AUBURN, AL – SEPTEMBER 17: Auburn Tigers play the Texas A&M Aggies during an NCAA college football game on September 17, 2016 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images)D’haquille Williams, one of the SEC’s top receivers, has left Auburn’s game against Jacksonville State after taking a nasty shot from the Gamecocks defense. Quarterback Jeremy Johnson tried to hit Williams over the middle, but he was unable to hang on, and got drilled by linebacker Dawson Wells. Williams went down after the play, but was able to slowly walk off the field.Not sure how Gus Malzahn would convince anyone this was targeting on Duke Williams. pic.twitter.com/MBVuroWsy8— Dr. Saturday (@YahooDrSaturday) September 12, 2015Gus Malzahn is furious no targeting call and points to new huge Auburn scoreboard with replay. pic.twitter.com/bdI4KTDzpb— Jon Solomon (@JonSolomonCBS) September 12, 2015It doesn’t look like targeting, but we can understand Malzahn being in up only three against an FCS team and losing arguably his best playmaker down the stretch. We’ll keep you updated on Williams’ status.
The United States kicks off its 2014 World Cup campaign on Monday against Ghana, the team that eliminated the Stars and Stripes from the 2010 tournament in the round of 16. That’s the must-watch game in the U.S. But for most of the rest of the world, it’s Germany versus Portugal.See our World Cup interactive for the latest probabilities. — Allison McCannIN DEPTHSo what’s changed for Ghana and the U.S. since they last faced each other on this stage?America’s lineup has been transformed in the four years since 2010’s disappointment. Only four of the U.S. starting 11 from the loss to Ghana — goalkeeper Tim Howard, midfielders Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey, and striker Jozy Altidore — will be in coach Jürgen Klinsmann’s opening lineup Monday. (The most notable absence is Landon Donovan, though central defender Carlos Bocanegra was another useful veteran who saw his role with Team USA phased out in recent years.)Klinsmann made clear his preference for a fresh group during the selection process, and — Donovan’s ouster aside — that’s not a bad thing. New faces since 2010, including Fabian Johnson and Geoff Cameron, have acquitted themselves reasonably well for clubs in Europe, a factor Klinsmann values highly. Graham Zusi, Brad Davis and Matt Besler are playing effectively in MLS. The cupboard isn’t quite as bare as is widely believed, though the U.S. is still far from elite in the talent department.As for Ghana, it’s turned over six of its eleven starting slots from four years ago — although most of its best players from 2010 are back, including jack-of-all-trades Kwadwo Asamoah, midfielders Andre Ayew, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Michael Essien, and striker Asamoah Gyan. The Black Stars have also promoted the talented two-way midfielder Sulley Muntari into a regular starting role since their last World Cup meeting with the United States. (Needless to say, midfield is the strength of Ghana’s roster.)Most members of that group are plying their trade in top European leagues, so Ghana’s high-end talent is probably superior to that of the United States. But Ghana’s edge in talent hasn’t always translated in international play. It ranked just 38th in the pre-World Cup Elo Ratings, while the Americans ranked 13th.When ESPN’s Soccer Power Index (SPI) ranks teams, it attempts to combine these two elements — observed results and underlying talent — into a single rating for a given national team. And the current SPI rankings say the United States and Ghana are in a dead heat. The U.S. ranks 22nd in the world with a 77.53 SPI — meaning the Americans would compile 77.53 percent of the possible points if they played a round robin against every other national team in the world. Ghana ranks 25th, with an SPI of 77.37. That’s the smallest SPI margin between any two teams that will face each other in the group stage of this World Cup.As of Sunday, the sportsbook Bovada has Ghana as a slim favorite over the U.S., 35.8 percent to 34.5 percent (with a 29.7 percent chance of a draw). The FiveThirtyEight match projection system flips those odds around, giving the United States a very slight edge: 37.5 percent to 33 percent. Whatever happens, U.S.-Ghana should be one of the most evenly matched showdowns of the entire World Cup.YesterdayArgentina’s 2-1 win over Bosnia-Herzegovina on Sunday served notice to the casual soccer fan: One individual moment of brilliance can overshadow an average game.In the first 64 minutes of the match, Argentina’s Lionel Messi was the game’s most active participant in the attacking third, but the three chances he created didn’t translate into a single shot on goal. And he had turned the ball over a game-high three times.In the 65th minute, Messi reminded the Maracana how quickly he can change a game. He made a run from the midfield, past Bosnian midfielder Muhamed Besic, and played a quick 1-2 ball to teammate Gonzalo Higuain. Messi’s short-burst quickness created separation from Besic, and he hesitated slightly before the shot, driving another Bosnian player into Besic and out of position.Messi then banked a left-footed shot off the post for the eventual game-winning goal, Argentina’s first shot on goal of the match and only the second goal of Messi’s World Cup career. From his first touch in midfield to the ball crossing the goal line, the entire sequence took just over 9.5 seconds and erased the match’s first 64 minutes from spectators’ memory.That was all it took; the night belonged to Messi, whose production under Alejandro Sabella has been outstanding. Messi has 22 goals in 26 international games since Sabella became Argentina’s manager in September 2011, compared with 17 goals in 61 matches under all other managers. — John Parolin, senior stats analyst, ESPNOFF THE PITCHIf Ghana defeats the United States on Monday, Americans shouldn’t be too quick to feel ill-disposed toward the West African nation. The United States imports two bread-and-butter items from Ghana (though they are neither bread nor butter): oil and chocolate. In 2011, just more than 44 percent of Ghanaian exports to the United States was oil (crude and refined) and roughly 42 percent was chocolate (cocoa beans, chocolate, cocoa powder, cocoa paste and cocoa butter). That’s $374,624,626 in chocolate.Ghana also sent $7,016,768 in fake hair to the U.S. Thanks, Ghana!What does the U.S. send to Ghana? Cars — worth about $303 million in 2011. — Micah CohenFurther ReadingCtrl + ← The World Cup, the World Cup And the World CupHow Soccer Explains the Sports Page
Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez revealed that he will likely retire in the next few months as he approaches his 39th birthdayThe Spanish playmaker will reach the milestone in January and has recently been taking courses to obtain his UEFA’s Pro Licence for coaching.Xavi’s announcement comes as somewhat of a surprise given that he had signed a contract extension with current club Al Sadd until June 2020.However, Xavi is yet to make a formal announcement on his final plans.“This is 99 per cent my last season because, at nearly 39, it’s normal to be tired and need a change of course,” Xavi told Corriere dello Sport.Quiz: How much do you know about David Villa? Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to test your knowledge about Spanish legendary forward David Villa.“It’s not yet the time for announcements or goodbyes, but I’ve thought clearly on what I will do.”The former Spain international joined the Doha-based club in 2015 and has since won three trophies at Qatar.Throughout his entire club career, Xavi has managed 102 goals and 206 assists in 836 games across all competitions for either Barcelona or Al Sadd to date.Xavi also won the World Cup in 2010 and the European Championship twice with Spain.
Manchester United can still reach another level ahead of Sunday’s Premier League showdown against rivals Liverpool, warns Ashley Young.The Red Devils are in an incredible run of form at the moment with 11 wins in 13 matches ever since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer came in to replace Jose Mourinho as manager on an interim basis.The Norwegian’s impact at Old Trafford has made him a strong favourite to land the managerial role on a permanent basis at the end of the season, despite Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino and Juventus’ Massimiliano Allegri being linked with the role.On the back of suffering his first defeat in charge of United last week in a 2-0 Champions League loss to Paris Saint-Germain, Solskjaer bounced back superbly from the setback by leading his old club to a 2-0 FA Cup victory at Chelsea on Monday.But full-back Young thinks United still have something left in the tank for Liverpool this Sunday.“I think we had another gear to go,” said Young, according to ESPN.“It was very good to get the win away [at Chelsea] and the way we did it.Liverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.“It gives us all massive belief, obviously you will get confidence from winning games and that’s exactly what we have done.“We beat Spurs away, and Arsenal away and now Chelsea away.“Liverpool is at the weekend and we will build up to that this week and concentrate on that when it comes about.”After progressing to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, Solskjaer’s men will take a trip to Molineux on March 16 to take on the high-flying Wolves for a spot in the last four of the competition.“I was surprised we didn’t get [Manchester] City,” Young said.“That’s what we were looking for but you have to beat every team in the competition and that’s what we’ll do go down there [to Wolves] to beat them and get through to the semifinal.”The Premier League match between United and Liverpool at Old Trafford will begin at 3:05 PM (CET) this Sunday.LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 18: Paul Pogba of Manchester United (kneeling) celebrates with team mates as he scores his team’s second goal during the FA Cup Fifth Round match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on February 18, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Facebook Miley Cyrus Announces New Album ‘Younger Now’ GRAMMY-nominated singer/songwriter sets release date for her latest album featuring the hit “Malibu”Renée FabianGRAMMYs Aug 8, 2017 – 10:32 am GRAMMY.comLast time we heard from our GRAMMY-nominated friend Miley Cyrus, she was coming in like a wrecking ball with 2013’s Bangerz and tripping with 2015’s Miley Cyrus And Her Dead Petz.Now, Cyrus will release of her sixth studio album, Younger Now, due out Sept. 29. The album was announced in full color via her website with a bedazzled black jacket and rope identifying the title and release date.The upcoming album would seem to be a departure from the dance-heavy, hip-hop influenced tunes of her last two albums. The singles “Malibu” and “Inspired,” released in May and June, respectively, already suggest a toned-down, sunshiny vibe that’s more earthy than her last two projects.With Younger Now, Cyrus hasn’t given much away, but she echoed the brighter, warm tone her two singles have taken.She told Billboard: “I’m giving the world a hug and saying, ‘Hey, look. We’re good — I love you.’ And I hope you can say you love me back.”More new music: What was new in music in July? Email Twitter What Do We Know About Miley Cyrus’ New Album? miley-cyrus-announces-new-album-younger-now News
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah wave at party workers during a party programme in New Delhi on May 23, 2019.IANSAfter BJP’s thumping victory in the Lok Sabha elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a meeting with senior leaders on Friday on the formation of the new cabinet. BJP has the first back-to-back majority in the Lok Sabha for a single party since 1984.One of the main issues that the new administration will have to tackle is the country’s slow economic growth as the US-China trade war shows no signs of stopping and the global oil prices are only going higher.”While the macroeconomic picture looks stable and promising, many important segments need support from the government,” BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav wrote in a column for Indian Express.He added, “India cannot completely remain insulated from the ongoing trade war between the US and China or the geo-strategic conflict between the US and Iran.”An immediate decision will be whether to keep senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley as Finance Minister despite his poor health or assign Railways and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal to the job of leading Asia’s third-largest economy.Goyal, 54, had stepped into the role twice in the Modi government when Jaitley was ill. Goyal presented an interim budget before the election and a full budget is due after the new government takes office.SLOWING ECONOMIC GROWTH Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah wave at party workers during a party programme in New Delhi on May 23, 2019.IANSDespite the dominance of the BJP and its allies in the lower house of parliament, analysts say it does not yet have the numbers in the upper house for tougher reforms such as relaxed labour and land laws sought by the business community.”But, in the meantime, a chunky capex plan funded by more privatisation and used to build more infrastructure can put growth back on the rails at a time when global growth and trade are slowing,” the Financial Express daily said in an editorial.Economic growth, which fell to an annual 6.6% during October-December, is at its lowest in five quarters, and other economic indicators signal no relief.Modi will also need to resolve a liquidity crisis that is slowly gripping India’s shadow banks.BJP President Amit Shah, who is credited with crafting the political strategy that helped the party retain its base in northern and western India but also advanced in the east, is tipped to be the home minister, a powerful post with control of security and intelligence services.For the main opposition Congress party, however, the next few days are likely to be tumultuous after yet another poor showing. Party chief Rahul Gandhi, the scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, lost his seat in a family borough in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.”It is astonishing that Rahul Gandhi has not yet resigned as Congress president,” historian Ramachandra Guha said on Twitter.”Both self-respect, as well as political pragmatism, demand that the Congress elect a new leader. But perhaps the Congress has neither,” he added.
Delphine Ernotte CunciFrance Télévisions has been in touch with about 10 major producers about securing content for its forthcoming SVOD service to rival Netflix in the French market, with a possible revenue-share arrangement – and potential equity participation by the producers – in mind, according to French financial daily Les Echos.France Télévisions director-general Delphine Ernotte-Cunci revealed at a French parliamentary hearing last month that the SVOD service would likely be launched in the autumn. The launch will follow on from a planned revamp of existing catch-up service Pluzz, envisaged for May.Ernotte-Cunci said at the time that the new SVOD platform would have to promote French content first and would have to be financially self-supporting.According to Les Echos, France Télévisions had initially sought to form partnerships with international – and French – audiovisual media groups before turning to producers directly.While details of the project have still to be worked out, according to the paper, the broadcaster is looking towards some kind of revenue share agreement, with the possibly equity participation of producers in the platform.Les Echos said that the revamp of Pluzz in May would involve the addition of new content and a new name for the platform, which will be available on all screens as well as ISPs’ TV boxes. The SVOD platform will be integrated with Pluzz’s replacement when it launches in the autumn.According to the paper, the pubcaster envisages securing a relatively modest 800,000 subscribers over five to six years.
Canal+ and Altice France have struck an agreement whereby Altice France’s RMC Sport customers will have access to all English Premier League matches for the next three seasons.The deal followed Canal+ regaining the rights to the competition last October.Canal+ said it was “very happy” to be able to offer to its subscribers the Best European national championship to complete a football offering that includes the best of Ligue 1 and the Women’s World Cup in France this year.RMC Sport is meanwhile happy to be able to continue to air coverage of the Premier League.The pair have been circling a deal for some time.