A good signing for Manchester United? Serie A defender assessed

first_imgUnsurprisingly, the team continues to be linked with moves for defenders, the latest of which is Torino’s Matteo Darmian.Though not a centre-back, a real problem position for United at the moment, the 24-year-old is a highly accomplished full-back who would strengthen the team.His WhoScored.com rating (6.85) may have dropped from recent years, but Darmian is still widely considered a highly-capable performer in Italy’s top tier.Able to play at right-back or left-back, the Italy international’s versatility would be a bonus for Van Gaal in his quest to restore United as England’s dominant side.However, it remains to be seen whether United should be pursuing Darmian. Strength in numbers is essential for any team, but his drop in form has question marks lingering over whether he can fulfil his potential.From an attacking viewpoint, it’s easy to pinpoint why Darmian’s influence has dipped. Torino sold their two prized attacking talents – Ciro Immobile and Alessio Cerci – over the summer, with all three of Darmian’s assists last season coming for Immobile goals.This term, however, the defender is yet to register a league assist, despite playing considerably more key passes per game (1.7) than he was last campaign (0.8).He can clearly make an impact in the final third, but Torino’s inability to adequately replace Immobile and Cerci has hindered Darmian. The offensive side of his game would undeniably appeal to Van Gaal, who, in his most-used 4-3-1-2 formation, requires his full-back’s to press on and provide width when pushing forward.With Falcao, Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney at Van Gaal’s disposal, Darmian would thrive, especially if he can transfer his attacking performances from Serie A to the Premier League.However, the player he would likely compete with for a starting spot is Brazilian Rafael. Since Van Gaal moved from a three-man to a four-man defence, Rafael has performed admirably.His WhoScored.com rating (7.27) is the fourth best of all United players to have registered at least 400 minutes of league action this term and Rafael has impressed since coming back into the team after being linked with a move away from Old Trafford.The United defender is averaging both more tackles (3) and interceptions per game (3.2) than Darmian (1.8 and 1.2, respectively), while also registering an assist this term, despite averaging significantly fewer key passes per match (0.6).With that in mind, using the money to bring in a full-back may not be the best course of action for United. An experienced centre-back should be a priority for Van Gaal’s side in the January transfer window and while Darmian would be a good acquisition, he is not what they need right now.For more stats on reported Manchester United target Matteo Darmian, click here to view his WhoScored.com player page Football statistics analysts WhoScored.com assess whether Manchester United should make a move for Torino full-back Matteo Darmian. Check out WhoScored.com for lots more Man United stats.Manchester United’s defensive frailties are still clear for all to see.While the 2012/13 champions sit just one point off fourth in England’s top tier, the position masks what has been an underwhelming start to the season.Louis van Gaal’s side have the attacking firepower to rival any team in Europe’s top five leagues, but a leaky backline has held them back this term. 1center_img Matteo Darmian has been linked with a move to Man United last_img read more

Bangladesh pacer Mustafizur Rahman delighted to be drafted into IPL

first_imgBangladesh pace sensation Mustafizur Rahman is happy to get the opportunity to play in the India Premier League (IPL). Sunrisers Hyderabad franchise drafted the young seamer for Rs 1.40 crore ($208,000) in the IPL auction in Bengaluru on Saturday, reports bdnews24.com.When Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore were bidding to recruit the 20-year old, he was busy in front of the camera for an advertisement shooting here.”It feels good. I was hoping I would get the opportunity. Everybody was saying I may be drafted this time,” Mustafizur said on Saturday.”Shakib is doing very well (in the IPL). Mashrafe and the others have played too. It feels good that I will be playing there too.”In 2009, Kolkata Knight Riders bought Mashrafe Bin Mortaza for $600,000 while Shakib Al Hasan was drafted for $425,000 the first time.”I have nothing to say about the price. I never thought about how much I could get. I just wanted to play – that would be a big experience. I’m just happy to get the opportunity,” Mustafizur said.Sunrisers Hyderabad have lined up a number of left-arm pacers, including Trent Boult, Ashish Nehra and Barinder Sran. Mustafizur will team up with stars like Yuvraj Singh, David Warner, Eoin Morgan, Kane Williamson and Shikhar Dhawan.India’s batting great VVS Laxman will be the team’s mentor while former Australian allrounder Tom Moody will be the coach. Earlier, Mustafiz was also drafted by the Lahore Qalandars for $50,000 in the ongoing Pakistan Super League.But he is not playing in the competition due to a shoulder injury. The IPL will start off on April 9 after the conclusion of the World Twenty20.advertisementlast_img read more

ESPN “Accidentally” Fired NFL Reporter Adam Schefter Friday

first_imgAdam Schefter on the phone.NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 11: Sports Writer Adam Schefter attends the Annual Charity Day Hosted By Cantor Fitzgerald And BGC at the Cantor Fitzgerald Office on September 11, 2013 in New York, United States. (Photo by Jeff Schear/Getty Images for Cantor Fitzgerald)ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter, who is constantly glued to his cell phone(s), is one of the hardest working people in all of sports, so it’d be one heck of a surprise if the Worldwide Leader decided to terminate him out of the blue. But Friday morning, for whatever reason, ESPN deactivated both his cell phone and his laptop computer, as if he’d been let go by the company. It was eventually reported as “accidental” by a company spokesman.Sources: Someone at ESPN “accidentally” placed @AdamSchefter on the terminated list. Devices have been deactivated. Looking for suspects— Seth Markman (@tunasweasel) August 21, 2015Schefter joked on Twitter that it was actually the second time it’s happened to him.Been through this before. Not any easier to take 2nd time around. Do want to thank all the great people at ESPN. https://t.co/vI4j6mDObm— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 21, 2015IT just told me HR confirmed to them that I have not been fired (whew). Now they need to figure out how to re-activate my Iphones and laptop— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 21, 2015The question, obviously, is whether someone did this as a joke intentionally or if it was just a mistake. If it was the former, perhaps someone will be getting fired by ESPN today.last_img read more

Will gender bias follow us to Mars and beyond

first_imgIt was supposed to be a historic moment—the first all-female spacewalk. And then it was cancelled, for reasons that only reinforced the need for it. But space is unforgiving, and the slightest slip can be fatal, so when a second suit in a woman’s size couldn’t be found, there was no other choice. Instead of a legendary achievement towards equality, the world got a good look at the challenges facing women in traditionally male-dominated fields.It’s a problem that goes beyond spacesuits—but when physician and astronaut Shawna Pandya heard the news, she recognized a phenomenon she’d experienced everywhere in her career, from the operating room to a simulation of a mission to Mars. We used to say the world is made for men—does that apply to space, too? Even in 2019?GUEST: Shawna Pandya, physician and citizen scientist-astronaut candidatehttp://media.blubrry.com/thebigstory/p/radio.pmd.rogersdigitalmedia.com/podcasts/thebigstory/tbs_04032019.mp3?_=1You can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on iTunes or Google Play.You can also find it at thebigstorypodcast.ca.last_img read more

Ohio State wrestling bounces back with wins against Indiana Wisconsin

The No. 6 Ohio State wrestling team improved to 9-2 over the weekend after victories against Big Ten rivals Indiana and No. 19 Wisconsin. The Buckeyes followed a 36-3 trouncing of the Hoosiers last Friday by defeating the Badgers, 29-10, Sunday, improving their conference record to 3-2. Although proud of the victories, OSU coach Tom Ryan said in a phone interview that the team is still not where it needs to be. “You know, I don’t think we’re wrestling our best right now, but we’re in the middle of the Big Ten season and we need to pick up our intensity,” he said. OSU rallied behind nine wins to cruise past Indiana, dropping the Hoosiers record to 6-5 and 0-3 in the Big Ten. The road to victory was a bit different for the Buckeyes against Wisconsin, though the outcome was the same. The Badgers got off to a quick 4-0 start after Wisconsin redshirt junior Tyler Graff defeated OSU redshirt freshman Kyle Visconti, 25-11, in the opening bout between the 133-pound weight class. The Badgers’ momentum was stopped, however, when OSU sophomore Hunter Stieber pinned redshirt senior Tom Kelliher in 1:22, extending his record to 23-0 and giving the Buckeyes a 6-4 lead. Wisconsin went back on top 7-6 when redshirt senior Cole Schmitt defeated OSU sophomore Cam Tessari, 8-7, in a close-fought battle of the 149-pound weight class. Despite the early deficit, the Buckeyes went on to win five consecutive matches. Winning the next three bouts were redshirt sophomore Josh Demas at 157 pounds, freshman Mark Martin at 165 pounds and redshirt junior Nick Heflin at 174 pounds. OSU redshirt freshman Kenny Courts dominated his match in the 184-pound weight class, going up 16-0 before winning the match by a technical fall in the second period. At 197 pounds, sophomore Andrew Campolattano followed with a narrow 3-2 victory over Wisconsin’s redshirt junior Jackson Hein. The streak ended when redshirt junior Peter Capone suffered a 5-2 defeat to redshirt freshman Connor Medbery in the heavyweight class. For the Buckeyes, though, the match concluded on a high note when OSU senior Nikko Triggas of the 125-pound weight class pinned his opponent, redshirt sophomore Matt Cavarllaris, in 45 seconds. With the loss, Wisconsin slipped to 6-4 overall and 3-2 in the Big Ten. Ryan said that in order to finish the Big Ten portion of the schedule strong, the team needs to improve in several areas. “There’s plenty of technical stuff, little conditioning things, but we have to get ready for Illinois and we’ll have to put in some hard work for next week,” he said. The Buckeyes look to continue their winning ways when they take on Illinois on Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. in Oak Harbor, Ohio. read more

For Ohio State mens basketball rematch against Wisconsin is game on

CHICAGO-Ohio State will play in the Big Ten tournament championship game after beating Michigan State Saturday evening, the likely high point of the Buckeyes’ season thus far. The low mark of the year came against Wisconsin Feb. 17, during a 71-49 drubbing by the Badgers in Madison. OSU’s opponent for the conference title at the United Center in Chicago Sunday afternoon? Wisconsin, which upset No. 1 seed Indiana, 68-56, before the Buckeyes and Spartans took the floor. Since the defeat at the hands of the Badgers in the middle of February, OSU has rattled off seven-straight wins. “Ever since we suffered that loss at Wisconsin, we’ve gone into every game with a business-type mindset. Every game is business. There’s no ‘He-he, ha-ha,’” said redshirt senior forward Evan Ravenel. Sunday, the Buckeyes will look to hand the Badgers a spoonful of revenge for the embarrassing loss they suffered that Sunday afternoon at the Kohl Center. OSU is a much improved team since that Feb. 17 contest. So, though, are the Badgers. “We’re a better basketball team than the last time we played them, but unfortunately, so are they. I think Wisconsin is playing at a very high level right now,” said OSU coach Thad Matta. OSU players attribute their success since that rout to them coming together as a complete unit. Everyone is contributing on both ends of the floor, they say. “We kind of came together as a team and said, ‘We can’t rely on just one guy to play offense or one guy to play defense,’” said junior guard Aaron Craft, who scored 20 points in the Buckeyes’ 61-58 defeat of the Spartans Saturday. Wisconsin has been playing cohesively as well. The Badgers had four players in double figures against the Hoosiers and shot 51 percent from the floor. Wisconsin has won five of its seven games since its beatdown of OSU at home. Sunday’s contest will almost assuredly look very different than the two team’s last matchup. “We’re two totally different teams,” said junior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. “Now that we get another crack at them, it’s game on.” Analyzing the opponent Record: 23-10, 14-6 Big Ten Against OSU in the regular season: 1-1 Jan. 29, OSU 58, Wisconsin 49, in Columbus Feb. 17, Wisconsin 71, OSU 49 in Madison Matchup to watch: OSU’s perimeter defense vs. Wisconsin’s outside shooting OSU hangs its defensive hat on the heads of Craft and sophomore guard Shannon Scott, who routinely disrupt opponents’ guard play. Wisconsin relies heavily on the three ball. In their win against Indiana Saturday, the Badgers made seven threes. In their shellacking of the Buckeyes on Feb. 17, Wisconsin totaled seven makes from deep. If Craft and Scott can hold Wisconsin’s guards in check, limiting the Badgers’ looks from behind the line, OSU would be in good shape. OSU and Wisconsin are set to tip-off at 3:30 p.m. from the United Center in Chicago Sunday. OSU is playing for its fourth Big Ten tournament title under Matta. read more

Amedeo Della Valle ready to contribute in year 2 as a Buckeye

Sophomore guard Amedeo Della Valle (33) watches his shot during an exhibition game against Walsh Nov. 3 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU won, 93-63.Credit: Kelly Roderick / For The LanternAt times during the 2012-13 Ohio State basketball season, Amedeo Della Valle wasn’t sure if being in Columbus — more than 4,400 miles from his hometown of Alba, Italy — was for him.“I’m here by myself,” Della Valle said at OSU Media Day Oct. 10. “I don’t have family with me, so it’s not the easiest thing to do.”The sophomore sharpshooter spent the summer back home, earning Most Valuable Player honors during the U20 European Championship after averaging 13.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game while playing with his Italian team. Della Valle said although his lack of playing time last season was tough, he decided to come back because of assurances from the coaching staff and the relationship he has with his teammates, who he calls his “best friends.”“Coach (Thad) Matta’s a great coach, not just as a coach, as a person (too), and coach (Chris) Jent was here too, so sometimes when I wasn’t playing, I used to talk to them and be like, ‘What am I doing wrong?’” Della Valle said at Media Day. “They would tell me, ‘It’s not just about being ready today. We know what kind of player you can be, so just work hard on your game.’”Jent has since joined the Sacramento Kings of the NBA, but Della Valle continued to work hard in the offseason. It paid off, as he logged 21 minutes in OSU’s 93-63 exhibition victory over Walsh Sunday, totaling 13 points.“I like his confidence. Amedeo is a young man who cares about the welfare of the team,” Matta said after the win. “He wants to do everything he can do to help this team win; I put that in higher regard than a lot of things that happen.”The 6-foot-5-inch 190 pound sophomore has never been shy about taking his shot when it is there, hoisting 26 3-pointers last season while only averaging 7.2 minutes per game. Spending the majority of his time toward the end of the bench during his freshman year was because of one simple thing.“Definitely defense,” Della Valle said at Media Day. “Definitely wasn’t surprised that defense was something I had to work on, because I’ve never been a great defender my whole life. You just look at your teammates and what they do, and how they do it, and you just try to see yourself doing that.”His defense might have improved, but the Buckeyes could need Della Valle’s help offensively more than they think as they try to replace 2012-13 Big Ten leading scorer Deshaun Thomas, who left following the 2012 season for the NBA.Junior forward LaQuinton Ross said he thinks Della Valle can certainly be that guy because of how he’s always been able to score.“I would say Amedeo has probably been one of the most consistent guys since he’s been here as far as scoring the ball,” Ross said at Media Day. “What he did overseas this year with his Italian League was incredible … I think he’s one of the best scorers.”Della Valle made three of the Buckeyes’ four 3-pointers in Sunday’s win, something Matta said he was pleased with, even though shooting from the behind the arc might not be what the team is looking for a lot this year.“Obviously shooting the ball is very, very important to us in terms of percentage and that sort of thing,” Matta said. “Fortunately for us, (Amedeo) knocked down some threes. But we didn’t attempt a lot of them, which is good.”The Italian, though, said going away from the outside shot is not necessarily the team’s mindset.“I feel like that’s not the plan, or something we are focused on. I think we are focused on running the right play, and taking the right shots,” Della Valle said Sunday. “You don’t want to take a forced three — I mean the threes that I shot, I was open, so I had to take those shots.”At Media Day, Matta said replacing Thomas is going to be a team effort this season. That was clear in the win against Walsh, as Della Valle was one of five players who scored in double figures.“I don’t think we necessarily need somebody that shoots 20 shots per game or averages 30 points,” Della Valle said. “But I feel like we have enough scorers, enough players to make plays.”Della Valle believes he is one of those players, and said he is excited to be on the court more this winter after a “fun” first year as a Buckeye.“I’m lucky,” Della Valle said at Media Day. “It was definitely fun, and it was definitely a good freshman year. It helped me a lot. I feel like if I would have played more, I would have never realized what I need to work on more, and I would have never been motivated like I was last year to push myself.”The Buckeyes are scheduled to open their regular season Saturday at the Schottenstein Center against Morgan State at noon. read more

Kerry Coombs Ohio State cornerbacks will be good and ready for 2015

Then-redshirt-freshman Gareon Conley (19) makes a tackle during a game against Illinois on Nov. 1 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 55-14. Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editor“There is tremendous value in appreciating what you’ve earned.”Those were the words of Ohio State cornerbacks coach and special teams coordinator Kerry Coombs on Tuesday when he addressed the media after spring practice No. 9.Coombs, now entering his fourth season at OSU, said the Buckeyes should be able to reflect on and celebrate the school’s eighth national title from 2015, but they also need to focus on the task at hand.For now, part of that task is replacing Doran Grant at cornerback as spring practice rolls on.But while one corner spot remains open, the other has been locked down by redshirt-sophomore Eli Apple, who Coombs said has impressed throughout spring practice.“Eli was coming off of an illness last spring, and we didn’t have any idea of how he was going to play,” Coombs said Tuesday. “I thought he had a very good season and I think he has had a much better offseason and spring than he has ever had.”Apple accumulated 53 total tackles last season and added three interceptions while playing in all 15 games, including 14 starts.He also led the team in pass breakups with 10, edging out Grant, who totaled nine in his senior campaign.But even though Apple has momentum heading into 2015, Coombs said the returning starter is not yet a complete product.“He is not finished, and he knows that. We talk about that all the time,” Coombs said. “(I am) really excited about him.”As for the position mirroring Apple, Coombs seemed to have narrowed the competition down to two players.Redshirt-sophomore Gareon Conley was the first name out of Coombs’ mouth when asked about the other corner spot, and he added that Conley has bulked up this offseason.“Gareon has had a very good spring. He has put on weight, he has put on strength,” Coombs said. “He showed up at 168 pounds, now he’s 190 pounds. He is a very fast player, (and) his skill set continues to improve.”Conley played sparingly last season, totaling 16 tackles to go along with two pass breakups. He earned a start against Michigan State, but was replaced by Apple after giving up an early touchdown.Coombs also named a player who is getting his first taste of college football spring practice.“(Sophomore) Damon Webb, this is his first spring. It’s a lot, it’s hard. He is playing corner and nickel and he is handling it extremely well,” Coombs said. “He is one of the most competitive players on the team.”And while the two-horse race might come down to Conley and Webb, Coombs added he is hopeful that redshirt-freshman Marshon Lattimore will be available next week for full-speed drills.Lattimore suffered a season-ending injury toward the beginning of the 2014-15 season.With a number of young players set to make an impact in 2015, Coombs said he still believes his unit will be able to maintain the success of the press-man coverage defense that was implemented last season.“They will be good and ready,” Coombs said. “I love my room right now, I love my unit. They are really working at the craft of studying themselves, grading themselves every day; they show up ready to work.”The Buckeyes are set to play their annual Spring Game at Ohio Stadium on April 18 before starting the 2015 regular season on the road against Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., on Sept. 7. read more