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Yannick Bolasie hails Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew for improved goal tally

first_img “I don’t have a total (in mind) but I think the improvements you see – four goals last season and four goals already this season,” Bolasie said. “You don’t just build a player overnight, everything has to come gradually. “I don’t think people really expect it. I wasn’t really in the box last season but this season I am in the box a lot more, I am picking up little scraps and so far I have got goals off scraps. “I think it’s all down to the gaffer and what he does in training and you can see it in the boys.” After the disappointing loss to Sunderland on Monday, Palace were keen to move on and give something back to the supporters. “It was a great result for the team,” Bolasie said. “It was good to bounce back from Monday’s result. “Today is obviously encouraging for us and we will move on straight away to focus on Everton next week. “In football, I think it is how you bounce back and you could say the attackers on Monday were a bit disappointed. The south London side thrashed Newcastle on Saturday, with the 5-1 win seeing the Eagles rise to seventh in the Barclays Premier League table. Bolasie netted twice in the comprehensive win, taking him to four overall – the same tally he managed over the whole of the 2014/15 campaign. Press Association “Today more than made up for Monday, but the game is gone today and we have to look forward to Everton. “It’s done a lot for confidence and we play Everton next week, who are another team who we normally have good games against, but every season is different so that will be another tough game for sure.” Bakary Sako is out of the clash with a hamstring injury and Wilfried Zaha is suspended, but Bolasie is not concerned about the strength in depth. “It’s tough right now but hopefully someone like Chungy (Lee Chung-yong) can come in and step up to the plate and that’s the reason why we have such a good squad. “You think of the players who have been left out, like Frazer Campbell, Jordan Mutch, so there are still players who can come in and do a good job.” Yannick Bolasie is delighted to have already equalled his last season’s goal tally and believes Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew deserves all the credit.last_img read more

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Roma Coach Believes in Miracle over Barca

first_imgRoma coach Eusebio Di Francesco has urged his side to believe in a “miracle” to overturn a 4-1 deficit against Barcelona and advance to the Champions League semifinals this evening.“We have to believe in something important and go for it with great love and passion. They will play their best to confirm the result but we can also produce a miracle,” Di Francesco told a pre-match press conference.“It’s difficult, but we have to believe. We stopped (Lionel) Messi (in the first leg) and we have to try to do it again tomorrow.” Edin Dzeko scored a valuable away goal after own goals from Daniele De Rossi and Kostas Manolas in the Camp Nou, but the Italians need a remarkable comeback at the Stadio Olimpico to advance to final four for the first time since 1984.Barcelona star Lionel Messi returns to the Stadio Olimpico where his stunning header sealed the Champions League title in 2009 against Manchester United.The Argentine – back from a hamstring problem and subdued in the first leg – warmed up with a hat-trick in a 3-1 win over Leganes Saturday as Barcelona equalled the record longest unbeaten run in La Liga history.“I don’t see it as being tied up in any way,” said Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde ahead of the return.Messi and teammate Andres Iniesta are poised for a milestone of 100 Champions League appearances together. Iniesta is a veteran of 129 Champions League games, and Messi, 124.Roma have slipped to fourth in Serie A after a 2-0 home defeat to Fiorentina, making it three games without a win, and a seventh home defeat. Di Francesco’s side will be looking to avoid equalling the club’s record of eight home defeats in all competitions going back 70 years. “Maybe Barcelona away are not the same team as at the Camp Nou, we will try to close down Messi wherever he is on the pitch,” said the Roma coach. Roma have kept a clean sheet in all of their European games at home this season while the Catalan giants have struggled to get goals away in the Champions League, setting the scene for a low-key scoring affair in the Stadio Olimpico.From a possible sacrifice for his cash-strapped club in January, Edin Dzeko again proved his worth to Roma with his 19th goal of the season in the first leg.After the 32-year-old’s proposed move to Chelsea fell through in the winter transfer window, Dzeko helped the club’s balance sheet by securing Roma’s place in the last eight of Europe’s lucrative elite competition.And the former Manchester City striker showed his class and his talents by getting a goal back against the Spanish league leaders.Andres Iniesta could be playing his final games for Barcelona as he has said he will make a decision on whether to accept an offer to move to China before the end of April.Iniesta, 33, penned a new contract at Camp Nou earlier this season but the terms of the deal allow him to leave at the end of each season.The midfielder, who remains an important part of Valverde’s side, has said: “I will decide before April 30. There are still a few weeks left. There are two options: stay at Barcelona or go to China.”Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets is still not fully fit as he comes back after breaking his toe against Chelsea last month with Philippe Coutinho not eligible to play and Lucas Digne injured. Roma’s Radja Nainggolan has recovered from injury while Di Francesco has said Turkish forward Cengiz Under is fit again and will feature in the second leg. “The home crowd can be our weapon,” warned Di Francesco.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

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At 30-year anniversary of Syracuse’s first NCAA championship, former players reflect on historic campaign

first_imgThe 1983 Syracuse men’s lacrosse team had two uniforms: blue and white.Leading up to the ‘83 NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Championship, the Orangemen were slated to wear their away blue uniforms against Johns Hopkins. But the team had other plans. Sophomore midfielder Brad Kotz, who was later named the tournament’s MVP, remembers the players urging coach Roy Simmons Jr. to implement a new color style.“We had never worn orange before that game,” Kotz said. “But we were the Orangemen, and it seemed only right to put on orange, like a tradition or something.”Simmons called to Syracuse to see if orange uniforms could be delivered to Rutgers. The team’s wish was granted and it was presented with new, orange jerseys prior to the game. The players thought they were upholding a tradition with the new shirts. In retrospect — 30 years and 11 national titles later — they were starting a far bigger one.Winning.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Orangemen would go on to defeat Johns Hopkins 17-16 in the title game to capture the first national championship in school history. That 1983 squad is remembered for breaking ground. Members of the team recall their championship fondly, and know their role in catapulting SU into the national spotlight.“We had never experienced anything like that, not only as a team but as individuals,” then-sophomore defender Fred Cambria said. “It made us really start to appreciate the meaning of the word ‘team,’ because that is what that championship was all about.”It was like something out of a movie.Syracuse fell behind 12-5 in the middle of the third quarter and looked all but defeated. But then something clicked, something that none of the players will ever be able to explain.It started with Darren Lawlor’s goal late in the third quarter. Then Kotz and fellow sophomore Tim Nelson, both All-Americans, put the Orangemen onto their backs. Nelson poetically quarterbacked SU’s offense while Kotz started winning every faceoff and scoring at will. The result was eight straight goals that ended with an exclamation point.“When Randy Lundblad scored the goal that iced it I remember getting onto my knees and sliding at half field,” Nelson said. “I didn’t know what else to do, we shocked ourselves.”It wasn’t that the Orangemen weren’t used to winning. They were 13-1 on the season before beating Johns Hopkins, and the program was known for churning out competitive teams. But the team was also used to playing second fiddle to the national prominence of programs like Johns Hopkins and North Carolina.Heading into the 1983 championship game, Johns Hopkins had 39 championships, four in the NCAA. The Blue Jays were also celebrating the program’s 100th anniversary that season. Beating Johns Hopkins wasn’t just unlikely, it was unheard of.Still, the Orangemen’s determined upperclassmen weren’t going to let the past dictate the future.“We didn’t get the memo that we were supposed to lose that day,” then-senior defensive captain Jeff McCormick said. “Being a senior on a team with so much young talent wasn’t necessarily challenging. I just had to always let guys know that we could play with anyone, and I think we proved that.”Three decades later, Syracuse has become a perennial NCAA contender like the Johns Hopkins team that was supposed to derail its title hopes. The program now has 11 NCAA championships and 27 final four appearances, having become a destination for the nation’s top talent.“It’s not that we were angry being behind the Hopkins’ and UNC’s of the world, it’s just how it was,” said Derek Maltz Sr., a sophomore midfielder in 1983. “But what we did was huge. It allowed everyone to see what those inside the program knew all along. That Syracuse was one of the best lacrosse schools in the country, and is to this day.”The elder Maltz walked onto the team in 1982 and his son, Derek Maltz Jr., now starts for an SU team that will vie for the program’s 12th title Monday afternoon against Duke. Thirty years ago, Maltz and his teammates carved out a path. Now they watch as another generation attempts to walk down it.“To know that my son now has the opportunity to achieve the same thing I did is really special for me,” Maltz said. “Everyone deserves the feeling of winning a national championship. Everybody.”All of the members of the team have gone down different roads since a rare collection of ambition and talent brought them together on the biggest stage in college lacrosse.Cambria went into the entertainment business and won a National Sports Emmy for his work on the HBO sports documentary, “Assault in The Ring.” Kotz won two championships with the Philadelphia Wings of the National Lacrosse League after graduating from SU. He’s since settled down with his family outside of Washington D.C., owns a small business, and runs a lacrosse program that his two daughters play in. Maltz coordinates various defense agencies in the Washington D.C. area.Maltz, his former roommate Cambria, and Kotz met up in Philadelphia to watch SU’s 8-7 final four win over Denver on Friday. They’ll do so again for the title game on Monday.McCormick founded Saturn Partners in 1994 and was recently named the executive producer of the movie Crooked Arrows. He will be celebrating his wife’s birthday during SU’s championship quest, and will obtain updates any way he can.And then there’s Nelson, the team’s steady facilitator that refused to accept defeat. Nelson is currently the assistant vice president of advancement at Utica College, after serving as the men’s head lacrosse coach from 1999-05. He has been, and will continue to watch this year’s SU team from his couch.Regardless of where life has taken them since winning it all together, they all see this year’s team the same way.As the 2013 Orange head into a championship game of its own, they are predecessors to the success achieved 30 years ago, another symbolization of just how monumental that inaugural championship team was.“I won’t say we’re the best team in SU history, but we’ll always be the first,” Nelson said. “The fact that I’ll always be able to say that, well, that’s nice.” Comments Published on May 26, 2013 at 1:46 pm Contact Jesse: jcdoug01@syr.edu | @dougherty_jesse Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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