Champions League: UEFA hoping virus doesn’t ruin plans for Lisbon finale

first_img That raises questions about whether the final eight will happen as planned, although UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has remained outwardly bullish. “I am confident that with the continued and constant collaboration between all stakeholders, we will conclude the season in a positive way in Lisbon. There is no need for a Plan B,” Ceferin said last week. UEFA plans to complete the Europa League with an identical format, a final eight in Germany, with the final due to go ahead in Cologne on August 21. The draws for the quarter-finals and semi-finals of both competitions will be held on Friday, from 1000 GMT. However, before getting that far in either competition, there are a host of last-16 ties to be completed. Within days football across Europe was suspended and it was only in mid-June that UEFA was able to unveil a way of finishing its flagship tournament, the main economic driver for European football’s governing body – before the pandemic, it estimated gross commercial revenue from its competitions this season would be 3.25 billion euros ($3.69bn). And so the plan is to go to the Portuguese capital for a unique “final eight” straight knockout tournament from the quarter-finals onwards, starting on August 12 and finishing with the final at Benfica’s Estadio da Luz on August 23. It will share the quarter-final and semi-final matches with the Estadio Jose Alvalade, Sporting’s home just along Lisbon’s Segunda Circular ring road. – Games behind closed doors? – Benfica’s home staged the Champions League final in 2014 when Real Madrid beat Atletico. Then it was filled to its 65,000 capacity, but this time it is expected all matches will be played behind closed doors due to fears an influx of supporters from around Europe could spark a new wave of COVID-19. Four months on from the last match in this season’s Champions League, the draw for the final eight will be held on Friday amid ongoing uncertainty about how safe it will be to play out the competition in Lisbon as planned, and with four last-16 ties still to be completed. It was on March 11 that Paris Saint-Germain beat Borussia Dortmund 2-0 behind closed doors to qualify for the quarter-finals for the first time in four years and their players celebrated wildly with jubilant supporters who had gathered outside the Parc des Princes. The same night, holders Liverpool were knocked out by Atletico Madrid in front of 52,000 fans at Anfield, a mass gathering which British scientists later said had aided the acceleration of the coronavirus pandemic. Indeed, the biggest concern right now is Lisbon itself. Last week lockdown restrictions were reimposed on 19 neighbourhoods across the northern periphery of Lisbon, worryingly close to both venues. The restrictions concern some 700,000 people and will remain in place for at least a fortnight. Portugal, a country of 10 million, is currently registering over 300 cases of coronavirus a day. Three-quarters of the 443 new cases registered on Wednesday came in the Lisbon area. – No Plan B – Promoted Content10 Asian Actresses Of Irresistible Beauty15 Celebs Who Fell From Grace With Their CareersThe Best Cars Of All Time7 Universities Where Getting An Education Costs A Hefty PennyCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable WayTop 7 Best Car Manufacturers Of All TimeFantastic-Looking (and Probably Delicious) Bread ArtWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?Top 10 Enemies Turned Friends in TVHidden For A Thousand Years – A Secret Of The Great Wall Of China10 Risky Jobs Some Women Do2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This Year Loading… center_img Read Also: Ighalo thrilled as Pogba, James show off dancing skills (video) Underdogs Atalanta, from the northern Italian city of Bergamo devastated by the pandemic, are dreaming of going all the way. The same can be said of RB Leipzig, although they will have to do without star striker Timo Werner after he was sold to Chelsea. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 The Estadio da Luz in Lisbon, where this season’s Champions League final is due to be played PSG supporters gathered outside the Parc des Princes to celebrate their team’s win over Borussia Dortmund behind closed doors in March as the French club qualified for the last eight of the Champions League In the Europa League last 16, only six of the eight first-leg matches were played in March. In the Champions League, Atalanta and RB Leipzig are through to the last eight along with PSG and Atletico. The remaining last 16, second legs will see Juventus face Lyon, Manchester City take on Madrid, Bayern Munich face Chelsea and Barcelona meet Napoli. UEFA has kept open the idea of also moving those games to Portugal if necessary, to the northern cities of Porto and Guimaraes. While some of the continent’s behemoths still hope to book their spots in Portugal, Atletico and PSG might see the unique format as an ideal opportunity for European glory. “We are capable of winning this competition, just like the other seven teams will be. I am convinced that we will be a strong proposition,” said the PSG coach Thomas Tuchel.last_img read more

Pellegrini bids to end Lampard saga

first_img Lampard has been the face of New York City’s marketing campaign ahead of their inaugural season and many fans demanded a refund on their season tickets after it was confirmed he would remain in Manchester until the summer. City boss Pellegrini said: “I think it’s an issue which is finished. Frank now is here. I know that there a lot of different opinions about Frank, about that. I respect all of them, but the decision is taken already and Frank will stay here until the end of the season.” Lampard released a statement via Steve Kutner Management on Friday morning seeking to clarify the situation, although clarity is one thing sorely lacking. “I want to make it completely clear about my situation as I have read a lot of lies and nonsense over the last few days,” the 36-year-old said. “When released from Chelsea last year at the end of my contract I signed a commitment to play for NYCFC for two years starting January 1, 2015. I was then offered the chance to train and be part of the Man City squad in the interim to keep myself in the best shape going into New York. “This period has since been extended by Man City and I will now start playing for NYCFC at the end of this current Premier League season. “There has always been a constant dialogue between all parties in this time to find the best solution for everyone. I can say that I am very excited about arriving in New York and giving everything to the team to make us a success in the MLS as soon as possible.” Pellegrini, meanwhile, did not rule out trying to hold onto Lampard beyond the end of the season. The Chilean said: “I think Frank is doing very well with us and I am happy with him as part of the squad. Not only on the pitch but off the pitch, as a professional, as a leader, which is always good for young players, to see him working here. “But at the end of the season, he finishes his contract here. I cannot say what will happen in the future. If I say I cannot say, you will suppose that maybe he will stay here.” There has been confusion over the precise nature of Lampard’s contract status in relation to both clubs since it was announced on New Year’s Eve that he would remain with the Barclays Premier League champions until the end of the season. That announcement has delayed his debut with sister club New York until midway through their first MLS campaign, to the anger of many fans in the United States. On Thursday, the Premier League announced that, after reviewing Lampard’s status, it was satisfied his contract was solely owned by Manchester City with no agreement in place between the two clubs – which sparked fresh speculation he might never play in MLS. But Lampard issued a statement via his representatives which said he does have an agreement in place with New York and will move there in the summer. Quoted in the Guardian, City said: “The statement on the NYCFC website in July saying Lampard’s two-year contract took effect from Aug 1, 2014 was a mistake. [The] initial statement on City’s website that it was a loan was also an error. “There was a head of terms commitment from Lampard to join NYCFC from Jan 1, 2015. That was extended to the end of this season. Any contract with NYCFC will now take effect from July 1, 2015.” Manchester City and New York City, both part of the City Football Group, have been criticised on both sides of the Atlantic for their handling of the situation. With Yaya Toure heading to the African Nations Cup, City were understandably keen to keep Lampard after his return of seven goals, largely as a substitute, but in doing so they have angered the fan base of New York City before they have kicked a ball in competitive action. Manchester City on Friday admitted making mistakes in the way the former Chelsea midfielder’s move to the Etihad Stadium was reported. It was claimed in August that Lampard had joined City on loan until the start of January after penning a deal with Major League Soccer side New York City FC earlier in the summer. Manuel Pellegrini wants a line to be drawn under the Frank Lampard contract saga. Press Associationlast_img read more

Assistant coach Domenico connects with, leads players

first_img Published on January 22, 2013 at 1:07 am Contact David: Alison Domenico doesn’t fire shots at the net and doesn’t make key defensive plays, but the assistant coach does help the ice hockey team play well, day in and day out.“She knows what each player needs to work on, so she’ll focus on that with that certain player,” said senior Holly Carrie-Mattimoe.Domenico played 153 games at St. Lawrence University from 2006-2009. Her 29 power play goals tie her for the most power play goals in the school’s history.Syracuse head coach Paul Flanagan was Domenico’s head coach at St. Lawrence from freshman to junior year. As a result, players like Carrie-Mattimoe have noticed similarities between Domenico and Flanagan’s coaching styles. Her experience playing under Flanagan helps her connect with and better instruct her players.While playing in college, Domenico reached the NCAA Tournament every year, including the Frozen Four in 2006 and 2007. During her senior year, the SU assistant coach was named the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Defensive Forward of the Year, and made second-team, all-league.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“She was coached by coach Flanagan as well, so they kind of have the same mentality,” Carrie-Mattimoe said. “Everyone respects her so it’s not any different than coach Flanagan being on the ice.”Before coming to the Orange, Domenico was an assistant coach at Ohio State from 2010-2011. She helped players with their skills, worked on video analysis and the team’s day-to-day operations. Domenico came to Syracuse as an assistant coach in 2011.Earlier in the season, Flanagan talked about SU’s need for more offensive production, which is where Domenico has been helping out.“She will help out if people wanna go out on the ice early and have a one-on-one session,” Carrie-Mattimoe said.But it’s not just on the ice that Carrie-Mattimoe has noticed Domenico’s effect on the team.Carrie-Mattimoe said she thinks of Domenico as a great coach, and someone that’s a perfect fit at Syracuse. She also said the girls on the team love learning from her and following her lead.Carrie-Mattimoe is a captain, forcing her to be more vocal and present in the locker room, but she isn’t the only player noticing Domenico’s effect on the team.Even the usually soft-spoken junior Shiann Darkangelo praised SU’s assistant coach.“She’s easy to talk to,” Darkangelo said. “I love her, she’s awesome.” Asst. sports editor Jacob Klinger and Ryan Raigrodski contributed reporting to this article. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Club Tennis team making as much noise as varsity

first_imgThough the USC men’s and women’s tennis teams have dominated the collegiate tennis scene, another squad from USC hopes to make some noise on the national level.USC’s men’s and women’s club tennis squads will send 10 players to Cary, N.C., to participate in a 64-team draw at the United States Tennis Assocation National Tennis On-Campus Championships, which begins today and ends Saturday.Medical school student Jordan Rees and freshman Colin Tseng will pair up in men’s doubles alongside seniors Ashley Ohira and Madeline Segura in women’s doubles.Tseng will also join graduate student Amber Brightly in mixed doubles. Sophomore Dave Warren and senior Amanda Ellis will play in men’s and women’s singles, respectively.Sophomores Alden Mitchell and Yaron Steinfeld will also travel with the team as alternates, while junior Allen Jebsen will serve as captain for the squad.“It’s a really cool atmosphere [at Nationals],” Jebsen said. “You just feel like you’re part of USC. When you go there, you represent USC, and that’s what makes me want to play my best.”Match play will model the World TeamTennis format, in which every match consists of five sets of six games, with each set devoted to either men’s doubles, women’s doubles, mixed doubles, men’s singles or women’s singles. A team wins based on total games won, rather than sets won.The tournament begins with round robin play in a pool of four teams. After three matches in one day, the teams will be divided into four separate brackets based on their pool record.Once sorted into either the Gold, Silver, Bronze or Copper bracket, the teams will face off in a 16-team playoff over two days. The last one standing in the Gold bracket will be crowned champion, a title that USC has yet to take in the tournament’s 12-year history.On the first day of play, USC will face a pool comprised of James Madison University, Northeastern University and the University of Missouri—Columbia.USC’s club team, which practices four hours a week at Marks Tennis Stadium, hopes to go far in the tournament after the team had to back out of the Nationals last year.Segura, who also serves as president of the USC Tennis Club, will be going to the Nationals for the third time.“It really is an experience that I will take with me forever,” Segura said. “I think we will do really well. I presume we’re going to come back with very successful results.”USC’s club team, which consists of 25 members, is part of the bigger USC Tennis Club, which offers a source of competitive tennis for more than 250 members of all talent levels.“The competitive aspect is really nice,” Steinfeld said. “But it’s also just nice to get away from the studying scene and all of that, and be able to come here and play tennis with some of my closest friends.”While the next three days will feature some stiff competition in the likes of reigning champion UCLA and five-time champion Texas A&M, USC lacks no confidence in its title chances.“We’re going to win it,” Jebsen said.  “ We’re going all the way.”last_img read more