November 17, 2020

UC Riverside looks to sweep CS Fullerton

first_imgUC Riverside looks to sweep CS Fullerton Associated Press SENIOR STUDS: Cal State Fullerton has relied heavily on its seniors this year. Jackson Rowe, Austen Awosika, Brandon Kamga and Davon Clare have collectively accounted for 64 percent of the team’s scoring this year and 77 percent of all Titans points over the last five games.RAMPING IT UP: The Titans have scored 72 points per game against conference opponents so far, an improvement from the 59.5 per game they recorded against non-conference competition.JUMPING FOR JACKSON: Rowe has connected on 41.7 percent of the 48 3-pointers he’s attempted and has gone 8 for 17 over the last five games. He’s also converted 71.4 percent of his free throws this season.PERFECT WHEN: UC Riverside is a perfect 13-0 when its defense holds opponents to a field goal percentage of 41.1 percent or less. The Highlanders are 1-9 when allowing opponents to shoot any better than that.ASSIST-TO-FG RATIO: The Titans have recently gotten buckets via assists more often than the Highlanders. Cal State Fullerton has an assist on 45 of 80 field goals (56.3 percent) over its past three contests while UC Riverside has assists on 44 of 83 field goals (53 percent) during its past three games.DID YOU KNOW: The UC Riverside defense has allowed only 61.5 points per game to opponents, which is the 21st-best mark in the country. The Cal State Fullerton offense has put up just 66.7 points through 23 games (ranked 262nd among Division I teams). ___For more AP college basketball coverage: and was generated by Automated Insights,, using data from STATS LLC, https://www.stats.comcenter_img Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditUC Riverside (14-9, 4-3) vs. Cal State Fullerton (8-15, 3-5)Titan Gym, Fullerton, California; Wednesday, 10 p.m. ESTBOTTOM LINE: UC Riverside goes for the season sweep over Cal State Fullerton after winning the previous matchup in Riverside. The teams last played on Jan. 11, when the Highlanders shot 36.4 percent from the field en route to a six-point victory. February 4, 2020last_img read more

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Golden Jaguars ready to roar against ‘Soca Warriors’ tonight in Couva

first_img(Analysis provided by Santokie Nagulendra/, at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, Trinidad, Guyana’s Golden Jaguars, the country’s senior national football team, will do battle against the ‘Soca Warriors’ in an official FIFA International Friendly.On November 11, 2011 at the Guyana National Stadium, the ‘Golden Jaguars roared to a 2-1 win over the ‘Soca Warriors’ to end the Twin Island Republic’s 2014 World Cup hopes, and, at the time, created history by reaching, for the first time, the penultimate round of the CONCACAF leg of the qualifiers.Tonight’s match will be the 21st meeting between the two countries in the sport, with the first being in 1978. The ‘Soca Warriors’ have won 14 of those meetings, while four matches ended in a draw. Guyana’s last victory was on November 11, 2011 and their first was a 4-0 win in the Island’s capital.Interim head coach Wayne Dover’s 18-man squad includes three TT Pro League players – goalkeepers Akil Clarke (North East Stars) and Andrew Durant (San Juan Jabloteh) and striker Sheldon Holder (Morvant Caledonia United).The Guyana team, who are ranked 165th in the world by FIFA, are led by versatile defender Sam Cox, a 27-year-old former Tottenham Hotspur Academy player who now plies his trade for Wealdstone FC in England’s National League South.Terence Vancooten, a 19-year-old defender, is also in the squad and he is a talent to watch, being the only member of the England-based contingent to feature in England’s Football League, where he plays for Stevenage FC in League 2.Guyana’s biggest threat, attacking midfielder Neil Danns, misses the game for unspecified reasons. That will be a massive blow for the team because the Bury FC player dominates the midfield when he plays and has proved to be a very dominant player on the CFU stage.However, Warren Creavalle, another powerful midfielder who features in the MLS for Philadelphia Union, has been called up to the squad after missing Guyana’s last game versus Grenada through injury. His availability is a big boost to the team.The squad includes Kadell Daniel, a pacy winger, who is arguably Guyana’s trump card. Having recently found form for Dover Athletic in England’s National League, he is set to make his debut for the Senior Team after having played for the Under-23 Olympic squad in 2015.Trinidadian fans will know all about Gregory Richardson, the former Joe Public striker who famously scored a hat-trick against MLS side New England Revolution in 2008. Now 35 years old, Richardson is no longer the lethal marksman he once was but he does still have an air of unpredictability about him when he plays.Richardson will most likely feature from the bench, with former MLS striker Emery Welshman, a clever striker whose injury-plagued career so far has yet to see him truly reach his potential, almost a certainty to start up front.Goalkeepers: Akil Clarke (North East Stars FC), Andrew Durant (San Juan Jabloteh FC);Defenders: Christopher Bourne (Islington Admiral United FC, England), Jake Newton (Walton & Hersham FC, England), Jelani Smith (Sigma FC, Canada), Samuel Cox (Wealdstone FC, England), Terence Vancooten (Stevenage FC, England).Midfielders: Brandon Beresford (Rochester Rhinos FC-USA), Warren Creavalle (Philadelphia Union USA), Dwain Jacobs (Police FC, Guyana), Anthony Benfield (Alpha United FC, Guyana), Kadell Daniel (Dover Athletic FC, England), Daniel Jodah (Sigma FC, Canada).Forwards: Shaquille Agard (Durham United FC, Canada), Emery Welshman (Puerto Rico Islanders, USA), Sheldon Holder (Caledonia), Gregory Richardson (Pele FC, Guyana), Devonte Small (Reynir FC, Iceland).last_img read more

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USC past midway point of Pac-12 season

first_imgWith eight games to go in conference play, No. 4 USC is at a crossroads: Should the team take its foot off the gas until the NCAA tournament or go pedal to the metal and try to run the table in the Pac-12? USC head coach Mick Haley hopes to find a happy medium as his team heads into the final month of the season.“November is a critical month,” Haley said. “We want to be as good as we can be. We need to keep getting better. We have to take it one game at a time and we’re working on some new and different things.”USC’s first match in November was against Cal last Friday evening. In that match, the Women of Troy (20-3, 10-2) saw their offense open up in new ways and ended up winning in four sets. Sophomore outside hitter Samantha Bricio recorded five service aces in the match to go with 25 total points and four total blocks, while senior libero Natalie Hagglund stole the show on defense with 36 digs. Both players went on to win Pac-12 Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week honors, respectively.Next on USC’s radar will be their conference foes from the state of Oregon. The Women of Troy will take on the unranked Oregon Ducks this Friday before turning around to play the unranked Beavers of Oregon State on Sunday morning at the Galen Center. When USC last met with these opponents, they swept both matches on the road. This time around, they will need to be wary of falling into a trap against teams who are better than their records might indicate.“Practice this week is going to be really important,” Hagglund said. “Doing all the little things and being able to execute is going to be really big. Oregon has some really good players; they have an All-American setter and outside hitter. But we really have to focus on ourselves. If we focus on us, we’ll be okay.”Hagglund — herself a 2012 All-American — is referring to Oregon setter Lauren Plum and outside hitter Alaina Bergsma, the two most prominent players on a very talented Oregon roster. Since the teams last squared off, the Ducks (13-9, 6-6 Pac-12) have split six matches, winning three and losing three.Resiliency will have to be the key for the Women of Troy. The Ducks often win matches in sweeps and are rarely swept when they lose, usually managing to clinch one or two sets before succombing to defeat.Oregon State (9-14, 0-12), on the other hand, is having an extremely rough season in conference play. The Beavers have not won a match against a Pac-12 opponent, and their home loss to USC on Oct. 11 was just one of their 12 conference losses this season.Friday’s match against the Ducks will begin at 7 p.m. at the Galen Center and will not be broadcast. Sunday will present the Women of Troy with a rare morning matchup, as they will take on the Beavers at 11 a.m. at the Galen Center; the match against Oregon State will be broadcast on Pac-12 Networks. Follow Kurt on Twitter @legen_daryKurtlast_img read more

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Women of Troy defeat Santa Clara 81-46 at home

first_imgCareer night · Redshirt junior guard Jordan Adams led the Women of Troy with a career-high 21 points and 12 rebounds in USC’s 81-46 win over Santa Clara on Monday night. The Trojans are 2-0. – Mariya Dondonyan | Daily TrojanIn their second game of the season, the Women of Troy beat Santa Clara by a score of  81-46 Monday night at the Galen Center.The team never fell behind the Gaels, and at one point boasted a 45-point lead over a team that could not stop the Trojans’ offensive onslaught.Redshirt junior guard Jordan Adams led the team in both scoring and rebounds, hitting eight of her 13 shots to score 21 points. Adams also hit three three-pointers in a game that she dominated in scoring and rebounding.Adams secured 12 rebounds on her way to the double-double. The game was Adams’s second straight double-double of the season. She also tied her career high in points.Three other Trojans notched double digits in scoring during Monday night’s matchup. Harvard graduate transfer Temi Fagbenle recorded her first double-digit scoring as a Trojan with 17 points.Freshman Aliyah Mazyck put another 14 points in the book for USC, and sophomore Kristen Simon added 11 points to go along with seven rebounds.The Trojans’ offense was unstoppable in part because of how many players were able to find the basket for USC. Both Adams and Mazyck were in double digits before the first half was over.The flow of the game was severely affected by the number of foul calls in a game in which each team was called for 27 fouls. The Trojans scored more points from the freethrow line than the field in the first quarter, and the team’s final nine points of the half also came from the stripe.By halftime, the Women of Troy were leading 48-17 behind 7-0 and 11-0 runs in the first and second quarters respectively.The offensive firepower did not stop for the Women of Troy after halftime, however, and the team opened with a 15-0 run. USC maintained their lead with the third period closing on a 67-31 score in favor of the Trojans.USC was outscored in the fourth quarter giving up 15 points while only scoring 14.The team will have nearly a week to rest and prepare for their next matchups as part of the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Challenge in Spokane, Washington. To open the holiday season, the team will have a Sunday afternoon game against Grand Canyon, a Monday night game against West Virginia, and a Tuesday night game against Gonzaga.last_img read more

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Syracuse falls in last game of Bubly Invitational to No. 3 Florida

first_img Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 24, 2019 at 2:59 pm Contact Adam: | @_adamhillmancenter_img In its previous three games against ranked opponents this season, SU mustered only seven hits. In the fourth, Syracuse (4-9) tallied six but only scored two runs in an 8-2 loss to No. 3 Florida (17-0). The Orange threatened in the first inning after loading the bases with no outs. Yet, after sophomore Gabby Teran was thrown out at home, senior Hannah Dossett and sophomore Alex Acevedo struck out, leaving SU scoreless. On the first at bat in the bottom of the first, Florida junior Amanda Lorenz launched a homerun to center field.The next inning, the Gators added two more runs with a two-out single from junior Kendyl Lindaman.Through three innings, sophomore Sophie Dandola had allowed five runs. She finished the full six innings, conceding six earned runs on eight hits and five walks. Dandola had only allowed eight earned runs in her previous seven appearances for the Orange. The Orange wouldn’t score until the sixth inning when Dossett drove in sophomore Neli Casares-Maher. Junior Toni Martin added another in the seventh after senior Alicia Hansen’s single.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThis was the final game for the Orange in the Bubly Invitational. The Orange finished 2-3 with two losses to the host Gators and one to Florida A&M. The Orange will be back in action on Friday, March 1 in Stillwater, Oklahoma against Seattle University in the OSU/Tulsa invitational. last_img read more

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Vijender Singh vs Charles Adamu live streaming details, venue, time and updates

first_img FOLLOW US Written By Also Read- Ind Vs Ban First Test: When And Where To Watch Live Telecast And Online StreamingVijender Singh vs Charles Adamu live streaming detailsYou can experience the thrilling match live on the official YouTube page of IFLTV at 9:00 PM IST on November 22. Top Rank’s official website is also broadcasting the fight for people living out of India under the PPV scheme.Also Read- UFC 244: Where To Watch, Schedule And Live Streaming DetailsVijender Singh vs Charles Adamu’s last fights comparisonCharles Adamu faced four back-to-back losses until he met David Okai in February this year. Adamu knocked out Okai and ended his win drought before stepping in the ring against Vijender Singh tonight. However, Adamu feels that he has fought more men in his life than Vijender Singh and he can use his experience to defeat the Indian tonight.Vijender Singh has fought against 11 men in his boxing career and he has defeated them all. The multiple time bronze medallist at the Olympic Games started his journey in American boxing with the promotion, Top Rank last year. He made his presence felt as the Indian knocked out Mike Snyder cold with Charles Adamu ahead as his second opponent. WATCH US LIVE Will be fighting against Charles Adamu of Ghana at Caesars Palace on 22nd November in Dubai.Time to make India proud again.@trboxing @IOSBoxing@mtkglobal 👊— Vijender Singh (@boxervijender) November 18, 2019 Indian star boxer Vijender Singh is going to square-off against former middleweight champion Charles Adamu at the Caesars Palace Arena, Dubai on Friday, November 22. Vijender Singh is coming off straight from a sensational knockout victory in his debut in American boxing and he claims to be confident about defeating Adamu on Friday night and the fight will be telecast live and exclusive on SONY TEN 1 channels, 9:00 PM onwards. Vijender Singh currently holds an undefeated boxing record of 11-0 while the deadly boxer from Ghana, Charles Adamu has faced 14 defeats along with 32 wins in his career. The event is titled “Rotunda Rumble 2” and it will also feature boxing gladiators like the top-ranked WBO World Super Lightweight Jack Catterall and the No.4 ranked bantamweight boxer, Thomas Patrick Ward. WE RECOMMEND 9 months ago Ind vs Ban first Test: When and where to watch live telecast and online streaming 10 months ago Tottenham vs Sheffield United live streaming details, where to watch 9 months ago KGF actor Yash praises MS Dhoni, calls former Indian skipper ‘his inspiration’ Raj Sarkar LIVE TV Last Updated: 22nd November, 2019 17:25 IST Vijender Singh Vs Charles Adamu Live Streaming Details, Venue, Time And Updates The undefeated Indian Vijender Singh is going to fight Charles Adamu tonight. Know where to watch the fight, time, venue and comparison of both the boxers here. First Published: 22nd November, 2019 14:46 IST Also Read- Tottenham Vs Sheffield United Live Streaming Details, Where To WatchAlso Read- UFC: Nate Diaz Roasted By Former British Champion With Mike Tyson Reference Post UFC 244 10 months ago UFC 244: Where to watch, schedule and live streaming details SUBSCRIBE TO US COMMENT 9 months ago UFC: Nate Diaz roasted by former British champion with Mike Tyson reference post UFC 244last_img read more

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Iowa Democratic Party chair to resign after Caucus reporting mess

first_imgDear Members of the Iowa Democratic Party State Central Committee,Serving as Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party has been one of the greatest honors of my life.When I took over this party, we were still reeling from a bruising 2016 election cycle. Many people locally and across the country believed that Democrats in Iowa were dead, and that we would never see victories again.Over the course of 2017 and 2018, I was so proud to work with the members of our state central committee, our county chairs, activists, and volunteers to build real momentum across the state. In the end, we proved the naysayers wrong by flipping seven seats in the Iowa House, winning three statewide seats, and winning three of four congressional seats – sending the first women from Iowa to the House in the process.While we could have rested on our laurels, we got back to work. Over the last 15 months, Democrats across the state came together to build out our 2020 caucuses. Our amazing staff fanned out across the state to build infrastructure in all 99 counties – even in places where local parties had gone dormant or didn’t exist at all. We worked to implement sweeping changes to our process that increased accessibility and participation for Iowans across the state and the globe.By all accounts, the precinct and satellite caucus meetings themselves went well. Over the last week, we have received positive feedback on these meetings – how smoothly they ran, how the new procedures helped to make the night move more quickly and efficiently, and how more Democrats of all backgrounds came together united in the goal of defeating Donald Trump and electing new leadership for our country.However, there is no doubt that the process of reporting results did not work. It was simply unacceptable. It is why I called for an independent review of the decisions and processes that lead to this failure. While this process is just beginning, know that the IDP is not the only party to blame for what happened last week. We worked collaboratively with our partners, our vendors, and the DNC in this process, and I am confident the review will be able to determine exactly what went wrong, what went right, and how we can avoid this from ever happening again.In the days following the caucuses, our staff worked under immense pressure to produce a complete report of results from the caucuses and was able to do so in 72 hours. Enduring threats to personal safety, taunts, and anger from people around the globe, our staff worked in a professional manner to produce a final result. I am incredibly proud of the work they did in those three days. These are people who are working hard towards our common goal of electing Democrats in November, and I deeply regret that these dedicated employees of our party had to endure such abuse.The fact is that Democrats deserved better than what happened on caucus night. As chair of this party, I am deeply sorry for what happened and bear the responsibility for any failures on behalf of the Iowa Democratic Party.While it is my desire to stay in this role and see this process through to completion, I do believe it is time for the Iowa Democratic Party to begin looking forward, and my presence in my current role makes that more difficult.Therefore, I will resign as chair of the Iowa Democratic Party effective upon the election of my replacement.I will be calling for an emergency meeting of the State Central Committee on Saturday at 1pm to elect an interim chair. Whomever is elected will oversee the completion of the recanvass and recount process and begin the process of healing our party.Our paramount goal must remain to elect Democrats at all levels of office that will bring the voice of the people to our government.In spite of the challenges these last few days, I leave knowing that the party is in a strong position to move forward. Thousands of new Democrats joined our party through our caucus process. The Iowa Democratic Party currently has more money than ever before at this point in an election cycle. The infrastructure built through these last few months will allow us to build an organization that will turn Iowa Blue in November. And Iowa still has the best elected officials, candidates, volunteers, and activists of anywhere in the country.Leadership requires tough decisions, and this is one of the toughest decisions I have ever had to make. Throughout my tenure as chair, I have always said I would do what is in the best interest of the party. With my decision, I hope the party can regain the trust of those we lost and turn our attention to what is most important – winning in November.Sincerely,Troy PriceChair, Iowa Democratic PartyCC: Don Ruby, IDP SecretaryBackground Information:Chairman Price’s resignation is effective immediately following the election of an interim chair this Saturday, February 15, at a meeting of the State Central Committee. DES MOINES — Iowa Democratic Party chairman Troy Price Wednesday night said he’s resigning so the party can have a “fresh start.”“We’re about to start this recanvas process and I got to a point where I believed it was a good opportunity for me to exit so that the process could move forward with new leadership and make sure the outcome of that process is not in question,” Price said in a telephone interview with Radio Iowa.Price’s resignation will become effective when the party’s governing board meets this Saturday and elects a replacement.The results of the February 3, 2020 Iowa Democratic Party Caucuses are still not final. On Sunday, party officials will begin a recanvas of 143 precincts and satellite caucuses at the request of Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg campaigns — to check the accuracy of results.“I am truly sorry for what happened on Caucus Night, but I want folks to also know that doesn’t change what this party is all about,” Price said. “This is a party that no matter what happens, no matter how many licks we take, we always get back up and we always get back to work.”Last week, Price told reporters he intended to stay on as chair until the Caucus counting had reached its conclusion. This evening, Price told Radio Iowa staying on became untenable.“There have been some folks spreading stuff out there and what I wanted to do is make sure that we have the ability to have a fresh start here at the party,” Price said, “…and get the party focused on our core mission, which is electing Democrats in November.”During his brief interview with Radio Iowa, Price described the Caucus counting operation as “a partnership” between the Iowa Democratic Party and the Democratic National Committee. Price also said it was the Iowa Democratic Party that signed the contract with the developer of the smartphone app that failed spectacularly in reporting results.“I had not worked with (app developer) Shadow before. The party had not worked with Shadow before and that was the width and breadth of it,” Price said. “I know there’s been a lot stuff spread on Facebook and Twitter and the social media the last few days, a lot of stuff that’s inaccurate, a lot of stuff that’s hurtful and a lot of stuff that has been hurtful not only to me personally but, quite frankly, to our staff here.”In his resignation letter, Price said the party’s staff has been under immense pressure and has endured threats to their personal safety, taunts and anger from people around the globe.“We did these Caucuses with the highest integrity possible,” Price said. “We stayed completely neutral in this process and have stayed neutral in this process and whatever you see on Facebook — people shouldn’t believe.”State Representative Mark Smith of Marshalltown, the former House Minority Leader, has announced via Twitter that he is running to replace Price “to restore confidence in our party and bring the proven leadership needed to turn Iowa blue in 2020.”Smith announced in September of 2019 that he would not seek re-election in 2020.Price’s resignation letter is below.last_img read more

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Iraola: “I sign now the option to play the extension”

first_img“I do not think that the environmental issue affects them. They are international players, they come from giving an exhibition at the Bernabéu. We love Anduva very much, but they are used to playing games of much more pressure than ours. I do not think it is something key. We are more concerned about what happens within the field, “he said about the environment Anduva will present.“I thank my players for putting me in this situation”On the other hand, the Usurbil coach acknowledged that the squad is excited and that “everyone wants to get on the list” to play, trying to “get with all the energy” to the duel. “I have to thank my players for putting me in this situation,” he said.“We are enjoying this copera experience; our headaches are in the league, but this is an extra that the team and the people are knowing how to enjoy to the fullest. We will have one more night and we will try to enjoy it,” he added. “This soaks everyone with enthusiasm,” he said, warning that “all this noise around, when the referee whistles, will not be.”For all this, whatever happens, they will be “delighted.” “What we have achieved, the nights we have lived and the illusion we have generated, nobody will take away from us. We have enjoyed the experiences. If we manage to make the game that we did in the first leg and despite that we lose too, we will We will congratulate Real and we will be delighted, “he said.Finally, Iraola, who is confident that the grass is “good” for the duel despite the rain, said the youth of the squad can play in their favor. “That certain unconsciousness that youth can give you, in this scenario I think it is something more positive than negative,” he warned. “We always believe,” he concluded. The coach of the CD Mirandés, Andoni Iraola, has assured that he would sign “right now” that the team had the option of playing the extension in the second leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals against Real Sociedad, to which he is convinced that will not affect Anduva’s environment, and he recalled that they will not “take away anyone” what has been lived so far in the ‘KO’ tournament.“The longer the match, the better the signal will be. If the Real makes two goals at once, it will be a bad sign. We have played in this Copa del Rey many extensions and I already sign you right now that we have the option to play an extension” , he declared at a press conference.In addition, he is aware that going out with a goal of disadvantage after 2-1 in the Reale Arena “can mark the game a bit.” “The difficulty is higher than when we play the other games against First Division teams. Nor are we going to go crazy, we want to give our best version, which will allow us to make a balanced match like the first leg. a balanced party can happen many things, and we hope they are in our favor, “he said.“I have no doubt: Real Sociedad will come here to try to make us both goals as soon as possible and solve the tie. We have to try that they don’t get it. We are not good enough to say that the game is going to go one way, we have to adapt to the idea with which they come, knowing that we probably have less the ball, with which we will try to hurt, “he said.The Gipuzkoan coach does not believe that the return clash will be like the first leg, and recalled that “football is constantly adapting.” “There we do not play the same in minute 1 than in 60, nor tomorrow the idea in minute three will be the same as that of 60. The Real is a team that normally wants to play. We have to prepare for all the scenarios that we can contemplate and we will have to look for solutions, “he stressed.He also stressed that the San Sebastian cadre “respects them” and has “respected them from the beginning.” “In Real Sociedad they talk about the most important game in a lot of years,” he said. “La Real is going to give one hundred percent, but being a favorite doesn’t give you any advantage; they assume it, we do too, and I don’t think the psychological factor has been decisive in the first leg or in the round. to preponderate will be the football arguments, “he said.last_img read more

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Follow The Trace | The Fletcher Blueprint

first_img ELITE YOUNG PLAYERS The likes of Alex Marshall of St George’s College, Jahwani Hinds of Wolmer’s, Craigton Charlton of Clarendon College, are also elite young players, who, as a matter of routine, should all be playing premier league football, such is the quality they possess. All these players should at least be giving their football talent the best possible chance to reach its full potential. A successful career in professional football is indeed a long shot, but it all starts with the intent and the conviction to go for it. This intent starts with self-belief, ambition and desire – qualities which are clearly in the DNA of Fletcher, who backed up his confident pregame utterances by delivering the goods at this now elevated level. The Cornwall College striker was obviously not the least bit intimidated or daunted by the much-vaunted disparity in the quality, intensity and pace between schoolboy football and the premier league. His brash fearlessness and near naivety are qualities that are ideal for young players and should be fully exploited in the general gamble and investment in youth. I wish Jourdaine Fletcher more and more success in his premier league endeavours and beyond. His success at this level will be vital not only to his personal future, but, symbolically, to a generation of players who are beginning to lose faith in their talents and abilities, and what they could achieve from the sport of football. This stagnated generation of players desperately needs to be reminded that there is still a path to success. They need a new blueprint, with a star player such as Jourdaine Fletcher to follow. The calls have been loud and clear, but until they get overseas professional contracts, the best of Jamaica’s young schoolboy football talent should be playing at the highest level available – the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL). Perhaps the very best of an outstanding crop of schoolboy players in 2016, ace Cornwall College striker Jourdaine Fletcher has begun to prove that point. He immediately made the step up to the RSPL by not just turning out for champions Montego Bay United at the weekend, but scoring a brilliant winner for the defending champions. The willingness and confidence expressed by Fletcher to play ‘big man’ football, as expressed in a pregame interview, and as executed on debut, make an important statement for the way forward for Jamaica’s football. Montego Bay United, with arguably the deepest squad in the league, in terms of quality, must also be commended for showing the vision to open their doors and welcome the youngsters. The fact of the matter is that players at 18 and 19 years old are not young in real football terms. Therefore, it ought not to be a big spectacle for a player at 19 years old to be playing in our substandard semi-professional premier league. Eighteen- and 19-year-olds are active star players in many top football leagues around the world, but such as been the recent stagnation in thought and foresight that this has become the exception here in Jamaica. Our praise for Fletcher and the other standout schoolboy players who have made the transition to other premier league clubs goes hand in hand with the disappointment at some of the other outstanding schoolboy talent who have either not chosen to make the upward step, or have not been given the opportunity by their club of choice.last_img read more

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Follow the trace | We must improve our playing surfaces

first_img It is difficult, if not impossible, to quantify the effect of the surface on the quality of football, but anecdotally, the difference in the degree of difficulty in the execution of the basic skills on an average Jamaican surface, compared to the average surface in England or Spain must be at least fifty percent. Meaning, all things being equal, players or teams would play and look twice as good when playing at Wembley stadium in England than they would look playing at The Compound in Harbour View. This is a major handicap with which every young and emerging Jamaican player has to cope in an already weak and inefficient structure, and has helped to set back the rate of comparative development of our young players for several years. It remains difficult to fathom that Jamaica, ‘The Land of Wood and Water’, is so inept at something as basic as building and maintaining some quality playing facilities for football. The cost of the significant amount of running water needed to maintain these surfaces, I have been told, is a major prohibitive factor. An excuse that is hard to accept if we are really serious about developing our football. In one of his most inspired pronouncements made by my co-host on the morning radio programme Sports Explosion on Hitz 92 FM, Earl ‘The Bald Eagle’ Bailey has repeatedly asked the question, how much better would local premier league clubs such as Montego Bay United, Arnett Gardens, Tivoli Gardens, or Humble Lion look if they played weekly games at Old Trafford, at Stamford Bridge, at The Emirates Stadium or at Anfield? Conversely, how would Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal or Liverpool, with all their millionaire star players, perform on the surfaces at the Tony Spalding Sports Complex, or at the Drewsland Mini Stadium, or at the Effortville Community Center? How much top-quality football would those big teams, with all their big players, play on our sub-par surfaces? I suggest all these teams and all these players would look very ordinary on our surfaces, highlighting how vital a dynamic the playing surface is to the overall football product, something we are obviously yet to grasp. In the continued quest for a prudent and sustainable strategy of development for Jamaica’s young football talent, one crucial component that keeps getting swept under the carpet is the atrocious condition of our playing surfaces. It is perhaps the most debilitating of the many factors which have stymied the development of our young players. The football surface is the basic facilitating component of the game itself, which renders Jamaica’s continued relevance in the world game nothing short of miraculous, based on the poor quality of our surfaces. The execution of basic football skills such as trapping, passing, and dribbling depend heavily on the quality of the surface. Therefore, bumpy and uneven pitches add exponentially to the difficulty in the grasping of these simple basics. There are a few relatively good football facilities scattered across Jamaica. The National Stadium, Stadium East, the Montego Bay Sports Complex, and the St Elizabeth Technical High School facility are all good surfaces in a Jamaican context, but woefully inadequate when compared to even the most basic of training grounds in the developed football nations such as Mexico and the United States; not to mention the lush green carpets across Europe. 50% DIFFERENCElast_img read more

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