Giggs: Big test lies ahead for United

The Premier League champions have lost three successive games for the first time in almost 13 years and currently languish seventh in the table.

But while the 40-year-old player-coach believes the experience of senior professionals in the dressing room is vital, he feels their younger teammates are in uncharted territory. Giggs told the Press Association: “There are a lot of players who have come into the club who have only known winning. It is a test of character but I am fully confident we will come through it and we will be ok.
"At United, we have never got carried away too much when we have been winning trophies and it’s also the case that you don't get carried away when you’re losing. We don't get too down about it but we want to do something about it.

“I think it's important for the older players, who have been through this before and been through sticky patches to help the younger ones, who may only have known winning. ”


Giggs, who was speaking as United announced a sponsorship partnership with Aperol, said losing runs linger in the memory longer than victories.


He said: "I have said over the years that the defeats and losses generate a bigger feeling than winning things. It sticks with you a lot longer. You have to react and you have to try to do something about it. ”


The veteran accepted United have underachieved this season, adding: “We probably haven't been playing to the best of our ability, both individually and as a team. ”

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Tough search ahead?

Former Chiefs exec Scott Pioli could end up in the mix for the Dolphins GM opening.

(USATSI)Former Chiefs exec Scott Pioli could end up in the mix for the Dolphins GM opening. (USATSI)
There are numerous highly qualified general manager candidates preparing for a possible interview with the Miami Dolphins, and it could be one of the more coveted openings in a while, but with a major caveat being whether the job will entail final say on player transactions. New GM for Dolphins
Jeff Ireland, Dolphins mutually agree to part ways


Numerous executives from other teams, including many who have spoken to Dolphins team officials, believe that owner Stephen Ross, whose regime has been characterized by failure and some bizarre decision-making, could be swayed from conducting a full-scale search for a new GM.


Several league sources say Ross, who relies heavily on business-side execs Dawn Aponte and Matt Higgins, is contemplating a restructuring where a new general manager would report to Aponte, and not the owner, and thus she would truly head football operations. Furthermore, sources said Aponte would strongly consider candidates she worked with previously with the Jets, like former GMs Mike Tannenbaum and Scott Pioli, who, frankly, would not end up on many other lists right now given how their previous regimes ended.


No return date set for Vonn ahead of Sochi

LIENZ, Austria – Lindsey Vonn's head coach says no date has been set for the injured skier's return to the World Cup, and that she won't compete at all before the Sochi Olympics in February.

Vonn flew again to Vail, Colo., final week after hurting her surgically repaired proper knee at a downhill race in France.

Lindsey Vonn

Lindsey Vonn may not compete in any respect earlier than the Sochi Olympics in February after hurting her surgically repaired proper knee final week, her coach, Alex Hoedlmoser, says.

"Her knee was swollen once more after Val d'Isere," U.S. women's head coach Alex Hoedlmoser told The Associated Press. "She is working with the blokes from (her own staff) Red Bull and the medical staff to get that under management."

Hoedlmoser added that "there is no such thing as a resolution yet if, or the place she is going to race forward of the Olympics."

Vonn needed surgical procedure in February to reconstruct two knee ligaments after a crash in tremendous-G at the world championships, after which partially re-tore one among them in November.

Vonn returned to the World Cup in Lake Louise, Alberta, within the first week of December and completed 40th and eleventh in two downhills before placing fifth in tremendous-G the next day.

After the next setback in Val d'Isere, Vonn mentioned she would compete in "one possibly two races before the Olympics."

"I will play it safe and race minimal races, so I can get the boldness and the timing and the sensation of racing once more," Vonn stated last weekend. "I'm really going to be protected and smart as I can."

Vonn hopes to defend her Olympic downhill title on Feb. 12. The ladies's super-G in Sochi is three days later.

"Lindsey prefers to work quietly on her comeback," Hoedlmoser mentioned. "We are involved usually but I am too far away to guage the situation so I go away it to her and her staff now."

The subsequent World Cup speed races are Jan. 9-12 in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, the place Vonn won a super-mixed event in 2009. Hoedlmoser mentioned he cannot predict whether Vonn might begin in the Austrian resort.

"She has indicated she would possibly think about racing Cortina (on Jan. sixteen-19) but it's too early to say that she's going to," Hoedlmoser said. "Possibly she won't race at all if she feels she can do with out one other race in her preparation for Sochi. I believe she's dealing with it well and he or she's decided to race in Sochi."

According to American teammate Mikaela Shiffrin, Vonn has been "trying to remain quiet" since leaving the World Cup circuit final week. Shiffrin was satisfied that Vonn was doing every little thing potential to make it to Sochi.

"She is a tough lady, competing with a knee that just has a thoughts of its personal right now," Shiffrin stated. "I feel they will figure one thing out so she could be at her greatest."

Shiffrin anticipated Vonn "to do a number of races and to actually save up so she will be able to attempt to perform and represent the U.S. within the Olympics."

"I believe that's still her aim," Shiffrin said. "They have been engaged on helmet designs.. it appears like her helmets are candy and I'm certain she's fired as much as nonetheless try to race the Olympics."

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Bo Pelini: ‘If they want to fire me, go ahead’

Bo Pelini Comments On Job Status


LINCOLN, Neb. – Bo Pelini says he hasn’t been told if he’ll return for a seventh season as Nebraska’s head coach and that he isn’t spending any time worrying about it.

“If they want to fire me, go ahead,” Pelini told reporters after the Cornhuskers’ 38-17 loss to Iowa on Friday to finish the regular season 8-4. “I believe in what I’ve done. I don’t apologize to you. I don’t apologize to anybody, myself or this staff. My record, our record since I’ve been here, speaks for itself. And this program is heading in a good direction.

“You choose not to think so, that’s your prerogative. All I know is myself, this staff, the people who have been associated with this program since I’ve been here can look themselves in the mirror and feel good about what they’ve done.”

Though Pelini is 57-24 at Nebraska, his performance has been heavily scrutinized in the wake of bad losses to UCLA and Minnesota.

The question is whether first-year athletic director Shawn Eichorst believes Pelini is moving the program in the right direction. Pelini is under contract through 2017 and makes almost $3 million per year.

The Huskers haven’t won a conference championship since 1999, and they were eliminated from the Big Ten Legends Division race two weeks ago.

In addition to a run of blowout losses dating to 2011, Pelini came under fire in September after an audio of his profane tirade against Nebraska fans went public.

Eichorst, who has a policy of not commenting on a coach while his or her team is in season, has given no hint about how he’s leaning.

Pelini’s volatile sideline antics, which have been kept under wraps most of the season, were back in full force Friday. He was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct in the third quarter after he protested a pass-interference call on linebacker Zaire Anderson.

Pelini said the official flagged him because he got too close to him, but made it clear – with the help of an expletive – he thought it was a bad call.

“I’ve never seen anything like that before,” Pelini said. “I’ve done a lot worse than that, and I saw (Iowa coach) Kirk Ferentz over on the other side acting a lot worse than I act. I didn’t see a flag come out on him. The bottom line is they knew they blew the call. They blew it. They blew that call over there on that third down. And everybody in the stadium knew it. They didn’t man up enough to pick that flag up.”

The Huskers (5-3 Big Ten) won their fewest regular-season games since 2008, Pelini’s first year, and lost three home games for the first time since 2007 under Bill Callahan.

Pelini’s team battled through injuries to six offensive linemen, and fourth-year starting quarterback Taylor Martinez was limited to four games because of a mysterious foot injury. The Huskers started third-stringer Ron Kellogg III against Iowa because of an ankle injury to Tommy Armstrong Jr. The Huskers also struggled with turnovers and shoddy special-teams play.

Pelini declined to answer directly when asked if he had made a case to keep his job.

“You guys have chose to make a story of it all year,” he said. “It’s impacted our football team. It’s hurt our football team.”

Junior receiver Kenny Bell said he and his teammates support Pelini’s return.

“I would play for Bo Pelini against Satan himself and the demons of the world,” he said. “I love coach Pelini.”

Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press

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Wolves trade Williams to Kings for Mbah a Moute


Williams will be heading to the Kings to revive his young career. (USATSI) Derrick Williams might be heading to the Kings to revive his younger profession. (USATSI)


The reported commerce from final night between the Sacramento Kings and Minnesota Timberwolves has been accomplished. The Wolves will ship 2011 No. 2 total choose Derrick Williams to the Kings in change for Luc Richard Mbah a Moute in a straight-up swap.

From the Wolves’ press release:

The Minnesota Timberwolves right this moment introduced the team has acquired forward Luc Mbah a Moute (BAH-ah MOO-tay) from the Sacramento Kings in change for ahead Derrick Williams.

“We’re excited to accumulate a stable veteran participant in Luc Mbah a Moute,” said Flip Saunders, Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations. “Luc is named one of the premier defensive gamers within the league with an ability to protect a number of positions. He adds a whole lot of energy, grit and a excessive basketball IQ to our crew. We thank Derrick for his contributions to our organization and need him properly in Sacramento.”

Williams struggled to achieve the trust of coach Rick Adelman while he was in Minnesota and all the time seemed to be between positions. He labored exhausting to shed weight and improve his breathing over the last two offseasons with a purpose to be bale to maneuver down to the small ahead place to play subsequent to Kevin Love. Nevertheless, he wasn’t able to match into the position the way Adelman likes his wings to play and his ball-stopping and poor protection saved him from finding an everyday spot in the rotation.

He performed nicely in Love’s absence during the 2012-thirteen season but not nearly well sufficient show he ought to be the backup energy ahead as a substitute of Dante Cunningham. For the Kings, Williams will have much less strain to carry out and a a lot simpler position in how he is used within the stream of the offense. He’ll have an opportunity to construct his confidence back up and attempt to cash in on among the potential that made him the second total pick in the 2011 draft.

Mbah a Moute brings a flexible wing defender to the Wolves, something they’ve needed in opposition to the highest scoring forwards in the NBA with Andrei Kirilenko leaving the workforce this offseason. Corey Brewer has executed a great job of providing that, however giving him a breather in that role and having depth with defensive function players is one thing the Wolves needed to add.

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New jersey gives go ahead for online poker

A handful of well-recognized Web betting companies got the OKAY on Friday by New Jersey gaming regulators to soon supply games to those bodily throughout the state.

The Division of Gaming Enforcement launched a couple of documents (right here and here) that stated companies comparable to, Caesars Interactive Leisure, Ultimate Poker, 888, Bally Technologies, Betfair, Paddy Energy and Amaya Gaming are allowed to do business within the Backyard State.

Most applied sciences corporations will probably be doing business on behalf of their brick-and-mortar companions.

There are 12 casinos in Atlantic City and most are expected to offer web playing.

New Jersey will kick off statewide internet playing on Nov. 26. The mushy trial will start Nov. 21.

PokerStars was notably absent from the lists, and a spokesperson for the agency explained why:

“Our utility remains below assessment by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement and we remain committed to working with them to finish the process,” Eric Hollreiser, Head of Corp Communications for PokerStars, said in a press release.

PokerStars has partnered with the Resorts On line casino Lodge.

New Jersey will enable its casinos to supply a wide selection of on line casino video games on the net.

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic warns Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of World Cup qualifying playoff


Hiya, Cristiano. I’m Zlatan — the cloud of pain that now hovers over you.

I must admit that the World Cup playoff draw was unfortunate. I do know that many individuals don’t like you, but I by no means felt that means. I’ve always seen you as a weaker, lavender scented model of Zlatan. A flattering Zlimitator. We each score goals at will and our presents are unappreciated in Barcelona. You’ve got boots with stars on them, I’ve boots full of ft that are more highly effective than the sun. After all, I’m higher trying, have higher hair and I’m way more skilled in deadly martial arts than you, but all of this offers you one thing to aspire to. You are welcome.

Since there will not be eleven Zlatans taking part in for Sweden, I cannot assure you will lose. What I can assure is that it’s in your finest interest to do so. Sweden did not qualify for the 2010 World Cup. This was deeply unZlatisfactory to me. If it happens again, I can be pressured to seek vengeance in ways that can make you wish you had been attending an awards ceremony the place Lionel Messi beats you in each category while your abs slowly morph right into a beer stomach. This is not a risk. Zlatan doesn’t make threats. I make predictions that happen.

The World Cup needs Zlatan. Who else could do a backheel so Zlectacular that it makes the FIFA executives heads explode like Mario Balotelli’s bathroom and convinces all of Brazil that internet hosting the event wasn’t such a waste of cash in any case? Who else would put Xavi in a cat provider and ship him to Tahiti when he decides to be the Goldilocks of groundskeeping and complains about a pitch being too dry or too moist for Spain? Who else would provide Pep Guardiola with an all bills paid journey to Brazil to watch the match just to make him sit between Pele and Maradona whereas they bicker endlessly about whether Justin Bieber is healthier than One Course? The answer is no one Zlelse.

I would want you good luck, Cristiano, however after reading all of this you shouldn’t need it. For those who suppose Pepe can protect you from the wrath of Zlatan, then you may be mistaken and he will be crying.

Maybe when that is throughout we will be pals. I can show you the best way to kick Gareth Bale within the head and the way not to tweet about boys underwear competitions. That’s how Zlamicable I could be.

Till then, I’ll see you on the pitch and you will note me in your nightmares.

Flamingo dream kick!
Betfred Football

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Costa Rica fans construct coffin for Mexico before the World Cup qualifier

The welcoming committee of Costa Rica followers ready at the airport for Mexico to arrive wasn’t quite as massive or livid because the one which greeted the USA in September, however they did go to the difficulty of bringing an arts and crafts mission. The small group of jubilant Costa Rica supporters mocked their guests’ misfortune and potential danger of not qualifying for the World Cup with a coffin draped in Mexico’s colors propped up on the again of a pickup truck. Inside the coffin, was a skeleton sporting a Mexico package.

At present sitting fourth in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying desk and in position for a playoff against New Zealand to resolve whether or not they are going to attain Brazil, Mexico want a end result in opposition to second-place Costa Rica. Though the home side can’t catch the United States with only one match left to play, they’re only one point ahead of Honduras, who solely have final-place Jamaica left to play. Panama, who’re three points behind Mexico, should face the U.S. (if that is confusing, the total desk and breakdown might be seen here).

Mexico took an important three factors from their match on Friday against Panama with a spectacular late overhead kick from Raul Jimenez. If they fail to complete not less than fourth, then they may want to stay in Costa Rica and start new lives as something that doesn’t require business trips back to Mexico.

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U.S. ahead by 1 at delayed Presidents Cup

DUBLIN, Ohio – One other rain delay minimize brief some exceptional golf Friday in the Presidents Cup.

Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley shot 30 on the front 9 at Muirfield Village, an astounding efficiency in foursomes. Only some sloppy play allowed the match to go 15 holes in a four-and-3 win over Jason Day and Graham DeLaet.

“We have been down but, boy, on 5 we just turned it on and played a few of our greatest golf,” Mickelson stated.

Proper behind them, Brendon de Jonge started to emerge as a star of the International workforce. He teamed with Ernie Els and they never trailed in a 4-and-3 win over Hunter Mahan and Invoice Haas, going 8 beneath when the match ended on the fifteenth.

“This man, he performed lovely and we each played effectively right this moment,” Els said.

The Americans had a four½-3½ lead, although 4 matches had been still in progress when darkness descended on Muirfield Village.

For the second straight day, storms interrupted play and left a bleak outlook for finishing Sunday. Heavy rain – and the time it took to get small swimming pools of water out of the bunkers and fairways – led to a delay of almost three hours.

The opposite 4 matches – the Americans were up in two, the Worldwide led the other two – were to renew Saturday morning.

Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar were 6 below via eight holes and still only had a 1-up lead over Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel. Oosthuizen missed a short par putt on the ninth to lose one other hole, and the previous Open Championship winner made an excellent higher blunder on the par-3 twelfth. After Woods went long of the green, Oosthuizen’s 7-iron leaked to the appropriate and hopped into the water. The Individuals gained with a bogey and have been 3 up with six holes to play once they stopped.

Steve Stricker and 20-12 months-outdated Jordan Spieth finally seized control of their match when Spieth made a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-three eighth, and the Texan made one other key birdie on the twelfth. They had been three up with 4 holes remaining.

What appeared to be the decisive match of the foursomes session was Angel Cabrera and Marc Leishman, who overcame an early deficit and have been 1 up with 5 holes remaining towards Webb Simpson and Brandt Snedeker. The International workforce had control of the opposite match. Hideki Matsuyama and Adam Scott lost just one gap and had been 4 up with seven holes remaining towards Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner.

[+] EnlargePhil Mickelson and Keegan BradleyBrian Spurlock/USA AT PRESENT Sports activitiesPhil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley were plenty glad after securing some extent for the U.S. workforce on Friday.

Saturday is the busiest day for the Presidents Cup, with five fourballs matches early and five foursomes matches late. It concludes with 12 singles matches Sunday, though the forecast isn’t any higher, especially for Sunday.

One thing was becoming clear by way of the relentless look of clouds – the course Jack Nicklaus built has been groomed for birdies.

Nicklaus stood at the back of the press heart peering at the scoreboard, and he couldn’t consider the scores he saw from each side. “They are saying this golf course is tough,” Nicklaus mentioned, though he knows better. The greens are among the most pure on the PGA Tour, and they’re comfortable because of the rain. In match play, with 24 of the very best players from every continent except Europe, Muirfield Village does not stand much of a chance.

“They aren’t defending the course like they might do on a Sunday of the Memorial,” Els stated. “So they’re establishing the course where you can make some birdies in case you play correctly.”

It was an enormous change from two years in the past at fast, fiery and frightening Royal Melbourne. In eighty holes on Friday, there have been 51 birdies and two eagles. That is good for the fourballs format – not often for alternate shot.

“People need to see birdies,” Mickelson said. “We do not need to be taking part in protection. We want to be playing offense. And if you try this, you are winning holes due to nice photographs, not because of other’s mistakes. And I believe that’s exactly the way it needs to be in these staff events.”

Mickelson and Bradley, coming off their first loss in 4 matches as a staff, fell behind early and wanted a pair of huge putts from Bradley to keep from falling additional behind. It took a 15-foot eagle putt by Mickelson just to square the match on the par-5 fifth. However there was no stopping them from there. They adopted with three straight birdies and gained three straight holes on the again nine with pars.

Mickelson tried to hole out a pitch simply wanting the thirteenth inexperienced – an up-and-down was all he needed – and it hit the opening and spun 4 feet away. Bradley missed the par putt, bungled the 14th for an additional bogey and they halved the fifteenth with birdies.

Even so, they made six birdies and an eagle in 15 holes of alternate shot.

“I just suppose that when Phil and I get rolling in this alternate shot, we complement one another so nicely,” Bradley mentioned. “I think that we each really enjoy type of exhibiting off in entrance of one another.”

De Jonge and Els opened with two fast birdies via three holes and never gave Mahan and Haas a lot of an opportunity. They did not lose a single gap.

“Brendon performed awesome,” Els said. “He played nice yesterday. Actually, he even performed higher at this time.”

The Zimbabwean, in his first Presidents Cup, stated Els contributed in his own means.

“Do not let Ernie give me all of the credit,” de Jonge said. “He is by far probably the most calming affect I’ve ever been on the golf course with. It’s nice to play with a Hall of Famer who hits it in the course of the golf green and middle of the inexperienced. He makes it very straightforward.”

The conclusion of the second session might be pivotal for captain Nick Worth and his International crew, which has misplaced the last seven foursomes sessions on this occasion.



Scotland fans fill Trafalgar Square fountains with soap bubbles and beer ahead of England friendly

A Scotland fan stands in the fountain in Trafalgar Square forward of their worldwide pleasant match in opposition to England tonight on August 14, 2013 in London, England. Scotland and England will meet at..

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A Scotland fan stands within the fountain in Trafalgar Square forward of their international friendly match against England tonight on August 14, 2013 in London, England. Scotland and England will meet at Wembley stadium tonight for their first international in 14 years. (Photograph by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Thousands of Scottish followers overtook Trafalgar Square in London ahead of their friendly against England — the first match between the two sides in 14 years. Given the long wait, the event referred to as for a celebration, so the Scotland supporters placed on their kilts, grabbed their dish cleaning soap and took to the fountains.

According to The Mirror, 25,000 Scotland fans flocked to London to see the match. And celebration. This is a quote from one fan who made the journey:

“If we win, there will probably be a party. If we lose there might be an excellent greater party however it would have been after ninety minutes of inconvenience,” he mentioned.

“It would be candy if we may get something, a win, over England. It might be the perfect feeling in the world.

“We are passionate and we wish to party.”

As you’ll be able to see from the photos, they were having more fun than you at present before the match even started.

UPDATE: A Scotland fan has been arrested for dancing drunk and naked in the fountain. Yes, only one. To date.


Clint Dempsey follows Donovan’s lead, puts happiness ahead of strangers’ expectations


As Landon Donovan confirmed the benefits of putting his personal bodily and mental well being forward of the threat of harsh phrases from faceless critics with a Golden Boot successful performance on the Gold Cup, it turned out Clint Dempsey was additionally reassessing what’s most necessary to him. Lower than a month later, MLS as a whole and Seattle Sounders followers particularly received the lottery with a ticket they did not know they purchased when Dempsey was introduced as the club’s newest and biggest signing.

While still convulsing from the shock of the transfer, MLS supporters and scoffers trampled over one another to shout their disparate judgements from the tops of mountains (and through various social media accounts). This was each an undeniable show of the league’s pulsating strength and the loss of life knell of Clint Dempsey’s respectable profession. It was the United States reclaiming their greatest player from the clutches of those dastardly Europeans with their superior competitions and it was Clint Dempsey giving up. As antithetical and extreme as all of the snap conclusions had been, they had been all solely centered on Clint Dempsey the participant. Clint Dempsey the employee. Clint Dempsey the commodity.

But underneath all the handwringing and back patting and head shaking and excessive fiving of others, it was only a particular person, like most every different individual, who wanted himself and his household to be as happy as humanly attainable. And to achieve this, he felt it was mandatory to go back to residing in his native country.

The mixture of wealth and idolization and expectation of awe-inspiring ability fosters a weird form of resentment that causes too many fans and journalists to overlook that professional athletes are usually not simply chaste recreation items always on the service of the devoted. Their humanity is a constant nuisance to this ideally suited, but the expectation of selflessness and undying loyalty to the workforce, the fans, the sport and always needing to be more stays the norm. We do not root for individuals, we root for performers.

When Landon Donovan determined to depart Bayer Leverkusen and play in MLS early in his career because he was homesick, he was mocked and branded as weak. Homesick? An expert athlete homesick?! They are only allowed to feel sadness when they fail and happiness after they help their group. No different feelings, no different causes.

“People simply miss the purpose,” a 24-yr-previous Donovan informed ESPN before the 2006 World Cup. “I just wish to be joyful. If I’m comfortable, I can play with anybody on the earth. I could possibly be over there [Europe] and I may very well be profitable, but I’d by no means come near being as blissful as I am right here. Irrespective of how a lot better it might make me, it could never be worth it… Soccer is vital to me. It’s not every little thing to me.”

Despite the sensibility of those words, success in their work is still thought of the only acceptable source of an athlete’s happiness. And so when Clint Dempsey confronted the press for the first time as member of the Seattle Sounders, he first tried to explain himself in terms of work and loyalty and success.

“A few weeks in the past, the chance got here up where my agent requested me if [the transfer] have been something I would be inquisitive about,” Dempsey explained, losing his voice from the uncharacteristic amount of speaking he is had to do of late. “And I stated ‘for sure.’ I’ve all the time followed the league — it’s the league that gave me my chance to become professional and I wanted to have the ability to come again when I am in my prime and not when I’m past it to assist continue the growth of this league and of this membership.”

The need to return to MLS “in his prime” to help the league that gave him his begin is a stunning sentiment and it is probably an honest one. It is also a comparatively new one.

Before Dempsey spoke, Seattle general manager Adrian Hanauer began the press conference by telling his facet of the story: “Starting about two years [ago], I’d name the league or keep up a correspondence with Lyle Yorks, Clint’s agent, and inquire about Clint. And the answer was all the time ‘No likelihood. No likelihood, no likelihood, no likelihood.’ So each few months I’d name and get the identical reply. So about five weeks or so ago, there began to be some rumors from England that possibly Clint may very well be offered by Tottenham. We did not know if they had been rumors or if there was any validity to it, but it was an opportunity to select up the phone once more. I called Lyle once more and the reply was still ‘No likelihood.’ So we type of went on our means, assuming that that will continue to be the case. And then I’d say about two and half weeks ago, I acquired a name from Todd Durbin within the MLS workplace. Concurrently the commissioner was reaching out to [Sounders proprietor] Joe Roth and the message was ‘there might be an opportunity.’ ”

Going from a chorus of “no probability” to signing with Seattle in a matter of days is a drastic change that probably wasn’t prompted by a sudden want to HELP MLS PROPER NOW! He nonetheless had two years left on a take care of Spurs that he simply signed final summer season. After first attempting to power a move from Fulham to Liverpool earlier than selecting Tottenham. He went from being a star at a smaller club to a supporting part at a much bigger one and still he was just barely missing out on the Champions League soccer he tried to engineer his 2012 switch to succeed in. At 30-years-previous — two years youthful than a “past-it” David Beckham was when he joined MLS — it had grow to be clear within the last 12 months that he in all probability reached as excessive as he may climb in the hierarchy of European football. And, along the way, he proved himself to be one of the best American outfield player ever in the Premier League.

But Dempsey needed to scratch some bellies earlier than he could get to the primary reasons. The personal causes. The issues that guide everyone’s major life choices that athletes must fake they depart for last. If he started by saying that, as Sports activities Illustrated’s Grant Wahl reported, he was getting an MLS file base salary of $6.86 million a yr (David Beckham got $6.5 million plus a share of ticket and jersey gross sales), he would be labeled a greedy, soulless mercenary. If he started by saying he missed home, he would’ve gotten a taste of the Landon Donovan therapy, albeit tempered by his accomplishments.

So with the sincere niceties and selflessness groundwork laid down, Dempsey slipped in his deeper thoughts before tempering it with extra work speak.

“I had two extra years on my contract. I was already beginning to get the itch, to be honest with you. I wanted to come back back to the States. I simply missed being in America. That’s the place I used to be born. And uh, you know, I needed to assist continue the expansion of the game.”

Landon Donovan took four months off from the sport final winter for bodily and mental exhaustion. He thought-about retirement. He needed a break. He was called disloyal. He was called egocentric. He was once more referred to as weak.

No one who stated this stuff knew or notably cared about Landon Donovan the person, simply Landon Donovan the participant. Landon Donovan the commodity. When he was confirmed proper to step away by coming again and taking part in extremely properly, leading the U.S. to their first Gold Cup title since 2007, he was only doing what was anticipated of him. Although many people failed to acknowledge that Donovan was right to do what he knew was best for him despite widespread perceptions, Clint Dempsey appears to have taken it as inspiration.

“I feel everybody has the suitable to their opinion and what they assume is finest for the longer term,” he said. “Whether or not that’s with the nationwide team, whether or not that’s to your profession and also you additionally should do the same for your self. All people is their very own man. And it’s not something I made a rapid determination on. I really thought of it and I actually had numerous conversations with my mother and my dad. My brothers and my spouse. I simply really feel that it was the best time.”

“I had two extra years there, but I have been in Europe for six and a half years and I simply…I wanted to return dwelling. I was beginning to get that itch. Every year was harder to go back and I believe every thing simply has to do with timing.”

“[Seattle is] the perfect place to be to do the things you want to do on and off the field. I stay up for elevating my household here. That was an enormous thing. Having the ability to have my youngsters raised here within the States and have some of the same experiences that I had. Like tee-ball and all that kind of stuff. So I simply stay up for that and look forward to getting started. Getting on the sector.”

But the sphere comes second. It’s essential, but it surely’s not the whole lot.


Allen a record five ahead at U.S. Senior Open

(Reuters) – American Michael Allen seized control of the U.S. Senior Open in commanding fashion on Friday, eagling the par-five 14th on the way to a record five-shot lead after the second round at Omaha Country Club in Omaha, Nebraska.

Counting himself lucky to be playing professional sport for a living instead of working in the “real world”, Allen fired a dazzling seven-under-par 63 on the hilly layout to break clear of a congested leaderboard with a 10-under total of 130.

Rocco Mediate, who lost a playoff to Tiger Woods for the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines, was alone in second after carding a 67, with fellow American Jeff Sluman (also 67) a further stroke back at four under.

Only nine players in the field of 153 ended the round under par after 36 holes, among them overnight co-leader Kenny Perry who followed his opening 67 with a 73 to sit joint 10th, with Fred Couples (69) and Tom Watson (70) among others.

Allen, who clinched his first major title in his debut on the over-50s Champions Tour at the 2009 Senior PGA Championship, took control on a hot and breezy day at Omaha Country Club with his lowest score on the U.S. circuit this year.

One of seven players tied for the lead after the opening round, Allen surged ahead with five birdies in the first eight holes to reach the turn in five-under 30.

Though he dropped his only shot of the day at the par-four 12th, he immediately responded with a birdie at the 13th before sinking a long-range eagle putt on the 14th green to maintain his stranglehold at the top of the leaderboard.

“It was one of those days I guess that’s why you shoot 63, because a few things were really going right for me,” Allen, 54, told ESPN.

Asked to explain his late golfing renaissance with four victories in the senior ranks after failing to win a single title on the PGA Tour where he competed in more than 350 events, Allen replied: “I’ll make it short.

“When I quit playing after seven years on (the PGA) Tour, you go back and try and work in the real world and you see how hard the real world really is.

“So it’s that perspective that really changes things. I realize I really enjoy being out here. I am blessed to be able to do this and have an opportunity, especially at this age.”

Allen’s five-stroke lead after 36 holes is the largest in the event’s 34-year history.

Englishman Roger Chapman, who won last year’s U.S. Senior Open by two strokes in Lake Orion, Michigan, was among those who missed the cut which fell at five-over 145.

“Just played rubbish,” Chapman said after battling to a 76. “Drove the ball terrible. Had one birdie. That’s it.

“I hit it okay on the practice ground, and just it’s a mental block now. Just can’t hit a fairway. If you can’t hit a fairway out here, you can’t score. Simple as that.”

(Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes in Los Angeles; Editing by Peter Rutherford)


Looking ahead to college football: Week 13′s five games to watch

(Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports) The college football offseason is long and arduous, but its end is almost in sight. We’re going to take a look at five games you have to look forward to for every weekend of the season. (This is also a handy guide to decide how to RSVP for any autumn weddings.)

All times are Eastern and all games are played on Saturday unless otherwise noted. This week is “Rest up for your rivalries week,” so a lot of teams (Hello Florida, Florida State, Clemson, South Carolina and Alabama) are taking it easy with cupcake opponents.

These games are played the weekend of November 23.

Texas A&M at LSU (TBD) – Kevin Sumlin’s team dropped two SEC games last year: the opener to Florida and a mid-October 24-19 home loss to the Bayou Bengals. The Aggies led 12-0 before the LSU defense started to go to work, forcing five turnovers and not allowing Manziel to throw or run for a single touchdown. On the plus side for A&M, a lot of really talented players from last season’s LSU defense are now in the NFL. On the minus side, instead of the friendly confines of Kyle Field, they have to travel to Death Valley, their first trip to Baton Rouge since 1994. If the Aggie season is going as predicted – they could easily be 9-1 or 10-0 at this point – the atmosphere is going to be amazing.
Oregon at Arizona (TBD) – A trip to Autzen was Rich Rodriguez’s first Pac-12 game last year, and while the Wildcats came in 3-0 and feeling pretty good they were quickly brought down to earth, getting waylaid 49-to-zip. Will the Arizona defense that returns all of its starters be able to improve on last year’s effort, or will they simply be more experienced at watching De’Anthony Thomas run past them? And after shockingly getting shut out, will Year Two of the Rodriguez spread offense in Tucson prove more effective against the Ducks this time around?

Can Bryce Petty fill the talented shoes of RG3 and Nick Florence? (Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports) Baylor at Oklahoma State (TBD) – I wonder if Art Briles is happy with how the Big 12 schedule ended up breaking for the Bears. On one hand, it would take a couple big upsets for Baylor to go into November worse than 6-1. On the other, their closing stretch is absolutely brutal, as they face Oklahoma, Texas Tech (in Arlington), travel to Oklahoma State and TCU before closing with Texas at home. New quarterback Bryce Petty (there are other options, but every Baylor preview I read has him as the starter) will presumably be comfortable at the controls, but this trip to Stillwater comes in the middle of an incredibly rough stretch. Last year, Baylor won this matchu up 41-34, ending a six-game Cowboys win streak.

Arizona State at UCLA (TBD) – If you are under the impression that there is no true favorite in the Pac-12 South and that it is instead a likely round robin of death between USC, these two teams and possibly Arizona, then this is a huge game. Last year’s edition was 45-43 classic, with the Sun Devils taking a one-point lead with 1:33 remaining only to watch Brett Hundley set up a game-winning field goal that was went through as time expired. If this game is half as fun as that one – which featured a whopping 50 combined second-half points – we’re in for a treat.

Vanderbilt at Tennessee (TBD) – Derek Dooley was fired as head coach on Rocky Top for a number of reasons, but it certainly didn’t help last year was only the second time in three decades that the Commodores have knocked off the Volunteers. What made it worse is that it wasn’t particularly close in the second half, as a 13-10 halftime lead for Tennessee turned into a 41-18 loss. New coach Butch Jones has fans and recruits fired up on speeches and sales pitches, but a victory over their surging instate rival would be tangible evidence that things are getting back to normal in Knoxville.

Other games considered:

Washington at Oregon State (TBD) – Two teams that should just be very solid in 2013 but have a minimal chance of competing for a league title unless something unexpected happens to both Oregon and Stanford.

BYU at Notre Dame (TBD) Last year’s 14-10 Irish win was less “football game” and more “bored child smashing rocks together while he’s ‘helping’ his parents landscape.” Two of the finest defenses in the land last year square off again, and barring a drastic burst by either offense, points will be hard to come by.

Boise State at San Diego State (10:30 p.m., CBS Sports) – We’re going to need to come up with a Twitter hashtag for these late-night Mountain West games. You might laugh at them now, but they’re going to be quality teams with a late enough start time you can try to recoup your gambling losses from earlier in the day.

Northern Illinois at Toledo (8:00 p.m., ESPN2, Wednesday) – Primetime Jordan Lynch #MACtion! The Rockets are at home and return a bunch of nice pieces on offense, so they should make a capable foil for the Huskies quarterback.

Indiana at Ohio State (TBD) – Last year Indiana only lost this game 52-49. Yes, that was at home and this is on the road, and yes, Ohio State is probably going to be a lot better, but I just feel like this should be noted.

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Related coverage on Yahoo! Sports:
• Urban Meyer denies turning in Florida for recruiting violation
• Digger Phelps’ bladder cancer is in remission
• Kevin Sumlin up for the challenge of coping with Texas A&M’s success


Offseason Extra: Third-year WRs for 2013


FantasySports_ledeTorrey Smith doesn’t expect to become a star just because this will be his third season in the NFL. But the Ravens receiver is hoping his third year leads to a breakout campaign.

“I keep hearing about it,” Smith said in an interview with about the third-year receiver theory. “I hope it’s right. I don’t look at it that something magically happens. I just have to keep going out and do what I’ve been doing the past two years.”

Smith has been good but not great during his first two seasons, but this could be the year his production improves. It’s a combination of opportunity (Anquan Boldin is gone) and experience, and Smith could be in line for a standout year.

He is one of several receivers from the Class of 2011 poised to have a breakout season. Many pundits might downplay the third-year receiver theory, but every year we have examples of receivers taking the next step at this point in their career.

Last season, Dez Bryant, Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker all had monster years in their third season. While those might be obvious — Bryant was destined for stardom and Thomas and Decker inherited Peyton Manning in 2012 — we also got breakout years from Danario Alexander, Andre Roberts and Golden Tate.

That doesn’t mean every third-year receiver will shine. It also doesn’t mean every rookie or sophomore receiver will struggle, and two members from this class in A.J. Green and Julio Jones might find it hard to improve on past performance. But the third season for a receiver has been when breakouts tend to happen.

The theory is based on players at the position having a breakout campaign after two full seasons in the NFL. What some receivers have said is it takes at least two years to develop. They have to learn how to hone their craft, develop a rapport with their quarterback and also understand defenses better.

Some of the best receivers in the NFL, past and present, have had a breakout year in their third season, including Roddy White, Reggie Wayne, Greg Jennings, Steve Johnson, Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin, Cris Carter, Terrell Owens and Keyshawn Johnson. Over the years I’ve had the chance to speak with many receivers about this theory and gotten many different responses.

Carter said “there are so many things you have to learn” to play receiver, and it takes “three to five years to understand the position.” Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice told me that in his third season he finally “felt comfortable.” As Rice said, in his third year he “finally knew what to do.”

But not all receivers believe in the theory. Carolina receiver Steve Smith told me that even though he had his first dominant season in his third year, he said that’s because it was the first year he got to play offense after spending two seasons on special teams. He said it had nothing to do with his service time in the league.

Smith called the third-year receiver theory “a myth.” He added that “if you have a good player and a baller there, that’s going to happen, no matter what year it is.”

Smith is correct that your time in the league is not a direct correlation to your success, but there is still a skill that needs to develop with receivers, which likely takes two years. It may not lead to a breakout performance, but some players from this class will emerge, with the leading candidates likely Torrey Smith, Denarius Moore and Greg Little. Jones and Randall Cobb should also see an uptick in production, and Green is the only star of this class who might not dramatically improve since he was a standout as a sophomore.

Still, you should plan on targeting as many of these receivers as possible — from Jones and Cobb with early-round selections to Little or Vincent Brown with a late-round pick — since you never know who the next breakout could be.

A look ahead..

Here is a look at the Class of 2011. It will be hard for some receivers — like the guys in Category 1 — to improve in their third year, and not everyone on this list is due for a breakout season. But don’t be surprised if someone we didn’t mention comes out of nowhere this year to be a star.

Category 1

These are the third-year receivers who have already had at least one big season with 150 Fantasy points in a year. It will be difficult for them to have another breakout campaign, but they can still be successful Fantasy options.

If Green takes a statistical leap this season then he will challenge Calvin Johnson for the No. 1 receiver spot based on his performance last year when he had 97 catches for 1,350 yards and 11 touchdowns. He’s trending in the right direction as he improved in catches, yards and touchdowns from Year 1 to Year 2, but it will be hard for him to improve on what he did last year. The good thing is he isn’t expected to fall off from his stats in 2012, and he could easily be the second-best receiver in the NFL this season.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: 15-22 overall

Like Green, Jones made solid strides during his sophomore campaign and also improved in catches, yards and touchdowns. He finished last year with 79 catches for 1,198 yards and 10 touchdowns, and he should be able to do more this season. Teammate Roddy White told me Jones is just scratching the surface on his talent. “What he’s done so far, we expected him to do that,” White said. “We want him to dominate. Every week I tell him that’s not enough. Whatever he does, I tell him it’s not enough. You can do more. As long as we can keep him like that and keep him hungry, we’ll be fine.”
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: 18-22 overall

Cobb had a breakout year in 2012, but he could still improve statistically this season. He had 80 catches for 954 yards and eight touchdowns last year and 10 carries for 132 yards, but with Greg Jennings gone we could see Cobb’s receiving numbers go up. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers said 100 catches for Cobb is realistic, and coach Mike McCarthy told me he has high expectations for Cobb. “Last year was really the year we tried to tailor some things to him, and he responded in an excellent way. That will be like that this year,” McCarthy said. “He’s a very good football player, and I think he’s going to be an excellent player for us for a long time.”
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: 25-32 overall

Category 2

These are the third-year receivers on the verge of becoming stars who have had at least one season with 100 Fantasy points in a year.

Shorts likely had his breakout campaign in 2012 when he emerged out of nowhere to catch 55 passes for 979 yards and seven touchdowns. The end of his season was marred by concussions (yes, multiple), which is something to monitor, but he was a standout Fantasy receiver last year with double digits in Fantasy points in nine games. The Jaguars still have quarterback issues, and Shorts could easily be a one-year wonder, but if you draft him in the right spot he could be a serviceable reserve with the chance to start in deeper formats.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: 65-73 overall

Smith is now the clear-cut No. 1 receiver for the Ravens with Boldin gone, and it’s time for him to step up his performance. His stats have been nearly identical the first two years — 50 catches, 850 yards and seven touchdowns — but he has the best chance to be a third-year breakout. And he knows it. “I’m improving every day,” Smith said. “It’s all about consistency. I was saying the same thing last year. Being consistent in my technique. Being consistent with everything. I grew in that way. Now it’s about being consistent on offense.” Smith should be drafted as a No. 3 receiver, but he could definitely be a Top 20 receiver or better by the end of the year.
Expected ADP in seasonal formats: 68-77 overall

The Raiders passing game will have a different look this season with

Carson Palmer

gone along with

Darrius Heyward-Bey


Brandon Myers

. We’ll find out who the new quarterback will be in training camp out of

Matt Flynn


Terrelle Pryor

or rookie

Tyler Wilson

, but whoever wins the job should target Moore as much as possible. He is the clear-cut No. 1 option in the passing game, and we hope he can build off his stats from 2012. He finished the year with 51 catches for 741 yards and seven touchdowns, but he never materialized as a must-start Fantasy option. Part of the problem was he scored six of his seven touchdowns in his first 11 games, and he had only one 100-yard outing. But Moore now has the chance to shine this year, and he looks like a No. 3 Fantasy receiver with upside. Moore will likely be a late-round selection in the majority of leagues, but he has the potential to have a breakout season.

Expected ADP in seasonal formats:

110-117 overall

Category 3

These are the third-year receivers poised for an improved season with the potential to reach at least the 100 Fantasy point range this year.

Little showed plenty of promise as a rookie in 2011 with 61 catches for 709 yards and two touchdowns, but he regressed last season with only his touchdowns (four) improving. He is not the No. 1 option in Cleveland with

Josh Gordon

the top receiver, but Little could play big this year under new coach Rob Chudzinski and offensive coordinator Norv Turner. Little has to cut down on the drops, but this could be a year where he lives up to his potential. He could be a key Fantasy reserve with the chance to develop into a starting option in deeper leagues.

Expected ADP in seasonal formats:


This is technically Brown’s third season, but he missed his second year after sitting out with a broken left ankle. We’re still hoping for a breakout campaign, and he has the chance for a big role in the Chargers offense this year. As a rookie in 2011, Brown had 19 catches for 329 yards and two touchdowns in a limited role. Since the Chargers need help at receiver this season, Brown could contribute right away behind starters

Danario Alexander


Malcom Floyd

and in a competition with rookie

Keenan Allen

. He is worth a late-round flier in all leagues, and we hope Brown comes back strong this year after missing his sophomore season.

Expected ADP in seasonal formats:


Morgan is the only undrafted player mentioned here, but he has the chance for an increased role now that

Devery Henderson

is gone. Morgan missed his rookie season with a knee injury and had just 10 catches for 379 yards and three touchdowns last year, but he’s a deep threat in a vertical offense with an elite quarterback in

Drew Brees

. There will be a lot of down games when he doesn’t score, but if he’s third on the depth chart behind

Marques Colston


Lance Moore

with the ability to burn defenders (he averaged 37.9 yards per catch) he could be worth a late-round flier in standard leagues.

Expected ADP in seasonal formats:


Hankerson was a disappointment last season when a lot of Fantasy owners expected him to contribute in his second year. He only had 38 catches for 543 yards and three touchdowns despite

Pierre Garcon

dealing with injuries, and he was outplayed by

Santana Moss

. This year, there are much lower expectations for Hankerson, but he might surprise you. Garcon (chest) is dealing with an injury this offseason, and

Josh Morgan

and Moss are not that inspiring. The health of quarterback

Robert Griffin III

(knee) is also a factor with Hankerson, but he’s someone to monitor as the season goes on since he won’t be drafted in most formats.

Expected ADP in seasonal formats:


Category 4

These are the third-year receivers who could make an impact in deeper leagues, but they need a lot of help to be successful in standard Fantasy formats. They are not worth drafting this year but are worth monitoring in case they do step up in this pivotal season.

Jon Baldwin, Chiefs
Tandon Doss, Ravens
Dwayne Harris, Cowboys
Jerrel Jernigan, Giants
Jeremy Kerley, Jets

Baldwin could easily make the biggest leap of this group, but he could open training camp at No. 4 on the depth chart behind Dwayne Bowe, Donnie Avery and Dexter McCluster. He’s also underperformed through two years and has a lot to prove. Harris and Kerley could be the No. 3 receiver for the Cowboys and Jets, respectively, but both have issues. Harris will face tough competition from rookie Terrance Williams for the job, and Kerley has limited talent at quarterback. Jernigan will get a boost if Victor Cruz has a lengthy holdout, but he’s No. 4 on the depth chart for the Giants behind Hakeem Nicks, Cruz and Rueben Randle if everyone is healthy. As for Doss, the Ravens have a hole at No. 2 receiver, but Doss seems behind Smith, Jacoby Jones, Tommy Streeter and Deonte Thompson heading into training camp, which will limit his value. Still, if he wins the job or even the No. 3 role he could end up as a waiver wire addition for Fantasy owners.

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