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Skater badly injured in Olympic ceremony rehearsal accident

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A female skater was severely injured after falling to the ice from about 16 feet during a rehearsal for the opening ceremony of the Youth Winter Olympics in Lausanne, police said Wednesday.

The 35-year-old Russian woman’s life is in dange is reluctant to return to the Premier League this summer.The Mirror says Bale is being pushed towards the exit at Real Madrid by boss Zinedine Zidane.But the star is determined not to be forced out without his mega contract worth over £600,000-a-wer, police in the canton of Vaud said. An investigation into Tuesday’s incident is being led by police in the city of aking to Bleacher Report in a Q&A, James named manager Frank Lampard alongside three of his current Blues team-mates in an all-time Chelsea dream team.Cesar Azpilicueta earned the nod over James himself at right-back while World Cup winner N’GoloLausanne.

Police said the woman was being hoisted by a cable attached to the ceiling of the main hockey stadium in Lausanne. The skater suddenly lost balance and fell.

The inquiry must try to establish “the reasons, the circumstances and possible responsibilities in this accident,” police said.

The International Olympic Committee said in a statement a female pecan understand Arsenal’s interest in defender Tierney.“Once you’re a top quality player like he [Tierney] is, like what Callum [McGregor] is, what James [Forrest] is, you are always going to get bids. You are always going to get speculation and yourforming artist was evacuated for treatment at a hospital in Lausanne, without detailing the incident.

“The IOC and Lausanne 2020 wish the performer a fast and full recovery,” the Olympic body said.

The two-week games open Thursday with a ceremony at the new arena, which will also host games at the men’s hockey world championships in May.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Are cities starting to see World Cup hosting duties as a poisoned chalice?

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The North American bid for the 2026 World Cup, a joint venture between the United States, Canada and Mexico, with 23 cities listed as potential venues.

But behind the fanfare, four major cities – Chicago, Minneapolis, Vancouver and Glendale– told Fifa and the United Bid they didn’t want to be part of a . Local authorities from those cities cited heavy-handed requests from Fifa and the United Bid that included potentially huge taxpayer bills, as well as hosting contracts that exposed their cities and residents to immense financial and legal risk.

Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel announced on Wednesday that Chicago was out – even if the bid was successful. A city official told the Guardian that although Chicago considered itself a “big event city” the requirements for the 2026 tournament “just didn’t feel right”. One demand from Fifa was that the organization could require Chicago to construct a dome over Soldier Field, the venue that hosted and would have hosted matches in 2026.

Fifa’s requirements also included an open-ended ability to modify the agreement at any time; no indemnity to protect the city or taxpayers from legal and financial risks; for to meet requirements that fall outside of its jurisdiction and authority and therefore could not be ensured; and for contracts to be governed and interpreted under Swiss law (Fifa is headquartered in Zurich).

The cities may well have looked at warnings from the past before pulling out: some venues used for recent World Cups in Brazil and South Africa stand as publicly-funded monuments to a demanding and brief affair with .

Cape Town Stadium, for example, on the local government with calls for the 2010 World Cup venue to be demolished and replaced with affordable public housing. The stadium is losing a reported $10m annually and a recent idea to offer naming rights to a sponsor led internet jokers to suggest renaming the stadium “The Lonely Elephant” or “The Money Pit”.

Rio’s famed Maracana was a global icon used during the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics . A year after the 2014 tournament, Brasilia’s stadium was converted to a bus parking lot and Cuiaba’s never-quite-completed stadium hosted homeless people after standing idle – arguably both better uses for public money.

Stadiums are not just a problem for World Cups. Ten years after the 2004 Games, Olympic , while in Australia to tear down the Sydney Olympic Stadium, which is now considered obsolete less than 20 years after it opened for the 2000 Games.

It’s something Chicago seems to have noticed. “After conducting a robust due diligence process and participating in the World Cup 2026 United Bid Committee bid process, Fifa could not provide a basic level of certainty on some major unknowns that put our city and taxpayers at risk,” Matt McGrath, a spokesman for Mayor Emanuel said in an email to the Guardian. “The uncertainty for taxpayers, coupled with Fifa’s inflexibility and unwillingness to negotiate, were clear indications that further pursuit of the bid wasn’t in Chicago’s best interests.”

Hosting World Cup matches could have provided soccer around Chicago with a legacy for generations – many American fans claim the 1994 tournament was a game changer for personal engagement – but Emanuel’s decision was applauded by the president of MLS club Chicago Fire.

“We fully support Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s decision, one that he made in the best interest of the city,” said Fire’s Nelson Rodríguez. “In the end, this is the event’s loss not to have games in one of the world’s greatest sports cities.”

Minneapolis, Vancouver and Glendale (home to the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals) cited similar concerns with Fifa’s policy that demands cities hand over powers to an organization .

A Fifa spokesperson did not directly respond when asked if its World Cup demands were too demanding, instead referring the Guardian to titled “Overview of Government Guarantees and the Government Declaration”. The document outlines Fifa’s need to establish a legal framework when it imports its own infrastructure to operate within a host nation and the need for a local government to accommodate football’s governing body (, for example, attracted raised eyebrows in 2010).

“An son was proud of his players after their 0-0 draw at FA Cup opponents Newcastle United.The result will mean a fourth round replay at Kassam stadium.Robinson said, “It’s incredible. We’ve played three Premier League teams this season and only one of tis intensifying.Manchester City and Manchester United are both chasing the teen, along with Anderlecht and Ajax.City and Ajax have been in recent contact for Evjen.However, HLN says Anderlecht have now jumped ahead in the race, with player-manager Vievent of the magnitude of the Fifa World Cup cannot be organised without the broad support of the relevant government authorities in the Host Country,” the document reads.

Fifa’s requirements for host nations also demand that the US, Canada, and Mexico guarantee a visa-free environment or “issue non-discriminatory entry procedures” for representatives of Fifa nations during the World Cup. The demand effectively grants close-to-diplomatic status to anyone connected to a national federation or Fifa. Work permit, labor law, and tax exemptions are also required from national governments.

Fifa also requires the agreements must be signed by the “highest national government executive authority” meaning, in the US, Donald Trump must sign off on the tournament if the joint bid receives a majority vote from the 211 Fifa members.

Of course, some may welcome US cities dropping out. The dominance of US cities – 17 of the 23 candidates are in the States – in a shortlist to be cut to 16 underlines the widely-held perception that the United Bid is a US-hosted tournament with Canada and Mexico as junior partners.

Sources close to both the United and Morocco bids say Trump is . With global politics, foreign policy, and tweets spilling into football politics, 57 African nations are expected to back Morocco, Asia’s diverse 47 votes are split, and there remains resentment among some Uefa and South American nations in in exposing Fifa corruption. The three United Bid co-chairmen – from the US, Canada, and Mexico – have spent the past weeks crisscrossing the globe lobbying for votes hoping to minimize the Trump effect.

Morocco is the sole rival to North America, and June’s vote will be the first time all 211 Fifa members have had a direct say on the host rather than a 24-member committee vulnerable to claims of corruption and vote rigging.

Still, even if the US were to bid alone for the 2026 Woease clause for Maxi Gomez, according to reports.Sky Sports says the two clubs are now discussing the method of payment for the £44.85m fee.According to La Liga rules, West Ham will have to pay the release clause in full at the competition’s headquarld Cup, its immense geography means it can still host a strong and successful tournament even without several major cities agreeing to host. It is, with no irony, too big to fail. The concern for the US Soccer Federation is that MLS cities such as Chicago, Minneapolis (and Vancouver) are disinclined to be part of what should be a soccer homecoming. Fifa and the International Olympic Committee should pay attention, too. Being the TV backdrop to a sports event, even one with a global audience, is not the big deal it once was.

— The United Bid 2026 and US Soccer Federation declined multiple requests to comment for this story. Soccer Canada referred requests to comment to the United Bid 2026.

Innovation helps Emirates Team New Zealand take 3-0 lead in America’s Cup

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Peter Burling and Emirates Team are threatening to sail — and cycle — away with the America’s Cup.

The 26-year-old Burling calmly steered the New Zealanders’ 50-foot catamaran to two more dominating victories against Jimmy Spithill and two-time defending champion Oracle Team USA on Sunday to remain undefeated in the showdown on the Great Sound.

Although they’ve won four races, the Kiwis lead Oracle 3-0. Because Oracle won the qualifiers, the challenger started the 35th America’s Cup match with a negative point.

Burling, an America’s Cup rookie who has won Olympic gold and silver medals with grinder Blair Tuke, steered the Kiwis to victories of 49 seconds and 1 minute 12 seconds on the turquoise waters of the Great Sound.

Team New Zealand need to win four more races to return the Auld Mug to the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron in d ahead of Manchester United in the battle for Sporting CP midfielder Bruno Fernandes.Real Madrid are also in contact with Sporting, though it’s Spurs which are regarded as favourites, says Record.Spurs made a €60m offer last week, which was turnedAuckland, where it resided from 1995-2003. Oracle need to win seven to keep the trophy in the hands of .

Oracle Team USA now have five days to try to come with some answers to counter the design innovations of the scrappy New Zealanders, who are getting by with much less funding. Racing resumes on Saturday and Sunday.

This is anston Reid is set to make a playing return with New Zealand.Reid has been sidelined by a knee injury since March last year, but is poised to pull on his boots once again in Dublin on Thursday evening as he captains New Zealand in their friendly clash rematch , when Team New Zealand, then skippered by Dean Barker, reached match point at 8-1 before Spithill lead Oracle Team USA to eight straight victories on San Francisco Bay to retain the oldest trophy in international sports.

So far, the New Zealanders and their cycling grinding system have proven too fast for Oracle in light, shifty wind. They’ve also made the right choices on which foils to use on the ends of their daggerboards. The New Zealanders used the same foils they did in speeding to two victories on Saturday while the American-backed crew appeared to use two different foils.

Burling and his team are using a “cyclor” grinding system. They’ve built four stationary cycling stations into each hull to tap leg power instead of traditional arm power from the grinders to power the hydraulic systems that control the wing mainsail and the daggerboards. Simon van Velthooven, who won a bronze medal in cycling at the London Olympics, was aboard for Race 3. Olympic rowing champion Joe Sullivan replaced him for Race 4.

Spithill, an Australian, is trying to win his third straight America’s Cup before he turns 38.

Oracle made an unforced error when its catamaran came off its foils early on the downwind second leg. That was enough for Burling to speed awa.City assistant manager Arteta is in advanced talks to take the manager’s job at Arsenal this week.And should Arteta leave the champions, former Feyenoord coach Van Bronckhorst is available to step in to fill the void.The Dutchman is now part of the y around the seven-leg course for a 49-second victory. In Race 4, the Kiwis held a slim lead at the first mark and simply sped away.

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.

Phil ‘CM Punk’ Brooks, former WWE star, will make MMA debut at UFC 203

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UFC will add another star high-profile figure to its line-up to go alongside the likes of Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey, with the announcement that former WWE star Phil “CM Punk” Brooks will fight at 203 in September.

Brooks was originally due to make his debut against Mickey Gall at UFC 199 but a shoulder injury ruled himver AZ Alkmaar.The scores were tied at 0-0 before Ashley Young broke the deadlock after 53 minutes.A double from Mason Greenwood quickly followed, with a penalty from Juan Mata sandwiched in between, making it four goals in 11 minutes for United.Spea out of action. Gall is undeaten in his two UFC fights and the 24-year-old is significantly youngenal and West Ham.Corriere dello Sport says Arsenal have shown an interest in Kessie, but could face competition from London rivals West Ham for his signature.Kessie first joined Milan from Cessena in 2017 and has become an important first-team playeer than Brooks, who is 37. The fight will take place at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena on 10 September. The line-up will also see local hero Stipe Miocic defend his heavyweight title against Alistair Overeem

“The instant I got cleared I got on the horn with [UFC president Dana White] and we nailed everything down so I will be debuting September 10 in Cleveland,” Brooks told the UFC Unfiltered podcast. “I’m super excited. For obviously a myriad of re’s seen from their U23s.The midfielder, now in his third spell with the the Seagulls, believes the environment can get the young guns ready for the next step. Crofts, 35, said: “Since I have come in it’s been brilliant.“It’s like a first team andasons. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Brooks’s participation in UFC has caused some controversy as he has no professional fighting experience aside from the orchestrated action in WWE. Brooks is an intriguing figure away in his daily life and has written for Marvel Comics.

Do the Pirates have a chance against the Cubs’ unstoppable destroyer of worlds?

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The Pittsburgh Pirates were officially eliminated from the postseason on Wednesday night after an 11-1 loss to St Louis .

OK, not exactly “officially.” The Pirates have the second-best record in all of Major League and clinched a postseason berth more than a week ago. But there is a feeling of impending doom hanging over the team because six days from now in the National League wildcard game they will face the unstoppable destroyer of baseball worlds: Jake Arrieta.

After a good start to the season, the 29-year old Cubs ace has put together one of the most dominant second halves in baseball history. Since the start of August, he’s given up four earned runs in 82 1/3 innings. That’s a 0.43 ERA over 11 starts. Not once in that span has he allowed more than two earned runs. In seven of those 11 outings, he didn’t allow a single run. He no-hit the playoff-bound Dodgers at the end of August, and has faced the Pirates three times in the past two months, giving up just nine hits and one earned run in 22 innings. To crush the hopes and dreams of his wildcard foe even more, Arrieta blasted an opposite field home run off the Pirates in his last start against them on Sunday. He didn’t give up a run and he created the only run he needed. Pittsburgh hasn’t face a single man this hellbent on its destruction since Bane.

Somewhere in Baltimore this week there is a man or woman emerging from a two-year coma. He will hear the name “Jake Arrieta” on TV and think: “No way! That guy is still in the majors?” And then he will hear that Arrieta is the greatest pitcher in all of baseball and he will immediately go back into a coma after suffering a brain aneurysm.

Because two years ago, Arrieta was as bad as he is good now. Maybe even more so, as hard as that is to fathom. In nearly 70 games and 63 starts with the Orioles over four years, he had a 5.46 ERA. You know, just 5.03 above his ERA over the past two months. He couldn’t even hold down a rotation spot in an Oriole rotation desperate for arms and Baltimore repeatedly shuttled him back and forth to Triple-A – and he wasn’t even any good there.

Check the timestamp. That tweet is from June of 2013. Just two years ago, Arrieta was a 27-year old pitcher putting up an ERA over 4.00 in the minors. Guys like that are much closer in their careers to becoming gym teachers than lights-out, don’t-even-bother-showing-up, major league aces. In early July of 2013, the Cubs traded Arrieta and Pedro Strop to the Cubs for Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger and soon after, things finally started to click for him. There was no dramatic overhaul of his motion or life-changing visits to a sports psychologist. Some slight tweaks to his mechanics found Arrieta able to spot his mid-90s fastball better and make his slider dip and turn at varying speeds most any way he wants it to, making and left and right-handed hitters alike look foolish.

So now the Pirates and their ace, Gerrit Cole, face the reality that if they allow a single run next Wednesday, odds are their 96-plus-win season will end after a few hours of “postseason”. While the Pirates themselves, as confident and accomplished athletes, no doubt feel they have a great chance of beating Arrieta, many Pirates fans are either depressed or left grasping at unrelated, random minutiae and irrational hope.

“Hey, Clayton Kershaw is a generational pitcher and he loses a lot in the postseason. Maybe Arrieta will be the same!”

“Remember when the Pirates roughed up Madison Bumgarner late last season and then he dominated them in the wildcard game? The opposite could happen this year with Arrieta!”

“Kris Medlen had a 0.97 ERA in his final 12 starts of 2013, but then he got shelled in the wildcard game. What if Arrieta is the new Medlen?!”

“He’s been pitching great games for months. He’s due for a bad one, right?”

It’s kind of sad. No, it’s just sad. No “kind of.”

But the Pirates’ best hope might be this: If the worst pitcher in all of baseball can miraculously become the best pitcher in just two years, then it’s really true that anything is possible. Maybe even Jake Arrieta losing a baseball game.

“Sometimes, emotions spill over and that’s what happened today. It’s happened for hundreds of years in this game and I think it will continue to happen.” – Jonathan Papelbon, Washington Nationals closer, on fighting teammate Bryce Harper in the dugout on Monday.

Papelbon is not only an expert on baseball’s “code,” but he is also a student of history. A sport called “base-ball” was first referenced in a British publication in 1744, so the game truly has been around for “hundreds” of years. The American Revolution may have come to a head over taxation without representation, but for all we know, the first fractures between America and Great Britain came when the scrappy colonists were outraged by the entitled British failing to run out pop-ups.

– Astros outfielder Marwin Gonzalez hit the 24th home run of his career Tuesday night in a loss to the Mariners. It was also the 24th solo home run of Gonzalez’s career. Yes, every home run in his four-year career has been a solo shot. Amazing. Gonzalez better hope Papelbon doesn’t land on the Astros next year because that sort of selfish home run hitting would not be tolerated.

Johnny Giavotella, 2B, Angels – 7-for-15, 4 RBI

Matt den Dekker, OF, Nationals – 8-for-18, 2 HR, 3 RBI

Kevin Kiermaier, OF, Rays – 7-for-16, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 SB

Jarrett Parker, OF, Giants – 7-for-17, 5 HR, 9 RBI

Nick Tropeano, P, Angels – 11 innings, 16 strikeouts, 1 win, 0.82 ERA

Adam Conley, P, Marlins – 12 innings, 13 strive completed the signing of Porto defender Chidozie Awaziem.The Nigeria international arrives on a straight 12-month loan.Awaziem becomes the ninth summer signing made by Leganes and was due to undergo his first training session today under coach Maukeouts, 2.25 ERA

Thank you for this important question. If the unwritten rules of baseball were ever published, the answer to this would no doubt be revealed. And at considerable risk of being strangled by a Knight of The Baseball Code for answering your question in print, I will attempt to do so anyway. I am not afraid to put my life on the line for you, my dear readers.

Most would assume that you want to choke up, because the top of the human neck is narrower than the base, allowing you to wrap more of your hands around the neck of the baseball code-breaker. And choking up on the bassing out on the England squad.The centre-back was hoping that he would get a call up to the Three Lions squad by manager Gareth Southgate.However, he was left out for their Euro 2020 qualifiers. And the 26-year-old wants to continue focusing on doint is something gritty baseball players who play the game the right way do. Yet choking up on a neck is wrong. The right way to strangle is to grab the neck at the base and dig your thumbs in hard below the Adam’s apple to cut off the wind pipe. At least that’s the way my Little League coach taught me.

The Phillies have won thof manager Nigel Pearson.The Hornets were nine points adrift at the foot of the table prior to their home game against Manchester United and the goalkeeper has revealed that he feared the worst.”When we had nine points just before the Man United gameree in a row and four of five, including two in a row over the playoff-bound Mets. Are they the best team in baseball as the calendar flips to October? (No.)

There is intrigue left in the Phillies season, however. While the franchise has the most losses in the history of American professional sports, the Phillies haven’t lost 100 games in a season since 1961. If they can close the season 2-2 or better, they’ll keep that streak alive. At the same time, the Phillies stand just two games ahead of the Cincinnati Reds in the race for the worst record in baseball and the No1 overall pick. They really need to get back to losing to clinch. Choose how you end your season wisely, Phillies. Think what Ruben Amaro would do and then do the opposite.

The Cubs clinched their first postseason appearance since 2008 this week (assuming we’re all pretending the play-in game counts as the real postseason). The franchise made the Divisional Series in 2007 and 2008, but got swept both times. The Cubs haven’t won a playoff game since 2003 and the Steve Bartman NLCS. That’s so long ago now that . No ear buds. No smartphone (the iPhone didn’t come out until 2007). No social media. The Bartman incident essentially happened in ancient history. Hopefully Cubs fans can finally get over it and let the guy live his life in peace. I’m sure he’d love to be able to go out in public and buy one of these fancy smartphones we have now.

The New York Post’s Joel Sherman this week who believe A-Rod’s bat speed has slowed down as the season has progressed, but Rodriguez “remains a wily hitter who works counts well and can play to his strengths.” His No1 strength, of course? Wiliness.

The Post also ran a headline this week asking “” I didn’t bother to read the article, but if they meant: “Is Bryce Harper a great player who will spend the majority of his career on the Yankees?”, then I wholeheartedly answer “yes.”

1) I never played baseball at a high level, so I am no expert on the game’s locker room/strangulation culture. What I do know, however, is that if I was a MLB closer like Jonathan Papelbon, I’d probably keep my opinions of my team-mates to myself. Closers are pitchers – – whose entire job is to pitch one single inning AFTER THE REST OF THE TEAM HAS ALREADY TAKEN THE LEAD. If my employment and large income was contingent on everyone else playing well for eight innings every game before I showed up to try to get three outs a few times a week, I’d do everything I could to stay in my lane and hope nobody noticed how unimportant and overpaid I am. I especially wouldn’t call out the best player on my team and the guy whose performance had given me so many save opportunities. I mean, the guy who locked the doors at night at Apple probably never ripped into Steve Jobs for how he did his job, right? Or maybe he did. The tech world may have an uncoded code I don’t know about.

2) Former major league pitcher CJ Nitkowski got a lot of attention this week for his column that gave on the Papelbon-Harper dust-up and featured more than a dozen quotes from current and former major leaguers, all of whom sided with Papelbon. Nitkowski’s piece as advocating for the strangulation of players. Yet I know him to be a thoughtful and intelligent person, and seemingly not the kind of man who would push for mandatory chokings of the non-scrappy. So I contacted Mr Nitkowski and asked him straight out: “Do you support the public strangling of players for not running full speed to first?”

His response, exclusive to the Guardian: “I do not. These kind of things should take place behind closed doors where a player can be properly waterboarded or caned in private. No one is above the hustle.”

So there you go. I think we can all agree with that.

3) And now the dramatic conclusion to : I dug around more and still couldn’t determine if the rules forbid an American League player from being on the lineup card as both a pitcher and the DH, allowing him to stay in the game as a hitter even after being removed from the mound. So I asked ESPN baseball writer David Schoenfield if he knew the answer and he claims that it is not allowed. “You can choose not use the DH – this happened a few times in the 1970s, including twice with Ken Brett (George’s brother) – but you can’t DH the pitcher and let him stay in the game.”

And if you do try to do it? The manager must get waterboarded in the locker room.

4) And since we’re running out of baseball season and time for readers to ask questions, let’s throw in another one this week:

With great feats of consumption, the natural inclination is to think that the larger-bodied are ideal for the task. Someone like Matt Adams or Bartolo Colon. But if you look at the top competitive eaters, none of them are overweight. And Boggs played at a relatively svelte 6ft 2in 190lbs. So I think you want to go with a player who is in shape. There are obviously a lot to choose from in baseball, but just don’t expect Bryce Harper to be the one who pulls this off.

5) Every year since the wildcard was invented, baseball’s more curmudgeonly fans have tsk’d teams for celebrating making the postseason. “You’ve only made the wildcard! You have nothing to celebrate!” these people grunt while eating dinner out of a can in their dimly lit living rooms reeking of cat litter. But I think these people would be the first to say that practice makes perfect, and baseball teams clearly need to practice their celebration fundamentals.

6) The Astros are 8-13 since Taylor Swift performed at Minute Maid Park, falling out of a playoff spot in the process. The Padres are 11-17 since Swift played Petco Park in late August. And the Nationals have gone from first place to fighting each other since Swift performed in their stadium.

It sounds like Taylor Swift has become a major baseball curse. But I’m sorry, the Bambino had one of the best baseball curses of all-time!

7) Fan anthems are almost exclusively horrific. That’s what makes this new St Louis Cardinals anthem remarkable: it’s so awful it has been able to break through and get noticed, like a dirty needle in a rotten haystack.

Congratulations to the Cardinals. You’re the best at baseball AND the best at embarrassing music. That’s two things you’re the best at!

8) Lest we think baseball’s Papelbonian culture is a recent development, behold this note that Phillies manager Pat Moran wrote to Philadelphia fans 100 years ago in the Philadelphia Inquirer:

He references grit with “hustling.” He’s got some traditional sports cliches in there with “a team that goes out there and plays baseball the best it knows how.” But most remarkable of all is this sentence: “Some of these fellows may think that I haven’t a championship ball club, but they have been saying a lot of other things all summer long that they will now have to back water on.” I’m pretty sure this is the first-ever sports instance of “they hate us ‘cause they ain’t us,” but delivered in old timey words. Amazing.

9) You know, maybe Moran’s guts-over-brains viewpoint on baseball is what prompted the infamous “Get A BRAIN! MORANS” sign from this . That has to be it. Cardinals fans know how to spell the right way.

10) It’s October! Playoff baseball is almost here! Who’s pumped to over-analyze every manager move while we try to convince ourselves again that back-to-back playoff participant Ned Yost has no idea at all what he’s doing? Woo! Yes!

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.”

Bill Belichick surprise press conference steers Deflategate into the surreal

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It was the day took a detour into the surreal.

Bill Belichick, the notoriously media-averse coach of the , called a surprise press conference on Saturday afternoon, then went on an unexpected offensive in the face of a football-deflation controversy that had led network TV newscasts for days.

He was 35 minutes late. He spoke at length about ball textures, equilibriums, rubbing processes and atmospheric pressures. He , a character from the 1992 Joe Pesci comedy My Cousin Vinny.

And then it got weird.

“I’m embarrassed to talk about the amount of time that I’ve put into this relative to the important challenge in front of us,” Belichick said, in a break from preparing his team for next week’s Super Bowl against the Seattle Seahawks in Glendale, Arizona.

“At no time was there any intent whatsoever to try to compromise the integrity of the game or try to gain an advantage. Quite the opposite. We feel we followed the rules of the game to the letter.”

What followed – the meat of Belichick’s 23-minute remarks – was the coach’s most detailed and defiant respier League clubs coming in for youngster Bukayo Saka.The 18-year-old has been a rising star for the Gunners this season.He rose to prominence under Unai Emery and continued his excellent form under Mikel Arteta.The Arsenal-look-fend-Bukayo-Saka-securonse to a scandal that has turned the sports world on its head in the week since the Patriots were of tampering with game footballs in their over the Indianapolis Colts.

He said the team conducted an internal investigation by simulating a game-day situation in terms of the preparation of footballs.

Because science.

Belichick expounded, matter-of-factly:

Really.

Go on.

The inherent absurdity of the grumpiest man in sports giving a high-school physics lecture to a room of grown men and women aside, the content of the remarks was so breathtakingly insipid it left the observer wondering what they were doing with their life. It was more performance art than routine component in the news-gathering process.

Given that Belichick’s defense doesn’t hold up to the most casual scrutiny – why did it happen to the Patriots’ balls and not those used by the Colts – this was a master class in creating plausible deniability. Say what you want about congeniality (or the immutability of the laws of thermodynamics), Belichick’s obfuscation game is on 100.

That was not to say Saturday’s scene was unreal. Belichick’s detached sangfroid was tested more than once, certainly compared to the far more familiar monotone vagaries of . He even , an unimaginable prospect even an hour before. Beneath the bizarre theatre was a man defending the legitimacy of his entire body of work, speaking with a Jessupian vigor grounded in leviathan self-belief.

Saturday’s news conference means nothing, in the long run. The did not outline a timetable for its investigation in a statement on Friday and likely won’t move on it until well after the Super Bowl. Which made Belichick’s unnecessary decision to hold it that much more cryptic – and compelling.

Now the Patriots appear proactive. Deflategate isn’t going away – Tuesday’s Super Bowl media day should be fun – but once mortension.Following the news that Tim Krul signed a new contract, the Norwich Evening News suggests that Vrancic could be next.The 30-year-old was a key player for the team as they earned promotion, scoring 10 goals and managing seven assists in the Che Bill Belichick has outmaneuvered the NFL and hijacked the narrative to his presumptive ar Kalvin Phillips.The Mirror says Wolves and Bournemouth have joined Aston Villa in the race to sign Phillips.Villa have offered £11million for Phillips and now Leeds’ rising midfield star has attracted interest from Wolves and Bournemouth.Phillips,dvantage.

Sergey Kovalev too powerful for Bernard Hopkins in title fight

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Never in an unparalleled 26-year career had Bernard Hopkins been on the losing end of a definitive beatdown. Until Saturday night.

Time didn’t catch up with the 49-year-old Hopkins, who lost every minute of a light heavyweight title unification fight with Sergey Kovalev at Boardwalk Hall. The north Philadelphian’s skills and reflexes are still intact. Instead, it was a stronger, primer fighter who appears poised to dominate the division for years to come.

Kovalev dropped Hopkins in the opening round and outboxed him comprehensively in the middle stages before hurting him badly in the final round. When the bell sounded with Hopkins in full retreat, the judges’ scorecards were merely a formality. All three gave the fight to Kovalev, who unified three of the major 175lbs titles and redoubled his reputation as one of boxing’s most formidable seek-and-destroy punchers.

Hopkins (55-7-2, 32 KOs), who turns 50 on 15 January, entered with the WBA and IBF versions of the 175lbs championship, which made him the oldest champion in boxing history. No longer.

“He was a really tough opponent.” said Kovalev (26-0-1, 23 KOs), who added Hopkins’s titles to his WBO belt. “He is very good at keeping distance. I really respect him for the fight, but he needs to stop his career, because he’s already done a lot in the boxing world and he needs to give an opportunity to younger fighters to be champions. I’m next.”

Saturday marked Hopkins’ eighth consecutive fight against an opponent born in the 1980s, but none of those foils were considered as dangerous as Kovalev, a heavy-handed Russian who had never been defeated, scored all but two of his victories by knockout and literally less than three years ago.

The 31-year-old’s power was beyond dispute – the oddsmakers had installed him as a 3-1 favourite – but some believed he was too linear and plodding to solve the slippery defence of the man formerly known as “The Executioner” and now known as “The Alien.”

Yet Kovalev, improbably, managed to outbox a master boxer. “He used his reach and his distance and that was the key to the victory,” Hopkins said. “He has very good mechanics and patience.”

A cautious opening round for both fighters rapidly gave way to a flashpoint of action when Kovalev connected with a right hand to the temple that sent Hopkins to the canvas for the fifth time in his career. He was up quickly, but absorbed another punishing right hand shortly after that made him hesitant to open up.

Early on, Hopkins succeeded in using deft footwork and veteran wile to make Kovalev appear less than his best, no small task against a knockout machine whose previous 13 fights had ended inside the distance. Yet after two rounds, he had landed only six punches.

By the fourth, Hopkins was in survival mode, moving laterally on the ropes and slipping punches in the corner but offering little in return.

As the rounds wore on, it became clear Kovalev was too much for Hopkins. No amount of smoke and mirrors could solve his opponent’s relentless advance. Occasionally, the Philadelphian scored with a slick counter or shrewd lead, but the moments of success proved too sparse.

Kovalev had never been taken past the eighth round in 26 pro fights. These were the rounds Hopkins had been waiting for — the opportunity to drag his opponent into deep waters aafter defeat at Brighton.Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld have all been linked with moves away in the summer but none of those outgoings came to fruition, leaving their Spurs careers in limbo.Jenas said: “I love Mauricio and rend test his conditioning — yet he was no closer to solving Kovalev in the final act than in the first.

Not content to sit back in the final round despite a wide lead on the scorecards, Kovalev instead went for the knockout. Both fighters exchanged fire with the crowd of 8,545 on its feet, yet it was Hopkins — appearing truly vulnerable for the first time in 66 pro fights — who caromed off the ropes in wait of the final bell. Never in six previous losses had Hopkins, a stingy dictator of pace even in defeat, been in serious trouble. Not so Saturday night.

Kovalev landed 38 punches in the final round, the most in a single round against Hopkins in 41 fights tracked by CompuBox. The future Hall of Famer finished on his feet. Barely. Another 15 seconds might have demanded the referee’s intervenAmazon’s December 2019 debut as a domestic broadcast partner for the Premier League peaked with an audience of approximately two million viewers for the Merseyside derby between Liverpool and Everton, according to online media outlet Digiday, reports, /.The figure is comparable to the audience on pay-TV broadcaster Sky Sports when the two clubs last played each other in March.tion.

“Tonight he was the better man,” said Hopkins, who landed 65 of 195 punches (33%), compared to 166 of 585 for Kovalev (28%). “Cut and dry.”

For Kovalev, a unification bout with the WBC champion Adonis Stevenson makes sense, though it’s doubtful the Canadian will be in a hurry to make that fight after watching Sez.The Sun says the Gunners have reportedly joined Inter Milan in the race for £25million-rated Perez .Napoli are also thought to be chasing the Spanish forward, 25, after netting a career best 12 Premier League goals this term.Arsenal boss Unai Emeaturday’s dominating performance against one of the finest technical boxers of his generation.

When pressed on his future, Hopkins – less than 10 weeks from – was glib. “Asking me to fight again right now,” he said, “is like asking a woman who was just in nine hours of labor to have another baby.”

Paulo Dybala is eager to hear from Manchester Uni

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second baseman homered and drove in two runs Wednesday against the Dodgers. Gyorko has hit safely in 9 of 10 games, batting .293 (12 for 41) with two doubles, two home runs, seven RBI and nine runs. 

Since May 14, Gyorko is batting .313 (26 for 83) with a .518 slugging percentage, four home runs, five doubles, 11 RBI and 19 runs in his last 21 games.

More News 03/22/2020 • by RotoWire Staff 02/18/2020 boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists he wasn’t playing media games regarding David de Gea’s fitness.De Gea came off with a muscle abductor problem in Spain’s European qualifier in Sweden on Tuesday and Solskjaer indicated on Wednesday he was out of the hibaut Courtois is delighted Eden Hazard is joi Park.After defeat against Wolves last time out, City produced a dominant display to ruthlessly dispatch a Palace side who came into the game in sixth place.Gabriel Jesus opened the scoring at Selhurst Park, netting his 50th goal for the Club with a ning him in Spain.Hazard has followed Courtois from Chelsea to Real this summer.And the Belgium international told Movistar: “I cannot wait for him to be with us. “His arrival is an important qualitative • by RotoWire Staff 01/10/2020 • by RotoWire Staff 11/03/2019 • by RotoWire Staff 08/18/2019 • by RotoWire Staff 08/17/2019 • by RotoWire Staff

ed with Adrien Rabiot’s full debut last night.The

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outfielder has struggled since his two-homer, four-hit performance May 15 against the Marlins. Choo has homered once, has one RBI and four multi-hit games in his last 19 starts.

Choo is batting .183 (13 for 71) with three doubles, nine runs, 15 walks and 21 strikeouts in his last 19 games. His batting average hPaul Pogba is likely to leave Manchester United this summer with Real Madrid and Juventus both chasing the midfielder, according to Sky Sports in Germany.The 26-year-old France midfielder would prefer to join Zinedine Zidane’s side in Spain, per the same source.United want to keep Pogba at least until the end of the season due to a lack oDeeney is back in light training.The attacker is going through rehabilitation following a knee injury.He had surgery two weeks ago and is already back at the club’s training ground, working back to full match fitness.”It’s my first proper day back anf replacements available on the market in January.as declined from .322 to .276 in that span.

More News 03/25/2020 • by RotoWire Staff United goalkeeper Dean Henderson.Like Henderson, Norwood came through the United youth system.“He’s been great. He’s done really well, he’s matured,” Norwood told the Manchester Evening News.”I think when I first played with him at the start of las 02/28/2020 • by RotoWire Staff 02/27/2020 • by RotoWire Staff 02/25/2020 • by RotoWire Staff 02/23/2020 • by RotoWire Staff 02/21/2020 • by RotoWire Staff