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St Louis Blues silence Boston Bruins to move to brink of first Stanley Cup

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Jordan Binnington stopped 38 shots, and Ryan O’Reilly and David Perron scored for St Louis on Thursday night to give the Blues a 2-1 victory over the and a 3-2 lead in the Stanley Cup Final.

The Blues have won two straight since a and return to St Louis with a chance to clinch the first NHL championship in franchise history. Game 6 is Sunday night and the Blues are riding a red-hot goalie of late.

“Unbelievaaccording to reports.The former Gunners midfielder is currently with the general co-ordinator of the Brazil national team, who won the Copa America final against Peru on Sunday.He has been granted permission to speak with the club’s hierarchy and wilble. He won one for us,” defenseman Colton Parayko said of Binnington.

Tuukka Rask stopped 19 shots and Jake DeBrusk scored for Boston. The Bruins were lifted by the return of captain Zdeno Chara, who left dripping blood after taking a deflected puck off his face. He wore a full-face shield on his helmet, but was unable to provide more than an emotional boost.

Chara followed Rask onto the ice for the pregame skate, and he got a lengthy cheer for his introduction. The Bruins played a video of his highlights during an early whistle, and he went out of the way to deliver the game’s first hit, just 15 seconds in, on Brayden Schenn.

When things United striker Romelu Lukaku has been offered to Napoli and Juventus.The Belgium striker held talks last week with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and told he is no longer first-choice at Old Trafford.But a £75million dream move to Inter Milan with Antonio Co went bad later, the crowd tried to spur the team on with chants of “Chara!”

But the 42-year-old defenseman’s toughness could only carry so far.

O’Reilly scored in the opening minute of the second period, backhanding in a rebound for his third goal in his last five periodsb at Juventus ahead of their Champions League clash at Lyon.Lyon host Juve in the first-leg of their Champions League round 16 tie on Wednesday night.Sarri said, “I feel frankly even more responsibility in Italy to achieve every result. You all see. It was still 1-0 midway through the third when the referees disregarded a leg sweep by Tyler Bozak that knocked Noel Acciari out of the game.

Perron followed with a shot that banked off Rask’s pad and into the net. The fans responded with a vulgar chant and a shower of rally towels; the public address announcer eventually asked them to stop.

Boston did seem inspired – or at least desperate – and cut the deficit to one goal on a delayed penalty with about six and a half minutes left. Torey Krug took a high stick to the face at the blue line but he played on, straightened his helmet and dished the puck to DeBrusk for a one-timer past Binnington.

Boston pulled Rask with a little more than a minute left and earned several chances, but couldn’t get the puck past Binnington.

Canelo Álvarez edges Gennady Golovkin by majority decision in epic sequel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Joy of Six: seasons from hell

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1) Cleveland Browns (1995)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2) Doncaster Rovers (1997-98)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3) Vince Spadea (2000)

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

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

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

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

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

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

4) Ferrari (1980)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5) Milan (1981-82)

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

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

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

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

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

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

6) Derbyshire (1920)

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

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

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

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

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

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.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alex Rodriguez to be released by Yankees, ending controversial career

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Alex Rodriguez, one of the most talented and controversial players in the history of baseball, will be released on Friday by the effectively ending his playing career.

He will take up an advisory role with the team after his final game on Friday night.

The New York Yankees slugger announced the news at a press conference on Sunday morning, bringing an end to in which he recorded 696Paul Pogba about the public criticism from his agent Mino Raiola.Raiola recently held an inteBesiktas are pushing for Burnley defender Ben Gibson.Sky Sports says Burnley have rejected a loan offer – with a view to buy – from Besiktas for Gibson. The former Middlesbrough captain struggled to force his way into Sean Dyche’s team last season after suffering two separate hernia injuries. Gibson arrived from Boro for £14m last summer.rview with Italian publication La Repubblica, in which he stated he would not send any of his other clients to United.He also insisted United are “a club out home runs (), 2,084 RBIs and a batting average of .295. He was a 14-time All Star, a three-time American League MVP and led the AL in home runs on five occasions. He won his sole World Series with the Yankees in 2009.

“We all want to keep playing forever,” said a tearful Rodriguez on Sunday. “But it doesn’t work that way.”

Rodriguez also reflected on the game he is stepping away from. “This is a tough day. I love this game and I love this team,” he said. “And today I’m saying goodbye.”

However, the 41-year-old has been in a slump this season, batting just .204 with nine home runs in 216 at-bats. The signs that Rodriguez’s career was coming to an end have been clear since the end of last month. He has started only once in 14 games since 22 July, and has homered just twice since 3 June. He is owed $21m this season and was due to make $21m in 2017, the final season of a $275m, 10-year deal with the Yankees. It is believed the Yankees are contractually obliged to pay Rodriguez his full salary for both 2016 and 2017.

Many considered Rodriguez’s deal, the biggest in baseball history when it was signed, an albatross round the neck of the Yankees who have been paying a huge salary to an ageing player.

“After spending several days discussing this plan with Alex, I am pleased that he will remain a part of our organization moving forward and transition into a role in which I know he can flourish,” said Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner in a statement. “We have an exciting group of talented young players at every level of our system. Our job as an organization is to utilize every resource possible to allow them to reach their potential, and I expect Alex to directly contribute to their growth and success. runs through his blood.

“He’s a tireless worker and an astute student of the game. Alex has already proven to be a er Tuesday’s Champions League win.Saul Niguez’s fourth minute goal was enough to hand Atleti the advantage in the last-16 tie.Liverpool were left fuming when Diego Simeone’s men celebrated wildly at the final whistle.And on Wednesday Atletico were kewilling and effective mentor to many players who have come through our clubhouse, and I am confident that this next phase of his baseball life will bring out the best in Alex and the next generation of Yankees.”

But while Rodriguez’s talents are undeniable his career will always be associated with performance enhancing drugs, something that will always raise questions about the legitimacy of his remarkable achievements. He for his part in , in which MLB players were accused of involvement with performance enhancing drugs allegedly supplied by the now defunct South Florida anti-aging clinic.

“No matter what happens, I’m at peace with myself,” Rodriguez said on Tuesday. “I think I can contribute. I think I can help out in the clubhouse but if not, I have two beautiful daughters waiting for me in Miami.”

Rodriguez returned last season, and enjoyed initial success before a late slump left him with a .250 average for the year with 33 home runs and 86 RBIs.

Jarryd Hayne and Fiji take World Series title but Scotland win London Sevens

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If the London Sevens were the Olympic rugby tournament in Rio, Scotland – read, Great Britain – would have taken the gold medal, South Africa silver and the USA bronze. and Fiji would have gone home with nothing at all.

The former San Francisco 49ers running back got on the field as Fiji lost 26-19 to the USA in the third-place game. The Eagles had lost to Scotland in the semi-final, ending their attempt to defend the .

The tournament was the last on the before rugby’s return to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in August. Fiji did enough to secure a second World Series title in a row, while Scotland caused a huge upset in a thrilling final against the Blitzbokke, winning 27-26.

Hayne made the Fiji squad a week after his . Used as a substitute throughout the event – though not in the semi-final defeat by South Africa – he said: “At the moment, I’m behind the eight ball and I’ve got no problem with that. It’s about working hard and getting there.

“They’re the world champs. Sometimes in lifedy to sign for Tottenham.The Sun says, however, chairman Daniel Levy is refusing to meet a £60million asking price for Lo Celso.The Argentine playmaker has told the Seville-based La Liga club that he wants to join Tottenham even though Manchester Un, it’s not about success, but it’s about the experience and just being part of that team.

“[It is the] first Fijian team to win back-to-back titles and they’ve got a bunch of superstars who are going to be a joy to train with and a joy to play with. It’s not about coming over and making the team, it’s about giving me an opportunity to make a team.”

Hayne now faces six weeks of intense training in Fiji to prove to coach Ben Ryan that he’s not only fit enough for Rio, but good enough to displace one of the team’s established stars.

“Our cupboard is not just deep, it’s absolutely littered with fantastic talent,” Ryan said. “We had a very light week this week … when we’re running up 100-metre sand dunes, when these guys are the fittest rugby players Fiji has ever had and they’re still throwing up after sessions, his lactate’s going to be going into overdrive.

“Whether he’ll be able to tolerate that in a short timeframe is a serious question.”

Hayne had a huge amount to do to compete, Ryan said. “This isn’t just a random side, this is the best side in the world in the last two years. A Fijian side that plays a very high-tempo, high-risk game that requires enormous amounts of skill and he has that, and enormous amounts of fitness, and he hasn’t got that at the moment.”

On Sunday, the USA had a startling 42-14 win over New Zealand and another multi-sport superstar aiming for an Olympic place, the erstwhile league and boxing standout .

It was the Eagles’ highest points total against the All Blacks Sevens, a team they beat for the first time ever . There were four tries from the former football player Perry Baker, two in each half, and one each for Ben Pinkelman and Madison Hughes, who converted all six scores.

Asked about the New Zealand win, USA coach Mike Friday said: “That was the sort of performance we’re capable of if they listen and execute. We are a seriously dangerous team, we can hurt anyone on our day.

“We have to focus the full 14 minutes. This sevens game is brutal, absolutely ruthless, if you’re not quite on your game.”

Of the defeat by Scotland, Friday said: “We were in control and it was an appalling two minutes, gift-wrapped, under the Christmas tree, whatever you want to call it, you name it they took it.

“But my boys fully deserved that win against Fiji as we move into Olympic preparation.”

Looking towards the Olympics, Friday identified the Sunwolves flanker Andrew Duratolo, Saracens wing Chris Wyles and the injured Carlin Isles as players set to come back into contention.

He did not single out Nate Ebner, the New England Patriots special teams player who spent this weekend with the second-string Falcons, .

“We need to be 12 hungry players ready for war when we get to Rio,” Friday said. “It will be a monumental event.”

Competition on the World Series has intensified as the Olympics approach: Scotland’s tournament win, their first ever, featured a win over hosts England in the last eight and followed triumphs for Samoa in Paris and Kenya, also a first-time winner, in Singapore.

Hayne’s switch from San Francisco caused surprise in rugby union, rugby league and American football. It also led some to question wheplayer-coach in January from MLS side DC United, reports BBC Sport.Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers is eyeing a reunion with Jordon Ibe.The Bournemouth winger broke through the ranks at Liverpool while Rodgers was first-team manager.Having paid Liverpool £15m for Ibe in 2016, the Cherries would not be willing to sell him on the cheap.The Englishman played 23 times for Eddie Howe’s side this season.The 33-year-old forward, who is Manchester United and England’s all-time record goalscorer, will join the Rams on an initial 18-month contract.He signed for Washington-based DC from Ether he would be eligible for the Olympic Games , given his recent residence in the non-compliant NFL.

He was before the London tournament, and in a statement issued by World Rugby sought to underline his commitment to his new team.

“My dad is Fijian and we watched a lot of [Waisale] Serevi games,” he said naming , “and William Ryder was a big idol of mine.

“I have always dreamt about playing sevens for Fiji and I’ve been given the opportunity.”

The Australian Associated Press contributed to this report

Leicester City and Carolina Panthers: a friendship founded on underdog success

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Their bandwagon has beer. Charlotte gets the swag and the bromance, but Leicester City’s true Carolina hearts actually rest two hours north and west of Bank of America Stadium, nestled in a mountain range.

If ever an official mid-south Foxes supporters group were to see the light of day, the odds are good it would probably spring from Asheville, North Carolina, , a soccer-friendly burg of 83,000-plus that’s home to more than a dozen craft breweries. A burg where Chris Watts has been preaching the gospel of blue for more than 15 years now.

“It’s like a dream,” says Watts, a Leicestershire native who has called Asheville home since moving to the States almost two decades ago. “My brother’s a season-ticket holder and he gets to the games. I was over there in October, against Crystal Palace and Watford, and it was just unbelievable to see where we were. And you keep thinking, ‘Is this going to keep going?’ It’s a bit like a dream. At the same time, it’s brilliant.”

Pinch him, he giggles. And why the hell not? Watts has been a fan for more than 10 years and a Foxes fan for pretty much the last five decades, through thick, thin, and thinner. Some eight years earlier, he had shepherded a group of US friends back to Leicestershire for his 50th birthday and a series of matches in the Midlands, including a pair at the King Power, then the Walkers Stadium.

“Five minutes into the [match],” one of those friends, Tim Branson, recalls of his initial Foxes experience, “I saw four guys carrying out two.”

But he was hooked.

The second game, they got the skybox treatment. Watts landed a program signed by the team — which, as it turned out, would become the first Foxes side ever to be relegated from the Championship to the third tier of the English football pyramid.

“I’ve still got it,” Watts chuckles. “I’ve got a signed program, in a frame, of Leicester at their lowest.”

And look who’s laughing now.

The Panthers prepping for the biggest single event in North American sport, Super Bowl 50’s NFC gatecrashers. The Foxes are atop the most popular soccer league on the planet. First, they were cute. Then a curiosity. Then a fluke. Then a stubborn anamoly. They weren’t supposed to here, either of them.

The parallels are valid and real enough: they’d finished their previous seasons on an unexpected, almost desperate hot streak. They’d been dismissed by the experts, were under-appreciated outside their own province, middling brand names turning in gold-caliber performances, week after week, month upon month. looked at the Carolina Panthers, 3,924 miles and an ocean away, and saw — well, themselves.

“The beginning of the year, [Leicester City] didn’t have great expectations … and kind of the same goes for us,” says Panthers kicker Graham Gano, one of four Carolina players to receive customized Leicester City shirts from the surprise leaders last month. “They’ve done really well this year, and so have we. So they kind of thought their season was similar to ours and they pulled fArsenal hero Martin Keown has urged the club to move for Manchester United defender Chris Smalling.Smalling is currently on-loan with AS Roma.“Smalling is doing exceptionally well – £13 million, the price they are putting on his head, that’s not enough,” Keown said on BT Sport.”Arsenal could maybe do worse than to take him.”Smalling’s loan runs to June.or us and that’s how we got the jerseys.”

Before their NFC Divisional Round test against Seattle on 17 January, Panthers players turned up at work to find that the Foxes had sent over customized blue shirts for quarterback Cam Newton, cornerback Josh Norman, linebacker Luke Kuechly and Gano.

“Carolina have had an incredible season,” the Leicester left-back Christian Fuchs . “Like us, they ended last season really well and again, like us, some people didn’t expect them to do what they’ve done this season, even after the great start they had.”

Before long, they shared a narrative and a hashtag: #KeepPounding. The Panthers returned the favor, and Leicester shared pictures and videos on social media of striker Jamie Vardy, centre-back Wes Morgan, Fuchs and goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel decked out in Carolina black, tossing and kicking an football around.

“They were natural at it,” Gano says. “It would be interesting to see them kicking field goals and what it would look like. Obviously, their form looks good, but I never saw the ball going through the uprights. It’s a little different swing than [it takes] to keep the ball under the posts. But I’d love to have an opportunity sometime to have a kick around with some of the pros over [there], and compare how I match up with those guys.”

But he thinks they’d probably be thick as thieves, espack from his shocking knee injury.The setback means Chambers’ season is over, with the defender to be sidelined for six to nine months.He posted on Twitter: “Devastated to end 2019 like this! If there’s one message I’d like to get across it’s that I’ecially after the Foxes posted a video to YouTube of Fuchs attempting a series of “keepy-uppis” with the oblong American ed to a multitude of Premier League clubs. The Ivorian wide man has been a key player for Crystal Palace since returning to Selhurst Park in 2014, and is perennially touted for a step up.Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur are among the clubs to hfootball.

“I was in the airport in Chicago and I’m sitting at the bar and got talking about football – American and English,” Watts recalls. “And I pulled up [the Fuchs video] to show a few others. It’s pretty neat to see an English soccer player, albeit an Austrian, keeping up an American football. They thought it was pretty cool.”

In one corner, the Panthers, unloved, slapped with 22-to-1 odds to win the NFC back in May and 40-1 to win the whole shebang. In the other, Leicester, dismissed almost universal preseason favorites to be relegated this term, 2000-1 odds to win the league at the start of the campaign.

“It’s not quite the same,” Watts says of the two franchises and their comparative roads. “But nobody was expecting the Panthers to be where they are. A lot of my friends, when they saw the stuff about the shirts [coming over], and then the Panthers sent shirts back the other way, it’s been neat.”

Carolina are playing in their first Super Bowl in 12 years; since 2003-04, 13 different NFL teams have qualified for the title game. Leicester are the first squad other than one of the “Big Five” clubs [Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea] to be leading the Premier League in the last week of January since Newcastle in 1995-96.

“Being on both sides, [the more remarkable story is] Leicester City, for me, just because of what they’ve had to do, the fight, where they’ve had to come from,” says Branson. “Going down to the third division and going back into the second and having to fight their way back to the top. Asheville’s got a single-A [baseball] club. It would be like them somehow winning and if they did promotions, getting promoted to the majors. In a little city like Asheville, it doesn’t happen very often.”

“You’ve got to have respect for them,” Gano says of the Foxes’ rise. “I haven’t been able to catch a ton of their games – we’ve been pretty busy over here, so I haven’t really had the opportunity to catch up with them.”

And, full disclosure, Gano is a Bayern Munich fan, having grown up bouncing from Scotland to Germany to Scotland to Canada as a Navy brat (“I used to have a thick accent,” he notes, without a trace of burr.) Born in Scotland, he also maintains a bit of a soft spot for Rangers.

“But I didn’t have a favorite English team,” the kicker says. “So I guess I can pull for [Leicester] now.”

After all, there’s plenty of room on the wagon. And in Asheville, the best beer on the continent never tasted better.

USA Sevens brings world’s finest to Vegas – but can US rugby live with the best?

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“Imagine what it’s going to be like in 2020 if we’ve got some kids from the Bronx and Brooklyn, playing in the in Tokyo.”

In his spare office in New York City, on 9th and West 45th, trophies stacked with bags of rugby balls on the metal shelves behind him, Mark Griffin smiles and takes a sip of water. Griffin is the , an inneuito midfielder Jose Cifuentes admits he’s had an offer from Manchester City.The 20-year-old never made the move but he has revealed that City were interested but he wasn’t allowed to leave the club.“All contacts are closed, it was published by ther-city nonprofit which is now joint-operator of America’s first community Olympic development programme (CODP) for rugby union. The sport returns to the Games in Rio this summer but Griffin is looking four years ahead.

In Las Vegas, meanwhile, the best men’s teams in the world are looking only to the next three days, in which they will contest .

The big teams are attacking Olympic year in earnest: New Zealand will field , while is in South Africa’s squad.

The US Eagles do not have such superstars, though they do have , and , crossovers from football who have made themselves increasingly well known. In Vegas, they will be contenders for a knockout place, for a tournament win, for points on the HSBC World Series.

In this Olympic year, though, the Eagles’ job extends beyond the field of play. They must begin to win the attention of the American sporting public – both TV viewers and, perhaps more importantly, striving young athletes.

That is where Griffin and others come in. When it comes to the effect the Games can have on American youth rugby, most such operators agree with , a former Eagles prop turned entrepreneur who will on Friday stage an awareness-raising event at Sam Boyd Stadium in Vegas, under the title “”.

“Rugby is ,” James says, down the phone from San Francisco, citing a familiar statistic from the which says participation in US youth rugby grew by 81.6% from 2008 to 2013.

James then cites a familiar view in rugby, bolstered by the same survey finding that in the same period youth participation in tackle football fell by 21%: “We need to seize that Olympic s they need to find some arrogance to convert draws into wins.Maguire claims that United are missing the self-belief needed to control games.He said: “It’s another game where we’ve deserved to win. We’ve created the majority of the chances and we’vmoment with parents who maybe don’t want theo 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 seasoir kids playing football.”

Rugby, it should be said, . But James continues: “Just the fact that rugby is included is a game-changer. The US public are very keen on the Olympics, it brings exposure, funding from the government and other bodies too. This is the very tip of the iceberg for what that’s going to mean.”

Griffin, after on the cracked asphalt of Queens and Manhattan now taking a big step through the CODP, puts the same point another way.

to provide a pathway from inner-city, school or rugby club to elite Olympic competition.

Rugby now has a foothold in America. Or, to stay with the dubious moutaineering analogies, potentially frightening exposure. The performance of the Eagles’ men’s and women’s teams in Rio will help determine how fast and safe the climb can be.

So will the many stakeholders of American rugby. In terms of developing the men and women who will play in Tokyo and beyond, governing body USA Rugby supervises, from Colorado, as a number of organisations seek out talent. There is also and , and more. The English are interested too: Premiership Rugby recently launched its programme, also in New York.

In Play Rugby USA’s case, though, four young women who discovered the game with the programme will this weekend represent in the , a huge club, high school and college event that runs alongside the international tournament. None of the New York girls had seen a rugby ball till relatively recently; one will go on to play for the in Vancouver next week.

“We’re at the forefront of girls’ rugby,” Griffin says, “and we equally promote it with the boys. It’s about equal opportunity, although our high-school program is now 51% girls.”

James adds: “Olympic inclusion is because with Title IX, colleges are looking for women’s sports. This is a massive opportunity for rugby.”

That sense of opportunity is not confined to the Olympics: in 2018 the men’s and women’s World Cup Sevens and in the full 15-a-side version of the game, , a five-team professional league, is due to kick off next month.

But most observers agree: come , if the American men and women are on the podium, the game at home will receive a tremendous boost. A gold medal may be, in Griffin’s words, “Miracle on Ice sort of stuff”. But if nothing else, his reference to shows the stakes for which American rugby is playing.

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!

Our favourite things online this week: from Wimbledon views to slam dunks

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Forrest Allen, one of the foremost basketball coaches in the early 20th century, was no fan of the slam dunk. He set out his case for raising the hoop an extra two feet off the ground in an article entitled “Dunking Isn’t Basketball” for Country Gentleman magazine in 1935. “Those tall fellows were leaping at the 10-foot baskets and were literally ‘dunking’ the ball into the hoop, just as a doughnut is inelegantly dipped into the morning coffee,” he wrote, with an air of haughty despair. “And I say that is not basketball. My conception of the game is that goals should be shot and not dunked.”

Allen is not alone i Di Francesco has left Sampdoria.A Samp statement confirmed they and Di Francesco had severed their ties by mutual consent.The former Roma boss only moved to Marassi over the summer, but six defeats and only one win from seven Serie A games have leftn opposing the slam dunk. Over the past century, various new rules have been proposed to end the practice: no backboard, a convex backboard, a smaller basket, a bigger ball, a smaller ball, a height limit, a one-point zone near the basket, a no-scoring zone near the basket, and a height cap that would limit a team to an aggregate of 30 feet for its five players. has detailed the history of the anti-dunk brigade in this article for the increasingly essential .

Long live the slam dunk.

Sports photographers usually have a clear view of the action. They do not have to wrestle with jubilant fans, peer around pillars or steady their cameras while dodging beer spilled by the boisterous drunkards sitting behind them.

Kieran Doherty, who won for his series , eschewed the advantages that come with being a professional photographer when he went to Wimbledon last summer. He turned up for the championship with nothing more than a camera and a ground pass.

With no chance of capturing close-ups of grunting players, he had to wander around the outside courts and seek out angles usually missed by the press pack. Doherty saw the championship from the vantage point of the everyman but with the eye of a grand master. It’s not hard to see why these original, ingenious photos took the top prize.

You might want to sign ’ petition about the Premier League paying their staff the living wage. He has a point:

Jay Beatty has won the Scottish Premiership’s Goal of the Month award, which is quite an achievement given that he is only 11 years old and his goal came from the penalty spot during the half-time interval.

“Wee Jay” is no stranger to the limelight. The young Celtic fan, who has Down’s syndrome, was plucked from the crowd by Georgios Samaras last May as the players and fans celebrated winning the league. His star has been on the rise ever since. Samaras invited the Beatty family to watch Greece at the World Cup but they had to turn down his offer to go on their family holiday.

Jay is a busy boy. He travelled to Spain to pick up a special award from El Mundo Deportivo earlier this month. When the Barcelona president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, offered him the chance to walk out on the turf at the Camp Nou and meet the players, Jay had to decline politely. Celtic were playing Partick Thistle that night and he wanted to fly back home in time to watch the match on TV. That’s loyalty.

What makes winners win? A sheer, unadulterated, bloody-minded obsession with victory, argues in this piece for :

has been a prg Christan Eriksen.The Danish international has failed to sign a new contract at Spurs, meaning he will be out of contract next summer.Real Madrid and Manchester United have been linked with the attacking midfielder.Pochettino said: “I hope he will [ofessional photographer for over 40 years. He has seen a few things in his time, as discovered when he interviewed him for . Here is Leech’s advice to aspiring photographers:

Choose a 3pm kick-off on a Saturday. Choose Enfield Town v Leiston.

The best young female pole vaulters in the US are identical twins. The 18-year-olds, Lexi and Tori Weeks, who spoke to of the , say they improve each other, would be lost if they were parted and dream of qualifying for the 2016 Olympics together. Good luck to them.

When between Ebbsfleet United and Bromley FC spilled on to the streets, local residents had their cars and property damaged to the cost of £1,000. The , but in the meantime, the people who run the website have set up to help raise some funds for the local people who were affected by the vandalism.

Mike Bandry, who is trying to raise £1,000 in the next three weeks, believes that “non-league football is a community” and that supporters should club together to help the innocent people affected: “What better way for our community to club together and restore the faith of local residents who have been affected by the vandalism. Mindless acts of individual and group stupidity will ultimately end up hitting the pockets of innocent bystanders, let’s give them a hand.” Any fn be pleased with the way they’ve finished the season.Azpilicueta, who has captained the side on the pitch, reflected on a chequered campaign.”Obviously in this season we have had up and downs, we have arrived in the final of the Carabao Cup and lostunds left over will be passed on to a charity of Ebbsfleet United’s choice, so give generously.

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

nal is expected to be sold by the Parisians, with

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As expected, starting pitcher (triceps) was Tuesday to start against the Giants. Johnson was 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA and .267 opponents’ batting average in three rehab starts (Class A and Double-A).

More News 09/16/2015 • by Marty Gitlin 09/06/2015 • by Sean D’Oliveira n their upcoming Champions League clash.The Blues are facing off against Lille in the second game of the group stages.And they know that it is crucial for them to get a win, given they lost theier Matthew Upson insists Carlo Ancelotti would be entering new territory at the Emirates, despite his extensive resume.The Italian is reportedly holding talks with both Arsenal and Everton after he was sacked by Napoli this week.Ancelotti has won titr first game at home to Valencia.Two defeats would put t 09/04/2015 • by Sean D’Oliveira 09/04/2015 • by Marty Gitlin 09/01/2015 • by Sean D’Oliveira mer Barcelona and PSG fullback Alves’ signing presentation was held yesterday by Sao Paulo and he was asked about their deal for ex-Atletico Madrid fullback Juanfran.Alves said, “I placed myself at his disposal to help him, he is a person who is chan 07/26/2015 • by Sean D’Oliveira

star Lionel Messi over a sensational move to join

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reliever injured his right thumb in the fifth inning Tuesday against the Padres after he was struck by a comebacker off the bat of Yasmani Grandal. X-rays were negative on Guerrier’s thumb, according to .com.

“It hurts,” Guerrieemier League title.The former Manchester United striker, who supports Everton, says not finishing the season would create too many problems.Rooney, who now plays for Derby County, wrote in the Sunday Times: “Liverpool will win the Premier League.”Nowr said, pointing to the thumb on his pitching hand. “It hit the nail and pushed it back a little bit. I don’t know how it did, but it hit both of those spots pretty good.”

The Dodgers hope G was 1990 when the Reds were last Champions of England, a streak they could break during the 2019-2020 season.Klopp spoke about last season’s title race, when they took Manchester City to the wire.He recalls the game against Leicester, where City neeuerrier is day to day and avoids a stint on the disabled list.

“He’s going to have some swelling,” manager Don Mattingly said. “His nail got torn up a little bit. We’ll ary Neville says the strength of Liverpool’s front three has given the club a transfer conundrum.With Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane practically cemented in his starting line-up, Manchester United legend Neville believes Jurgen Klopp wsee what goes on with that.”