoon. Nishikori managed an impressive winning percentage on his first serve, 91%, to the usually steady Isner at only 76%. Perhaps the Japanese star’s success in hindering Isner’s conversion rate stemmed from having faced and defeated other notable servers during the week: Marin Cilic in the semis in a rematch of the 2014 US Open final, and before him Aussie up-and-comer Sam Groth.

“Yeah, I’ve been returning really well this week,” Nishikori said after taking his third ATP title of the season, and 10th overall of his professional career. “I tried to play a lot of rallies. It’s never easy, but I think I am playing well against these guys.”

Add to that Nishikori’s strategy of methodicallyo di Vaio is in Los Angeles today speaking with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.Off contract next month from LA Galaxy, Ibrahimovic plans to return to Europe in January and favours a move to Serie A.Former club AC Milan have been regarded as favourites for the Sw wearing down his 30-year-old challenger with his groundstrokes during the two-hour match, and it’s easy to see why the Japanese star continues to rise in the ATP rankings. On Monday, he’ll return to a career-high of No4 after the victory. Nearly $350,000 in earnings from the week-long event doesn’t hurt either.

“His backhand is world-class,” said Isner. “He knows what he’s doing with the ball. But he also works his tail off, too. You combine those things and it’s a recipe for some good tennis.”

The turning point of the match for Nishikori actually came after Isner suddenly broke him at 5-4 to take the first set. In the pause ahead of the second, Nishikori sat dejected with a towel wrapped over his head, as much to dodge the heat as hit reset. But it gave him the motivation to respond, and respond he did. In the very next service game, Nishikori broke Isner back, taking the second set by the throat and never looking back, despite a tiny bit of trouble closing it out up 5-4 on serve.

“I got a little bit tight,” Nishikori admitted after dropping the first set. “I just tried to focus again and it was great to have the first game [a break of] his serve. Then after that I was more confident and more relaxed. Everything went well after that.”

In thgan to their preseason tour squad.The Liverpool Echo says Lonergan has joined Liverpool for their pre-season tour of the US.With Alisson yet to return and Liverpool’s younger goalkeepers sidelined, Simon Mignolet is the only senior goalkeeper in the e deciding set Nishikori again struck Isner’s serve early, this time in the third game, on his way to championship point at love.

The contest featured a clash of styles, and demeanors. While Isner is your prototypical big serving athlete, he is also the much more excitable player, riding the wave provided by the moment just as much as by the audience. Isner was emphatic with fist pumps on important and timely points won, and slumped his head just the same after losing others. Meanwhile, Nishikori is calm – a stealth assassin with a racket, a consummate returner. His game is efficient and deliberate, and he rarely takes an unnecessarymant Christian Pulisic will not be allowed to leave on loan in January.The summer arrival has played just ten minutes in the last four Premier League matches. “No,” was Lampard’s reply when asked if Pulisic could be loaned out. “With Christian he’s c swing let alone an additional step on the court. It provided for an exciting matchup for the sold-out crowd of 7,500 in DC, even if the winner was not the American for whom they were mostly pulling.

Both players now head to Montreal as they continue their preparations for the US Open, which starts on 31 August. Nishikori was a finalist in New York last year and is still looking to take the final leap and become the first Asian man ever to win a grand slam singles title. “I just can’t wait to play the US Open,” he said. “I’m just excited again to play on a big stage. I like that tournament.”

Isner listed many of Nishikori’s strengths after the match, from his pacing of play to his ability to place the ball with pinpoint precision. But it was the latter that Isner said was decisive. “I thought he played a pretty good match,” said Isner. “No panic, for sure. [He] made a lot of first serves, and was running me around the court. That’s what he does best.

“He’s a great player,” he added, “and a great champion.”

Why has Freddy Adu chosen to join the Tampa Bay Rowdies?

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“He was almost like Ronaldinho. He always had a smile on his face.” That’s how Thomas Rongen remembers a young Freddy Adu. That boy is now a man, and on Tuesday – who sit first in NASL and are coached by Rongen.

The two first worked together when Rongen was with the United States under-20 team, a role he held during two spells from 2001-05 and then again from 2006-11. It was during that second stint, in 2007, that excitement piqued for his U-20 team as talents including Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley, Robbie Rogers and a young Adu shone.

“He could have played in four consecutive U-20 World Cups, but he played in three and decided to opt out of the fourth – that would have been a record for any player in the world by the way,” Rongen explains.

“I played him when he was young [in 2003] in a 4-3-3 on the left, where he had more time on the ball and he didn’t have to play with his back to goal like in a No 10 [position],” Rongen explains. “Then in 2007 I played him as our playmaker, and I think that was a good transition for him. That way we could hide him from the physicality of the game so he wouldn’t get injured.”

At the time, had you pushed the Dutch tactician to evaluate whomo land Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish this summer.The Mirror says United are preparing to pay up to £70million to land Grealish this summer.The attacking ace has been in superb form for Villa this term after inspiring them to promotion last seaso he thought had the most potential of that 2007 roster, he would have said Adu. “I’m flabbergasted that Freddy hasn’t been able to make it to the top level,” Rongen says.

It was not long after he departed Rongen’s squad – off the back of an impressive U-20 World Cup – that he moved to Europe with Portuguese giants Benfica. “I think he chose the wrong club to go to,” Rongen states unequivocally.

“I think in terms of where he was in his development he was not ready for first team football. At 2007 he was 17 or 18 and he was pretty much brought up in the soccer environment in the US, which is so different to the South American or European environment.

“I don’t think he was prepared to sustain the rigorous demands of a pro club where it’s nasty, where players constantly compete for spots, and where, sadly, Americans are still seen as not a great soccer nation. You have to prove yourself every day – and physically it is very tough.”

Rongen also draws comparisons to one of Adu’s teammates when he discusses how best to make the transition to Europe: “If you look at Michael Bradley’s path; a smaller club in Holland, a bigger club in Germany, then Serie A … those to me are wiser decisions,” he explains.

So began Adu’s tour of Europe, adding stamps to his passport and often brief new chapters to his career. Stints at Monaco, Belenenses, Aris and Çaykur Rizespor followed, each move followed by talk of him ‘reigniting his career’.

“Maybe in the places he went they knocked him down so far that they killed Freddie’s game,” Rongen says. “There has to be some understanding there, and the rest of the group has to understand that we’re going to have to work a little bit harder to cover Freddy’s deficiencies defensively, but, man, if we go forward, we’re fucking good. Because this ssive £40million deal to stay at Leicester after snubbing Arsenal.He now hopes City’s in-demand starlets like James Maddison, a Manchester United target, will follow suit.Rodgers said: “Hopefully they’ll see how we’ve worked together here and the kid can play.”

Many have pointed the finger at Adu for the way his career has unfolded as the saying goes; success has a million fathers ,but failure is an orphan. In Rongen, however, Adu has a sympathetic outlet.

“I think he had a hard time handling [the pressure],” Rongen explains. “For example, we would train, then we would have to wait for half an hour on the bus because Freddy would have to sign autographs and talk to the media. I think he grew tired of that charade.”

Adu has stated publicly that he felt like a marketing tool. That the multi-million dollar contracts were impossible to turn down for a boy living in a poor single parent household in Rockville, Maryland. Rongen cites those around Adu – coaches and managers – as another reason his potential was not fulfilled.

“This country has never produced a player that we [can] sell to Man United, Barcelona, Real Madrid or Man City,” he explains. “I think this country has the capability to do that, and I’m always trying to figure out where we are going wrong. When we have such a raw diamond in Freddy Adu, it’s our role to make him that player. I thought early on he was going to play for a big time team in Europe and put US soccer on the map.

“In Holland, when we scout a player – and there are more tangibles involved – we use a technique called TIPS (technique, insight, personality, speed) . At a young age he had mastered almost everything you want from a high level player [in those categories]. At a young age he had incredible field awareness. He was thinking ahead like a chess player and he easily got into the zone.”

Attempting to explain why the US is yet to sell a player to one of Europe’s elite, Rongen believes that the country’s soccer culture is not conducive to such an outcome. “This country is so structured and too organised [and suffers from] over-coaching. I want to give those players some freedom when they get out of that environment so they can find their own identity.

“Were our sessions structured? Absolutely. We took games seriously for sure, but my approach overall was a bit more relaxed than they had seen before and I think that helped some players like Freddy flourish. I encourage them to dribble, to do a rainbow ill debut against Lecce today.He said, “I thought that I was going to a prestigious club with a great history, so it’s an honour to be here. If you are in charge of Milan, playing at San Siro must be added motivation rather than a worry.“I feel t[flick], to be daring.”

Adu himself has often spoken positively about Rongen and their time together, so unsurprisingly the duo have opted to reunite in Florida, with Rongen believing he could be the right coach for Adu. “I’m not saying I’m the only one, but I think I can resurrect his career, and I mean that sincerely,” he explains. “Freddy knows that too.”

Perhaps a reuniting with Rongen is just what Adu needs. The two will finally reconnect, after almost a decade apart. While some things have changed other have not, with Adu hoping he can find a father for success in his former coach.

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

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 .

er United defender Chris Smalling.Smalling’s perma

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outfielder mad a bit of history with teammate Troy Tulowitzki Wednesday against the Reds. Gonzalez hit three home runs and Tulowitzki added five hits and two home runs, the first time in major league history a pair of teammates has combined for those numbers in a game.

Gonzalez went 3 for 5 with three RBI and three runs scored in the game, his second career three-homer game. The Rockies won the game easaser Forster to leave on-loan for Celtic.Forster joined Celtimits he loved his time with Hamburg.So much so, that he admits he never wanted to leave the German giants.”Actually, I never wanted to leave Hamburg because I felt very good there,” he recalled to Spox. “That’s why the exit hurt so much.”Son left forc for the season in the summer and played out of his skin to ensure the Hoops beat Rangers in last weekend’s Scottish Cup final. Hasenhuttl said: “First, I am very happy that after a longily, 12-4. 

Gonzalez is now hitting .313 with 17 home runs, a mark that puts him second in the National League.  

More News 03/13/2020 • by RotoWire Staff 03/10/2020 • by RotoWire Staff drid ace Saul Niguez admits he grew up basing his game on Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard.Saul also says it was dream come true when Fernando Torres returned to the club.He said, “With Torres at Atleti I started to love Gerrard and I thought I wanted 02/11/2020 • by RotoWire Staff 01/28/2020 • by RotoWire Staff 07/03/2019 • by RotoWire Staff 06/29/2019 • by RotoWire Staff

Brighton have pushed on with plans to sign Reece J

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catcher homered in the fourth inning and singled in the seventh inning of Monday’s win over the Pirates to reach 1,000 career hits (in 3,582 at-bats). The home run was the seventh of the season for McCann, who has hit .280 in 75 at-bats this season.

More News 10/10/2019 • by RotoWire Staff coach Zinedine Zidane’s outburst on Sunday.The Welshman has fallen out of favour since Zidane’s return as manager with the Frenchman saying the forward was ‘very close’ tot Real Madrid.The Belgian moved from Chelsea to Real Madrid last summer, but he has yet to impress with his performances, while he has also struggled with injuries since his arrival.”If Hazard is not playing well, something happens at Real Madrid,” h leaving over the weekend.That remark prompted Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett to 09/27/2019 • by RotoWire Staff 09/25/2019 • by RotoWire Staff 09/22/2019 • by RotoWire Staff 09/21/2019 • by RotoWire Staff seeing Wolves star Adama Traore moving to Real Madrid this summer.The Barcelona-ante-race-sign-Adama-Traore-fear-rivals-Real-Madrid-landing-winger.html” target=”_blank”>Daily Mail says the Catalan giants are considering a summer move for the Wolves s 09/19/2019 • by RotoWire Staff

will be out for between four and five weeks after

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second baseman told the Arizona Republic Tuesday that he is ready to face pitchers.Hill has hit off a tee and has done soft toss for two straight days. He was hit by a pitch on his left hand.Lazio will finish the season outside the top four, though have won the Coppa Italia.“We’ve ended the season by again showing who we are, qualifying for the Europa League and winning the Coppa Italia,” Parolo said after Monday’s 3-3 draw with Bolog in early April and has only played 10 games this season.”There’s no discomfort,” Hill said. “It’s not perfect, but I’m not having to change my swing. It feels good, so Manchester United fans concerned about the state of the club.The Red Devils are languishing in the bottom half of the Premier League, only two points above the relegation zone after eight games.While Solskjaer acknowledges recent weeks have not beenI’m just going to keep going with it.”

More News 06/30/2017 • by RotoWire Staff 06/24/2017 • by RotoWire Staff 06/18/2017 • by RotoWire Staff 06/14/2017 • by RotoWire Staff 06/11/2017 • by RotoWire Staff have themselves to blame for failing to qualify for the Champions League.The Rossoneri finished the season in fifth place, one point off the Champions League spots held by Atalanta and Inter Milan.“We’re sorry that we dropped so many points on the 06/07/2017 • by RotoWire Staff