Watch Guide: Week 7

first_imgWhile 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. OSU is off this week, but there is still a loaded slate of games that includes Kansas State-OU, Tennessee-Alabama, West Virginia-Texas Tech, Ole Miss-Arkansas and Ohio State-Wisconsin. I’m going to be off the grid for a couple of days so I probably won’t see much of any of them, but they should be great. Maybe we can even get a KU win over Baylor in Waco!Thanks as always to Ryan Hartwig for putting together the Watch Guide.Weekend Watch Guide: Week 7last_img read more

Midseason Position Grades: Wide Receivers

first_imgDown the depth chart, Jhajuan Seales appears to have taken another step forward for his 12th season in Stillwater. Even being third in production as far as yards, Seales has proven at times he can manage the role as a No. 1 wideout and has the physical tools to stretch the field. Being a No. 3 option, he isn’t given the same amount of opportunities, but he has already eclipsed his total yards from the 2015 season.On the other side of the spectrum, Chris Lacy has proven to be a formidable option but has really shown his worth in down field blocking.“Chris Lacy, in the last game (against Texas), was as impressive as any wide receiver that I’ve seen here at OSU in a very long time,” Gundy said following the Texas game about Lacy. “He reminded me of DeMarcus Conner, who used to just wear guys out (blocking downfield). And that’s what Lacy did.”The group as a whole is very well rounded, with each specific receiver bringing a unique skillset to the table that OSU has capitalized on throughout the year so far.  I gave the group a grade of A- for their performance thus far, and the team gave an aggregate of an A. Overall, though, you can’t ask for much more production than what they’ve been able to give you through the first half of the year.screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-12-47-08-pmWR Grade: A Halfway through the 2016 football season, we’re handing out grades for each position group and one of the most vaunted groups, wide receivers, is up next.Even without preseason Biletnikoff Watch Lister Marcell Ateman, the receivers group has performed admirably this season, and rank No. 10 as a passing offense with more than 350 yards through the air per game on average. And while that number is also a testament to the dude slinging the rock, the receivers have done their part to vault them into the top 10 nationally and No. 3 in the conference.The strength of the group, much like the Big 12 conference, is at the top of the depth chart. Losing freshman phenom Dillon Stoner was a blow to the overall depth of the team, but the top half of the group is loaded with talent, lead by James Washington.Washington started the season surprisingly slow. Against lesser competition against SE Louisiana and Central Michigan, he combined for 103 total yards. In the games since then, even with a step up in competition and more attention thrown his way in coverage, he has proven his all-american status by averaging 157 per game since.And the attention he gets on the outside has opened things up for OSU in other areas, too, as Mike Gundy noted this week. “(The defense) plays differently,” Gundy said Saturday. “You go back and watch it and study how they play when he’s in the game compared to when he’s not, they’re going to get an extra guy in the box in the running game.”Washington isn’t the most physically imposing receiver at 6-foot (which might be a stretch), but he has the leaping ability and athleticism to flat out make you look silly on the edge with catches like this. 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.center_img The second leading receiver is by far the biggest leap from last year as far as production. Jalen McCleskey, who was a speedster last season who had high points, has been able to step into the No. 2 receiver spot and has been incredibly productive. Oklahoma State has gotten creative in their ways to get McCleskey the ball, and he has taken advantage of his opportunities on jet sweeps and out of the slot. Bottom line: McCleskey + Space = Good things.WATCH: Rudolph to McCleskey gives #OKState its first touchdown of the dayCatch OSU vs. CMU on FS1! pic.twitter.com/zJjwNTM8Xc— Cowboy Football (@CowboyFB) September 10, 2016last_img read more

2017 Position Preview: Cowboy Safeties Are Deep But Top-Heavy in Experience

first_img—LaMarcus MortonFreshman SS2Za’Carrius GreenSoph. (RS) —Malcolm RodriguezFreshman PlayerClass 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. Previous position previews: RB | CW | WR | OLOne of the deeper positions on the roster took a hit with the loss of three-year team leader in tackles, Jordan Sterns, as well as former Auburn-transfer Derrick Moncrief, but OSU seemingly has a lot of guys to choose from as they try and fill out a two-deep for the fall.Bodies don’t exactly equal players and there are some unknowns, though. Several of these guys have contributed special teams or not much at all. OSU safeties coach Dan Hammerschmidt will have his work cut out for him to get this unit ready come fall, but he has a couple of playmakers at the top of the depth chart.Tre FlowersFlowers heads into 2017 leading all Cowboy defenders with 27 consecutive starts. He’s been know as more of a quiet leader but will need to take more of a vocal leadership role on the secondary along with corner Ramon Richards.The red-shirt junior compiled 61 total tackles (45 solo), seven pass breakups, two tackles for loss and two forced fumbles. And who could forget when he went house after receiving the pitch from Vincent Taylor on the blocked PAT against Texas.Kenneth Edison-McGruderAcross from Sterns will be a new face in the starting lineup and it’s not really a question of who it should be.Edison-McGruder saw playing time as a true freshman and became a key contributor as a sophomore. His 29 solo tackles were the most for an underclassman in 2016 and he should have every opportunity to step into Jordan Sterns starting spot.Jerel MorrowThe only other senior among safeties currently slated for 2017. He’s seen most of his reps come on special teams but will have a chance to compete for quality reps starting this spring. Morrow’s experience should allow him the chance for more reps but there will be some younger guys playing for a spot.Za’Carrius GreenGreen got some time on special teams and played sparingly on defense as a red-shirt freshman but will look for an increased role in 2017.Incoming FreshmenLaMarcus Morton – A two-way star from Gilmer, Texas, Morton will be with Cowboys in the spring after enrolling early. The three-star wide receiver/defensive back will get a head start in the competition for reps.Malcolm Rodriguez – A three-star dual-threat quarterback and defensive back from Wagoner, Oklahoma who committed to play safety. Check out our writeup on Rodriguez.Trey Sterling – A three-star safety from Sunnyvale, Texas who committed back in November. Sterling considers himself a hard hitter and the OSU coaches agree, which is why they snatched him up when he was still an unranked prospect.OthersChance Cook – As a true freshman in 2016, Cook appeared in every game except the Alamo Bowl. Look for him to possibly step into an increased role in 2017.Winston Westbrooks – A redshirt sophomore in 2017 who played in the 2016 season opener against SE Louisiana.Matthew Newsome – A redshirt junior in 2017 who played in the 2016 season opener against SE Louisiana.There are still a lot of questions to be answered and that process will start this spring but here’s a decent starting point as far as how we see the depth chart shaking out.2017 Projectionscenter_img FS1Tre FlowersSenior (RS) Hopefully, the Cowboy secondary can take a step forward in 2017 but it will fall on the shoulders of a couple of young safeties to make plays. FS2Jerel MorrowSenior (RS) SS1Kenneth Edison-McGruderJuniorlast_img read more

Trey Carter Making the Switch to Defensive Tackle

first_imgOver the last couple of years, Oklahoma State has enjoyed its deepest group of defensive linemen since Mike Gundy took the reins twelve years ago.Credit Joe Bob Clements’ proven recruiting acumen and Mike Gundy’s foresight a few years ago when he decided to designate extra scholarships for a Cowboy defense that, like most in the Big 12, can never have enough depth.“Last year, we were fortunate to play two groups up front and stay fresh,” said Gundy. “I think we’re going to have that luxury (this year), knock on wood. If (Jordan) Brailford continues to progress and stay healthy, he could be quite an impact player for us on the pass rush. When we can keep a group of four fresh, we’re going to be a much better team. That was something we lacked here for a number of years.”The return of Brailford at the end spot along with the loss of tackles Vincent Taylor and Mote Maile provided an opportunity for a little shuffling in the trenches.Redshirt junior Trey Carter who started spring camp with the defensive end designation will move inside to add depth at the tackle position.“He’s done great,” said Gundy. “We were just talking about him in the locker room. We talked about Ateman, and Trey is another success story. He was a late qualifier and came in here. We’ve essentially become his family away from home and he’s put all of his money into it, his pride into it and his time into it. He’s done very well. He’s done well in class and is buying in. The team really likes him. He’s got a great sense of humor and he’s really fun to be around.”But it’s not his sense of humor that allows for the move inside. It’s the hard work his head coach mentioned and the fact that Carter has added nearly 40 pounds since arriving on campus three years ago. Entering spring at 295, he outweighed the rest of the edge rushers on the team.“When I got to 290, they were like, ‘OK you’re putting on a lot of weight.’,” said Carter. “A defensive end I think typically weighs anywhere from 245 all the way to 275. Other than that, it was really just because I put on a lot of weight.”The extra weight was not just a belated “freshman 15.” Carter credits the gain to healthy eating, hard work and, of course, strength and training guru, Rob Glass. Combine those factors and his body “just decided to grow.”Carter followed a redshirt freshman year where he appeared in just one game by contributing regularly on defense and in special teams in 2016. His breakout performance in the Alamo Bowl saw him terrorize Colorado’s O-line with a sack and 1.5 tackles for loss.Carter heading into this spring with high hopes but defensive end is one of the deepest positions on the roster. With Brailford returning from injury to compete with 2016 starters Cole Walterscheid and Jarrell Owens, and with Tralund Webber coming off a huge year, Carter and the coaching staff saw an opportunity on the inside.Tackle depth is not exactly an issue. There are several guys ready to vie for a starting spot. Darrion Daniels is a stud who has seen meaningful reps since day one. DeQuinton Osborne provided a boost last season after transferring in and Vili Leveni is hopefully finally healthy. The Cowboys also welcome Michigan State-transfer Enoch Smith Jr. to the fold.Once again, the defensive line should be the strength of Oklahoma State’s defense. And it’s because of guys like Carter that OSU has been able to lose NFL talent from their D-line year after year without skipping a beat 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.last_img read more

League Wide: How Good Can KSU Be in 2017?

first_imgLet’s take a look at some news around the league from this week. The Facts of the MatterRobert Allen had some strong thoughts on realignment conversations, all are pretty pointed.First, concerning how badly OU is trying to leave the league:Truth of the matter is, if a school is looking to leave a conference then they likely are being very quiet about it and exploring their options as stealth as possible. [GoPokes-$$$]Agreed. Lest they look like Mizzou who got all dressed up with (initially) nowhere to go. Boren is saying an awful lot but truth of the matter is, he’s 76 and when OU is actually negotiating late in the grant-of-rights, it’s unlikely that he’s making the deal.Second, grant-of-rights aren’t to be messed with.I think we’ve gone far enough down the road to know that those agreements called “Grant-in-Rights” that each school signed to the Big 12, basically each other, calling for the conference to own each school’s television rights are holding up. If one school, even OU, tries to bolt and do it alone, well that will cause one heckuva legal battle. [GoPokes-$$$]Berry Tramel pointed out on a lunch chat yesterday that you could see things heat up in 2022 when there are two to three years left in the grant of rights – so we may see action before 2025 but probably not on this side of 2020.And last, the demise of the league won’t come for the reason you think it will.Remember history, for someone to leave the Big 12 then they have to be looking for something. If the other conferences in the Power 5 ever want to expedite the end of the Big 12 then the schools they need to offer aren’t OU, Texas, or Oklahoma State, but instead Kansas State, Iowa State, or Texas Tech. Those schools are the ones with concern. [GoPokes-$$$]We’re just talking semantics here, if it dies it dies because of states’ rights and not a strong central government, right? Inmates running the asylum? Something along those lines.But could you see Iowa State frantically leaving behind the Big 12 if somehow the Iowa legislature highway-robbed the Big Ten into taking their other flagship school? Possibly. But is that more likely than OU getting shut out of a playoff and trying to break the handcuffs first? Naw.Why Texas Must Need Not Be TexasTulsaWorld’s Guerin Emig makes the old “a rising tide lifts all boats” argument. The Longhorns should be making January bowl games and sending players into the first round, not losing to Kansas and napping through the NFL draft. They should be challenging KU’s reign over Big 12 hoops, not finishing dead last in the standings.The Horns living up to their potential does (Tom) Herman and (Shaka) Smart the most good, but don’t underestimate the impact on Bob Stoops, Mike Gundy, Lon Kruger and Mike Boynton. They thrive under the OU and OSU brands, sure, but also under the Big 12’s. This goes particularly for December and March when College Football Playoff/NCAA Tournament committee members consider strength of schedule, RPI and what not.The Big 12 brand isn’t nearly what it should be with Texas floundering. [TulsaWorld] No matter how logical that argument sounds (Texas improvement = Big 12 status grows), it still feels like the best thing for Oklahoma State is to take Texas’ place in the upper tier.Sure, long-term the league image suffers when Texas doesn’t Texas but if the thing is terminally ill, let’s “ride for the brand” until it lands securely.Sad News BearsJenni Carlson looked at the Baylor situation not from the perspective of NCAA violations but transgressions against humans, concluding rightly with the ultimate goal.Baylor may have enacted reforms, but changing policies and procedures does little good if hearts and minds remain the same. [NewsOK]Reading the piece is well-worth your time, looking at various aspects and how they shaped her conclusion. A few hundred words hardly do justice to the topic but a correction in focus is timely.Another conclusion reached is that no punishment is too much. And may be possible.The Big 12 may have power to kick Baylor out of the conference https://t.co/7kvh71vp5n— Eric T (@Taylorical) May 19, 2017Deja VuOSU’s not the only team who can see similarities between the year ahead and the last time they won a conference title.With an inefficient defense and almost no big-play threats, Kansas State went 9-4 and ranked 31st in S&P+ last season. The Wildcats found their offensive rhythm midseason and won six of their final seven games. After a 3-3 start, they transformed from the team I expected them to be — 6-6 with limited upside — to a team that in a lot of ways resembled the 10-win 2011 squad.So does that mean 2017 will be another 2012? Probably not, but … you can’t count it out, can you? Conference favorite Oklahoma just lost its three best skill position guys, Oklahoma State and TCU have a lot to prove defensively, West Virginia has a ton of production to replace, and Texas and Baylor are in transition. The Wildcats have a lot to replace in their front seven but boast a seasoned secondary and offensive line, a revived skill corps, and, in KSU fashion, a quarterback who’s among the best running backs in the conference. [SBNation]Of course, referencing Kansas State winning the league in 2012 (unless you’re Bob Stoops and depending on what day it is) and apparently the sentiment that they could repeat. Isn’t that last line the most K-State thing you’ve ever heard? Only thing missing is a Lockett and hyped-juco transfers.I’d hate to see the hype K-State gets when they aren’t losing a defensive end to the NFL and have a Michael Bishop/Collin Klein-level talent returning.Also, found the next 6’2″, 180 pound (soaking wet) quarter/running back that will lead the ‘Cats to nine wins: So grateful and excited to receive an offer from Kansas State University! #Family #EMAW ? pic.twitter.com/oK2tw0c2nz— Max Duggan (@MaxDuggan_10) May 10, 2017Bonus Tweet:Lubbock is a top 5 Big 12 town. That’s not saying too much, but people act like it’s Mars.— David Ubben (@davidubben) May 18, 2017Top five, eh? If the people were Nebraska-friendly, mayyyybe. It’s hours from skiing but not sure that floats it that high, Ubbs. 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.last_img read more

City & Arsenal set club records in Carabao Cup final

first_imgLeague Cup Arsenal hit record new lows as Man City set club best in Carabao Cup final Goal 03:18 26/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Manchester City lift Carabao Cup Getty League Cup Arsenal v Manchester City Manchester City Arsenal Premier League Both sides made history on Sunday, though Citizens fans will be far happier with how they’ve entered the record books… Pep Guardiola lifted his first trophy with Manchester City on Sunday, with his side setting a new club record due to the impressive margin of the victory over Arsenal in the Carabao Cup final.The Gunners, meanwhile, set a a few records of their own, though it will make for grim reading for fans of the London side.The final saw City continue with the same stunning form they’ve showed all season, condemning their opponents to an embarrassing defeat at Wembley, with Arsene Wenger’s charges seemingly at a loss as to how to cope with the onslaught from Guardiola’s men. 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 Goals from Sergio Aguero, Vincent Kompany and David Silva secured a 3-0 win for the Manchester side, their best-ever result in a cup final, while the opposite is true for Arsenal – it’s their biggest ever loss in a cup final.It’s widely known that Wenger has never won the Carabao Cup (also known as the League Cup), but followers of the Emirates side will be aggrieved to know that Arsenal have lost six of their eight appearances in the final of the competition – including each of their last three.In fact, the Gunners are the first side in the history of the tournament to lose in three successive appearances in the final, with Wenger having led his squads to the ultimate match in 2007, 2011 and 2018.And with the French manager having it all to do again against City in the Premier League on Thursday – and Champions League football looking increasingly unlikely – fans will no doubt be wondering when significant changes will be made in order to restore some of the storied club’s former glory.last_img read more

Arsenal vs Man City: TV, stream & preview

first_imgPremier League Arsenal vs Man City: TV channel, live stream, squad news & preview Ryan Kelly Last updated 1 year ago 17:50 1/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(5) Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Arsenal Nicolas Otamendi Manchester City Getty Images Premier League Arsenal v Manchester City Manchester City Arsenal Arsene Wenger’s side were left humiliated by the Citizens at Wembley so they will be aiming to restore pride on Thursday Just four days after playing in the Carabao Cup final, Arsenal and Manchester City meet again in London as they return to Premier League action.Pep Guardiola’s men emerged triumphant at Wembley on Sunday, beating the Gunners 3-0 to secure the Catalan coach’s first trophy since arriving in England.That defeat was Arsenal’s fifth in their last 10 matches in all competitions and they will need to improve if they want to secure a positive result at home on Thursday. 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 A chasm of 27 points separates City in first from Arsenal in sixth and the Gunners, who are also 10 points adrift of fourth-place Tottenham, will be hoping to reclaim some pride at the Etihad. Game Arsenal vs Manchester City Date Thursday March 1 Time 19:45 GMT / 14:45 ET Stream (US only) fuboTV (7-day free trial) TV Channel & Live Stream 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 NBCSN fubo TV (7-day free trial) In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on TV on Sky Sports Premier League and it can be streamed live online using Sky Go. UK TV channel Online stream Sky Sports Premier League Sky Go Squads & Team News Position Arsenal players Goalkeepers Ospina, Cech, Macey Defenders Mertesacker, Koscielny, Holding, Monreal, Mustafi, Chambers, Bellerin, Kolasinac, Mavropanos, Osei-Tutu Midfielders Mkhitaryan, Ramsey, Wilshere, Ozil, Iwobi, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles, Elneny, Dragomir, Gilmour, Willock Forwards Aubameyang, Welbeck, Dasilva, Nelson, Nketiah Alexandre Lacazette recently underwent surgery on a knee injury so he is definitely out and Santi Cazorla is a long-term absentee who has been troubled by an ankle complaint.Nacho Monreal has been ruled out for the next few games too after suffering an inflamed disc in his back, but the remainder of the squad are fit to play.Potential Arsenal starting XI: Cech; Kolasinac, Koscielny, Mustafi, Bellerin; Wilshere, Xhaka, Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Ramsey; Aubameyang. Position Man City players Goalkeepers Bravo, Ederson, Grimshaw Defenders Walker, Danilo, Kompany, Stones, Laporte, Adarabioyo, Otamendi, Duhaney Midfielders Sterling, Gundogan, De Bruyne, Sane, B. Silva, D. Silva, Fernandinho, Zinchenko, Toure, Foden, Diaz, Dele-Bashiru Forwards Aguero, Nmecha, Jesus Fernandinho is definitely out of the game after suffering a hamstring injury on Sunday, but Raheem Sterling could be available again after Guardiola revealed he is “much, much better”.Brazil international Gabriel Jesus is back in contention after making a substitute appearance in the final.Potential Man City starting XI: Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Kompany, Danilo; Gundogan, D. Silva, De Bruyne; Sane, Aguero, Jesus.Betting & Match Odds Man City are, perhaps unsurprisingly, favourites to win with dabblebet giving odds of 3/4 on Guardiola’s men. Arsenal are deemed a 7/2 bet to win and a draw is available at 3/1.Click here to see all of dabblebet’s offers for the game, including goalscoring markets, correct score predictions and more.Match Preview Hector Bellerin Kevin De Bruyne Arsenal Manchester CityIcy conditions are enveloping the United Kingdom this week as the so-called ‘Beast from the East’ arrives and the Emirates Stadium is becoming an increasingly cold house for Wenger too.The Arsenal boss was denied a maiden League Cup trophy on Sunday after his side meekly succumbed to the might of Guardiola’s City and the question of his future has now arisen once more.Even if the veteran coach guides the Gunners to a win over City on Thursday, those questions won’t go away, but he will be able to use a victory as a springboard for a strong finish to the season.The Europa League now seems to be their only realistic hope of achieving Champions League football for next season, but the pressure is still on to finish as high as possible in the league.City, on the other hand, are incredibly secure at the top of the table and have now comfortably beaten the Gunners twice this season.Despite the elation of winning the Carabao Cup, Guardiola’s men have a tough run of games to come, with Chelsea and Basel to play after Arsenal, so the Catalan will be demanding complete focus. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

Examining Major League Soccer’s 2018 TV coverage

first_imgMLS Media Microscope: Examining Major League Soccer’s 2018 TV coverage Seth Vertelney Last updated 1 year ago 23:00 2/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) MLS TV coverage MLS Goal spoke with the league’s two English-language TV partners in the United States to get a preview of what to expect in the upcoming season Major League Soccer’s television ratings were up in 2017, and that counts as a small victory in a landscape that has recently not been kind to other professional sports leagues.Of course, MLS still lags behind other professional sports leagues in the United States in terms of ratings, but growth of any kind in today’s sports TV world counts as a minor win.In order to maintain that growth, the league’s two English-language American TV partners are looking to improve the quality and content in their broadcasts, while making plans outside of the match coverage itself to draw in more viewers on both linear and digital formats. 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 Ahead of the 2018 MLS season Goal spoke to coordinating producer of Fox Soccer Maleek Ndile, and ESPN’s lead soccer producer Chris Alexopoulos about their networks’ plans for the new season.What stories will Fox and ESPN be looking to tell on the editorial side in 2018?Ndile: I think LAFC is the big story out there. I think fans want to see how they’re going to come into this league. They have a big coach who is a former national team coach in Bob Bradley, they have these shiny new digs right in the heart of downtown LA, it’s LA so that’s obviously a glamour story and then you have the ownership group – when you have names like Magic Johnson, Will Ferrell, Nomar Garciaparra, Mia Hamm, it’s just a glamour club.We’re blessed to have the first LA derby between LAFC and the Galaxy (March 31 on Fox) so that’s one of the highlights of our schedule.Alexopoulos: For us LAFC coming into the league – it’s who we have for our opener on Sunday (at Seattle, 5 p.m. ET on ESPN). The new team with a new stadium and a new fan base and the fantastic crowd will always get attention out of the box.We have to be really smart about what we’re saying about Columbus and what’s happening there and whether they’re going to move or not and how that’s being reported. That’s going to be a big story for us as we move forward.I think an interesting thing that people have been talking about the last couple weeks are the gaps that are starting to form between the top of the league and the bottom of the league in terms of spending and the effect that that has on the field.The fourth thing would be, is Zlatan Ibrahimovic going to come to MLS? What other big players are potentially coming throughout the year?Ndile: The one thing that we brought to the league last year was what we did with expected goals and Opta. We kind of just crawled with that last year but this year I think we’re going to try to be a little more out there with our Opta expected goals.We’re going to try and get that in productions live as the games are going on so fans can see and really understand what expected goals is, so we’re going to really try and integrate that into our productions more.What innovations will Fox and ESPN be looking to use on the technical side in 2018?Ndile: Another thing that will add to our productions is the Movi cam, which is a stabilizing handheld camera [that] allows us to get really clear and good shots of walkouts and some low-angle field shots, whether it be corner kicks, behind the goal.  It allows us to push the boundaries that you don’t really get to see with a handheld camera, so we’re really excited to be able to use the Movi cam a little bit more this season. We started with it two years ago but now we’re going to see a little bit more of it.Click HERE for examples of Fox’s usage of the Movi cam in MLS broadcasts.Alexopoulos: From a technology standpoint we still are really proud of our goalpost cameras. We’re the only broadcaster in the entire world that does this. For us it’s something that continues to pay dividends as we use it more and more.MLS 9/11/16 Goal post cam from Chris on Vimeo.I think the one thing we will do a little bit more of this year is we’re going to use a few more POV cameras in interesting places. We have six POV cameras, four of which are in the goalposts and two of which are in the back of the goal that you stick through the net. So we have the goal covered and I think our biggest thing this year is that we’re adding another POV camera and potentially more than that.We’re going to be playing around with where that sits and how it can best help the viewer. Major League Soccer gives us a lot of leeway to try new things as long as it doesn’t impede on the actual game coverage. In England, you can’t put a camera in a place that isn’t really standard. You can’t just say, ‘We’re going to try this’ and this camera is going to be on the endline on a 20-foot pole looking down right over the goal. That’s something that we’d like to try this year with one of our POVs.Cue Ball POV from Chris on Vimeo.For ESPN, the biggest change this season is the integration of the MLS Live platform into the new streaming ESPN+ service. The MLS Live service was priced at $79 a year, while the new ESPN streaming product will be $5 a month, or $60 annually.ESPN will now have the exclusive streaming rights to all out-of-market MLS games, and subscribers to ESPN+ will have access to additional soccer content, as well as other sports on the ESPN+ platform.Alexopoulos: I think that’s the biggest thing that will be different from ESPN this year is taking that package and seeing what additional content will come through that package and how that changes the availability and coverage.For the first time, Fox will have the broadcast rights to the World Cup this summer. The network is hoping to receive a major ratings boost when they feature five MLS games on over-the-air Fox over the course of four weekends, all of which will have World Cup matches as lead-ins – including the World Cup final followed by Atlanta United vs. Seattle on July 15. How Fox integrates MLS promotion in its World Cup coverage will be a key aspect of how much of a ratings boost it gets.Ndile: We’re excited that we’re going to be able to weave our MLS coverage into what we’re doing with the World Cup. We’ll do our World Cup coverage and once the matches start to conclude we’ll definitely be trying to integrate wherever we are for the MLS game into the production to let fans know that you can continue your soccer fix on the network.We’re in great sites for those games – we’re in Atlanta, we’re in Seattle, we’re in Toronto. We want to show those crazy fan bases and sort of weave that into our World Cup coverage. It’s going to be a natural fit that soccer fans are going to be able to continue their day with MLS and I think that’s an added thing for the league.We’re hoping we’re going to see a big bump in numbers for those games. When you talk about a World Cup, you’re talking about not just soccer fans, you’re talking about casual fans who just want to be a part of the event and the spectacle and we’re going to carry those viewers on to what we’re doing with our MLS coverage as well.last_img read more

Spurs deserved to beat Juventus – Son

first_imgTottenham Hotspur Spurs deserved to beat Juventus – Son Dejan Kalinic 12:25 8/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(3) Son Heung-Min Tottenham Juventus Champions League GLYN KIRK Tottenham Hotspur Tottenham Hotspur v Juventus Juventus UEFA Champions League The Tottenham forward believes that his side outplayed their Italian rivals in the second leg and that his side deserved to move on Tottenham attacker Son Heung-min insisted his team’s performance against Juventus on Wednesday deserved more than a loss. The South Korea international opened the scoring on the night, but his side suffered a 2-1 loss to bow out 4-3 on aggregate in the last 16.It ended Tottenham’s run in Europe after two wins over Borussia Dortmund and a victory over Madrid in group stage had the club looking like a contender.  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 However, Son said those results were irrelevant after Spurs exited the Champions League, with the 25-year-old feeling his side were unlucky to be out of the competition. “It doesn’t matter when we beat Real Madrid or Dortmund, it doesn’t matter,” he said.”Juventus is another good team, and another top team in Europe. I think we played very well – better than them.”I say we deserved more than this but football is about scoring goals and they scored two goals at Wembley Stadium. We have to accept the result.”Goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala in a three-minute span saw Juve complete a stunning second-half comeback at Wembley, with Spurs unable to respond. And Son believes luck played a large part in Juventus moving forward. “Our performance was very good and I think we deserved more than this,” he continued. “The last Harry [Kane] header … if we’re lucky then that’s going in… we should have got a penalty I think.”But as I said, they scored two goals. Football is about scoring goals, and if you don’t score, you lose of course.”But I think we’re unluckily out of the Champions League.”Tottenham must now turn their full focus to the Premier League, where they hold a five-point lead over fifth placed Chelsea, and the FA Cup, where the London outfit face a quarter-final against Swansea.last_img read more

Stoger unhappy with Dortmund display

first_imgBorussia Dortmund Stoger unhappy with Dortmund display Dejan Kalinic 09:04 16/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) PeterStoger - Cropped Getty Images Borussia Dortmund UEFA Europa League Salzburg v Borussia Dortmund Salzburg The BVB boss was not pleased with his team’s performance at Red Bull Salzburg as they bowed out of the Europa League Borussia Dortmund head coach Peter Stoger lamented his side’s display at Red Bull Salzburg, saying the Austrian champions deserved to progress in the Europa League.Dortmund suffered a 2-1 aggregate loss in the last 16 after being held to a 0-0 draw in the second leg at Red Bull Arena.Stoger said his team were unable to deliver what they wanted away from home as they made a surprise exit. 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 “In the first half we showed nearly nothing of what we planned to do,” he told a news conference.”There are different ways in football to get successful and create chances, the quality of your football included. We thought we had enough of that [quality] on the pitch in the first half, but we saw nothing of it.”Concerning the areas and spaces we wanted to use, also in the box for crosses, we did nothing. That’s disappointing for us.”The pitch was not the best, but we made it partially hard for ourselves. Nevertheless, we saw that we can create chances with a little more courage in the second half.”At the end of the day, Salzburg probably deserved the next round over the two games. We had to congratulate them and I want to compliment my compatriots.”Dortmund have won just one of their past six games in all competitions and host Hannover in the Bundesliga Sunday.last_img read more