Ben Haim heads to Toronto

first_imgQPR defender Tal Ben Haim has joined Major League Soccer franchise Toronto FC on a short-term loan deal. Nelsen has already returned once to Rangers since his move to the MLS club, signing winger Hogan Ephraim on a loan deal. The experience Ben Haim will take to the MLS, after spells with the likes of Bolton, Chelsea and Manchester City, will provide invaluable, according to Toronto FC president Kevin Payne. “Tal Ben Haim has been one of the top defenders in the Premier League for nearly a decade,” he told the club’s official website. “He captains his national team and Ryan thinks the world of him. He’s exactly the sort of veteran defender we need.” Press Associationcenter_img Ben Haim, 31, was signed by Rangers boss Harry Redknapp in the January transfer window but has made just seven appearances since as the R’s slipped out of the Barclays Premier League. Toronto are managed by former Loftus Road favourite Ryan Nelsen and Israel international Ben Haim will remain on loan at the club until the end of June. last_img read more

Wenger Worried Brexit May Change Status of Premier League

first_imgArsene Wenger fears Brexit may rob the Premier League it top place amongst European leagues LaLiga, the Bundesliga and Serie Acould overtake the Premier League in commercial and economic terms if they are able to purchase the top foreign players, with the UK due to leave the EU at the end of 2021 – and Wenger is fascinated to see how it will play out.“Certainly, subconsciously maybe for some people, it [Brexit] was to regain some sovereignty of their own destiny. And football is completely the reverse,’ Wenger told UK’s The Mirroryesterday.“How will that change? That will depend now on how Brexit will be applied to football.“I’ve asked many people, nobody knows. Will people inside Europe be considered as foreign players who cannot play in the English Premier League? I don’t know.”As of now, it is unclear how or if Brexit will drastically change the accessibility of foreign players to play in the UK.Yet Wenger, who still lives in London, warned that with restrictive regulations on the movement of people, it could be a blow to the Premier League’s worldwide brand as the best league in the world.“But if the rules are restrictive, they will kill the superiority of the Premier League.“Because today the Premier League depends on worldwide exposure, with the best players and worldwide ownership with multi-billion owners from around the world.”Meanwhile, the 70-year-old ruled himself outof the running to become Arsenal chairman over the weekend.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram *Rules out taking over Arsenal as ChairmanArsene Wenger is concerned about how Brexitcould change the reputation and stature of the Premier League worldwide.The former Arsenalmanager, 70, who now has a role at FIFA as their chief of global football development, believes the influx of foreign players in English football could be in doubt, depending on the terms of how the UK leaves the European Union.last_img read more

SB : Orange refocuses heading into Big East play

first_imgWally King warned his Syracuse players they would return to ‘top-25 practices.’After narrowly escaping with a win over a lowly Canisius team, the SU associate head coach knew it was time for the Orange to snap back into it. For King, it starts with returning to hard work between games.‘I think Saturday was a close enough game that required us to turn it back on,’ SU head coach Leigh Ross said.With Big East play rapidly approaching, Syracuse needs to flip the switch back on during practices. Ross felt the team was going through the motions and the energy level needed to rise.And with the excuse of constant travel the team faced at the start season in the books, Ross decided it was time to push the Orange like she did in the preseason. The end result is a re-energized squad that will take on St. John’s in a slate of three games this weekend on the road to open Big East play.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBut against Canisius, SU almost didn’t win a game it should have won easily. A Kelly Saco walk-off single rescued the Orange from a potentially major bump in the road. After the game, senior catcher Lacey Kohl said she and her teammates weren’t happy with what transpired, even in a win.‘I don’t want to say disappointed because disappointed is a strong word,’ Kohl said. ‘We just know that we’re a much better team that showed up on Saturday. … I don’t think we showed up to play by any means.’Because the Orange didn’t show up Saturday, it got back to work Monday.With the entire team in attendance, Kohl said SU slowed things down while still turning up the intensity. The Orange got back to focusing on the fundamentals of the game, and if the team didn’t do something the right way, it ran sprints and did push-ups.‘We were all scared because we know what it means if we mess up,’ Kohl said. ‘We run.’It was a reminder from Ross that to play well in every minute of every game the team needed to keep focused, regardless of the competition.Lisaira Daniels said she and her teammates still have the goal of making a deep postseason run on their minds, but it helps when the coaches remind them of that agenda.‘It was getting back on that goal,’ Daniels said. ‘… It’s different when you hear it from your coach.’That agenda brings Syracuse to conference play this weekend. Daniels sees the team as underdogs for another season. In the preseason conference poll, the Orange was voted to finish second behind DePaul, despite the fact that SU topped the Blue Demons last year in the Big East tournament.To Daniels, it was a slap in Syracuse’s face.But Daniels isn’t concerned with proving Syracuse is the best team in the conference. To prove it’s better than teams like DePaul, Louisville and South Florida, the senior outfielder knows the Orange must take care of business against weaker teams like the Red Storm this weekend.St. John’s is just 12-19 on the season and has lost three of its last five games. The last time Syracuse played St. John’s in the regular season was during the 2010 season, in which the Orange won both games of the doubleheader.Regardless of SU’s past success, it still can’t take inferior competition for granted like it did against Canisius on Saturday.‘The Colgates and the Canisiuses, we’ve got to beat those teams,’ Daniels said. ‘We can’t play at their level. We always have to stick with our level. We’re a great team.’Daniels wouldn’t go as far as to say St. John’s is one of the teams that Syracuse should beat with ease. But Kohl had no problem saying she thinks Syracuse is the superior team.‘I do think that,’ Kohl said. ‘And I think we all know that going in.’ Facebook Twitter Google+ Commentscenter_img Published on March 28, 2012 at 12:00 pmlast_img read more

Expectations elevated for No. 23 USC

first_imgAfter two years of narrowly missing the NCAA tournament, the Women of Troy have one goal in their third year under USC coach Michael Cooper.Experience · Senior guard Ashley Corral, an All-Pac-10 First team selection last year, is one of five core returners for the Women of Troy. – DailyTrojan file photo“We need to get to the tournament,” senior guard Ashley Corral said. “We need to show who we are, that we’re as good as those [other] top 25 teams.”The Women of Troy’s quest for an NCAA tournament bid begins tonight against Fresno State at 5 p.m.The high expectations, however, aren’t just coming from the team. USC was voted No. 23 in the preseason Associated Press poll, the first time it has been ranked since 2006.“If you can stay inside the [top] 25, it’s almost an automatic berth into the tournament,” Cooper said. “That’s where we want to eventually end up, so a ranking is definitely good, but now we have to live up to that and win consistently.”Despite missing out on the NCAA tournament last year, the Women of Troy received an invitation to the 64-team Women’s National Invitational Tournament, where they won five games in a row to reach the championship game before falling to Toledo.“I had never played in the postseason, and I know none of my teammates had either,” Corral said. “It helped our bodies get used to playing that long of a season.”USC is ranked second in the preseason Pac-12 media poll, behind Stanford, who reached the Final Four last season and is ranked No. 5 in the Associated Press poll.The Women of Troy haven’t beat the Cardinal since the 2007-2008 season, but they have high hopes to dethrone the defending conference champions.“I think we’re going to give a challenge to everyone we play,” Cooper said. “The Pac-12 is not a cakewalk this year. Stanford is the team to knock off the top, and we’re going to give them all that they can handle.”By the time USC squares off against Stanford, they will have plenty of experience against top-notch competition.Before they even start conference play, the Women of Troy will have faced six teams that made the NCAA tournament last year.Those games include a road trip to defending national champion Texas A&M on Dec. 18, and a trip to the Bahamas for a tournament where they will play national runner-up Notre Dame, and either Duke or Gardner-Webb, both of which participated in the tournament last year.“We have to go win those big games on the road for us to get credit,” Corral said. “It’s a good showing for the committee, and we know what we have to do.”Though USC faces some tough competition in the early going, it does bring back its core group of players from a year ago. Corral is one of four returning All-Pac-10 honorees for USC. Senior guard Briana Gilbreath earned an Associated Press All-American honorable mention while leading USC in scoring, rebounds, steals and blocks last season.Fifth-year senior Jacki Gemelos returns at the point, where she earned All-Pac-10 honorable mention and was USC’s third-leading scorer in her first full season after recovering from numerous knee surgeries that plagued her first three years in Los Angeles.Sophomore forward Cassie Harberts was the only player to start every game last season and was selected to the Pac-10 freshman team after being one of four USC players to average double-digit scoring.“Look for Cassie to be a little bit more solid in [the post],” Cooper said. “She did a good job last year, but she really worked on the weights [in the offseason] so she should have a little more strength.”Freshman forward Alexyz Vaioletama is the only new face in the starting lineup, taking the spot of graduate Kari LaPlante. The freshman, listed at 6-foot-1, isn’t as tall as LaPlante, but has been praised by her coaches for her tenacity and athleticism.“[Vaioletama] is an athletic big that we haven’t seen around here in a long time,” Cooper said. “Fans are going to be very impressed and surprised with the way she’ll play, especially as a freshman.”Freshmen forward Deanna Calhoun and guards Ariya Crook and Kiki Alofaituli make up the rest of USC’s No. 8 ranked recruiting class.Junior forward Christina Marinacci could move into the starting lineup at some point, after finishing second on the team in rebounding and fifth in scoring last year.“This group here is special,” Cooper said. “All of our players definitely took a step forward this year. They finally get what we want to do, what we want to accomplish.”That attitude is even rubbing off on the newcomers.“We just need to suck it up, and work hard on and off the court to get to the [tournament],” Vaioletama said. “That’s what our main goal is. My expectations are very high for this team.”last_img read more