Summary of “How U.S. Soccer ignores talented Hispanic players like Jonathan Gonzalez”

All across the country, there are thousands of talented youth soccer players who never get spotted by the professional soccer apparatus.
Perhaps more concerning, many of the disadvantaged players who do find their way into the American soccer system against the odds eventually leave it after discovering they’re not valued as highly as players who were on a path towards a place in the Development Academy – the league for U.S. Soccer’s designated elite youth soccer clubs – from a young age.
“How many people in charge can relate to what’s going on with players? You have Hugo Perez – who was let go by the U.S. Soccer federation – who discovered Jonathan Gonzalez and valued him,” he says.
“The perception of Alianza is that they help Mexican teams, but I don’t think that’s true. They provide an opportunity for Hispanic players who are being passed up by our own system. MLS teams have forbidden players who play for their academies to go to Alianza and I don’t agree with that. We need to do what’s best for the players. I think U.S. Soccer should work with Alianza.”
“Right from the start, we showed those players how serious we are. The transition from the academy to the first team is clear to see with the players that we play and the players that we sell.”
Major League Soccer has a deep history of Hispanic outreach, especially with securing talented players and developing those athletes in MLS academies.
“You can look at Hispanic players and say they’re more technical and less athletic, but we’ve lost sight of how valuable those players can be.
How come these players are integral players in different teams, in different styles of soccer, but American soccer doesn’t see value in them?”.

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Summary of “Can the Cavs’ Season Be Saved?”

The Cavs might be at their best-especially against the Warriors’ Lineup of Death-with LeBron at the 5.
LeBron’s future looms over this season, and it’s quickly moving from the background to the foreground as the trade deadline approaches.
Ryan: Let’s talk about those “Cavs players.” Is it at all conceivable that this is not LeBron? Is Kevin Love the personnel chessmaster leaking stories to the press?
Under LeBron pressure, the Cavs include the Brooklyn pick-which, even though it’s depreciating, is the first good pick they will have had since they took Wiggins and traded him for Turtleneck up there-in a deal that sends Tristan Thompson to Los Angeles for DeAndre Jordan.
Once the season begins, NBA teams are notoriously short on time, but are we talking about a deeper institutional rot if the team can’t make time to get players in shape and up to date on strategy?
The organization-from the moves the front office makes to who and how they play-runs through LeBron.
LeBron’s reluctance to give definitive answers about his future is forcing the front office to “Well actually” any outcries to provide him any more immediate help.
LeBron can be a great player, great teammate, and great person, and also a detrimental force, because his agenda only aligns with his franchise’s for as long as it can provide him the necessary means to compete for a title.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Ronaldinho: a player so good he made you smile”

Watch for long enough – it won’t take long – and you might even feel like standing to applaud, just like the Santiago Bernabéu did, an ovation for a Barcelona player, as if for all the rivalry they hadn’t so much been beaten by his genius as shared in it.
There may never have been a player who made the game as enjoyable as Ronaldinho, in part because he played and it was a game.
Almost a comedy cartoon character himself, he inspired the “BarcaToons” and on Spain’s version of Spitting Image his puppet giggled and laughed and repeated one word over and over: fiesta! “I am like that,” he admitted.
“When you have the ball at your feet, you are free,” Ronaldinho wrote in an open letter to his younger self, repeating a mantra: creativity over calculation.
Ronaldinho’s brother was his idol but he ended up better than him.
An advert featuring Ronaldinho showed him ambling to the corner of the penalty area, pulling on new boots, flicking a ball into the air and keeping it there.
Without letting the ball drop, he strolls back to where he started, sets it down and smiles.
The Brazilian legend Tostão claimed: “Ronaldinho has the dribbling skills of Rivelino, the vision of Gerson, the spirit and happiness of Garrincha, the pace, skill and power of Jairzinho and Ronaldo, the technical ability of Zico and the creativity of Romário.” Above all he had one, very special ability: he made you smile.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Picking the 2018 All-Star Game Starters”

Commissioner Adam Silver said last week in London that he worked with players’ union president Chris Paul on this change to create more excitement for the All-Star Game, which has been a boring product for the past decade.
Anyway, the deadline for All-Star Game ballot submissions was Monday, January 15, at 12 p.m. ET. Fans count for 50 percent of the vote, while players and media each count for 25 percent.
It’s a remarkable development for a player who previously shot 28.1 percent on 1.4 triples per game over his career.
Changes in Kyrie Irving’s Game Play Type Kyrie 2017-18 Kyrie 2016-17 Play Type Kyrie 2017-18 Kyrie 2016-17 P&R Ball Handler 35% 40% Isolation 18% 25% Hand-off 14% 6% Off Screen 10% 5% Spot-up 10% 9% Irving’s isolations have been replaced with dribble handoffs and screens, which has increased his half-court scoring efficiency by 5.7 points per 100 possessions more than last season.
East Frontcourt Starters LeBron James, Cavaliers As Steve Kerr drove to Oracle Arena before the Warriors faced the Cavaliers on Christmas, the head coach told reporters that he began thinking about how LeBron is playing as well as he ever has.
Al Horford, Celtics Victor Oladipo transformed his game this offseason and would’ve gotten the nod had we been able to select three “Guards” rather than three “Frontcourt” players.
West Backcourt Starters James Harden, Rockets The last time we saw Harden playing in a professional basketball game was on New Year’s Eve, when he dropped 40 on the Lakers in a 148-142 double-overtime win for the Rockets.
The ballot lineups haven’t followed suit with the game and gone positionless, so I have a hard time picking Curry over Butler when Curry’s been absent for 15 games, but he’s posting numbers comparable to his historic 2015-16 MVP campaign, with a near 50-40-90 season.

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Summary of “The Winners and Losers From the NFL’s Divisional Round”

There were four lead changes in the final 3:01, one of which was the play that will live forever in Vikings history, Saints infamy, and I guess Falcons history, too.
You may remember them from the last NFL team to play in St. Louis.
You know, maybe he’s a coaching genius who saw excellence in Keenum and Foles and taught them everything they know about quarterback play.
The Saints lost in heartbreaking fashion, and left the field after allowing a touchdown on the final play of the game.
The players who took the field for that PAT had no hope of helping the Saints win.
Jaguar players yelling for Mike mitchell as they entered the locker room.
Winner: Calais Campbell After erasing Buffalo’s offense last week, Jacksonville’s defense didn’t play exceptionally well Sunday against the Steelers.
Jacksonville kicked a field goal on the ensuing possession, and while the Steelers scored a touchdown in the game’s closing seconds, they would have needed to convert an onside kick to make up for the 10-point deficit they created with the first failed onside kick.

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Summary of “Lessons of an impossible quarterback final four”

Tennessee pressured Brady only once more on the ensuing 14 plays of the drive, with Brian Orakpo forcing a red zone incompletion before Brady threw a touchdown pass on the next play.
Teams need multiple players who can repeatedly win one-on-one matchups and force the Pats to either change their offense and give help in pass protection or risk getting Brady beat up.
Jacksonville forced another defensive touchdown – something it has done three times in two games against the Steelers this season when no other team has scored one in more than four seasons – and came up with a pair of fourth-and-short stops, but the Steelers came up with big play after big play to stay in the game.
There are a few guys who are going to be the best player on the field every week and a whole bunch of quarterbacks who should inspire no hope, but the vast majority of them are somewhere in the middle, and the combination of context and sheer variance changes how they look from week to week or season to season.
He would have had more success with a better quarterback, given that the bomb Pederson dialed up on the very first play from scrimmage would have gone for a touchdown with a quarterback who either had a better arm or didn’t lose his footing.
The Falcons seemed to decide to go for it on fourth-and-2 at midfield in the second quarter, only to somehow end up not getting set and running a play just after the play clock expired.
The Eagles called the sprint-out, but the Saints used a similar play as their regular two-point/fourth-down play for years, while the Raiders ran the same sort of sprint-out and throw to the pylon for a game-winning score against the Chiefs in Week 7.
The Saints appear in two-deep coverage on the play, which is a lot to ask of Williams on a play in which we know the Vikings need to go to the sidelines.

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Summary of “Minneapolis Miracle: Stefon Diggs Gives Vikings Their Forever Moment”

Perspective was scarce in the immediate aftermath, but it’s worth remembering that the Minneapolis Miracle was just a single iconic moment from an all-time-great playoff game.
“[Thielen] told me, ‘I don’t care what’s called,'” Diggs said after the game.
For much of Sunday’s game, the Vikings’ passing approach was the same as the one they’d relied on all season.
“There was a moment before the game today I remember looking around,” Keenum said.
“And there was only one guy there. If he slips, then I’m going to try and stay up.” When the dust settled, Diggs was standing in the end zone, sending the Vikings to Philadelphia for a date with the Eagles in next week’s NFC championship game.
The Jags used a ton of play-action against the Steelers, often relying on feigned handoffs to facilitate big chunk gains in the passing game.
The Steelers’ pass rush didn’t sniff Bortles all game.
With so much attention now focused on the running game, the Eagles’ excellent line and capable collection of runners is no longer enough to sustain success on the ground.

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Summary of “Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa’s Rise Was Part of Nick Saban’s Plan”

Like everything else for Alabama, the schedule scrawled on the Crimson Tide’s locker-room wall in Mercedes-Benz Stadium showed signs of precise, meticulous planning.
Then the most Alabama thing of all happened: The Tide revealed an entirely separate plan, one that was clearly thought out, practiced for, and eventually executed to perfection by some of the most talented players in college football.
Three years later, Texas went from Colt McCoy to Garrett Gilbert in the first quarter of a 37-21 loss to Alabama, but that happened only because McCoy was forced to exit with an injury.
Alabama couldn’t afford to be safe after its first half against the Bulldogs.
Saban felt Hurts’s inability to throw was allowing Georgia to ignore any threat of the pass and zero in on stopping the Alabama rushing attack.
Tagovailoa brought Alabama back in large part because he was a threat to throw deep.
Although these five players had little on-field impact for Alabama this season, it made sense for the Tide to let Tagovailoa ride with the guys he’d developed a rapport with in practice all season.
So much about this game was surprising: That Georgia initially stopped Alabama from doing what it wanted, that Alabama turned to its true freshman backup quarterback in the national championship, that Alabama was ready to deploy a secret squad of future superstars, that Saban had to break the glass in case of emergency.

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Summary of “How the Rising Salary Cap Explains the 2017 NFL Playoffs”

“With the excessive amount of available cap space, close to a billion dollars-some teams can’t mentally keep up with that.”
The second-biggest change was a clause in the 2011 CBA that allowed teams to roll over unused cap space from year to year.
It may sound simplistic, but the cap is rising at such a rate, and the carryover money is so great, that most teams can do anything they want within reason to their roster.
“Any team who was bad with their salary cap in the past now has a get-out-of-jail-free card,” said Jason Fitzgerald, who runs Over the Cap, a salary cap website, and has consulted for NFL teams.
Even though the rising cap has allowed mismanaged teams countless do-overs, it’s also allowed the rich to get richer.
“Teams are more likely to trade than ever before-the teams that trade the player can better absorb the signing bonus they’d eat on the cap and the teams that get the player can carry the money on the cap. You’re also getting younger general managers who are more inclined to take risks.” Corry also points to the fact that stars like Sheldon Richardson, who went from the Jets to the Seahawks, can be traded on cut-down day.
In addition to giving top-tier contenders the ability to add a missing piece and encouraging thrifty teams to spend, the rising cap has also made, as Corry said, “Complete teardowns much easier.” Fitzgerald said that most teams now can pay so much to players that they can front-load contracts into two-year deals instead of three for the same amount of guaranteed money.
Banner points out that Roseman is smart enough to use his cap space to sign his current players to deals that work for both sides-maybe they seem like slight overpays now, but they will be a bargain compared to what would happen if they hit the open market and teams with $100 million to spend got to bid.

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Summary of “School Spirit: NBA Mainstays Head Back to College”

The 44-year-old former NBA star is in his second season as head coach of University of the Pacific, and he’s still wrestling with the adjustments.
Stoudamire played for four NBA teams over 13 seasons.
Stoudamire is among a handful of once-prominent NBA players now commanding relatively remote college outposts.
Donyell Marshall, who spent time with eight different NBA teams over 15 years, is in his second season as head coach of Central Connecticut State University.
Stoudamire tried to recruit him to Arizona and stayed in touch with his dad. When things didn’t work out with the Ducks, the Smalls called Stoudamire.
After practice in Stockton one afternoon, Small explained what a thrill it is to play for Stoudamire, whom he said “You have to respect” because “He’s done it at the highest level.” Small said Stoudamire tells the team stories now and then about his days in the league.
Which Small, who was 11 during Stoudamire’s final NBA season, only sort of remembers.
Marshall said, “If it’s the right opportunity and situation, you have to look at it.” Stoudamire was more blunt: “I think about getting back into the league. It is something that I think about.”

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