Marco MaterazziFormer Italian international footballer Marco Materazzi will be part of the Chennai franchisee in the new Indian Super League (ISL).The 41-year-old Materazzi will be player-manager of the team co-owned by Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan.Materazzi, who is expected to reach Bangalore on Thursday to join a training camp in Bangalore, is the second star Italian in the league after Alessandro Del Piero.The former Inter Milan defender was involved in what is now the lasting impression of the 2006 World Cup which culminated in an eventful final.Materazzi gave away the penalty which Zinedine Zidane converted to put France ahead before the Italian made amends with the equaliser in the contest in Berlin.In extra time, Zidane was sent off for headbutting Materazzi, with the France talisman subsequently claiming he was provoked, and Italy went on to win 5-3 on penalties.Del Piero, Materazzi’s team mate in that 2006 squad, has already joined the Delhi franchise in the eight-team league scheduled to run from Oct. 12 to Dec. 20.Former France and Juventus striker David Trezeguet, compatriot Robert Pires, Spaniards Joan Capdevila and Luis Garcia and former Newcastle United striker Michael Chopra have also confirmed their participation in the league.
DefinitionA lumbosacral spine CT is a computed tomography scan of the lower spine and surrounding tissues.Alternative NamesSpinal CT; CT – lumbosacral spineHow the test is performedYou will be asked to lie on a narrow table that slides into the center of the CT scanner. You will need to lie on your back for this test.Once inside the scanner, the machines x-ray beam rotates around you.Small detectors inside the scanner measure the amount of x-rays that make it through the part of the body being studied. A computer takes this information and uses it to create several individual images, called slices. These images can be stored, viewed on a monitor, or printed on film. Three-dimensional models of organs can be created by stacking the individual slices together.You must be still during the exam, because movement causes blurred images. You may be told to hold your breath for short periods of time.In some cases, an iodine-based dye, called contrast, may be injected into your vein before images are taken. Contrast can highlight specific areas inside the body, which creates a clearer image.In other cases, a CT of the lumbosacral spine may be done after injecting contrast dye into the spinal canal during a lumbar puncture to further check for pressure on the nerves.The scan will usually last a few minutes.How to prepare for the testYou should remove all jewelry or other metal objects before the test, as they may cause inaccurate images.advertisementHow the test will feelThe x-rays are painless. Some people may have discomfort from lying on the hard table.Contrast may cause a slight burning sensation, a metallic taste in the mouth, and a warm flushing of the body. These sensations are normal and usually go away within a few seconds.Why the test is performedCT rapidly creates detailed pictures of the body. A CT of the lumbosacral spine is an excellent tool for evaluating fractures and degenerative changes of the spine, such as those due to arthritis.What abnormal results meanCT of the lumbosacral spine may reveal the following conditions or diseases:CystHerniated diskInfectionMetabolic diseaseNeoplastic disease (new abnormal tissue formation)OsteoarthritisOsteomalaciaOther spinal problemsPinched nerveTumorVertebral fractureWhat the risks areThe most common type of contrast given into a vein contains iodine. If a person with an iodine allergy is given this type of contrast, hives, itching, nausea, breathing difficulty, or other symptoms may occur.If you have diabetes or are on kidney dialysis, talk to your health care provider before the test about your risks.CT scans and other x-rays are strictly monitored and controlled to make sure they use the least amount of radiation. CT scans do create low levels of ionizing radiation, which have the potential to cause cancer and other defects. However, the risk associated with any individual scan is small. The risk increases as numerous additional studies are performed.In some cases, a CT scan may still be done if the benefits greatly outweigh the risks. For example, it can be more risky not to have the exam, especially if your health care provider thinks you might have cancer.Pregnant or breastfeeding women should consult their health care provider about the risk of CT scans to the baby.ReferencesAjtai B, Lindzen E, Masdeu JC. Neuroimaging:structura limaging: magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography. In: Daroff RB, Fenichel GM, Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, eds. Bradley’s Neurology in Clinical Practice. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2012:chap 33A.Grainger RG, Thomsen HS, Morcos SK, Koh DM, Roditi G. Intravascular contrast media for radiology, CT and MRI. In: Adam A, Dixon AK, eds. Grainger & Allisons Diagnostic Radiology. 5th ed. New York, NY: Churchill Livingstone; 2008:chap 2.Review Date:8/11/2012Reviewed By:Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.
Asked whether academies run by Manchester United, Asked whether academies run by Manchester United, Liverpool and others in India are of any help for the development of Indian football, Nassiri said these academies are nothing but commercial ventures. “These academies are commercial ventures. “In academies like Manchester United and others you have to pay or else you will not be entertained. The players who are paying may not be of good quality,” he said. Moreover, these academies are not there to train aspirants at later stages of their project, unlike the Star Sports “Young Heroes” project, Nassiri said. “Academies run by clubs like Manchester United in India are not there to see you at later stages. Here, under “Young Heroes” Project, the future of the youngsters is secure by their performance, not by money,” he said. PTI BDN ATK ATK
NEW YORK — When David Wright signed his big contract to stay with the New York Mets, he cited the exciting young pitchers in the minor leagues as one of the main reasons for remaining with the beleaguered ballclub.He got a pretty good glimpse of two of those arms against the Yankees.Jacob deGrom pitched seven stellar innings in the Mets’ 1-0 loss to the Yankees on May 15, a night after Rafael Montero was effective for six innings — both efforts coming in their major league debuts.“It’s amazing. You can’t say enough good things about those two guys,” Wright said. “DeGrom’s performance tonight was spectacular. Some of the guys that got on third were complimenting on both those guys and that’s good to hear from a good lineup.”The Mets were stifled by two Yankees’ rookies, losing 4-0 to high-priced Japanese star Masahiro Tanaka before the unexpected impressive outing by Chase Whitley that helped the Bronx Bombers earn a Subways Series split after two slugfests at Yankee Stadium.Wright had a chance to make the Mets winners when he came to the plate in the eighth with runners on first and third and two outs.David Robertson was brought in on a double switch that lifted shortstop Derek Jeter from his final regular-season game against the Mets. He then got Wright to ground out to Jeter’s replacement, defensive whiz Brendan Ryan to end the eighth. Robertson pitched a perfect ninth for his seventh save.“I just told him I’m going to make a double-switch. It’s where we are in the lineup; that’s how you do it,” Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said of the conversation on the mound in the eighth. “He understands.”Alfonso Soriano’s RBI double in the seventh broke up a scoreless duel at Citi Field between starting pitchers making their major league debuts.Rookie reliever Dellin Betances struck out six straight before Adam Warren took over to start the eighth and struck out Juan Centeno. Warren then allowed a walk, struck out Eric Young Jr. and Daniel Murphy hit a grounder off the end of his bat down the third base line for a single to put runners on the corners.“We gave ourselves a couple innings with guys in scoring position with two outs but very rarely have we put ourselves with runners in scoring position with less than two outs, and that’s kind of where you want to be,” said Wright, who struck out three times. “We haven’t quite been able to do that.”In a matchup of late-round picks in the 2010 draft, Whitley (15th round) pitched two-hit ball for 4 2-3 innings, striking out four and walking two. DeGrom (ninth round) allowed one run and four hits in seven innings, striking out six and walking two.“It was unbelievable to watch that guy,” Whitley said. “He pitched a heck of a game.”In addition to a commanding performance on the mound, the 25-year-old deGrom helped Mets pitchers end an unusual record for futility. He lined a single to center field in the third inning to end the staff’s 0-for-64 start to the season.The Mets had long passed a century-old record established by the St. Louis Browns. They went hitless in 45 at-bats in 1914, according to information provided by the Mets from the Elias Sports Bureau.Jeter was honored by the Mets before the game. He received several subway-themed gifts, including a Cake Boss creation and a No. 2 mosaic made of subway tiles. The Mets Foundation gave Jeter a $22,222.22 donation to his Turn 2 Foundation.Jeter drew a warm ovation when a video tribute was shown on the center-field scoreboard after the national anthem and rounds of applause before each at-bat.But he did little at the plate. He lined into a double play in the third with runners on first and second. Then with two on in the eighth, he hit a grounder to shortstop Ruben Tejada, who threw home for a tag play at the plate to keep the score 1-0.Six weeks shy of his 40th birthday, Jeter left after an 0-for-4 night dropped his batting average to .254.“It was awesome facing those guys. I watched Jeter growing up, playing,” deGrom said. “I couldn’t ask for a better team to make my debut against.”Soriano lined a double to left-center and Brian McCann scored from first, sliding home as Tejada’s relay forced Centeno, the catcher, to leap for it. McCann reached when first baseman Lucas Duda failed to scoop Wright’s relay on a potential double-play grounder — Wright was overshifted from third base for the lefty-hitting McCann.Up until then, the Yankees had little success against the shaggy-haired deGrom. The former college shortstop was initially called up to pitch out of the bullpen, but got the start in place of Dillon Gee, who pulled a lat muscle.The 24-year-old Whitley was not even on the Yankees’ 40-man roster this winter, but with starters CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda and Ivan Nova all injured, he got the call after just 13 Triple-A starts over three seasons.(HOWIE RUMBERG, AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shares
It has been a couple of weeks since we have been talking about the OnePlus 7 Pro – the company’s first venture into the proper flagship smartphone territory. The leaks have already given us a fair idea of what to expect (there’s hardly left anything to imagine) while OnePlus itself has been hinting at some of the highlights of the device. However, the regular OnePlus 7 isn’t discussed much and rumours have framed it as an enhanced OnePlus 6T. Now, Roland Quandt — the popular tipster, has leaked out a new set of official renders and some surprising information.For the first time, the official renders of the regular OnePlus 7 give us a fair idea of what to expect at the May 14 launch event. Since Roland Quandt has been mostly known to deliver near-accurate renders, you can expect OnePlus to show the same next week. The renders only show the black coloured variant of the OnePlus 7, indicating that OnePlus could only pertain to a single colour variant during the launch.As far as the design is confirmed, it looks similar to the OnePlus 6T. The OnePlus 7 has got slightly more angular corners and slightly re-organised button layout. The front sports the narrow-bezel display that measures 6.4-inches with a waterdrop notch on the top. The image resolution now stands at 2340 x 1080 pixels though. The earpiece grille still sits above the notch but is now wider than the one from the OnePlus 6T. The AMOLED display is still staying but it won’t be similar to the panel from the OnePlus 7 Pro.advertisement The Alert Slider and the power button now sit slightly close to each other. The frame gets a new chrome finish that certainly makes the device look classier. At the rear, the layout looks identical to the OnePlus 6T. However, look closely and you will notice a new design for the dual camera layout, with the LED flash sitting inside the bigger camera bump. The OnePlus logo sits below the cameras while a new text-based logo now resides towards the bottom.Roland Quandt says the OnePlus 7 will have a completely overhauled rear camera setup. There will be a 48-megapixel primary camera with F1/7 aperture and secondary 5-megapixel depth sensor – no wide-angle camera or telephoto camera. This means the OnePlus 7 will mostly rely on software trickery and the primary 48-megapixel camera to shoot in multiple photo modes.Apart from the camera, there’s also supposed to be the 3700mAh battery carried over from the OnePlus 6T. The headphone jack doesn’t make a comeback and fingerprint sensor still stays underneath the display. The Snapdragon 855 chipset will form the brains of the phone while you get it from a combination of either 6GB or 8GB RAM and 128GB or 256GB storage.This is still unofficial information and you should probably take it with a pinch of salt. However, with only a few days left, the OnePlus 7 has a greater chance of ending up similar to what this set of leak shows. Would you prefer the OnePlus 7 or spend more for the OnePlus 7 Pro?ALSO READ | OnePlus 7 Pro will be very fast with its UFS 3.0 storage, display gets rated for HDR10+ contentALSO READ | OnePlus 7 Pro possible prices in India leaked, it could be cheaper than expected
Wimbledon is Roger Federer’s best chance to win another Grand Slam but, at 37, the Swiss maestro is no longer an outright favourite to prevail in multiple five-set contests over two weeks, seven-times Grand Slam champion Mats Wilander said.Federer, a 20-times Grand Slam champion and the world number three, won the last of his eight Wimbledon titles in 2017 and is seeded second this year behind top-ranked Novak Djokovic.Wilander counts Federer among his three favourites at the All England Club but expects Djokovic to be fired up after missing out on a second career Grand Slam following his defeat in the French Open semi-finals.”Wimbledon is (Federer’s) best chance… this is the only one that he has a chance to win,” Wilander, now a tennis analyst for Eurosport, said.”He’s not the favourite. Because of the five sets I think we don’t know how he’s going to react in a couple of five-set matches. I’m not sure if Federer is able to win in five sets anymore.”I would say it’s Novak and Roger and Rafa (Nadal), basically the same as always. I think Novak has the slight edge over the other two because of what happened at the French (Open).”Wilander believes the next generation of players, including Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas and Canada’s Felix Auger Aliassime, can upset the ‘Big Three’ on their day, but lack the consistency to last through two weeks of top-level tennis.”Tsitsipas, I think is 1-1 against Federer,” Wilander added. “He’s only played the best guys a couple of times but then (the younger generation) don’t fear the merits of those guys.advertisement”I think they fear them because they’re (ranked) one, two and three in the world, but they are not intimidated by the name, so to speak. They can easily cause an upset just like what happened in Australia, with Tsitsipas beating Federer.”They’re just not good enough yet over five sets to consistently beat the best. There are maybe 10 guys that are 21 or 22 and under that can beat the top three in one match.”Wimbledon begins on Monday.Also Read | I know how to play: Serena Williams says she’s ready for Wimbledon 2019Also Read | Wimbledon 2019: Tough draw for Nadal as Kyrgios looms in second roundAlso See
Australia women retained the Ashes even before the T20 leg of the 3-part series began by securing a draw in the only Test at the County Ground in Taunton on Sunday.Women’s Ashes is a point-based series and the team that earns the most points at the end of the series will clinch the trophy. A team will be entitled to earn two points on winning an ODI or T20I. If the match is tied or abandoned, both teams will receive a point each. The only Test had 4 points up for grabs and England needed nothing less than a win to keep their hopes alive.Australia dominated the ODI series against England winning it 3-0 and the drawn Test has helped them retain the Ashes. England and Australia will play three T20Is, starting July 26.Australia were holders of the Ashes as they won it in the backyard of England in 2015 and then retained the trophy in Australia in 2017.Led by Ellyse Perry’s hundred, Australia posted 420/8 declared in their first innings that extended to 3 days after a rain interruption on Day 2. Australia were 230/7 in the second innings on Day 4 before players shook hands, signalling the end of a drawn Test.Ellyse Perry remained unbeaten on 76 as the senior Australia batter dominated the English bowling attack in the only Ashes Test. Ellyse Perry scored her 2nd successive hundred-plus score in an Ashes Test as her 116 in the 1st innings gave Australia the early control.Notably, Ellyse Perry was dismissed after 329 runs, 655 balls, 3 years, 11 months and 6 days in Test cricket as the Australia star fell after making a hundred on Day 2.advertisementAll-rounder Sophie Molineux scored a quickfire 41 to cap off a memorable Ashes debut. The 21-year-old will be the one to watch out for in future as she demolished the England batting unit, finishing with figures of 4 for 95 in 37 overs.Molineux got the big wickets of Heather Knight, Amy Jones and Sarah Taylor on Day 3 to dent the England reply.Natalie Sciver put up a valiant fight for England as she hit 88 to make sure England’s middle-order didn’t collapse. Amy Jones’ 64 set a good platform for the hosts but they failed to build on it.
Premier League Premier League Team of the Week: De Bruyne and Salah run riot Goal Last updated 1 year ago 06:02 11/20/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(6) Getty Premier League Leicester City Liverpool v Southampton Leicester City v Manchester City Watford v West Ham United Burnley v Swansea City West Bromwich Albion v Chelsea AFC Bournemouth v Huddersfield Town Swansea City AFC Bournemouth Liverpool Southampton Manchester City West Ham United Watford Burnley West Bromwich Albion Chelsea Huddersfield Town Kevin De Bruyne Eden Hazard Mohamed Salah Leicester City became the latest team that could not stop the Belgian, while Southampton fell victim to a brace by the Egypt international HEURELHO GOMES | WATFORDGomes made five saves on his way to keeping a clean sheet and was a big reason Watford took the three points Sunday. Only one goalkeeper made more this weekend, Lukasz Fabianski, who had six.KYLE WALKER | MANCHESTER CITY Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Walker created two goalscoring chances for team-mates and completed 94% of his passes in a 2-0 win against Leicester.SHKODRAN MUSTAFI | ARSENALMustafi scored the winner and racked up 14 clearances against Tottenham; no player managed more in the Premier League this weekend.RAGNAR KLAVAN | LIVERPOOLOnly Jordan Henderson (87) made more passes than Klavan (72) against Southampton. The defender, pressed into a start with Joel Matip injured, helped his side to the clean sheet.ALBERTO MORENO | LIVERPOOLMoreno celebrated the birth of his son by whipping in a game-high four crosses from open play and contributing to the clean sheet in a 3-0 Liverpool win over Southampton.ABDOULAYE DOUCOURE | WATFORDDoucoure registered a game-high 13 ball recoveries and was the most accurate passer of any starting player from either side (94% accuracy) in the match between Watford and West Ham.KEVIN DE BRUYNE | MANCHESTER CITYDe Bruyne, who added another goal this weekend, has had a hand in 50 PL goals (16 goals, 34 assists). He has done this in 76 PL apps, the quickest by any out-and-out midfielder in the history of the competition.JACK CORK | BURNLEYCork ended a run of 43 Premier League appearances without a goal by finding the back of the net against Swansea in a 2-0 victory.MOHAMED SALAH | LIVERPOOLWith his brace against Southampton, Salah has netted nine goals in the Premier League this term; the most by any Liverpool player in their first 12 appearances in the competition.EDEN HAZARD | CHELSEAHazard has scored in 16 Premier League matches under Antonio Conte and won every match. This weekend was no different as Hazard picked up a brace in a 4-0 win over West Brom.CALLUM WILSON | BOURNEMOUTHMany would have expected Harry Kane to be the first Englishman to score a hat-trick in the Premier League this season, but instead it was Wilson with his three goals against Huddersfield Town. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Share on WhatsApp 4) Ireland must hope Hogan can have a striking impactIn a way the Republic of Ireland’s defeat by Serbia was more deflating for their fans than the abomination in Georgia had been three days previously. Because against Serbia Ireland played close to the best that they can play but still were not good enough. They have scored two goals in four home matches and Martin O’Neill said afterwards that he wished he could call on someone such as a young Robbie Keane. If such a player were to appear again, it would have little to do with the developmental efforts of O’Neill’s employers. As it happens, O’Neill’s striking options may be enhanced in time for next month’s showdown with Wales: the Aston Villa forward Scott Hogan, having declared for the country of his forefathers at the age of 25, could be parachuted straight into the Ireland team. A short-term fix to a deep-rooted problem? Paul Doyle• Match report: Republic of Ireland 0 Serbia 15) Syria’s incredible run may not be over yetSometimes football’s impact renders words unnecessary and that was certainly the case when a Syrian television commentator broke down in tears after witnessing his country secure an Asian play-off place with an unlikely late equaliser in Iran. The Syria team’s story is a complex one and perhaps not your standard feelgood affair; you may query whether they represent a regime or a nation but it certainly does no harm to admire the sporting achievement of a squad that has been forced to play its home games in Malaysia and was given scant hope at the outset. Read more Scotland 0:46 Mohamed Salah scored his 30th goal in 55 caps for Egypt as they beat Uganda in Alexandria. Photograph: Khaled Elfiqi/EPA Share on Twitter 1) Time for Southgate to be ruthless and drop HartBefore the games against Malta and Slovakia Gareth Southgate suggested no other goalkeeper had “staked a strong enough claim” to take over from Joe Hart. It seems a strange statement given the fine form and obvious talent of Jack Butland and Jordan Pickford. It is an oddity of the goalkeeping position that, while mistakes are always highlighted, it generally takes a run of howlers to lose your spot. Sustained middling form, or the mild uncertainty that Hart has emanated for more than a year doesn’t seem to be enough. Southgate missed a chance in the current break to show a little ruthlessness and address this. In the event Hart failed to get a hand on the first shot on target across the two games, Stanislav Lobotka’s goal at Wembley poked past a starfish-pose-by-numbers England keeper. Tournament games come down to fine details, just as a goalie at the top of his powers can disguise many failings. “Showing faith in your man” is one thing. Right now Hart looks like the last outpost of the undroppable celebrity player culture that blighted successive England teams. Barney Ronay• Match report: England 2 Slovakia 1• FA says it can back up Dele Alli over one-finger salute• Southgate praises Rashford and Manchester United Reuse this content Serbia’s Kolarov strikes to leave Ireland’s World Cup chances in more doubt 2) Veteran Hughes embodies Northern Ireland’s determinationIn the case of Northern Ireland statistics do tell an accurate tale of their remarkable achievement in finishing second in Group C and, in all likelihood, securing a place in the World Cup play-offs. A record five consecutive wins, over 10 hours without conceding a goal, seven clean sheets in eight qualifiers – the finest defensive return in Europe – and beating the Czech Republic for the first time at Windsor Park on Monday with only 28% possession; 72% possession counts for nothing when you do not trouble Michael McGovern once in the Northern Ireland goal. It again underlines Michael O’Neill’s outstanding organisation that the defensive record continued with an injury-hit back-line against the Czechs and San Marino. The absence of Gareth McAuley and Craig Cathcart heightened responsibility on the 37-year-old Aaron Hughes in the double-header. A veteran who received his first international call-up almost 20 years ago excelled. His central defensive partner Jonny Evans reflected: “He was my man of the match against the Czechs but he’s not getting my champagne. He dragged me through the game. I was feeling it in the last half hour and here’s this guy who’s 37 running past me to push out and clear the box. He inspired me to get through the game. He’s a great role model.” Andy Hunter• Match report: Northern Ireland 2-0 Czech Republic• Evans says Manchester City interest spurred him on to improve3) Woodburn again shows he is the real deal for WalesWell, he went and did it again. Ben Woodburn, the 17-year-old Liverpool prodigy, scored the winning goal on his international debut on Saturday. In Moldova on Tuesday he provided a jet-heeled assist to give Wales a crucial breakthrough. The precision of his control while running Vitalie Bordian ragged down the left flank was an indication of the player’s pedigree, as was his cross that zipped along the six-yard line. Hal Robson-Kanu anticipated the ball, adjusted his body and threw his head at it, leaving the goalkeeper with no chance. Up until that point, Moldova had defended deep and defended well, but fortune favours the brave and Chris Coleman went for it. In the first half his Wales team were stodgy. But in the second they came out with clear instructions to press higher. Fifteen minutes later and Woodburn came on. Finally with just over 20 minutes remaining Coleman paired Sam Vokes with Robson-Kanu and the pressure became relentless. It was a deserved result even if it took a moment of individual class to unlock it. Second place is now Wales’ to lose. Paul MacInnes• Match report: Moldova 0-2 Wales World Cup 2018 Facebook Play Video Pinterest Syria reach World Cup play-off with Australia after late equaliser in Iran 9) Chile slowing up and in danger of crashing outChile’s hopes of a World Cup place hang by a thread and, not for the first time, the thought occurs that a wonderful generation of players is collectively slowing up. If a 3-0 home defeat to Paraguay, perhaps not aided by the insulting deadline-day lunacy around Alexis Sánchez, was problematic then losing to an already-eliminated Bolivia on Tuesday night may have been a fatal blow. They can draw comfort from the fact that Argentina and a dazzlingly in-form Peru play each other next, which means a play-off place should not be impossible; the wider point is that a lot of the old energy is lacking and that should be no surprise. Chile have played 51 full internationals since their elimination by Brazil at the 2014 World Cup; the Peruvians, to give one example, have played 40 in that time and perhaps a phenomenally successful core of footballers that have been together for a decade are starting to burn out. Sánchez is 28 and Arturo Vidal 30; there are plenty older than them and only two of the squad that competed this month were under 25. Under previous managers Marcelo Bielsa and Jorge Sampaoli they played at a ferocious tempo and that cannot be sustained forever. There were a few signs of wear at the Confederations Cup, a tournament they should still have won, and with a younger generation slow in coming through you fear Chile may be reaching the end of their natural cycle. NA10) Iceland prove they are no flash in the panIceland made plenty of friends following their qualification for France 2016 and their unlikely subsequent foray into the quarter-finals of the same tournament, but their progress – or lack of it – afterwards was always going to be interesting. Despite the departure of co-manager Lars Lagerback after their adventures in France, the squad he left behind has maintained its excellent progress and sits joint top of what is arguably the toughest European qualification group for next year’s World Cup, behind Croatia on goal difference. With Turkey and Ukraine breathing down the necks of both countries, Group I remains tight as a drum and Iceland may not qualify. Nevertheless, the fact that they are in an excellent position to win the group with two matches to go proves that a team who would, as recently as four years ago, been considered cannon fodder are a genuine force to be reckoned with and should be treated as such for some time to come. BG• Football, fire and ice: the inside story of Iceland’s remarkable rise Share via Email Republic of Ireland Share on Facebook 7) Time for out-of-date Hampden to find its roar againA fascinating subplot to Scotland’s crucial meeting with Slovakia next month relates to match venue. Hampden Park, once a venue afforded iconic status as Scotland conquered all before them, is now widely regarded as a relic the country can easily do without. The Scottish FA is known to be considering the abandonment of Hampden after it is used as a Euro 2020 venue. Three sides of the stadium are out of date, access is poor and acoustics likewise. The visit of Malta on Monday, while hardly a marquee occasion, was against a horrendously flat backdrop. Such a scenario has become common. Traditionalists will vehemently object to a Hampden exit. Players, too, might want to retain the appeal of a national stadium rather than making routine visits to Celtic Park, Ibrox, Tynecastle or Easter Road. The significance of the Slovakia tie means a gripping atmosphere is to be hoped for. In its absence, a wider debate will ensue. Ewan Murray• Match report: Scotland 2 Malta 0• Strachan not surprised reversal of fortune8) Salah takes Egypt to the verge of World Cup returnIt has been a long, hard road back to football relevance for Egypt but they are tantalisingly close to a first World Cup appearance since 1990 and the identity of their inspiration is little surprise. Mohamed Salah has made a vibrant start to the season with Liverpool but, like the rest of his team-mates, was subdued during the 1-0 defeat in Uganda last Thursday; that needed to be put right when the sides met again in Alexandria and he duly scored the winner, his 30th international goal in just 55 caps, six minutes in. But for the visiting goalkeeper Denis Onyango, Salah would have scored a couple more; the bigger picture is that a home victory over Republic of the Congo next month, coupled with anything bar a Uganda win over Ghana, will book them a place in Russia with a game to spare.That is one of several enticing scenarios in a thrilling set of African qualifiers that should, in many cases, go to the wire. Salah’s club-mate, Sadio Mané, appeared to have put Senegal in the driving seat of a wide-open Group D with a late goal in Burkina Faso, but the Stallions hit back to draw and are the best bet for a new African presence at next year’s tournament. Ivory Coast could hardly have expected the 2-1 home defeat to Gabon, three days after beating the same opponents 3-0 away, that has suddenly tightened up Group C. If Salah and Egypt keep their heads, they should at last banish such concerns to the past. NA Topics Wales’s Gareth Bale: ‘It’s all about the results now’ – video Sportblog features World Cup England Northern Ireland World Cup 2018 qualifiers Share on Pinterest Share on LinkedIn Read more Twitter Share on Messenger The giant striker Omar Al Somah, scorer of that equaliser, had only this month returned from self-imposed international exile; he plays his football in Saudi Arabia and so does the gifted forward Omar Khribin, who is one of his continent’s most exciting players and can seriously trouble Australia in next month’s two-legged tie. More than anything, Syria are a proper team – tough, technically adept and superbly coached by Ayman Hakeem. The natural inclination is to suppose they have reached their limit but nobody who watched a few of their qualifiers will be in much doubt that they have a chance of beating Australia. The prospect of an intercontinental play-off against the US after that would be quite another matter; for now it is enough to savour what they have done so far. Nick Ames• Syria reach World Cup play-off with Australia after late equaliser• Socceroos must face Syria after Saudi Arabia take finals spot• Socceroos lose game of inches as scrutiny falls on Postecoglou6) Is David Silva Spain’s greatest ever player?David Silva scored the pick of Spain’s eight goals against Liechtenstein on Tuesday night, curling a left-footed free-kick beyond the reach of Peter Jehle as Spain recorded their highest ever victory away from home. The Manchester City midfielder, who is not a regular penalty taker for his country, has scored 33 goals for his country* and sits fourth in the top goalscorer records for Spain’s national team behind three strikers: Fernando Torres (38), Raúl (44) and David Villa (59), an astonishing return for a footballer renowned more for his creative nous than goalscoring prowess. Although there are no records available for the number of assists Silva has provided on the international stage, it is almost certainly even more mind-boggling considering Spain’s pre-eminence between 2006 and 2012 and the fact that he has notched up 66 in 223 Premier League appearances since joining Manchester City in the summer of 2010. Aged 31, he could yet overtake Torres and possibly even Raúl in the scoring charts and, given his country’s successes during his pomp, is arguably a contender for the accolade of Spain’s greatest player of any era. *(spotter’s badge @giveittosilva) Barry Glendenning
AUSTIN, TX – OCTOBER 07: Head coach Tom Herman of the Texas Longhorns watches players warm up before the game against the Kansas State Wildcats at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on October 7, 2017 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)With the season opener nearly one week away for the Texas Longhorns, Tom Herman finally announced the team’s captains. All but one of them is entering their season year.Texas is coming off a bounce-back season in 2018, where Herman led the program to a 10-4 record. Although the team fell short in the Big 12 Championship to Oklahoma, it didn’t stop them from earning a trip to the Sugar Bowl.Arguably the top contributor from last year’s team, Sam Ehlinger, is preparing for another strong season. As most fans expected, the dual-threat quarterback is one of the five team captains.In addition to Ehlinger, Herman went with two other offensive players as captains. Offensive lineman Zach Shackelford and wide receiver Collin Johnson also received the honor from their head coach.The two defensive players that will serve as captains are Brandon Jones and Malcolm Roach.Jones is the leader of the secondary, whereas Roach is the anchor of the defensive line.All five captains for Texas should provide the team with great leadership and production on the field.2019 Texas team captains: QB Sam Ehlinger, C Zach Shackelford, WR Collin Johnson, S Brandon Jones, DE Malcolm Roach.— Brian Davis (@BDavisAAS) August 20, 2019Ehlinger is the only captain for the Longhorns that isn’t a senior. Regardless, the talented quarterback enters this fall as a potential candidate to win the Heisman Trophy.Texas will need their captains to play exceptional football this fall if they want to contend for the College Football Playoff.
Next India Today Web Desk New DelhiFebruary 18, 2019UPDATED: February 18, 2019 19:12 IST AIFF said they are contemplating action against Minerva Punjab for not arriving for I-League match vs Real Kashmir in Srinagar.HIGHLIGHTSAIFF said in a statement their League Committee has been referred to over Minerva Punjab’s no-show in SrinagarMinerva were to play an I-League match vs Real Kashmir in Srinagar on MondayI-League CEO Sunando Dhar said all security arrangements had been made for the team’s movementsI-League defending champions Minerva Punjab FC are likely to face action after they failed show up in Srinagar for their match against Real Kashmir FC on Monday. On February 14, a terrorist drove rammed an SUV into a bus which was part of a convoy carrying nearly 2500 CRPF personnel – 40 soldiers were killed in the blast.Four days later, Minerva were scheduled to take on Real Kashmir FC in Srinagar. Minevra owner Ranjit Bajaj, however, said Srinagar was not the right place to football now even as Real Kashmir claimed the situation in the city was normal.The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has taken a dim view of Minerva’s no-show and said the champions could expect further action.”With Hero I-League defending champions Minerva Punjab FC failing to turn up for their scheduled match against Real Kashmir FC on February 18, 2019 at TRC ground in Srinagar, the Match Commissioner’s report along with other relevant documents are being referred to the All India Football Federation’s League Committee for further action as per the I-League Regulations,” AIFF said in a press release.”The match commissioner along with the referees who have been posted in Srinagar since Friday [February 15, 2019], were at the venue for the match for a slated 2 pm kick-off, along with host club Real Kashmir FC as per the regulations.”Despite the tragic events which have unfolded in Kashmir over the past few days, football for the people of Jammu and Kashmir has been maintained on schedule, with assistance from the security provided by the authorities, with the qualifying matches of the Santosh Trophy being completed on February 16, approximately 36 kilometres from Jammu in Katra, which was, and is still under curfew.”advertisementTwo terrorists, mastermind of the Pulwama terror attack, were gunned down in an encounter with security forces on Monday morning.In a statement, I-League CEO Sunando Dhar said, “The local security authorities in Srinagar had given a go ahead to hold the match. The AlFF had assured of all the necessary arrangements for players and officials by the local authority.”Whole security arrangement of the players from the airport to the team hotel and from travelling from the hotel to the ground and return, everything was taken care of.”Bajaj said he could not force his players to play in Srinagar at a time like this.”Anytime / Any venue [other than Srinagar] we @minervapunjabfc are willing to play @realkashmirfc can’t force my players to go to a place which is like a war zone right now – encounter lasted 12 hours where the #PulwamaTerrorAttack happened and ended a few hours ago – AIFF ??” Bajaj said in a series of tweets.For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Tags :Follow AIFFFollow Minerva Punjab FCFollow Real Kashmir FCFollow I-League 2018-19Follow Indian footballFollow Pulwama terror attack Minerva Punjab likely to face action after no-show in Srinagar for Real Kashmir tieAIFF released a statement after I-League defending champions Minerva Punjab failed to turn up for their match against Real Kashmir FC in Srinagar on Monday.advertisement
India Today Web Desk New DelhiFebruary 20, 2019UPDATED: February 20, 2019 17:42 IST India last played Pakistan in the Asia Cup in UAE last year (Asian Cricket Council Photo)Harbhajan Singh and Mohammad Azharuddin said India should not play Pakistan in the World Cup after the Pulwama terror attack left 40 CRPF jawans dead. In fact, the two cricket legends said India should even consider not playing the World Cup as no cricket tournament could be bigger than the country.Harbhajan Singh was the first big name in the Indian cricket fraternity to say India should not play Pakistan in the World Cup. Speaking to India Today, Harbhajan said India should consider boycotting their World Cup match against Pakistan in Manchester on June 16.”The simple thing is.. what’s more important? Does the country come first or does India come first? Keep sports aside,” Harbhajan told Aaj Tak. “First, let us sort out the other issues.”World Cup is very small when it comes to the country. 40 people who have lost their lives. Who is going to pay for that? We have to stand united with the country. Even if we don’t play the 2019 World Cup, it won’t matter,” he said.Harbhajan Singh said as a cricketer he does not think the World Cup cannot be more important than the country. “We are Indians first and then we are players. We are what we are because of this country. People love us because we play for India,” he said.Meanwhile, Azharuddin said India should not play Pakistan at any level if they have decided to boycott bilateral series. “If we are not playing Pakistan in bilateral series, we should not play them anywhere. I agree with Harbhajan, the World Cup cannot be bigger than the country.”advertisementAzharuddin was captain when India played Pakistan in the 1999 World Cup in the aftermath of the Kargil War. He recalled he was worried spectators from sides could end up clashing during the game.”There was tension…there was the war on. We were scared the spectators would start fighting. When we won, the soldiers celebrated. If you play Pakistan, play everywhere. Otherwise, don’t play them anywhere. ICC and BCCI should resolve this quickly,” he said.Harbhajan Singh Indian and Pakistani cricketers have no problems with each other but the issue is much bigger than that.”The players have no issues between them. We have received a lot of love when we went to Pakistan. But the issue here is much bigger. This issue (of terrorism) needs to be resloved. But we need to address the bigger questions: why should our soldiers continue to die? Why should our people continue to die?”The armed forces sacrifice everything to protect us… it’s not right to keep playing sports with Pakistan when our soldiers are dying,” he said.Also Read | India could be fined or banned if they don’t play Pakistan in World Cup: Chetan ChauhanAlso Read | Banning cricket with Pakistan a justified demand: Union minister Ravi Shankar PrasadAlso Read | India-Pakistan World Cup clash likely to be discussed on sidelines of ICC meetAlso Read | Pulwama should never be forgotten, ready to fight for the country: Mohammed ShamiFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byrohan sen Tags :Follow Harbhajan SinghFollow Mohammad AzharuddinFollow India vs PakistanFollow Pulwama terror attackFollow Indo-Pak CricketFollow Indo-Pak bilateral cricketFollow ICC World Cup World Cup not more important than the country, say Harbhajan and AzharuddinHarbhajan Singh said it was time for every Indian to stand united with the armed forces after the terror attack in Pulwama killed 40 CRPF personnel. Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad claimed responsibility for the terror attack.advertisement
OTTAWA – Undaunted by expanding trade risks, the Bank of Canada governor Stephen Poloz raised the interest rate Wednesday and signalled the economy’s resilience is keeping him on a hiking trajectory.The quarter-point increase, the central bank’s first move in six months, brought the rate to 1.5 per cent. It was Poloz’s fourth hike over the last 12 months and marked the first time the rate has been this high since December 2008.The decision, a move that prompted some of the big banks to start raising their prime rates later in the day, arrived in the middle of a trade dispute between Canada and the United States that’s expected to hurt both economies.Poloz made the call even though he warned the economy should brace for larger impacts from mounting trade uncertainty. In particular, the trade impacts were caused by the Trump administration’s recent steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and, in response, Ottawa’s retaliatory duties on U.S. imports.The tariff fight is expected to shave two-thirds of a percentage from Canada’s economic growth by the end of 2020, the bank estimated.Poloz said despite the combined effects of the metals levies, and earlier U.S. tariffs on products like softwood lumber, the bank still projects Canadian growth to average a promising level of two per cent over the next few years, just slightly above its potential and with inflation already on target.The bank expects the negative blow of the trade policies to be largely offset by higher oil prices and the stronger U.S. economy — both of which, on balance, will benefit Canada.Looking ahead, the Bank of Canada is also predicting exports and business investment, which were both stronger than expected in the first three months of the year, to churn out bigger contributions to growth. At the same time, it expects household spending to make up a smaller and smaller share of overall growth due to the dampening effects of higher interest rates and stricter mortgage rules.With the positive outlook, Poloz expects interest rates to continue along their cautious, upward path.“It’s evident to us that higher interest rates will be warranted, but of course we’re not in a position to say exactly how much higher or at what rate we might get there,” Poloz told a news conference Wednesday in Ottawa.Poloz stressed the bank will continue with its gradual, data-dependent approach as it moves towards its neutral rate, which his team has pegged between 2.5 and 3.5 per cent.Along the way, the bank will have to keep close watch on another trade-related unknown that many believe would inflict far more damage on the economy: U.S. duties on the automotive sector.U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened to slap tariffs on the auto sector, which is made up of highly integrated, cross-border supply chains. The Bank of Canada warned that auto levies would have “large impacts on investment and employment.”The bank, however, didn’t quantify the possible effects of auto tariffs on Wednesday.For one, Poloz said the bank can’t make policy decisions based on “hypothetical scenarios.” He added that the unknowns around trade could also include positive developments such as the successful renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement over the coming months.“We need to base our decision on what we actually know,” he said.Poloz also argued it should be clear that interest rate adjustments are “ill-suited” to counteract all the effects of protectionist measures, given how these trade actions affect multiple areas of the economy.In addition to tariffs, Canadian businesses must also contend with the uncertainty surrounding the stalled talks on NAFTA’s renegotiation.Outside the country, the Bank of Canada has its eye on how widening global trade disputes, including an intensifying battle between the U.S. and China, will affect the world’s economy. It warns that “escalating trade tensions pose considerable risks to the outlook” at the global level.Even with the trade issues, the Bank of Canada is predicting slightly stronger growth for Canada over the next couple of years, according to updated projections released Wednesday in its quarterly monetary policy report.It expects real gross domestic product to grow 2.2 per cent in 2019, up from its April call of 2.1 per cent, and by 1.9 per cent in 2020, compared with its previous prediction of 1.8 per cent. The economy’s growth projection for this year remains at two per cent, the bank said.Many economists anticipate several more hikes this year and in 2019.TD senior economist Brian DePratto wrote in a note to clients Wednesday that the messaging is consistent with a central bank that’s “committed to a rate hike cycle, but leaves sufficient room to adjust to evolving events.”National Bank of Canada experts wrote in a note that Poloz may choose to err on the side of caution when it comes to future hikes because of threats of auto tariffs, which they warned, if applied, would have “unambiguously devastating economic impacts,” particularly in Ontario.Leading up to the announcement, Poloz was widely expected to raise the interest rate following a run of encouraging economic numbers, including the Bank of Canada’s own survey on business sentiment, still-solid job markets and growth in wages.The bank, however, noted in its report that despite “healthy” labour market conditions, employment growth and average hours worked have slowed down compared to last year’s surge. It also said underlying wage growth has been weaker than what would normally be expected in a tightened job market.The country’s inflation rate is expected to rise as high as 2.5 per cent — above the two per cent mid-point of the bank’s target range — due to temporary factors such as higher gasoline prices. It’s expected to settle back down to two per cent in the second half of 2019.Follow @AndyBlatchford on Twitter
London- Minister delegate for foreign affairs Mbarka Bouaida presented, Tuesday in London, the broad lines of Morocco’s African policy which puts Africa at the center of its diplomatic priorities.Speaking at a working luncheon organized by Morocco’s ambassador to the UK Lalla Joumala, Bouaida underlined King Mohammed VI’s “special interest in developing ties with friendly African countries as part of a solidarity-based and active south-south cooperation.”“Morocco is tirelessly working, under the leadership of HM the King, to reinforce stability, development and prosperity of Africa,” Bouaida told around twenty African ambassadors who were invited to this luncheon. She also recalled the “huge success” of the latest tour of King Mohammed VI to four countries (Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea and Gabon).This tour was crowned by the signature of 91 agreements on projects meant to promote cooperation on Agriculture, fisheries, social housing, rural electrification, energy, tourism and infrastructure, she said.
Rabat – The Prime Minister sends his greetings to all Muslim communities for the holy month of Ramadan, in Britain and around the world.Full transcriptIt’s the holy month of Ramadan – a time when mosques open their doors, community centers welcome in their neighbors, and even churches and synagogues offer up their spaces as Muslims break their fasts – and people of all faiths and none are often asked to join. Coventry Cathedral is holding its own multi-faith iftar. In Manchester, they’re combining an iftar with England’s European Championships appearance. And homeless shelters up and down the country are holding ‘Iftars with the Homeless’.Of course, fasting is what comes to mind when we think of Ramadan. It’s part of the month that really puts Muslims’ faith to the test – especially during these long, warm days.But there is much more to it.There is all the energy and money people donate to those who are less fortunate and all the extra time spent in prayer and contemplation.Uppermost in all our minds this Ramadan are those whose lives have been torn apart by the twin evils of Assad and Daesh, all those families spending this holy month in refugee camps mourning loved ones; yearning to go back to school or work; wondering when they’ll return home again.Our thoughts – whatever our backgrounds or beliefs – are with them. And we must continue to support the people of Syria and the region, as we work towards a lasting political solution. Because that’s who we are as a country. We won’t walk on by. So this Ramadan, let’s renew our resolve to help those victims.Let’s continue to come together for iftars and community events. Let’s celebrate the proud, multi-racial, multi-faith democracy we live in. To everyone in Britain and around the world – Ramadan Mubarak.
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The CEO of United States Steel Corp. is retiring and the company’s president has been promoted to lead the big steelmaker.U.S. Steel said Wednesday that Mario Longhi stepped down as CEO this week and will retire at the end of June. David Burritt has been elevated to the role of president and CEO.Longhi had led the company since 2013. He said in a statement that he believes U.S. Steel made significant improvement under his leadership.Burritt is a former Caterpillar executive who joined U.S. Steel in 2013 as its chief financial officer.Shares of Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel rose 8 cents to $21.05 in after-hours trading Wednesday. by The Associated Press Posted May 10, 2017 6:38 pm MDT Last Updated May 10, 2017 at 7:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email US Steel names new CEO after executive announces retirement
The demolitions began on 19 August and have been carried out by Israeli authorities in at least six different locations, including East Jerusalem, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said.In one incident, Israeli authorities demolished all of the structures in the Bedouin community of Tel al Adassa in East Jerusalem, rendering some 39 people homeless, citing a lack of building permits.“The Israeli authorities ordered the community to evacuate the area permanently or risk high monetary fines and confiscation of livestock,” OHCHR spokesperson Cécile Pouilly told reporters in Geneva. “No alternative locations or housing options were offered. Left with no choice, the community has split and moved to two different temporary locations, where they remain vulnerable to further demolitions and repeated displacement due to lack of legal security of tenure and inability to obtain building permits.”Ms. Pouilly said the permanent removal of the families from Tel al Adassa may amount to a violation of the prohibition to forcibly transfer individuals or communities under article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The case also raises concerns regarding the prohibition of forced eviction under international human rights law, and the right to adequate housing and freedom from arbitrary or unlawful interference with privacy, family and home. OHCHR also expressed concern over reports of excessive use of force by Israeli security forces against Palestinian civilians in refugee camps in the West Bank. Since 18 August, at least four Palestinian civilians have been killed during search and arrest operations and at least 19 have been injured.“While we do not yet have sufficient information to make an assessment of each of these specific cases, we have raised our concerns several times before, including in our reports, regarding the excessive use of force by Israeli security forces in law enforcement operations in the West Bank,” Ms. Pouilly said.She added that the Israeli Government has the obligation to investigate all cases in an independent and impartial manner and hold accountable all those responsible for violations. OHCHR also urged Israeli authorities to publish its findings on the matter.
If he keeps this up, Harden would become the first qualified1Minimum 25 percent of a team’s minutes played in a season, or about 1,000 minutes over an 82-game schedule. player since at least the 1976 ABA-NBA merger to use 35 percent or more of a team’s possessions while putting up an offensive rating of 120 or more. Depending on how you look at it, he would either be the most efficient high-usage player ever or shoulder the biggest responsibility of any high-efficiency player ever. Either way, it would make Harden the most valuable offensive weapon in the game.What’s unique about Harden is how his scoring and passing play off of each other, making it virtually impossible to shut off his firehose of production. He currently leads the league in both assist rate2The percentage of teammate buckets a player assists while on the court. and usage rate,3The percentage of team shot attempts plus turnovers a player records while in the game. an accomplishment that has been pulled off only one other time — by Russell Westbrook last season. And while Westbrook ranked 126th in true shooting percentage last year, Harden ranks 25th this season thanks to an eye-popping assortment of shot-making numbers: 51 percent on 2-pointers, 41 percent on threes and 86 percent from the line (where he still finagles himself 9.3 times per game, the most in the league). Among players in the 50-40-85 club for those percentages in a season, nobody has ever come close to doing it with a usage rate like Harden’s so far this year. Whenever Harden touches the ball, almost exclusively good things happen for Houston.Thanks in large part to Harden’s complete offensive clinic, the Rockets currently rank second only to the Golden State Warriors in points per 100 possessions. They’re shattering their own benchmark for the most made threes per game in NBA history (knocking down a stunning 16.1 a night while taking 53 percent of their field goal attempts from deep), and they also rank third in pick-and-roll efficiency,4Including both when the ball handler and the roll man finish the play. averaging 0.98 points per possession on the play, according to NBA.com.All the while, Houston is providing an interesting counterpoint to the Warriors in terms of offensive basketball philosophy. Golden State is a joy to watch because of its pure shooting talent, frequently knocking down looks that mortal players have no business making: The Warriors rank only ninth in Second Spectrum’s Quantified Shot Quality metric, which measures the expected value of a team’s shot selection based on league averages, but they lead the NBA in shooting efficiency anyway because nobody outperforms the expected value of their shots by more. The Rockets are the opposite. They make their shots at a slightly higher clip than average, but it’s nothing special; instead, they thrive on relentlessly creating prime scoring chances, leading the league in shot quality with the highest expected value (a 54.1 effective field goal percentage) of any season in Second Spectrum’s database.5Which goes back to the 2014 season. You can argue with the aesthetics of Harden and the Rockets’ methodical exploitation of basketball’s percentages, but it’s never worked to greater effect than in the early stages of this season.The only unresolved question about Harden and his hardware is whether Paul’s return will disrupt Harden’s early-season flow. Before the season, we noted that the NBA had never seen a pairing of two ball-dominant guards quite like Harden and Paul before, and that Houston’s success would largely hinge on how the two could co-exist and alter their games to complement each other. But with Paul missing 14 of Houston’s first 15 contests, the pairing hasn’t received a great deal of stress-testing yet — Harden has largely been able to play in the manner he’s been accustomed to over the past few years, when he seldom had to share playmaking responsibilities with anybody.The good news is that in the few games since Paul’s return, Harden has been as outstanding as ever. He’s averaging 34.4 points and 8.2 assists per game with a 68.7 true shooting percentage and an average Game Score of 28.6 — a better number than he was putting up while Paul was out of the lineup. The bad news is that the Rockets have barely scraped past the opposition (+2.4 points per 100 possessions) with their two stars on the court when compared with the +16.3 margin they have with one but not the other. And most concerning (but not surprising) for Harden’s MVP campaign, his stat-stuffing ways are indeed getting curtailed when he shares the court with Paul. According to NBA.com, Harden’s rates of assists, usage and even rebounds all take a hit with Paul in the game. Granted, his shooting efficiency is up with Paul, one of the great passers of his generation, but Harden’s overall production — as measured by the percentage of total “good things” (for both teams) he’s responsible for while in the game6NBA.com calls this statistic the Player Impact Estimate. — is down from 20.1 percent without Paul to 15.7 percent with him.7For context, the current league leader is Hassan Whiteside at 20.9 percent.To help avoid the redundancy in their stars’ skill sets, the Rockets are staggering Harden and CP3’s minutes some. (And Paul has been on a program of reduced minutes anyway, while working his way back into form.) The Rockets have most of the season ahead of them to figure out how the two players fit together, with the primary goal of finally getting over the hump in the Western Conference playoffs, not to maximize Harden’s stat lines. But as well as Harden has played early this season, this looks like his best shot yet at ending his string of MVP near-misses. He just needs to figure out how to play his hyper-efficient, do-everything game while simultaneously sharing the ball with another superstar — a task easier said than done.Check out our latest NBA predictions. Thanks to a combination of novelty and voter fatigue, it’s rare for an NBA player to remain MVP bridesmaid for too long. For every block of seasons where a Michael Jordan or LeBron James dominates the consensus at No. 1, a Charles Barkley or Derrick Rose will still manage to slip in and break up the monotony. That’s a big reason why, in all of NBA history, only three players have finished as MVP runners-up multiple times without ever actually taking home the award themselves.Two of those are retired Hall of Famers: Jerry West (who came in second an astonishing four times without winning) and George Gervin. The third, James Harden of the Houston Rockets, is still very much active. But the way he’s playing this season, he might not be MVP-less much longer. After finishing second in two of the previous three seasons, Harden has established himself as the early award favorite while leading the Rockets to the best record in the West and the league’s top per-possession point differential. At long last, it might be time for the greatest bearded MVP since Bill Walton — just so long as the recent return of domineering fellow guard Chris Paul doesn’t get in Harden’s way.By the numbers, Harden has never been better. He’s currently either first or second (behind LeBron James) in virtually every advanced value metric, including Value Over Replacement Player, Win Shares, Estimated Wins Added and ESPN’s Real Plus/Minus (RPM) wins above replacement. Harden has long been known for his ridiculous efficiency — he generates more points per possession than any other big-time scorer in the game today (including Steph Curry) — but he’s taken that approach to an entirely new level so far this year. He’s producing about 122 points for every 100 possessions he’s personally responsible for, a number usually reserved for three-point specialists, low-scoring big men and LeBron, but with the usage rate of a player who controls his team’s every offensive move. Once again, Harden is pushing the boundaries of just how many points one player can create for his team:
With much of the talk surrounding Ohio State football concerning the College Football Playoff rankings, coach Urban Meyer said he’s more focused on the task at hand during Tuesday’s Big Ten teleconference.After beating then-No. 7 Michigan State on Saturday, the Buckeyes have their sights set on Minnesota — which is coming off a 51-14 thrashing of Iowa. Meyer said the Golden Gophers — who have just a pair of losses this season — are a team that deserves OSU’s full attention.Meyer said the Buckeyes “spend every second” of their day working to avoid a letdown against Minnesota.He said the Golden Gophers’ win against Iowa was their best performance of the season.Meyer on Minnesota: “This is an excellent team that’s in my opinion a top-25 team without question.”On whether he would coach a fourth quarter differently in order to impress voters, Meyer said: “Of course not. You do what you have to do to win a game.”In reference to sophomore H-back Dontre Wilson’s two fumbles and dropped passes against Michigan State, Meyer said mistakes don’t send players straight to the bench, but a lack of effort does. Wilson stayed in the game and ended up catching a touchdown pass during the fourth quarter in East Lansing, Mich. “If it was lack of effort, he’s out of the game in a second.”Meyer said he’d “never want to have a place where people are scared to make a mistake.”He said the cold weather expected at Minnesota — a high of 28 degrees is predicted for Saturday — is simply “part of the game.” He added that both teams have to deal with it just the same.Meyer said Minnesota’s defense is similar to that of Michigan State’s. He added the Golden Gophers have a “stop the run mentality.”He said sophomore defensive lineman Joey Bosa has “come a long way,” but Meyer added he thought Bosa could be an impact player from the start.Meyer said redshirt-freshman quarterback J.T. Barrett has a “relentless approach to everything he does.” He compared Barrett’s focus on preparation to two of his former quarterbacks in Tim Tebow (Florida) and Alex Smith (Utah).The Buckeyes are scheduled to play the Golden Gophers on Saturday in Minneapolis. Kickoff is set for noon.
“I asked her for a photo, but then she asked me – Do I practice handball” – says Nikolija Karalic, young player of local team “Crveni Krst” from Niš on the beginning of his “dream experience” with legendary player and coach Anja Andersen, who followed Danish NT during EHF EURO 2012 Preliminary Round in Niš.Ten minutes after, they were in the small hall inside the sports center “Čair”. Anja Andersen was fully interested to see capabilites of young girl, who were surprised with a chance to play and get some tips from such a big name.We got a small video from this unexpected training. Great Anja never stop to surprise people around… ← Previous Story EURO 2012: Montenegro wins war against Hungary – Superb Romania smash Spain! Next Story → Hungary (Round 14): Easy win for Veszprem against Vaci