Henriquez salvages draw for United

first_img Martin Kayongo-Mutumba’s defence-splitting pass put the Nigerian clean through on goal midway through the first half but Igboananike could only fire straight at United goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard. Robin van Persie should have put United ahead soon after, but his point-blank shot was straight at AIK goalkeeper Kenny Stamatopoulos. United’s defence was opened up once again although to their credit, they forced Igboananike wide of goal and is denied once again by Lindegaard, who was replaced at half-time by Ben Amos. One of the substitute’s first tasks was to pick the ball out of the back of the net after Quaison turned his marker and sumptuously fired into the helpless Englishman’s top corner in the 49th minute. David Moyes’ men have been a little below-par in the pre-season matches thus far, with two wins from five matches, although they responded strongly, with Nemanja Vidic heading down into the pitch and off the crossbar from Ryan Giggs’ corner. And the visitors were level in the 68th minute after Zaha’s low cross on the right side of the penalty area was comfortably slotted home by Henriquez at the far post. United continued to dominate proceedings although Van Persie, celebrating his 30th birthday, wasted a golden opportunity to seal victory late on when his free header went wide. Manager Moyes was slightly frustrated by the result but was happy with the workout, as well as seeing star striker Van Persie and club captain Vidic play for the full 90 minutes. Henriquez, who spent the latter half of last season on loan with Wigan, tapped into an empty net from Wilfried Zaha’s cross to cancel out Robin Quaison’s superb strike just after half-time. It had been an even match prior to the opener – with AIK striker Kennedy Igboananike wasting several chances in particular – although United dominated after falling behind. “He (Vidic) was probably the big thing tonight to get him through – and Robin as well for 90 minutes. We wanted to make sure he had 90 minutes under his belt,” the former Everton boss told MUTV. “It was a tough enough workout for us, they played some good stuff for a period, but if we’d have taken our chances, I think we’d have won the game.” Meanwhile, record signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel netted his first Norwich goal in a 1-1 friendly draw against Champions League hopefuls Real Sociedad at Carrow Road. The £8million summer transfer from Sporting Lisbon turned the ball home from close range following a header from fellow new recruit Leroy Fer at a corner after 11 minutes. Manager Chris Hughton, who had midfielder Bradley Johnson back from a knee injury but rested England goalkeeper John Ruddy, saw his side enjoy the best of the first half. Norwich looked lively again after the restart, however the Spaniards, who finished fourth in the Primera Division last season, slowly got into the match and it was no surprise when former Arsenal man Carlos Vela equalised after 65 minutes with a neat finish from just inside the Norwich penalty area. Charles Green made his return to Ibrox as Rangers were held to a 1-1 draw in a pre-season friendly against Newcastle United. A Lee McCulloch penalty with five minutes on the clock gave Rangers an early lead, which was cancelled out in the final minute by Newcastle substitute Shola Ameobi. Summer signing Nicolas Anelka bagged a hat-trick as West Brom thumped League of Ireland Premier side Cork City 6-0. The Frenchman netted in the 25th, 47th and 63rd minutes to take his tally to six goals in as many pre-season matches for his new side. Graham Dorrans scored twice, netting just before half-time and in the 77th minute, while Shane Long was also on the scoresheet, notching just after the interval. Hull’s pre-season tour to Germany ended with a disappointing 2-0 defeat at Eintracht Braunschweig. Swiss forward Orhan Ademi opened the scoring eight minutes after half-time when he slotted home from Mirko Boland’s right-wing cross. Substitute Gianluca Korte sealed victory five minutes from time when he headed past Tigers goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic following Benjamin Kessel’s cross. West Ham were also beaten in Portimao, going down 1-0 to Portuguese outfit Braga in the Guadiana Tournament. Rafa scored the only goal of the game in the 63rd minute, reacting quickest after Yazalde had seen his shot palmed away by Hammers goalkeeper Adrian. Everton’s third and final game of their United States tour ended in a 1-0 defeat against Valencia. Michel Herrero’s second-half strike proved decisive at Miami’s Sun Life Stadium, condemning the Toffees to a sixth-place finish at the eight-team International Champions Cup. Despite the defeat, manager Roberto Martinez felt the trip had proved valuable. “The weather was extreme. The humidity in Miami made it a difficult exercise,” said the Spaniard, who handed a first start to teenager Gerard Deulofeu following his loan switch from Barcelona. “The first goal was going to be essential today. It allowed the other team to get the ball and keep it a bit easier and we got a bit frustrated towards the end.” He continued on www.evertonfc.com: “We played Real Madrid and Juventus and Valencia and it has been an important workout and it has been great for me to get a lot of information on partnerships and individuals in view of the start of the season. From that point of view it has been real success.” Substitute Angelo Henriquez spared a strong Manchester United side’s blushes with an equaliser in the Premier League champions’ 1-1 friendly draw with AIK in Stockholm. Press Associationlast_img read more

Moyes backs Rooney for record

first_imgDavid Moyes is convinced Wayne Rooney can smash Manchester United’s goalscoring record. However, whilst Moyes is convinced Rooney can extend his career well into his thirties due to his ability to operate in midfield, he doubts whether he – or anyone else – will get close to Ryan Giggs’ tally of 952 appearances. “Wayne is a boy who will play for a long time,” said Moyes. “He can go far in terms of numbers because as he gets older he is adaptable and such a good football player. “Maybe if he gets older and loses a bit of his pace he can always drop a bit deeper and play deeper. “Whether he reaches Giggs’ total is a different thing thing because that is nearly inhuman.” Rooney is set to make the 500th club appearance of his career when United take on Aston Villa on Sunday. It will also give the 28-year-old a chance to edge further up United’s scoring charts. Currently on 207, Rooney needs four more to catch Jack Rowley, who is in third spot. After that it is Denis Law (237) before finally Sir Bobby Charlton, who scored 249 times in a 17-year career with the Old Trafford outfit. “There are some big targets ahead for Wayne,” said Moyes. “Can he break Bobby Charlton’s goalscoring record? “There are some fantastic legends around this club and Wayne has got a chance to be one of them. “He already is with what he does but I am talking real top status. “Those targets are not too far away if he keeps playing the way he is now. “If he does I am sure he will get there because he is that good.” Press Associationlast_img read more

Martin backs Snodgrass over fans

first_img Indeed, the winger almost snatched what would have been a somewhat fortunate victory when his close-range header was scrambled away by goalkeeper Tim Krul in the dying moments of a match which had earlier seen Newcastle denied by the woodwork on three separate occasions. Martin, 28, understands the frustrations of both those in the stands and the players on the pitch as Chris Hughton’s men struggle for consistency to pull themselves clear of the relegation zone. “It was the whole stadium. I felt it, the fans were getting tense,” Martin said on Canaries Player. “Sometimes it is hard for players, especially for Snods, who is on free-kicks and corners. For him to be bang on the money all of the time is tough. “I feel for him because if it is not on the money, then people do criticise him. “Snods is a winner, he really cares and is a great lad. Sometimes that frustration does boil over, he gets angry. “Sometimes it can overstep the mark of what people want to see, but it is an intense game and there is a lot of pressure on things, passions are high and people find it difficult to control themselves. “He means nothing by it, he has apologised at the end and I felt for him when there were a few sarcastic cheers as he put a cross over for a corner and that is not doing anyone any good. Norwich club captain Russell Martin has urged the Carrow Road boo-boys to lay off Robert Snodgrass. “But the fans were chanting his name at the end, they were great, he apologised and we move on. “As a football club we are well known for sticking together, the managers, fans and players, so nothing is going to change there.” Canaries boss Hughton was made aware of the incident, and is set to gather some more information before deciding on whether any internal disciplinary measures are needed. Norwich really should have been made to pay for a poor first-half display when they had no answer to Newcastle’s interchange in a group looking to start life without Paris St Germain-bound Yohan Cabaye. Remy’s close-range shot was saved by John Ruddy, before Norwich midfielder Johnson kicked a cross onto the post. France forward Remy then hit the outside of the other upright, before his second half free-kick crashed against the crossbar. Norwich eventually improved in the final 20 minutes as Krul tipped a close-range shot from Gary Hooper up onto the woodwork before then blocking Snodgrass’ header at the death. “We knew we did not play the best and got away with it at half-time, but the positive you take out of it is that it is a clean sheet and could be a big point for us,” said Martin. While Norwich continue to look over their shoulders, Newcastle manager Alan Pardew hopes his side can press on in their long-term quest to secure Champions League football once again. “It was one of those nights where their goal was charmed. We had chance after chance come, but I am very pleased with the performance because we were outstanding,” Pardew told nufcTV. Press Association The Scotland midfielder was involved in a heated exchange with some home supporters in the City Stand towards the end of the first half during Tuesday night’s goalless draw against Newcastle, when both sides finished with 10 men following the double sending off of Loic Remy and Bradley Johnson. Snodgrass later made a point of signalling an apology when he tracked back down the flank towards the same section of Canaries fans during the second half. last_img read more

Pellegrini rejects Wenger comments

first_img Press Association The Barclays Premier League champions were hit with sanctions from UEFA for breaching financial fair play rules in May, and when asked about the Lampard deal, Wenger said: ”Is it a way to get around the fair-play? I don’t know.” The Frenchman has also subsequently suggested that Sagna’s move to City this summer after his Arsenal contract finished was “agreed a long time ago”. But asked on Friday if he was happy that everything as far as the Lampard and Sagna deals had been done correctly, Pellegrini said: “I think so.” The Chilean added that he was “surprised” by Wenger’s comments, adding: “I think as managers we have enough problems with our own teams to be talking about other teams. “The only thing I can say is that we have important restrictions about the amount of money we can spend, and Frank Lampard was a free player – we didn’t spend any money in bringing him from New York City to Manchester City.” Pellegrini is baffled by any negative reaction there has been to Lampard’s move, including from Chelsea fans upset to see him at a Premier League rival after 13 years at Stamford Bridge. “I don’t understand the reaction of Chelsea fans who say he is a traitor,” Pellegrini said. “The problem was not that Frank Lampard did not want to sign another contract with Chelsea – Chelsea didn’t want him any more. Over the last few days Wenger, whose Arsenal side play City at Wembley on Sunday in the Community Shield, has questioned both signings. Former Chelsea midfielder Lampard has headed to the Etihad Stadium on loan until January from New York City FC – Manchester City’s American sister outfit, who the 36-year-old England international signed for earlier this summer. Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has stressed that he believes the club’s summer deals for Frank Lampard and Bacary Sagna were conducted correctly in response to recent comments from Arsene Wenger. “He is a competitive player, he will be important for our team and we didn’t spend any money on him, so the rules of financial fair play don’t have any relation with Lampard.” Neither Lampard nor Sagna will be part of the squad for Sunday’s game – among eight City players that are set to miss out. That also includes Sergio Aguero, Pablo Zabaleta, Martin Demichelis, Fernandinho and skipper Vincent Kompany, all of whom – like Sagna – were involved in the knockout rounds of the World Cup. Meanwhile, Alvaro Negredo is recovering from a foot injury. But there could be debuts for two other new signings City have made this summer in goalkeeper Willy Caballero and midfielder Fernando. City are also expected to wrap up a deal for Porto’s France defender Eliaquim Mangala, but Pellegrini was giving little away on that front on Friday. “I always say the same answer – when things are finished, we can talk about that,” he said. “For the moment, Mangala is not our player.” last_img read more

Tottenham injury blow as scans reveal Jan Vertonghen has knee ligament damage

first_imgTottenham defender Jan Vertonghen faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines after it was confirmed he sustained knee ligament damage in his side’s comeback victory at Crystal Palace on Saturday. Vertonghen, an ever-present for Mauricio Pochettino’s side this season, fell awkwardly following a challenge by Connor Wickham and was later substituted. The defender left Selhurst Park on crutches and, after undergoing a scan, has now been ruled out for the foreseeable future. “Further assessment & scans have confirmed that @Jan_Vertonghen sustained damage to his medial collateral ligament in his knee at Palace,” Tottenham tweeted. “Our medical staff will continue to monitor his progress during his rehabilitation to determine when he will be ready to return to training.” Wickham, who appeared to catch Vertonghen in the face with his elbow, was charged with violent conduct by the Football Association for the incident which was missed by referee Martin Atkinson. Vertonghen’s injury will come as a blow to Tottenham who are chasing their first league title since 1961. Following their 3-1 victory at Selhurst Park, Pochettino’s side are fourth in the table, five points adrift of leaders Leicester. Tottenham travel to Colchester in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday before league games against Norwich, Watford and Manchester City. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Eight medals for National Badminton team

first_imgTHE National Badminton team secured eight medals at the Caribbean Regional Badminton Championships, played at the National Racquet Centre in Tacarigua, Trinidad and Tobago.Guyana won three gold, two silver and three bronze medals.Medalling for Guyana were: Priyanna Ramdhani silver in U-17 singles, Priyanna Ramdhani & Tyrese Jeffrey gold in U-17 Mixed doubles, Priyanna Ramdhani gold in U-17 doubles, Tyrese Jeffrey & Akili Haynes bronze in U-17 doubles, Ambika Ramraj silver in U-19 doubles, Jonathan Mangra bronze in U-19 doubles.Guyana maintained an eight-year record of medalling at the championships. Team Guyana will now focus their attention on the Team matches, which commenced yesterday.Meanwhile, in matches played on day four in the Under-17 Girls’ singles final, Priyanna Ramdhani (GUY) lost to Imani Mangroe (SUR) in a three-setter: 2-21, 21-12, 21-13.Guyana teamed up with a Suriname counterpart, rebounded in the Under-17 Girls’ doubles final as Priyanna Ramdhani (GUY) & Imani Mangroe (SUR) defeated Faith Sariman & Chaista Soemodipoero (SUR): 21-11, 21-13.In an all-Guyanese match of the Under-17 Mixed doubles semi-finals, Priyanna Ramdhani & Tyrese Jeffrey (GUY) defeated Jair Naipal & Imani Mangroe (SUR): 21-12, 21-14.Under-19 Girls’ doubles final, Ambika Ramraj (GUY) & Shemara Linveld (SUR) lost to Nairobi Jimenez & Bermary Polanco (DOM) 21-4, 21-9.Guyana commenced the Under-19 Team Tournament yesterday.last_img read more

Update on the latest sports

first_imgUpdate on the latest sports July 21, 2020 Attendance at Indy 500 will be 25% of capacityINDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Attendance will be limited to 25% capacity for the Indianapolis 500 and spectators will be required to wear face coverings at “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” Indianapolis Motor Speedway can hold approximately 350,000 fans in the grandstands, suites and infield, but officials said last month only 50% capacity would be admitted for the Aug. 23 race. The number was adjusted Tuesday. Tickets will not be sold after Friday. Among the precautions the speedway will take is reassigning seats for social distancing, distributing hand sanitizer and administering temperature checks at entry. Concession stands will be limited to mostly prepackaged foods. WOMEN’S SOCCER-LOS ANGELES — Veteran defensive end and three-time Pro Bowler Michael Bennett is retiring after 11 NFL seasons.The 34-year-old Bennett played for five teams and was an integral part of the Seattle Seahawks’ 2013 NFL championship. He said Tuesday on Instagram that the 2019 season, which he split between New England and Dallas, was his last. He also played for Tampa Bay and Philadelphia.— The Panthers have now signed all seven draft picks. The team signed its final six unsigned draft picks, including second-round draft picks Yetur Gross-Matos and Jeremy Chinn on Tuesday. Also signed were fourth-round selection Tony Pride Jr. from Notre Dame, fifth-round pick Kenny Robinson Jr. from West Virginia, sixth-round pick Bravvion Roy from Baylor and seventh-round pick Stantley Thomas-Oliver from Florida International. First-round pick Derrick Brown from Auburn signed back in May. NBA-RESTART-ARENASA whole new look, for a whole new NBA game experienceLAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — The NBA comes back Wednesday with a very different look. There’s no bench. The courtside broadcasters will not be courtside. And the stat crew will be doing their work inside what loosely can be described as an oversized hockey penalty box. Seating in the bench areas will be assigned, with folding chairs set up on three rows instead of the customary two and spaced out several feet from one another — instead of players sitting shoulder-to-shoulder as they have in the past. And across the center stripe, the words “Black Lives Matter” are painted onto the surfaceThe league’s marketing motto for the restart of the season at Walt Disney World is “Whole New Game,” and in many respects, that’s very true. The arenas that will be used for the exhibitions, the seeding games that start July 30 and then the playoffs that are scheduled for mid-August through mid-October set up much differently than usual — all with safety during a pandemic very much in mind.In other NBA news:— The Utah Jazz will honor Hall of Fame coach Jerry Sloan by wearing a patch on their team jerseys and warmups when the NBA season restarts in Orlando, Florida. The patch will feature the number “1223.” That was the total number of wins during Sloan’s 23 seasons in charge of the Jazz. Sloan died in May of complications from Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia. INDY 500 FANS UNDATED (AP) — Danielle Collins has been kicked out of World TeamTennis for breaking the league’s COVID-19 protocols.WTT CEO Carlos Silva says Collins left The Greenbrier resort hosting all of the matches during the league’s three-week season and went out of the state of West Virginia.Collins is a 26-year-old American who was a semifinalist at the 2019 Australian Open. She has been ranked as high as No. 23 and currently is No. 51. She was playing for the Orlando Storm at WTT, which took all nine of its teams and put them at The Greenbrier, where the season began July 12 and ends Aug. 2.VIRUS OUTBREAK-TENNIS-CITI OPENAugust tournament in Washington, D.C. is canceledWASHINGTON (AP) — The hard-court tournament in the nation’s capital that was supposed to mark the official return of men’s professional tennis amid the coronavirus pandemic has been canceled. Manager Terry Francona said the group had an “honest” conversation and he came away proud of how it was handled by all involved.Francona stressed that nothing has been resolved over the controversial topic.The franchise recently announced it was in the early stages of meeting with the community and appropriate stakeholders “to determine the best path forward with regard to our team name.” The Indians’ move coincided with the recent decision by Washington’s NFL team to drop the name Redskins, which had been decried as being racist for decades.Cleveland removed its contentious Chief Wahoo logo from its game jerseys and caps. Fans, however, can still buy merchandise bearing the red-faced, toothy mascot that became a symbol of hatred to some and civic pride to others.In other MLB news:—The Blue Jays’ front office has told its players that Pittsburgh and Baltimore are possibilities for where the team will hold home games this year after Canada’s government barred the club from playing in Toronto amid the coronavirus pandemic. That’s according to Blue Jays outfielder Randal Grichuk. He says the players want to be in a major league stadium but have also been told their Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo is a possibility. Canada denied the Blue Jays’ request to play at Rogers Centre because the regular-season schedule would require frequent travel back and forth from the United States, where COVID-19 cases are surging. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the offer had not been made public. The union also agreed to a 80-player roster limit for training camp, instead of the usual 90. The players’ union plan came during a conference call on Tuesday.The agreement between the union and the league came a day after league made a proposal on not playing any preseason games because of the coronavirus pandemic. The players’ association originally had sought no preseason games and the league had reduced the exhibition schedule to two games. But on Monday evening, the NFL said it would eliminate those preseason contests and also would offer players 18 days for acclimation, up from seven days. In other NFL news:— The NFL is planning to allow players to have decals on the back of their helmets bearing names or initials of victims of systemic racism and police violence. The league has been in talks with individual players and their union since June about somehow honoring such victims. The initiative will be done leaguewide, with each team deciding who it will honor and how to display the names. — Washington’s NFL team has hired TV reporter, anchor and host Julie Donaldson to oversee its broadcast operation and be a member of a three-person radio booth for games. Donaldson will be the first woman to be a regular on-air member of an NFL radio broadcast booth. The move comes less than a week after longtime broadcaster Larry Michael announced he was leaving Washington after 16 years. A day after his departure was made public, Michael was among the team executives named in a Washington Post report about sexual harassment by club employees.center_img Associated Press Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditMLB-INDIANS-NAME CHANGEIndians players, owner meet to discuss potential name changeCLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland’s players met Tuesday with owner Paul Dolan to discuss a potential name change for the team, which has been called the Indians for the past 105 years. Portman, Nortman to bring women’s soccer team to LALOS ANGELES (AP) — Actor Natalie Portman and venture capitalist Kara Nortman lead a group that will bring an expansion National Women’s Soccer League team to the Los Angeles area in 2022. The team, tentatively named Angel City, will bring the league to 11 teams. Louisville FC joins the nine current NWSL clubs next season. Portman and Nortman are joined by gaming entrepreneur Julie Uhrman, who is president in the majority-female group. Others involved include actors Eva Longoria, America Ferrera, Jennifer Garner and Uzo Aduba. VIRUS OUTBREAK-TENNIS-COLLINSDanielle Collins kicked out of World TeamTennis for COVID violation — The Dodgers have optioned infielder Gavin Lux and agreed on a one-year deal with pitcher Jake McGee. Lux arrived late to summer camp and has appeared in only a few of the team’s intrasquad games. Chris Taylor and Kiké Hernandez have also gotten starts at second base. McGee was placed on waivers by Colorado last week. The 33-year-old left-hander was 4-11 with a 4.78 ERA in 225 games in four years with the club. He was 0-2 with a 4.35 ERA last season. —Oakland Athletics left-hander A.J. Puk received an injection in his troublesome pitching shoulder and is likely to be sidelined for at least two weeks. The prized prospect had been set to pitch in the rotation. He is dealing with inflammation that also bothered him during spring training. Puk is on the 10-day injured list. Right-hander Daniel Mengden is filling Puk’s spot at the back end of the rotation to begin the shortened 60-game season. The A’s open at home against the Angels on Friday night.NFL-PRESEASONAP source: NFLPA agrees with league on no preseason gamesNEW YORK (AP) — The NFL Players Association has agreed to the league’s plan to drop all preseason games for the 2020 season, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press. But the group in charge of the U.S. Open immediately said the tuneup’s cancellation “in no way impacts” its Grand Slam event. The Citi Open tournament in Washington had been scheduled to start with Aug. 13 qualifying. It was called off Tuesday because of what tournament manager Mark Ein said are “too many unresolved external issues, including various international travel restrictions as well as troubling health and safety trends.” The number of coronavirus cases has been spiking in spots throughout the United States.The men’s and women’s pro tours both have been suspended since March and are planning to return next month. The first event on the most recently announced calendar is a women’s tournament in Palermo, Italy, starting Aug. 3.TRUMP-JIM RYUNTrump to honor former track star, congressmanWASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is awarding the nation’s highest civilian honor to Jim Ryun, a former Kansas congressman who was the first high school runner to clock a mile in under 4 minutes. Trump is scheduled to honor the three-time Olympian with the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House on Friday.The Wichita native entered the record books in 1964 at age 17 by becoming the first high school runner to break the 4-minute barrier in the mile with a time of 3 minutes, 59 seconds. He competed in three Olympic Games and later served in Congress.last_img read more

Cowboys mock draft 2019: Predicting picks, NFL Draft plan, sleepers for Dallas

first_imgWith only six total picks, the Cowboys do not have much work to do in the 2019 NFL Draft. They will need to compensate for that limited quantity with great quality in their selections.Dallas essentially made Amari Cooper its first-round selection when it traded for the wide receiver last season. That move addressed the Cowboys’ biggest potential need in the draft, and they also are coming off a year in which they nailed their first-round pick, linebacker Leighton Vander Esch. Final thoughts:Jones does not get enough credit for being a strong talent evaluator in his own right to compliment his willingness to lean on a good scouting staff. The Cowboys have had five solid drafts in a row. Where he gets in trouble sometimes is taking too many risks with boom-or-bust talent after Round 1, some related to injuries or off-field issues. He tends to be well-tuned to his team needs, and lately, there haven’t been too many reaches.Should the Cowboys stick with a defense-heavy draft like their hauls in 2017, 2016 or 2015 in relation to what they need most now, they will be positioned to land at least three key rookie contributors. So what might Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones and Jason Garrett do starting in the middle of Day 2 of the 2019 NFL Draft? Here we lay out the Cowboys’ draft blueprint in more detail.SN’s NFL DRAFT HQ:Iyer’s mock draft | Live pick tracker | TV scheduleCowboys NFL Draft picksRoundPickSecondNo. 58ThirdNo. 90FourthNo. 128FourthNo. 136 (compensatory)FifthNo. 165SeventhNo. 241Cowboys’ NFL Draft team needsDefensive line: Tackle is the biggest hole. Tyrone Crawford has been productive, but he is entering his age-30 season and is in line for a suspension after an off-field incident. Antwaun Woods and Maliek Collins leave the position rather weak in the wake of David Irving’s retirement. At end, the team locked up Demarcus Lawrence, still has 2017 first-rounder Taco Charlton on the other side and traded for Robert Quinn. But there’s not much depth and limited pass-rush punch after Lawrence.Defensive back: The Cowboys didn’t do much to tap into the free-agent safety market, with only the more backup-level signing of George Iloka. They might think safety first, but they also need to find some subpackage help in the secondary.Outside linebacker: Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith will be together for a while as second-level studs, but Sean Lee is 32 and will see a fading role on a one-year restructured deal. With Damien Wilson gone, they need someone who can play the pass on the strong side.Wide receiver: Cooper and second-year man Michael Gallup will start outside, with free-agent addition Randall Cobb replacing free-agent departure Cole Beasley in the slot. But the Cowboys could add depth in the form of a speedy deep threat for the outside.Tight end: Jason Witten is back, but he essentially replaces Geoff Swaim, with neither Blake Jarwin nor Dalton Schultz looking like a long-term answer at the position.Running back: The Cowboys need a capable backup behind Ezekiel Elliott after not re-signing Rod Smith.Cowboys mock draft 2019Second-round plan:No. 58: Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, S, FloridaThis would be a great pick for Dallas in the second round, when several safeties should be coming off the board. The pick would be much like Houston getting Justin Reid in the third round last year — an immediate steal of a starter.Gardner-Johnson, at 5-11, 210 pounds, has ideal size for the position and is athletic enough to cause problems for both tight ends and slot receivers in coverage. He also is a good help defender downfield. He closes on the ball well, and his natural ball skills will fill a void for the Cowboys.MORE: Full NFL mock draft for 2019Second-guessing that plan:Given Gardner-Johnson’s recent rise, there’s a chance he might not last until that pick. In order, the best backup plans for safety are Alabama’s Deionte Thompson and Virginia’s Juan Thornhill. If all three are gone, then Maryland speedster Darnell Savage could also work in a defense to complement track star Byron Jones.The other position to which the Cowboys must pay attention early in the draft is defensive tackle. Should either Notre Dame’s Jerry Tillery or Ohio State’s Dre’Mont Jones last until their pick, they might need to go for some interior pass-rush upside built for their base 4-3.The biggest offensive temptation would be Ohio State’s Parris Campbell, the fastest wide receiver the class, to give the Cowboys some big-play ability for Dak Prescott.center_img Don’t be surprised if …… the Cowboys trade down from No. 58 for more volume. Although that pick the sweet spot to address safety, Dallas sliding down in the round for an extra Day 3 pick and addressing the position a little later with Iowa’s Amani Hooker or Miami’s Jaquan Johnson could also be a smart play.The Cowboys have gotten used to operating with nine total picks, which has been the case for three consecutive drafts. The last time Dallas had only six picks, in 2010, it was able to land Dez Bryant in Round 1 and Sean Lee in Round 2. This year, however, is a bit different with no top-50 pick.Rest of Day 2 plan:If the Cowboys need to pass on safety in the second round, either Hooker or Johnson should be available at No. 90. But in the more likely event that they land neither Tillery nor Jones, then there are two 4-3 defensive linemen to consider in the third round.Both of them are natural ends from in-state schools: TCU’s L.J. Collier and Texas’ Charles Omenihu. Collier (6-2, 283 pounds) relies on power and toughness to disrupt plays in the backfield. Omenihu can hold up as a strong rotational lineman (6-5, 280 pounds) while he refines his pass-rush skills.The Cowboys also can’t forget about running back before Day 3, as two players from a neighboring state standing out: Oklahoma’s Rodney Anderson and Oklahoma State’s Justice Hill. Anderson (6-0, 224 pounds) has an interesting combination of downfield thumping and open-field elusiveness. Hill (5-10, 198 pounds) is a scrappy, relentless back who pushes to find every extra crease and yard. Either would make for high-end insurance for Elliott.Day 3 sleeper:Cameron Smith, LB, USCThere are plenty of strong run-stopping linebackers to consider in this draft, but the Cowboys can focus more on a complementary player to Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith. Cameron Smith does not fly around as well as faster players at the position, but his experience and instincts help him compensate, especially against the pass. He reads the field well and is assignment-sound to the point where he is just as comfortable in the open field as he is in tight quarters. Smith would round out one of the NFL’s best second-level defensive units.MORE: Can you name the Cowboys’s worst-ever NFL Draft pick?last_img read more

J.J. Watt on ‘Saturday Night Live’: Here are all the athletes who hosted SNL and their best sketches

first_imgTom Brady: Touchdown at the CarnivalOK, this one isn’t that funny, but it’s entertaining to watch Tom Brady miss throw after throw, even if it’s by design. Eddie Murphy. Steve Carrell. J.J. Watt?The Texans star is next to enter the pretty exclusive club of pro athletes to host “Saturday Night Live” on Saturday, Feb. 1. Some have been memorable, others … less so. J.J. Watt is hosting SNL on Saturday — and he has a lot of studying to do. pic.twitter.com/reVvZaKDQO— Sporting News (@sportingnews) January 30, 2020For every Peyton Manning, there’s been countless Michael Phelps. There’s been no clear formula for who succeeds on the show and who doesn’t, but not for lack of NBC’s trying. In all, there have been 32 different professional athletes to host “SNL” in 882 episodes to air on NBC in the 45-year run of the show.Given Watt’s personality, it seems like he could definitely be one of the better sports stars to host the show in some time, and he’s the first since pro athlete to host the show since Charles Barkley in 2018, and the 12th football player to get behind the mic.J.J. Watt joins list of athletes to host ‘SNL’AthleteEpisodeAir dateSportFran TarkentonSeason 2, Episode 13Jan. 29, 1977FootballO.J. SimpsonSeason 3, Episode 12Feb. 25, 1978FootballBill RussellSeason 5, Episode 3Nov. 3, 1979BasketballJohn MaddenSeason 7, Episode 10Jan. 30, 1982FootballBob UeckerSeason 10, Episode 2Oct. 13, 1984BaseballAlex KarrasSeason 10, Episode 12Feb. 2, 1985FootballHulk HoganSeason 10, Episode 15March 30, 1985Pro wrestlingMarvin HaglerSeason 11, Episode 17May 17, 1986BoxerBilly MartinSeason 11, Episode 18May 24, 1986BaseballJoe MontanaSeason 12, Episode 9Jan. 24, 1987FootballWalter PaytonSeason 12, Episode 9Jan 24. 1987FootballCarl WeathersSeason 13, Episode 10Jan. 13, 1988FootballWayne GretzkySeason 14, Episode 19May 13, 1989HockeyChris EvertSeason 15, Episode 5Nov. 11, 1989TennisMichael JordanSeason 17, Episode 1Sept. 28, 1991BasketballCharles Barkley*Season 19, Episode 1Sept. 25, 1993BasketballNancy KerriganSeason 19, Episode 15March 12, 1994Figure skatingGeorge ForemanSeason 20, Episode 9Dec. 17, 1994BoxingDeion SandersSeason 20, Episode 13Feb. 18, 1995Football/baseballThe Rock**Season 25, Episode 15March 18, 2000Pro wrestlingDerek JeterSeason 27, Episode 11Dec. 1, 2001BaseballJonny MoseleySeason 27, Episode 13March 3, 2002Olympic skiingJeff GordonSeason 28, Episode 9Jan. 11, 2003NASCAR driverAndy RoddickSeason 29, Episode 5Nov. 8, 2003TennisTom BradySeason 30, Episode 17April 16, 2005FootballLance ArmstrongSeason 31, Episode 4Oct. 29, 2005CyclingPeyton ManningSeason 32, Episode 16March 24, 2007FootballLeBron JamesSeason 33, Episode 1Sept. 29, 2007BasketballMichael PhelpsSeason 34, Episode 1Sept. 13. 2008SwimmingEli ManningSeason 37, Episode 11May 5, 2012FootballJohn CenaSeason 42, Episode 9Dec. 10, 2016Pro wrestlingJ.J. WattSeason 45, Episode 12Feb. 1, 2020Football*Barkley would host three more episodes of “SNL.”**The Rock would host four more episodes of “SNL.”Best ‘SNL’ athlete sketchesPeyton Manning: United WayNo surprise here. Manning has made a second career out of commercials and endorsements, and his true range as an actor was on display in this 2007 SNL digital short. If I had a dollar for every time I heard, “Get your head out of your ass! You suck!” I could retire comfortably in Lake Como, Italy.Joe Montana and Walter Payton: Church TalkThe best part about this sketch starring the great Dana Carvey, is that Montana and Payton were barely able to keep it together. Reminder: Sunday is the Satan Bowl. I mean Super Bowl. Well, isn’t that special?Derek Jeter: Point, counter-pointSeth Myers with the perfect impersonation of baseball Twitter in this sketch.Derek Jeter: Yankee wivesNo. 2 for No. 2: The iconic image of him in a wig and lipstick is everlasting. The Rock: Mr. Peepers and Papa PeepersI wonder if this Dwayne Johnson guy has a career in Hollywood.Eli Manning: Embarrassing textManning and his “aw, shucks” demeanor couldn’t really touch what brother Peyton had done on the show five years earlier, and that’s what makes this sketch pretty good: Manning was probably playing himself.Michael Jordan: Daily AffirmationSome years before “Space Jam” entered pop culture’s consciousness for eternity, Jordan hosted an episode of “SNL.” “His Airness” wasn’t all that bad on the show, and how he held it together in this sketch is stuff of legend.last_img read more

MLB, MLBPA eyeing video cutback to combat sign-stealing, report says

first_imgFAGAN: Players must speak out to stop cheating in real timePlayers watch video in the clubhouse during games to analyze swings and pitches. The ’17 and ’18 Astros used video technology to intercept opposing catchers’ signs, decode them in real time and then deliver them to hitters through various methods, in violation of MLB rules.Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer told The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal that players have been discussing ways to possibly curtail video use.”We need to come up with rules now that limit how many cameras we can have on the field, how much replay we can actually have,” Scherzer told Ken Rosenthal. “We’re trying to decide how much access players should have to that during the game.” Scherzer is the Nationals’ player representative and a member of the players association’s executive subcomittee.Houston’s sign-stealing scheme also relied on an Excel program named “Codebreaker,” which employed an algorithm to discover patterns of signs in real time. Algorithms are another area of discussion between baseball and the players, according to Scherzer.MORE: Former Astros manager Hinch answers five key questions”We’re trying to come up with ways — (whether) punishments need to be in place for that or whatnot, what kind of rules need to be in place to get the algorithms out of the game as well, and try to just get it back to baseball,” Scherzer told Rosenthal in an interview that aired on MLB Network.MLB players are angry with the Astros for their cheating, and many of them believe the team has never stopped flouting the rules even though MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said last month that Houston ended its relaying of signs during the 2018 season. There are allegations Astros hitters last year received signs via buzzers that were taped to their bodies and worn under their jerseys. MLB and the MLB Players Association are working to devise rules that will limit the availability of in-game video to players and thus reduce the risk of electronic sign-stealing, The Athletic reported Friday night (subscription required).The sides want those rules in place before Opening Day as part of their reaction to the Astros using video illegally to steal signs in 2017 and 2018, the report said. MORE: MLB players rip Astros for sign-stealing schemeHouston shortstop Carlos Correa denied that happened, and MLB has said it found no evidence buzzers were used.Members of the Astros’ 2017 World Series championship team have used the first few days of spring training to apologize for their actions, but opposing players consider most of those apologies inadequate. Astros team owner Jim Crane said at a press conference Thursday that the team’s sign-stealing “didn’t impact the game.” Opposing players reject that position outright.last_img read more