Oklahoma State has made the initial cut for three-star cornerback Starrland Baldwin of Cy Falls High School in Houston, Texas. Baldwin’s list, which he narrowed from 16 to 12, included Houston, Arizona State, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Iowa State, LSU, Utah, Nevada, Penn State, TCU, West Virginia and of course Oklahoma State.Baldwin is the younger brother of linebacker Trey Baldwin, who spent just one season with the Missouri Tigers before transferring two months ago to the University of Trinity Valley. According to 247sports, the elder Baldwin is a 2018 prospect — so his recruitment could intertwine with Starrland should he drum up Division I interest again.The 5-foot-10 cornerback exploded recently on the recruiting trail, going from two non-Division I offers to 16 — with the Sooners, now the presumptive favorite to land his services — jumping on the train with his first offer.In speaking with Scout recently before trimming his list, however, he indicated a final decision may be months away.“I want to take my time with it and make sure that I make the right decision and get my mom up to a couple of visits,” Baldwin said. “The last couple of visits have just been me and my mom, so I want to make sure to get her on some visits and see what she likes.” While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. So much for that packaged deal that OSU had cooking with top-ranked junior college defensive tackle Tayland Humphrey and his younger brother, John Bolding.Bolding, a senior from Klein Oak High School, chose to commit to FIU on Monday over other offers from OSU, Arkansas State, and several other small group of five teams.@KLEINOAKFB @recruitingko @BrynRenner @Big_Saucy_ @k_win67 @ChamiecaS @FIUFootball pic.twitter.com/dP2ehect9U— John Bolding III (@LiL_Saucyy_) August 1, 2017AdChoices广告Bolding’s recruitment with OSU was spurned by the staff’s interest with his older brother, Tayland, who made it clear he would not visit schools on an official basis unless they offered his brother. So OSU honored his wish, offered Bolding a scholarship during their unofficial visit earlier this summer, and at the time made a big impression on the younger Bolding by OSU’s approach to recruit him.“They told me I had my own scholarship,” he said an interview with Pistols Firing. “They said they were recruiting me as an offensive lineman. He [Josh Henson] was like, ‘You can redshirt if you want. Every freshmen has that option.’ He explained to me that I had my own scholarship and it wasn’t because of my brother. It was because of me.”What’s head-scratching about the decision is that Bolding made it pretty clear he and his brother had every intention of committing together and eventually picking the same school, which begs the question: Is Tayland Humphrey, a four-star junior college talent, going to commit to FIU?“Him and I are going to decide together,” said Bolding three weeks ago. “Most likely … we are going to play together. He told me that he will not take an official visit unless they offer me too. And we’re sticking to that.”I get that Bolding said the two would likely play together at the next level, but I would be stunned by that now. Most talent scouts would agree that Humphrey’s an NFL talent. He has offers from Texas A&M, Alabama, OSU, Arkansas, Florida State and dozens of others. Would he really spurn those opportunities to play for a major Division I program to head east and play for an FIU team that went 4-8 last season? My guess is no. But if it’s a no, he doesn’t seem to have closed the door on it just yet. OSU will likely continue recruiting both Bolding and Humphrey despite the early pledge, but the unfolding situation between the self-described Saucy brothers is one that is worth watching in the coming weeks and months. All signs point to OSU now being out of the mix for Humphrey with Bolding off the board, which could lead to a full-court press by the OSU staff on Millwood’s Israel Antwine and newly-offered Texas talent Bobby Brown.
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways. * Projected, not on official depth chart“Devin Harper, he’s literally two snaps away from being the guy,” Whitener said Spencer preaches.Same, too, with Patrick Macon. A junior college transfer from Arizona Western, Macon was one of the key signings in the 2017 recruiting class but was left off the depth chart. Whitener said he is still adjusting to the speed, and Macon revealed another reason he might not be getting the same number of snaps as the other guys via Twitter on Wednesday night.Around This Time Next Year I Will Be 220— PatMaconMoves‼️〽️ (@Patrick_Macon44) August 30, 2017Nonetheless, Macon’s potential is there, and much like Adrian Baker at cornerback, once he gets the system and style down, we should see him on the field more and more.Whitener said the biggest challenge is keeping those guys sharp. He remembers what it’s like to be whisked off the bench and thrown into a starting role, and he said he was thankful that he had stayed prepared as if he was already the No. 1 guy.In the 2015 TCU game, Simmons tore his MCL and PCL on the same play. He had started 31 straight games dating to 2013. What you got with Whitener was unclear. He looked like Simmons physically, but few people knew who he was. He ended up being named a First Team All-Big 12 performer by the San Antonio Express-News that season.He said it was baptism by holy fire, not water.“Putting what I could do on paper into working, that was always the biggest thing for me,” Whitener said. “Being able to function on the field when it’s bullets flying at out at 200 miles per hour.”Fast forward two seasons, and Whitener has been to Big 12 Media Days twice, started every game but once since the Simmons injury, made 173 tackles and been named one of the team captains. Slight work for a two-year stint.With Whitener at the helm and a group of seemingly rising stars surrounding him, the linebacker corps has loads of potential to become a consistent, beautiful stream of talent in the heart of a defense that might desperately need it. StarMiddleWide Brendan Vaughn*Amen OgbongbemigaPatrick Macon* During spring practices, the sneaky depth at linebacker was just a theme. Now, it’s a beautiful collaboration of young potential stars and those who have been at a variety of schools around the country.Calvin Bundage, a sophomore who will split reps with Kenneth Edison-McGruder, might start Thursday night against Tulsa at star linebacker. Justin Phillips, a soon-to-be fixture, enters his junior season having locked down the starting wide backer spot. Then there is Chad Whitener, the middle linebacker who came in for Ryan Simmons in what seems like 2010.There isn’t any one All-Big 12 performer yet, but the 2017 group of Oklahoma State linebackers might end up being the most attractive of any spot on defense.AdChoices广告Bundage was delivering ninja kicks and barrel rolls last season. His freshman flaws showed, but the potential was also glaring brighter than the sun. Whitener said the former was cut down and the latter came to fruition through fall camp, understanding the system and making oodles of plays all while maintaining his speed.Whitener said Bundage is more composed, not just running wild. He knows where to be, knows his leverages, his techniques and in-game situations, Whitener said.“He’s just a better football player this year than he was last year,” he said.Bundage is a sexy pick to be one of the defensive MVPs, but Edison-McGruder’s usage might derail that, and vice versa. Bundage led all freshmen with 13 tackles, and Edison-McGruder was second among all non-starters in that category with 40. Whitener said Glenn Spencer, defensive coordinator and linebackers coach, likes them equally.With Phillips, he has been featured on many of the Cowboys’ hype videos in anticipation of the season-opener Thursday. Phillips was the only non-starter to finish last season with more tackles than Edison-McGruder. He pulled in 42.As for Whitener himself, he said he hasn’t given too much thought to his last first game at Boone Pickens Stadium, the place he has crazily only played at for two seasons after transferring from Cal. He said it will feel more surreal once it’s over.“Right now, it’s just game-mode,” Whitener said.The depth behind those four is what sets this year’s group apart, though. The second and third waves are almost as talented as the top.Linebacker Depth Chart Calvin BundageGyasi AkemKevin Henry Kenneth Edison-McGruder (or)Chad WhitenerJustin Phillips Devin Harper The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
Arsenal Under-fire Wenger backed by Koscielny amid Arsenal blame game Chris Burton 17:57 6/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Arsenal Arsène Wenger Premier League An alarming slump has serious questions being asked of the Gunners, with those on and off the field being forced to shoulder responsibility Laurent Koscielny insists the Arsenal squad remain fully supportive of Arsene Wenger, with players having to shoulder as much responsibility for an alarming slump as an under-fire manager.Four successive defeats, and eight reversals in 13 outings across all competitions, have seen some serious questions asked in north London.Wenger has largely bore the brunt for a sorry run of form, with the long-serving Frenchman seeing calls for him to step aside intensify as the Gunners have become firmly stuck in a rut. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp He has, however, vowed to stay put and turn things around, with Koscielny adamant that everyone at Emirates Stadium is pulling in the same direction and reluctant to point the finger of blame.The France international defender told reporters: “Of course we are behind the manager. The players have the responsibility on the pitch, the boss has responsibilities too and we have to be together.“It is difficult to say if it is his fault or our fault. The club are together and we need to stay together.“Everything outside our bubble, we don’t think about. The boss is here to give his best for the club. He has been here for 20 years and has always loved the club, the players have as well. But yes, as a period it is difficult so we need to stay together and fight.”Arsenal put in another disappointing display during their last outing against Brighton, and Koscielny acknowledges that they have to raise their game for crucial fixtures to come – starting with a Europa League last-16 encounter with Serie A heavyweights AC Milan on Thursday.He added: “We know we are in a bad situation a bad period, we tried but nothing is with us.“We tried to fight and play football but you could see the confidence is very down. We miss a lot of things during the game against Brighton but we need to push more again and again. The confidence will be back slowly.“We know we need to win to have a little bit more confidence in us. We lost a little bit of our quality but we need to stay united.“It is a bad period but we need everyone who like this club – players, staff and fans – to be together and to fight to stay the highest we can. You need to put your head down and work. Just like this, we could be back at the top.“We will fight until the end of the season.”
Milan Bonucci admits Milan were ‘scared’ in Arsenal defeat Jamie Smith 08:10 9/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Milan UEFA Europa League Milan v Arsenal Arsenal The Rossoneri’s 13-match unbeaten run came to an end against the Gunners, with their captain bemoaning his side’s lack of experience AC Milan defender Leonardo Bonucci said his side were “scared” during their defeat to Arsenal in the Europa League.Goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan – opening his Gunners account – and Aaron Ramsey gave Arsene Wenger’s struggling Premier League team victory at San Siro on Thursday.Gennaro Gattuso highlighted errors made at the back by Milan, but Bonucci felt it was a question of mentality that led to the end of their 13-game unbeaten run. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp “We did not have the right mentality right from the get go,” Bonucci told Sky Sport Italia. “We were a little scared since we are so young. Let’s hope we learn from this.”It is hard but we will have to give it a go [in the second leg]. Anything can happen in football so we have to stay positive.”Arsenal ran a lot and they have a lot of quality but we also made mistakes. We didn’t play as a team so that’s what you get. We had to be smarter and more responsible with the ball, this we know.”We were too nervous and excited, everyone made mistakes. In the second half we played with more courage but it wasn’t enough. Credit to Arsenal, who played a great first half.”If we play in London with the same spirit we showed in the second half, we might be able to pull it off.”Bonucci’s defensive partner Alessio Romagnoli also accepted Milan had not been strong enough at the back against Arsenal.”We started well but certain plays favoured them,” Romagnoli said. “We conceded two silly goals and end up with a negative result in the first leg as a consequence.”We will try our best on the return match, we have nothing to lose.”
Manchester United Mourinho: Liverpool is just another match for Man Utd Dom Farrell Last updated 1 year ago 22:46 9/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Manchester United Premier League Manchester United v Liverpool Liverpool José Mourinho Videos Passions will be high at Old Trafford on Saturday when Man Utd host the Reds but it is just another game for the Portuguese Manchester United’s Saturday showdown with Liverpool is no more important than their forthcoming cup clashes against Sevilla and Brighton and Hove Albion, according to Jose Mourinho.One of English football’s bitterest feuds returns to Old Trafford on Saturday, with two points separating second-placed United from Liverpool in third in the Premier League table.Mourinho’s trophy-laden career has taken in stints with Porto, Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid – bringing him into direct contact with some of European football’s biggest rivalries. Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Nevertheless, he claims he remains unbitten by the derby day bug.Asked whether he had a greater understanding of the United-Liverpool rivalry ahead of his fourth stab at the fixture, the Portuguese told reporters: “I still don’t know because in my mentality every match is the same and I’m not very good on that culture of this match is special, this rivalry is special.”I never looked to AC Milan as the biggest rival, I never looked at Atletico Madrid as the enemy, I never looked at Arsenal as the big rival.”For me it is just a big match with two historical clubs, not just in England – in the world. I still don’t look to some matches as a special opponent. It is a big match because we are speaking about some big clubs.”We have three matches now – Liverpool, Sevilla and Brighton. If you ask me if I could choose one to be the most important, I can’t choose.”The most important is Liverpool because it is the next but the other two are knockouts. I don’t think the fans are happy if I say Liverpool is the biggest match of the season and Sevilla is not a big match.”Everyone wants to go to Wembley for the FA Cup semi-finals. Is Brighton less important than the Liverpool match?”Mourinho’s tactics in the drab 0-0 draw at Anfield last October drew widespread criticism but he was predictably keen to give the views of pundits the short shrift.”Some of the guys with an opinion, they couldn’t resolve their own problem when they were managers,” he added.”They give opinions like it looks like they have solutions for everything but it’s not like that”But they are in a position where they can give opinions about everything.”With a full schedule of European action to watch this week, the United boss managed to avoid delving into any build-up to the Liverpool game.”Sometimes I read, sometimes I don’t; sometimes I listen, sometimes I don’t,” Mourinho commented.”This week I was more focused on enjoying the Champions League and Europa League and preparing my match.”
FA Cup What FA Cup games are on TV? Goal 08:43 14/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images FA Cup Swansea City v Tottenham Hotspur Manchester United v Brighton & Hove Albion Wigan Athletic v Southampton Leicester City v Chelsea Wigan Athletic Swansea City Leicester City Manchester United Tottenham Hotspur Brighton & Hove Albion Southampton Chelsea We are down to the last eight in the historic competition with the quarter-finals set to take place this weekend, but are they on TV? The FA Cup continues this weekend as the final eight teams fight for a spot in the semi-final stage of the competition.Hundreds of clubs have been eliminated from the tournament, but who is still in contention for a Wemblery final and which FA Cup games will be shown live on TV? What FA Cup games are on tv? Date Match Time (GMT) TV? Mar 17 Swansea City vs Tottenham 12:15 BT Sport 1 Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Swansea City and Tottenham Hotspur kick off proceedings this weekend as Mauricio Pochettino and his side travel to Wales.Spurs were held to a 2-2 draw by League One strugglers Rochdale in the fifth round of the competition but eased into the quarter-finals with a 6-1 victory at Wembley in the replay.The London club go up against a Swansea side who have lost just one of their last 14 fixtures and have won all three of their previous home FA Cup games this term. Date Match Time (GMT) TV? Mar 17 Manchester United vs Brighton 19:45 BT Sport 1 In Saturday’s late game, Manchester United host Brighton & Hove Albion in a replay of the 1983 final.With Manchester City clear at the top of the Premier League and United knocked out of the Champions League on Wednesday, Jose Mourinho’s chances of winning a trophy now comes down to this competition.The Red Devils fell to a 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford by Sevilla in the week following a 0-0 draw in Spain, with Mourinho facing somewhat of a backlash due to the lethargic performance of his players over the two legs of the tie.United and Brighton met at Old Trafford earlier in the season with Mourinho’s side running out 1-0 winners through a Lewis Dunk own goal.Albion come into the fixture having lost just one of their previous eight outings, with a 2-0 defeat at Everton on Saturday ending their longest unbeaten run of the campaign.United beat Derby County, Yeovil Town and Huddersfield to reach this point of the competition, while Brighton beat rivals Crystal Palace in the third round, Middlesbrough in the fourth round, and League Two Coventry City in their most recent FA Cup fixture. Date Match Time (GMT) TV? Mar 18 Wigan Athletic vs Southampton 13:30 BBC One In the second installment of weekend FA Cup games, the lowest-ranked team left in the tournament, Wigan Athletic, take on managerless Southampton at the DW Stadium.Wigan have knocked out three Premier League clubs to reach the quarter-final, including runaway leaders Manchester City in the last round.Will Grigg struck the only goal of the game in the club’s 1-0 scalp over Pep Guardiola’s men, ending their chances of claiming a quadruple of trophies.Southampton beat Fulham 1-0 in the third round and Watford in the fourth by the same scoreline, before a 2-1 victory over West Brom at the Hawthorns in February.Mauricio Pellegrino lost his job as Saints boss in the week with the St Mary’s club sitting just a point above the bottom three in the Premier League table with eight games of the season remaining. Date Match Time (GMT) TV? Mar 18 Leicester City vs Chelsea 16:30 BBC One Sunday’s late kick off sees Chelsea travel to Leicester City in a tie that will complete the line up for the semi-final.The Foxes passed Fleetwood Town, Peterborough and Sheffield United to reach the quarter-finals but will face considerably tougher opponents in Antonio Conte’s side this weekend.Chelsea, who were taken to a replay by Norwich in the third round before beating Newcastle and Hull City in the third and fourth rounds, come into Sunday’s tie fresh from a 2-1 win over Crystal Palace last time out.
Zlatan Ibrahimović Ibrahimovic isn’t injured, he’s being frozen out by Mourinho – Mutu Alex Fisher 20:52 15/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Zlatan Ibrahimović Manchester United José Mourinho Premier League FA Cup The former Chelsea striker, who played alongside the enigmatic Swede at Juventus, claims a frosty relationship at Old Trafford has turned “cold” Zlatan Ibrahimovic is not injured but being frozen out by Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, claims Adrian Mutu.Ibrahimovic has been dogged by injuries this season, only recovering from the knee ligament damage that ended his 2016-17 campaign prematurely in November.The former Sweden international, who will leave at the end of the season amid links to LA Galaxy, made seven appearances – the majority from the bench – before a recurrence of his previous problem. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp He returned to training in February but has not featured for United since, and Mutu says that is because of a deteriorating relationship with Mourinho, rather than due to a lack of fitness.”Mourinho doesn’t care about the performance, only the result,” Mutu, who played alongside Ibrahimovic at Juventus, told Telekom Sport Romania.”I have information that Ibrahimovic is not injured, he’s just cold with Mourinho right now.”Mutu himself had a frosty relationship with Mourinho during their brief spell together at Chelsea in 2004.The former striker clashed with the Portuguese about his fitness ahead of a 2006 World Cup qualifying match between Romania and Czech Republic.Mutu’s Chelsea career ended in October 2004 after he failed a drugs test and was consequently released by the Premier League club.
World Cup Costa Rica vs Serbia: Live blog, text commentary, line-ups, stream & TV channel Goal Last updated 1 year ago 18:30 6/17/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images World Cup Costa Rica v Serbia Serbia Costa Rica Powerade Costa Rica open their World Cup account on Sunday against Serbia at the Samara Arena in the second game of Group E 98 min: FULL-TIME: COSTA RICA 0-1 SERBIA98 min: It’s a booking only for Prijovic for catching the face of the Costa Rica defender.97 min: The referee wants to take a look at an incident between Prijovic and Acosta. More VAR drama at the World Cup. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar 95 min: OVER! Serbia fail to clear their lines from Gamboa’s cross from the right. Ruiz fails to connect with his strike, while Bolanos on the follow-up sends his effort over. However, Bolanos was in an offside position anyway.94 min: Matic and the members of the Costa Rica bench collide on the sidelines following a dispute over a throw-in. The officials have to act to break up the melee before it turns into a serious matter.93 min: Ruiz lifts a dangerous cross to the back post looking for Campbell. Kolarov rises ahead of the forward to clear behind for a corner.91 min: Gamboa tries his luck from distance as he goes for goal from 35 yards, but Stojkovic gets behind the ball to make a comfortable save.90 min: There will be five minutes of added time.90 min: Mitrovic makes way after a difficult second half and is replaced by Prijovic.90 min: Milinkovic-Savic slides a pass to Kostic on the edge of the box and he goes for a strike. However, he can only drill his effort over the bar.88 min: Serbia could have been out of sight in the contest had Mitrovic take either of the two opportunities he had in the second half. Will that come back to haunt his side?86 min: PENALTY SHOUT! Milinkovic-Savic weaves his way through the Costa Rica defence in the final third and slides a pass to Mitrovic. The forward has the opportunity to end the game, but he fails to get a shot away under pressure from Gonzalez. He goes down, but the referee dismisses his appeal.84 min: Serbia are sitting deep in their shape now. Can Costa Rica break them down in the closing stages of the contest?83 min: Created automatically from live eventsA defensive sub by Serbia as Tadic is withdrawn for Rukavina.81 min: Campbell battles for the ball in the final third, but his high boot sees the referee award a free-kick to Serbia. Ramirez is not happy with the decision on the bench.79 min: Costa Rica win the ball on the edge of the Serbia box as Milinkovic-Savic commits an error. Borges tries to punish him with a drive at goal, but his effort is blocked by a wall of white shirts.78 min: Costa Rica have not attempted a single shot in the second half.76 min: CHANCE! Tadic does brilliantly to pick out Kostic in the box, but the midfielder cannot react to turn his foot in time. It strikes him straight on the shin and travels away from the net. The goal was gaping there.75 min: OVER! Space opens up for Milinkovic-Savic on the edge of the box and he goes for the drive at goal, but he blazes his effort over the bar.73 min: Colindres replaces Guzman in the heart of the midfield. Fresh legs are needed for Costa Rica.72 min: It’s Campbell who sends the ball into the box, but his delivery is cleared with ease by the Serbia backline.71 min: Milenkovic trips Campbell and it hands Costa Rica a free-kick in the final third. Bolanos stands over the ball on the left flank.70 min: Ljajic makes way for Kostic without making an impression in the game.68 min: Campbell goes on the surge into the left inside channel, but he loses his footing before he can threaten.67 min: Campbell replaces Urena for Costa Rica. Ramirez opts for a like-for-like replacement rather than operate with two up top.65 min: There have been as many goals from direct free-kicks at the 2018 World Cup as there were in 2014 (3).64 min: Milinkovic-Savic offloads to Tadic on the edge of the box and he looks for the backheeled pass for Ljajic into space, but the ball is intercepted by Guzman.62 min: Bolanos has space once again on the left flank and he whips a free-kick into the box, but Stojkovic is off his line and gathers with ease.61 min: Bolanos whips the ball into the box from the free-kick, but Milenkovic dropping deep clears in front of Stojkovic.60 min: Venegas makes way after being fouled for Bolanos.59 min: Ivanovic goes into the book for a poor challenge on Venegas.58 min: Costa Rica need a response here as they’ve started the second half poorly.56 min: GOALLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!! KOLAROV SCORES A STUNNER!!!! 1-0 SERBIA!!!! Serbia take the lead as Kolarov bends his free-kick into the top corner. The full-back lifted his effort over the wall and it his strike had enough bend and dip to beat Navas and hit the top corner of the net. A super effort from the Serbia skipper.56 min: Guzman goes into the book for bringing down Mitrovic.56 min: Mitrovic wins his side a free-kick with striking range after being brought to the ground by Guzman following a driving run.55 min: WIDE! Kolarov whips a corner in from the right and Mitrovic rises with Duarte to head at goal, but he can only guide his effort wide of the post.54 min: Duarte has to cover at the back, heading Kolarov’s looping cross from the left away from danger, although he has to concede a corner.52 min: Serbia have upped the ante to start the second half and are putting Costa Rica under pressure at the back.50 min: CHANCE! Tadic releases Mitrovic one-on-one with Navas in the middle of the box with a precise throughball. All the forward has to do is place his strike beyond the keeper, but Navas comes up with the save down low to his left before Duarte clears behind for a corner. A huge chance spurned by Serbia.49 min: Kolarov clutches his back after making a surge forward. He did suffer an injury in the warm-up, but was passed fit to play. That could be a concern for Serbia.47 min: Milinkovic-Savic catches Guzman on the ankle and gives away a free-kick. A late challenge from the midfielder that may have seen him cautioned on another occasion.46 min: We’re back underway at the Samara Arena.Both managers will be demanding more from their teams after the break, particularly Serbia boss Mladen Krstajic, who will be looking for more quality from his team in the final third.It’s goalless at the break at the Samara Arena between Costa Rica and Serbia. Costa Rica have had the best opening of the game when Giancarlo Gonzalez was afforded a free header six yards from goal, only to place his effort over the bar. At the other end, Aleksandar Mitrovic has been a handful, but Serbia have not been able to put Keylor Navas to the test.47 min: HALF-TIME: COSTA RICA 0-0 SERBIA47 min: Both sides appear to be struggling for ideas as the half draws to a close. Will there be time for one more opening?45 min: There will be two minutes of added time.43 min: SAVE! Milivojevic works the ball towards Milinkovic-Savic in the box, and the midfielder goes for the strike with an overhead kick. Navas has to get down to make the save, although the flag is raised anyway.42 min: WIDE! Venegas and Calvo combine down the left flank, allowing the wing-back to cut inside. Calvo beats one challenge before striking at goal on his right foot, but he pulls his effort wide of the target.40 min: Costa Rica win a corner down the left and Guzman marches over to take the set-piece. However, unlike his first delivery, his second lacks the quality to trouble the Serbia defence.39 min: Mitrovic has had eight of Serbia’s 12 touches in the opposition box.38 min: OVER! A slip from Tosic gives the ball straight to Urena 25 yards from goal. He goes for the blast on his left foot, but the forward can only send his effort over the bar.36 min: Tosic and Acosta fall to the deck after a mid-air collision. Both players require treatment before we can continue.35 min: Kolarov powers a cross into the middle, but Navas does well to come off his line to punch clear away from danger.34 min: Venegas concedes a cheap free-kick on the left flank and it will allow Serbia to whip a free-kick into the box.32 min: Ivanovic has space to raid down the right flank, but he overhits his delivery to the back post, sending it out for a goal-kick.30 min: Serbia are just starting to take control of the game. Costa Rica are having to defend deep under pressure from Krstajic’s men.28 min: OFFSIDE! Milinkovic-Savic latches on to a ball over the top from Kolarov and guides an effort towards the net. Navas makes the save, although the midfielder was offside anyway.27 min: Mitrovic causes huge problems in the box for Serbia and he brings the ball under control. However, as he pulls the trigger, three red shirts converge to make the block.26 min: Tadic picks up the ball in the final third and he sends an offload into the right inside channel for Mitrovic. The forward goes for the blast across the face of goal, only to be denied by a block from Duarte.24 min: Tadic raids into space down the left flank for Serbia and he tries to fire a low ball across the face of goal, but Los Ticos manage to stifle danger once again.22 min: Created automatically from live eventsCalvo goes into the book for a mistimed lunge on Tadic. The first booking of the game.21 min: The tempo of the game has been impressive to start the contest. Both teams have not been afraid to inject life into their play.19 min: Ivanovic makes a nuisance of himself in the final third, winning a header from a free-kick. His knockdown drops in the box, but Costa Rica react first as Borges boots it away.17 min: It has been an end-to-end start to the game, with both sides finding success in the final third. However, neither has produced the quality finish to break the deadlock.15 min: Serbia build down the right and Ivanovic finds space down the flank. He cuts past the challenge of Calvo before firing a low ball across the face of goal. Navas sticks out a hand to divert the ball into the middle before Duarte hammers it away.14 min: Ruiz releases the run of Urena through the middle, but Milenkovic does well to nudge him aside before clearing the danger. Excellent work by the defender.13 min: SAVE! Mitrovic drifts into space on the edge of the box and he pulls the trigger on a right-footed effort. However, he fires his strike straight at Navas.12 min: MISS! Costa Rica should be ahead! Los Ticos catch Serbia out at the back with a short corner and Guzman lifts a cross to the back post. Gonzalez is unmarked at the back post with only Stojkovic to beat, but he places his header over the bar from close range. A shocking miss by the defender.11 min: Costa Rica win a corner down the left flank and pile men forward into the box.9 min: Venegas goes on the charge down the left flank before being halted by Ivanovic. The winger turns back and tries to cut the ball inside towards Urena, only to see his pass trickle out for a goal-kick.7 min: WIDE! Kolarov raids down the left and he goes for a drive from distance. He gets power behind the effort on his left foot, but the full-back pulls the strike wide of the target.5 min: It has been a frantic start to the game as both teams are jostling for control of the ball. Serbia win their second corner, but Costa Rica are once again able to clear their lines.3 min: SAVE! Serbia clear the initial danger from the corner, but Duarte curls a cross into the middle from the left flank. Gonzalez rises to head at goal, but he directs his effort straight at Stojkovic.3 min: Ruiz releases Urena into the right inside channel and he takes a touch to get away from Kolarov. The forward goes for a strike from a tight angle, although his effort is blocked behind.2 min: Mitrovic wins the header from the corner and the ball travels towards goal, but Costa Rica are able to clear the danger.1 min: Ivanovic puts an early cross into the box, which is cleared away from Mitrovic and behind for a corner.1 min: We’re underway at the Samara Arena.Here we go…3 mins until KO: The players are ready for the off. We should be underway very shortly.6 mins until KO: Mitrovic scored a hat-trick in the win over Bolivia. All Serbian eyes will be on him to provide an impact, leading the line this afternoon.8 mins until KO: Costa Rica have won their opening game at the World Cup in three of their previous four appearances, the only exception coming against hosts Germany in 2006 (2-4). Meanwhile, Serbia have lost their opening game by a 1-0 scoreline each time in their last two appearances.10 mins until KO: This will be the first ever encounter between Costa Rica and Serbia.12 mins until KO: Serbia are sticking mostly with the same team that crushed Bolivia 5-1 last time out. The only change to the side sees Milivojevic come into the fold to replace Kostic in the middle of the park.14 mins until KO: Ramirez has made three changes from his side that were beaten by Belgium in their final warm-up match. Venegas, Guzman and Calvo are all given the nod to start ahead of Bolanos, Tejeda and Oviedo this afternoon. Urena leads the line through the middle.15 mins until KO: Serbia subs: Antonio Rukavina, Uros Spajic, Andrija Zivkovic, Aleksandar Prijovic, Predrag Rajkovic, Milos Veljkovic, Milan Rodic, Marko Grujic, Filip Kostic, Nemanja Radonjic, Luka Jovic, Marko Dmitrovic.16 mins until KO: SERBIA (4-3-3): Vladimir Stojkovic; Branislav Ivanovic, Nikola Milenkovic, Dusko Tosic, Aleksandar Kolarov; Luka Milivojevic, Nemanja Matic, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic; Dusan Tadic, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Adem Ljajic.17 mins until KO: Costa Rica subs: Ian Smith, Christian Bolanos, Bryan Oviedo, Daniel Colindres, Joel Campbell, Rodney Wallace, Randall Azofeifa, Yeltsin Tejeda, Patrick Pemberton, Kendall Waston, Kenner Gutierrez, Leonel Moreira.18 mins until KO: COSTA RICA (3-4-3): Keylor Navas; Jonny Acosta, Giancarlo Gonzalez, Oscar Duarte; Cristian Gamboa, Celso Borges, David Guzman, Francisco Calvo; Bryan Ruiz, Johan Venegas, Marco Urena.19 mins until KO: Let’s have a look at the two teams.21 mins until KO: Mladen Krstajic’s men were up-and-down in their two warm-up matches ahead of the tournament. Serbia lost 1-0 to Chile, but found their form with a 5-1 hammering of Bolivia. They will want to come out firing this afternoon.22 mins until KO: Serbia failed to reach the tournament, but were in South Africa for the 2010 World Cup. There they failed to progress from the group stage, leaving them with scope for improvement this time around. There’s talent in the squad to make a surge for the knockout phase.24 mins until KO: Oscar Ramirez’s men struggled in their warm-up matches ahead of the tournament. Costa Rica were able to beat Northern Ireland, but defeats at the hands of England and Belgium have perhaps displayed their weaknesses for their Group E opponents to exploit.25 mins until KO: Costa Rica proved to be one of the surprise packages of the 2014 World Cup, advancing all the way to the quarter-finals before being knocked out by the Netherlands on penalties. Los Ticos will be desperate for a similar outing this time around, beginning with a win over Serbia this afternoon.28 mins until KO: Brazil and Switzerland are the other two teams in the group, and they play in the third match of the day, so the pressure is on for these sides to make an immediate impact. We will have team news for you very soon!30 mins until KO: Hello and welcome to our live text commentary of the Group E match between Costa Rica and Serbia at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Game Costa Rica vs Serbia Date Sunday, June 17 Time 1pm BST / 8am ET Stream (US only) fubo TV (7-day free trial) Squads & Team News Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas starts for his country following an impressive campaign that saw him win a Champions League trophy at domestic level. There is no space in the starting lineup for Arsenal striker Joel Campbell though; he is named on the bench with Marco Urena of Los Angeles FC preferred up front.Defender Kenner Gutierrez is also among the substitutes for Oscar Ramirez’s side after being called up as late cover for Ronald Matarrita, who misses the tournament with a right hamstring strain.Costa Rica XI: Navas, Gamboa, Gonzalez, Acosta, Durate, Calvo, Venegas, Guzman, Borges, Ruiz, Urena.Zent Saint Petersburg defender Branislav Ivanovic makes his 104th appearance for his country in this opening game of Group E, and with it becomes the country’s most-capped player in history, overtaking former Inter midfielder Dejan Stankovic.Four Premier League stars also start for Mladen Krstajic’s team: Luka Milivojevic, Nemanja Matic, Dusan Tadic and Aleksandar Mitrovic.Serbia XI: Stojkovic, Ivanovic, Milenkovic, Tosic, Kolarov, Milivojevic, Matic, Milinkovic-Savic, Tadic, Mitrovic, Ljajic. TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial). New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser. US TV channel Online stream FOX / Telemundo fubo TV (7-day free trial) In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on TV on BBC or streamed live online using the ITV Player. UK TV channel Online stream ITV ITV Player
Antoine Griezmann ‘Griezmann snubbed Barcelona a month ago’ – Hernandez supports call to stay out of Messi’s shadow Chris Burton Last updated 1 year ago 02:21 6/18/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Antoine Griezmann Atlético Madrid Barcelona Primera División An Atletico Madrid and France team-mate of the highly-rated striker believes the right decision was made at the end of a long-running future saga Antoine Griezmann made his mind up to snub Barcelona a month ago, claims Atletico Madrid and France team-mate Lucas Hernandez, with the striker opting to stay out of Lionel Messi’s shadow.Having been heavily linked with a move to Camp Nou for some time, the 27-year-old finally revealed the decision he had made on his future on the eve of World Cup duty.In a lavish video documentary which aired his Barca snub, Griezmann claimed there are “things to do with Atletico”. Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar It appeared from the outside as though it had taken him some months to reach that conclusion, but Hernandez believes his fellow countryman was always staying in the Spanish capital.He told reporters: “I believe Griezmann made his choice a month ago. The video only came recently but that [situation] wasn’t in his head.“He’s only thinking about the World Cup and is 100 per cent focused on that.”Griezmann also stated that he wished to avoid being “one more” at Barcelona, with Hernandez agreeing that joining a star-studded squad in Catalunya would have been the wrong choice.He added: “I think like his wife said in an interview: ‘At Atletico, you can be a star. At Barcelona, you will only be a player’. She said what is most essential, that’s the truth.“Here, at Atletico, he can be the idol of everyone, of every fan.“If he would have gone to Barcelona, there are a lot of great players and the best player in the world as well. He would have been in the shadow of some great players like Messi, Iniesta or even Xavi before.“If he would have moved to Barcelona, it would have only been one more player in the team.“Here, at Atletico, he is the player, our best player, our leader. He will make the difference.”Griezmann is already up and running as a talismanic presence for France at World Cup 2018, with a controversial penalty converted in a 2-1 victory over Australia in their opening fixture.He was replaced by Olivier Giroud in that contest, having struggled to produce a spark outside of his spot kick, but has been assured by coach Didier Deschamps that his starting spot is not under threat.
World Cup Portugal privileged to have hat-tick hero Ronaldo, says Pepe Dejan Kalinic Last updated 1 year ago 10:43 6/20/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Getty Images World Cup Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal v Morocco Morocco Portugal The Real Madrid star’s hat-trick against Spain came as no surprise to his international and former club team-mate Portugal defender Pepe labelled it a “privilege” for the nation to have a player like Cristiano Ronaldo, saying the star’s start to the World Cup came as no surprise.Ronaldo stole the show early at the showpiece event in Russia, scoring a hat-trick to lead his side to a 3-3 draw against Spain Friday .But that display, capped with a stunning 88th-minute free-kick for the equaliser, was unsurprising to Ronaldo’s former Real Madrid team-mate Pepe. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar “To me, it’s nothing new,” he said Tuesday.”We had a fantastic match and it was very important the fact that he’s so humble on the pitch and working to help the team.”We are very happy with him and his performance and the performance of the other players. We work with a single goal – to honour our country and our shirt.”Ronaldo’s hat-trick saw him move onto 84 international goals , level with Ferenc Puskas for the most by a European.Pepe, whose team face Morocco Wednesday, said it was an honour to play alongside Ronaldo.”He’s very happy to be with us and he’s full of confidence every day, in every match,” he said.”It’s a privilege for us, Portugal, to have a player like Cristiano Ronaldo.”Portugal and Spain sit level second place in Group B after the first matchday, with Iran atop the group after beating Morocco in their opener.
World Cup Belgium game a ‘perfect dress rehearsal’ for England, insists Carragher Rob Lancaster Last updated 1 year ago 17:25 6/25/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Getty World Cup England England v Belgium Belgium The former Liverpool defender, who went to two World Cups, believes the country must go for the throat against Roberto Martinez’s impressive side England should forget about their potential opponents in the knockout rounds at the World Cup and focus only on beating Belgium, according to Jamie Carragher.Gareth Southgate’s side booked their place in the last 16 of the tournament on Sunday by crushing Panama 6-1 in Nizhny Novgorod.Captain Harry Kane grabbed a hat-trick in the rout, sending the Tottenham striker clear in the race for the Golden Boot after he also scored both goals in the 2-1 win over Tunisia. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar England end their Group G campaign against fellow qualifiers Belgium on Thursday, with the two nations knowing the winners in Kaliningrad will finish top of the table.And Carragher – who was in England’s squads for the 2006 and 2010 World Cups – believes the fixture offers the perfect opportunity to make a statement in Russia.”This can be the perfect dress rehearsal,” the former Liverpool defender wrote in his column for the Telegraph .”It might be that finishing below Belgium creates what appears to be a more ‘favourable’ draw, avoiding Brazil or Germany in the last eight. Equally, the group’s top side may avoid a tricky last-16 meeting with Senegal, who include Sadio Mane and Ismaila Sarr, or impressive Colombia. “What looks more desirable does not always work that way – have we forgotten the pre-match optimism before Iceland two years ago?”England must plot their route by trying to win against Belgium rather than half-heartedly accepting a defeat, or waiting to see if the fair-play table decides the placing.”I want to see England adopt the mentality they will need against tougher opponents in the knockout stage. How often have we seen the side settle into a holding pattern where extra-time or penalties loom?”Even if a draw is working to England’s advantage, there is a chance to experiment with more tactical drills with regards protecting a result. Imagine the belief in the players if their courage secures a positive outcome again Belgium. Confidence will soar.”#MondayMotivation #threelions pic.twitter.com/awd2HTxPBv — England (@England) June 25, 2018 England will be pitted against Colombia, Japan or Senegal in the next round, with heavyweights Germany and Brazil looming large as potential opponents in the quarter-finals.Yet Carragher feels the previous successes enjoyed by Premier League clubs in Europe – with his old team Liverpool reaching the Champions League final in the 2017-18 season – provides Southgate and his players with the blueprint to succeed when cast in the role of underdogs.”Unlike so many of our club teams in the Champions League, England have failed to show they can upset the odds when meeting higher-ranked sides,” he continued.”For all the encouragement correctly taken from the first two World Cup games this season, that is the next albatross for Southgate’s side to remove.”
World Cup Alderweireld aims to earn his Spurs against in-form Kane Rob Lancaster Last updated 1 year ago 23:41 6/25/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Clive Rose/Getty Images World Cup England v Belgium England Belgium Harry Kane The Tottenham defender knows Belgium will have to work as a team to stop his club team-mate the Group G decider Toby Alderweireld plans to provide inside information to help Belgium keep England captain Harry Kane quiet at the World Cup, even if it is “difficult to stop” his Tottenham team-mate.Defender Alderweireld has helped the Red Devils reach the knockout rounds in Russia, with comfortable wins over Panama and Tunisia seeing them qualify from Group G.With Kane on form – the 24-year-old has a tournament-high five goals already – England are also already certain to progress from the same pool. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar The two European nations meet on Thursday in Kaliningrad with the victor certain to go through as group winners, potentially paving the way for an easier path to the latter stages.Having played on the same team as Kane since joining Spurs in July 2015, Alderweireld knows all about the talents of the leader in the Golden Boot race – and not just in terms of putting the ball in the net.”Hopefully it’s an advantage for the defenders,” the centre-back told Standard Sport.”I know his strength, of course. But his strength is that he’s good at everything. He’s quick, he’s strong, left foot, right foot, headers.”It’s so difficult to stop him. That’s what I know. As a team, we have to be tough [in order] to beat him.”He just breathes football. He wants to improve, improve, improve. He’s not only a goal-scorer. He works so hard for the team. He’s available to help the plays. He’s the all-round striker.”Kane scored three times in the 6-1 thumping of Panama on Sunday, making him just the third Englishman – after Geoff Hurst and Gary Lineker – to hit a hat-trick at a World Cup.
World Cup Argentina FA fined over $100,000 for fan violence & homophobia in Croatia clash Goal 02:54 6/26/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty World Cup Argentina Argentina v Croatia Croatia The country’s supporters are accused of a number of offensive actions before and during their 3-0 defeat last week FIFA has fined Argentina’s football assocation £80,000 ($105,000) after their fans engaged in a series of offensive behaviours in their defeat to Croatia on Thursday. Argentine fans at the Nizhny Novgorod stadium were caught on camera fighting opposing supporters, throwing objects, and participating in homophobic and insulting chants. In addition, FIFA charged that the Albiceleste failed to attend mandatory post-game interviews following the 3-0 defeat to their Group D rivals. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar FIFA’s policy is to hold federations responsible for the behaviour of fans at World Cup stadiums. Already, FIFA has fined the Mexican FA for their supporters’ “discriminatory and insulting chants” at Russia 2018.Argentina’s heavy defeat to Croatia has left them on the brink of elimination from the World Cup at the group stage, despite boasting talented forwards such as Lionel Messi, Paulo Dybala, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain.Jorge Sampaoli’s side must defeat Nigeria on Tuesday to stand a chance of progression to the last 16, and hope for a favourable result between Croatia and Iceland.
Bayern München Bundesliga 2018-19 fixtures: Bayern Munich open against Hoffenheim as Borussia Dortmund kick off RB Leipzig Goal 19:29 6/29/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Bayern München Bundesliga Borussia Dortmund RB Leipzig The reigning champions kick off Niko Kovac’s era in charge against Julian Nagelsmann’s team while Lucien Favre’s Dortmund have a tough away game Bayern Munich will begin their Bundesliga title defence under new boss Niko Kovac against Hoffenheim.The fixtures for the 2018-19 season were released on Friday, with the reigning champions kicking off the campaign on August 24 when they welcome Julian Nagelsmann’s team, who finished third last season, to the Allianz Arena.The Bavarian giants have not failed to win their first league game of the season since 2011, when Borussia Dortmund went on to win the league. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Hoping to challenge Nico Kovac’s team this term, Dortmund have a tough start to new boss Lucien Favre’s reign when they host RB Leipzig, who are without a coach since Ralph Hasenhuttl’s departure.Last season’s runners-up Schalke have an away trip against a Wolfsburg side that rescued a place in the top flight via the relegation playoffs.The 2. Bundesliga champions, Fortuna Dusseldorf, will take on Augsburg at home in their first game, while runners-up Nurnberg go to Hertha Berlin.The first of the Bundesliga season’s headline fixture – Der Klassiker – between Bayern and Dortmund in early November at the Signal Iduna Park, before they meet again in Munich in April.Bayern are once again the favourites to win the title and will be hoping they can end the season with a party in front of their home crowd with a home game against Eintracht Frankfurt, while Dortmund visit Borussia Monchengladbach.Bundesliga 2018-19 opening fixtures Date Game Kick-off time (BST) Aug 24 Bayern Munich vs Hoffenheim 7:30pm Aug 25 / 26 Borussia Dortmund vs RB Leipzig TBC Aug 25 / 26 Borussia Monchengladbach vs Bayern Leverkusen TBC Aug 25 / 26 Hertha Berlin vs FC Nurnberg TBC Aug 25 / 26 Werder Bremen vs Hannover 96 TBC Aug 25 / 26 Freiburg vs Eintracht Frankfurt TBC Aug 25 / 26 Mainz vs Stuttgart TBC Aug 25 / 26 Wolfsburg vs Schalke TBC Aug 25 / 26 Fortuna Dusseldorg vs Augsburg TBC
It’s late, I’m tired and I’m philosophical after a death in the family. When you think about death, you inevitably think about your life. And that got me thinking. There are many things I have struggled to master in life, but let me share just three from a very long list of things I haven’t fully mastered but know to be worthy of the attempt. Before I die, I want to do them as perfectly as I can.Why? I think the very things that seem most difficult are often the best possible things we can do. The things that we fear will bring us catastrophic loss are often those that have the greatest returns. It is the way marketing – and life – mocks our silly sensibilities. So in that spirit, here are three things that seem risky but actually yield great ROI. And happiness. And marketing success.1. Admitting you are wrong. This has been a hard one for me. Fortunately, I have ample opportunity to practice! Too bad 98% of politicians, 85% of corporations and a healthy majority of nonprofits are still finding this hard too. If you make a mistake, just take responsibility and say you were wrong. Don’t do this halfway. “I’m sorry if you were inconvenienced” is NOT the same thing as “I’m sorry I inconvenienced you.” True apologies don’t include the word “if.” While you may fear admitting fault will be the end of the world, usually people are so happy you did it – and quite forgiving. Remember this if you ever have to do “crisis communications.”2. Doing what you fear. No one ever achieved anything extraordinary by doing what was safe or predictable or copycat. As hard as it is, I’m still trying to lean into fear the way my friend Jocelyn does. Marc Pitman talks about asking for money without fear. Seth Godin talks about being as truly different as a purple cow – which is hard when it’s easier to follow the conforming herd. Andy Goodman talks about zigging when others are zagging. It’s scary, but frankly, it’s far more frightening to blend into a sea of mediocrity than to stand up, do the scary, and stand out.3. Being lavish with praise. I used to view praise as a zero sum game — if someone else was great, I was less. But being generous is being bigger. Praise great work, credit everyone around you and share the spotlight. Show extraordinary gratitude to your donors, your colleagues, everyone. Share information freely with other organizations. Being stingy with what you give out will diminish all that comes back to you.What do you have trouble doing? I am sure it is on my list too…
Here is my May column for Fundraising Success.Put down your iPhone, close your Facebook profile and stop Twittering for just a second. I have something to say to you, head to head and heart to heart.Technology is cool. It can be incredibly effective way to promote your cause. But hard wires don’t necessarily create human bonds. Your social media strategy can’t simply be a toolset – it needs to be a conduit to living beings. “Java” doesn’t inspire people unless you’re talking about the kind you get from Starbucks. Technology doesn’t compel people. People do.I’m taking this precious space to make this point because I think it goes in the forgotten fundamentals category that is the focus of this column. It is all too easy to fall in love with all the sexy social media tools out there and forget WHY people are attracted to social media in the first place. If you don’t stay grounded in the basic human needs that fuel the success of those shiny tools, you will be – in the words of Nicole Engelbert from Datamonitor – a fool with a tool.There are a lot of lengthy and overwhelming definitions of social media, social networking and Web 2.0 out there – pick your jargon. I will not quote them here. Let me give you my definition.All that social media stuff is simply people using the Internet to:1. Be seen and heard2. Connect with each otherThat’s it. And that’s as basic and human as you can get. Social media is about the social, not the media.Here are some examples.Bloggers and vloggers want a platform for personal expression, and they like connecting with people who care about their content. (In case you’ve been living off the grid for the last few years, blogs are personal online journals/columns. Vlogs are video blogs.) Everyone can be a pundit in the world of social media. Even I have one.Social networkers want a platform for personal expression (think a MySpace page), and they want to connect with others (think online “friends”). So do people (including your kids) who love instant messaging.Being seen and heard and connecting are the emotions that drive social media, and they should drive your online outreach strategy. This should be a relief to all of us who think we lack the technological chops to successfully participate in the online world. You don’t need to be under age 20 or an IT director, you just need to grasp what makes it work.Here’s a six-step way to make that happen. And you need to make it happen. Why? Because online outreach is a cost-effective and efficient way to reach people at a time when we’re all low on resources. Because it’s a way to find new constituencies and reach a new, younger generation of donors. Because giving up control of the message and having a conversation can strengthen your relationship with the people with support you. And if none of that moves you, remember that people tend to donate more money online.The Six Steps to Winning Hearts and Minds on Web 2.0:1. STOP! If your Executive Director is commanding you to start a blog or get a Facebook presence today, stop right there. Spend a bit of time thinking more strategically. You want to figure out WHO you’re trying to reach online, WHERE they are, and HOW to best communicate with them. If starting a new blog (and there are already tens of millions of them), you want to be sure there’s a case for it. 2. LOOK AND LISTEN! The beauty of the Internet is you can quickly find the people online that are predisposed to your cause. In a world where there are active online communities of people fascinated by medieval pottery or support groups for people struck by lightning (really), there is surely is a constituency that loves your cause, somewhere out there. Find those people, watch where they are congregating and listen to what they are saying. This is very easy to do by setting up simple alerts so that each time someone mentions your organization or anything related to your cause online, you will be notified. Check out www.google.com/alerts and watch lists on www.technorati.com 3. SEE AND HEAR! Start acknowledging what potential supporters are saying. Post friendly comments on their blogs with constructive thoughts and useful information, openly identifying who you are and your organization. Bloggers love those kinds of comments. They like having an audience! Do the same on online communities, MySpace pages, etc. Give online communities useful tools and interesting content from your organization. Be generous.4. CHOOSE! At this stage, you’ll have a growing sense of whether there’s a need for you to blog or participate more formally in a social network. Be strategic about concentrating your efforts in a few high-yield areas.5. BE EASY TO FIND! Part of social networking is going out and connecting to people. Also make sure you’re easy to find so people can connect to you. Be sure your website can be easily located via search engines. If you decide to have a social networking page, give it an obvious name. Don’t be so clever you don’t show up in search.6. ASK! Once you have relationships with supporters on social media, give them different ways to help you – not just by giving money, but telling their story, spreading the word and expressing their opinion about your issue – in their own words. Turn the conversation into collaboration for social change. Give up control. You never had it anyway.
This is my July column for Fundraising Success. Special thanks to frolleague Kivi for her great advice. Check out more of it here. Take her course, even. You won’t be sorry – you’ll be a storyteller!Most nonprofit newsletters are very boring. I subscribe to about 20 of them, and only one or two are interesting enough to regularly skim. Most are full of cookie cutter human interest stories that elicit little more than a yawn. This got me thinking, is this sample representative? If so, yikes. Newsletters are an important way that we cultivate relationships with donors. If we’re generally dull and needy in those communications, our audience will lose interest. And that ultimately spells financial heartbreak for us.So what’s a nonprofit to do? How do we take our newsletters from snoring to soaring?Looking for an easy answer to this question, I decided to turn to punt. I picked up the phone and called an expert who focuses on this very problem. Why not let her do the work? And here’s what trainer, writer and newsletter guru Kivi Leroux Miller of Nonprofit Marketing Guide.com had to say. If you want more of her wisdom – look here.Katya: Why are there no stories, or only milquetoast stories, in so many newsletters? What gives?Kivi: Two reasons, I think. First, people are afraid that they can’t pull it off. When you say “storytelling,” most people envision either someone like Mark Twain or Toni Morrison or a wild-haired grandpa on a stage at some mountain storytelling festival spinning some yarn – someone with way more creative juices flowing. Or they simply don’t think they are good writers, and the thought of writing something that qualifies as a “story” is just too daunting. It doesn’t have to be that way. Nonprofits have tons of great stories. Finding material in the nonprofit sector is never a problem. Katya: So fix this problem for us!Kivi: You just need to learn some basic storytelling patterns. In the book “Made to Stick,” which I highly recommend, Chip Heath and Dan Heath identify three different types of inspirational stories: The Challenge Plot, the Creativity Plot, and the Connection Plot. All three have very basic elements and once you know what to listen for, you’ll start hearing bits and pieces of these stories all around you, every day. At that point, you simply have to ask a few questions to fill in the gaps and you’ve got great stories for your newsletters and other donor communications. Katya: Errr– what’s a challenge plot?Kivi: The Challenge Plot is your basic three–act structure that practically every Hollywood movie is based on. These are your classic underdog stories, against all odds stories. You start out by introducing the character and his situation and goals. Then in Act II, he faces obstacles and the tension mounts. Things might start to work out, but then it usually gets worse. Then in Act III, the action peaks, and the character finally triumphs over the obstacles.Katya: Who’s the underdog? The nonprofit?Kivi: No! Many nonprofits throw themselves into the middle of the story, but that’s not where they really belong. The nonprofit doesn’t come in until Act III and then just as a supporting actor in helping the main character overcome the obstacles. Many nonprofits want to make the story all about them or their staff, but with a few exceptions, the main character really needs to be a client, volunteer, donor, or someone else involved in or affected by your work. You want the reader to relate to the story, and that’s easier to do if it is about t someone who is not on your staff.Katya: OK got it. And the creativity plot? That sounds juicy.Kivi: Creativity stories are those with the “aha!” moments and those “what if we . . .” stories that work out in the end. For a good creativity plot, you need a well-understood problem and a standard response that just doesn’t work. Again, use the people around you – clients, volunteers, donors – to explain the problem and inadequate solution. Then you talk about the new approach that your nonprofit or someone affiliated with your nonprofit is trying, and test runs and theories are OK here. It doesn’t need to be a completely well-thought out and fully tested solution. Then you close with a vision of a new reality and how the original problem would be solved. Katya: Who in the nonprofit world has aced a creativity plot?Kivi: I love the Heifer International founder’s story. The founder, Dan West, was ladling out milk rations to hungry children when he thought, “These children don’t need a cup, they need a cow.” From there, the whole idea of providing livestock to poor families was born. The families not only get livestock to provide food and income for themselves, but when their cows or goats have babies, they pass them on to other families in need, continuing the cycle of lifting families out of hunger and poverty. Katya: And last, the Connection Plot?Kivi: This one is a little harder to pull off without sounding sappy or forced, but once again, with the right elements, it’s easy. These are the bridging the gap stories and big meaning in small events stories. Start with a small, specific situation or event and then look for the larger connection to the greater human experience. These stories usually have a little surprise or epiphany in them that really drives the point home. You’ll see connections between the people in the stories and also between the storyteller and the reader. Interplast’s blog has some great connection stories about the doctors who are correcting birth defects in developing nations.Katya: Cool beans.Like this? Check out more of Kivi’s stuff and her storytelling course – available ON DEMAND, no less – here.
If you’d like to listen, to my interview with Marc Pitman is online here.You can check out some of Marc’s fundraising tips here.
I often get asked by start-up nonprofits how to raise money. The panic of making budget seems to make raising money impossible without knowing someone rich and famous like Bill Gates or Warren Buffet.But fundraising isn’t impossible. It can an incredibly exciting adventure. Here is a simple plan I recommend to my clients. It can get you off to a good start and keep being used for years to come. To keep it easy, I implore them to “Get R.E.A.L.”The basic model I use for asking is the acronym R.E.A.L.: Research, Engage, Ask, and Love.RESEARCH: The first step of research is to find out how much you need to raise. This may seem obvious but my experience is that most groups never put a specific dollar amount on their need. Once that need is determined, it’s important to research how many gifts you’ll need. If you’re attempting to raise $100,000, the knee-jerk reaction will probably be “We just need to find 100 people that will give us $1,000.” As nice as that seems, decades of fundraising experience show that that simply isn’t how it works.One of the most helpful tools is a gift grid. Long-standing common wisdom shows that you’ll need at least one gift equaling 10% of the total. The next two should equal 5% of the total, etc. So, to reach your goal of $100,000, you’ll need at least one donor to give a minimum of $10,000. Experience shows that you’ll need to have 4 or 5 prospects to achieve that gift. Work through the grid until you have names of prospects for each level.As you’re building your prospect list, you’ll want to continue your research. Google can be an incredibly helpful tool. So can your board members and a development committee in the form of a peer review committee. You could invite these people, remind them of your cause and fundraising goals, and ask them to go over the names of prospects. One simple method of doing this is conducting what I call a “cpi screening”: rating each prospect on capacity, philanthropy, and interest.Does the prospect have capacity-are they financially able to make a gift? Are they philanthropic-are they generous with their money. You need to be a good steward of your resources, if the prospect can’t make a worthwhile gift or doesn’t have a track record of giving you would be better served seeking donations elsewhere. ? Are the interested in your cause? You can find this out by looking at other causes they’ve supported and by asking people close to your organization. Have the people on the committee assign a score of 1-5 for each category-1 being lowest, 5 being highest. This is tool can be useful because it removes individual personalities from the prospect rating process and makes it feel more objective. You should promptly visit anyone scoring 12 or more. But watch for those with high scores in the first two categories and some inclination to your cause. While you can’t make someone more wealthy or generous, but you can have a chance at making someone more interested in your organization. Which brings us to the second step, engage. ENGAGE: I like to think of this as the dating part of the relationship. It’s important to get to know your prospects before you “pop the question.” While you’ll certainly want to share the story of your cause, take time to get to know them-listen to their story, discover their interests, hear their goals. If the prospect has c and p then here’s where you work on i.ASK: The number one reason people don’t give money to your cause is that they are not asked. Even if you skip the prior two steps, you’ll still reach some level of success by consistently executing this one.If you’ve done the first two steps, this step will be quite fun. You’ll already have the odds in your favor. You know that they are predisposed to saying “yes” and you’ll have had time to shape the ask around their passions.I recommend asking people for gifts spread out over a period of time: i.e. “$1000 a year for three years.” This both shows you consider your cause important enough for a substantial investment and it saves you from having to ask them again and again.LOVE: I originally called this step Live/Like/Love. This is easy if the prospect says “yes” when you’ve asked. You simply need to be sure to thank them about seven times before you ask them again.But fundraising is all about relationships. The work really starts if they’ve said “no.” The big thing is to not burn any bridges. If you made it all the way to the ask, you had good reason to believe they’d say yes. The timing simply might not have been right. If you keep in touch with them, they just may give in the future. People will remember you if you’re exceptional at handling a “no.” And refusing a request can be so difficult, they’ll be grateful for your composure.Source: Marc. A Pitman of http://fundraisingcoach.com/.