Donald Trump defied at Wembley as Jaguars and Ravens kneel for anthem


Twenty-seven players from the and Baltimore Ravens took a knee during the singing of the US national anthem at Wembley Stadium on Sunday as the protest against the US president, Donald Trump, intensified. It was the most ever in a single NFL game.

, not only suggesting that fans of the sport should “refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country” but also urging any players who took a knee to be fired or suspended.

“NFL attendance and ratings are WAY DOWN,” he added. “Boring games yes, but many stay away because they love our country. League should back US.”

However Trump’s testy demands were ignored by more than 80,000 fans at Wembley as well as a large number of players from the Jaguars and Ravens, who took a knee. The Guardian counted around 12 players from the Jaguars and 14 from the Ravens. There did not Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde insists Antoine Griezmann will come good.Griezmann wasn’t at his best for the win against Celta, but Valverde isn’t worried.”We’re always patient. With Griezmann and everyone else,” he said.”We have more options and we’re managing them. There are lots of games.”We have to support our players in good and bad games.”In the end, the work is there.”appear to be any white players taking a knee. However many players, coaches and even the Jaguars’ owner Shahid Khan linked arms instead as they stood, showing unity for their black team-mates against Trump.

The Ravens’ players and coaching staff were also supported by their owner Steve Bisciotti, who said: “We respect their demonstration and support them 100%.”

The NFL’s rules encourage but do not require players won’t rule out raiding the Championship over the January transfer window.The Clarets are again being linked with Derby right-back Jayden Bogle but the Burnley boss has moved to underline the restraints he is working underHe told the Lancashire Evenito stand for the playing of the anthem. Several team owners have issued statements over the past 24 hours condemning Trump’s comments as divisive and supporting their players’ ability to express themselves.

The latest came on Sunday morninl striker Eddie Nketiah admits he had offers to move to Germany this summer.Nketiah, 20, has scored three times in just five appearances since completing a loan move to Leeds this summer. The youngster continued his goalscoring form with a brace in Eg from the New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who said he was “deeply disappointed” by the president’s views.

Kraft, who has previously called Trump a very good friend when the Patriots visited the White House in April, said in a statement: “There is no greater unifier in this country than sports, and unfortunately, nothing more divisive than politics.

“I think our political leaders could learn a lot from the lessons of teamwork and the importance of working together toward a common goal,” he added. “Our players are intelligent, thoughtful, and care deeply about our community and I support their right to peacefully affect social change and raise awareness in a manner that they feel is impactful.”

Read more →

Two white players join Cleveland Browns in NFL’s largest anthem protest


More than a dozen players staged the largest national anthem protest yet, and were joined by white players for what’s believed to be the first time, before a preseason game on Monday against the New York Giants.

The group, which included veterans, rookies, starters and backups, gathered in front of some water coolers and behind their teammates who stood on the sideline shortly before the Browns hosted the in a preseason game.

“There’s a lot of racial and social injustices in the world that are going on right now,” rookie safety Jabrill Peppers told ESPN. “We just decided to take a knee and pray for the people who have been affected and just pray for the world in general.”

Peppers was joined by tight end Seth DeValve, linebackers Jamie Collins and has joined Milan to the end of the season after coming off contract at LA Galaxy.“I expected this return, as I always said that if he came back to Italy, it would be for Milan,” Cassano told Sky Sport Italia.“He is very fond of the city and this Christian Kirksey, running backs Isaiah Crowell, Duke Johnson and Terrance Magee, wide receivers Kenny Britt and Ricardo Louis and defensive back Calvin Pryor, who dropped to one knee in a circle. Rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer, offensive tackle Shon Coleman, punter Britton Colquitt, defensive back Jason McCourty and offensive lineman Marcus Martin stood and supported their teammates by putting their hands on their shoulders.

DeValve, who is white, is believed to be the first white player to take a knee during the Star-Spangled Banner, joining a movement kicked off last season by quarterback , who is currently out of the NFL. Last week, Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett said the protest would be more effective if white players joined their black team-mates.

“We wanted to draw attention to the fact that there’s things in this country that still need to change, and I myself will be raising children that don’t look like me,” DeValve, a second-year player from Princeton whose wife is African American, told a gathering of media afterward, “and I want to do my part as well to do everything I can to raise them in a better environment than we have right now.

“So I wanted to take the opportunity with my teammates, during the anthem, to pray for our country, and also to draw attention to the fact that we havRoma have announced they’ve sent Patrik Schick on-loan to RB Leipzig with an option to buy.The Giallorossi have revealed the terms settled.“AS Roma can confirm that forward Patrik Schick has joined RB Leipzig on a season-long loan deal,” read a statement.“Schick joins the Bundesliga club until 30 June 2020, for a fixed fee of €3.5 million.“A further €500,000 in performance-related payments could also be made, depending on certain targets being met by both the player and the German club.“As part of the overall agreement, should Leipzig qualify for the 2020-2021 UEFA Champions League they will have the option to make the transfer permanent – for a set fee of €29m.“The Czech Republic international, 23, joined Roma in the summer of 2017. He went on to make 57 appearances for the club in all competitions, scoring eight goals.“The club would like to wish Patrik the best of luck for his time in Germany.”e work to do.”

The demonstration was the largest so far in a movement started last season by quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who is currently out of the . In recent days, Seattle defensive lineman Michael Bennett and Philadelphia defensive back Malcolm Jenkins also have called attention to what they feel is racial injustice in the country.

Oakland running back Marshawn Lynch also has sat during the national anthem in the preseason, but hasn’t elaborated on his reasoning.

At half-time, the Browns released a statement.

Oakland running back Marshawn Lynch also has sat during the national anthem in the preseason, but hasn’t elaborated on his reasoning.

“As an organization, we have a profound respect for our country’s national anthem, flag and the servicemen and servicewomen in the United States and abroad,” the team said through a spokesperson. “We feel it’s important for our team to join in this great tradition and special moment of recognition, at the same time we also respect the great liberties afforded by our country, including the freedom ohelsea this summer.It emerged this week that the Cameroon international fancies joining the Blues at the end of this season – aware of the problems that have beset Kepa Arrizabalaga.A return to Barcelona and interest from PSG has also been mooted forf personal expression.”

Browns coach Hue Jackson drew criticism last week when he seemed to indicate he didn’t want his players to protest. However, Jackson clarified his remarks to say he respected any player who wanted to demonstrate.

“The intent of my comments was not to discourage individual expression from our players in light of a cause that moves them to personal expression,” Jackson said. “I’m disheartened that I gave anyone that impression because I did not speak with enough clarity. However, my words did reflect my concern – that I would express to any player – about protesting during the anthem. There are many effective ways athletes can utilize their platform if they so desire, but I would respect any individual decision, as ultimately, it would be the player’s choice after much thoughtful dialogue.”

Read more →

Schweinsteiger falls and Nesta shines on night of shocks in US Open Cup


It was a night of shocks in the on Wednesday as two MLS teams fell to lower division opposition in the last 16.

FC Cincinnati, who knocked out top-flight , beat another MLS team, Chicago Fire, on penalties in front of a raucous crowd of 32,287 in Ohio. Bastian Schweinsteiger’s Fire could not break down Cincinnati over 120 minutes and fshley Westwood says Leicester City are the most likely team to break into the top-four.The seventh-placed Clarets face a tough test at the King Power on Saturday against Brendan Rodgers’ Foxes, who are fourth on the table.”If anyone is going to give or once a German was on the wrong end of a penalty shoot-out. Cincinnati hopes to have an MLS team when the league expands and Wednesday’s atmosphere showed the passion for soccer in the city.

“We have an MLS-quality team, we have an MLS-quality stadium, we have MLS-quality fans,” goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrandt, who saved three penalties in the shoot-out, said after the win. “Everyone here, the city deserves this.”

In the night’s other upset, NASL side Miami FC were 3-2 winners over , who are playing their first MLS season. Miami, who are coached by Italian World Cup winner Alessandro Nesta, squeezed past Atlanta thanks to a 93rd minute goal from Kwadwo Poku.

FC Cincinnati and Miami FC will meet in the quarter-finals, meaning is dismissed doubts over Oli McBurnie’s commitment to Scotland.Wilder has reiterated McBurnie’s commitment to the Scotland national side after a video appeared on social media allegedly showing him disrespecting the team.McBurnie, who was called up tot is guaranteed at least one semi-finalist will be a lower division team. The other non-MLS side in the tournament, Sacramento Republic, lost to LA Galaxy.

Elsewhere, Sporting Kansas City beat Houston Dynamo; New England Revolution were victory over DC United; and the Philadelphia Union went out to the New York Red Bulls on penalties.

San Jose Earthquakes v Los Angeles Galaxy; Sporting Kansas City v FC Dallas; Miami FC v FC Cincinnati; New England Revolution v New York Red Bulls. Games to be played between 10 and players.As a result of the restrictions Chelsea have turned to youth, and the likes of Hudson-Odoi, Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori have been given a chance in the first team.“I would say the transfer ban is a good thing for us because it gives mo 13 July.

Read more →

‘It has to stop’: Hall of Fame inductees’ speeches address racial inequality


As Colin Kaepernick’s following his protest against racial injustice last season, members of this year’s Hall of Fame class used their indlready close to securing the signature of Bruno Fernandes from Sporting CP, according to Sky Sports.The English outlet also reports that City will attempt to sign the 19-year-old attacker Felix this summer.He has managed 18 goals in 41 games in all cuction ceremony to address the racial divide in America.

The former Seattle Seahawks safety Kenny Easley stated the case starkly in his speech on Saturday night. “Please allow me this opportunity and this moment for a very serious message for which I feel very strongly about,” said Easley, who was defensive player of the year in 1985. “Black lives do matter, and all lives matter, too. But the carnage affecting young black men today from random violence to police shootings across this nation has to stop.

“We’ve got to stand up as a country, as black Americans and fight the good fight to protect our youth and our American constitutional right not to die while driving or walking the streets black in America. It has to stop, and we can do it, and the lessons we learn in sports can help.”

The former San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson used the example of his great-great-great grandfather, George, who came to America as a slave, to appeal to unity in the US.

“On America’s team, let’s not choose to be against one another. Let’s choose to be for one another,” he said. “My great-great-great grandfather had no choice. We have one. I pray we dedicate ourselves to be the best team we can be, working and living together, representing the highest ideals of mankind, leading the way for all nations to follow.”

Tomlinson, set up to promote education and cultural awareness, received several standing ovations during his speech. “One of the most eloquent orators of all time said it best in his farewell address,” he said. “Paraphrasing and humbly building upon whivock Origi delivers. A double in the romp against Everton. Yet another highlight for the Belgian in a Liverpool shirt. But how many more of these will he have…?After his brace this week, only Steven Gerrard and Robbie Fowler no less have scored moat President Obama said, we all have to try harder, show up, dive in and stay at it. I am asking you to believe in your ability to bring about change. To hold fast in the idea whispered by slaves. ‘Yes, we can.’”

The other inductees on Saturday night were running back ; quarterback Kurt Warner; defensive end ; kicker ; and 17-year-old, who was previously at Manchester City, has agreed on terms until 2022.”It’s a very good feeling,” the Welsh under-17 international said. “I’ve been waiting quite a long time for this moment, so I’m really happy to finally sign.”I came t Cowboys owner .

Read more →

Sabres’ Jack Eichel misses out on $2m bonus by average of 0.005 points per game


The mere hair of a fracnuary 2018.The London Evening Standard says Spurs are in advanced talks to bring Leeds winger Jack Clarke to North London.A fee of £8.5m, plus add-ons, has reportedly been reached.The 20-year-old is expected to compete for a place in Mauricio Pochettion — 0.005 to be exact — is what separated Sabres forward Jack Eichel from cashing in on a $2m contract performance bonus clause.

The second-year player would have been due the bonus had he finished among the NHL’s top 10 in points per game production this season, a source confirmed to The Associated Press on Monday.

Eichel had 57 points in 61 games to finish 11th by averaging 0.934 points per game. Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl edged him out in finishing 10th by averaging 0.939 points per game with 77 points in 82 games. Draisaitl passed Eichel with a goal and assist in the Oilers’ 5-2 season-ending win against Vancouver on Sunday.

in Eichel’s contract.

Though he didn’t mention the bonus, Eichel was clearly frustrated in assessing the that extended their franchise-record playoff drought to six seasons.

“Season’s over. That’s all you’re thinking about,” Eichel said, a day after Buffalo closed with a 4-2 loss at Florida. “It’s tough, yeah. You’re not where you want to be.”

And he had a blunt response when reminded he came close to being a point-a-game player. “I wasn’t though,” Eichel said.

The Sabres selected Eichel with the Nter United academy chief Nicky Butt says they’re developing players to win the Premier League title.Butt knows the heights United should be scaling having been a key part of many of Sir Alex Ferguson’s successes.He told Sky Sports: “I think you can jo2 pick in the 2015 draft out of Boston University, and after he became the nation’s second freshman to win college hockey’s Hobey Baker Award. He made the immediate jump to the as a 19-year-old and finished with 24 goals and 56 assists in 81ne slammed the work-rate of Arsenal’s forwards after Sunday’s 3-0 win.De Bruyne scored twice and produced an assist for Raheem Sterling in the London rout.Asked why Arsenal struggled to contain a rampant City, the Belgian explained: “The attackers tr games.

Eichel got off to a difficult start this past season. He missed the first 21 games after in practice a day before Buffalo’s season opener against Montreal. Though still bothered by the ankle injury upon his return in late November, Eichel closed the season with 16 goals and 26 assists for 42 points in his final 40 games.

Eichel believes he can be much better.

“I think that I haven’t scratched the surface of where I can be,” he said. “But I played pretty good at times.”

Read more →

Brooks Koepka holds his nerve in major style to land the US Open title


Major championships are now the domain of golf’s one-time pretenders. Seven in a row have been claimed by first-time champions, with the conclusion to for the club.Moratti told Inter to the Chinese over three and a half years ago.“We are in good hands, the current owner has the availability and a certain sensitivity,” Moratti told Che Tempo Che Fa. “I never thought about taking charge of Interthe 117th US Open developing into a test of nerve for . The 27-year-old from Florida became the latest player to deliver on earlier and widely recognised promise.

Koepka – like Jason Day, Danny Willett, Dustin Johnson, Henrik Stenson, Jimmy Walker and Sergio García – is a bridesmaid no more. Even fresh, testing Wisconsin conditions for day four and the weight of history could not halt Koepka as he brilliantly pieced together a 67. Three birdies in a row from the 14th provided the hammer blow to those in pursuit; the eventual margin of victory was four shots, at 16 under par, a record-equalling tally. Brian Harman and Hideki Matsuyama shared second place.

Koepka’s glory owes plenty to a bold career path. Rather than play through low grade tours in his native United States, he opted to move outside his comfort zone and to Europe. US status was earned as he progressed through the Challenge and European Tours, impressing seasoned observers on the way. Major wins, albeit never certain, appeared highly likely. This may be just the start.

Of the players who fell short here perhaps Tommy Fleetwood has the most cause to be upbeat. The Englishman continues a tremendous 2017, with aspirations of success at next month’s Open Championship perfectly realistic. This was, after all, his first time in major contention. Fleetwood finished fourth at 11 under.

Rickie Fowler’s challenge stumbled on the back nine while Harman, who had hitherto dropped only two shots in the whole tournament, was to run out of putting form when posting bogeys at the 12th, 13th and the last. Fowler’s 72 meant a share of fifth.

Koepka’s triumph had a foundation on the greens. A birdie putt from 41ft at the 8th played a key part in reaching the turn in 33. By the time he took to the penultimate hole his lead was virtually unassailable. The prize was a record $2.1m.

Matsuyama came to grips with this ferocious battle, embarking on a stirring chasManchester City star Raheem Sterling has been speaking to Spanish media following suggestions he might one day play for Real Madrid.”Right now I’m at City and I’m really happy. But I say Real Madrid are a fantastic club,” he told AS.Asked whether he would one day like to play for La Liga leaders Real, he said: “How do I answer that one? Is the camera live or is it just taking pictures?”e from just inside the top 20. The man seeking to become Japan’s first ever major champion posted a 66 for his 12-under total; Matsuyama’s tilt at the top comes with the conttract in June and already has fielded interest from keen clubs.ESPN says Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid, Manchester United and Napoli are all interested.Indeed, these four clubs have regularly made attempts for Cavani in recent years, but without ever ext of starting this tournament with a 74. At that point he was 82nd.

Matsuyama will rue one shot. His drive at the tricky 15th was pulled horribly into dense rough, from where he could only chip out sideways. The bogey which ensued proved damaging, though he should have the consolation of a rise to No2 in the world rankings on Monday morning. Matsuyama played the closing three holes in two under par despite being aware that one more time ruling would result in him being penalised a stroke.

Justin Thomas encountered the problems associated with backing up a record-breaking performance. Thomas entered folklore on Saturday with the 63 which represented the lowest score to par in US Open history. Within five holes of his final round, the 26-year-old was three over par. This back-pedalling inevitably left him with too much to do as others on the leaderboard collected early shots. So continues an ominous trend in Thomas’s career; when things start to go wrong, he is not particularly adept at stemming the flow. Thomas’s 75 left him tied ninth.

Given the list of illustrious names who could not survive past 36 holes here, special credit is due to Scottie Scheffler. The 20-year-old from Dallas finished as the leading amateur on the highly respectable 72-hole aggregate of minus one.

As Scheffler continues his career, confidence clearly will not be a problem. “I was trying to compete and see if I could win the golf tournament,” he said. “I think it would be pretty cool winning the US Open as an amateur and that was my goal coming in.”

Lee Westwood’s 76 perhaps impacted on post-round sentiment but the Englishman made it clear he would be in no hurry to return to Erin Hills. “This wouldn’t be my favourite US Open venue,” he admitted. “I prefer when they play the traditional golf courses. The two new ones they have played recently [Chambers Bay and Erin Hills] aren’t as good as the older style courses like Shinnecock, Winged Foot, Oakmont and Congressional.”

Jordan Spieth instead offered glowing praise towards the United States Association’s management of this major. The 2015 champion signed off with a 69 for a total of one over par before acknowledging inevitable pressure as felt by the USGA on account of US Open controversies of recent times.“I was very, very impressed at the job the USGA did this week,” said Spieth. “I think they did a fantastic job.

“Chambers Bay was tough with the greens and then last year had a tough Sunday. I thought that the USGA did a phenomenal job this week of allowing the golf course to be what it is and play the way it’s supposed to play. Not trying to do anything to hold any kind of standard. Instead, create an environment where, if you play well, you can score and, if you don’t, then it can go the other way.

“There was no unfairness whatsoever. I thought the USGA did a fantastic job coming back this year and I know that they really wanted to.

“It’s tough going to two new venues in three years that they’ve never used before. That’s a difficult thing to do. I hate to say it’s surprising but I thought it was really well done.”

Spieth was vague regarding his plans in advance of the Open Championship, raising the possibility he might spend some of his competitive build-up time in Ireland or Scotland. When he last won a major, in June of 2015, golf’s biggest events seemed a closed shop for the elite. Times have swiftly changed.

Read more →

Norwegian ice hockey team win longest ever match – video


s victory in Baku.Cesc watched his former Chelsea team-mates lift the trophy from the BT Sport punditry box in Baku.The midfielder, who was working as an analyst for BT on Wednesday, featured throughout the group Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye has fired Senegal into the semi-finals of the African Cup of w check on Sampdoria pair Denis Praet and Joachim Anderson before the end of the season.Arsenal scouts are set to watch Andersen and Praet when they take on Juventus.Sampdoria host the Italian giants this weekend in the final game of the Serie A seasNations by scoring in a 1-0 win over Benin.Gueye smashed home the winning goal after 69 minutes.Liverpool star Sadio Mane had two goals disallowed for offside by VAR.Aliou Cisse’s side will play Madagascar or Tunisia in the semis on Sunday in Cairo as they try to win the competition for the first time.stage for the west London club before

Read more →

Sergio García wins the Masters after beating Justin Rose in a dramatic play-off


The long, painful wait is over. On what would have been the 60th birthday of , at the conclusion of his 71st consecutive major, Sergio García is a champion. Amid moving scenes at Augusta National, which emphasised so many frustrations, afforded García the status he courted since childhood but had been so cruelly, so routinely denied him in the past. Sergio García, major winner: it is a phrase many thought impossible.

The spirit of Seve played a part in Spain’s first major win of the 21st century. Had he not won, onlookers were left to wonder how precisely García would ever recover. At last this was the 37-year-old’s time; even Rose, in calm reflection, will recognise that. “García, García,” chanted the Augusta patrons as he holed out for a three on play-off hole No1. The man himself kneeled on the hallowed turf, partly in disbelief at finally reaching this Holy Grail.

A tearful García was never going to be allowed to end his drought the easy way. This could only have been his earlier fate; 5ft to win the Masters. As the putt slid by, reviving memories of the wounding moments which had denied the Spaniard so many times, the die was surely cast. Everyone had been in this movie before, hadn’t they? In entering the play-off García had such a wave of Augusta National support but horrendously damogna’s commercial and marketing director Christoph Winterling has turned down an approach from Bologna.Corriere dello Sport says Winterling hfullback Andy Robertson has listed Eden Hazard as the toughest player he has faced in the Premier League.Robertson will take on Real Madrid’s new signing when Scotland play Belgium on Tuesday night.”He’s probably the best player I’ve come up against as snubbed the opportunity to take up a similar role at Liverpool.The German was offered a ‘€200m budget’ iaging scar tissue. Garcia was to have the last laugh with a fresh, uplifting storyline.

That García and Rose tied on nine under at the close of regulation play after trading 69s was but a statistic. The 81st Masters provided one of this grand old lady’s most iconic climaxes.

It is such a shame that duel in the sun already has context in golf. On a glorious Georgia afternoon Rose and García engaged in epic battle. It ebbed and flowed, it was similar in so many ways to involving Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson last year. It was rendered even more endearing by the fact the two golfers in question are such close friends, an alliance they did not hide when displaying sportsmanship of the highest order.

This very quickly became a two-horse race. García held a three-stroke advantage after the 5th. Rose hauled him back to the position of parity at the turn. Nobody else could gatecrash the party.

The widespread assertion was García would eventually buckle under pressure. He has previous, after all. García in fact stabilised himself from ugly dropped shots at the 10th and 11th to post a birdie at the 14th and conjure up one of the shots of the tournament a hole later. As he holed out for a three García punched the air; he finally believed. Neither he nor Rose could pull clear again from the 16th tee onwards.

Charl Schwartzel, the 2011 champion, ended up best of the rest at six under after a terrific fourth-round 68. He will probably not take offence at this being lost in the mêlée. Thomas Pieters is worth great credit on this, his Masters debut, after earning a share of fourth with Matt Kuchar on minus five. The star of Pieters continues to rise, which is a wonderful boost for European golf. This young Belgian has it all.

The biggest shock of day four was Jordan Spieth’s failure to place meaningful pressure on Rose or García. The Texan, who had finished no worse than second here, could fare no better than a bogey at the opening hole in what proved an ominous sign of things to come.

Spieth, who began Sunday two from the lead, reached the turn in 38 before being afforded a wounding glance back to 2016. On the 12th, Spieth’s now recurringation at the moment.The Magpies are in poor form and are struggling to get enough points to stay clear of the drop zone.They are 14th in the Premier League and five points off the drop zone.But Bruce thinks that with 10 games to play, they can securg nemesis, he played his tee shot into Rae’s Creek. Three birdies in the closing four holes mattered little to this fierce competitor; 75 and tie for 11th was his fate.

Kuchar had barely been mentioned during Masters week; a situation he remedied on Sunday with a hole in one at the 16th. It was the only ace of this tournament. Even more appealing was Kuchar’s immediate reaction as he signed the ball in question and handed it to a young member of the gallery. Kuchar had further cause for celebration, his closing 67 affording him that share of fourth with Pieters.

Rory McIlroy, who partnered Kuchar over the final 18 holes, must wait at least another year to complete a clean sweep of majors. The Northern Irishman signed off with a 69 to tie seventh.

“It wasn’t quite good enough,” said McIlroy. “I’m getting more comfortable here. I feel like every time I tee it up here I have a real good chance to win. Top 10s right now isn’t good enough but it’s going in the right direction.”

McIlroy’s thoughts will immediately turn towards his upcoming wedding; when he returns to the competitive fold at the Players Championship next month, he will be a married man. “It’s a great time in my life,” he added. “It would have been nice to walk down the aisle in the Green Jacket. I’ll come back refreshed and start a new chapter in my life.”

McIlroy was among those to publicly back Garcia as the play-off scene was set. The man from Castellon now enters exciting and new territory of his own. This is long overdue.

Read more →

Baseball in Hyde Park? MLB wants to stage games in Europe in 2019


Major League still hopes to seal ended this dismal campaign with a home defeat to Real Betis.Zidane said: “I had to experience it. Also, if we had to wait for the month of June or July to start preparing for the next season it would be more complicated. What matters to me is thetage regular-season games in Europe for the first time in 2019.

were abandoned last year, while MLB commissioner Rob Manfred met London’s mayor Sadiq Khan in September to discuss the possibility. Regular season matches have already been staged in Japan, Australia and Mexico in the past but Manfred has admitted he is keen for baseball to follow the example of the NFL and NBA, which have both hosted several matches in London.

“It is something we would really like to do in 2019,” he said.“We do think it’s time, whether it’s 2019 or shortly thereafter that we play in Europe.”

MLB will host a Baseball Battlegrounds event in Hyde Paway from a Europa League final. However, their semi-final clash with the La Liga outfit is far from over.Not only did the Spanish side get an away goal to take home with them from the Emirates, but they could so easily have scored more. And, as showark on 4 July featuring a “Home Run derby” between representatives of Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers, including retired baseball favourites Carlos Peña, Cliff Floyd and Shawn Green.

“This represents an exciting statement of intent to grow Major League Baseball in Europe,” said Charlie Hill, managing director of MLB Europe. “Hyde Park is the perfect location to bring a flavour of our game to London with two of the most popular teams in the sport – thull Salzburg striker Hee-Chan Hwang.The Hamburger Morgenpost says Wolves are in advanced negotiations for the South Korea international.Indeed, a deal is said to have already been struck, with Wolves willing to pay £23m for Hwang – plus bonuses basee Red Sox and the Dodgers – set to provide a night of big hitting.”

Read more →

Nicky Hayden, the French Open and Pathé News hovering over Wembley


1)Nicky Hayden, former MotoGP world champion, . Here is to the Kentucky Kid, and here he is on a champions’ lap of back in 2011. Nicky’s father Earl Hayden spoke late last year about his son’s . Also from last year, Hayden gives to CNET’s Tim Stevens, who has paid a . Finally, take a look back at his finest hour – his , where he pipped Valentino Rossi after a season of high drama.

2) It’s FA Cup final weekend – here’s got to Wembley. The two London sides have only met in one Cup final before – . Ryan Giggs remembers everything about Manchester United’s 1996 win over Liverpool – . From way back when, here’s Pathé News on the full , including behind-the-scenes pre-match footage: “These Everton men, tense, strung up, nervous, only 90 minutes away from victory – or defeat.” Also from Pathé: 1939’s report when , and a creative effort in 1936 when the cameras were locked out, so Pathé filmed the game by instead – the Skycopter of its day. Some brilliant footage, “taken in circumstances of considerable difficulty”.

3)It’s the Portuguese cup final coming up, too: Sunday’s game a repeat of the 2013 final,ers insists challenging Liverpool for the title was never on the agenda.After victory over Newcastle United, Rodgers has now opened up on his plans for the second half of the season, and why he is more than happy with his team’s displays.He said: “We when Vitória de Guimarães . Elsewhere in Europe, Wolfsburg face a relegation play-off against local rivals Eintracht Braunschweig. Oh Wolfsburg – In France, Amiens were sixth with 10 seconds of their season left – but one goal lifted them to second. Here’s how it looked .

4)Yet more tension! It’s Championship play-off final time: Reading playing Huddersfield on Monday for £200m. The Royals have lost two Wembley thrillers before – in 1995 only to lose 4-3, and in 2011… and losing 4-2. Huddersfield have won three play-off finals in lower tiers – including a big day out in 1mon Rondon.The Turkish giants will reportedly meet the West Brom striker’s agent following his brilliant loan season with Newcastle United, reports Jansspor.Wolves have also shown interest in the Venezuela superstar, 29, after Newcastle stalled over 995. More classic finals: in 1993, in 2000 and, perhaps best of all, in 1998.

5) It’s French Open season, too. Last year Novak Djokovic beat Andy Murray , while Garbiñe Muguruza in the women’s. Rafael Nadal is favourite, chasing a 10th title at Roland Garros, so here are from the king of clay. You have to go much further back for the last French men’s singles champion – – and not quite so far back for – Mary Pierce, . Nothing says clay-court tennis like endless, exhausting rallies – so enjoy five of the best:

6) Finally, 30 Liverpool U-9s . They called it a draw.

1)“Oh that is just pretty… that is beautiful.” In the NBA Western Conference finals, San Antonio Spurs’ 39-year-old Manu Ginobili nutmegs the Golden State Warriors’ David West:

2) A tackling masterclass from the AFL, as Geelong Cats .

3) And here’s a proper pre-match pep talk: Arminia Bielefeld’s assistant coach Carsten Rump before they faced second-placed Eintracht Braunschweig in Bundesliga 2. They went out and won it 6-0.

Oomeave Manchester United.The Manchester Evening News says Matic is open to leaving Manchester United in the January transfer window amid a lack of playing time.Matic, 31, has only started two Premier League games this season and managed just 350 minutemph,TheCedarRoom, whobroughtoranges

Guardian YouTube sport channel

Read more →

Golden State Warriors lay waste to Cavaliers in potential finals preview


Stephen Curry and the certainly looked ready to trade some more blows with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers come June.

The two-time reigning MVP hit five 3-pointers and had 20 points while matching his season best with 11 assists in Golden State’s 126-91 rout of the defending champs Monday.

Klay Thompson scored 26 points with five 3s, and Draymond Green produced his third triple-double of the season with 11 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists. He also equaled his career best with five blocks – and had another dustup with King James in the process.

James had 20 points on 6-of-18 shooting and eight rebounds, and he and Green became the talk once more as their relationship turned even more testy.

Kevin Durant added 21 points, six rebounds, five assists and three blocks for the Warriors in a much-hyped matchup merely weeks after Golden State lost 109-108 in Cleveland on Christmas.

The Warriors squandered a 14-point lead that day in a loss that fueled them going into Monday. They relinquished a 3-1 advantage in the last year, a failure that motivates them to return to the big stage. And the rivals’ latest holiday game marked the Cavs’ first trip back to Oracle Arena since capturing the title here seven months ago.

Kyrie Irving – who hit game-winners against Golden State in the past two matchups, including the championship clincher – scored 17 points on an uncharacteristic day for the Cavs when they committed 15 turnovers to 11 assists.

Cleveland shot just 35.2% (31 for 88) overall. Beyond embarrassed, Cavs players made for the tunnel before the final buzzer even sounded.

The latest altercation between Green and James came with 6:55 left in the first half. Golden State led 52-35 when James collided with Green near midcourt, resulting in a flagrant 1 foul on Golden State’s emotional All-Star. Green’s arm extended across the upper body of James, who went down hard and lay on the court. Green reacted by appearing to mock James for flopping – and he wasn’t the only one to sense some embellishment from LeBron.

“Flagrant 1 on Draymond?? What has happened to my league??” former player-turned-analyst Reggie Miller posted on Twitter.

After a long replay review, a double technical was called on Green and Richard Jefferson.

This tension goes back a while: Green was suspended for Game 5 of last season’s finals after swiping at James’ groin the previous game. The absence of Green helped swing the series.

After Curry’s pull-up 3 moments before halftime Monday sent his team into the break with a 78-49 lead, the star guard did what looked like a little celebratory breakdancing move on his behind at the sideline.

You bet this one meant a lot to the Warriors to regain some swagger in this rivalry after Cleveland had wonInter Milan coach Antonio Conte has no doubts about the quality of Lautaro Martinez.Conte is delighted with the Argentina international’s form.He stated, “Lautaro is a serious guy, he’s focused and he’s in great form. “Let’s remember that he’s only 22 and compared to last year he’s improved massively. “His potential is huge.” the pais fast making a name for himself.D’Margio Wright-Phillips made the most of his amazing solo goal for Blackburn in the FA Youth Cup.The 18-year-old is currently on a youth loan from Manchester City and his goal helped set up a semi-final tie against st four meetings.

A day after the Christmas loss at Cleveland last month, the NBA said James should have received a technical for hanging on the rim with 1:43 to play and that Jefferson fouled Durant on the game’s fin’s clash with Vitoria in the Europa League has been re-scheduled.The Gunners have confirmed they will play the Portuguese side on Wednesday November 6.Europa League games are usually played on a Thursday.But with Braga playing close by on the same nial play. That prompted Durant to call on the league to ditch the Last Two Minute Report altogether.

On Monday, Durant appeared downright possessed. KD’s driving, emphatic tomahawk jam 1:43 before halftime sent Oracle Arena’s sellout crowd into a frenzy.

Zaza Pachulia pulled down 13 rebounds as Golden State had a 58-35 edge on the boards. Andre Iguodala came off the bench to make all five of his field goal attempts for a season-high 14 points, and Shaun Livingston added 13.

Cavs new addition Kyle Korver, acquired from Atlanta on 7 January, scored 11 points off the bench.

Read more →

Are NYC FC and Manchester City more closely linked than we realise?


City Football Group and Major League Soccer were careful not to draw too many lines of association upon announcing the league’s 20th franchise back in May 2013. , they said, would be “a transformational development that will elevate the league to new heights.” Their inception would create “an intense crosstown rivalry between NYC FC and the New York Red Bulls that will captivate this great city.” Manchester City, the European superpower anchoring have posted an advert on Tribe, the influencer marketing platform, requesting social media posts that showcase the atmosphere and excitement of the Etihad Stadium during Uefa Champions League games, reports, /.The club are looking to drum up supportthe purchase, were barely mentioned.

Joe Hart, present for the announcement in Manhattan, gave the game away, though. He was Manchester City’s No1 goalkeeper at the time, and his attendaerwood has urged Christian Eriksen to stay with Tottenham.Eriksen has made no secret of his desire to leave Tottenham, as he runs down the final year of his contract.“He’s ran his contract down for a reason, it wouldn’t be a money-motivated reason,nce was symbolic of the relationship many thought would exist between the Premier League giants and their new American outpost. NYC FC, it was perceived, would be their feeder team.

Nearly four years have since passed, with New York City FC having now completed two full seasons as a franchise. Sergio Agüero has yet to play for them, neither has Tommy McNamara been offered a trial at Man City. Pep Guardiola probably couldn’t name NYC FC’s starting lineup. But with the news that a group of NYC FC players, including Costa Rican left-back Ronald Matarrita, are training with Guardiola’s side this month there is a link of sorts to be examined.

This comes after five NYC FC players (Kwadwo Poku, Patrick Mullins, Tony Taylor, McNamara and RJ Allen) spent the off-season training at Man City last year. The two clubs haven’t quite been swapping players like roommates exchanging Netflix passwords, but there has been greater correlation between the two than either franchise would perhaps readily admit.

Of course, it should be pointed out that Man City are not New York City FC’s parent club, nor are NYC FC their feeder team. The two clubs come under the larger City Football Group umbrella, which also includes Melbourne City of the A-League and Japanese outfit Yokohama F Marinos. All three are independent of each other, with their own squads, their own budgets and their own cultures.

But there most certainly has been overlap. David Villa, for instance, spent two months at loan at Melbourne City to keep up his fitness before joining up with NYC FC for the start of the 2016 season. Patrick Vieira left his post as head of Man City’s elite development and under 21s manager to take up the role as NYC FC head coach last year, and of course Frank Lampard delayed his arrival in New York for one last bite of the Premier League with Man City.

And now Matarrita is said to be interesting the Premier League side, with Guardiola in desperate need of depth in the full-back positions. The Costa Rican is still a raw talent, despite an impressive breakthrough year with NYC FC, but the 22-year-old possesses all the attributes to suggest the speculation linking him with a move to Man City might have weight.

However, such a move would present a sporting dilemma for NYC FC. Being under the City Football Group banner has undoubtedly given them the kind of clout they would have struggled for as an expansion team on their own. Without Sheikh Mansour’s financial might Andrea Pirlo, Lampard and Villa probably wouldn’t have pitched up at Yankee Stadium.

But such benefits come with a caveat. NYC FC might deny that they are under any obligation to sell their best players to Man City, but given that both clubs exist under the same ownership, would City Football Group really tolerate a truly world-class talent joining another team, particularly if that team were a rival to Man City?

Matarrita is far from a world-class talent, but were he to make the move to Man City from NYC FC it would raise questions over the true relationship between the two clubs. Are the latter fated to be always be at a competitive disadvantage because of their ownership and the natural order within the City Football Group? Is that worth the benefits that come as part of the arrangement?

This kind of discussion will only become more and more common in soccer, with City Football Group admitting their intentions to expand their portfolio beyond the four clubs they already own. “I would say when the opportunity arises – and we are looking at opportunities – you can expect us to add to the number of clubs we have already within the organisation,” chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak admitted in an interview last year. “It’s too early for me to pinpoint. We are looking at opportunities, we’ll see how it goes. At the right time, the right place, we will tell you.”

Red Bull, another company with a MLS presence, are also reportedly looking to stretch their reach across the sport. The energy drink brand already owns the New York Red Bulls, Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig and now West Ham, Charlton Atester United legend Peter Schmeichel says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has only temporarily relieved pressure on himself after Wednesday’s win over Spurs.United moved up to sixth on the table after claiming their fifth win of the season.But Schmeichel still hletic and Swindon Town are supposedly on their radar. It could be that soccer eventually tightens up its rules on ownership of multiple clubs in order to eliminate conflicts of interest, even between clubs on different continents registered to different associations, but for now this is fair game.

City Football Group did not reply to a request from the Guardian on clarification of the relationship between Manchester City and NYC FC. Matarrita is training in England this month, along with a few other NYC FC team-mates, but the true nature of the process that took him there is far from clear. Not that anything toxic or malicious is to be expected but when one team is defined so profoundly their link with another, these things matter. It matters why Matarrita is training with Manchester City as a New York City FC player.

Read more →

Tiger Woods announces 2017 schedule as he steps up his PGA comeback


has confirmed he will compete in three events starting with the Farmers Insurance Open held at Torrey s coy when asked about the move last week, suggesting he had unfinished business with the south coast club.Bhoys boss Neil Lennon wants to sign the 23-year-old on a season-long loan.But Cherries manager Eddie Howe is concerned over injuries and couldPines, which begins on January 26.

Woods will take part in his first PGA tournament of 2017 at an event he has won seven times and last won in 2013, with the event organisers announcing that the Manchester United star Andreas Pereira reacted to his side’s Carabao Cup semi final draw.The Red Devils were successful in the quarter final against Colchester United at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.They eased to a 3-0 win after a flurry of early former world No1 is committed to playing.

The 41-year-old recently returned to competitive golf at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas after 15 months away from the sport to recover from back injuries and is stepping up his workload as he aims to take part in a more tournaments in 2017.

The second tournament he will compete in is the Genesis Open, an event that his charity Tiger Woods Foundation is running and will be played in Pacific Palisades, starting on February 16.

He also announced he will be competing at the 2017 Honda Classic held at PGA National Resort & Spa, which will take place on February 23 in preparation for backroom team.Giovanni Martusciello has been named Sarri’s No2 while ex-Milan fitness coach Daniele Tognaccini also arrives.Tognaccini founded Milan Lab in 2002 and was with the Rossoneri up to 2018.Juventus StaffMaurizio Sarri (Manager), Giovanni Mathe first major of the year at The Masters in April.

Woods has won 79 PGA Tour events including 14 majors, with his last major victory, the US Open, coming in 2008.

Read more →

How to throw an epic Super Bowl half-time show


Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl half-time performance this Sunday will be the result of her longstanding pop scholarship, which of course extends to pop music’s premier showcase for its top artists. “The thing is, it’s such a big world stage in terms of how many people see it and it’s been done so many times,” Gaga . “I think the challenge is to look at it and say, ‘What can I do differently, how can I elevate certain little things here and there and also make it about the music?’”

An admirable goal, but history is littered with Super Bowl half-time performers who tried something “different” and found themselves pariahs. With that in mind, here are five must-have elements of the Super Bowl half-time show that Gaga can refashion in her own image this Sunday.

When Madonna came out for her show in 2012, she asserted herself as pop royalty by arriving on the Lucas Oil Stadium field on a giant throne. Reports that Gaga – shades of the Beatles! – might indicate that she’s thinking of making a similarly big splash. (Literally, if there’s rain; one of the reported plans for transporting her between the domed stadium’s roof and its field involves cutting a hole in NRG Stadium’s protective covering.)

One of the problems with Gaga’s catalog as of late has been the unfocused nature of her songwriting; while Joanne was a vast improvement on 2013’s messy, sprawling Artpop, it still gets stuck in musical cul-de-sacs at times. Perfect Illusion, the album’s glammed-up lead single, brings to mind the theme-park ride known as the Gravitron – its blatant channeling of Laura Branigan’s romantic desperation is enjoyable at first, although after a while the listener feels like she’s being whipped around in circles for four or so minutes. But the relatively brief nature of the half-time show (recent spectacles have hovered somewhere around the 13- or 14-minute mark) means that she can medley it up, which will allow her to hit her songs’ high points in rapid succession and even promote some lesser-heard cuts from Joanne, which spent last week at number 58 on the Billboard 200.

The Super Bowl half-time show programmers have recently re-embraced pop, which languished in NFL exile for a few years after Justin Timberlake’s . But there’s still a tentativeness about the shift, which is evidenced by the cramming of guests on to the stage for any performer who exists out of the classic-rock paradigm (or whose name is Beyoncé). Coldplay was the scheduled headliner last year, but Beyoncé’s just-released thunderbolt Formation and Bruno Mars’s Minneapolis Sound throwback Uptown Funk stole Chris Martin’s thunder; Madonna’s catalog was cast aside in favor of the Minaj/MIA trifle Give Me All Your Luvin’ and two LMFAO songs; and poor Bruno Mars had to deal with the Red Hot Chili Peppers homing in on his territory. Gaga’s biggest collaborations in recent years have involved much-beloved crooner Tony Bennett and the even more beloved Beyoncé – who hails from the Super Bowl setting of Houston and .

Bruce Springsteen’s stage-long slide in 2009 provided an eye-popping half-time show moment, as did Beyoncé’s getting bodied in 2013. Gaga’s penchant for sleekly controlled dance moves and showy costumes – from the oversized pink cowboy hat that defines the Joanne era to – will certainly work in her favor here, although let’s hope she doesn’t try to conjure up the memory of the lackadaisical Left Shark, who became beloved after sleepwalking through Katy Perry’s 2015 performance of the bouncy California Gurls.

While matching the drama of Prince’s 2007 set-closing performance of Purple Rain – which was accompanied by, no lie, rain coming down in Miami – will probably be impossible for any Super Bowl half-time performer who hasn’t brokered a deal with Mother Nature, Gaga certainly has songs that can hike up the spectacle and get the crowds in NRG Stadium and huddled in front of televisions around America fired up for the game’s second half. Bad Romance, Gaga’s 2009 Fame Monster epic, is the obvious choice here; not only does it have a hand gesture for everyone to join in on, but its closing growl of “want-yondon for the foreseeable future with the in-form Frenchman aiming to secure a new contract at Chelsea.”Yes. Yes. Yeah, of course,” he told the Evening Standard. “There are a few months to go, games to win and maybe another tropLoftus-Cheek has revealed how he has endured a tough season.The 24-year-old has been sidelined since May with an Achilles injury, but he has recently returned to first-team training.”Tough times are definitely hard to stay motivated,” he told the cluhy, and after, you knoohhh-bad-roohh-ohh-mannnce” will allow for a big finish where Gaga holds a pose while fireworks blast around the stadium. But The Edge Of Glory, Gaga’s 2011 attempt to distill the entire Footloose soundtrack into a single track, might be an even better choice – especially if she honors the late Clarence Clemons’s contribution to the song by inviting his ys he wants to win the Rakuten Cup ahead of fixtures against Chelsea and Vissel Kobe.New signings Antoine Griezmann, Frenkie de Jong and Neto are all in the travelling party and members of the squad were in Tokyo at the presentation of the Rakuten Cuson Jake to sit in on the solo.

Read more →

Tiger Woods pins hopes on weather after familiar failings return in Dubai


Hopes of playing on into the weekend at the Dubai Desert Classic are not yet in vain. The problem is, they mainly depend on the severity of the freak storm forecast for on Friday which, if accurate, could push the second round into Saturday.

The struggles now so associated with Woods intensified during a grim Thursday in the Middle East. The 14-times major winner, so dejected a figure by the time he stepped towards post-round media duties, did not record a single birdie when posting a 77. On his eighth appearance at the Emirates Club, this was the 41‑year‑old American’s worst round.

The bigger picture is impossible to ignore. Before a competitive ball was struck in anger, Woods spoke effusively about his supposedly competitive future. What transpired in front of huge Dubai galleries was more akin to George Best at Hibernian than .

Woods did not look physically comfortable, putted dreadfully and even when connecting properly saw ball flight that lacked the penetration of the top players in this sport. Barring something akin to a throwback in round two, a second beckons. The sad thing is, nobody really expects the more positive scenario.

“I didn’t hit the ball very well,” Woods said. “I left probably 16 putts short. I just couldn’t get the speed of these greens and consequently it all added up to a pretty high number.

“I wasn’t in pain at all. I was just trying to hit shots and I wasn’t doing a n Shaqiri says he is ready to fire for Liverpool during this hectic run of fixtures.The Swiss attacker made a rare start against Everton on Wednesday and managed to score in the 5-2 victory alongside fellow perennial substitute Divock Origi.Jurgen Klvery good job. At the end I finally hit some good ones but the damage had already been done. I could have hung in there, I could have shot something near even par if I would have mat not freeze against Fiorentina.The Grifone go head-to-head with the Viola, who could also still be relegated, but need to get a better result than Empoli manage away to Inter Milan to stay up. Prandelli said, “It’s marvellous to see and feeling thde some putts, but I made nothing.”

Nonetheless, an element of Woods optimism remained. His logic was thus: a downturn in conditions could pull others in the field back towards him if – and it is such a huge if – Woods himself can post a decent score.

“Hopefully this wind blows tomorrow, I shoot a good round and get back to even par,” Woods said. “That’s certainly not out of the realm of winning the golf tournament. But I have to go out there and do it, I have to go out there and execute. Hopefully it is tough and I can play a really solid round and give myself more looks. I haven’t given myself a lot of looks at birdies and I need to give myself a lot more.”

Woods did at least admit that staying patient has become a problem. “I’m fighting my ass off to try and shoot a score,” he said. “I’m trying to get back to even par and once I get back to even par, try and get one or two under just to try and creep my way back.

“I kept telling Joey [LaCava, Woods’s caddie]. I said: ‘If we could get to even par at the turn, we have two driveable holes, three short ones – maybe we can get to under par for the round, we can get this thing going, we can get it moving.’ It just never materialiseas agreed to let Cutrone leave the club in January.The 21-year-old only moved to Molineux in the summer in a £16m switch, but has failed to make an impression on his boss.Cutrone is now expected to make a return to the Serie A, with Torino interested. I never did it.”

Woods was at a loss to explain what has changed between early December, when he showed signs of promise during , and now. “I certainly drove it better back then. If I knew, I could tell you right now but there’s something that’s different.”

This clearly was not in the script for Matthew Fitzpatrick, the young Englishman who achieved a lifetime dream by playing alongside Woods for the first time. Fitzpatrick duly outscored his hero by eight before asking the European Tour if he could keep his scorecard, as signed by Woods, for posterity.

As if to rub further salt into Woods’s open wound, his long time nemesis Sergio García leads here at seven under par. “Tomorrow is supposed to be really, really tough,” the Spaniard said. “They are even speaking about not knowing if we are able to play or not, as hard as it might blow. So hopefully that doesn’t happen so we can have a nice, normal tournament.”

How Woods would cherish what he once recognised as routine.

Read more →