League Wide: Baylor’s Reform and the Big 12’s Graduate Transfer Trend

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Let’s take a look at some news around the league from this week. Reforming the BearsTram highlighted some positive news coming out of Waco on Monday.They want governmental involvement. They want to tear back the shroud that accompanies private schools. That shows the seriousness with which some Baylor supporters view the scandal.That’s a very good thing.The Baylor group staged town hall meetings in February, urging support for reforms.“The root of all this is lack of leadership, and we believe there needs to be major changes to leadership,” Williams, whose group organized in November, said in February. “I will say I’m encouraging those on the board who feel the way that we do to stand up to the rest of the people on the board and say, ‘It’s time to have full transparency and accountability and not to have this attitude of coverup and dribbling out facts on a narrow basis.’”This Baylor group offers hope that reform will come to Baylor, and that the culture will change. [NewsOK]Private universities are allowed to operate under a shroud of secrecy because they don’t receive (as much) public funding as state schools do. Now the fact that they do receive some funding for scholarships and such leaves them in a gray area, where taxpayer insight is fair to ask for.Here is an example of a Baylor alum and leader (the playing surface in McLane Stadium is named after him) stumping for public oversight to avoid covering up the truth in the future. Not for the demise of the school but for truth to come out so that victims can be vindicated, miscreants to bear the full weight and for the university to rebuild and move on.Stuck DoorsThe Sooners could use the excuse that the Big 12’s perception is holding them back but good luck doing anything about it.President David Boren has taken his shots at the Big 12 at different times. But exiting a power conference isn’t easy. There’s the granting of rights that runs through 2024-25 and coincides with the Big 12’s TV contracts with Fox and ESPN. Challenging a grant of rights could be expensive and time consuming legally. Does Oklahoma want out badly enough to force the issue? And what about Oklahoma State, which has been viewed as partner with OU in any realignment? [SportsDay]Porter had some great thoughts on the topic, namely the long-term unstable environment that is media deals and in turn, how the green on the other side of the fence may not be that color forever. As a fan of a non-helmet school, the idea of landing somewhere sooner than later seems ideal but the question for all involved is when can they get there.Until the grant of rights is broken (or the mid 2020s), this flying-the-coop business is just off-season fodder.Free Agent SigningsGundy provided some good thoughts on graduate transfers in college football.If signing day is college football’s version of the draft, the grad transfer practice has become its free agency.“These young men who come in, they know everything,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said. “They’re smart. They’re college graduates. They know this is their last year and are looking for somewhere where they can fit in.”The grad transfer rule, adopted in 2006, allows players — already physically developed and usually rather seasoned — who earn their undergraduate degree before completing their eligibility to transfer without having to sit out. Quarterback Russell Wilson became the cover boy for grad transfers when he left North Carolina State in 2011 to play his final season at Wisconsin, and led the Badgers to a Big Ten championship.The movement has since ballooned.“It’s changed in the last couple of years,” Gundy said. “It’s become so popular now.” [ESPN]The Pokes have had a defensive player per grad transfer since 2013 (Tyler Patmon from KU, Josh Furman from Michigan, Michael Hunter from Indiana, Lenzy Pipkins from UL-Monroe and this year’s Adrian Baker from Clemson) to go with Barry J. Sanders and Aaron Cochran, a boon for the Cowboys.Other teams in the league have benefitted as well: OU has had a receivers (Kentucky’s Jeff Badet this year, Penn State’s Geno Lewis) and Texas recently made a play for LSU quarterback Brandon Harris as a grad transfer. We have yet to see a Russell Wilson-to-Wisconsin magnitude of transfer in the Big 12 but it’s a trend to watch.The Right QuestionBerry Tramel gets to the heart of the issue of what’s ailing the Big 12: recruiting.All of the Big 12’s recruiting has suffered since the conference was raided by other leagues. In the six drafts from 2006-11, Texas had 32 draft picks, but just the 13 since. OU had six first-round picks, with just Lane Johnson since.Television money has been the driving force of conference realignment. But when the Big 12’s talent doesn’t trump the American Conference’s talent, when the dregs of the SEC are recruiting better than some of the Big 12’s better programs, when Texas is getting lapped by Texas A&M in recruits’ homes, when OU is getting outrecruited not just by Alabama and LSU, but by Ole Miss and Florida and Florida State, the football people jump on the bean-counters’ bandwagon.Recent NFL drafts tell us the sobering truth that Big 12 recruiting must pick up, or the conference is doomed. [NewsOK]Berry discerned that the right question is how in the world the Big 12 is remaining so competitive with so little NFL production. Reading the absurd but true facts that Western Michigan tied Big 12 draftees in the first two rounds this year and that the American had more players drafted than the Big 12 makes you really wonder.The bitterest pill to swallow is that there’s hardly a positive conclusion to come to – just do what you can with what you can get.last_img read more

Washington, Rudolph Named to Walter Camp Watch List

first_imgJosh RosenUCLA Baker MayfieldOklahoma Sam DarnoldUSC Jake BrowningWashington Trace McSorleyPenn State James WashingtonOklahoma State Luke FalkWashington State Barry Sanders is the only Cowboy to ever win the award when he took home pretty much every award he was eligible for in 1988.Ten semifinalists will be announced mid-way through the season and the winner will be announced on December 7. The winner is determined by FBS head coaches and sports information directors from all 128 schools. Lamar JacksonLouisville Josh AllenWyoming JT BarrettOhio State Quarterbacks Team Mitch WishnowskyUtah Jalen HurtsAlabama Mason RudolphOklahoma State Brett RypienBoise State Billy PriceOhio State Mason Rudolph and James Washington can each add another watch list to their summer résumés. The Big 12’s most dynamic returning duo are candidates for the 2017 Walter Camp Player of the Year Award. Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield was the only other Big 12 player included.Rudolph enters his senior season with legitimate Heisman hopes and Washington is the FBS’ leading returning receiver. Along with Freshman All-American Justice Hill, the three made Oklahoma State one of just two programs to boast a 4,000-yard passer, a 1,000-yard receiver and 1,000-yard rusher. The other team was Clemson (you know, the team that won the natty.)Here are the quarterbacks Rudolph will be up against.AdChoices广告 Wide ReceiversTeam Mike WhiteWestern Kentucky And here are the wide receiver candidates. Daniel CarlsonAuburn Calvin RidleyAlabama Deondre FrancoisFlorida State Quadree HendersonPittsburgh While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Quinton FlowersUSFlast_img read more

Mike Gundy Rant Video: 10 Years Later

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Mike Gundy turns 50 on Saturday, 10 years removed from his epic “I’m a man, I’m 40” rant that made him a YouTube sensation.The OSU head coach has grown leaps and bounds as a coach — far removed from the personality who went viral as a 40-year-old youthful head coach defending his player in an article written by a local media outlet.Nowadays, Gundy hunts snakes and grows mullets in his free time. So it’s easy to reflect back on that rant with a good laugh. In fact, let’s do that, shall we?AdChoices广告It’s still so good!Here’s my five favorite quotes from 3 minutes and 19 seconds of the most viral moment in Gundy’s tenure.5. “This was brought to me by a mother, of children!”4. “Makes me want to puke!”3. “That ain’t true!”2. “The editor that let it come out is garbage!”1. “I’m a man, I’m 40!”last_img read more

Pokes’ Running Game Posted One of the Better Performances of the Gundy Era

first_imgThe 332 yards Oklahoma State gained on the ground were the 11th most since Mike Gundy has been coach, but that doesn’t begin to explain how majestic Thursday night’s rushing attack actually was.Oklahoma State hasn’t finished a game with 300 yards passing and 300 more on the ground in five years. In fact, it has only happened four times since 2000.The first part of that equation — the passing number — has been touched countless times. The Cowboys hit that mark six times just last season. As for the rushing attack, 300 yards has only been reached once in the past few years, and it was last year against TCU. As for the last time they were in unison, that was Sept. 15, 2012, against Louisiana Lafayette, the game Wes Lunt got hurt.AdChoices广告It has happened just 17 times in the Gundy era.Thursday night’s 59-24 masterclass of Tulsa in the Cowboys’ 2017 season-opener was rhythmic and dynamic. Offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich had the offense moving quicker than it has in recent years, especially toward the beginning of the game. In fact, it was moving at almost record pace.There were stretches Justice Hill would take three straight carries and earn positive yardage each time. Yurcich had an excellent feel for the tempo and heat of the offense Thursday, which made the Cowboys — already oozing with talent — that much more dangerous.Mason Rudolph said the running game, led by Justice Hill, was great and that whether it was an up-tempo play or a more deliberate one, everything was in sync.“Blocked it well up front, and (I’m) really pleased,” Rudolph said. “Justice just looks different running. I don’t know if you guys saw, but he put on about 20 pounds, and he’s stronger.“Gosh, it’s pretty cool to watch him run and do his thing out there.”Hill himself said he doesn’t feel any different on the field running with it, no heavier than he was last year.“Just be able to break a little bit more tackles, and pass protection is a lot easier,” he said.The projected All-Big 12 sophomore said he was excited after his exceptional performance, and, yeah, that probably makes sense.This is … unbelievable. pic.twitter.com/ujZKendzvZ— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) August 31, 2017That looks like the trailer for a video game.He raked in 132 yards on just 15 carries. That’s 8.8 yards a pop. He toted in a well-earned touchdown, and made plays all night like the one above.Although when Hill talked with Kyle Boone, he said he was more excited for the guys who came in behind him.“I’m really more excited about J.D. (King) and LD (Brown),” Hill said. “They had some great runs.”Boy, that was a fact, and that is why Thursday evening’s assault on the ground was OSU’s best in recent memory. There was unexpected, completely ridiculous depth at a position that lost four of its top guys after last season.King looked Chris Carson-esque multiple times. He burst through the Tulsa defense at times, including what was for a brief time the longest Cowboy run since 2011 that he high-and-tighted in for a score. King was great. Even better than a lot of us thought he would be.As for King holding the longest run title for a “brief time,” Brown (the No. 3 running back) bested King’s 71 yards with a 73-yarder in the fourth quarter.“I liked what I saw from J.D. (King) from a standpoint of thinking he ran physically and protected the ball really well,” said Gundy. “He showed a little bit more burst in the open field than I thought he had. Then, LD (Brown) made a couple of plays and showed that he has the chance to run the ball a little bit. I thought we got some good play from those guys and blocked them pretty good at times.”Hill broke one for 32, and he said there are five guys who are responsible for the knee-grabbers.“It’s the offensive line,” Hill said. “All credit goes to them.”The offensive line look more like a dealership worth of Ford F-150s than five college kids. Gundy said he liked what he saw for the most part. As for the sack-fumble, Gundy said that wasn’t the hog mollies’ fault.“Mason caused his own sack, and the other time he got hit on the outcut that we scored on probably had a really good chance at being intercepted.”Gundy said a lot of the success in the run game came from the backs themselves though. He said in college football, you have to have skilled running backs who can make people miss. It seems OSU has at least three.“We just all push each other no matter what it is,” Hill said. “If it’s studying and watching extra film, we all gotta try to meet up here and do a little extra. If it’s on the field and one person breaks a long run, then another person wants to break a long run. Then if somebody runs somebody over, somebody else wants to run somebody over.”Hill said that’s just how it is, and it makes for great competition. Make for even better theatre, Justice. The numbers the running backs finished with were absurd.Given that Hill is a sophomore, King is a true freshman and Brown is a redshirt freshman, those numbers are eye-popping. And I understand the whole, “It was Tulsa …” argument, but Tulsa is a far cry from last year’s opening team, Southeastern Louisiana. Oklahoma State averaged 3.8 yards on the ground against that team. It averaged 9.0 on Thursday against a Tulsa team that won 10 games last year.As long as the F-150s hold up like they did Thursday and the bowling balls keep rolling toward the pins, the Cowboys should be in fine shape.“It’s gonna be a good year with all three of us,” Hill said.Yes … yes it is. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Report: Bournemouth 2 Newcastle 2

first_imgBournemouth 2 Newcastle United 2: Hosts in thrilling fightback after Gayle double Nicholas McGee Last updated 1 year ago 00:56 25/2/2018 GayleCook-Cropped Getty Images A Dwight Gayle double was cancelled out by a late Bournemouth comeback as the hosts drew with relegation rivals Newcastle United. Dan Gosling completed a dramatic late comeback as Bournemouth came from two goals down to snatch a 2-2 draw with relegation rivals Newcastle United.Rafael Benitez’s side travelled to the Vitality Stadium after a shock 1-0 victory over Manchester United last time out, and looked like making it back-to-back Premier League wins after Dwight Gayle twice pounced on poor goalkeeping from Asmir Begovic.After allowing Gayle to beat him to a low delivery for the 17th-minute opener, Begovic enabled the former Crystal Palace striker to double his tally on the stroke of half-time as he let another cross slip under him. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Bournemouth pushed to find a way back into the game, and a lifeline arrived courtesy of a fantastic long-range effort from Adam Smith 10 minutes from time.And parity was restored in the 89th minute as former Newcastle midfielder Gosling turned home from Nathan Ake’s ball into the box.Newcastle did cling on for a draw but missed a chance to go four points clear of the drop. The Magpies are two clear of the bottom three with Bournemouth three further ahead of them, a run of just one defeat in eight top-flight games cold comfort for Benitez after the late setback.A point apiece, as the Cherries come back from 2-0 down… #BOUNEW | #afcb pic.twitter.com/RHoVdoQo8S— AFC Bournemouth (@afcbournemouth) February 24, 2018It took 10 minutes for either goalkeeper to be forced into a save as Martin Dubravka, coming off an impressive debut against Jose Mourinho’s men, sprung to his left to parry Callum Wilson’s effort on the turn.But, after Kenedy had fired over with a pair of long-range efforts, Newcastle took the lead with a well-worked move.Jonjo Shelvey played a brilliant ball down the right for Matt Ritchie, whose low cross eventually fell to Gayle as he won a challenge with Begovic before nonchalantly backheeling the ball into the empty net.Ritchie then curled wide from 25 yards out as Newcastle continued in the ascendancy.Junior Stanislas and Gosling both lashed volleys over before Newcastle, having struggled to retain possession in the closing stages of the first half, doubled their advantage against the run of play.Paul Dummett’s cross to the far post was met by Ayoze Perez, the Spaniard’s pull back going through the legs of Begovic and finding Gayle, who was presented with another tap-in.28 – Dwight Gayle has now netted 28 league goals since the start of last season, more than twice as many as any other player for Newcastle (Matt Ritchie next on 13). Sharp. pic.twitter.com/BVQ59TxqwN — OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 24, 2018 Bournemouth had a penalty claim waved away by Roger East in the opening stages of the second half after Jamaal Lascelles collided with Ryan Fraser.Perez and Shelvey spurned gilt-edged chances to make it three either side of a fine Dubravka save from Steve Cook, and those wasted opportunities ultimately proved costly as Smith fired a stunning strike in off the bar before Gosling struck with a confident side-foot finish as a previously composed Newcastle defence crumbled.There was still time for Bournemouth to pull off a remarkable turnaround but Newcastle did at least save a point, yet they still have plenty of work to do to preserve their top-flight status.Key Opta Stats:- Bournemouth have picked up 13 points from losing positions in the Premier League this season, a joint-high along with Everton.- Newcastle failed to win a Premier League game after being two goals up at half-time for the first time since February 2012 (2-2 v Wolves).- Bournemouth have gone eight Premier League home games without a clean sheet, their longest-ever run without a shutout at the Vitality Stadium in the competition.- Newcastle bagged two first-half goals away from home for the first time in the Premier League since March 2014 against Hull.- Dwight Gayle ended a run of 11 Premier League appearances without a goal, via his first Premier League double since May 2016. read morelast_img read more

Kroos and Modric in Madrid squad to face PSG

first_imgReal Madrid Kroos and Modric in Real Madrid squad for PSG trip Joe Wright 17:44 5/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) toni kroos - cropped Getty Images Real Madrid UEFA Champions League PSG v Real Madrid PSG Zinedine Zidane had previously said that he would not take undue risks over injured players, but both doubtful stars will travel to France Real Madrid have included Toni Kroos and Luka Modric in their 24-man squad for Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain.The midfielders have been battling to be fit for the last-16 second leg in the French capital and both missed Saturday’s 3-1 LaLiga win over Getafe.Kroos, who particularly impressed in Madrid’s 3-1 first-leg win, has been struggling due to a knee ligament sprain, while Modric has a hamstring problem. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp However, both returned to training on Sunday and will travel to France for the showdown with Unai Emery’s men.Speaking on Saturday, Zidane said he was unsure if they would be fully fit but was not worried about the prospect of their absence.”I will never regret injuries,” he said. “If they can’t be with us, other players will play. The only thing we have is to look at Tuesday and see who we are going to go with.”We have two days to see how Luka and Toni are. I’m not going to tell you what I’m going to do and what we have planned.”What I want is for all of us to travel. I hope everyone trains on Monday, but I don’t know.”last_img read more

The MLS Wrap: Home fortresses penetrated

first_imgMLS The MLS Wrap: Home fortresses penetrated, Union youth movement rewarded and more Ives Galarcep @soccerbyives 07:02 6/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Wil Trapp MLS Columbus Crew Toronto FC 03032018 Dan Hamilton MLS Los Angeles Toronto v Columbus Crew Houston Dynamo v Atlanta United Philadelphia Union v New England Orlando City v DC United Dallas v Real Salt Lake SJ Earthquakes v Minnesota United FC Seattle Sounders v Los Angeles Vancouver Whitecaps v Montreal Impact Sporting KC v New York City LA Galaxy v Portland Timbers New England New York City SJ Earthquakes Atlanta United Toronto Portland Timbers Montreal Impact Real Salt Lake LA Galaxy Minnesota United FC Columbus Crew Houston Dynamo Philadelphia Union Orlando City DC United Dallas Seattle Sounders Vancouver Whitecaps Sporting KC Toronto, Kansas City and Seattle are normally some of the toughest places to play in MLS, but not so in the opening weekend of the 2018 season Leave it to the opening weekend of the 2018 MLS season to throw conventional wisdom out the window.Several of the teams considered title contenders stumbled out of the blocks, while some normally impenetrable home venues were breached by ambitious opponents.Among those opponents was Los Angeles FC, which made a memorable MLS debut to hand Bob Bradley a victorious return to the league after a decade away. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Toronto FC and Atlanta United came into 2018 as the most hyped teams in the league. TFC as reigning champion, and boasting an even stronger roster, and Atlanta, featuring a high-powered attack that helped distract from valid concerns about its defense. Both teams suffered multi-goal defeats, including Atlanta United’s 4-0 drubbing at the hands of the Houston Dynamo.Of course, we have to provide a reminder that overreacting to week one results is far too common and certainly not recommended. In fact, here is a stat that should bring some calm to the fans of teams who fell flat in week one: none of the past four MLS Cup winners won their season opener. In fact, none of the four even scored a goal.No, that doesn’t mean that teams such as Minnesota United and New England should be thinking about an MLS Cup title, but it should lend some pause to fans of Atlanta United, Toronto FC, the Seattle Sounders and the Portland Timbers who might have wanted to read too much into their team’s season opening defeats.Here is a closer look at the opening weekend in MLS:NORMALLY IMPENETRABLE HOME FORTRESSES BREACHEDPeter Vermes MLS Sporting KC 03052018Of the four teams in MLS which only suffered one regular season loss at home in 2017, three of them matched that loss total in the opening weekend of the new season.Toronto FC fell at BMO Field, dropping a 2-0 decision against Columbus, the Seattle Sounders fell to a feisty Los Angeles FC side at CenturyLink Field, and Sporting KC suffered a 2-0 defeat at Children’s Mercy Park against New York City FC.TFC’s loss was probably the most surprising of the three. Not just because of how tough the reigning MLS champion normally is at home, but because Greg Vanney trotted out a close to full-strength squad rather than resting more players ahead of the upcoming CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal against Tigres. Toronto FC had the possession edge in the match, and the two sides were 13-12 on total shots, but TFC failed to finish its opportunities — hitting the woodwork twice — while the Crew put together a pair of excellent goals in the first 50 minutes to take control and put the pressure on the home side.It’s probably a stretch to look at the result as some sort of blueprint for teams to follow heading into Toronto. The reality is TFC had just played a CCL match against Colorado the previous Tuesday — a 0-0 draw that sent Toronto to the quarterfinals — and looked a bit sluggish at times.Seattle rested starters against LAFC ahead of its CCL quarterfinal clash with Chivas Guadalajara and it opened the door for a very game LAFC side to escape CenturyLink Field with a hard-fought 1-0 victory. The result flattered the visitors on a night when Seattle had many more chances and dominated play in the second half, but it was former Sounder Tyler Miller who made seven saves to deny Seattle a chance at a comeback.Sporting KC’s loss to NYCFC shouldn’t induce panic, but it does show a gap between a true title contender and a team still working to get into that category. Sporting KC created some good chances, which was encouraging considering the fact Peter Vermes is still shopping for a top forward. The bigger cause for concern was how easily NYCFC was able to create good scoring chances against a defense that was the best in MLS in 2017. NYCFC worked with wide areas with ease, leaving us to wonder if Sporting KC might wind up paying the price for playing wingers as converted fullbacks against teams with the speed on the flanks to punish them.UNION’S YOUTH MOVEMENT PAYS EARLY DIVIDENDSAnthony Fontana MLS Philadelphia Union 03032018The Philadelphia Union entered 2018 considered a team likely to struggle. Ownership’s limited resources were going to lead the Union to have to lean on some young prospects to fill roles that others teams are filling with top international talent.The Union’s opening match was a dream start. Teenage playmaker Anthony Fontana scored his first career goal and fellow teenager Auston Trusty played very well in central defense in Saturday’s 2-0 victory against the New England Revolution.”Great for Anthony to get the goal, great for Auston to play as well as he did, but overall a team effort from every player on the field,”  Union coach Jim Curtin said after Saturday’s win. “All 11 guys attacking, all 11 guys defending.”The performances by homegrown players Fontana and Trusty were particularly satisfying for Curtin, who began his time with the Union working with them in the Union academy.”There was a 40 x 40 patch of AstroTurf where this young group of nine-year-old kids were on the field that had a dream of maybe someday playing for the Philadelphia Union,” Curtin said. “You think Auston Trusty being there as well, with Ian Munro, Phil Karn with myself, and to see them now take this step in Talen Energy Stadium under the bright lights is something that is special.”The odds are still stacked against the Union in the tough Eastern Conference, but with those youngsters showing well, and with the looming arrival of newly-signed playmaker Borek Dockal, there is some reason for optimism for a team that has struggled to make its mark in MLS since joining the league in 2010.QUICK KICKSMauro Manotas MLS Houston Dynamo 030318The Houston Dynamo didn’t get much fanfare this offseason as a team to watch out for, in part because of no real high-profile signings and the departure of Eric ‘Cubo’ Torres . The Dynamo responded with a resounding 4-0 win against Atlanta United that has Wilmer Cabrera’s second season in charge off to an excellent start. Yes, the Dynamo need to be taken seriously in the wide-open Western Conference.Mauro Manotas could be the key to Houston’s push for supremacy in the West. He scored 10 goals in 2017 sharing time with Torres, but now that the Mexican striker has left the Dynamo, Manotas could be a darkhorse Golden Boot contender if his strong opening week showing is any indication.—Rookies are finding it tougher and tougher to break through and earn minutes in MLS, but a few managed to earn starts opening week, including the Orlando City tandem of Chris Mueller and Cam Lindley . Benefiting from Uri Rosell still working his way back to fitness and Dom Dwyer recovering from injury, Mueller and Lindley didn’t look out of place in Orlando City’s 1-1 draw with D.C. United.There were several MLS debuts for teenagers this weekend, including one for highly-rated D.C. United prospect Chris Durkin , who played 17 minutes in Saturday’s draw.LAFC played both of its first-round picks, with Joao Moutinho playing well at left back and Tristan Blackmon making an impact as a late-match substitute.—The Ola Kamara-Gyasi Zardes trade is looking good for both teams after week one, with Kamara netting twice in the LA Galaxy’s 2-1 win against the Portland Timbers and Zardes scoring in the Crew’s 2-0 triumph at Toronto FC. Zardes looked sharp in preseason and has settled well into the Columbus attack, while Kamara could be a golden boot contender playing in front of the Galaxy’s stacked midfield.—Speaking of Kamaras, Kei Kamara looks right at home with the Vancouver Whitecaps, and their fast-paced attack will be tough to stop if Kamara continues to click with Alphonso Davies . The real question is how will newly-acquired midfielder Felipe fit into Carl Robinson’s plans. Veteran central defender Aaron Maund was solid playing in place of Tim Parker — who was traded to the New York Red Bulls for Felipe – but now Felipe will have to fight hard for playing time against Russell Teibert and Efrain Juarez . It will be very interesting to see who Robinson calls on for next week’s key Western Conference clash against Houston.—Patrick Vieira chose Ben Sweat over Ronald Matarrita to start at left back in NYCFC’s season opener, and the decision paid off, with Sweat helping set up the second goal in NYCFC’s 2-0 victory over Sporting Kansas City. Sweat thrived as NYCFC’s left back last season in place of the then-injured Matarrita. The Costa Rican fullback was expected to take his job back from Sweat this season, but early signs point to Sweat holding onto the job and thriving in the role.—The San Jose Earthquakes attack showed well putting up three goals in Saturday’s 3-2 win against Minnesota United, but how much of that was down to an improved attack, and how much is due to Minnesota’s faulty defense? Danny Hoesen looked sharp up top while the midfield wing tandem of Vako and Magnus Erikkson looked good in helping create chances and spreading out the Loons defense. We will have a much better sense of how much better this revamped Earthquakes attack is when they travel to take on Sporting KC on March 17.BEST OF MLS WEEK 1Alphonso Davies Vancouver Whitecaps MLSPlayer of the Week: Alphonso Davies . The young Vancouver Whitecaps standout delivered a goal and set up another to help the Vancouver Whitecaps beat Montreal 2-1 on Sunday.Team of the Week: Columbus Crew. Going into Toronto and beating the reigning champion is no easy task, and the Crew did just that.Rookie of the Week: Joao Moutinho. The first pick in the MLS draft turned in a steady performance as Los Angeles FC’s starting left back.Take a closer look at @LAFC ‘s first-ever MLS goal.    #SEAvLAFC pic.twitter.com/mvMZRSkCsa — Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 4, 2018 Goal of the Week: Diego Rossi. The Uruguayan forward delivered an excellent finish to lead LAFC to a win, and register the first goal in team history:last_img read more

Best of Social Media From OSU’s Weather-Delayed Defeat of No. 24 K-State

first_imgOklahoma State righted the ship on Saturday downing No. 24 Kansas State 26-13, though it took longer than expected thanks to an hour-plus weather delay.The Twittersphere was buzzing all night and there was plenty of timeline gold that kept me entertained throughout. Here are some of my favorites.Spencer is not afraid of a little contact, but I am (slide, my dude!).#BodybyGlass pic.twitter.com/0gCAHk3z1Y— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) September 29, 2019AdChoices广告 Even ESPN+ struggles when #okstate gets in the red zone. pic.twitter.com/z2dp0l9Idn— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) September 29, 2019 To a Cowboy Back!! pic.twitter.com/vOm7hIbIBz— Matt Amilian (@mattamilian) September 28, 2019But then it was more of the same late as OSU kicked field goals on four of its five score-zone drives.How’s that for creativity? 3rd and goal at the 4 and hand it off to… Tylan Wallace. It didn’t work and OSU settles for another FG. Pokes lead 13-0.— Michael Doutey (@mike_doutey) September 29, 2019 Kansas State should do us all a favor and just forfeit— Kyle Boone (@PFBoone) September 29, 2019 Replay delays > weather delays— Big 12 Refs (@Big12Refs) September 29, 2019😶🧐”I hope nothing happened during the storm delay that requires a confession.” #okstate— Hunziker Bot (@HunzikerSays) September 29, 2019 ESPN+ going with the old GIA camera angle out of the lightning delay. pic.twitter.com/dsN62lWLka— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) September 29, 2019The Cowboys came out with the win, somewhat handily, but their red zone issues are anything but figured out.Things looked good early.When they finally let you throw in the red zone. pic.twitter.com/BVHiPI5Oep— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) September 28, 2019 Spencer Sanders moving up the depth chart at LB— Matt Amilian (@mattamilian) September 29, 2019Chuba had a career game with enough significant numbers and records to make your head spin. This was one of the more mind-blowing..@CowboyFB’s Chuba Hubbard finished Saturday with 296 rushing yards. He eclipsed both Barry Sanders (222) and Thurman Thomas’ (237) school record for most yards against a ranked opponent. pic.twitter.com/ZP50Fqui0v— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) September 29, 2019https://twitter.com/Hubbard_RMN/status/1178169947878559744?s=20The flagpole in the east end zone is big enough for a Canadian flag too. Just saying.— Southwell (@JustinSouthwell) September 29, 2019 Weather delays are always weird and, at least somewhat, interesting affairs.Like a fax machine on national signing day. Their time to shine.— Adam Lunt (@AdamLunt817) September 29, 2019 Let’s examine #okstate’s red zone offense … pic.twitter.com/LGQRm5GmHU— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) September 29, 2019 Conspiracy theory: Some SEC team has a really good kickerThe world cannot see Ammendola’s Lou Groza performance with these technical difficulties— Matt Amilian (@mattamilian) September 29, 2019 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Kimmich slams Germany’s mentality in Mexico loss

first_imgGermany ‘Quality is not enough’ – Kimmich slams Germany’s mentality in Mexico loss Guy Atkinson 17:58 6/18/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Joshua Kimmich - cropped Getty Images Germany World Cup Germany v Sweden Sweden Germany v Mexico Mexico The right-back has lamented the number of mistakes that his side made as they suffered a poor start to the defence of their World Cup title Joshua Kimmich has questioned Germany’s mentality after their shock 1-0 defeat to Mexico on Sunday.The reigning champions were second best to El Tri throughout and were duly punished by Hirving Lozano’s superb goal midway through the first half.Germany had won just one of their six pre-World Cup friendlies after qualifying with a 100 per cent record and Kimmich believes a lack of intensity in those games contributed to their lacklustre performance against the Central Americans. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘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 He said: “The mentality when facing a match of this level also counts, quality is not enough. We lacked that too, so many mistakes were made.”Removing Saudi Arabia we have not won the last six games. You cannot compare the friendlies, in which the opponent does not press you as much as a qualifying round or a World Cup.”The coach [Joachim Low] is right when he said that we lost a lot of balls. Mexico did well on the counter-attack, especially – they caught us several times.”Kimmich, however, was indirectly criticised by team-mate Mats Hummels in the game’s aftermath, with the veteran defender complaining that only he and Jerome Boateng were defending.Germany will be hoping to get their campaign back on track when they face Sweden at the Fisht Stadium in Sochi on Saturday.last_img read more

Pogba: It may be my last World Cup

first_imgWorld Cup It may be my last World Cup – ‘Realistic’ Pogba determined to reign in Russia Rob Lancaster Last updated 1 year ago 20:38 6/24/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(7) World Cup France Manchester United Denmark v France Denmark Premier League Paul Pogba Knowing he is not certain to play in any future tournaments, the Manchester United midfielder is desperate to win the trophy this summer Paul Pogba wants to help France win the 2018 World Cup as he is “realistic” over the possibility of never playing in the tournament again.The Manchester United midfielder has helped Les Bleus record wins over Australia and Peru in Russia, sending them through to the last 16 with a game to spare in Group C.However, Didier Deschamps’ side have yet to dazzle ahead of their clash with second-place Denmark on Tuesday, with Pogba’s performances once again coming under intense media scrutiny. Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘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 However, having missed out on glory on home soil at Euro 2016, where France lost to Portugal in the final, the 25-year-old is less interested in what his critics have to say and is instead focused only on making sure France lift the trophy on July 15.”Maybe it’s my last World Cup, we do not know,” he told reporters.”I’m really enjoying myself, I’m going to forget the critics, do my talking on the pitch as it’s the only answer. “I give my best for my jersey, my team, for France. I really want to win this World Cup.”Asked why it could be his last tournament, considering his age, Pogba replied: “I’m realistic about the fact that it may be my last World Cup.”We do not know what’s going to happen tomorrow, maybe I’ll be injured or there will be players who will outperform me.”But I hope to do more than one. Some players do not even play one World Cup in their careers.”last_img read more

Seattle Sounders land Peruvian striker Ruidiaz

first_imgTransfers Seattle Sounders land Peruvian striker Ruidiaz as designated player Goal Last updated 1 year ago 01:26 6/30/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Raul Ruidiaz Peru 03282018 Jeff Zelevansky Transfers Seattle Sounders MLS The Cascadia side will be boosted by the Peru international, who has a prolific scoring record at club level The Seattle Sounders have announced the signing of Peruvian striker Raul Ruidiaz as a designated player from Liga MX side Morelia.As Goal reported earlier this month, Seattle has landed the 27-year-old who boasts a prolific scoring record in Mexico’s top flight.Ruidiaz will join the MLS side directly from Russia, where he made two substitute appearances for Peru in a World Cup campaign that saw the South Americans eliminated at the group stage.  Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘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 “We are thrilled to complete the signing of our top designated player target in Raul Ruidíaz,” Sounders FC general manager Garth Lagerwey said in a club release.“Collectively, we were relentless in our pursuit of Raul because he is a proven difference-maker at the highest levels of the game. Wherever he has played, he has made his teams better, scoring well over 100 professional goals in the process.”To make room for Ruidiaz on its roster, Seattle used targeted allocation money to lower the salary budget charge of midfielder Osvaldo Alonso, who will no longer occupy a designated player spot. Ruidiaz, Nicolas Lodeiro and Clint Dempsey are now the Sounders’ three designated players. Ruidiaz has been one of the top scorers in Mexico since joining Morelia in 2016. He was top scorer in both the 2016 Apertura and 2017 Clausura, and his 40 goals in the past two years trail only Tigres striker Andre-Pierre Gignac, who has netted 41. The Peru international will be a welcome addition for a Seattle side that is dead-last in goals scored in MLS with just 11 in 14 matches. Ruidiaz has been capped 31 times by Peru, scoring four goals. At club level, he has also represented Universitario in Peru, Brazilian club Coritiba and Chilean side Universidad de Chile.last_img read more

What’s happened to PSG star Tim Weah?

first_imgTimothy Weah’s explosion was one of the stories of pre-season as he proved there is far more to his game than simply being the son of 1995 Ballon d’Or winner George.The teenager burst onto the scene with Thomas Tuchel’s Paris Saint-Germain and appeared set to have a significant role to play at Parc des Princes this season after scoring in the 4-0 Trophee des Champions win over Monaco and then again off the bench versus Caen on the opening weekend of Ligue 1 action.It seemed that he had seized his opportunity, with Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, the club’s frontline duo, fatigued having only just returned following World Cup duties with France and Brazil respectively. 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? Despite scoring a goal for every 72 minutes he’s been on the pitch this season, Weah has subsequently faded from view and since playing one half against Guingamp on August 18 has not even appeared on the teamsheet for Tuchel.The arrival of Eric Choupo-Moting in the closing hours of the summer transfer window has seen him cast to the shade, despite the former Stoke man netting only once in 12 outings for the Parisians.This falls against a backdrop of the German showing his willingness to give academy prospects Stanley N’Soki and Moussa Diaby, whose contribution of three goals and five assists from only 534 minutes has eclipsed that of his fellow youth-team graduate, increased first-team exposure.Indeed, Weah has earned far more game time with the US national team, with whom he has played five games, including four starts, and totalling 359 minutes.Tim Weah GFXOtherwise, he has been restricted to training with PSG’s top team and flirting occasionally with playing in the B team, earning his spurs by scoring two goals in three outings in the French fourth tier, where games are often played on little more than public parks.Nevertheless, he knew there was this possibility when he sat down with his mother – who is the parent who has largely overseen his footballing development, despite his illustrious father – to discuss the best course of action during the summer.“My mom, she thought I am still really young and tender. There’s still some stuff to work on,” he said in September.“She thought if I did go to a lower team in the same league, there would be so many expectations to carry that team or potentially fight for a league winning spot. I don’t feel that I’m ready for that.“I’m always ready for a challenge but right now I feel like training with PSG, training with Neymar, Thiago Silva and getting better each day – I feel like that’s the way to go. That’s the choice we made.”Over the ensuing months, he has not changed his perspective, which is mature for an 18-year-old.“Right now, I’m not playing but I’m always looking for progress, to do more, watching others and learning from them,” he said, speaking in November. “I’m waiting for my chance, but I hope I can go on loan soon.”His chance is liable to arrive in the days ahead, with clubs from around Europe clamouring to play their part in the development of the son of a legend, who is a highly promising talent in his own right.Timothy Weah Kamil Glik PSG Monaco 04082018“Tim is in the ‘American mould’, always smiling, with his headphones over his ears, laidback and still needs a good relationship with his coach,” former PSG reserve both Francis Rodrigues told Paris-United. “I think that finding time with a Ligue 1 or even a Ligue 2 side would be good for him. He must now step up a level away from Paris, where the bar is set extremely high.”And of course, there is top-flight interest in France, with Strasbourg leading the way in that regard, though with Amiens hovering, too.RMC, meanwhile, report that there is interest from the Bundesliga, where another former PSG academy product Jean-Kevin Augustin has impressed for RB Leipzig since making the move in 2017. Stuttgart and Leverkusen would offer such options from Germany, while from Serie A, the likes of Sassuolo, Fiorentina and Lazio lurk.But while it seems that in the short term, Weah’s future lies away from the French capital, he has already shown himself sufficiently capable to have earned a longer future at Parc des Princes, where he is under contract until 2020.His exploits last summer were a glimpse of what he is capable of, but after this false start, his real breakout seems destined to follow.last_img read more

Paks antigraft body recovers 60 crore from Zardaris aide

first_imgIslamabad: Pakistan’s top anti-graft body on Wednesday recovered `60 crore in the fake accounts case from prime suspect Younas Kudwavi, who is believed to be a business partner of former president Asif Ali Zardari, according to a media report. The National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) Rawalpindi chapter recovered Rs 60 crore from Kudwavi, Geo News reported, citing sources. The NAB has also presented its interim challan before the accountability court – approved earlier by its executive board. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USKudwavi is facing the charge of issuing illegal allotment letter on properties registered for a temple and library. Quoting sources, it said that Kudwavi is a business partner of former president Zardari in the Park Lane Estate Company, a Karachi-based real estate firm co-owned by Zardari and his son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) was investigating 32 people, including Zardari, his sister Faryal Talpur, Omni Group chairman Anwar Majeed, in relation to money laundering through fictitious bank accounts. Zardari’s close aide Hussain Lawai was arrested in July last year in connection with the probe. His other close aide and Omni Group chairman Anwar Majeed and his son, Abdul Ghani, were arrested by FIA in August 2018. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsLast month, Zardari and Bilawal appeared before the NAB, which questioned them on corruption charges. They appeared before the NAB in connection with an alleged loan obtained by the Park Lane Estate Company. The NAB has claimed in the case that a piece of land belonging to the Punjab forest department was illegally transferred to the company by some government officials. The Supreme Court in September 2018 constituted a joint investigation team to probe the fake accounts case. The JIT had filed its report and also recommended a directive for NAB to conduct a thorough inquiry.last_img

New Zealand PM pays grocery bill of woman

first_imgWellington: New Zealands Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern paid for a mother-of-twos grocery bill at a supermarket after the woman forgot her purse at home. Ardern, whose compassionate response to the Christchurch mosque shootings last month was praised around the world, confirmed making the payment and said during a press conference on Thursday that she paid for the woman’s shopping “because she was a mother”. “Just when you think Jacinda Ardern couldn’t get any more lovely, low key and authentic…. she goes and pays for your groceries at the supermarket, because you’ve got your shopping, have two kids with you and are about to put it all back as you forgot your wallet,” the unnamed mother wrote in a now deleted Facebook post, stuff.co.nz reported. In the post, the woman also said she tried to explain to her children how the Prime Minister had just bought their groceries. “All they cared about was how silly mummy was forgetting her wallet. Totally lost on them,” she was quoted as saying by stuff.co.nz. The woman’s friend, Helen Burness, took to Twitter to reveal the Prime Minister’s good deed. “Like we didn’t love her enough, Jacinda Ardern paid for my friends’ shopping in the supermarket the other day when she had forgotten her purse and had two screaming kids in tow.”last_img read more

EC orders repoll on one booth of Anand LS constituency

first_imgAhmedabad: The Election Commission (EC) has annulled all the votes cast at a booth in the Anand Lok Sabha constituency of Gujarat last month and ordered fresh polling on May 12, an official said Thursday. The EC move came in the wake of report of bogus polling at the booth submitted by officials. A release issued by Gujarat Chief Electoral Officer S Murali Krishna here said re-polling will be held on a booth, officially named ‘239-Dharmaj-8’, on May 12 as the EC has cancelled the polling held there on April 23. The booth is located in Dharmaj village of Anand district, around 75km from here. Fresh polling for the voters of the booth will be held between 7 am and 6 pm, the release said. According to Anand district collector Dilip Rana, the EC has taken the decision following his report about bogus polling on the booth on April 23, when all the 26 Lok Sabha seats in Gujarat went to the polls.last_img

Isiah Thomas To Join NBA TV As An Analyst

Isiah Thomas’ efforts as an NBA head coach and general manager were nowhere near as outstanding as his Hall of Fame career as a point guard for the Detroit Lions. He was not that good as a college basketball coach, either — or owner of the CBA.Maybe Thomas’ ideal role is in as an analyst. He will join NBA TV in the studio starting Friday  during the network’s AutoTrader.com Pre-Game Show at 7 p.m.Thomas, who served years ago as an in-game analyst for NBC, will make several appearances each month on the network and will also be a regular contributor to NBA.com.It will be interesting to see if he is on set with Magic Johnson, who works for TNT but on occasion will be an NBA TV guest. Johnson and Thomas were best friends, so much so that they actually kissed before NBA Finals games in the late 1980s when the Pistons faced Magic’s Los Angeles Lakers.However, the thick-as-thieves-relationship fell off in subsequent years for many rumored but unconfirmed reasons.Thomas is a 12-time NBA All-Star and was named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history in 1996. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000.He became the target of much fury in 1987 when he repeated teammate Dennis Rodman’s comment that Larry Bird, the NBA’s MVP at the time, ”would be just another good guy” if he were not white. The backlash was so sever that Thomas flew to Los Angeles and appeared alongside Bird during a press conference.He explained then: ‘My mistake was in joking in a manner and with someone who did not fully understand that I was joking,” Thomas said. ”I’m really hurting about this.”At the same time, Thomas can be thoughtful, insightful and pensive. If he unleashes all his knowledge, he can become a strong addition to the network.He had a decent run as coach of the Indiana Pacers and a rally bad stint as coach and general manager of the New York Knicks. His latest basketball job was at tiny Florida International, where he did not make a significant mark.Recently, Thomas, who won the NBA’s J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award in ’87, spoke out at a rally in his hometown of Chicago to end the extreme violence that has marred the city.Thomas played 13 seasons in the NBA, all as a member of the  Pistons. He led the franchise to back-to-back world championships in 1989-90 and earned NBA Finals MVP in 1990.Thomas is chairman and CEO of Isiah International, a holding company with interests in a diversified portfolio of companies with strong market positions and growth potential. read more

Softball Alex Bayne ready for special senior season

OSU then-junior outfielder Alex Bayne (left) high-fives then-junior pitcher Shelby Hursh during the 2015-16 season. Credit: Courtesy of OSUWhen Ohio State senior right fielder Alex Bayne started playing softball, it was because her dad, a former baseball player himself, wanted to see his daughter take up the sport that he so dearly cherished. Little did Bayne’s father know at the time that his influence bred one of the Big Ten’s most dominant players.Alex Bayne’s first start came in 2015, but she really made a name for herself the following year. She tied OSU’s single-season home run record with 19, led the team in RBIs (49), runs (53) and OBP (.461), and was even named first-team All-Big Ten, as well as first-team National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-Midwest Region. While Bayne’s breakout season was certainly one for the history books, softball hasn’t always come so naturally to the Manvel, Texas, native.She originally began her college career at Marshall University, eventually transferring to OSU, making the team as a walk-on.“Marshall wasn’t a good fit for me personally, so I took the year off and contemplated whether I wanted to play softball still,” Bayne said. “My boyfriend — now fiance — was going to OSU, and I’d come to visit him. I fell in love with OSU and knew I wanted to play softball again, so I started getting ready for tryouts to show that I was worth it.”Despite proving that she was worth it during tryouts, Bayne was still anything but a refined softball player. It was through the guidance of the coaching staff and some former teammates that helped Bayne realize her full potential.“The coaching staff has developed me exponentially,” Bayne said. “I came in a wide-eyed sophomore who was a walk-on coming from tryouts. My coaches saw potential in me that I didn’t even see yet, and they developed my talents. Also, the leaders of the team back then took me under their wing and allowed me to really grow.” Not only is Bayne one of the top softball players in the country, she’s now a leader for OSU. Senior pitcher Shelby Hursh said it’s Bayne’s reliability that sets her apart from the pack. “It’s the best feeling to have players like Alex behind you,” Hursh said. “Especially as a pitcher, you know that if you give up a couple runs, we have a hitter like her and we’ll be able to get those runs back.”Bayne has picked up right where she left off through OSU’s first eight games this season. She has already hit six home runs, scored 11 runs, and has a .407 batting average. In order to attain such consistency, a player has to be willing to work hard and be coachable, OSU coach Kelly Schoenly said.“What I appreciate so much about Alex is that she learned from the leaders during her first year on the team,” Schoenly said. “Alex purposely attached herself to them so she could learn from the very best. She was never bitter, and Alex learned that if you want to get in the starting lineup, you have to put in the extra work, and she started doing it.”In her final year of eligibility, Bayne has not begun to seriously reflect on her time as a Buckeye. Although she’s been a part of some memorable moments in the last two seasons, the best is yet to come, as far as Bayne is concerned. “I definitely think this season’s up for a lot of special memories,” Bayne said. “Obviously, going to the postseason last year and being one of the qualifying teams in the NCAA Tournament is probably at the top. I still think there’s more in store this year. There’s room for pretty great memories.” read more

Tevez understands Messis Argentina problems

first_imgThe Boca Juniors footballer understands why Lionel doesn’t want to be in the national team for the rest of the yearAfter it was known that Lionel Messi will not appear for Argentina in their two friendly matches of the year, many footballers are giving their opinion about it.But to those that know Messi, they understand why he doesn’t want to go back to international football for a while.FC Barcelona, Valencia CFMatch Preview: Barcelona vs Valencia Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Is derby time in La Liga, as Barcelona welcomes Valencia to the Camp Nou Stadium tonight at 21:00 (CET).“It’s very personal, Leon has to take some time off to think about it,” Carlos Tevez told Diario Olé on Tuesday.“I can understand why he doesn’t want to go back. When one goes to the national team, fairly or unfairly, one is criticized.”The Boca Juniors striker will meet Messi tomorrow and told Olé how “it’s always cool to meet him again after we had a great time on the national team.”last_img