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Is the breakaway Super Euro League really bad for football?

The alleged European Super League has the world of sports abuzz. If this happens, it will be the first time since the 2000s where the modern-day football [pyramid was aligned. .....»»

Category: sportsSource: philstar philstarApr 19th, 2021

Is the breakaway Super Euro League really bad for football?

The alleged European Super League has the world of sports abuzz. If this happens, it will be the first time since the 2000s where the modern-day football [pyramid was aligned. .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsApr 19th, 2021

Super League doomed as English clubs pull out

London -- The proposed European Super League appeared dead in the water on Wednesday after all six English clubs withdrew following a furious backlash from fans and threats from football authorities......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsApr 21st, 2021

Wave of the future

Last Tuesday, the London School of Economics Student Union conducted a virtual panel discussion on “The Rise of Asian Sports Business” with host Yuyang Cao and academic chair Dr. Xiaoran Hu presiding in a lively one-hour forum featuring guests Sports Business Strategy and Marketing professor Simon Chadwick, former NBA China CEO Derek Chang, Bundesliga Borussia Dortmund football club head of China Benjamin Wahl and East Asia Super League CEO Matt Beyer......»»

Category: sportsSource:  philstarRelated NewsFeb 20th, 2021

Brady powers Buccaneers

LOS ANGELES (AFP) — Tom Brady threw five touchdowns to five different receivers to lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a come-from-behind 38-31 National Football League (NFL) win over the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday in Tampa, Florida. Six-time Super Bowl champion Brady passed for a total of 369 yards, with his favorite target being […] The post Brady powers Buccaneers appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 5th, 2020

Oscar stars as Chinese football welcomes back fans after virus

The Chinese Super League permitted spectators on Saturday for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic, with former Chelsea star Oscar marking the occasion by hitting the winner......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsAug 22nd, 2020

China to allow first football fans in stadiums since coronavirus

The Chinese Super League is planning to allow a very limited number of spectators into a high-profile match on Saturday, the first time fans can attend a game since the coronavirus pandemic......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 20th, 2020

UAAP 2nd sem athletes celebrated as UST claims general title anew

For the fourth year in a row, there is no movement at the mountaintop of the UAAP. University of Sto. Tomas has been hailed as General Champion for the Srs. Tournaments once more as it ran away with the crown with 209 total points. The Growling Tigers were officially recognized as such in the Season 82 closing ceremony held online Saturday. They built their overall win on gold medals in men's and women's beach volleyball, men's and women's table tennis, and men's judo. All that was more than enough to grant them a more than 30-point lead over runner-up De La Salle University. And all that was more than enough to notch the 44th mark in Srs. General Championships for the black and gold. UST's high school was not going to be outdone as well as it rode its 159 total points all the way to the mountaintop of the Jrs. Tournaments. On the back of wins in boys' and girls' swimming, boys' baseball, boys' judo, and boys' taekwondo, the Tiger Cubs got the better of second-placer La Salle Zobel for their sixth straight Jrs. General Championship. Meanwhile, student-athletes whose campaigns were cut short by the continuing COVID-19 crisis were recognized in the event shown on ABS-CBN Sports' online platforms. Those include competitors in athletics, baseball, football, indoor volleyball, lawn tennis softball, and track and field which were all set to go, or even already underway, before the pandemic forced all second semester sports to end earlier than expected. That was exactly why the UAAP went out of its way to still give these student-athletes their shine. Even better for so-called super seniors from those second semester sports, the league has already reportedly discussed and deliberated the proposed one-year extension of their eligibility. According to outgoing president Em Fernandez, the proposal is just awaiting the approval of the league's Board of Trustees. That means that student-athletes such as Arlyn Bautista from Adamson University softball, Jho Maraguinot and Kat Tolentino from Ateneo de Manila University women's volleyball, Diego Lozano from De La Salle University men's baseball, Ricky Marcos from National University men's volleyball, and Miggy Clarino from the University of the Philippines' men's football have an option to play out their last year of eligibility next season instead. Next season will see De La Salle University taking over hosting duties from Ateneo. The formal passing of the hosting of baton officially wrapped up UAAP Season 83. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 25th, 2020

China s football team more united under coronavirus

Coronavirus has indefinitely postponed the Chinese Super League (CSL) season but it has given the national team time to bond under coach Li Tie, the side's goalkeeper Yan Junling said on Monday......»»

Category: sportsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsMay 25th, 2020

Phenom tops UAAP basketball s best monikers since 2000

The UAAP has long been a breeding ground - and a proving ground - for young talent before they make their way into the professional ranks. In the last 20 years alone, names such as Arwind Santos, Ben Mbala, and Thirdy Ravena have showcased their skills in the UAAP. Of course, all the highlights, all the headlines, and all the wins have helped define all those players. If those weren't enough, however, a lucky few also had nicknames that easily identified them. Here, we have gathered the best of the best monikers in the UAAP since 2000. And we have broken them down into these categories: MONIKERS THAT DESCRIBE HOW A PLAYER PLAYS When you think about La Salle' Mac Cardona, you think about his semi-hook shot - whether it be while he's standing still or he's rushing into the lane. That is why he's "Captain Hook." When you think about Ateneo's Matt Nieto, you think about his free throws and his long-range missiles that sealed the deal for Ateneo several times over in its three-peat. (Photo courtesy of Chinese Taipei Basketball League) That is why he's "Matty Ice." When you think about Green Archer Mike Cortez, you think about his smooth and silky moves around and through defenders and even when finishing at the rim. That is why he's "The Cool Cat." The same goes for Joseph Yeo's sneaky forays inside the paint as "The Ninja," JC Intal's explosive leaping ability as "The Rocket," or Nino Canaleta's versatility as a forward, much like "KG" Kevin Garnett. Following this logic, you would know why Larry Fonacier is "The Baby-Faced Assassin," Rico Maierhofer is "The Kite," Emman Monfort is "Pocket Rocket," Kib Montalbo is "Man of Steal," and Jason Perkins is "Hefty Lefty." MONIKERS THAT PLAYED ON GIVEN NAMES It's fun to be witty - and it's even more fun to use a player's very name for a moniker. Take Paul Lee, for instance, a feared gunslinger even from his time in UE. So you take Mr. Lee's last name and put it in a phrase that represents the effectiveness and efficiency of a weapon - and you have "Lethal Weapon." (Photo courtesy of Mon Jose Instagram) La Salle had a shooter just as deadly, if not even more so, in the form of Renren Ritualo. And because Renren made it rain threes all the way to having his jersey retired in Taft Avenue, he was "The Rainman." Kirk Long was never the fastest, was never the strongest, was never the best at shooting, was never the best at playmaking, but what he always had were the smarts to put it all together. That was very much evident especially in his latter years in Ateneo where he was one of the team's leaders - and that was more than enough for him to be mentioned as if he were William Shatner as "Captain Kirk," guiding the USS Enterprise to boldly go where no man has gone before. Also included here are "Wild Wild Wes" for Wesley Gonzales and "Super Sumang" for Roi Sumang. MONIKERS ABOUT ONE DEFINING MOMENT UP has not had an iconic moment in UAAP basketball since it won it all back in 1986. "Atin to, papasok to!" -- Paul Desiderio during the timeout. Moments later...#UAAPSeason80 pic.twitter.com/7yafSpldJM — ABS-CBN Sports (@abscbnsports) September 10, 2017 Enter Paul Desiderio who, in the first game of UAAP 80, uttered two words that would become the rallying cry for all the Fighting Maroons. From then on, Desiderio became known as "Mr. Atin 'To" - and in Diliman, he will always be known as the legend who led State U's breaking of the proverbial glass ceiling. THE ULTIMATE UAAP MONIKER Monikers can be descriptive. Monikers can be fun. Monikers can be iconic. Not one moniker in the UAAP since 2000, however, has had as much of an impact as "Phenom." Kiefer Ravena has been known as Ateneo's "Phenom" ever since he donned the blue and white in high school. Without a doubt, he did nothing but live up to that billing as he ultimately became a two-time champion and two-time MVP as a Blue Eagle. His moniker, though, lived on in Katipunan long after he had left - with the school having "Phenoms" in women's volleyball, men's volleyball, and football. Make no mistake, Alyssa Valdez, Marck Espejo, and Jarvey Gayoso are great in their own right, but they will always have a nickname that, first and foremost, belonged to Kiefer Ravena. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 25th, 2020

British football shuts down to halt coronavirus spread

LONDON: The English Premier League suspended all fixtures until April 4 on Friday (Saturday in Manila) after Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for coronavirus. Matches in the English Football League, Women’s Super League, all football in Scotland and international friendlies for England and Wales have also been suspended. “Following […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsMar 14th, 2020

Brady says I still have more to prove in Instagram post

By Kyle Hightower, Associated Press BOSTON (AP) — Whether Tom Brady will return as quarterback of the New England Patriots next season is still an open question. But the 42-year-old on Wednesday gave another indication that he isn't done playing football. In an Instagram post to fans, Brady said “I still have more to prove” following a season that ended with the Patriots failing to reach the Super Bowl for the first time since 2015.         View this post on Instagram                   I just wanted to say to all of our fans, THANK YOU! After a few days of reflection, I am so grateful and humbled by the unconditional support you have shown me the past two decades. Running out of that tunnel every week is a feeling that is hard to explain. I wish every season ended in a win, but that’s not the nature of sports (or life). Nobody plays to lose. But the reward for working hard is just that, the work!! I have been blessed to find a career I love, teammates who go to battle with me, an organization that believes in me, and fans who have been behind us every step of the way. Every one of us that works at Gillette Stadium strived to do their best, spent themselves at a worthy cause, and prepared to fail while daring greatly (h/t Teddy Roosevelt). And for that, we’ve been rewarded with something that the scoreboard won’t show - the satisfaction of knowing we gave everything to each other in pursuit of a common goal. That is what TEAM is all about. In both life and football, failure is inevitable. You dont always win. You can, however, learn from that failure, pick yourself up with great enthusiasm, and place yourself in the arena again. And that’s right where you will find me. Because I know I still have more to prove. A post shared by Tom Brady (@tombrady) on Jan 8, 2020 at 5:50am PST “In both life and football, failure is inevitable," he wrote. “You dont always win. You can, however, learn from that failure, pick yourself up with great enthusiasm, and place yourself in the arena again.” New England's season ended with a 20-13 loss in the wild-card round to the Tennessee Titans on Saturday night. A six-time Super Bowl champion, four-time Most Valuable Player of the NFL title game and three-time winner of the league MVP, Brady could become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career when his contract ends in March. That has placed team owner Robert Kraft and coach Bill Belichick on the clock to either bring back Brady for his 21st season or watch the franchise’s greatest player depart from the only team he's called home. Belichick said this week that there isn't an established timeline to resolve Brady's status, but he acknowledged that his case is unusual. “Everybody's situation is different," Belichick said. "Certainly, Tom is an iconic figure in this organization. And nobody respects Tom more than I do.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 8th, 2020

Madrid beats Valencia 3-1 to reach Spanish Super Cup final

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Helped by a clever goal by Toni Kroos directly from a corner kick, Real Madrid comfortably defeated Valencia 3-1 on Wednesday to kick off the revamped Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia. Francisco “Isco” Alarcón and Luka Modric also scored for Real Madrid as it advanced to Sunday's final against either Barcelona or Atlético Madrid, who will play on Thursday. Kroos curled in an exquisite right-footed shot from the corner flag in the 15th minute after spotting Valencia goalkeeper Jaume Domenech out of position. Domenech was talking to a defender when Kroos curled in the corner, and couldn't get back in time to stop the ball from crossing the line. He punched the ball but it still went into the top of the net. “It was a lack of concentration by all of us,” Valencia forward Denis Cheryshev said. “I think mentally if affected us. After this goal everything became harder.” Isco added to the lead with a shot from inside the area in the 39th, and Modric sealed the victory with a neat strike with the outside of his right foot into the far corner in the 65th. Valencia's lone goal came through a penalty converted by Dani Parejo in second-half stoppage time after a handball by Madrid captain Sergio Ramos. “We were in control from the start,” Madrid midfielder Casemiro said. “We wanted to control possession and that's what we did. Everything went as planned. We can start thinking about the final now. ” Madrid's victory came in a less-than-packed King Abdullah Sports City stadium, which seats 62,000. Real Madrid said before the tournament that only about 20 of its fans were expected to make the trip from Madrid to Saudi Arabia, though most of the local crowd was pro-Real Madrid. “The fans showed their support," Casemiro said. "We have to thank them for how well they have welcomed us here.” The Spanish federation took the Super Cup to Saudi Arabia in a three-year deal reportedly worth 120 million euros ($134 million). It made the move despite criticism from human rights activists and advice from UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin for European soccer teams not to play in countries "where the basic rights of women are not respected.” Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde acknowledged earlier Wednesday they were playing in Saudi Arabia for the money, saying “football is an industry today. ... That's really why we are here." Amnesty International organized a small peaceful protest in front of the Saudi Arabia embassy in Madrid on Wednesday to call for the release of women activists who have been fighting for their rights in Saudi Arabia. The Super Cup was also played abroad last season, when Barcelona beat Sevilla in Tangiers, Morocco, in a single-game final. This is the first year the Super Cup is played with four teams. It used to feature only the Spanish league winner and the Copa del Rey champion. Valencia, last season's Copa winner, had complained about the change because it would have to play an extra match to try to win the title. Madrid got the win despite traveling to Saudi Arabia without injured forwards Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema. Coach Zinedine Zidane used 22-year-old striker Luka Jovic up front, with five players forming the midfield. Valencia also was depleted by injuries, and striker Rodrigo was among those absent......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 8th, 2020

Super Cup to start with little interest from fans in Spain

By Tales Azzoni, Associated Press MADRID (AP) — The revamped Spanish Super Cup debuts in Saudi Arabia this week with the Spanish federation trying to hype the competition but seeing few fans in Spain interested in it. The Super Cup’s new semifinals format begins with Real Madrid facing Valencia on Wednesday, then Barcelona taking on Atlético Madrid on Thursday. The Barcelona-Atlético game was sold out, according to the federation, and only about 10,000 tickets were left for Madrid-Valencia. All games will be played at the 62,000-capacity King Abdullah Sports City stadium outside Jeddah. More than 35,000 tickets were sold for Sunday’s final in the first 24 hours after being put on sale. “Success in attendance is guaranteed for an attractive tournament that has gained value thanks to its new format,” the federation said. It added the new competition has “triggered the illusion” of fans in Jeddah, becoming a “true mass phenomenon in Saudi Arabia.” It said the tournament “will have an exceptional atmosphere.” But few fans in Spain were enticed to make the trip to Saudi Arabia soon after the holidays. Real Madrid said only about 600 fans came to the club requesting tickets, and from those only 20 came from people in Madrid. The rest were mostly from members already outside the country. Barcelona said 300 tickets were sold by the club, though it wasn't clear how many of those fans were traveling to the match from Spain. According to the Spanish daily El Mundo, about 50 ticket requests were made to Atlético, and only 26 to Valencia. “Football evolves, whether we want it or not. We are thrilled to be here fighting for this title,” Valencia coach Albert Celades said. “We understand why the fans couldn't make the trip here. We will try to bring the trophy back home to them.” Some players didn't make it to Saudi Arabia because of injuries, including Real Madrid's Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale. Atlético Madrid was without Thomas Lemar and Diego Costa, while Barcelona is missing Arthur, Ousmane Dembele and Marc-André ter Stegen. Valencia traveled with all of its players, including those injured. “We didn't come here for tourism, this is an important competition,” Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said. “We are glad to be playing here and we will do everything to try to win.” This is the first year of a lucrative three-year deal -- reportedly worth 120 million euros ($134 million) -- reached by Spanish federation president Luis Rubiales to play the competition in Saudi Arabia. The federation said the deal will help Spain in its attempt to host the 2030 World Cup in a joint bid with Portugal. The decision attracted plenty of criticism from human rights activists, though, and went against advice from UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin for European soccer teams not to play in countries “where the basic rights of women are not respected.” Amnesty International has called for a peaceful protest in front of the Saudi Arabia embassy in Madrid on Wednesday to call for the release of women activists whom it says have been detained in the country. “I'm here professionally, and they welcomed us really well,” Zidane said. “Personally, it's different." The Spanish league also criticized the federation’s decision to play the Super Cup in Saudi Arabia, citing the country’s backing of a satellite company that is allegedly behind the piracy of European match broadcasts. The Spanish league also accused the federation of having double standards, as it has been against the league’s attempt to play a regular season match outside of Spain. The Super Cup was also played abroad last season, when Barcelona beat Sevilla in Tangiers, Morocco. Valencia, last season’s Copa del Rey champion, also complained about the change, as under the old format it would have a chance to win the Super Cup by winning one match instead of two. The Spanish Super Cup was always played between the Liga champion and the Copa del Rey winner at the beginning of the season, usually at a neutral venue. Now, the top two teams in each competition are participating overseas. The Liga is on its winter break. Barcelona is the most successful club in the Spanish Super Cup with 13 titles, three more than Real Madrid......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 7th, 2020

San Francisco roars back into playoffs as NFC s top seed

By Arnie Stapleton, Associated Press For the first time since 1997, the San Francisco 49ers are the top seed in the NFC playoffs, a stunning turnaround for a team that owned the second overall pick in the NFL draft just nine months ago. After four straight losing campaigns, including only 10 wins in coach Kyle Shanahan's first two seasons, the 49ers went from 4-12 to 13-3 this season. They emerged as the top team in the NFC thanks a big-play offense and a vastly improved defense sparked by Nick Bosa, whom they chose with that No. 2 draft pick. They earned the top seed with a thrilling finale at Seattle when rookie linebacker Dre Greenlaw made a stop inches from the goal line, earning his team a week off and up to two home games in the 49ers' quest to reach the Super Bowl for the first time in seven years. "It feels good to get where we're at," Shanahan said. "Our goal was to get in the playoffs, it feels much better with being the one seed. By now everyone knows there is only one team that is happy at the end of year." The Green Bay Packers secured the other first-round bye. The Seahawks visit the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday and the Minnesota Vikings visit the New Orleans Saints in the other NFC wild-card game. 1. SAN FRANCISCO 49ers (13-3). AP Pro32 Ranking: No. 3. Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 29, 49-26 over San Diego Chargers on Jan. 29, 1995. Last year: 4-12. First trip to NFC playoffs since 2013. YEA: The 49ers have won different ways with the defense dominating early and the offense playing better late. The returns of edge rusher Dee Ford and S Jaquiski Tartt should help the defense return to its early season form. If QB Jimmy Garoppolo and the offense can maintain its play from the second half when the team ranked second in plays of at least 20 yards, the Niners should be tough to beat. NAY: The Niners will still be missing at least one key defensive piece at the start of the playoffs in LB Kwon Alexander and several depth pass rushers also are out for the year. That could limit the improvement on defense and there is little playoff experience on offense with WR Emmanuel Sanders the only key skill position player who has been in the postseason. Garoppolo has improved the past few weeks but still has a propensity for turnovers, which could prove costly. SAY: "We knew going into the year we had a chance to be pretty good with what we had on paper and watching the guys throughout training camp. We knew that pretty well after the first five games, we could feel it. Then you go through a number of injuries and stuff and you never know how you're going to be able to fully handle that. That's what I have been impressed the most with the guys, no one has wavered." — Shanahan. 2. GREEN BAY PACKERS (13-3). AP Pro32 Ranking: No. 5. Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 45, 31-25 over Pittsburgh Steelers on Feb. 6, 2011. Last year: 6-9-1. First trip to NFC playoffs since 2016. YEA: RB Aaron Jones is the team MVP. The third-year pro is Green Bay's first 1,000-yard rusher since Eddie Lacy in 2014 and his 19 total touchdowns (16 rushing, three receiving) tied Carolina's Christian McCaffrey for the league high. In the Packers' three losses this season, Jones averaged fewer than 42 scrimmage yards. If first-year coach Matt LaFleur gets Jones the ball early and often and QB Aaron Rodgers can add in a splash of his old magic, Green Bay could find itself in Miami in February. NAY: Though Rodgers has had flashes of his old greatness, the 36-year-old two-time MVP has played far below his soaring standards. Rodgers had a passer rating of less than 80.0 in each of his last three starts and had a career-high 16 overthrows against Detroit in the regular-season finale. If the Packers are going to win another Super Bowl, they're going to need the Rodgers of old, not the old Rodgers. SAY: "We haven't always made it easy and we haven't always made it pretty, but for the most part, we've found a way to win every game. You have to say a lot about the resiliency of this team, because we've gotten ourselves into a lot of different scenarios, but we always believe we can go out there and put up a bunch of points in a hurry." -- WR Davante Adams 3. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (13-3). AP Pro32 Ranking: No. 2. Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 44, beat Indianapolis 31-17 on Feb. 7, 2010. Last year: No. 1 seed, beat Philadelphia Eagles 20-14 at home in divisional round, lost to Los Angeles Rams 26-23 (OT) in NFC championship at home. Third consecutive trip to NFC playoffs. YEA: QB Drew Brees, who'll turn 41 on Jan. 15, has been in vintage form lately with a big assist from the NFL's top WR Michael Thomas. Brees has passed for 1,188 yards and 15 TDs in the past four games, evidence of his strong comeback from a thumb surgery that sidelined him five games. Thomas racked up a single-season record 149 catches for 1,725 yards and nine TDs. The Saints' eight turnovers are an NFL record low for a season. New Orleans had 51 sacks, third most in the NFL and ranked fourth against the run. NAY: While the Saints don't have many weaknesses, they can be their own worst enemy. Their 120 penalties for 1,036 yards ranked sixth worst in the NFL in both categories and their minus-323 net penalty yards ranked second worst. New Orleans' secondary has been beset with late-season injuries. Both starting safeties and a starting cornerback did not play in Week 17. SAY: "Down the stretch here I think we've been an ascending team. We've been playing a little bit better each and every week, despite the fact that we have had some guys go down." — Brees 4. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (9-7). AP Pro32 Ranking: No. 11. Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 52, 41-33 over New England Patriots, Feb. 4, 2018. Last year: No. 6 seed, beat Chicago Bears 16-15 in wild-card game on road, lost to New Orleans Saints 20-14 in divisional round on road. Third consecutive trip to NFC playoffs. YEA: The Eagles are hungry and Carson Wentz is determined to do what Nick Foles did in his absence two years ago — win a Super Bowl. If Wentz continues playing at the MVP level he displayed in December, the Eagles are dangerous. They have a strong rushing attack that can control the clock and an experienced defense that shuts down the run and forces teams to be one-dimensional. NAY: Seattle beat the Eagles in Philadelphia 17-9 on Nov. 24. Russell Wilson is 4-0 against Philly. The Eagles have been riddled by injuries and finished the regular season without seven starters on offense. Three of those players could return to face the Seahawks but it's likely two will be game-time decisions. SAY: "In the last couple games, (Wentz) has really put this team on his back and said, 'Hey, follow me.' And I think that's a sign of growth, a sign of maturity. I spent eight years in Green Bay with Brett Favre, and that's what Brett did. Brett just put the team on his back when the chips were against us and just said, 'Follow me.' And that's what Carson can do." — Coach Doug Pederson. 5. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (11-5). AP Pro32 Ranking: No. 6. Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 48, 43-8 over Denver Broncos on Feb. 2, 2014. Last year: No. 5 seed, lost to Dallas Cowboys 24-22 in wild-card game on road. Second consecutive trip to NFC playoffs. YEA: Unlike years past, if the Seahawks are going to make a deep playoff run, it's going to be because of QB Russell Wilson. He's coming off the second-best season in terms of passing yards, completion percentage and a career-low five interceptions. Wilson's never been asked to carry Seattle in the playoffs but if he can rediscover the success from when he was in the MVP conversation with Lamar Jackson, Seattle has enough other parts to make some noise. NAY: Injuries have stacked up for Seattle. The Seahawks lost their top three running backs, a starting edge rusher, tight end and center to season-ending injuries. Jadeveon Clowney is playing through a painful core muscle injury. Bobby Wagner has a bad ankle as does safety Quandre Diggs. Left tackle Duane Brown underwent knee surgery after Week 16. Eventually the lack of some key stars is likely to catch up with Seattle. SAY: "We have everything we want in the locker room. We have everything that we could need. We have everything that it takes. So it's been a tremendous season. It's been a battle so far. It's been a long one, but it's been a great one so far. The good thing is it's a refresh button, you get to hit the refresh button, start over, 0-0, see how far we can go." — Wilson. 6. MINNESOTA VIKINGS (10-6). AP Pro32 Ranking: No. 8. No Lombardis. Last year: 8-7-1. First trip to NFC playoffs since 2017. YEA: The Vikings have an experienced, accomplished defense that can pose problems for elite QBs and clever play-callers on the other side. The Vikings were sixth in the NFL with an average of 18.9 points allowed and fourth with 31 takeaways. Their play-action passing attack with Pro Bowl RB Dalvin Cook poses a dual threat and QB Kirk Cousins throwing deep to WR Stefon Diggs, can be awfully dangerous, too. NAY: The downside on defense is the erosion of the pass coverage. After ranking in the top three in passing yards allowed in the league in each of the past three years, the Vikings dropped to 15th in 2019. They also fell to 19th in the NFL in third down conversions allowed after leading the league in 2017 and 18. The offense carries its own reasons to doubt a playoff run, with Cousins never having won a postseason game in the NFL and a recent dud at home against division rival Green Bay. SAY: "I know it's been done before. Why not us?" — coach Mike Zimmer on the prospect of winning three road games to reach the Super Bowl. ___ AP Pro Football Writers Josh Dubow, Rob Maaddi and Dave Campbell and AP Sports Writers Tim Booth, Brett Martel and Keith Jenkins contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 2nd, 2020

Runaway leader Liverpool already has soundtrack of champions

By Rob Harris, Associated Press LONDON (AP) — Liverpool fans ended 2019 by chanting “Champions of the world” for the first time at Anfield. “Champions of England" will surely be sung by the Kop in 2020. Sadio Mane ensured Liverpool reached the halfway point with a 13-point lead — with a game in hand — that seems unassailable after clinching a 1-0 victory over Wolverhampton on Sunday. And all Wolverhampton fans could forlornly chant was: “Is this football anymore?" That reflected more frustration with the application of VAR in the technology's first Premier League campaign, of course. Even if the calls were ultimately correct by on-field referee Anthony Taylor. Mane's goal was initially ruled out by Taylor for handball but it was actually helped on by teammate Adam Lallana's shoulder. There was a handball by Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk in the buildup but that didn't appear to be factored into the decision. “I just heard there was complaints of handball, I thought it was for Adam," Van Dijk said. "What can we do? They made a decision and the goal stood.” The naked eye would have struggled to see a reason to deny Pedro Neto an equalizer but once the hazy footage had lines inserted over it, offside was the decision from VAR HQ in London. “VAR is killing us," Wolves captain Conor Coady said. “It is constantly against us. I don't know where we are going wrong. It is affecting games. No one likes it.” Liverpool has built a lead more than double the six-point advantage surrendered at this point last season before being overhauled by Manchester City. Pep Guardiola's side is certainly less of a threat this season, still 14 points back after beating Sheffield United 2-0 on Sunday night. Leicester is a point better off to sit as Liverpool's closest but very distant challenger. The cushion looks unassailable for a club that has endured three decades of anguish and near-misses since last winning the English championship in 1990 - three years before the new Premier League trophy was handed out for the first time. Liverpool certainly has the winning habit, bringing the Club World Cup back from Qatar last weekend to join the European titles — the Champions League and Super Cup — collected earlier in 2019. CHELSEA FIGHTS BACK Chelsea was the other English side to lift a European trophy this year, and there was a rematch of the Europa League final at Arsenal on Sunday with a very different complexion. Both teams have brought in former players as managers and neither club is in title contention. In his first home game in charge, Mikel Arteta's Arsenal threw away the lead to lose 2-1 to Frank Lampard's Chelsea. Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno missed an attempt to punch Mason Mount's free kick clear, allowing Jorginho to net in the 83rd minute and cancel out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's first-half opener. Jorginho had been fortunate to still be on the field after avoiding a second yellow card for pulling down Matteo Guendouzi. The winner came after Chelsea launched a counterattack from the edge of its own penalty area, with Tammy Abraham then allowed to race through unchallenged and playing a one-two with Willian before putting the ball through Leno's legs from close range. It leaves Arteta with a point from his first two games since being hired as Unai Emery's full-time successor. But the problems are more deep-set with Arsenal losing four consecutive games in all competitions at home for the first time in 60 years, a spell that covers Freddie Ljungberg's ill-fated interim reign. “I am really disappointed with the result and the way we conceded the goals and the timing of it as well," Arteta said. "I'm pleased with a lot of things that we've trained, and they actually happened in the game and how they are buying into this. But I am disappointed to lose the game obviously. We had to sustain that level for longer periods against a very, very physical team like Chelsea. And yes, we have to move on.” While Arsenal is 12th in the standings, Chelsea is 11 points ahead in the fourth Champions League place after Lampard's side quickly recovered from a home loss to Southampton. “I don't want to sit here and declare we're full of spirit but it's a great sign for us that we won the game, to see the difference in the second half," Lampard said. "Fight, desire. We kept pushing and controlled that second half. Our problem at home has been control. It took a mistake from them to get the goal and then we had the belief.” Lampard took no risks on Christian Pulisic, resting the American due to a slight hamstring issue that isn't a longer-term injury concern. CITY RECOVERY After a damaging 3-2 loss to Wolverhampton on Friday, City took until the second half against Sheffield United to find a breakthrough. Kevin De Bruyne was the creator, picking out Sergio Aguero for a fine finish seven minutes into the second half. De Bruyne was powerfully on target himself in the 82nd after combining with Riyad Mahrez. Sheffield United dropped to eighth over the weekend......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 30th, 2019

Jaguars fire Coughlin amid 3rd season, following NFLPA shot

By Mark Long, Associated Press JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars fired top executive Tom Coughlin on Wednesday, parting ways with the two-time Super Bowl-winning coach a little more than a day after the NFL Players Union took a sledgehammer to his reputation. Coughlin served as executive vice president of football operations since 2017. It was his second stint with Jacksonville, the expansion franchise he helped build from the ground up in the mid-1990s. The unbending taskmaster had been in trouble for weeks because of the team's sagging record and several questionable roster moves. The NFLPA seemingly forced Khan's hand after an arbitrator’s decision to undo millions in fines imposed by Coughlin himself. The NFLPA said Monday that more than 25% of player grievances filed in the last two years have been against the Jaguars. The union's take: “You as players may want to consider this when you have a chance to select your next club." “I determined earlier this fall that making this move at the conclusion of the 2019 season would be in everyone’s best interests,” Khan said in a statement. "But, in recent days, I reconsidered and decided to make this change immediately. “I thank Tom for his efforts, not only over the past three years but for all he did from our very first season, 25 years ago, to put the Jacksonville Jaguars on the map.” Khan said general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Doug Marrone will each report directly to him on an interim basis. “My expectations, and those of our fans, for our final two games and the 2020 season are high,” Khan added. The NFLPA grievances are a product of Coughlin’s peccadillos, many of which come from a good place — that of an old-school coach who always believed that football was more than just a business. But the rules that once seemed trifling — no sunglasses, all meetings start 5 minutes early — took a more sinister tone since Coughlin's return. He was still basking in the glow of two Super Bowl titles during his in-between stay as coach of the New York Giants that painted him as a man who had truly changed his ways. He fined defensive end Dante Fowler more than $700,000 in 2018 for missing “mandatory” appointments at the facility during the offseason. Problem was, the appointments weren't really mandatory — a reality cooked into the rule book after some hard-fought wins by the union in collective bargaining about how much time players were obliged to spend at team headquarters in the offseason. Coughlin and the Jaguars have been on the wrong end of other high-profile battles against players — involving running back Leonard Fournette, cornerback Jalen Ramsey and now-retired defensive end Jared Odrick. All involved fines or criticism of players who didn’t act the way Coughlin liked, or failed to show up to voluntary sessions that the old coach always believed weren’t really voluntary. The pushback against Coughlin was as much a sign of the attitudes of players in the late 2010s as it is of their willingness to blindly follow a leader who hadn’t proven himself to them — regardless of whatever message those Super Bowl rings might have delivered. As much as creating a mindset, ultimately, Coughlin was brought back to build a championship roster. In his first year back, it was trending that way, much the same as it was in the late 1990s, when he took the expansion franchise to the AFC title game twice in four years. Led by a smothering defense that Coughlin helped build, Jacksonville fell to New England in the 2017 AFC title game after leading by 10 in the fourth quarter. Since then, however, Coughlin’s moves to try to bridge the gap have looked like massive cases of bad judgement and overreach, the likes of which mired the final four seasons (2000-03) of his first stint with the Jags. The three most notable mistakes came at quarterback: the Jaguars drafted Fournette over Deshaun Watson, gave clearly flawed Blake Bortles a three-year, $54 million contract and then handed $88 million ($50.125 guaranteed) to Nick Foles. There were other problems raging throughout the roster, the locker room and the entire building. Coughlin has developed a rift with coach Doug Marrone over Marrone’s insistence on reducing the intensity and pace of practices at training camp, which came in direct conflict with what Coughlin has preached over his five-plus decades in football. Marrone also wasn't pleased that Coughlin dealt Ramsey, a mercurial-but-talented player who was supposed to be a cornerstone of the franchise, to the Los Angeles Rams earlier this year after multiple flareups between the player and the VP. Meanwhile, assistant coaches grew tired of receiving second-hand guidance that goes right down to the nuts and bolts of game-planning from a man who hasn’t taken much time to get to know them. All of this has turned one of the league’s up-and-coming teams into a loser. The Jaguars have dropped 19 of their last 26 games, 11 of which have come by double digits, and six of those by 20 or more......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 19th, 2019

Jennifer Lopez, Shakira to headline Super Bowl halftime show

NEW YORK, USA —Multi-faceted sensation Jennifer Lopez on Thursday, September 26 announced she and pop star Shakira would headline the National Football League's Super Bowl halftime show in Miami in February. The 50-year-old Lopez — who is currently basking in the success of her much-lauded performance in the ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsSep 27th, 2019

Patriots promote Johnson

NEW YORK (AFP) — Defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots signed German running back Jakob Johnson, becoming the first player to enter the National Football League (NFL) through the International Pathway Program. The 24-year-old fullback from Stuttgart had been on the Patriots’ practice squad and will serve as a replacement for injured James Develin […] The post Patriots promote Johnson appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 22nd, 2019

Ye Olde Slugfest: Yanks top Red Sox 17-13 in MLB Euro debut

By Ronald Blum, Associated Press LONDON (AP) — Rest assured, British fans: Most baseball games are not like this, not even the crazy ones between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. Major League Baseball arrived in Europe on Saturday night with Ye Olde Slugfest. Each team scored six runs in a first inning that lasted nearly an hour, with Aaron Hicks hitting the first European homer. Brett Gardner had a tiebreaking, two-run drive in the third, Aaron Judge went deep to cap a six-run fourth and the Yankees outlasted their rivals 17-13 in a game that stretched for 4 hours, 42 minutes — 3 minutes shy of the record for a nine-inning game. "Well, cricket takes like all weekend to play, right? So, I'm sure a lot of people are used to it," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "We should remind them there's not 30 runs every game." Before a sellout crowd of 59,659 at Olympic Stadium that included supporters from Britain, Beantown and the Big Apple plus royalty, batters behaved like good tourists and minded the gaps — and the fences. As a Union Jack fluttered above center field along with the Stars and Stripes, both teams jacked and jacked and jacked. "I think we're getting as good a reception as football has for the last couple years," Yankees first baseman Luke Voit said. AL batting leader DJ LeMahieu had four hits and five RBIs, including a three-run double in the fourth and a two-run single in the fifth that opened a 17-6 lead. Voit had four hits, including three doubles, before leaving with a left abdominal injury in the fifth. He'll be evaluated before Sunday's series finale. No British reserve with these offenses. Hicks was especially proud to hit the first homer. "That's something they can never take from me," he said. New York set season highs for runs and hits by the fifth inning and outhit Boston 19-18 overall as both teams batted around twice. The 30 runs were the most in a big league game since Boston beat Baltimore 19-12 last Aug. 10, according to STATS. Red Sox rookie Michael Chavis hit a pair of three-run homers, the second in a six-run seventh. "Definitely the biggest crowd I've played in front of. The loudest, as well," Chavis said. "With the overhang, there was kind of an echo." Jackie Bradley Jr. had four hits, including a home run. Boston shortstop Xander Bogaerts left in the eighth after calf muscles in both legs cramped, then said he should be available Sunday. Boston starter Rick Porcello and New York's Masahiro Tanaka got hammered — fittingly in the home of the Premier League soccer club West Ham, nicknamed the Hammers. Neither got out of a first inning that lasted 58 minutes and included 20 batters and 94 pitches. It took 1:51 to play the first three innings and 2:58 for 4½, but unlike in cricket, the teams did not break for tea. Zack Britton retired Marco Hernandez on a bases-loaded grounder that ended the eighth, and Sam Travis hit into a game-ending double play against Aroldis Chapman on the 422nd pitch. "The stadium, the atmosphere, just looking up into the outfield and seeing all those people there, it is pretty special to play out there," LeMahieu said. Chad Green (2-2) allowed four hits in two scoreless innings. Steven Wright (0-1) lost in his first decision and second appearance since an 80-game suspension for a positive drug test. New York won for the 12th time in 13 games, maintained a seven-game lead over second-place Tampa Bay in the AL East and reached the halfway mark at 53-28, one fewer win than at last year's midpoint. The defending World Series champion Red Sox dropped a season-high 10 games back at 44-39. The 2,200th regular-season meeting between the teams was a scorcher — the hottest day of the year in London at 93 degrees Fahrenheit (34 Celsius), and still 92 when the first pitch was thrown at 6:10 p.m. While Boston was the home team and hit last, both teams wore their white home uniforms. Prince Harry and wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, met with both teams and took part in the ceremonial first pitch ceremony. Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani was on hand, as he was when the Yankees played Tampa Bay at the Tokyo Dome in 2004. "I got chills from our intros coming out," Judge said. Organizers brought touches of home, such as the grounds crew dancing to the Village People's "YMCA." The sound system played "Sweet Caroline" in the eighth and "New York, New York" after the final out. But there were misfires, too. When Gary Sánchez struck out in the second, music was played that usually follows a New York run being scored at Yankee Stadium. Porcello got just one out in the shortest of his 324 career starts. "I couldn't execute the pitches," he said. "There's no excuse for it. It was an unacceptable performance." Tanaka got two outs as he failed to finish the first inning for the first time in 149 major league starts. It was the first time in the rivalry that both teams scored six or more runs in the opening inning and the first big league game involving any teams in which that occurred since visiting Toronto led Oakland 7-6 on June 23, 1989. Before all the runs, New York gave Prince Harry a Yankees shirt as a gift, and Didi Gregorius said the sixth-in-line to the throne promised to wear it if the Yankees won. "I hope," Gregorius said, "he remembers that." BETWEEN INNINGS Jason Diamond, visiting from New York, won the third-inning race against The Freeze, who came over from Atlanta. ... Freddie Mercury won the racing mascots, beating Winston Churchill, King Henry VIII and the Loch Ness Monster. WEB GEM Yankees RF Mike Tauchman made a diving, backhand grab to rob Travis in the seventh. THE SHINING Outfielders had trouble picking up balls because of white seats and tables of the white press tribune built for soccer, and also because of the late-setting European sun. LONG NIGHT Edwin Encarnación struck out five times. FASCINATING Yankees radio broadcaster Suzyn Waldman wore a fascinator, more commonly seen at Royal Ascot than a baseball game. TRAINER'S ROOM Yankees: RHP Domingo Germán is scheduled to return from a strained hip flexor and start Wednesday at the New York Mets, a day after LHP J.A. Happ starts the opener of the two-game Subway Series. LHP CC Sabathia will start in the following series at Tampa Bay. ... RHP Luis Severino (lat strain) had another setback and still has not thrown off a mound. Boone said an MRI showed the lat is about 90% healed and Severino probably will resume throwing in 5-7 days. ... RHP Dellin Betances (lat strain) probably will resume throwing next week. Red Sox: LHP Brian Johnson was put on the 10-day IL because of an unspecified medical matter not related to baseball. UP NEXT LHP Eduardo Rodriguez starts Sunday's series finale for Boston and lefty reliever Stephen Tarpley for New York......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 30th, 2019

Football- London-born Yennaris makes China debut in Philippine win

Football: London-born Yennaris makes China debut in Philippine win CNA Former Arsenal reserve Nico Yennaris (L, pictured during a Chinese Super League match) is known as Li Ke in China, where there h.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsJun 11th, 2019