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PostPosted: 28 Mar 2019 04:00:42    Post subject:  and the biggest without
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VANCOUVER -- Kenny Miller made good on a pressure packed do-over to keep the Vancouver Whitecaps unbeaten. Millers goal on a penalty kick in the 58th minute gave the Whitecaps a 2-1 victory over the Houston Dynamo on Saturday. He had to re-take the spot kick, after being successful on the first one, because teammate Darren Mattocks was still in the 18-yard box when Miller put the ball into the net. "It was a little tougher when youve scored the first one, and its easy after a miss," said Miller. "But sometimes that happens. It was a little bit of encroachment there. Sometimes, the referees dont make you take it again. But I was fortunate enough to put it in." The penalty kick was awarded after Houston defender Kofi Sarkodie was called for a hand ball in the box in the 56th minute. The Whitecaps improved their record to 2-0-2 in the young season before a sellout crowd of 21,000 at B.C. Place Stadium. The Dynamo (2-1-0) suffered their first loss. "I dont think you could ask for much more (to start the season)," said Miller. He scored what proved to be the winning goal as he put the hosts ahead 2-0 with his spot kick, rolling a shot into the right corner of the net. He had put his first penalty-kick attempt over Houston goalkeeper Tally Hall. "(Miller), obviously, has got a cool head (to score on) the second penalty," said Vancouver rookie head coach Carl Robinson. "The first (penalty kick) was driving me mad. I just prayed that hed put it in, and he did. Hes a very clever player and a very cool character, so Im delighted for (Miller) but delighted for all the guys." Jordan Harvey, in the 14th minute, also scored for the Whitecaps while Ricardo Clark, in the 75th, was the lone Houston marksman. "I think we got the result we deserved," said Robinson. "But we showed a lot of heart and character in todays performance." The Whitecaps effectively negated Dynamo striker Will Bruin, who had shared the MLS scoring lead after netting three goals in his clubs first two games to start the season. "I thought we did okay. We just came out on the wrong end of the result," said Houston coach Dominic Kinnear. Harvey, a left back, gave the Whitecaps a 1-0 lead as he bounced Andy OBriens header past Hall. The assist was the first point in MLS for OBrien, a central defender, who joined the Whitecaps midway through the 2012 season. The play originated off a long cross from the left flank by Pedro Morales. "I like to think I can contribute, not just with assists and things like that," said OBrien. "But Im pleased that I could contribute on the goal." After assisting on the goal, OBrien made several timely defensive plays with some key plays and a blocked cross that he took in the groin. He lay on the ground briefly but continued to play well after. Houston started with a charge and forced Whitecaps goalkeeper David Ousted to knock a Giles Barnes header over the crossbar in the first minute. But that was the only attempt Houston put on net in the first half. Afterwards, aside from getting back-to-back corner kicks in the eighth minute -- the second of which Ousted leaped out to catch -- the Dynamo rarely penetrated a staunch Whitecaps defence. On the other hand, Hall was forced to make three saves in the first half, including two on Morales. The second stop on Morales came in stoppage time and prevented the Whitecaps from going into halftime with a bigger lead and considerable confidence. The Dynamo again attempted to get off to a strong start in the second half, but the Caps held them off fairly easily as Robinson switched to a diamond-shaped midfield that he had not used previously. "The system that we played today gave us more options when we had the ball," said OBrien. "It exposed the channel areas for (Mattocks) to run into, and hes not the guy that you want to be chasing with the ball a as a defender." Vancouvers penalty kick was awarded after Mattocks tried to deke Sarkodie a few yards inside the Houston box. Sarkodie fell and swept his arm out, getting a hand on the ball. Clark pulled the Dynamo within a goal as he headed home a Brad Davis free kick. But the Whitecaps managed to hold Houston off the scoreboard the rest of the way as Robinson made substitutions to keep his attackers fresh and the defenders and midfielders remained solid in their play. "Were going to concede goals, but its about how you bounce back and we didnt look (like we were) under any pressure," said Robinson. "They pushed time after time, and theyre a big, physical team, but while they were putting bigger players on, I was putting smaller players on." Morales, a 28-year-old Chilean midfielder who is in his first season with the Whitecaps, continued to draw rave reviews from his coach and teammates for his vision and passing ability. He now has a goal and two assists in his first four MLS career games. "Hes a joy to watch, he really is, and I think hes a joy to play with as well," said Robinson. "He just gives us a different dimension to our team." Notes: The Whitecaps honoured retired defender Y.P. Lee before the game. The former Korean international was presented with a photo of himself and his two children, taken prior to the final game of his career last season. Lee continues to live in Vancouver and works with the Whitecaps business operations while pursuing his education. a The game marked a rare time when a female official, Felisha Mariscal of Chula Vista., Calif., served as an assistant referee in an MLS contest. Mariscals brothers Apolinar (Polo) and Eduardo, who are twins, are also soccer officials. a Vancouver captain Jay DeMerit played the whole game a week after Robinson kept him at home to rest while the Caps earned a draw in Philadelphia. a Vancouver midfielder Gershon Koffie was solid in place of the injured Nigel Reo-Coker (concussion.)
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. Ibrahimovic put PSG ahead when he got in front of his marker to neatly flick in Lucass cross in the 59th minute. New signing Yohan Cabaye came on as a second-half substitute and headed Ezequiel Lavezzis cross against the post in the 87th. Moments later, Lucas set up another goal from the right when fellow countryman Alex turned in his corner with a strikers finish.
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. Right-hander Ricky Nolasco and the Twins agreed to terms on a free-agent contract Wednesday, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press.
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. However, Jim Popp isnt sure how long hell be able to admire wide receiver Duron Carter.ATLANTA -- Arthur Blank donned traditional soccer garb to mark his newest venture -- an MLS team for Atlanta. "I love this one," Blank said, looking down at the red, black and gold scarf draped over his dark suit. "I havent taken it off since it was given to me. I may not sleep in it tonight, but I may. I havent decided yet." Major League Soccer announced its latest team Wednesday, an expansion team for Atlanta that will begin play in 2017 at the citys new retractable roof stadium. The team will be owned by Blank, who also controls the NFLs Atlanta Falcons. He said it was the culmination of a process that started about a decade ago, when he first started talks with MLS about bringing a team to the city. The off-and-on discussions picked up again after Blank reached a deal with the city last year to build a new $1 billion downtown stadium next to the soon-to-be-demolished Georgia Dome. He is putting up most of the money, with the city kicking in $200 million from a hotel tax. "I think Atlanta is a natural fit for Major League Soccer," said Blank, who was serenaded by a burgeoning fan group that calls itself "Terminus Legion," a reference to the citys former name. The teams name has not been determined. Blank said he will get input from the fans before deciding on the new moniker, though he already knows the colours: red and black -- matching the Falcons -- with a substantial amount of gold as well. "What the name will be, we really dont know," he said. "We will spend a lot of time listening to our fans and trying to understand why some names are more important than others, why certain designs are more important than others, why certain logos are more important than others." One name that wont be considered: Atlanta Chiefs, the name of two previous teams that played in the old North American Soccer League. While the Chiefs won the first NASL championship in 1968, both versions struggled financially and eventually folded. MLS Commissioner Don Garber said there was no hesitation about putting a team in Atlanta once Blank worked out a stadium deal. It is the ninth-largest metropolitan area in the U.S. and the biggest without a top-level soccer team. The city has a large Hispanic population and last month drew more than 68,000 fans to the Georgia Dome for a friendly between Mexico and Nigeria. "This is something that will help elevate our league," Garber said. "It will also elevate our sport in thhe entire Southeast, which is something that is very important to us strategically.dddddddddddd" The league went all out to tout its newest team. Hundreds of fans turned out for a street festival before Blank and Garber arrived by helicopter for the introductory news conference, touching down on the roof of a downtown hotel overlooked Centennial Olympic Park. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed also attended. While the new stadium is primarily designed for the Falcons, Blank stressed that it will be soccer-friendly. The stands along the sideline will have the capability to retract, accommodating the larger soccer pitch while maintaining sightlines. Curtains will descend from the roof automatically to close off the upper sections, creating the sort of intimate atmosphere that works better for less-attended MLS games. The new facility is designed to seat about 71,000 for NFL games, Blank said, but can be reduced to about 29,000 for soccer using only the lower bowl. "There will never be an MLS game in Atlanta where NFL lines are shown on the field," Blank said, drawing a big cheer. MLS, which has 19 teams this season, is expanding rapidly with a goal of having 24 teams by the end of the decade. Orlando and New York City are scheduled to begin play next season, and the league has awarded a provisional team in Miami to a group led by David Beckham, contingent on a soccer-specific stadium being built. The league has added five teams in the past five years, including the hugely successful Seattle Sounders. Garber said there is no worry about growing too fast given the abundance of soccer talent around the world. "When we expand, we can pick from players around the world," Garber said. "We could change the roster rules, the international player limits, and have no dilution in talent." Blank said he will try to encourage some crossover between Falcons season-ticket holders and those interested in attending MLS games. But he acknowledged the teams are likely to have very different fan bases, making it clear the new soccer team will not merely be a side business for the Falcons. His first priority is to hire a team president for the MLS venture. He will also be exploring possible locations for a state-of-the-art training facility. "We dont want any stepchildren in our family," Blank said. "We want to make sure the people running soccer get up in the morning thinking about soccer and go to bed thinking about soccer." ' ' '
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PostPosted: 28 Mar 2019 04:00:42    Post subject: Adv






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