100 Days of Summer: Get to Know No. 11 Amen Ogbongbemiga

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. In less than two weeks we’ll actually have real football to talk about. I can smell the tailgate smokers already. But to help us prepare, let’s take a look at a redshirt freshman working to crack a deep linebacker rotation.How he got to OSUAmen Ogbongbemiga was the No. 1 ranked middle linebacker from Canada in the 2016 class. He’s also the second cousin of Emmanuel Ogbah. Ogbongbemiga turned down an offer from Nevada to keep it in the family.What he’s done in StillwaterHe spent last year redshirting and contributing to the scout team. Since arriving in Stillwater, Ogbongbemiga has packed on over 15 pounds of muscle and at 225 has the size and athleticism to make an impact. Now it all depends on if he can make the strides on the practice field that will help him work into a rotational role.AdChoices广告Role in 2017The Cowboys are deep at linebacker and Ogbongbemiga has several names ahead of him on the depth chart. I’d expect him to get some burn on special teams as he continues to get acclimated to the system and Division I football. He’s a project but has plenty of upside and is someone the coaching staff has high hopes for.Noteworthy stats and highlightsHis senior year of high school was impressive. How about 110 total tackles, 15 tackles for loss, four sacks, five forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries?He hasn’t been able to show what he’s got at OSU yet but here’s a look at the tape that excited Glenn Spencer and his staff.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

Klopp: Alexander-Arnold critics don’t know football

first_imgJürgen Klopp ‘They have no idea about football’ – Klopp hits back at Alexander-Arnold critics Nicholas McGee 17:06 12/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) KloppTAA-Cropped Getty Images Jürgen Klopp Liverpool Manchester United v Liverpool Manchester United Premier League The 19-year-old defender was criticised for his display against Manchester United in Saturday’s game, but his coach sprung to his defence Jurgen Klopp has dismissed criticism of Trent Alexander-Arnold following his lacklustre defending for the opening goal in Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat to Manchester United on Saturday.Alexander-Arnold was turned too easily by Marcus Rashford, who lashed into the far corner to give United the lead before the England forward took advantage of more haphazard defending from Liverpool to double the Red Devils’ advantage.An Eric Bailly own goal gave Liverpool hope but they could not complete a second-half comeback at Old Trafford, with club legends Jamie Carragher and Graeme Souness taking aim at Alexander-Arnold. 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 Klopp, though, has no interest in their thoughts on the teenage right back.Asked about their comments, he said: “I don’t get it. If you wouldn’t tell me [about it], I would never watch it. That makes absolutely no difference to me, what people say.”What did they say? They said we defended bad? If somebody said it was only Trent’s mistake, then the guy who said that has no idea about football and I wouldn’t listen.”Dejan Lovren, in the first challenge, could be different, but it’s difficult. We were not there for the second ball and then it’s Trent.”I have to see it back again but when I saw the goal, for me Rashford did brilliantly and, exactly in the moment where Trent is ready for the challenge, he made a cut back.”He stepped too late and in the next moment he shoots. It’s the perfect striker movement and we cannot defend everything.”It’s easy afterwards to talk about it but I’m not interested. [Pundits] don’t give us points, they don’t cost us points, they are only the deliverer of good and bad messages, that’s all.”We lost 2-1, but everybody could see we’re strong. We brought them at the edge, with 2-0 down that’s really rare that you can turn a game against United, but we were close and actually we should have done it.”The weekend’s results leave Liverpool sitting fourth in the table, occupying the final Champions League spot, and just four points ahead of fifth-placed Chelsea. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more

Liverpool team news & likely XI vs Watford

first_imgLiverpool Liverpool Team News: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Watford Chris Burton Last updated 1 year ago 15:30 17/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Liverpool celebration Mane Firmino Can Getty Images Liverpool Premier League Liverpool v Watford Watford Everything you need to know ahead of the Reds’ home date with the Hornets on Saturday evening which will see them aiming to cement a top-four standing Liverpool will be looking to offer a positive response to their disappointing defeat at arch-rivals Manchester United when they welcome Watford to Anfield on Saturday.The Reds are still unbeaten on home soil in the Premier League this season (15 games), with title-chasing Manchester City the only other side in the division able to match that record.Victory in their latest outing would allow Jurgen Klopp’s side to cement a standing inside the top four and take advantage of those around them being either on an enforced break or in FA Cup action. 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 Here, Goal takes a look at everything you need to know ahead of the game.Liverpool injuriesNathaniel Clyne has worked his way back into contention following a lengthy spell on the sidelines, but Klopp is reluctant to ask too much of him and risk suffering another setback.Georginio Wijnaldum and Jordan Henderson were only fit enough for bench duty last time out at Old Trafford, but both could be rotated back into the starting XI against the Hornets.Adam Lallana faces a race against time to prove his fitness ahead of the game, with the injury-ravaged midfielder having been forced to sit out training again in midweek. Liverpool suspensionsLiverpool do not have any suspended players ahead of the tie.Liverpool potential starting line-upJurgen Klopp may decide to keep faith with those who battled bravely against United, only to come away on the wrong end of a 2-1 defeat.The Reds did struggle to create chances at Old Trafford, but they have been formidable at home this season and will aware of the benefits a settled side can bring.Liverpool possible XI v WatfordWatford team newsWatford have 10 players currently unavailable for a variety of reasons, which is posing quite the selection headache to manager Javi Gracia.Gerard Deulofeu, Tom Cleverley, Younes Kaboul, Nathaniel Chalobah and Jerome Sinclair are among those on the sidelines, while goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes was dropped from the matchday squad for a 3-0 defeat at Arsenal.TV channel & kick-off timeThe fixture will be broadcast live in the UK (United Kingdom) on BT SPORT 1 or BT SPORT 4K UHD from 17:00 GMT.In the United States, the game can be watched live on television on NBCSN and kicks off at 13:30 ET.Best Opta match facts Liverpool have won nine of their 10 top-flight home games against Watford, losing only in August 1999 on what was the Hornets’ first visit in the Premier League (0-1). There has never been a goalless draw between these sides in the top-flight, with the 21 previous meetings producing a total of 72 goals (3.4 per game). Liverpool have never lost consecutive Premier League games under Jurgen Klopp, last doing so in September 2015 with Brendan Rodgers in charge. The Hornets have lost 16 of their 17 Premier League away games against sides starting that day in the top four of the table, winning only against Arsenal in January 2017. Mohamed Salah has been directly involved in 47.1% of Liverpool’s 68 Premier League goals this season (24 goals, 8 assists) – the highest such ratio in the division this season. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more

Galassi: Jorginho to Man City deal not done yet

first_imgTransfers Still some things to sort in Jorginho to Man City deal – Alberto Galassi Tommy Doleman 14:36 6/21/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Jorginho Napoli Getty Images Transfers Manchester City Napoli The Premier League side’s board member says made it clear that talks were advanced, but says that the negotiations have not been simple Manchester City are hopeful Italian international Jorginho will become their first summer signing, but board member Alberto Galassi says there’s still work to be done, before a deal is completed.Goal reported on Wednesday that the 26-year-old is expected to join City from Napoli in the coming days for a €50 million ($66m) fee. Jorginho and his agent are poised to finalise the move after a payment structure between City and Napoli was agreed earlier this week. 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 As revealed in May, City had already seen a bid of around £39m ($52m) rejected for Jorginho.After weeks of further haggling, a fee of around £46m (€52m/$60.4m) plus bonuses worth around £6m (€6.8m/$7.9m) was provisionally agreed on Monday.City had agreed personal terms with Jorginho many weeks ago, having identified him as their priority midfield targetPep Guardiola has identified the midfielder as a replacement for Yaya Toure, but Galassi told Sky Sports Italia that negotiations are still on-going between the Premier League champions and Serie A runner-up.“The club is interested, the player is also interested and Napoli is not opposed to the move,” he said.“Having said that, there are still some things to sort out and it’s not done yet. It’s not an easy negotiation.”Jorginho has made more than 130 appearances for Napoli since joining the club from Verona in 2014 and has earned eight caps for Italy.last_img read more

Pekerman wary of confident England in last 16

first_imgWorld Cup Colombia’s Pekerman wary of confident England in last 16 Harry West 05:00 6/29/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) JosePekerman - Cropped Getty Images World Cup Colombia Senegal v Colombia Senegal Colombia v England England Colombia and England will meet in the last 16 of the World Cup and Jose Pekerman knows Gareth Southgate’s side are to be taken seriously. Jose Pekerman has warned Colombia they will face an “in harmony” England side in the World Cup second round.Colombia defeated Senegal 1-0 in Samara on Thursday to secure their qualification as winners of Group H, before a much-changed England, already through, finished second in Group G following their 1-0 loss to Belgium.Those results set up a last-16 meeting in Moscow on Tuesday, from which the victors will advance to a quarter-final with Sweden or Switzerland, in what is perceived to be the easier half of the draw. 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 But Pekerman says there are no straightforward games once the tournament reaches the knockout phase.”I would always answer in the same way. We know any team that reaches the last 16 is good, the 16 best teams in the world,” he said.”Obviously they can have a good day or an even better day but the whole squad operates at a certain level.”England are a young team that is in harmony, very confident, they have excellent individual players and they’ve managed to pass the group stage quite comfortably.”I’m sure now a different type of match is heading our way. These will be to-the-death matches, so these are extreme situations, [you have] to play a great game from the beginning.”England has what it takes and it’s going to be a match in which Colombia will also be confident to get a good result.”Lots of changes. Fewer chances.#BEL finish top & face #JPN on Monday.#COL await #ENG on Tuesday.#ENGBEL pic.twitter.com/773rbZVpGa— FIFA World Cup  (@FIFAWorldCup) June 28, 2018Colombia’s progress spelled the end for Senegal, who finished with an identical record to Japan but were eliminated due to accruing more yellow cards than their rivals.”We all knew when we came to the World Cup that these were the rules,” Pekerman said. “There are clear rules and a clear understanding, you don’t often get teams that are so even and from the beginning you could tell this would be an even group.”It’s incredible to be in this situation, it’s hard for a team to take on.”Had we been in their shoes we would also be quite disappointed because one can sometimes think this is not a part of football but it happens and sometimes you finish a World Cup final on penalties, as in Italy vs Brazil [in 1994].”To lose a World Cup final on penalties is extremely hard and you need to accept the result, somehow you need to find a winner.”But when it comes to cards I guess players will have to start thinking about how important a card can be and as a coach we should also start thinking about this.”last_img read more