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  • Penn swimming and diving sweep Dartmouth, fall to host Yale at Ivy League tri-meet


    home side won 1-0 thanks to a well-taken first-half goal by Brazilian striker Richarlison but the Seagulls went close after the break with Leandro Trossard hitting the bar and Glenn Murray forcing a brilliant late save from England goalkeeper JordanPenn men's and women's swimming and diving opened 2020 by closing out their Ivy League tri-meet season.

    The Quakers kicked off the second half of their season in New Haven, Conn. with their final tri-meet against Yale and Dartmouth. While both the men’s and women’s teams were able to edge out the Big Green, they both also fell to the host Bulldogs.

    The women’s team (2-5, 2-4 Ivy) earned their second Ivy League victory of the season over Dartmouth (2-5, 1-3) by a margin of 170-130. However, the Quakers fell to undefeated Yale (6-0, 3-0), losing by a score of 217-83.

    The women achieved two first-place finishes, including a 1000-yard freestyle victory posted by sophomore with a time of 10:09.10. Buroker also finished fourth in the 500 free (5:03.49), just behind sophomore Grace Giddings, who had a time of 5:03.04 to finish third.

    The women’s other first-place finish was secured by senior Serena Xue in the 200 breaststroke, posting a time of 2:20.48. Xue was joined by sophomore Hannah Kannan, sophomore Monika Burzynska, and senior Emily Layne for the 200 medley relay; their time of 1:45.46 was enough to secure second place, but they were edged out of first by the Bulldogs.

    On the men’s side, while the Quakers (4-3, 3-3) were narrowly defeated by the Bulldogs (5-1, 2-1) by a score of 160-140, they were victorious over the Big Green (1-6, 0-4) by a margin of 195-105. The men’s team earned six first-place finishes atop the podium and showed off their g a stake in the Championship club, according to multiple reports, states, /.last year when 49ers Enterprises, the investment arm of the National Football League's (NFL) San Francisco 49ers, paid a reported UK£11 million for a minority share in the depth of talent with 19 swimmers placing in the top three.

    Leading the charge for the Red and Blue with three individual first-place finishes was junior Sean Lee, posting victories in the 100 butterfly (47.85), 200 fly (1:47.34), and 200 individual medley (1:52.21). Lee was also a member of the 200 medley relay team that notched a first-place finish for Penn with a time of 1:30.78.

    Junior Boris Yang had a standout performance. In addition to helping the 200 medley relay team to victory alongside Lee, Yang notched the two remaining first-place finishes for the Quakers in the 100 breaststroke (56.83) and 200 brHammarby are interested in Chelsea wing-back Joseph Colley.Off contract at the end of the month, Colley is leaving Chelsea this summer.And a return home to Sweden is mooted with fotbolldirekt.se reporting Hammarby are in contact.Colley, 20, is keen and would be happy to relocate to Bajen.Talks are now underway between the defender's agent and the Stockholm club.eaststroke (2:02.69). Yang also finished milliseconds behind Lee in the 200 IM, securing second place with his time of 1:52.27.

    Freshman Jason Schreiber posted a pair of second-place finishes in the 100 breast (57.79) and 200 breast (2:03.05), finishing just behind Yang in both events and adding to the tally of Penn swimmers placing in the top three.

    Neither men’s nor women’s diving was able to finish atop the podium, but senior finished second in the one-meter dive with a score of 274.75. finished just behind Diveris in third with a score of 271.95

    The Quakers will be back in action next Saturday at Sheerr Pool to wrap up Ivy competition with a pair of dual meets against Harvard.

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  • Pair of Penn volleyball freshmen bond over shared high school experience


    A lot of big names come out of Marymount High School in Los Angeles. Kim Kardashian and Olivia Jade Giannulli are just two on a long and very well-known list.

    Flying slightly under the radar of the school’s more noteworthy alumni are the Marymount volleyball program's Taylor Fourticq and Caroline Douglas, both of whom are freshmen at Penn.

    The duo attended the all-girls Catholic preparatory school together for four years before committing to play for the Red and Blue. Their volleyball team has a long history of excellence and has won three California state titles.During their senior year, Fourticq and Douglas almost saw the program add a fourth, as the team lost in the state final. However, they were able to lead their team to a first-place finish at the Nike Tournament of Champions.

    Unsurprisingly, the program is consistently at the top of the list of schools that send volleyball players to compete in the Ivy League. Of their graduating class, Fourticq and Douglas are joined by teammates playing for schools across the country, including UCLA, San Diego, and Colgate.

    Marymount coach Cari Klein credits the recruiting position of the school to their brand of athletes.

    “I think programs might have a lot of academic kids who play volleyball, but it’s a different story when they’re used to winning. Taylor and Caroline are used to winning championships, winning tournaments. They don’t have much losing in their background," Klein said. "They expect to win."

    And win they have. In the first two weeks of the season, the Red and Blue have racked up more wins than their season total from last year. Although the Quakers dropped their to Princeton on Friday, the team started off its season with a six-game winning streak and is looking strong ahead of the first home game this Friday.

    Marymount athletes pay a high price for the success they achieve. With no real offseason, they see a full cycle of training year-round, including summer workouts on the beach and the UCLA track. At the end of their summer season, the players have what they "fine" after a poor week.Pochettino spoke to the media today after Tuesday's Carabao Cup shock at Colchester.He said, "It's okay. We feel disappointed because we expect to win the last three games and we haven't. "We deserved to beat Leicester, it i refer to as “hell week,” which consists of two to three daily practices. When the school year resumes, the team gets in a practice before and after school on some days, in addition to traveling to competitions.

    After their time at such a rigorous program, it is clear that the duo has had a fairly smooth transition to collegiate volleyball.

    “Here, for instance, our weights are at 7:30 in the morning, and that literally feels like sleeping in. I still have my alarm on my phone for 4:57 in the morning called, ‘you got this,’ and I just thank God every morning that that’s never going to be set again,” Douglas said.

    While both have been playing volleyball for 10 years, at times the commits that his move from Southampton to the Reds worked out very nicely.Many fans were skeptical when Liverpool paid a then record sum for a defender to procure Van Dijk.But he made an instant impact and has helped the club to Champions League glory, witment to the sport at Marymount was far from easy. Regardless, they both looked back fondly on their senior night, an event dedicated to those who succeed through four years of the program.

    “At Marymount, volleyball senior night is a huge deal. Girls literally stay in the program for four years just to have a senior night. You get these cute little teddy bears that my mom actually makes, with your jersey, and a ton of stuff that describes you,” Douglas said. “That was definitely my highlight because going through that program is really tough for four years, it’s such an accomplishment and that night is just an accumulation of everything you’ve done and everything you’ve worked for.”

    Within such a demanding program, the athletes inevitably get very close. While in some sports the recruiting process is immensely stressful and can turn teammates against each other as they compete for a limited number of spots, Douglas and Fourticq had a very different experience.

    “Most people aren’t competing for the same spot. Me and Dougie, because we’re different positions, weren’t competing for a specific Penn spot, which made things much less stressful,” Fourticq said.

    After both attended the same sophomore summer camp at Penn, the duo had official visits on the same weekend when the Red and Blue played Princeton. Although they spent the majority of the weekend together, the coaches would separate recruits at times to give them confidential offers to join the team.

    “I remember we didn’t know how to ask each other if we’d gotten the offer. I remember sitting at White Dog [Cafe] and going to the bathroom together so we could be like, ‘sooooo?’’” Douglas said.

    Luckily for them, the two both got offers and committed within 48 hours of each other.

    The relationships built among the Marymount athletes are lasting. When the Red and Blue were playing at the last week, the Marymount team, coming back from a tournament in Las Vegas, realized that Douglas and Fourticq were in their vicinity.

    While on the bus, the players tried to no a late sale for Donny van de Beek.It's been claimed Real Madrid have a deal for the Holland midfielder and will sign him should they fail to land Manchester United star Paul Pogba.But Overmars told SER Catalunya, "Van de Beek will stay with Ajax thiavail to convince the driver to turn around so they could meet up with their teammates.

    “It speaks volumes when the whole bus wants to turn and get a hug from [Fourticq and Douglas] because they know they’re in Riverside. The girls were dying to see them. They’re pretty important people to the program,” Klein said.

    While they certainly embraced the athletic opportunity that Marymount had to offer, Fourticq and Douglas didn’t exactly miss out on celebrity sightings either. Kim Kardashian’s 20th reunion for Marymount fell during their time there.

    “We found out that it was, in fact, Kim Kardashian’s 20th reunion one Friday night at Marymount. Our entire class of volleyball girls were all at Taylor’s house,” Douglas recalled. “We drove to Marymount that night, and I decided that I was going to be the guinea pig, that I was going to sacrifice my life. There was so much security."

    Douglas entered the school under the guise of having lost her wallet. After wandering around for a while, she saw Kim Kardashian from a distance. The experience clearly left an impression on both of them.

    “She was literally posting photos from the seat that I sat in in math,” Fourticq said.

    While Olivia Jade’s presence in the class above them was more of a sensitive subject, the two rattled off a list of celebrities and famous figures that they encountered during their time at Marymount. Now-famous singer Charlotte Lawrence played volleyball with their program.

    Having joined this group of notable alumni, Fourticq and Douglas are poised to contribute both on and off the court as members of this year’s new and improved Penn squad.

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  • Who will step up for Penn women's squash after Reeham Sedky's departure?


    If you love something, set it free.

    That’s a lesson Penn women’s squash had to learn when superstar Reeham Sedky graduated last spring. In her wake, Sedky leaves behind an open No. 1 slot and a vacant captaincy.

    Sedky’s four seasons as a Quaker were nothing short of remarkable. As the resident No. 1 seed since her freshman year, she helped lead the Red and Blue to two appearances at the Howe Cup finals. Sedky was named first team All-America and first team All-Ivy all four seasons at Penn and in her junior year, she became Penn’s first women’s Individual National Champion since 1996.

    She capped off her stellar collegiate career by earning the Betty Richey Award in February, the most prestigious individual women’s collegiate squash award bestowed by the College Squash Association.

    “[She’s left a] huge void,” coach Jack Wyant said. “You can’t replace a player ewcastle United hero Ollie Bernard believes there's much more to come from Allan Saint-Maximin.Bernard admits he saw plenty of the Toon winger last season at Nice.Bernard said: "I met him more when he was in Nice, and then here I haven't had the chanlike Reeham. She’s a generational talent. [She was] virtually a win in just about every match she played for Penn.”

    Since her graduation, Sedky has turned her focus to the professional squash circuit, most recently winning the 2019 MTC Squash Russian Open this past August. As the No. 2 seed, she upset No. 1 Emilia Soini of Finland in three games to win the championship match. This secured her third victory in a row on the Professional Squash Association World Tour and qualifies her for the 2019-2020 CIB PSA Women’s World Championship, one of the biggest events in professional women’s squash.

    Needless to say, Sedky is doing better than fine in her first season as a full-time professional. But the question remains: what about the Quakers?

    In terms of leadership, the Red and Blue are in good hands with their current captains, senior Jessica Davis and junior Julia Buchholz.

    “We have terrific captains this year,” Wyant said. “Jessica Davis [is] a great communicator [and] a really caring teammate. And Julia Buchholz is a junior. She’s just a classic overachiever. She’s had a very amazing career for us. Those are two very deserving captains.”

    Both upperclassmen have proven themselves capable of leading by example. Last year, Davis earned first team All-Ivy honors after matching her career high of 11 wins in a season. Bouncing back from an injury-plagued sophomore year where she only appeared in four matches, Davis was indispensable at the No. 2 slot.

    “I wantto make sure that everyone on this team has the confidence that they can go out and win a match,” Davis said of heise at Arsenal.Sport says Arsenal have opened negotiations with Aubameyang over a new contract at the club.Aubameyang has two years remaining on his existing deal at the Emirates, but the Gunners are keen to secure his future through to 2023.Since jor leadership goals for this season. “Whether you’re at the top of the ladder, or whether you’re at the bottom of the ladder, everyone has every chance of taking a game, taking three games, taking a whole match, whatever. I just want everyone to believe that they’re in the best position to give a great performance.”

    Meanwhile, Buchholz competed at the No. 4 slot, tallying 10 wins on the season last year. Along with Sedky and junior Haley Scott, Buchholz was one of only three Quakers to record a win in Penn’s eighth-place finish at the Howe Cup in 2019.

    In addition to their seasoned core of veterans, Penn will also look towards a talented freshman class to fill Sedky’s shoes. The Quakers welcomed a relatively large class of five this year, with athletes hailing from the United States, India, and Egypt.

    The new faces haven’t changed the team dynamic in any capacity.

    “More freshmen have come in, and tketed a combined €321.8 million (US$357.6 million) of La Liga's broadcast revenues for the 2018/19 season, according to the latest figures published by the organising body for Spanish top two tiers, reports, /.La Liga distributed a total €1.42 bihey all offer something incredible to the team that we didn’t obviously have last year,” Davis said. “But I feel that the team is gelling just as well as it did.”

    Freshman Ashley Manning is one name to watch. The New York native starts her Penn career ranked No. 52 in the United States. Manning also brings a wealth of experience with USA Squash, having competed earlier this year at the 2019 US Junior Squash Championships and in 2018 by representing her country at the British Junior Open.

    “While it’s impossible to replace Reeham," Wyant said, “Maybe we’re doing it with five for one.”

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  • Nowlan | Penn football very good, but not the best in 2016


    has given a short and sweet response to questions over his future."I'm only thinking about my holidays. ver of Newcastle United by ChristmSwansea City striker Jordan Ayew is set to join Crystal Palace. The 27-year-old is expected to undergo a medical this week, according to Sky Sports.Ayew spent the last season on loan at Selhurst Park.Palace have been waiting for Ayew to return from the African Cup of Nations to complete a deal.Ayew's Ghana were knocked out on Monday night following a 5-4 penalty shootout loss to Tunisia.as.The Mirror says the former Manchester United and Chelsea chief executive is understood to be remaining hopeful of reaching an agreement with Toon owner Mike Ashley.Kenyon has joined forces with US-based investmentI've got two years on my contract at Barcelona," the Chilean was quoted as saying in his native country.Vidal was speaking at an event called 'Re
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  • Six Penn sports events to keep an eye on this weekend


    Men’s and women’s track and field

    After splitting up and spreading out across the country last weekend, Penn track and field is ready to get the band back together and head to Virginia to compete in the Virginia Quad Meet.

    Last weekend’s meets — with the long-distance runners competing in California, the sprinters and throwers in Florida, and many of the younger Quakers in Pennsylvania— served as an opportunity for the Penn athletes to showcase their individual skills, and showcase they did. Four school records were shattered and new personal bests were established across the board as the Red and Blue executed the “divide and conquer” technique to perfection.

    This weekend’s meet in Virginia will allow the Quakers to build off of their impressive individual performances in an attempt to form a collective unit strong enough to defeat the likes of Virginia, Columbia and Maryland. While Penn, on paper, should match up well with the Columbia and Maryland squads, defeating the Virginia men will be a challenge, as the team is ranked No. 9 nationally according to the USTFCCCA.

    However, as last weekend’s times prove, the Penn men’s and women’s track and field teams are only getting better, so counting them out against any team could be dangerous.

    Men’s golf

    It’s been two weeks since Penn men’s golf has last competed, leaving the Quakers rested and ready for this weekend’s invitational, hosted by arch rival Princeton.

    At Towson, the vn Klopp are ready to promote from within to replace Daniel Sturridge.Sturridge, who joined the Reds from Premier League rivals Chelsea in 2013, is set to end his nine-year stay at Anfield when his contract expires in the summer.The Times says with Stenue of the team’s last outing, the Red and Blue played solidly, finishing eighth in a field of 22 teams. More importantly, Penn finished ahead of two other Ivy League teams in the field, as Cornell and Columbia had squads in 12th and 13th, respectively. The Quakers were led by junior Carter Thompson, a sports reporter for the Daily Pennsylvanian, who individually finished 12th out of 120 golfers.

    In order for Penn to stand out at the Princeton Invitational, Thompson’s strong play must continue. Fortunately for the Quakers, Thompson has help in the form of senior Matt Kern and sophomore Josh Goldenberg, both of whom shot well at Towson.

    Last year, the Penn men finished 10th, but it will be important to improve on that finish, especially with the Ivy Championships quickly approaching.

    Women’s golf

    While the men’s team enters the weekend with moderate, if any, fanfare, the women’s team is on fire, flushed with momentum after a strong performance at the Harvard Invitational last weekend.

    Finishing fifth overall, the Quakers showcased their potential, carding a team 296 on Sunday, the best score the women have posted since the 2014 Ivy League Championships. Contributing most directly to this extremely impressive score was senior Isabella Rahm, who shot an even-par 72 in the final round.

    Heading into the 54-hole Hoya Invitational this weekend, Rahm and her teammates should be overflowing withhe Sun says Scott looks set to join Newcastle for free on a two-year deal.Scott, 21, has been out of contract since being let go by Chelsea last month and joins the Toon on a freebie.The central midfielder is said to have agreed to personal terms and confidence, ready to take on all comers in the last tuneup before the Ivy League Championships.

    Men’s heavyweight rowing

    The weather has not been kind to Penn men’s heavyweight rowing.

    Severe storms in New England prevented the team from opening its spring season at the expected date, as Boston’s Burk Cup was cancelled.

    However, it is possible that the cancellation was a blessing in disguise for the Quakers, as now they will be opening this weekend in familiar territory — the Schuylkill River. Instead of starting the season on the road, the Red and Blue will battle Columbia and Princeton on their home turf, or in this case, in their home water.

    Men’s lightweight rowing

    Like its heavyweight brethren, the lightweight squad will also make its spring debut, being thrown right into the mix of Ivy competition with a showdown against Cornell and Harvard. Also like the heavies, the Quakers will get to open their season in the comfort of their hometown, sharing the Schuylkill River with the heavyweight squad despite their separate competitions.

    Despite the built-in home court advantage, though, nothing will come easy to the Red and Blue — Cornell has won two of the past three EARC Lightweight Sprints titles, a competition in which Penn has only cracked the top five once in the last two decades.

    Women’s rowing

    Though their counterparts on the men’s side are forced to deal with some rust, Penn women’s romier League title this season.Last season the Reds won the Champions League and finished second to Manchester City with the third-highest points total in Premier League history. "I'd say there are at least six teams in contention," he told Sky Sportswing has no such issue entering the weekend, as the Quakers are coming off two stellar performances at the Murphy Cup (including three champion boats) and the Doc Hosea Invitational, where Penn took third of nine teams.

    But now the real season begins for the Red and Blue, as Penn travels to Connecticut to take on Dartmouth and Yale in a three-team meet. As impressive as the early spring season has been for the Quakers, these Ivy foes may be their biggest test yet, as Penn hasn’t finished in the top half of the Ancient Eight since the league began its own championship system in 2012.

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  • New faces share spotlight in Penn women's soccer wins


    Three games into Nicole Van Dyke’s tenure, Penn women’s soccer is firing on all cylinders. And to hear her players tell it, most of the credit should go to the first-year coach.

    After their 3-0 victory over Mount St. Mary’s Sunday at Rhodes Field, the Red and Blue were all smiles as they congratulated each other and Van Dyke.

    “She’s what makes our team,” senior midfielder Erin Mikolai said of her new coach. “Our wins are accredited to her. She constantly pushes us every game and every practice.”

    That’s high praise, especially considering how well-liked coach Darren Ambrose was during his stint with the Quakers (3-0). But given the undeniab first choice at right back, and Semedo may want to move on to seek regular first team football.Sport claims reports that Semedo is free to leave, even though Barca would prefer to keep him as a squad player.He has been linked to Manchester United, aly positive atmosphere surrounding Sunday’s matchup with Mount St. Mary’s (0-6), it isn’t necessarily surprising.

    The party got started 14:23 into the first half when sophomore Darby Mason launched a beautiful corner kick to the head of senior Paige Lombard, who spedacross the box and promptly put the ball in the back of the net from 10 yards out. It was the first assist of Mason’s collegiate career and was Lombard’s first goal at Penn since transferring from Miami.

    After the goal, Lombard was jumping with joy. She missed all of last season to injury, and her teammates mobbed her to join in the celebration.

    It would become an entire afternoon of firsts for the Quakers. And perhaps none were more exciting than those sophomore Farah Otero-Amad provided.

    The forward was clearly the player of the game. She dominated play in the offensive half and was constantly chasing down passes and winning 50/50 balls away from defenders.

    Her play wouldn’t go unnoticed or unrewarded. In a spanjust over one minute, Otero-Amad notched both her first collegiate assist and goal.

    Her assist came first, on a cross from the left that she delivered to the feet of Mikolai who pushed the ball past the keeper in the 27th minute. Just over a minute later, Otero-Amad fired a shot of her own between the pipes to stretch the Quakers’ lead to three.

    All game, coaches and players could be heard yelling her name in congratulations after great runs and plays. Otero-Amad attributed this to Van Dyke’s game plan, which she seemed to take to heart.

    “We had a lot of time and space on the field,” she said. “Our coach told us to be aggressive, so we took opportunity of the flanks and getting down line.”

    Of course, no one was more proud of the youngsters than Van Dyke herself.

    “Everything we’ve asked of them, they’ve done,” she said of the group. “They continually try to lean and grow. Very, very coachable.

    “They’ve definitely been impacting the game on the field,” she added. “And it’s equated in some tremendous game-winning goals.”

    Friday night against Temple, it was freshman midfielder Allie Trzaska who provided the game-winning goal in the 23rd minute after sophomore forward Natasha Davenport slammed in her first collegiate goal just three minutes into the contest between Big 5 foes.

    One thing that Van Dyke hopes to improve upon heading into the Quakers’ tilt with No. 10 Clemson on Fridaynders isn't fazing him.The United winger was the victim of such rough treatment in Thursday's 2-1 win against Tottenham that Mauricio Pochettino was moved to apologise for his team's behaviour.James' searing pace also saw him singled out in earlier t in South Carolina is capitalizing on after defeat at Brighton.Christian Eriksen, Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld have all been linked with moves away in the summer but none of those outgoings came to fruition, leaving their Spurs careers in limbo.Jenas said: "I love Mauricio and remore of their scoring chances. While the Red and Blue got off to great starts in both games this weekend, they didn’t score after the 28th minute in either game.

    Nevertheless, Van Dyke is undeniablyhappy with how her squad is performing.

    “I think the results are awesome,” she said. “But more importantly we’re just getting better and that’s what we wanna see.”

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  • Penn sprint football seniors lead young team against Army


    Seniors are generally the foundation of varsity sports teams. But for Penn’s sprint football squad, they’re more like the mortar holding everyone together.

    The sprint football seniors, all eight of them, will take to Franklin Field this Saturday to lead a very young Penn team (2-1, 1-1 CSFL) against undefeated Army (4-0, 3-0).

    The leadership of the upperclassmen has been crucial this season for a team that has twice as many freshmen as seniors.

    “More than ever it’s important for the seniors to set the example for these younger guys,” senior wide receiver Whit Shaw said.

    The example the upperclassmen have set has been well received so far, as the Red and Blue have played all three games this season down to the wire and are riding a two-game winning streak.

    “Each week we’re getting better,” coach Bill Wagner said. “Hopefully we’ve matured enough to eliminate those mistakes that can cost you, penalties and turnovers.”

    For the upcoming clash with Army, however, the Quakers will need more than good ball security. The Black Knights’ offense has been on a roll, piling up over 48 points and 340 passing yards pe Rino Gattuso defended goalkeeper David Ospina after defeat to Lazio.Ciro Immobile caught Ospina in possession to score the late winner.“I did ask the team to play out from the back and use the goalkeeper as an extra pair of feet, so I cannot complr game.

    “We’ll have to control the game somehow — the run game as well as the short passing game — to really burn up a lot of time and get into position to score,” Wagner said. “Defensively we’ve got to create some turnovers because I expect them to pass the ball 40-50 times from a no-huddle offense the whole game.”

    That could pose a problem for Penn’s young defense that has shut down the ground game this season but struggled against air attacks, giving up over 240 passing yards a game.

    “We’re going to have to bring the hit to them … step up our pass defense,” Shaw said. “Army’s been throwing five or six touchdown passes a game. We’re going to have to at least cut that in half.”

    That effort starts with the seniors. They’ll need to be both good leaders and good players this weekend.

    “It’s reUnited, who drew a blank in defeat at Bournemouth, are ready to make a move for 23-year-old RB Leipzig hit-man in the January transfer window in an effort to beat their Anfield rivals to one of Europe's most highly-rated finishers, says the Mirror.Weally important that our four senior captains step up and really have a great game to encourage the young kids,” Wagner said. “They need to show it not onlyortable 3-0 win over Norwich City.Diogo Jota made it five goals in three days with a brace against the Canaries, following up from hat-trick in Europa League.Raul Jimenez also got on the scoresheet as Wolves kept the pace with their top-four rivals.A on the field but they have to continue to support and encourage and keep that level of intensity up no matter what happens.”

    Facing an older, more experienced Army team could be the Quakers’ Achilles heel, unless Penn’s upperclassmen can fuse this group together quickly.

    “It takes every one of the seniors,” Shaw said.

    Wagner is confident in his team’s abilities, despite its youth.

    “We can beat this team,” he said. “We just have to play one of our best games.”

    If the seniors can keep this team together until the end Saturday, the Black Knights may find themselves running into a brick wall.SEE ALSO

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  • No dancing, but retribution and 5.59 ERA await


    Two years ago, the Penn and Harvard softball ter Emerson Hyndman is in talks about a move to MLS.Hyndman is in negotiations with Atlanta United, according to a report from the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The 23-year-old is discussing a contract with the Major League Soccer outfit, who are manaeams used a rain delay to stage an impromptu dance party. But this year's Quakers will go to Boston on Sunday with a very different mindset: Revenge for their 2007 Ivy League Championship loss.

    Before Penn (16-8, 3-1 Ivy) plays two against the Crimson (7-14, 0-2), it will take a seven-hour bus ride to Hanover, N.H., to take on Dartmouth (4-15, 0-2) in a doubleheader tomorrow.

    The Quakers are hoping to pick up where they left off on Wednesday, winning the second game of a doubleheader against La Salle on a walk-off single in the ninth. Penn also won the first game, 6-2.

    Momentum might be on the side of junior pitcher Emily Denstedt, last year's ace, whose performance Wednesday may have been the breakthrough for which her team has been waiting all season. She came on in relief in the second game and pitched 5.2 scoreless innig of Frank Lampard. Derby boss Lampard is expected to be named as Maurizio Sarri's successor this week.Only one season of experience has lead some to suggest Lampard isn't ready for the role, but Desailly thinks the Blues hierarchy should be trusted.ngs for the win.

    "It was definitely nice to see a smile on her face and a little pep in her step on the mound," senior tri-captain Christina Khosravi, who drove in Wednesday's game-winning run, said. "It really helps her out because hopefully she'll get on a streak and continue the momentum that she built today."

    Last season, on this same road trip to Cambridge and Hanover, the Quakers lost both games to Harvard, but swept the Big Green, winning both games by a combined score of 25-4.

    If Denstedt and freshman ace Jessie Lupardus continue pitching the way they did against La Salle, when they allowed one earned run combined over 12.2 innings, they should have no problem shutting down the Dartmouth offense - the highest batting average on the team is .234.

    But this weekend, while the Dartmouth games are important, all eyes are on the rematch with the Crimson.

    "We have a little bit extra incentive having faced them in the Championship Series last year," Quakers coach Leslie King said. "We traditionally have not done well against them, so I think it would mean a lot to us to be able to come out on top."

    The Penn lineup may hold the key to the games against Harvard, as it will face a Crimson pitching staff with a combined 5.59 earned run average. Crimson ace Shelly Madick was last year's Ivy League Pitcher of the Year, but she is not enjoying the same success in 2008. She has allowed 72 hits over 59.1 innings, and is 2-9 on the season.

    While the returners have the extra drive to take Harvard down, the eight freshmen on the team don't have the sting of last year's championship loss to propel them.

    "I think it's better for the freshmen that they have a fresh slate because they don't know what to really expect," Khosravi said. "We're going to try to at least get some fire gohis career at the very top.The centre-back, 30, has featured sporadically over the past two seasons.But he is confident this is not the twilight of his career."I'm patient. I'm working behind closed doors a lot and sometimes it is frustrating when yoing in them and let them know what happened last year and that we're not going to let that happen again."

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  • Ailing RHP happy to help out at short, too


    When Penn shortstop William Gordon tweaked his shoulder last week, the Quakers weren't just in danger of losing their No. 6 hitter - they would havAntoine Griezmann is a Barcelona player. The Frenchman's signature is one of the biggest moves made by any club in this summer's window, and leads to a whole host of questions regarding where he might feature in the side.A versatile operator, the 28-e been a man short in the bullpen as well.

    Luckily for Penn, the freshman will be available to be the man the middle infield for this weekend's home doubleheaders against Harvard and Dartmouth. While he has doubled as a relief pitcher, coach John Cole said Gordon's arm trouble has kept him off the mound in recent games. But even if he's just asked to trot out to short Tottenham have been offered a deal to re-sign Bale on loan from Real Madrid.Bale left Spurs in 2013 when Real made him the world's most expensive footballer at the time with an £86million transfer fee.He earns more than £600,000 per week but Real wthis weekend, Gordon has relished his dual role.

    "I just try to help out whenever I can," Gordon said. "Shortstop is more important right now because our team is doing alright with pitching."

    Due to his bum shoulder and Penn's plethora of arms in the 'pen, Gordon has pitched just three and two-thirds innings this season.

    But despite his .231 batting average, Gordon has started every game, and of late, his bat is sl have turned down Dani Ceballos' request to terminate his loan.The midfielder, reports AS, approached manager Mikel Arteta this week about ending his loan and returning to parent club Real Madrid.However, Arteta has rejected the request.The Gunners tarting to get a little bit hot - his two runs and two RBIs against Saint Joseph's this week helped the Quakers crawl back and get the win.

    Cole knows what he's capable of.

    "He's a talented kid, he's a two-way guy," he said. "We need to get him back healthy so he can help us on the mound."

    While its pitching depth is a strong suit, Penn will certainly need any and every fresh arm available this weekend, especially on Saturday, when Harvard's versatile offense arrives at Meiklejohn.

    The Crimson boast a pair of power hitters with slugging percentages over .420 in right fielder Tom Stack-Babich and first baseman Steffan Wilson. Although he is hitting about 40 points below his career average this season, Wilson is considered by many to be the best player in the Ivy League and a legitimate pro prospect.

    Freshman Todd Roth, who will almost certainly start a game over the weekend, isn't fazed by Wilson's reputation.

    "I'm gonna go out and do my thing," Roth said, "and make him adjust to me."

    But Cole isn't as concerned with Harvard's sluggers as he is with its speedsters.

    Third baseman Matt Vance and center fielder Matt Rogers have each swiped seven bases this year and have been caught three times between them.

    "It's going to be important for us to neutralize their speed game and do a good job of keeping their runners off the bases," Cole said.

    Dartmouth, on the other hand, does not have any incredible power or speed in its lineup.

    The Big Green don't put up any gaudy numbers from the plate or on the mound - as a team they are hitting .269 and have an ERA of 7.71 - but the Quakers will have to be wary of their two-headed monster at the front end of the starting rotation.

    Russell and Robert Young, brothers from Cleburne, Texas, have a combined ERA of 3.82, and a start from either one could give Penn trouble.

    But because the Quakers are already in a bit of a hole in their division, any thoughts of individual performances, scouting reports or next week's Liberty Bell Classic will have to be put out of their heads this weekend.

    With winnable games on the table, Penn can be zeroed in on one thing - quality baseball.

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  • Wrestling: Thanksgiving menu: No. 1 with a side of No. 12


    As wrestling coach Zeke Jones put it, the Quakers will be spending Thanksgiving "training and eating turkey" as they prepare to take on some of the nation's top teams this weekend.

    Coming off of a second-place finish at the Keystone Classic last Sunday, No. 14 Penn will try to ride its momentum into Albany, N.Y., on Saturday when it faces No. 1 Minnesota and No. 12 Central Michigan at the Northeast Duals. The Red and Blue will also have matches against Bloomsburg and Binghamton.

    To the Quakers' advantage, standout seniors Matt Valenti and Matt Herrington, both of whom skipped the Keystone Classic to participate in the NWCA All-Star Classic in Dallas Monday night, will be back in action at the Northeast Duals.

    Valenti, the country's No. 1 at 133 pounds, earned a win at the annual tournament, which showcases the NCAA's top wrestlers. Herrington, the No. 2 wrestler at 174 pounds, was edged out by No. 3 ey.Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson have all come through the youth ranks to force themselves into our first team and, after impressing at Newcastle United last weekend, all three retained their places for our win over the ClaretsJames Yonushonis of Penn State.

    This will be Penn's first-ever appearance at the Northeast Duals, a meet that is largely intended to promote wrestling in an area with a dearth of college programs.

    For the Quakers, a meet with national powerhouses will give them a good opportunity to gauge their strengths and weaknesses at the top tier of the NCAA well before the national championships in March.

    "It's still early, so we're really just trying to improve," Jones said. "This meet is great because it will give us a test of the best team in the MAC and the best team in the Big 10, so it gives a sense of where we're at coming into the season."

    But, given Penn's tremendous success on the national level in the past few years, Jones stressed that his Quakers will be wrestling in the meet not just to gain experience, but to win.

    "We can certainly compete with both of these teams, so I think the guys will get a chance to rise up to the challenge of wrestling some great programs," he said.

    Unlike in years past, when the Quakers had no meets the week after the Keystone Classic, the trip up to Albany will give the team more time on the mats before the Las Vegas Invitational on Dec. 1, another meet that features a slew of high-quality opponents, including three of the Quakers' Ivy League rivals.

    "The goal is to try to hit our first peak these next two weekends," JonManchester City after his contract expired and has signed a six year deal with the Hornets."I feel like all youth players have their own pathway and story, but I am now ready to take the next step," said the midfielder."I need to be playing games andes said.

    With a 12th-place finisday's 1-0 win over Newcastle United.Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's second-half strike proved the difference in a sloppy encounter at St. James' Park.But with a number of first-team regulars missing, Emery took plenty of positives away from the match."Ith last year at the NCAA Championships, the Quakers are no strangers to grapplers of Minnesota's or Central Michigan's ilk. Last year at Nationals, sophomore Matt Dragon, wrestling in the 149-pound weightclass, was defeated by the Chippewas' now-graduated Mark DiSalvo.

    And, on Monday night, Minnesota was also well represented at the NWCA All-Star Classic, with the Gophers' defending national champion Dustin Schlatter winning his match in the 149-pound weightclass decisively.

    This weekend will give the Quakers a chance to make a statement on the national level and to get a feel for what it will take to succeed at the NCAA Championships again.

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  • Great beginnings, Greater goals


    As the meet against Ivy rival Columbia drew nearer, Penn women's swimming coach Mike Schnur had a decision to make.

    Before last year's match against Columbia, the team had rested, shaved and taken all measures necessary to achieve maximum speed. Still, they could not overcome the Lions.

    This year, Schnur did things a little differently.

    "I wanted to test the girls to see how well they had prepared and how tough they were," said Schnur, who had his team train through to the Columbia meet.

    The team passed his test with flying colors last Friday.

    The Quakers (3-1, 2-1 Ivy) surpassed the Lions (2-3, 1-3) 157-143 in an intense match that was determined by the very last event.

    "It was one of those meets where it comes down to the last few races," freshman Megan Carlin said. "Everyone was either on the blockhead or behind the blocks cheering for the swimmers in the water ... we ended up winning the last meet but it was really close. It came down to the last event."

    The Columbia win was "representative of how strong our team has gotten over the past couple of years," junior Laura Hotaling said. "This year we swam through it and trained hard ... we won by our own merit, not because of special suites or because we rested."

    The Red and Blue's success against Columbia affirms the swimmers' high hopes for the Ivy tournament this year. This 2004-05 squad has united to create a powerful aquatic threat.

    "They are a team with lots of heart, a close team," Schnur said. "They are a much tougher, more dedicated, heartfelt team" than those of past years.

    "Our success is indicative of how close we are," Hotaling said. "In past years it has been more competitive, but this year we are realizing that each person is an asset to the team."

    This idea of equality among the swimmers may stem from the success of this year's freshman class. Though young, the nine newcomers have already helped the Quakers conquer Cornell, La Salle, and most recently Columbia.

    "We are brinandes.Skriniar and Fernandes spent a year together at Italian club Sampdoria.The Portugal international has had an instant impact at Old Trafford since arriving from Sporting CP in January."I think one of my best team-mates was Bruno Fernandes," Skriging new people into positions of importance and they are responding beautifully," Schnur said.

    Carlin, a standout freshman, has already played an integral role in many of the team's quality wins. Though strongest in the 100-yard breaststroke, Carlin has also shown promise in the 200-yard breast.

    "Megan has stepped in as a freshman and she is already one of the best swimmers on the team, not to mention of the rest of the league," said Schnur, who was especially impressed by the freshman's performance in the 200 against Columbia. The 200 "is not her strength, but she had a great win over Columbia," Schnur said.

    The talent of this year's freshman class complements the skill of the team's veterans, who consistently lead and unify the team by example. Seniors Kathryn Stores, Maureen Schriver and Katie Coxe are just some of the upperclassmen who continue to lead the Quakers with outstanding performances.

    Juniors Hotaling and Kristen Kelly have also stepped up this year, contributing quality times to help power the squad. Even the sophomore class has assumed a greater role in the team's performances.

    "The sophomore class has really stepped up this year," Schnur said.

    In fact it seems that each class brings a different ingredient to the mix.

    But is it a recipe for success?

    The Quakers hope so. They continue to work intensely, aiming all of their efforts at the ultimate test of their abilities: the Ivy League Tournament, which takes place Feb. 24-26 at Princeton.

    "I just want us to throw everything we have into that last weekend in February," Schnur said.

    Though the team placed sixth laembrace their upcoming two games.Villa travel to reigning champions Manchester City on Saturday before hosting current leaders Liverpool the following weekend.Goalkeeper Heaton said: “They are widely regarded as the two best teams in the league andst year, the swimmers have high hopes for their 2005 campaign.

    "A goal of the team is definitely to do better at the Ivy's," Carlin said. "Last year we got sixth by a one-point loss to Columbia, so we are definitely capable of moving up in the ranking."

    Tomorrow, the Quakers continue the quest for the Ivy League title when they travel to Harvard to swim against the defending Ivy League runners-up in a crucial matchup.

    Harvard sits at 4-0 in the Ancient Eight and 6-0 overall, coming oe regrets leaving Liverpool.Shelvey has said he should never have left Liverpool.Shelvey left Liverpool for Swansea in 2013, before joining the Magpies in 2016.“I probably shouldn't have left Liverpool," the former Charlton Athletic youngster told ff wins over Houston and Kansas. So to keep any hopes alive of a regular season title, the Quakers must come out victorious.

    And to do so, Penn must rely on the blend of senior leadership and young talent that has the bar set so high for the Quakers this season.

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  • Lhotak latest Penn defender injured


    Even before the season started, Penn lost key players on its defense in senior safety Kevin Stefanski and senior defensive end Kyle Chaffin. For at least the next three weeks, they will be even more short-handed.

    The Quakers lost their third defensive starter this season when senior co-captain Steve Lhotak strained the medial collateral ligament in his right knee Saturday against Lehigh.

    Lhotak was an all-Ivy performer at linebacker a year ago for Penn.

    After the senior exited the game in the first quarter, the Quakers' defense managed to regroup. Despite giving up 24 points in the first half, the Engineers were held scoreless in the second.

    Penn coach Al Bagnoli said that Lhotak will miss the next three games -- Dartmouth, Bucknell and Columbia -- and hopefully return against Yale on Oct. 25.

    "We're keeping our fingers crossed that four weeks is very realistic," Bagnoli said.

    Lhotak underwent MRI, which confirmed that there was no ligament damage.

    Sophomore defensive back Michael Johns also strained his MCL three weeks ago, and began practicing yesterday.

    Junior starmier League is an ambition.Wilson, 23, was released by Manchester United over the summer.He told the the Aberdeen-striker-James-Wilson-sights-set-Premier-League-return.html">Daily MailAberdeen-striker-James-Wilson-sights-set-Premier-League-return.htmting linebackers Luke Hadden and Ric San Doval will see extra time with Lhotak out. Sophomore linebackers Chad Slapnicka and Al Wawszczyk will be the primary backups.

    Both Hadden and San Doval believe that Lhotak's influence on the team will continue despite his absence oalready found a way around the new wall law for victory over Norwich City.Revised laws have been brought in for the 2019-20 season, which include preventing opposition players from interfering with the defensive team's wall.When Liverpool won a free-n the field.

    "Steve is helping us through it all," San Doval said. "Today, he helped Luke and me with the clarity of the calls -- the little things.

    "I'm sure he'll be there for us until he's back on the field."

    But as much as his advice may help his teammates, Lhotak's presence on the field will surely be missed.

    "It's a huge loss," Hadden said. "He's our best defensive player and a team leader."

    San Doval echoed Hadden's sentiments.

    "Obviously it's a huge loss for us," he said. "Not only is he an emotional leader out there, but anytime you lose your captain, it's tough because you have to step it up," San Doval said.

    Penn did just that Saturday against Lst from Liverpool's preseason after the Copa America final.The Brazil stars will play Peru in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday.Jurgen Klopp has told them to take three weeks rest after the match, which means they will link up with their teammates at the end ehigh. The defense shut out Lehigh in the second half, sparking a 14-point comeback.

    "We still have our confidence," Hadden said. "Lhotak went down at the beginning of the game last week and we still managed to pull it out."

    This week, Penn's defense will be tested again, facing a Dartmouth team that features first-team All-Ivy and second-team All-America tight end Casey Cramer.

    "He's a really good player," Bagnoli said. "Our outside linebacker has got to look at him, our inside linebacker has got to look at him and our secondary."

    With all of the defensive injuries, Penn's young players will receive more playing time.

    "We have an awful lot of young kids that are being asked to do some things probably at the beginning of the year none of us thought they would be asked to do," Bagnoli said. "But that's the situation we find ourselves in.

    "There are certainly capable players and we have confidence in them."

    San Doval noted that on one play in the second half of the Lehigh game, there were nine sophomores and juniors for Penn on defense.

    The young players "played quite a bit during the Lehigh game against a very potent offense and they held up," Bagnoli said. "We'll keep our fingers crossed that they'll keep playing well and stay healthy."

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  • Seddon confused, corks team's aluminum bats


    (This article appeared in the 3/31/03 joke issue)

    In an exclusive interview with local CBS sports anchor Beasley Reese, Penn baseball coach Bob Seddon disclosed the secrets to his success and longevity.

    Seddon recently eclipsed the 600-win mark with a victory over Columbia in his 33rd year as head coach of the Quakers.

    "The greatest pleasure that I have had as coach is to cork the bats of my players' over years," Seddon said. "There's really nothing like getting the old blow torch out to fill up some aluminum with solid cork."

    The admission left Reese dumfounded as to the reason one would fill an aluminum bat with cork to gain an advantage.

    "Why on Earth would you do such a thing?" Reese inquired.

    "It's all about tradition, the cork is a sense of pride that I feel will be instilled in my players through its ps Callum Hudson-Odoi is recovering well after being diagnosed with coronavirus.The winger was the first Premier League player to be diagnosed with the illness.Lampard said: "I'm happy to say that in Callum's case, he has made great progress and almosresence," Seddon remarked.

    Reese, still visibly perplexed by the coach's remarks, asked Seddon if he had any other secrets to his success on the diamond.

    "Gargling a variety of liquids in the dugout has also given me much happiness over the years," Seddon declared. "Some guys like chewing tobacco, bubble gum, or sunflower seeds, but for me there is nothing quite like gargling a V-8 or an RC Cola with the bases loaded."

    At this point in the interview, Reese ceased to ask any more questions, but Seddon continued on with his banter. Seddon declared that his previous position as head coach of the men's soccer team in the sixties prepared him immensely for his current position.

    "Soccer and baseball are indelibly alike," Seddon said. "I just couldn't give you a reason why."

    Reese's facial expressions told the story as he ended the interview and thanked the coach with a truly surprised look on his face.

    When reached for comment, his players were not taken off guard by Seddon's remarks.

    "Coach Seddon has been gargling strawberry Kwik for years," senior Steve Glass said. "It's just something that comes with the territory when you play for him."

    "For the most part, I don't really understandr Owen Hargreaves feels they're asking too much of Marcus Rashford.Speaking to Premier League Productions, Hargreaves said he has has doubts over whether Rashford can fill the forward void left by the summer departure of Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan. most of what Coach Seddon says or does," se has again declared his former Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho will bring success to Tottenham.Bale is happy to see Mourinho in charge of Spurs.And he stated: "The fact that Mourinho has arrived is a strong and clear message from the club. "José is nior Nick Italiano said. "But when at the end of the day, we come out with a win, it really doesn't matter if coach is gargling egg nog during the seventh-inning stretch or not."

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  • castle, Liverpool striker Sadio Mane has become th


    pitcher was hit by a comebacker in his start Wednesday and left the game in the second inning with a rib contusion. Jurrjens allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits and a walk in his inning-plus of work before exiting. He will have a precautionary X-ray taken Thursday. Jurrjens has posted a 4.91ndan Rodgers admits they're happy rattling the elite ed his first game for the Burnley under-23 side.The deadline-day arrival from Chelsea has been getting himself match fit for the Clarets.The 29-year-old played in a 1-1 draw against Coventry yesterday.While he will need more games before he is ready again.The underdog Foxes woed over a VAR decision to award a penalty to Manchester United winger Daniel James.Tettey claims James admitted he was not fouled by Ben Godfrey, which was the belief of referee before VAR intervened."It was a bit strange," Tettey told VG. "The refen the title in 2016 before the big powers spent huge sums to redress the balance of power.Rodgers said: “You have to fight.“You can't accept that is the top six in te ERA in 14 2/3 innings this spring.

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  • Rotation poker hands: AL West


    With just two weeks until opening day (woo hoo!), most starting rotations have begun to round into shape. So we'll take six days this week to rank the rotations in each division. As if giving you the chance to kigue. The Frenchman has been unemployed since leaving Arsenal at the end of the season 2017/18 season.He said he has rejected the offers because he is "too linked" with the Gunners."I'm an Arsenal man and after that I'm a professional. I can't stop wock and scream about the rankings wasn't enough fun, we're going to add in a wrinkle. Each team will be assigned a poker hand.

    That is, there are five cards in a poker hand and five pitchers in a rotation, so let's assign a hand that each team has been dealt. It's more subjective than scientific and designed for entertainment purposes. The good news is that if you think the idea is stupid, you can still pay attention to how we've ranked the rotations and ignore the poker hands.

    Please note we are assigning a hand per rotation and it's a judgment of the rotation as a group -- not assigning a specific card to each pitcher. While we might note someone is an "ace" for convenience sake, we aren't necessarily saying that, for example, A.J. Griffin is a four of spades.

    Let's dive in.

    Rotation: , , , , ( also possible)

    The A's had a sneaky-good rotation last season, ranking third in the American League in starting pitcher ERA and riding that staff to an AL West championship. This time around, the A's have the potential to be even better because it's possible the likes of Parker, Milone and Griffin will improve in their sophomore seasons. Also, Anderson missed most of last season, and he will make a fine anchor for this young group -- if he can stay healthy, which is always a big question with him. There's always the chance the youngsters will regress a bit as ade Barry.Villa have completed the £1million signing of Barcelona youngster Louie Barry.Barry came through the ranks at West Brom before being snapped up by the Catalan giants in 2019.Six months later the 16-year-old has returned to Birmingham to joinjustments are made, but overall the potential is big.

    Hand they've been dealt

    Three of a kind is pretty good, especially with 10s. This isn't close to the best hand that you can get, but odds are you'll have a winner a good amount of the time that you have these cards.

    Rotation: , , , ,

    The Rangers had a mediocre rotation last season, but Darvish will take a big step forward during his second year in America. Once his adjustment to a new country was finally complete, the 6-foot-5 righthander went 5-1 with a 2.35 ERA and 67 strikeouts in his last eight starts (57 1/3 innings). Expect Holland to work his ERA back to around 4.00 again, too, a major improvement on his 4.67 mark last season. Also, Ogando has proven a quality starter in his career, going 13-8 with a 3.49 ERA and 1.12 WHIP. And don't forget that will probably return from Tommy John surgery midseason to knock out Lowe (or whoever else might occupy that five slot).

    Hand they've been dealt

    It's three of a kind, albeit not as good as Oakland's hand. Still, three eights with a king kicker is none too shabby and would win a decent amount of deals.

    Rotation: , , , ,

    The Angels managed to have a good rotation last season, despite mediocrity from Wilson, a down year from Dan Haren and a horrible season from Ervin Santana. They did lose Zack Greinke -- who made 13 starts for the Angels -- but retained ace Jered Weaver. Wilson needs to improve and Hanson ipzig coach Ralf Rangnick.Now a technical director for Red Bull, Rangnick is in contact with United about taking a similar role at Old Trafford.United are attracted to taking on the German thanks to his work with Leipzig, where he uncovered the likesneeds to stay healthy, in which case they make for a good 2-3 combo. Vargas was great at Safeco Field last year and awful on the road, but Angel Stadium is a pitcher's park, too. In his career, Vargas is 3-1 with a 2.27 ERA in 43 2/3 innings in his new home stadium. And Blanton can eat 190 not-good-but-not-terrible innings as the five.

    Hand they've been dealt

    Two pair with an ace kicker. It's not bad at all and gives you a chance at winning, but you'll probably need help in terms of other players dropping better hands due to a bluff or everyone else having a pair or worse. In baseball terms for the Angels, the help will be the offense.

    Rotation: , , , ,

    We know all about the ace at the front here. He's elite. After Hernandez, though, we see a lot of question marks and limited upside. What's worse is that Seattle's home-field advantage for pitchers (the staff had a 2.97 home ERA and 4.59 road ERA last season) is mitigated a bit by the Safeco Field fences being moved in -- not to mention the defense has worsened. We don't know if the impact will be severe, but those splits should move closer to even, and that means getting worse at home before it means improving on the road.

    Hand they've been dealt

    Well, there's the ace of spades. The best card in the deck. That's King Felix for you. As for the rest of the hand, we can't make much of it. While it might not be awful, the upside is limited. It's possible in a few years that King Felix will get some company from the likes of Danny Hultzen, James Paxton and Taijuan Walker, maybe even getting them up into flush or full house range (or more?). For now, it's Felix and a bunch of stray cards.

    Rotation: , , , ,

    Norris was 7-13 with a 4.65 ERA and 1.37 WHIP last season, and he sits atop the rotation. Harrell (11-11, 3.76) actually wasn't bad, but Lyles (5-12, 5.09) was. And now the Astros are moving to a tougher division in an overall tougher league for pitchers. It's hard to believe in much upside from Humber or in the full-season health of Bedard, either. Ugly is the word.

    Hand they've been dealt

    It can only get better from here. That's unsuited and one card away from a low straight. But, essentially, it's nothing. It's a seven high and, in many cases, the worst possible hand that one could have. The good news is the Astros had already decided to fold before the hand was dealt. They have no illusions of competing this season and are instead still building the foundation.

    For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow on Twitter, subscribe to the and . Also, individually interact with us on Twitter: , and .

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