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Against backdrop of controversy, Red Sox honored by Trump

By Jonathan Lemire, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump honored the World Series champion Boston Red Sox — well, some of them — at the White House on Thursday, but made no mention of the controversy that shadowed the visit. The team's manager, Alex Cora, did not attend the ceremony after citing his frustration with the administration's efforts to help his native Puerto Rico recover from a devastating hurricane. And nearly a dozen members of the team, all players of color, skipped the opportunity to shake Trump's hand. Meanwhile, every white player on the team — as well as outfielder J.D. Martinez, who is of Cuban descent — attended. The Red Sox repeatedly denied that there was any sort of racial divide caused by the White House visit, which has been transformed from moment of celebratory ritual to hyper-politicized event under Trump. And there was no sign of discord during the rained-upon ceremony on the White House South Lawn. The U.S. Marine Corps band played versions of "Dirty Water" and "Sweet Caroline," two unofficial Red Sox anthems. A derogatory shout about the Red Sox rival, the New Yankees, was heard. Trump was presented with a Red Sox jersey with No. 18 on the back. The day was not without mishaps: The White House first incorrectly labeled the team as the "Red Socks" on its website and then later, in an email, dubbed them the champions of something called the "World Cup Series." But Trump himself stuck to the correct script, honoring the team's dominant run to the title. "Frankly, they were unstoppable. I watched," said Trump, who noted that the squad had now won more World Series titles than any other franchise this century. He laughed when Martinez teased him for being a Yankees fan. The president was accompanied by two of the team's stars, Martinez and pitcher Chris Sale, from the Oval Office and joined the rest of the team assembled under the South Portico. The team's third base coach, Carlos Febles, who is from the Dominican Republic, stood two rows behind the president. And dozens of administration officials and members of government, many of whom hail from the six New England states, stood on the lawn to cheer. Tom Werner, the team's chairman, downplayed the no-shows, saying that it was each player's personal decision whether to attend. "We don't see it as a racial divide," he said after the team received a post-ceremony tour of the Lincoln Bedroom. "I think, to the extent that we can, baseball is apolitical." A championship team's coach rarely, if ever, misses the White House visit, a tradition that began in earnest in 1924 when then-President Calvin Coolidge invited the Washington Senators. Cora had considered attending Thursday's White House event to call attention to the plight of those in Puerto Rico, where Hurricane Maria is estimated to have caused nearly 3,000 deaths. But in the end, he opted not to go. "Unfortunately, we are still struggling, still fighting," Cora said in a statement. "Some people still lack basic necessities, others remain without electricity and many homes and schools are in pretty bad shape almost a year and a half after Hurricane Maria struck. I've used my voice on many occasions so that Puerto Ricans are not forgotten, and my absence is no different. As such, at this moment, I don't feel comfortable celebrating in the White House." Before the visit, Trump defended his stance on Puerto Rico, falsely asserting once again that the territory received $91 billion in hurricane relief money, which he claimed was "the largest amount of money ever given to any state." In fact, Congress has allocated Puerto Rico just a fraction of that figure. The White House has said Trump's $91 billion estimate includes about $50 billion in speculated future disaster disbursements that could span decades, along with $41 billion already approved. Actual aid to Puerto Rico has flowed more slowly from federal coffers, with about $11 billion given so far. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 cost the U.S government more than $120 billion — the bulk of it going to Louisiana. Trump nonetheless told reporters, "the people of Puerto Rico should really like President Trump." Those around the Red Sox locker room stressed that a player's decision to attend was a personal choice and not, in many cases, political. "Politically, it didn't matter who was in the White House. If I have an opportunity to go to the White House and meet the president, I'm going to go," relief pitcher Heath Hembree said Wednesday. "Nobody tried to persuade me. They have their reasons why not to go." For some players, it may be their only chance for a White House invite. It also reflects a larger trend across baseball: A number of players hail from Trump-friendly states like Texas and Florida, while the sport has also seen a surge in Latino players and a decline in African Americans. Having also won World Series titles in 2004, 2007 and 2013, the Red Sox — who also visited wounded veterans at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Thursday — have been honored at the White House under both Republican and Democratic presidents. But the events have taken on sharp political overtones since Trump took office. When the New England Patriots visited in 2017, Trump's first year in office, far fewer players attended than when the franchise won a title under President Barack Obama. After several players on the Philadelphia Eagles and Golden State Warriors publicly declared that they would skip White House ceremonies, Trump disinvited the teams. Trump has also instituted a new tradition for the ceremonies, scrapping gourmet meals in favor of offering plates of fast food to the athletes. The Red Sox were not at the White House for a meal, Werner said. Moreover, the optics of the Red Sox visit are certain to receive additional scrutiny due to the history of racially charged moments for both the team and the city it calls home. The Red Sox, infamously, held a failed tryout for Jackie Robinson before he broke the sport's color barrier. They were the last team in the major leagues to integrate. And an Elks Club in the team's former spring training home of Winter Haven, Florida, invited only white players to events, a practice that stopped only in the 1980s, when black players complained ___ Associated Press writers Kevin Freking in Washington, Jimmy Golen in Boston and David Ginsburg in Baltimore contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 10th, 2019

Michael Goldberg, who led the NBCA for 37 years, dies

NEW YORK (AP) — Michael Goldberg, who served as executive director of the National Basketball Coaches Association for nearly four decades and was revered by many within the game, has died. His death was announced Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) by the NBCA. It came within a week of two significant honors for Goldberg, with the NBCA announcing plans to begin issuing a coach of the year award in his name and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame revealing that he would be a recipient of the John W. Bunn Lifetime Achievement Award later this year. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Goldberg 'was a beloved member of the NBA family and a dear friend.' The NBCA is dedicating this season to Goldberg. NBCA President Rick Carlisle of the Dallas Mavericks called Goldberg 'a leader, pioneer and trusted friend.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 22nd, 2017

After good start, time for Balotelli to score away from home

JEROME PUGMIRE, AP Sports Writer   PARIS (AP) — It is about time for Mario Balotelli to start scoring away from home. The Italian striker's return from suspension is much needed for Nice, which faces a difficult match at Bastia on Friday after losing ground last weekend. Nice unexpectedly dropped points by drawing 0-0 against struggling Metz, and Balotelli's absence — through suspension — was felt. The draw played into the hands of free-scoring Monaco, which moved to the top on goal difference, and defending champion Paris Saint-Germain, now only three points behind. Nice will be stronger with Balotelli leading the line, considering he averages nearly a goal a game since joining on a free transfer from Liverpool in the offseason. But the worrying statistic for Nice is that his eight league goals — and nine of the 10 he has scored overall — have all been at home. When Nice plays at home, it often dominates possession through its slick midfield and Balotelli, with his outstanding ability to hold the ball up, is regularly involved in the quick and neat approach play. It's a different story away from home, where Balotelli often drifts in and out of position as he roams for space to create opportunities out of nothing. Nice coach Lucien Favre needs Balotelli to be at his disciplined best on Friday, rather than in improvisational mode. Balotelli, who has a long history of controversy on and off the field, will also have to keep this cool. Although Bastia is only one place above the relegation zone, the Corsican side is always fiercely motivated at home, where the passionate locals at the compact 20,000-capacity Armand Cesari Stadium reserve their most vitriolic and hostile welcomes for southern clubs Nice and Marseille, and for PSG. Because of the seething animosity between Bastia and Nice fans — there have been violent clashes in the past — France's Interior Ministry decreed a ban on travelling fans. Any daring Nice fans trying to circumnavigate the ban will be prevented from trying to reach the island of Corsica either by sea — via the ports of Nice, Marseille and Toulon — or by air. Nice deplored the ban, which it says 'automatically deprives its fans of passion for the umpteenth time.' Favre, who took charge in the offseason after leaving German side Borussia Moenchengladbach, is bracing himself for a heated encounter. 'There's always something special about this game, so I've been told,' said Favre, who replaced Claude Puel after he joined Premier League club Southampton. 'In football, you always have commitment, headers, tackles. It's part of the game, if it's fair. It's up to us to react properly. You must control your emotions.' ___ GOALS GALORE Lorient's players can hardly be looking forward to the trip to play Monaco, given how many goals the French leaders are scoring. Last weekend's 4-1 rout of Marseille made it 60 league goals in 20 games — comfortably more than any other team in Europe's top five leagues — and 86 in 33 games overall this season. Bad news for Lorient, which is languishing in 19th place and has conceded 39 goals — more than any other team in the league. Monaco must be relieved it did not sell Colombian striker Radamel Falcao after he spent two unsuccessful seasons on loan at Manchester United and Chelsea as he fought back from a serious injury. Falcao has been an inspirational captain, scoring eight in the past seven games and 17 in all competitions this season. Behind him and strike partner Valere Germain, the midfield quartet of Tiemoue Bakayoko, Fabinho, Thomas Lemar and Bernardo Silva is striking a good balance. Bakayoko and Fabinho do much of the holding work, thus freeing up the skillful Lemar and the quick Silva to roam free. They were unstoppable against Marseille, with Lemar scoring an audacious lob and Silva netting twice. ___ A TIGHTER DEFENSE PSG is looking for a fifth straight win when it travels to play Nantes on Saturday. Following a rocky spell just before the mid-season winter break, PSG has won its two league games and two cup games since without fuss and without conceding a goal. But Nantes could be a different proposition, especially given how well the team is playing under coach Sergio Conceicao. Wednesday's 1-0 win over Caen was the sixth in seventh games since the former Portugal winger took charge in early December. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 20th, 2017

Baseball coach in Tupi vehicular accident dies

Baseball coach in Tupi vehicular accident dies.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsJan 18th, 2017

Chinese football: action planned on 'irrational' salaries

BEIJING (AP) — China's football association said Monday it plans a series of measures in response to 'irrational' spending by clubs on transfer fees and player salaries, amid concerns that foreign stars are crowding out local talent and harming the country's goal of becoming a global force in world football. The Chinese Football Association said in a statement Monday that the unidentified steps would target the 'operations and management' of teams in the top-tier China Super League and the China Premier League one step below it. The new measures will address 'recent irrational investments by clubs, high-figure transfer fees and salaries paid to domestic and international athletes and other issues,' the CFA said in a news release. Gaudy spending by Chinese clubs on players such as Argentina's Carlos Tevez has drawn global attention, raising fears among some that foreign stars are depriving local players of opportunities to grow. That could stifle the government's attempts to produce talent capable of achieving its stated goal of winning the World Cup by 2050, part of Chinese President Xi Jinping's push to make football success a national priority. Even in that endeavor, China is relying heavily on foreign talent, having hired veteran Italian coach Marcello Lippi to helm the men's national team. Other rules announced by the CFA appeared firmly aimed at addressing the lack of opportunities for Chinese players. They reduce the number of foreign club players who can appear at any given time from four to three and state that each team's starting list must include at least two Chinese players under age 23. Despite misgivings, Chinese clubs have continued to spend heavily over the past year to attract mainly South American stars. Apart from Tevez, whom Shanghai Shenhua said it paid an $11 million transfer fee to Argentine club Boca Juniors to acquire, they include Oscar, purchased from Chelsea, Brazilians Hulk, Ramires, Alex Teixeira and Paulinho, Colombian striker Jackson Martinez and Argentine forward Ezequiel Lavezzi. Altogether, Chinese Super League clubs splashed out close to $300 million in the winter transfer window on big names. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 16th, 2017

Former England coach Graham Taylor dies at 72

ROB HARRIS, AP Global Soccer Writer   LONDON (AP) — Graham Taylor, the England coach derided for failing to qualify for the 1994 World Cup after flourishing as a club manager working for pop star Elton John, has died. He was 72. Taylor, who won admiration by leading Aston Villa and Watford into the top-flight in the 1980s, died early Thursday of a suspected heart attack, his family said. 'The family are devastated by this sudden and totally unexpected loss,' a family statement said. Taylor is one of only four managers to have taken the same team from the fourth to the top division in English soccer, and he achieved it within five years at Watford. Elton John, who owned Watford during Taylor's two stints in charge, said it was a 'sad and dark day' for the club. 'He was like a brother to me,' John wrote on an Instagram post . 'We shared an unbreakable bond since we first met. We went on an incredible journey together and it will stay with me forever. 'He took my beloved Watford from the depths of the lower leagues to uncharted territory and into Europe. We have become a leading English club because of his managerial wisdom and genius.' Taylor reached the pinnacle of English management when he was hired by the national team in 1990, inheriting a side that reached the World Cup semifinals. 'His enthusiasm for life and football was incredible,' former England player Paul Gascoigne said. Taylor guided England to the 1992 European Championship, but the team was eliminated at the first stage, setting the tone for the rest of his time with the national team. After England lost 2-1 to Sweden in its final game at Euro 92, The Sun tabloid trashed Taylor with the headline: 'Swedes 2 Turnips 1.' Taylor's head was superimposed on a turnip, a caricature that led to the manager becoming known harshly as 'Turnip Taylor.' 'It hurts and that's what really, really annoys me,' Taylor recalled in a 2012 BBC documentary. 'They have no recognition about how much it hurts you. They think you don't care. 'And those people that know it hurts you, they put the knife into you so it hurts you even more.' Taylor's decision to grant behind-the-scenes access to a television crew for the qualifying campaign for the 1994 World Cup backfired when the extent of the strain of the job was exposed. In 'The Impossible Job,' Taylor was filmed complaining about a refereeing decision during a qualifier against the Netherlands, telling the linesman: 'Tell your mate he's just cost me my job.' Reflecting later on his shortcomings in the England job, Taylor said: 'I am not bitter. I am just disappointed in myself.' The failure to reach the 1994 World Cup in the United States was a blot on Taylor's accomplishments in management after a modest playing career ended at age 28 due to a hip injury. Having already become the youngest person to attain a full Football Association coaching badge, Taylor was able to move straight into management with Lincoln after playing for the team. After winning the fourth tier, Taylor moved south to Watford. With the boardroom backing of John, Taylor guided Watford from the fourth division to the first division (then the top tier), an FA Cup final and European competition in five years from 1978. John then allowed Taylor to move to Aston Villa, where he secured promotion to the top-flight and a second-place finish in 1990. He returned as club management after his England management, taking Watford back into the Premier League and enjoying one final spell at Villa before leaving the dugout for good in 2003. He was a regular commentator on matches in recent years for BBC radio. He is survived by wife Rita and daughters Joanne and Karen. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 13th, 2017

Pistons outlast Trail Blazers in double OT

em>By Erik Garcia Gundersen, Associated Press /em> PORTLAND, Ore. -- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hit a three-pointer with 9.4 seconds left and the Detroit Pistons outlasted the Portland Trail Blazers 125-124 in double-overtime Sunday night (Monday, PHL time) in a game postponed a day because of a winter storm. Reggie Jackson led Detroit with 31 points, Andre Drummond had 28 points and 14 rebounds, and Caldwell-Pope finished with 26. The Pistons have won two straight for the first time since Dec. 2 (Dec. 3, PHL time). CJ McCollum had 35 points for Portland in the game with 14 lead changes and 11 ties. He has scored 20 points or more in seven straight games and is averaging 33.8 points in the last five. Allen Crabbe added a career-high 30 points, and Damian Lillard had 20. McCollum's three-pointer with 8.3 seconds left tied it and 106, setting up overtime. Portland led by three in the first overtime, but the Pistons countered with a 6-0 run. McCollum answered once more, hitting a three-pointer with 16.7 seconds left to force a second extra period. The Pistons overcame a seven-point deficit in the fourth quarter to take a four-point lead, after back-to-back baskets from Marcus Morris with 2:31 left. Crabbe brought Portland closer with 48.1 seconds left to cut the Detroit lead to 104-103. Jackson came right back with a step-back jumper to put Detroit up 106-103 with 24 seconds left, only to be answered by McCollum. strong>TIP-INS /strong> em> strong>Pistons: /strong> /em> Due to the postponement, the Pistons decided to kill time Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time) at Rock Bottom Brewery in downtown Portland. 'Guys were playing pool. Most of them were over there,' coach Stan Van Gundy said. 'There was a lot of other staff there too. I wanted to go over there and not be as anti-social as I usually am.' Backup center Aron Baynes made his return to the floor after missing two games with a left ankle sprain. However, the Pistons did not get out of the game unscathed. Starting power forward Jon Leuer left Sunday's game after just six minutes with a sore right knee. em> strong>Trail Blazers: /strong> /em> Coach Terry Stotts said he likes the progress he's seen from Lillard in his return from a left ankle injury that kept him out two weeks. 'For not playing for two weeks and not really having a practice per se, I thought it was pretty good,' Stotts said. strong>UP NEXT /strong> em> strong>Pistons: /strong> /em> At Sacramento on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). em> strong>Trail Blazers: /strong> /em> At Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night (Wednesday, PHL time). .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 9th, 2017

Browns to stay the course despite 1-15 season

WILL GRAVES, AP Sports Writer br /> PITTSBURGH (AP) — The worst season in franchise history won't cost Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson his job. If anything, owner Jimmy Haslam is doubling down on his bet that Jackson, general manager Sashi Brown and the rest of the front office are the right people to turn things around. The revolving door that's been an offseason fixture since Haslam bought the team in 2012 is stopping, even after a 27-24 overtime loss to the backup-laden Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday that left the Browns an NFL-worst 1-15. 'Clearly not an acceptable year,' Haslam said. 'Really since we bought the team, it's totally unacceptable performance, which as ownership we'll take the entire blame for.' And not, Haslam stressed, Jackson or Brown, both of whom were brought in last winter to revive a team that's 15-49 over the past four seasons. 'Could not be more pleased with the job Hue and the staff are doing,' Haslam said. 'You wouldn't think this was a 1-14 team with the way this team was out there battling (today). Really pleased with Hue and really pleased with our personnel group. I think we have the right people in place.' If not the right results. At least, not yet. Their final game of 2016 looked an awful lot like the 15 that came before it: flashes of competence undone by questionable play-calling and occasionally bad luck. The Browns fumbled inside the Pittsburgh 5 with a minute to go in regulation and had a first-and-goal at the Pittsburgh 2 turn into a field goal by Cody Parkey, extending the game. Oh, and they had a potential pick-6 by Briean Boddy-Calhoun turn into a touchback when Pittsburgh's Darrius Heyward-Bey punched the ball out of Boddy-Calhoun's hands as he stretched for the goal line in the third quarter. A touchdown would have put Cleveland up 21-7 in the third quarter. Instead, the Steelers went right back down the field to tie the score. And so it goes. While the loss assured the Browns of the top pick in the draft this spring, it provided little solace after the Steelers responded to Parkey's field goal by going 75 yards in nine plays, the last a 26-yard touchdown lob from Landry Jones to Cobi Hamilton. 'We were coming here to win the game,' Jackson said. 'We weren't coming here to get a No. 1 pick. Those guys gave it everything they had.' Isaiah Crowell ran for a career-high 152 yards for the Browns, who have been playing football since 1946 (save for a brief three-year break from 1996-98) and never finished with a 'one' in the win column. Not exactly that Jackson envisioned when he took over last January. 'You can't sugarcoat this,' Jackson said. 'It is what it is. I would hope we get a chance next year to earn a different type of record. That's where it starts. We're 1-15. I never would have thought that in a million years, but we are.' Robert Griffin III passed for 232 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, but Cleveland missed a chance to beat the Steelers on the road for the first time since 2003. Griffin, signed to a two-year deal last offseason, said getting a chance to compete for the starting job in 2017 would be 'awesome.' He also acknowledged that the broken bone in his shoulder suffered in September never fully healed, though he was quick to point out it did not have a significant impact on his play. 'You'd be naive to think a guy that breaks a bone in season is going to come back with a fully healed bone,' Griffin said. 'The doctors felt I was healed enough to return to play ... but to say I was 100 percent healthy is a lie.' Like Haslam, Griffin praised Jackson and his staff for doing what they could in a difficult situation. 'I think those guys are the right guys,' Griffin said. 'I think in the offseason what those guys are going to do is give the Cleveland Browns the best chance to win going into next year.' .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 2nd, 2017

Spain's anti-doping agency investigating Nasri

SEVILLE, Spain (AP) — Spanish club Sevilla says the national anti-doping agency is looking into reports that midfielder Samir Nasri recently had intravenous treatment at a Los Angeles clinic. The clinic, Drip Doctors, posted a photo of Nasri on its Facebook and Twitter accounts on Tuesday, saying it had provided him with a drip 'to help keep him hydrated and in top health during his busy soccer season.' It describes the drip as an infusion to boost the immune system and contains 'high dose vitamin C, B vitamins, lysine and zinc combined with specially formulated nutrients.' Sevilla spokesman Jesus Gomez told The Associated Press on Friday that 'the agency has been in contact with the club to ask for information' about the player. A spokesman for the anti-doping agency told the AP that its investigators are checking whether any treatment Nasri may have received had steered clear of the list of prohibited substances. The spokesman spoke anonymously as dictated by agency policy. The 29-year-old Nasri, who is on loan from English Premier League club Manchester City after not fitting into new coach Pep Guardiola's plans, returned with the rest of his teammates from their winter break to start training on Friday. Nasri has proved to be a key player for Jorge Sampaoli's Sevilla, which has reached the Champions League's round-of-16 and sits third in the Spanish league at the winter break. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 31st, 2016

Baby Dalupan, legendary basketball coach, dies at age 92

Baby Dalupan, legendary basketball coach, dies at age 92.....»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsAug 18th, 2016

Baby Dalupan, legendary coach and starmaker, dies at 92

Baby Dalupan, legendary coach and starmaker, dies at 92.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 18th, 2016

German Olympic coach dies following car accident in Rio

ROB HARRIS, AP Sports Writer   RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — A canoe slalom coach from Germany died Monday after sustaining head injuries last week in a car crash in Rio de Janeiro, the country's Olympic team said. Stefan Henze, .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 16th, 2016

German Olympic canoe coach dies in Rio after taxi crash

German Olympic canoe coach dies in Rio after taxi crash.....»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsAug 16th, 2016

Former NFL coach Dennis Green dies at age 67

LOS ANGELES, USA - Former Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals head coach Dennis Green died Friday, July 22 after suffering a heart attack, the NFL teams said. "All of us at the Cardinals are incredibly saddened by the news of Dennis Green's passing," .....»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJul 23rd, 2016

NorthPort trades Stanley Pringle to Ginebra

MANILA, Philippines – NorthPort traded injured star guard Stanley Pringle to Barangay Ginebra as head coach Pido Jarencio looks to reunite with his former UST players.  The Batang Pier acquired Solomon Mercado, Jervy Cruz, and Kevin Ferrer from the Gin Kings in a deal that has been approved by ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated News3 min. ago

Uruguay s Vecino out of Copa America after thigh injury

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil (AP) — Uruguay midfielder Matias Vecino will miss the rest of the Copa America with a right thigh injury. Uruguay's soccer body confirmed the muscular injury on Monday, one day after Vecino left a 4-0 opening win over Ecuador in the 80th minute. Vecino started every game at last year's World Cup in Russia and coach Oscar Tabarez deems him as one of his team's key players. Arsenal's Lucas Torreira is his most likely replacement for the remainder of the tournament in Brazil. Uruguay leads Group C with three points and Ecuador has zero. Chile and Japan, the group's other teams, play their opener later on Monday. Also out of the tournament is Colombia forward Luis Muriel, who hurt his left knee in his team's 2-0 Group B win over Argentina on Saturday. Colombian doctors said Muriel will need five to seven weeks to recover from the injury......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News7 hr. 50 min. ago

Germany beats South Africa 4-0 to win World Cup group

By Joseph Wilson, Associated Press MONTPELLIER, France (AP) — Germany is playing like a title contender, just at the right time. After seeing her team start the Women's World Cup with a pair of one-goal wins, Germany coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg told her players to keep the game simple. Germany played to its status as the world's second-ranked side and one of the top challengers hoping to dethrone the United States, routing South Africa 4-0 on Monday to top Group B with a 3-0 record. The Germans will play a third-place team in the round of 16 instead of the possibility of an immediate matchup with the Americans. After Germany grinded out 1-0 wins over China and Spain, its offense broke out with three goals in the first half at Montpellier's Stade de la Mosson, matching its total in its previous five World Cup games combined. "I told my players that we should keep it simple," Voss-Tecklenburg said. "The players performed very well. They showed that football can really be very simple sometimes. ... There were moments within the match when we tried to go for the more difficult solution. That's something we can work on." Displaying a varied attack, Germany generated a constant stream of scoring opportunities and could have easily won by a bigger margin. Melanie Leupolz opened the scoring in the 14th minute with her first goal for Germany since the 2016 Olympics. Sara Däbritz doubled the lead in the 29th minute from a goal-keeping blunder, Alexandra Popp made it 3-0 in the 40th and Lina Magull added the final goal in the 58th. "I think we are ready for the round of 16," Däbritz said. "Our goal was to come in first, and we are really happy about that." South Africa was winless in group play and outscored 8-1. At 49th, South Africa had the lowest ranking of the 24 teams in the tournament. Spain finished Group B as runner-up after a 0-0 draw with China and advanced to the knockout stage for the first time. Spain will face the winner of Group F on Monday at Reims, and the United States would be the opponent with a victory or draw in its final group match against Sweden. Two-time tournament champion Germany has not lost a match in group play since falling to Sweden in 1995. "Germany has won tournaments that it started out with difficulties," Voss-Tecklenburg said. "It would be great to have the same this time. All the matches will be challenges, and I hope we will be able to meet them all." Germany didn't miss the playmaking of Dzsenifer Marozsan, who broke a toe in its opener. Voss-Tecklenburg said she couldn't guarantee the Lyon midfielder will be ready for the round of 16. Leupolz put Germany ahead when she was left all alone on the edge of the 6-yard box to deftly nod a corner kick into the far corner of the net. Däbritz made it 2-0 after a mistake by goalkeeper Andile Dlamini, who turned what appeared to be a poor German pass into a perfect assist. Left back Verena Schweers's cross looked like an easy grab for Dlamini, only for Dlamini to parry the ball right into the path of Däbritz, who got her second goal of the tournament. "We conceded poorly from a set piece and a second goal, as well, and were on our back foot from there," South Africa coach Desiree Ellis said. Germany boosted the lead to 3-0 with pure power. Popp, the team captain, jumped over her marker to drive home a header. Magull got the fourth goal when she rushed in to finish off a save by Dlamini, who did well to push a header by Marina Hegering off the post, only to see the ball bounce across the open goalmouth. Only Dlamini's sharp reflexes saved South Africa from a greater defeat. "We always knew it would be a challenge," Ellis said. "We are happy with the performance but not the result.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News7 hr. 50 min. ago

Australia and Sam Kerr quiet the haters at the World Cup

By Anne M. Peterson, Associated Press Australia's path to the Women's World Cup was turbulent even before its upset loss in the opening round. That loss to Italy in stoppage time was a terrible start for a team that some consider one of the tournament favorites. The Matildas feature Sam Kerr, their back-flipping global superstar captain, and the forward has urged her teammates to tune out criticism that followed the loss to Italy. "Ah mate, It's just outside noise, we don't listen to the haters. Look at that performance coming back from the deep," Kerr said. "I love these girls, they're something else." Italy scored in stoppage time, an upset considered the surprise of the World Cup. But Australia beat Brazil 1-0 to earn a spot in the round of 16 and closes Group C play at Stade des Alpes in Grenoble, France against Jamaica on Tuesday. Kerr has been feisty since arriving at the World Cup and the openly gay player used Twitter this week to reveal a homophobic message she had received. Kerr has been with the national team since 2009 and has 32 goals in 79 games. But she hadn't scored in a World Cup until the opener when she put the Matildas in front of Italy with a goal in the 22nd minute. She celebrated by punching the corner flag in a tribute to Australian great Tim Cahill. But Barbara Bonasea scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner in stoppage time, to give Italy the win and stun Australia. The Italy loss was one Australia didn't need after months of controversy surrounding the team. The Australian federation dismissed coach Alen Stajcic in January after an internal review revealed a "toxic" team culture. Stajcic denied any issues. He was replaced by Ante Milicic, an assistant on Australia's men's team, who had just a half-dozen exhibition games to prepare with his new team. After the loss to Italy, Milicic suggested that his team would just have to advance "the hard way." Indeed, the match against Brazil wasn't easy. Australia fell behind two goals before rallying for a 3-2 victory on a controversial own goal. The Matildas became just the second team to win a World Cup match after going down two goals. Afterward, Milicic addressed the critics of the team, too. "The important thing is that we, as a staff, give these girls every opportunity to do well in this tournament," he said. "The outside noise stays out." Chloe Logarzo suggested it's characteristic of her nation to never quit, and to ignore their detractors. "The Australian mentality is to come out swinging," Logarzo said. "We like a good fight.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News7 hr. 50 min. ago

For US men, Gold Cup finally brings chance for revival

By Dave Campbell, Associated Press BLAINE, Minn. (AP) — The overarching goal for the fledgling U.S. men's soccer team, as frequently stated by new coach Gregg Berhalter, has been to improve the perception of this sputtering program within the cutthroat hierarchy of global soccer. Though a strong performance in the CONCACAF Gold Cup probably won't move the needle much, the Americans surely would benefit, simply, from winning. Their opening game against Guyana on Tuesday night at Allianz Field in St. Paul, the new home of Major League Soccer's Minnesota United, will mark the first competitive match for the U.S. since the infamous defeat at Trinidad and Tobago on Oct. 10, 2017, that kept the team for qualifying for the 2018 World Cup. It follows a stretch of 18 consecutive friendlies. "There will be some nerves, but for us it's just about continuing to make progress throughout this tournament," Berhalter said last week after a training session at the National Sports Center in Blaine, a suburb of Minneapolis. "I think part of our profession is playing under pressure, playing in big events, and this is a great opportunity for us to learn." The 20-month gap between competitive games is the longest for the Americans since a 38-month span following a loss to Costa Rica on May 31, 1985, their final qualifier for the 1986 World Cup. Their next match that counted was a draw at Jamaica on July 24, 1988, their first qualifier for the 1990 World Cup. The U.S. won the biennial Gold Cup in 2017, a sixth title in 14 editions of the championship of North and Central America and the Caribbean. Mexico, the clear favorite, has won seven such crowns. Before any mental energy can be spent on assessing the ability to compete with their border rival to the south, though, the Americans, who are ranked 30th in the world, must advance from the group stage. On the surface, Panama (75th), Trinidad and Tobago (92nd) and Guyana (177th) don't appear to be daunting competition, but the way the U.S. team played this month in exhibition losses to Jamaica (1-0) and Venezuela (3-0) there will be no guarantees of automatic wins. The Americans are missing injured players DeAndre Yedlin, John Brooks and Tyler Adams, all first-choice starters. "If it doesn't go well you can just feel that more pressure is going to build, more questions will be asked, more scrutiny will be on Berhalter and the federation, and the outside noise is only going to get louder," said former U.S. midfielder Stu Holden, now a Fox analyst. "That's why it's really important that this team has a really good showing in this tournament." With the U.S. women leading their side of the world rankings and off to a dominant start this month in France at the Women's World Cup , the men's team won't be able to avoid the comparison game. The Americans can't mute the fan angst that has followed them for nearly two years, either, but they can at least take a meaningful step forward in the Berhalter era by displaying some potential within the pressing, possession-prioritized style he has rolled out . "We want to progress. Of course that also means winning the games, but we want to develop our style," midfielder Weston McKennie said. "Our goal is to make people see U.S. Soccer as something different as what they see now, probably." McKennie is one of the 20-year-old up-and-comers the program has staked itself to in the quest to not only return to the World Cup in 2022 but do some damage on the sport's biggest stage. The other, of course, is Christian Pulisic , who is joining English Premier League power Chelsea from Germany's Borussia Dortmund for a $73 million transfer fee. That is a record price for an American player. Veterans of the national side like Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley are still around, among just six holdovers from the roster that went to Trinidad. They are joined by Pulisic, defenders Omar Gonzalez and Tim Ream, and forward Paul Arriola on what has become a youngster's team. Getting this team in sync, socially and psychologically, might be just as important of a task for Berhalter as with the technical implementation of his system. "In warmups, they have to give each other high-fives," Berhalter said. "We do team events off the field, like going to movies together and going to restaurants together. I think that's really important to build that team chemistry." Now more than ever. "Everyone right now outside has their opinions about us, and the past couple of games, and that's perfectly fine," forward Paul Arriola said. "For us the message stays the game, and it's staying together as a team. That's how you're going to win an international tournament.".....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News7 hr. 50 min. ago

Jayson Castro could miss Gilas campaign in FIBA World Cup

MANILA, Philippines – Gilas Pilipinas might head into the 2019 FIBA World Cup without one of its most reliable stars. Jayson Castro has begged off from national team duties due to "personal priorities," Philippine team head coach Yeng Guiao said as the squad kicked off its buildup for the global ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated News12 hr. 24 min. ago