Month: January 2020

  • Longevity made ’98 team better, says Oral Tracey

    first_img FLAWED PREMISE Comparisons between the current Reggae Boyz, who finished second in the CONCACAF Gold Cup and the 1998 team that qualified for the World Cup Finals in France continue to crave the indulgence of local football fans. It is always difficult, if not impossible, to credibly compare sports teams across eras. But I would easily rate the 1998 World Cup qualifying team as better because it performed at a high level over a longer period of time, since consistency is such a crucial index of true quality. This 2015 team basically won the Caribbean Cup, played in the Copa America, and then had a dream run in this year’s Gold Cup, all within a one-year stretch. They were hardly outstanding before then and we don’t know what they will do going forward. We must also never lose sight of the fact that the 1998 bunch actually qualified for the World Cup finals and went on to beat Japan at the showpiece event. The case that the current team is better than the 1998 team is hinged on the claim that more players in the 2015 team are playing or have played at a higher level than the players in the 1998 team. That is a flawed premise for the simple reason that a better group of players does not necessarily translate into a better team. It is much more about how effectively and efficiently each group functions as a unit and not about which player played at which club, or in which league. So the fact that Adrian Mariappa, Wes Morgan and Michael Hector currently play in the EPL or in League One in England, while Ian ‘Pepe’ Goodison, Durrent ‘Tatty’ Brown and Linval ‘Rudi’ Dixon played for local clubs does not mean they were superior as a functional unit. The consensus seems to be that the two teams, at their best, pretty much cancel out each other in terms of defensive organisation and tenacity but, again, in terms of formation and structure the 1998 team was more difficult to breach in that they played with a sweeper in ‘Tatty’ Brown and a ultra-defensive central-defensive midfielder in Peter Cargill. The 2015 team plays a flat back four, with a central-defensive midfielder in Rodolph Austin, who ventures into attack much more that the average central midfielder. Therefore, comparing both teams in their area of strength, defence, the 1998 team was a better functional unit. I think the idea of comparing goals conceded between the two eras would also be subject to ridicule because, again, all things do not remain constant and equal. The 1998 team had to contend with playing in the Azteca stadium in Mexico City not once, but twice in the campaign, where it was not unusual to concede upwards of five and six goals per game. This team never had to visit the Azteca and a rampant Mexico team during this their dream run. With the midfielders basically cancelling out each other and let’s say, team unity and camaraderie are equal between both teams, there are two big differences that make the 1998 team better. One is the presence of X-factor players such as Walter Boyd and Andy Williams, and even Deon Burton, who all provided game-changing moments of individual brilliance along the campaign, which, when combined, eventually propelled the team to the World Cup Finals. The current squad, by comparison, is lacking in X-factor players. The other big difference between the teams is leadership. Austin is the clear leader of the team and even with Morgan, who is the captain of an EPL team, the 2015 team is thin in leadership. The 1998 team was blessed with strong leaders throughout. Warren Barrett was the official captain but, in ‘Pepe’ Goodison, ‘Tatty’ Brown, ‘Rudi’ Dixon, Fitzroy Simpson and Cargill, were all extraordinary leaders of men. That 1998 team was basically a team of leaders. When all is said and done, I think nine times out of 10, the 2015 team would not score on the 1998 defensive unit. While the 1998 offensive unit with the skill and brilliance of Boyd, in tandem with the tenacity of Burton and Paul Hall, I think the World Cup qualifying team of ’98 would find a way to score when it mattered most and win against the 2015 team. In such a case, the better team would have won.last_img read more

  • Five of the best men in Beijing

    first_img YEGO’S 92.72 WINNING THROW Approximately 800 men went to Beijing to seek gold medals at the 2015 World Championships last month. Only 22 of them succeeded. An even smaller group of five – Ashton Eaton of America, his compatriot Christian Taylor, Kenyan Julius Yego, Wayde van Niekerk of South Africa and Jamaica’s incomparable Usain Bolt – produced performances so compelling that they were set apart from the rest. Bolt spared the sport’s blushes with a 0.01 second victory over American Justin Gatlin in the much-anticipated 100 metres. With the 100 competition greasing his wheels, the tall man won the 200-metres more easily with a world-leading run of 19.55 seconds. That’s ho-hum for him, but no one but Bolt has ever run faster in World Championships history. South African van Niekerk arrived in Beijing undefeated at 400 metres and left with the gold medal. Flying through the 200-metre mark in a reported time of 20.7 seconds, he kept going to clock 43.48, with former champions Lashawn Merritt and Kirani James making the final the first race ever with three men under 44 seconds. The American trio of Michael Johnson, Butch Reynolds and Jeremy Wariner are the only men with faster 400-metre times than van Niekerk. Yego, a stocky Kenyan, launched his javelin further than all but two others in the history of the sport. His winning throw of 92.72 metres missed the meet record by just eight centimetres and gave Kenya their first medal in a World Championships throwing event. The Finland-based Yego is now a superhero at home. While van Niekerk and Yego were winning World titles for the first time, Taylor regained the triple-jump title he first won in 2011. He did it in style with a towering jump of 18.21 metres. That missed the 20-year-old world and World Championships record of 18.29 by Great Briton Jonathan Edwards by the length of your little finger. As good as Bolt, van Niekerk, Yego and Taylor were, they all were put in the Beijing shade by Eaton. The American retained his decathlon title with a world record of 9,045 points. Miraculously, it was only the third time the 9,000-point threshold had been broken and Eaton has now done it twice, with two world records. The high point of Eaton’s two-day, 10-event display was a decathlon world best of 45 seconds flat in the 400 metres. That came at the end of a day in which he ran the 100, long jumped, putt the shot and high jumped. It makes you wonder. Maybe he can run 44-flat if he is fresh.last_img read more

  • More sports in brief

    first_imgRafinha out for six months BARCELONA, Spain (AP): Barcelona says midfielder Rafinha will be sidelined for six months after having surgery on torn ligaments in his right knee. Rafinha injured his leg during last Wednesday’s 1-1 draw at Roma in the Champions League. Cowboys’ Romo likely to sit out two months with broken collarbone IRVING, Texas (AP): Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is expected to miss about two months with a broken left collarbone. The loss of Romo in Sunday’s 20-10 victory at Philadelphia means the defending NFC East champions Cowboys (2-0) will be without their starting quarterback and All-Pro wide receiver Dez Bryant possibly through October. Coach Jason Garrett said Monday that tests revealed no ligament damage for Romo after the second broken collarbone of his career. The other was in 2010, and he missed the final 10 games of the season. 2 Aussie rugby players hospitalised SYDNEY, Australia (AP): Two players in Australia’s National Rugby League were hospitalised early yesterday following an overdose of painkilling medication. The players, Aaron Gray and Dylan Walker, had taken too many of the painkillers they were prescribed after undergoing operations last week following the end of their season, said John Lee, chief executive of their club, the South Sydney Rabbitohs. He said there was no evidence of illegal drug use by either player.center_img Gabriel’s ban withdrawn LONDON, England (AP): Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista has had a three-match ban for violent conduct withdrawn by the English Football Association following a successful appeal by the club after his red card against Chelsea. But the FA said Tuesday that the 24-year-old Brazilian still faces a separate charge of improper conduct as he did not leave the pitch immediately after being shown the red card by referee Mike Dean on Saturday.last_img read more

  • MBU close to hiring new coach

    first_imgMontego Bay United (MBU) are close to acquiring the services of a new coach following the recent departure of American Tim Hankinson, who guided them to the top of the Red Stripe Premier League table. Hankinson was in charge as MBU climbed to a 10-game unbeaten run to close out the first round of the national domestic league. The Gleaner understands that the club is currently scouting three coaches, one from the United States, one from South America and the other from here in Jamaica. It is also understood that the club could make a decision soon. “We had a scout checking overseas for a new coach,” confirmed club manager Sandra Christie. Montego Bay United have hired two coaches from overseas since Donovan Duckie departed the club two seasons ago. Carlos Garcia took over from interim coach Dean Weatherly, but was then fired by the club in April this year. The Brazilian has since taken up a position with the national programme. Hankinson was hired in August, and he guided the team through the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League competition, with the former national champions impressing under his leadership. That success carried over into the Red Stripe Premier League where, after losing their season opener 0-2 to newly promoted Portmore United, the club went on an unbeaten streak that included seven wins and three draws to top the league table with 24 points. During the first round, they scored 25 goals and conceded only nine. Meantime, the 60-year-old American is still in contact with the club. He had a recent meeting with the players and makes frequent check-ins on their training sessions. Orville Powell, the club’s owner, has indicated that the club is looking to build upon the foundation set by the American. Montego Bay United have been among the league’s most successful clubs over the past three seasons. They are 2013-2014 champions, and last season made it to the final where they were beaten by Arnett Gardens.last_img read more

  • Danielle Williams – Athletics

    first_imgFor her achievement in taking the gold medal in the 100 metres hurdles at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China in a personal best 12.57 seconds. The 22-year-old also won gold in the sprint hurdles at the World University Games in South Korea, clocking 12.78 seconds.last_img

  • Williams beaten at Miami Open

    first_imgKEY BISCAYNE, Florida (AP):Serena Williams had been eliminated from the tournament for less than 20 minutes when she climbed into her white Mini Cooper with the chequerboard top and pulled out of the players’ parking lot, fastening her seat belt as she drove.A hasty departure, for sure.Williams’ 20-match winning streak at Key Biscayne ended yesterday with a 6-7 (3), 6-1, 6-2 loss to Svetlana Kuznetsova in the fourth round of the Miami Open.Williams was bidding for her ninth title in the event and her fourth in a row. But after a gruelling first set that lasted nearly an hour, the 21-time Grand Slam champion faded on a sweltering afternoon.This is the first time she hasn’t reached the Key Biscayne quarter-finals since 2000, when she lost in the fourth round to Jennifer Capriati.”I did the best I could,” she said during a postmatch news conference that lasted less than three minutes before she cut it off. “I can’t win every match. These players come out and play me like they’ve never played before in their lives. I have to be 300 per cent every day.”Williams, 34, will retain the No. 1 ranking, but she hasn’t won a tournament since earning her 69th title at Cincinnati last August.”She’s still No. 1, and she still plays great,” Kuznetsova said. “I don’t see much to be depressed about.”The No. 15-seeded Kuznetsova won with defence, extending points until Williams would make a mistake. The Russian finished with only 18 unforced errors to 55 for Williams.In addition, Williams’ serve was uncharacteristically unreliable. She hit 13 aces but also had nine double faults and was broken six times.PHYSICALLY FINEWilliams said the 91?F temperature – a record for the date – didn’t faze her.”Physically, I’m fine,” she said. “I don’t know, I guess I didn’t move today. Maybe that was one of the things that didn’t work out for me.”Kuznetsova, 30, won Key Biscayne 10 years ago and is into the quarter-finals for the first time since 2009.”I’m too old,” she told the crowd. “I’ve been many times on this court. I love being back here, and I’m really happy with my performance.”Also sidelined were No. 3-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska and No. 4 Garbine Muguruza. Two-time champion Victoria Azarenka, seeded 13th, committed only 12 unforced errors and defeated Muguruza7-6 (6), 7-6 (4). No. 19 Timea Bacsinszky eliminated Radwanska 2-6, 6-4, 6-2.In men’s play, No. 6 Kei Nishikori beat No. 27 Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-2, 6-2.Williams lives 90 minutes from Key Biscayne and has long considered the event her home tournament. But the stadium was two-thirds empty for her match, partly because of weather so uncomfortable some spectators draped towels over their heads seeking refuge from the sweltering sun.last_img read more

  • Jamaican footballers celebrate with Leicester City

    first_imgWes Morgan just made history as the first Jamaican international to win the English Premier League football title as captain of winning team Leicester City. However, he isn’t the only person of Jamaican heritage to have played for the new English top-flight champions. A year before Morgan was born in 1984, Robert ‘Bob’ Hazell played for Leicester City while they were still in the English first division. Hazell was born in Kingston in 1959 and later migrated to the United Kingdom. He joined Leicester City in 1983 and played for the team for three years from 1983 to 1986. He helped the East Midlands club to a 15th-place finish in the 1984-85, season before being loaned out to Wolverhampton Wanderers for a short spell. During his period with Leicester, he made 41 appearances and scored two goals. Hazell never played for Jamaica, but he did represent the England Under-21 squad, playing one game in 1978. Frank Sinclair, who helped Jamaica qualify for the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France, also played for Leicester City. Sinclair played for dethroned English champions Chelsea from 1990-1998, playing for a season with West Bromwich Albion from 1991-1992 on loan and then moved to Leicester City from 1998 until 2004, making 164 appearances for the club and scoring three goals in his time there. Most recently, Jermaine Beckford, who joined the Reggae Boyz set-up in early 2013, played for Leicester between 2011 and 2013. Beckford made 43 appearances for the Foxes, scoring nine goals in total.last_img read more

  • Maverley-Hughenden sack Coach Simms

    first_img “He (Patrick) is brought in to ensure that we stay in the League then qualify for the top six position in order to challenge for the title,” he added. The president thanked Simms for taking the club to the Premier League. “Simms, did a good job in helping the team to win the KSAFA Super League and qualification to the RSPL this season. We thank him for that, but it is time to move on,” Walters noted. Patrick says the team has a good crop of players but he wants to get rid of the bad attitude. “The camaraderie and energy shown this morning (yesterday) during my first session was amazing. I spoke to them about the importance of discipline in the team and having the right attitude in order to move forward,” Patrick said. “There are challenges, but we will work on that as the team possesses a lot of quality players. We are not far behind, so it is a work in progress starting against Reno next Sunday,” he added. Former Waterhouse and national midfield star Hugh ‘Bingy’ Blair has been retained as assistant coach. Maverley-Hughenden FC have sacked coach Lijyasu Simms following a series of poor results in the 2016-17 Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL). Former Waterhouse FC coach Anthony Patrick took over yesterday morning, following an agreement with the club’s executive on Monday afternoon. Simms became the RSPL’s second coaching casualty after Waterhouse FC parted ways with Marvin Tate two weeks ago and replaced him with veteran Glendon ‘Admiral’ Bailey. Maverley-Hughenden fired Simms after 14 games in the season during which the team won two games, drew seven and lost five. They are currently in 10th position on 13 points in the 12-team elite league. Simms arrived at Maverley-Hughenden a year ago and guided them to the Kingston and St Andrew Football Association (KSAFA)/JB Rum Super League title and second place in the Jamaica Football Federation play-off for qualification to the RSPL. The KSAFA outfit returned to the nation’s top league after an absence of 24 years. “We are not satisfied with the team’s current position in the league. We believe that there are good players in the team. The previous coach (Lijyasu Simms) was given 14 games. He was fired on Monday afternoon, and Anthony Patrick is the new head coach,” Maverley-Hughenden’s president, Craig Walters, told The Gleaner during the team’s training session yesterday morning. Top six targetlast_img read more

  • PBA Season 43 Preview: Small Meralco ready for giants of PH Cup

    first_imgWhat Meralco does have is a plethora of talented wingmen who can play both the three and four positions in Jared Dillinger, Cliff Hodge, and Chris Newsome.The Bolts also added Niño Cañaleta and Mac Baracael to supplement the core wings.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew View comments MOST READ Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? For the better part of two years, Meralco has been a constant visitor in the title rounds of the PBA.Just not in the Philippine Cup.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkIt’s been two years since the Bolts joined the dance for the big trophy of the All-Filipino Conference, and although the men in orange have been solid in the import cups the same cannot be said for the first tournament.And the reason for that is the team’s lack of dominating big man in the post. Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Head Coach: Norman BlackKey Players: Chris Newsome, Jared Dillinger, Cliff Hodge, Ranidel De Ocampo, Baser AmerKey Additions: Niño Cañaleta, Mac BaracaelKey Losses: Kelly NabongADVERTISEMENT Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene “We haven’t done well in the past two All-Filipino conferences, so we have to be a lot more competitive this time around,” said Bolts head coach Norman Black. “We just have to play it out and see what happens.”Meralco racked up a combined record of 30-14 in the four import cups, including two appearances in the Governors’ Cup Finals, but only came away with a combined 4-18 in the Philippine Cup.And the Bolts’ big man conundrum will immediately bite them at the start of the season as Ranidel De Ocampo is still nursing a calf injury he sustained in the Governors’ Cup Finals.Still, Black probably believes that it’s not the size of the dog but the size of the fight in the dog.“My small guys are competitive, even our big guys are competitive so I’m not taking anything from them,” said Black who will rely on newly acquired Jason Ballesteros and Bryan Faundo to play the center spot.ADVERTISEMENT OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny SBP willing to help Indonesia seal World Cup berth Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

  • Portland wins 12th straight with win over Detroit

    first_imgDetroit Pistons guard Dwight Buycks tries to get past Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Saturday, March 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)PORTLAND, Ore. — Damian Lillard says Portland’s current streak is more about the Blazers than their opponents.Lillard had 24 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, and the Blazers beat the Detroit Pistons 100-87 on Saturday night for their 12th straight victory.ADVERTISEMENT “During this entire run a lot of the things we’ve done have been about us,” Lillard said. “Us communicating, being on the string defensively, locking into the scouting report and knowing what hurt us the last time we played these teams, and also trusting each other on offense, and making other teams have to work to stop us instead of being easy to guard.”CJ McCollum added 16 points for the Blazers, who have the longest current winning streak in the league. It’s the longest streak for the franchise since it won 13 in a row in December 2007.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkPortland (43-26) also earned its season-best ninth straight home win — a timely streak as it tries to hold on to third place in the Western Conference standings.While the Blazers are soaring, the Pistons are struggling. Andre Drummond had 18 points and 22 rebounds in Detroit’s 12th consecutive road loss. Blake Griffin had 15 points.The Pistons (30-39) have dropped eight of 10 overall, and currently sit in ninth place in the East.Coach Stan Van Gundy was fuming after the game about the officiating.“They held and grabbed on every play and they got away with fouls all over the place. We got absolutely screwed all night,” Van Gundy said. “Luke (Kennard) makes a back cut to the basket on an out-of-bounds play, gets knocked down, they end up with two points on the other end. Blake has two straight drives in the fourth that he gets hammered on. He gets screwed twice.”While Van Gundy said he didn’t want to take anything away from the Blazers, he said the officiating made their defense look good. He called the game embarrassing for the league.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Trail Blazers: Terry Stotts tied Nate McMillan for third-most victories as a Blazers coach. Stotts is 266-213. … The Blazers had lost five straight to the Pistons. … All five of Portland’s starters scored in double figures.UP NEXTPistons: Visit the Sacramento Kings on Monday.Trail Blazers: Visit the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Conor McGregor seeks to emerge from controversy in UFC comeback Cabuyao City rising above the ashes through volunteerism Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown “I’ve been here for four years and many more years before that and I’ve never come in after a game, never, never come in after a game and talked like this. That was embarrassing,” he said.The Pistons trailed by as many as 19 points in the third quarter, but they closed to 84-74 on Stanley Johnson’s dunk with 8:18 left. Evan Turner responded with a jumper for the Blazers.After Kennard was whistled for a technical foul, Lillard made a foul shot and McCollum converted a layup to make it 89-74 with 6:19 remaining.Kennard was a game-time decision with a tight hamstring, but he finished with 12 points.Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic got two quick fouls within the first four minutes of the game, so he was replaced by Meyers Leonard. Portland went up 20-9 early.The Blazers led 60-45 at the break. Lillard led all scorers with 12 points.After extending the lead in the third quarter, Lillard went to the bench to start the fourth and it looked as if he might be done for the night. But he returned when Detroit got within 10 points.“We’re grown men,” Johnson said. “We grab and hold just like they grab and hold. At the end of the day it is what it is. You can’t go back and change stuff. You can’t do nothing about it. If that’s the way they want to officiate the game, we gotta deal with it and try to maneuver the best we can.”TIP-INSPistons: It was the third of a six-game road trip. … Forward/Center Eric Moreland played at Oregon State. … Reggie Jackson, who has missed 35 games with a right ankle sprain, participated in a 3-on-3 optional practice earlier this week.center_img In Liverpool, Man United sees the pain and path to recovery Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina Scarlett Johansson, Sterling K. Brown among SAG Awards presenters MOST READ Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Gonzaga beats Ohio State for Sweet 16 return Recto seeks to establish Taal rehab body to aid community, eruption victims Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more