World Cup Lopetegui sacked by Spain on eve of World Cup kick-off after Real Madrid appointment Harry Sherlock Last updated 1 year ago 18:03 6/13/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(40) Getty Images World Cup Spain Portugal v Spain Iran v Spain Spain v Morocco Morocco Portugal Iran Real Madrid The move threatens to destabilise one of the most highly-rated teams in the tournament, with La Roja set to play Portugal on Friday Julen Lopetegui has been sacked as manager of Spain , after taking the Real Madrid job on Tuesday.Lopetegui was announced as Zinedine Zidane’s successor in a move that surprised many just days before the World Cup in Russia is due to start.The announcement initially claimed that the 51-year-old would take the reins at Santiago Bernabeu after the conclusion of the tournament, but La Roja have acted now after making the announcement at a press conference in Krasnodar. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Arsenal would be selling their soul with Mourinho move “We have decided to fire the national coach,” Spanish Football Federation president, Luis Rubiales, said. “What we have achieved in getting here is due in great part to him, and we must thank him and wish him luck.”Rubiales insists he does not feel undermined, but has suggested that Real acted in a manner unbecoming of their status.He added: “I don’t feel betrayed. Lopetegui has done impeccable work. How all this has been done is something else.”I have spoken with the players and I can guarantee they will do everything, along with the new coach, to take the team as far as possible.”Real Madrid look for the best coach, that is fine by me. I have no opinion about how Real Madrid act. But the federation have an obligation to represent all Spaniards.”I found out [about the deal with Madrid] five minutes beforehand and asked for nothing to be done, that I was getting a plane and coming here.”But, after five minutes, I saw it in the press and we had to react. We have a responsibility. I know there will be criticism but the values of the RFEF are set by the RFEF itself.”To win is very important, to have the best coach is very important, but above everything is acting in the right way. Maybe this is tough now, but in the end it will make us stronger.”Lopetegui was unbeaten in his time in the Spain dugout, guiding his team to 14 wins and six draws from 20 matches, and he signed a new two-year contract to take him through to Euro 2020 in May.The stunning development threatens to destabilise a team regarded as one of the favourites to win the tournament in Russia.Spain face Portugal on Friday, and will also face Iran and Morocco in Group B.Rubiales has not revealed who will be in charge for La Roja’s opening game of the tournament, but insists that an announcement will be made in due course.“We are going to touch as little as possible,” he said. “We are working on it. When we know we will tell you.”Spain sporting director Fernando Hierro and Under-21 coach Albert Celades have been tipped to take over for at least the World Cup.The planned media conference on Wednesday was delayed by more than an hour while Rubiales reportedly held last-minute talks with Lopetegui.There were also rumours the team’s senior players, including captain Sergio Ramos, had called for the former Porto coach to stay in charge for the tournament.Rubiales, though, insists the squad is entirely focused on Friday’s match against Portugal in Sochi.”All this is a big blow, but we are training again later today, we will stay together and move forward,” he said.”The players are very focused and they have told me they are fully committed and will give 100 per cent.”
In the Premier Division, the Northern Vipers got their first win of the competition, with their 4-2 win over the previously undefeated Eastern Stingrays team. In the other match, the Scorpions were two touchdown winners over the South West Wolves, while the Defence Eagles had the bye. The Scorpions sit on top of the ladder with two wins and a bye, with the Stingrays on equal points following their two wins and a loss. The Vipers win in round three sees them in third place while the Wolves are fourth, with both teams on four points. The Eagles sit in fifth place, and are yet to record a win so far in the competition. In the B Division, the Scorpions got their third straight victory following their 7-2 win over the Wolves, while the Stingrays just edged out the Vipers by one touchdown, 4-3. The Scorpions sit on top of the B Division ladder, with their three wins from three games, while the Stingrays are in second place with two wins and one loss. The Vipers sit in third spot with one win, while the Wolves are yet to record a win so far in the competition. Round four of the Premier Division sees the third placed Vipers take on the unbeaten Scorpions, the Wolves will play the Eagles and the Stingrays have the bye. Both games will be played at 7.20pm. The B Division will be tested on Friday night, playing two matches each. In round four at 6.30pm, the Scorpions take on the Vipers and the Stingrays will play the Wolves. In the second round of the night at 8.10pm, the Wolves will take on the Vipers, while the Scorpions will play the Stingrays. For more information, please visit the Touch Football South Australia website:www.touchsa.com.au VT LeagueIn the VT League, one team in each division has jumped to the top of the table following rounds eight and nine at Albert Park last weekend. In the Men’s division, the Bayside Vipers remain unbeaten after nine rounds, as do the Melbourne City Lions in the Women’s division. In round eight of the Men’s division, the Vipers were too good for the Casey Cougars, winning 11-2, while the Lions were also big winners with their seven touchdown win over the Northern Falcons. The Uni Blues were also winners in round eight, beating the Western Dodgers 8-5. In round nine, the Vipers continued their winning ways, with their three touchdown win over the Blues. The Cougars got their third win of the season, defeating the Falcons by one touchdown, while the Dodgers were four touchdown winners over the Lions. After nine rounds, the Vipers sit comfortably in the top spot following their undefeated start to the season. Last year’s premiers, the Dodgers, sit in second place – eight points behind the Vipers with five wins and four losses. The Blues are third on the ladder, on equal points with the Dodgers, closely followed by the Lions and the Cougars. The Falcons sit in sixth place following their one win and eight loss record so far this season. In round eight of the Women’s competition, the Lions were big winners over the Falcons, as were the Blues over the Casey Cougars. The Vipers also continued their strong form so far this season, with their two touchdown win over the Dodgers. In round nine, the Blues handed the Vipers their second loss of the season, 4-2, to edge closer to the top two. The Falcons got the their second win of the season when they defeated the Cougars, while the Lions perfect record remains intact, with their five touchdown win over the Dodgers.After nine rounds of the competition, the Lions sit on top of the ladder with nine wins from their nine games, followed by the Vipers with seven wins and two losses. The Blues sit six points behind the Lions, followed by the Cougars and the Falcons who have two wins each. The Dodgers sit in sixth place after nine rounds, with one win and eight losses.Rounds ten and eleven of the VT League will again be played at Albert Park with the first round of games commencing at 6.30pm. In the Women’s round 10 games, the Vipers and the Lions will face off in a top of the table clash, while the Dodgers play the Cougars and the Falcons take on the Blues. In the Men’s round 10 games at 7.20pm, the second placed Dodgers will play the Falcons, the Lions face the undefeated Vipers and the Blues will play the Cougars. In the Women’s round 11 games at 8.10pm, the Lions will play the Blues, the Vipers take on the Cougars and the Dodgers will face the Falcons. In the Men’s round 11 games at 9.00pm, the Dodgers face the Cougars, the Falcons will play the Vipers and the Lions take on the Blues.For more information, please visit the following websites:www.victouch.com.auwww.vtleague.com.auSA MIXED STATE LEAGUEROUND THREE RESULTSPREMIER DIVISIONSouth West Wolves 3 def by Central Scorpions 5Eastern Stingrays 2 def by Northern Vipers 4Defence Eagles Mixed – ByeB DIVISIONSouth West Wolves 2 def by Central Scorpions 7Eastern Stingrays 4 def Northern Vipers 3VT LEAGUERESULTSMEN’S – ROUND EIGHTUni Blues 8 def Western Dodgers 5Melbourne City Lions 11 def Northern Falcons 4Bayside Vipers 11 def Casey Cougars 2MEN’S – ROUND NINEBayside Vipers 9 def Uni Blues 6Casey Cougars 7 def Northern Falcons 6Western Dodgers 8 def Melbourne City Lions 4WOMEN’S – ROUND EIGHTNorthern Falcons 4 def by Melbourne City Lions 9Western Dodgers 3 def by Bayside Vipers 5Casey Cougars 1 def by Uni Blues 8WOMEN’S – ROUND NINECasey Cougars 3 def by Northern Falcons 6Uni Blues 4 def Bayside Vipers 2Melbourne City Lions 6 def Western Dodgers 1
Fresh from winning the 2012 Trans Tasman title against New Zealand, Australian Women’s Open representatives, Emilee Cherry and Alicia Quirk were a part of the 12 player squad, with Quirk making her debut for Australia at the event. 2007 and 2011 World Cup Australian representative, Rebecca Tavo is the current captain of the side while 2003 and 2007 World Cup Australian Women’s Open representative, Bo De La Cruz, is another key member of the team. The team finished fourth in London, losing to Canada by five points in the play-off for third and fourth. The team will now compete in Amsterdam this weekend as part of the Amsterdam Women’s Sevens tournament. Touch Football Australia would like to wish the team the best of luck this weekend.
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Chelsea boss Sarri: We deserved more from Spurs defeatby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea boss Maurizio Sarri was left frustrated after their Carabao Cup semifinal defeat to Tottenham.Spurs now have a 1-0 lead to defend for the second-leg.And Sarri says, “We deserved more because in this match we played better than the opponents. We were in control of the match and defended well against a team dangerous in the offensive phase, so we deserved more. We played about 70 balls in the opposition box against 11 balls of Tottenham in our box, 18 shots against seven I think, five goal opportunities against two, so we deserve more. “So I am really disappointed with the result but very happy with the performance, one of the most important of the season from my team.”Because we played with a very good level of application and determination, with the head and with the soul, and we played this way with continuity for 95 minutes. Usually we have defended very well for 60 minutes and then we have had problems with the last 15, 20, 30 minutes. This time the level of application was the same for 95 minutes so I am very happy with this.”
TagsTransfersAbout the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say Fulham reject mega for Mitrovic from Chinese clubby Ansser Sadiq10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveFulham are not interested in selling Aleksandar Mitrovic.A reported £50 million offer for Mitrovic has been rejected, per The Sun.It is from an unnamed club in the Chinese Super League.Mitrovic is tempted by the money on offer, but Fulham would loathe to lose their main source of goals as they are in a relegation fight.Chinese clubs are swinging their financial muscle this winter, as Mousa Dembele is heading to the Super League from Tottenham.Marko Arnautovic at West Ham is also the subject of a big money offer.
Sheffield Utd boss Wilder warns Liverpool fans: Henderson will give as good as he getsby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveSheffield United goalkeeper Dean Henderson won’t be intimidated by Liverpool’s away support.That’s according to manager Chris Wilder, who is delighted with the on-loan Manchester United youngster.”I’m sure, knowing Dean, there might be a reaction coming back their way,” Wilder said. “That’s part and parcel of his character, so long as he doesn’t overstep the mark and concentrates on his job, then it’s all good by me.”I love his personality, he loves the big games. I’m sure he’s really looking forward to the occasion just as much as everyone else is. We can’t wait to get started.” TagsLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Hoeness will have input on Bayern Munich plans for Man City attacker Saneby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveDeparting Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness says he’ll have input in their January plans for Manchester City attacker Leroy Sane.Hoeness has confirmed Bayern are likely to make a new move in the New Year when Sane has recovered from knee surgery.He will step down as president in November, but says: “I can tell everyone: I’ll be on the board for the next three or four years. “If someone needs advice, if someone needs my help, I will do that. But I will not put pressure on the new people. I will be there when you need it. If they do not need me, I will stay in the background.”
Nicolas Pepe lauds Arsenal mental strengthby Freddie Taylor23 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal winger Nicholas Pepe believes there is a lot of mental strength within their squad.The Gunners have been accused of lacking mental toughness after an up and down start to the season.But Pepe, who arrived in the summer from Lille for a club record fee, believes they are heading in the right direction.The Gunners battled back to defeat Aston Villa at home, before coming from behind to secure a draw at Old Trafford against Manchester United in their last two league games.”Overall, it’s a good start for Arsenal this season, we are in the good part of the table,” Pepe told reporters. “Against Aston Villa, we came back despite the fact we were one man down, this is one of those games which gives the team confidence and mental strength.”At Old Trafford, we are behind but we manage to tie the game. For sure we are strong mentally and we have to continue building that strength in order to win away games and then be a contender for a Champions League spot at the end of the season.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Juventus coach Sarri rivals Barcelona for Chelsea midfielder Willianby Paul Vegas21 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveJuventus coach Maurizio Sarri is moving for Chelsea midfielder Willian.The 30-year-old appears to be edging closer to the exit door at Stamford Bridge as his contract continues to wind down.Willian is free to negotiate a pre-contract deal with foreign clubs from January 1, with his contract set to expire next summer.Barcelona are also set to revive their interest in the former Shakhtar Donetsk man next summer after Chelsea rebuffed a £40m offer from them this summer, says the Daily Mail.The Spanish giants believe they are in pole position to secure his signature too because they feel they can offer a superior financial package to their rivals.
Arsenal hero Nicholas: Ozil not working hard enoughby Freddie Taylor4 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal legend Charlie Nicholas says Mesut Ozil isn’t training hard enough to win a place in Unai Emery’s side.The club’s highest paid player has made just one Premier League start and has been left out of three match-day squads this season. “Will he throw Mesut Ozil into this situation?” Nicholas wrote in his Sky Sports column. “I think Unai Emery knows Ozil is not training hard enough, so that is why he is not putting him in the team. He is still there so I would play him.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
Arkansas Fans Brawled After Toledo LossSaturday night was a tough night for Arkansas and its fans. Some of them apparently took it out on each other.In the below video, unearthed by Busted Coverage, dozens of Razorbacks supporters who had previously tailgated at the War Memorial Golf Course brawled following the team’s loss to Toledo. It looks like it was an insane scene.Warning – the video is NSFW.Let’s hope nobody got hurt. Let’s also hope that for the safety of its fans, Arkansas figures it all out on offense.
Tottenham will soon be taking up residence at a new home after ending their 118-year association with White Hart Lane in 2017.The club have been temporarily housed at Wembley, but that tenancy is expected to end soon as they get set to begin building a new legacy in a rejuvenated environment.It has been a long time coming for the north London club and they will be hoping that the development serves to copperfasten their position as one of England and Europe’s ‘big clubs’. Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ahead of the move, Goal brings you everything you need to know about the new stadium, including capacity, tickets and more.What is the new Tottenham stadium project?Spurs have long been working towards setting up a new domain and the plans for the current project stretch back over 10 years to 2007.The ground, which will be officially known as ‘Tottenham Hotspur Stadium’ is the centrepiece of the Northumberland Development Project, which aims to regenerate the area.When did construction begin?Construction of the stadium itself did not begin until the summer of 2015 – three years after the first build in the Northumberland Development Project – due to delays arising from a Compulsory Purchase Order challenge. Situated on the High Road in the London N17 area, the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will replace White Hart Lane as Spurs’ new home.What features will the new Tottenham stadium have? The stadium will feature a retractable pitch, which will withdraw to reveal a synthetic surface underneath the grass turf. There will be a host of bars situated within the stadium, including a microbrewery run by Beavertown. Food and drink outlets will be available across the ground and ‘The Market Place’, with over 60 food and drink outlets, can be found in the South Stand. The new venue will also include a Sky Walk, which will allow visitors to walk up to the roof, where they can take in views of north London. Conference facilities will be available for businesses in the East Stand.What capacity will the new Spurs stadium be?The new stadium is set to have a capacity of 62,062 seats, which is an increase of over 25,000 from the capacity of the old White Hart Lane.The South Stand, which is going to be the designated ‘home end’ of the ground, will be a single tier and will house 17,500 fans.Once completed, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will be one of the biggest football stadiums in the United Kingdom, behind Wembley, the Millenium Stadium, Old Trafford and the London Stadium.Spurs fans will also be able to claim some bragging rights from the fact that it will be bigger than the home of their rivals Arsenal, the Emirates Stadium, which has a capacity of 60,432.At 62,062 it will be the third biggest capacity venue in the Premier League, higher than Liverpool’s Anfield and Man City’s Etihad Stadium.When will the first game be played at the new Tottenham stadium?It remains unclear when the first game will be played at the new Tottenham stadium, after the club announced that there would be delays to the original plans.Spurs had hoped to cut the ribbon on the venue on September 15 against Liverpool, but those plans were ditched in August following “issues with the critical safety systems”.“We know this will be disappointing for all our season tickets holders, premium members and our fans worldwide,” said Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, who pleaded for “continued patience and forbearance”.The August setback also meant that the NFL game between the Oakland Raiders and the Seattle Seahawks, which had been scheduled to take place at the venue on October 14, had to take place at Wembley.The club issued a further update in January 2019, indicating that critical safety concerns are being addressed and that testing is ongoing.That means upcoming games in January and February will be played at Wembley, suggesting that March will be the earliest time for Spurs’ proverbial housewarming, but even that may be a tad ambitious.🎮 It’s in the game. Your first look at our new home in #FIFA19! 👀More – https://t.co/N5Wxupfquf@EASPORTSFIFA #COYS pic.twitter.com/lVyHmfypPy— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) August 10, 2018In the meantime, Spurs fans will be able to play as many games as they like in the stadium in FIFA 19.EA Sports confirmed that they had become the north London club’s new video game partner in early August last year. You can get a glance at how it will look in the video above.Will NFL be played at Tottenham Hotspur stadium?Yes. The new Tottenham stadium will follow Wembley by hosting American Football after Tottenham penned a 10-year deal with the National Football League (NFL). The deal will see the venue host a minimum of two games a year over the course of the next 10 years.Then Mayor of London, Boris Johnson welcomed the development at the time, saying: “Anyone who has seen American Football at Wembley Stadium cannot fail to have been thrilled by the spectacle, and the wise heads that run the NFL have clearly not missed the fact that Londoners are going absolutely gangbusters for Gridiron.”We are already working very closely with the NFL, including on plans to get more Londoners involved in the sport, and we believe that building on the success of NFL at Wembley by staging more games in an area of the city that has been earmarked for a massive programme of economic regeneration and investment makes perfect sense.”Touchdowns in Tottenham can only add to our reputation as a global sporting powerhouse, and help us take another step towards our goal of having a permanent NFL franchise here in London.”However, it remains to be seen what the first NFL game will be.As well as NFL games, the new Tottenham stadium will also play host to a variety of concerts and entertainment events.How much will Tottenham Hotspur Stadium cost?The cost of the stadium project has been a source of disquiet for Tottenham and their fans, with the final bill expected to far exceed the initial projections.At the outset, it was estimated that the construction of the new stadium would incur costs of around £400 million, but in 2017 it emerged that it would actually be nearly double that – around £750m.Since then, reports in the British press have suggested that the new stadium will cost Spurs roughly £1 billion in the final analysis.Such an extravagant increase, while naturally concerning, is not unusual in construction ventures.For example, initial projections from the Football Association (FA) for the cost of building the new Wembley famously ran over budget, rising from just over £450m to around £830m.Time and changing circumstances naturally have an effect on the price of these kinds of projects. And of course, the small matter of Brexit will have shaken things up from a financial perspective.How much will tickets cost?Tickets for games at the new venue will vary depending on opponent and where the seats are situated.Currently, Spurs operate three price categories for opponents, with games against rivals and teams traditionally considered part of the ‘top six’ being the most expensive.That is likely to continue in the new stadium and the full span of costs can be viewed here.Season tickets also vary in price, ranging from £795 for an adult to £2,200, with reduced rates for juniors, young adults and senior citizens.The full season ticket price breakdown can be found on Spurs’ official website here. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Hillary Clinton probably wasn’t tuned into the Alabama vs. LSU game on Saturday night, but perhaps she should have been. She might have locked up the presidency.Apparently, the result of the Alabama vs. LSU game has helped predict the last eight presidential elections. When Alabama wins, the Democrats win. When LSU wins, the Republicans win. Seriously.Alabama beat LSU 10-0 on Saturday night, which suggests that Hillary Clinton will defeat Donald Trump.Did #BAMAvsLSU already decide the #PresidentialElection? pic.twitter.com/Cv4tke05Mx— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) November 7, 2016No, there isn’t any real correlation here. But if Clinton does win, it’ll be nine times in a row the result has correctly predicted the presidency. That’s hard to ignore.
The Dallas-Fort Worth region is the Mexican national team’s home away from home. Yet, in recent years, it’s been a bit hostile. The fans turn out in big numbers to watch El Tri. That’s why they keep coming back. Were it not for that, though, it’s tough to imagine the Mexican federation agreeing to another game here. There was the 2014 match against Ecuador in which Luis Montes’ World Cup hopes were dashed by injury after a leg-breaking collision that put a hush over a full AT&T Stadium. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? There was the horror-show game in March 2018 when not only did Mexico lose to an under-strength Croatia team (which at the time was yet to make a charge at the World Cup final), it also saw Nestor Araujo, Diego Reyes and Carlos Salcedo go off with injuries. Araujo and Reyes wouldn’t make it to the World Cup. And there was the game in 2015 when now Mexico coach Tata Martino led Argentina in. Martino’s memories of the game? “I’ve coached a team that played at this stadium, Mexico-Argentina precisely. The field wasn’t all good. It wasn’t good at all. I’m sure that tomorrow it’ll be very good,” Martino said at a news conference Saturday. Still, the bad luck Mexico has had at AT&T Stadium is just that: bad luck. The grass put out over the turf that normally blankets the home of the Dallas Cowboys can be patchy, but Martino’s wish that the field be in better shape looks to be coming true. A player can play 90 minutes without incident on a cow patch, though. Or, he can be injured on the magnificent hybrid grass of Wembley Stadium. All Martino knows is he needs luck to go his way this time around. With one healthy field player available as a reinforcement for his Gold Cup squad, priority number one in Sunday’s friendly isn’t beating Ecuador, it’s getting out of Texas and onto the final week of Gold Cup prep with a full group. Edson Alvarez posted on social media that his injury suffered Wednesday in a 3-1 win over Venezuela was nothing serious. Alvarez worked out apart from the full group as his recovery continues, and Martino still isn’t certain Alvarez will be fit for the tournament. The coach said he’ll wait until the day before the tournament, his last day to make an injury replacement, to make sure Alvarez can go. Even so, Martino said it has nothing to do with the turf or venue or even with the play itself. It was just bad luck. “The other day, with Edson, it really has nothing to do with the field. When you play football, injuries are part of what can happen. Nobody wants it. Sometimes, it happens,” he said. “What happened with Edson is enough. Ligament extension injuries, while they’re not rare in football, they’re also not common. It doesn’t happen every day. A player with this extension, in the first game he plays, for it to happen again is very rare. Sometimes things happen by chance.” That’s exactly why Mexico felt fine making the DFW region its home away from home and signing up to play a match a year in AT&T Stadium. Fans turn out, money is made and the injury thing? Well, that’s just a coincidence. Expect to see some fresh faces for Mexico, though veterans like Andres Guardado and Guillermo Ochoa should also get the nod after not starting against Venezuela. Martino is still figuring out how some of his players respond to game-time situations. Plus, he has to take as many precautions as possible with players like Raul Jimenez or Rodolfo Pizarro, for whom there are no obvious replacements should they take a knock. “I’m thinking about these two games, speaking about Venezuela and Ecuador, in the same way I thought about Chile and Paraguay. For us, it’s an important period of getting to know all the players, not only as humans but being around them, in training. We also want to see them when it’s time to compete,” Martino said. “We’ve had the chance to see an important group of players in the two FIFA dates and tomorrow we plan to complete our period of getting to know some players who for various reasons have only played a few minutes or haven’t played. And after that there’s enough time, around a week, to prepare for the game against Cuba.” So, while AT&T Stadium will again be packed with fans, it’s not necessarily a fourth win out of four that’s most important for Martino. It’s getting on the plane to Southern California with everyone aboard. If that happens, the Metroplex will indeed have made a happy home.
Kyle Walker is set to sign a two-year contract extension with Manchester City.Walker joined City for an initial £50 million ($63m) in the summer of 2017 and still has three years left on his current deal.City floated the idea of a contract extension towards the end of last season and Walker was so keen to reach an agreement that talks have been concluded swiftly. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? The Premier League champions’ pursuit of Juventus right-back Joao Cancelo has not dissuaded the 29-year-old from committing the final years of his career to the club.Walker’s existing deal is due to expire in 2022, but his new terms mean he will now be tied to City until 2024, when he will be 34 years old.Official confirmation of the extension is expected shortly, although City are yet to announce Oleksandr Zinchenko’s new contract, which was agreed some time ago.England international Walker has been an integral part of Pep Guardiola’s side since arriving in Manchester, making 48 appearances in his debut campaign and a further 52 in his second, helping City pick up five out of the six available major domestic trophies. City want to sign Cancelo as a replacement for Danilo, who joined alongside Walker in 2017 but has struggled to nail down a place in Guardiola’s plans across his two seasons at the club. The Brazil international has not yet finalised his move away, but it is expected that he will find a new club this summer, paving the way for Cancelo to sign.City, however, will want Danilo’s future clarified before tying up his replacement, although they have held numerous talks with Cancelo and Juve about a transfer that could be worth more than €50m (£45m/$56m).Although Guardiola’s side are in advanced discussions regarding Cancelo’s arrival, their priorities in the transfer market this summer are a deep-lying midfielder, to provide support to Fernandinho, and a centre-back, to replace Vincent Kompany and potentially Nicolas Otamendi.Atletico Madrid’s Rodri has been City’s No.1 candidate to strengthen the midfield for some time, although the Spaniard recently asked for time and space to decide his future, having previously shown the English club that he was ready to move.Harry Maguire is the top target for the defence, although City do not want to pay the £75m ($95m) plus add-ons that Leicester are demanding. Manchester United are also keen on signing the England international.City dropped out of the race to sign Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax several weeks ago after deciding they did not want to work with his agent, Mino Raiola.
BOSTON, MA – SEPTEMBER 13 : Fans fill Rentschler Field during a game between Boise State Broncos and the Connecticut Huskies on September 13, 2014 in East Hartford, Connecticut. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)UConn football has one of the worst defenses in college football. Through four games, the 1-3 Huskies have surrendered an FBS-worst 54.5 points per game.The schedule hasn’t done UConn any favors. Three of the first four games, all losses, came against explosive UCF, Boise State, and Syracuse offenses, which scored 56, 62, and 51 points respectively.The FCS win didn’t inspire much confidence though. UConn needed a late score to beat Rhode Island 56-49.During his press conference today, UConn football head coach Randy Edsall was asked about another struggling defense, and didn’t appreciate the insinuation.Wake Forest, surrendering 33.5 points per game, fired defensive coordinator Jay Sawvel, after giving up 56 points in a loss to Notre Dame. A UConn beat writer began to ask a question by leading with that bit of news, and Edsall didn’t wait around to see where it was going.“Wake Forest just fired their defensive coordinator, just curious of your philosophy on that.”“What’s that have to do with us?”As the reporter began to follow up, Edsall left the podium, repeatedly saying “I’m done,” and abruptly ending his press conference.Video, via This Is UConn Country:Today’s weekly #UConnFootball press conference ended a little early. Check back for full presser in a bit: pic.twitter.com/VMdwXgHljd— ThisIsUConnCountry (@UConnSN) September 25, 2018Edsall did answer questions for over 20 minutes before the Wake Forest question:UConn hosts Cincinnati this weekend, before facing Memphis, which is tied with Syracuse at 49.5 points per game, good for 10th in the FBS. Whether or not Edsall wants to discuss it publicly, second-year defensive coordinator Billy Crockett needs to get things turned around quick, or UConn is in for another season in the AAC basement.
TAMPA, FL – JANUARY 09: A general view during the national anthem prior to the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Clemson Tigers at Raymond James Stadium on January 9, 2017 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)The final College Football Playoff rankings of the regular season were released last night. The number of teams with a shot at the title is dwindling.Realistically, only six programs still can win it all. They are Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, Georgia, Oklahoma and Ohio State.This morning, 5Dimes unveiled updated championship odds for those six teams, plus undefeated UCF. It should be no surprise that Alabama is a heavy favorite.The Tide are the only team that you will not win as much money as you wagered on if they win it all.CFB ? odds updatedAlabama -255Clemson +325Notre Dame +1200Georgia +1500Ohio State +1850Oklahoma +2000Central Florida +50000 https://t.co/t19orf4YDn— 5Dimes (@5Dimes) November 28, 2018Interestingly, Oklahoma is ranked ahead of Ohio State in the CFP rankings, but the Buckeyes have better odds to win it all.The championship picture should will get even clearer after this weekend, when the conference championships are decided.The final playoff rankings will be released next Tuesday.
MIAMI GARDENS, FL – JANUARY 03: A cheerleader runs onto the field with an Ohio State Buckeyes flag prior to the Discover Orange Bowl against the Clemson Tigers at Sun Life Stadium on January 3, 2014 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)The news cycle has been busy for Ohio State on Friday. Former Georgia quarterback Justin Fields reportedly made an appearance on campus and intends to transfer to play for the Buckeyes after just one season with the Bulldogs.Not long after, a star offensive lineman announced his intentions to leave the Buckeyes for the NFL. Michael Jordan took to Twitter on Friday afternoon to announce he’s leaving Ohio State to enter the draft.“In my head, I know I am ready for the NFL, largely because I have been coached by the very best. I am immensely grateful to my Ohio State offensive line coach Greg Studrawa, strength coach Mickey Marotti, who have tirelessly trained my and my teammates to work hard towards achieving our goals and have prepared me for the next level,” Jordan said in a statement.It was not an easy decision, but the right one for sure. Thank you everyone for your support! pic.twitter.com/0qmB7q1iuw— Michael Jordan (@BigMikeJ73) January 4, 2019Jordan became the first Ohio State offensive lineman to start a season opener as a true freshman since Orlando Pace in 1994.Bleacher Report’s NFL draft expert Matt Miller projects Jordan as the No. 1 offensive guard prospect in the upcoming NFL draft. It makes sense for Jordan to take advantage of his opportunity to become a top pick in the draft this year after an incredible career with the Buckeyes.
AUBURN, AL – NOVEMBER 11: Head coach Kirby Smart of the Georgia Bulldogs walks the field prior to facing the Auburn Tigers at Jordan Hare Stadium on November 11, 2017 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)Kirby Smart has added a fairly prominent college coach to his Georgia football staff, in recent Pitt offensive coordinator Shawn Watson.Watson comes on as an offensive quality control coach under Smart and recently promoted offensive coordinator James Coley.Watson was dismissed by Pat Narduzzi after the Panthers’ 14-13 Sun Bowl loss. He spent two seasons as the team’s OC and quarterbacks coach.Before that, he served as QB coach at Indiana, assistant head coach and QB coach at Texas, and OC at Louisville, where he helped bring along star quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.Georgia football announced the Shawn Watson hire on Friday.Kirby Smart praised the experience he brings to the Dawgs’ staff.“Shawn brings a wealth of knowledge and experience with him after coaching the offensive side of the ball around the country during his career,” said Smart. “He is an excellent addition to our staff and we are pleased to have him in Athens already. “This is Watson’s first non-field coaching role since 1983-84, when he served as a graduate assistant at his alma mater Illinois.The Dawgs’ run-heavy attack finished 14th in the nation at 37.9 points per game last season. The team loses a bunch of key offensive skill players, but brings back star quarterback Jake Fromm for his junior season.[Georgia]