Lucas Leiva committed to Liverpool despite transfer talk

first_img Despite the almost constant speculation about his future, the midfielder insists he is fully committed to the club he joined from Gremio in 2007, making him their longest-serving current player. “I think the last couple of years, every transfer window my name is [linked with a move]. It’s been very intense,” he told “Of course there are times when you think you might have to move on and I was very close to moving, but one thing I will always have is commitment to this club. “I’ve been here so long and I always said if I had the choice to be here and be happy, I would always choose Liverpool. “When your future is in doubt, you might have to think of another solution, but I’m happy that it didn’t happen and I’m here to fight for the club as I have been doing for eight years. “I’m just looking forward to a good season and putting Liverpool back where it belongs. I have this chance to say I’m fully committed. ” I just need to now focus on my performance and help in the way the manager and the staff asked me to help. “Hopefully, I’ll be an important player for the club this season.” The 28-year-old appeared to be on the verge of a loan move to Besiktas in August, but injury to captain Jordan Henderson gave the Brazil international an opening and he has started the last two matches against Arsenal and West Ham. With Henderson’s participation at Old Trafford on Saturday still in doubt as he recovers from a heel injury there is every chance Lucas could start against Manchester United. Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva is determined to be an important player this season, despite almost leaving the club in the summer. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Iceland in do-or-die situation vs Croatia

first_imgRostov-On-Don, June 25: Struggling to make their mark, Iceland will aim for nothing less than a win when they take on already-qualified Croatia in their last Group D clash at the Rostov Arena here on Tuesday.Iceland’s fate does not only lie in their own hands as a win on Tuesday may not be enough for them but will also hope that Nigeria lose to Argentina.Croatia tops the group with six points while the Heimir Hallgrimsson-coached Iceland have just a single point in their kitty and lie at the third spot.After already achieving their first objective, Croatia would likely bench some of their players against Iceland.On Tuesday, Croatia could also become the fourth team in the history of the World Cup to win all three of their group games without conceding a goal.Six Croatian players — Ivan Rakitic, Ante Rebic, Sime Vrsaljko, Mario Mandzukic, Marcelo Brozovic and Vedran Corluka — are one booking away from being suspended for the last 16 and some of them are likely to be rested against Iceland.Hinting at resting these players in Tuesday’s clash, Croatia head coach Zlatko Dalic said: “I’d like to top the group. But, we have to take care because we have some players on yellow cards, so I will change the line-up.”“I will not start those who are on yellow cards because it’s too much of a risk, there are 22 players who can play,” he added.Iceland, on the other hand, are known for bouncing back from defeats such as the one they suffered against Nigeria.The islanders employed a 4-5-1 formation against Argentina before switching to a 4-4-2 formation against the African side.Emil Hallfredsson, who missed the match against Nigeria, is expected to return to the starting XI along with Johann Gudmundsson, who is almost fit again. IANSlast_img read more

Young talent can combat sanctions

first_img“One-Two Punch” runs Tuesdays. To comment on this article, visit or email James at It’s easy to get caught thinking that last Saturday’s 50-0 trouncing of UCLA marked the end of USC’s probationary period.With the win, the team ended a two-year period of bowl ineligibility — a sizable weight off the Trojans’ shoulders. USC can now play for a national championship and be ranked in the BCS, something that hasn’t been allowed since the 2009 season.But an unfortunate reality remains true: The worst part of the sanctions — the part that USC desperately tried to appeal — has yet to come.The Trojans will be forced to forfeit 10 scholarships for each of the next three seasons. This means that, rather than having 25 recruited athletes join the football team each season, only 15 will be allowed. In a sport where recruiting is the lifeblood of a team’s prolonged success, this is a punishment rarely seen in such magnitude.Assuming the current coaching staff remains in place, it’s safe to say the Trojans will continue to bring in high-level talent — just less of it. And with less depth, success will depend more than ever on the Trojan veterans — veterans, luckily, that are now just freshmen.Worried? Don’t be.At a time when having youth to carry the team is not just important but vital, USC coach Lane Kiffin has gone above and beyond what anyone could have expected.The Trojans not only finished this season ranked in the top 10, but they did so while starting seven freshmen. One of them, wide receiver Marqise Lee, recorded 73 catches for 1,143 yards and 11 touchdowns. Three others — Dion Bailey, Lamar Dawson and Hayes Pullard — effectively took over the entire linebacking position, something never before seen at USC. Freshman phenom kicker Andre Heidari converted 15 of 17 field goals this season, along with a 50-for-50 mark on extra points.But these numbers only tell a portion of the story. Perhaps a greater chunk of the freshman talent lies in wait on the bench, earning a redshirt or having backed up a more experienced starter this season.First-year linemen Cyrus Hobbi, Aundrey Walker and Cody Temple will be critical pieces as the current offensive line begins to improve over the next two seasons. Redshirt freshman wide receiver Kyle Prater and freshman tailback George Farmer, both blessed with freakish speed and athleticism, will also begin to take on increased responsibility within the offense. As was showcased all year, the running back stable remains stocked with freshmen Amir Carlisle and D.J. Morgan waiting in the wings.And most importantly, there is significant talent at quarterback, ready to fill in for junior quarterback Matt Barkley whenever he decides to leave. True freshmen quarterbacks Cody Kessler and Max Wittek both bring to the table significant upside.The list really does go on. Though there remains much to be seen, the Trojans now boast quite possibly the best collection of freshmen in the nation, and arguably the best this university has ever seen.Coming on the heels of the freshman contributions the Trojans have seen the last two years, which included Barkley and lineman Matt Kalil in 2009 and wideout Robert Woods and cornerback Nickell Robey in 2010, that’s a bold statement, but one that has consistently been supported on the field.Of course, things don’t always go according to plan. Injuries, grades and lack of commitment have felled promising athletes in the past, and will continue to do so in the future.But the one way to combat this issue is to do exactly what Kiffin has done — stock up. The seeds have been sown for future success, and with the right amount of cultivating, there is potential for progression even beyond what the current team has done.It is clear that, for all of the success USC has enjoyed this season, it has in no way already triumphed its looming three-year obstacle. But, as Trojan fans have come to expect as of late, the team has certainly taken a step toward ensuring it will.last_img read more

Countdown to Orange Madness: The Syracuse basketball freshmen

first_img Published on October 12, 2015 at 8:59 pm Contact Sam: | @SamBlum3 Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse has its unofficial start to the 2015-2016 season when the Orange takes on the Blue for Orange Madness on Friday in the Carrier Dome. The annual intrasquad scrimmage will give Syracuse fans their first look at new freshmen Tyler Lydon, Malachi Richardson and Franklin Howard, along with a new-look starting lineup without departed senior Rakeem Christmas. Each day leading up to Friday, D.O. beat writers Sam Blum, Jesse Dougherty and Matt Schneidman will give you the top five storylines headed into Jim Boehiem’s 40th season as the Orange head coach.The new guys in town Tyler Lydon: The 6-foot-8, 205-pound freshman with a silky smooth jumper likely won’t be a starter, but might see a more significant role for an SU team that lacks significant depth in the frontcourt. During the first week of practice, he’s shown ability to score against Tyler Roberson, and was able to get Trevor Cooney open with his strong on-ball screens. Before practice, he’s been working with assistant coach Adrian Autry on his jump shot. Lydon, along with DaJuan Coleman, Chinonso Obokoh, and Tyler Roberson make up the only scholarship players expected to see significant time in the frontcourt.Malachi Richardson: The 6-foot-6, 195-pound guard has been running with the Syracuse starters early in practice and has a shot to do the same when the Orange faces Lehigh to start the season on Nov. 13. The New Jersey native was a five-start commit and fits the Orange blueprint for lanky guards with the ability to shoot from the outside.Frank Howard: The 6-foot-4, 170-pound freshman point guard might have a tough time cracking the Orange rotation this season. With Michael Gbinije likely starting and Kaleb Joseph backing him at the position, Howard likely won’t be as prominent. The freshman has struggled on both ends of the court in practice, but has showed some potential on his long-range shooting ability.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Commentslast_img read more

Forde and Barry ruled out of Tipp’s clash against Waterford

first_imgThrow in at Semple is at 3 PM on Sunday with full live coverage on Tipp FM in association with Alliance Medical, South Tipperary General Hospital, Clonmel. Jason Forde picked up a hamstring injury playing for UL last weekend while James Barry has picked up a foot injury – Both have been ruled out for this weekend’s Round 3 League clash at Semple Stadium.However Seamus Callanan and Kieran Bergin are available for selection once again.Waterford who are currently top of the table on maximum points with 2 wins out of 2, are going to provide an excellent challenge for Tipperary against the current League holders.last_img read more

Wounded Pharaohs Confront Ambitious Hosts Russians

first_imgRussia is over the moon after the magnificent and quite unexpected goal shower in the opening game. But the players have not rested on their laurels. Everyone in the Russian camp has put the result against Saudi Arabia behind them and Egypt is a totally different story.With or without Mohamed Salah on the pitch, the hosts are determined to fight hard and get another victory to put at least one foot in the next round, if not two.The defeat of the Pharaohs by Uruguay on the other hand has sort of imposed a clear state of mind on the Egyptian team: beating Russia is the only option.As Hector Cuper prepares for the match with Salah’s expected return alongside some brilliant performances in their final training session before leaving for Saint Petersburg, he certainly will have a selection headache on his hands. After the hosts’ opening result, and with home support, the pressure will be on the Pharaohs, but they can overcome it.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Russia and Egypt could not arrive in Saint Petersburg with more disparate emotions following their opening games at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia. The hosts dealt with the pressure of the curtain-raiser in staggering style beating Saudi Arabia 5-0 while Egypt saw their long-awaited return to the Mundial start off with last-gasp, gut-wrenching 1-0 defeat to Uruguay.Even the most passionate of Russian fans would have scoffed at serious predictions of a 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia, but that victory, punctuated by a couple of fine Denis Cheryshev goals, has transformed expectations. Three points could even be enough to seal a Round of 16 spot.Egypt, on the other hand, has no time to waste. Thankfully for them, Mohamed Salah looks set to return from injury. As well as the obvious attacking threat he will provide, having been a dominating presence in England this season, the return of his talismanic stature with the Pharaohs will no doubt lift their spirits after the late goal conceded against Uruguay.last_img read more

Brandon Joseph fights his way to silver

first_imgTrinidad and Tobago’s Taekwondo fighter, Brandon Joseph, took the silver medal at the recent USAT Florida State Taekwondo Championships, held at the Orlando Hilton Convention Center.He finished second to Oliver Rene Largaespada. The runner-up spot earned Joseph a spot in the USAT National tournament.For Joseph —  who recently moved up one weight class — this is a second Florida State Championship silver medal. He copped his first in the cadet division two years ago.last_img

MLB trade news: Braves get Shane Greene, Mark Melancon to boost bullpen

first_img MLB trade rumors: Astros, Yankees discussing Robbie Ray with Diamondbacks Greene, 30, has been spectacular in bouncing back from a rough 2018, posting a 1.18 ERA in 32 relief appearances while saving 22 of those 31 Detroit wins. He is making $4 million this season and is under team control through next year.  MLB trade news: Braves acquire Chris Martin, send Kolby Allard to Rangers MLB trade rumors: Zack Wheeler’s market ‘heating up’ The Braves bullpen blew a save in Washington on Wednesday, but help is on the way. Atlanta has acquired closer Shane Greene from the Tigers and Mark Melancon from the Giants, the team announced, giving the Braves their second and third veteran bullpen additions in 24 hours. Reports earlier on deadline day had indicated it might be down to the Braves and the Nationals in the race for Greene’s services, but Washington swung deals to acquire relievers Daniel Hudson, Roenis Elias and Hunter Strickland in the meantime, clearing the way for Atlanta to nab the Detroit All-Star. The Dodgers and Athletics also had been mentioned in connection with Greene in recent days, with the reliever seemingly destined to move on from a Tigers team that entered Wednesday with the worst record in the majors at 31-72 (.301).  Related News Melancon, 34, has been used mostly in a setup role since joining the Giants in 2017 but was a three-time All-Star as the Pirates’ closer before that. He’s signed through 2020 at $14 million annually. Atlanta already has added one veteran arm ahead of the deadline, acquiring reliever Chris Martin from the Rangers on Tuesday for minor league pitcher Kolby Allard. In return for Greene, the Tigers get Double-A left-hander Joey Wentz and Triple-A outfielder Travis Demeritte, while the Giants got right-handers Tristan Beck and Dan Winkler for Melancon.last_img read more

Balkans Open Kickboxing Club 2013 in Tešanj

first_imgOn 15 June, Saturday, Centre of Martial Arts Tešanj is organising the Balkans Open Kickboxing Cup 2013 which will be held in sports hall in Tešanj in all disciplines and in all categories of kickboxing.Teams from 12 countries will participate and more than 500 fighters will compete.Eliminatory and semi-final fights will start from 11 a.m. and final fights will start from 8 p.m.The entrance to the event is free for all and the winners will be properly awarded.(

Leonard Fournette trade rumors: Why Jaguars would discuss dealing No. 1 RB

first_imgFournette is an economical option for other teams. Part 1A of the selling high argument is that he’ll play relatively cheaply this season. He’s scheduled to make $4.17 million in base salary ($8.6 million cap hit) in the fourth year of his rookie contract. The Jags have not committed to a fifth year and the big bump in pay that accompanies it. They have until May 4 to exercise their option, Schefter noted. They could let the contract be someone else’s concern.The Jaguars really, really want more draft capital. Jacksonville has 12 selections at the moment, and a trade of Fournette (and, perhaps, defensive lineman Yannick Ngakoue, who says he wants out of Jacksonville) could get the Jags into the 15 range. That, in turn, would open up a large number of other trade possibilities as the team tries to improve quickly on last season’s 6-10 record.Jacksonville wants to finish cleaning house. Fournette was back in the news this week after repeating his opinion that the team should explore signing free-agent quarterback Cam Newton and having him compete with incumbent starter Gardner Minshew. His 2018 season included an injury, a suspension, an encounter with a spectator and an admonishment by former Jags football boss Tom Coughlin. He was arrested in April 2019 after a traffic stop in Florida and charged with driving with a suspended license, though he was not disciplined for that. Fournette (and Ngakoue) would join a list of prominent recent Jags departures that includes Jalen Ramsey, Dante Fowler, Calais Campbell and Nick Foles. The Jaguars are exploring trade scenarios involving running back Leonard Fournette, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Saturday. Fournette is coming off a career season with 1,674 yards from scrimmage (though just three touchdowns). He’s entering his fourth NFL season after turning 25 in January. In keeping with a “four” theme, here’s a look at four plausible reasons why Jacksonville would look to move the fourth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft:RIVERA: It’s all burning down in JacksonvilleThe Jaguars are trying to sell high. Fournette rushed for a career-high 1,152 yards and 4.3 yards per carry in 2019. He also became a legitimate receiving option with a team-high 76 catches, which were more than the 58 combined receptions he had in his first two NFL seasons. How many teams would make strong bids for a 1,000-yard rusher and an improving receiver? The Jags can find out by making one available.last_img read more