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  • Two weeks out from the Ivy Tournament, here's where Penn basketball stands

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    As the 2018 Ivy League Basketball Tournament approaches for the men’s and women’s teams, there is much left to be determined. The last two weeks of conference play will decide which teams qualify for the tournament, as well as where those teams will be seeded.

    Ahead of the men’s tournament, the race for the number one seed has only two contenders left: Penn and Harvard. The two teams both stand at a record of 9-1 in conference games, following to Harvard just over a week ago. The Crimson got their only Ivy loss of the season in an early February game at Columbia.

    The two powerhouse programs will face off this weekend in a game that will have big tournament implications.

    While Penn and Harvard are both guaranteed a spot in the tournament due to their near-perfect records, the last two spots are open for almost anyone. Yale, at 5-5, leads the rest of the league, while Brown, Cornell, and Columbia all trail with a record of 4-6. A lot will be sorted out this weekend, when Yale and Brown each face off against Cornell and Columbia in New York.

    Princeton, at 3-7, and even Dartmouth, at 2-8, still are contenders for the four-seed, if they can win out and other key games fall into place. It’s not impossible, as Penn demonstrated last year when they made the 2017 tournament with a 6-8 record and out.

    The Tigers, who won the inaugural tournament last year and nearly beat Notre Dame in the NCAA Tournament Round of 64, have fallen off significantly from last season, and are now long shots to make the tournament. After starting conference play 3-1, Princeton is on a six-game slide heading into its Friday matchup against Harvard. The Big Green will also be tested this weekend when they face the Quakers, a team that beat them handily earlier this season.

    As for the women’s tournament, the Quakers fell to 8-2 after suffering a season sweep by Princeton earlier this month. They now trail the Tigers, who lead the conference with a record of 9-1. In order for Penn to reclaim the top spot in the conference, another tManchester United midfielder Ander Herrera has penned pre-contract terms with PSG, it has been revealed.Off contract in June, Herrera has baulked at committing to new terms with United.And AS reports Herrera has signed a deal with PSG to 2023.The agreement will be worth €8m-a-year with the 29 year-old to join PSG this summer on a Bosman.As yet, neither club has confirmed the reports.eam must beat Princeton.

    Also in the running for a top tournament seed are Harvard, Dartmouth, and Yale, all tied at 6-4. Although they could pass Princeton and Penn, it would take a near-perfect end to conference play. The three tied schools do not play each other again this season, which means they could enter the tournament together in a three-way tie.

    To make matters even more complicated, all three teams split their season serieeenwood has earned a new chant!The Red Devils teenager scored his first senior goal for the club against FC Astana to get his team a 1-0 win.And the crowd were sufficiently hyped for the academy product's performance, as evidenced by the new chant.Ths 1-1, which means that if they end the season tied, their records against other teams in the league could decide who makes the tournament.

    No team is guaranteed a spot in the tournamhe LaLiga.After PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi's blast for the club's big name players over the weekend, it's been suggested super agent Pini Zahavi has made contact with Real Madrid and Barcelona on Neymar's behalf.However, broadcasters BeinSport,ent yet, but Princeton can secure a spot with one more win. As far as the rest of the field, only Columbia is mathematically eliminated from contention, although it would take a lot for Cornell or Brown, both 2-8, to find their way into the tournament given the records of the five teams ahead of them.

    With almost all Ivy men’s and women’s basketball teams still eligible for a tournament appearance, nearly every game this weekend will be an exciting showdown with huge tournament implications.

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  • Papazekos | The Red and Blue should beat Princeton in the biggest game of the season

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    They stumbled out of the gate, but Penn women’s basketball is exactly what we thought they were: a team that should win the Ivy title.

    Coach Mike McLaughlin has lead his team to back-to-back conference titles, including last year’s triumph at the inaugural Ivy Tournament. This year, the gapRooney has questioned Manchester United's pursuit of Real Madrid star Gareth Bale.United's all-time leading goalscorer has told his former club to ignore the enticement of a big named signing like Bale or Cristiano Ronaldo to focus on rebuilding the between Penn and the rest of the league has closed – or at least, the gap between Penn and Princeton has. Want proof? , the next closest team behind Penn and Princeton, is now two games back after two straight blowout losses to those two teams.

    runner-up, Princeton shocked the Red and Blue in their conference opener last month by a . It was the worst possible start to Ivy play for Penn, one that meant they had to work themselves back to the top of the league the hard way. Now, after three straight Ivy weekend sweeps, Penn finds itself in a tie for first in the confered with Atalanta striker Duvan Zapata.United are in the market for a new forward ahead of the January market.And Calciomercato says Zapata has caught their eye.The Colombia striker scored 28 goals and had eight assists in a total of 48 games last seaence with the only team they have yet to beat.

    Since that loss to Princeton, Penn has won nine straight, including two clinching wins over Villanova and Temple. Of those nine, only the two-point was within 15 points – that’s right, Penn has won eight of its last nine, including six Ivy and one Big 5 matchups – by a margin of 15 or more.

    So what’s the lesson?

    First of all, not to panic. One loss in the Ivy League is anything but a death sentence; both of the last two years Penn has won it all with a one-loss record. Even if the Quakers drop another game, the Ivy Tournament and the home court advantage it provides make perfection less of a necessity.

    That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be strived for or even achieved. Penn has the talent to go perfect in the conference, fluky opening losses notwithstanding. This team has high standards: like last year, the goal shouldn’t be to qualify for the tournament, or even to win it. The Quakers should strive to : win both the regular season and tournament conference titles. And, optimistically, to win a game even after that.

    The second lesson from Penn’s recent run of play is that the Quakers are who we thought they were. They didn’t always show it early in the season, but this is a good basketball team by any standard. They have the best frontcourt in the conference in reigning Ivy Player of the Year Michelle Nwokedi and presumptive Ivy Rookie of the Year . They have one of the better defenses in the country (the Quakers are 27th nationally in points allowed per game), a great stable of guards, and a coach who has been there and done that.

    Princeton is a good team, too, which is why Tuesday’s game will be so fun to watch. The Tigers are just as good, if not better, defensively. They have one of the better players in the league in Bela Alarie, and when their three ball is on like it was in January, they are nigh unstoppable.

    While it will be just the eighth conference game of the season for both these teams, Tuesday’s game will likely decide the league. The top seed is up for grabs.

    It will be low-scoring, physical, and spirited in Jadwin Gym. Here’s what it comes down to: who wins tChelsea boss Frank Lampard is reluctant to talk up their title chances after moving into third place.The Blues are eight points behind leaders Liverpool."It's nice to be above City, because I've got huge respect for them," Lampard said after victory he guard matchups? How will seniors Anna Ross and Lauren Whitlatch match-up against Princeton’s Gabrielle Rush’s sharpshooting and Alarie’s versatility? Down low, will Penn win on the glass and prevent the Tigers’ Leslie Robinson from racking up easy buckets?

    I think the Quakers win those matchups. As McLaughlin put it, “We’re better than we were then [in January].”

    The Quakers are better than they were in January and certainly better than they were on January 6th. Nwokedi and Parker are more comfortable playing off each other, as Nwokedi’s 30-point outburst on Saturday proved. Junior Ashely Russell’s role as the gritty defender has come into focus. Three-point shooting is up too.

    Penn should win this game.

    Because they are who we think they are.

    is a College sophomore from Pittsburgh, Pa., and is a Sports Editor for The Daily Pennsylvanian. He can be reached at papazekos@thedp.com.

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  • Penn men's basketball cruises past Yale, will face Harvard for NCAA Tournament bid

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    Eight days off a devastating , it wouldn’t have been foolish to expect Penn men’s basketball to come out hot in the teams’ firstt on the signing of Kieran Tierney from Celtic.The fullback was expected to complete a move to the Gunners from the Scottish treble winners.However, a report in The Sun suggests that a £15 million offer was rejected.Celtic want close to twice as muc matchup since.

    But this was something else.

    In the second semifinal of the Ivy League tournament, No. 2 seed Penn was all over No. 3 Yale from start to finish, opening up a 23-point first-half lead and cruising to an 80-57 victory. With the victory, the Quakers advance to Sunday afternoon’s Ivy League championship game against No. 1 Harvard, putting them only 40 minutes away from reaching March Madness for the first time in 11 years.

    “Obviously from the start, we were really locked in. When you play a team in such a short turnaround, you had a bad taste in your mouth, and I think that played to our advantage,” coach Steve Donahue said. “It’s very satisfying, so for us to execute like that against that team in this environment, I feel great about.”

    Despite the final margin, both teams started slow offensively, and the Quakers (23-8, 12-2 Ivy) led only 12-9 six minutes in after some strong play from Yale big men Blake Reynolds and Paul Atkinson. But it was all Penn from there.

    Midway through the first half, the Red and Blue went on a 12-0 run spurred by some strong play from several of their reserves, and led by as many as 23 before carrying a 44-25 edge into the break.

    As thoroughly as Penn outplayed Yale (16-15, 9-5) on the bench, though, AJ Brodeur was undoubtedly the story of the game. The sophomore forward scored seven points in the opening five minutes and didn’t slow down much after that, scoring bucket after bucket in the paint no matter what Yale did.

    For the contest, Brodeur finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds on stellar 10 for 13 shooting from the field, with 17 of those points coming in the first half.

    “Early on in the game, I saw that I was getting single coverage in the post, and I was able to get to my go-to moves with relative ease,” Brodeur said. “My teammates saw that and kept feeding me — normally we expect a defensive change, but down the stretch I didn’t feel much, so I kept it going.”

    In contrast, Yale’s leading scorer, sophomore guard Miye Oni, was shut down the whole way. Averaging 15.5 points per game entering the weekend, Oni shot a surprising 0 for 10 from the field with not a single point in the first half, only finishing with five for the whole game.

    Though Oni missed a fewg closely with Manchester United over Joel Pereira's injury recovery following his loan move to the Scottish club.The Portuguese goalkeeper has made a positive start to life at Hearts with encouraging displays against both Motherwell and Celtic, but open jumpers, Penn junior Antonio Woods stuck to him all afternoon long, earning praise for his efforts on both sides of the ball.

    “I think what he’s brought to us is a defensive mentalitycesco Totti's fiery farewell media conference held on Monday.Totti leveled several accusations at the board and president James Pallotta when announcing he would be leaving Roma after over 30 years as a player and director.The Giallorosso released a ," Donahue said. "He can guard a Miye Oni and a Seth Towns [of Harvard], or a quicker guard at the same time. He’s made us a much better defensive team, and that’s where he’s helped us most.”

    The elite defensive effort was by no means limited to Woods, as Penn’s league-leading three-point defense was on full display. Yale didn’t hit a single three-pointer until junior Alex Copeland sank one with under four minutes left in the first half, and the Elis shot 4 for 24 from deep as a team.

    “It’s up there,” senior guard Darnell Foreman said when asked if the first half was the team’s best defensive period of his career. “Everybody was locked in, and all five guys helped each other. We did a good job of not fouling, we contested at the rim, and we just made it tough for them to score.”

    After Saturday’s dominant win, it’s win-or-go-home tomorrow afternoon, and the Quakers’ showdown with No. 1 Harvard (18-12, 12-2) will be a very highly anticipated rematch.

    The two teams shared the Ivy League regular season championship, and split their two-game series with each team winning when at home. Most recently, only two weeks ago, the teams played an instant classic back-and-forth battle, when Penn won a in the Palestra.

    Penn has already cemented its place in school history. And now, it's one win away from getting a chance on the biggest stage of all.

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  • Penn sprint football's Tracey Woods anchors defense despite inexperience

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    Penn sprint football wrapped up its fourth consecutive win to start the season this past weekend to head into an bye week still undefeated.

    Of the multitude of players who have raised their game this season, junior defensive back Tracey Woods has stood out as one of the most improved players on the roster. If Woods seems like a new face, it’s because he is only in his first year with the Quakers. In fact, he hadn’t played football at all for the last six years.

    Through four games, Woods has four pass breakups and one interception to go along with 10.5 total tackles. Looking at the how the defense has done this year as a whole also shows Woods’ importance to the team.

    Penn’s defense has allowed only four passing touchdowns through its first four games, wAston Villa defender Tyrone Mings will make his England debut against Bulgaria on Monday night.The 26-year-old has been impressive form this season.Gareth Southgate will use to centre-back to replace Michael Keane. The Everton defender delivered another poor display in Friday's loss to Czech Republic.hile picking off the opposing quarterback a noteworthy 13 times. This secondary is not just opportunistic though — they have proven capable of shutting down the opposing team’s passing attack each week by only a Vardy.Elder left the King Power Stadium in the summer to sign a three-year contract with the Tigers.Elder reckons that both Bowen and Vardy possess similar qualities which makes them both clinical in front of goal."I've said it to a lot of lads, a lllowing 5.5 yards per passing play. For contrast, Penn’s offense has averaged 10.1 yards per passing play this season.

    Though it may seem like a surprise that one of the team’s top players played his last football game before this season six years ago, Woods’ childhood experience with the sport and dedication to re-learning the game this offseason paved the way for the his successful season thus far.

    Woods’ football career began when he was just in elementary school, but by the time he reached high school, he began to develop interests in other sports, joining the cross country and bowling teams for St. Augustine High School in New Orleans. Though he was no longer playing organized football, his love for the sport never dwindled. Woods admitted that quitting football was a regrettable decision.

    “In hindsight, it wasn’t the best choice,” he said, “because every every year I didn’t play I just missed being on the field, and it’s not really something you can just recreate in a pickup game.”

    Joining the sprint football team this year allowed Woods to finally get the feeling back that he had lacked since before high school.

    Picking up a sport after a six-year layoff is not an easy task. To further complicate matters, Woods was also making the transition from wide receiver to cornerback. The difference between focusing on the quarterback, as he had learned as a wide receiver, and staying with his man as a cornerback was hard at first, and Woods will be the first to tell you that duringreturn to Chelsea.Obi is happy Frank Lampard is now in the Stamford Bridge hotseat. He was alongside Lampard in midfield for every minute at the Allianz Arena when Chelsea shocked Bayern Munich in the 2012 Champions League final - sharing the dressin the spring, he struggled at practice.

    “I was used to playing receiver and having the ball thrown at me,” he said. “So now I’m here at practice paying attention to the quarterback rather than the guy I’m supposed to be covering and just blowing coverage in every rep.”

    Over the summer he studied defensive footwork and technique, learning how to read a receiver’s hips, how to play both man and zone coverage and bait the quarterback into a risky pass. When it came time for preseason practices in August, Woods was a whole new player, ready to take on the daunting task of a starting cornerback role.

    Woods has been around successful football teams before. As a senior in high school, his school’s team featured current LSU superstar Leonard Fournette, who led the team to an 8-1 regular season. Though Woods was not a member of the team, he still felt the energy such a successful season was able to bring to the school, and for Penn sprint football that same type of energy is currently there.

    “This whole year the coaching staff has been saying this is a special team,” he said, “and now it’s time for us to finish it.”

    With a 4-0 record, big wins over Navy and Army, and only three games left on the schedule, this could be the year they do secure the title, on the back of Woods and the defense’s strong play.

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  • Penn softball can't overcome early deficit, falls to Villanova in the rain

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    Mother Nature and Villanova combined to give Penn softball an awfully rude welcome home on Wednesday.

    The Wildcats dominated the Quakers, opening up a huge lead and withstanding a late rally en route to an 8-4 victory. Villanova (14-18) provided plenty of run support for junior pitcher Kate Poppe, who dominated Penn (13-14) for most of the game.

    Sophomore Alexis Sargent tossed two scoreless frames to begin the game, but Wildcats’ sophomore Natalia Segovia opened up the scoring with a leadoff homer against Penn reliever Lauren Li in the top of the third. The visitors tacked on two more runs in the inning thanks to some subpar play from the Penn defense, which struggled throughout the game.

    Villanova added to its lead in the top of the fifth. Senior Alexis Borden retired the first two hitters she faced, but things unraveled from there. To say they unraveled quickly would be inaccurate, as the inning was halted by a brief rain delay. The Wildcats scored two runs on three hits, two steals, two wild pitches and a walk, extending its lead to 5-0.

    Villanova would pounce on Borden with two outs once more in the next inning, scoring three runs to open up an 8-0 lead before freshman Mason Spichiger came in to stop the bleeding.

    Penn finally got to Poppe in the home half of the sixth. After two quick outs to start the inning, Li worked a walk. Then, freshman infielder Jurie Joyner sent one over the right-field wall, luring a horde of jacket-clad Quakers out of the dugout and into the cold to celebrate and mob the freshman star once she had finished her trot around the bases.

    After Sargent singled and both sophomore Leah Allen and junior Korinne Raby were issued free passes, Poppe was pulled for sophomore Brette Lawrence. With the bases loaded, Lawrence on all 10 of his previous knockout fixtures as Liverpool manager and the financial rewards of reaching the Champions League final in 2018 - then winning the tournament 12 months ago - have been huge.The Liverpools-Champions-League-exit-cost-30millionwalked the first hitter she faced — Vanessa Weaver — to force in a run, and Allen scored on a wild pitch moments later. By the end of the inning, Villanova’s lead had been cut in half.

    But Penn did not score again, and the 8-4 score would hold for the remainder of the game.

    “There were definitely some bright spots at the end of this game,” assistant coach Dani Gonzales said of the late-inning push. “Hopefully we can continue the momentum with our bats and take it into this weekend. It shows that we have heart, that we have fight.”

    The miserable combination of rain, wind and cold did not provide a pleasant environment for a Penn team that had been hoping for a comfortable mid-week matchup at home following a weekend road trip.

    And the Quakers won’t get to stick around for long. They will play their next five games on the road, traveling to Ithaca for a four-game set against Cornell before playing one game hosted by a considerably more local opponent: Drexel.

    Penn has now dropped four of its past five games and is now under the .500 mark. If the Red and Blue want to turn thece Luis Suarez insists he has no problems knowing management are seeking to replace him.It's been suggested Barca are targeting Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez as a successor for the Uruguay international.And Suarez told Ovacion: "The fact that ir fortunesd their squad building after another difficult week.Pressure is mounting on Solskjaer to make January signings after Wednesday's 2-0 home defeat by Burnley.It was a second straight Premier League loss and the players were jeered."We've had one proper back around in the coming week, they’ll have to do it in enemy territory.

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

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    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 field hockey begins anew after significant roster shakeup

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    Fresh off a second-place finish in the Ivy League a season ago, Penn field hockey is hoping to build on that success with another winning season in 2014.

    Unfortunately for the Red and Blue, replicating last season’s success won’t be easy given the squad’s current roster.

    Despite dropping a de-facto Ivy title game to then-defending national champions Princeton in November, the Quakers had many reasons to be optimistic entering 2014.

    Penn put together its most successful season in recent memory last year, notching wins in 13 of its 17 matchups. Then-freshman attack Jasmine Cole led the Red and Blue throughout the season, scoring 18 goals to go along with three assists on her way to capturing Ivy League Rookie of the Year honors.

    And with Cole and rising-seniors Emily Corcnited this week.While most of his team-mates reported for pre-season duty on Monday, Pogba is away from United's Carrington training base with the permission of manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer - having been given time off after a hectic 16 months.The wooran — the Quakers second-leading scorer and assists leader in 2013 — and goalkeeper Carly Sokach seemingly set to return, along with six incoming freshmen, Penn had high hopes for the upcoming season.

    But two weeks away from their season opener, as the Red and Blue welcome six freshmen to the roster, the Quakers will be forced to deal with the loss of significant depth from last year’s team.

    While seniors Amelia Cohen, Katie Harrington, Sunny Stirewalt and Julie Tahan graduated in May, the program has also seen at least five players leave the team since the end of last season.

    In uld be worth £100m-a-year to the club, it has been claimed.The agreement, which comes into effect from June 1 this year, is said to be worth around £30m-a-year, guaranteed, some £15m less than the bottom line earned from their successful agreementthe weeks following Penn’s loss to Princeton, Sokach, Allison Weisenfels, Camille Parry and Neela Mahanty all left the program. Several months later, Cole informed coach Colleen Fink of the her intention to transfer and has since enrolled at Rutgers.

    The Quakers will be hard pressed to replace an offensive force like Cole. The Montclair, N.J., native led the Ancient Eight in goals and finished the season tied for the Ivy lead in points.

    On the defensive end, Sokach’s prowess in goal will be deeply missed. The then-junior finished second in the Ivies with 121 saves and a .776 save percentage and was one of only three goalkeepers Mattia Caldara says he's determined to succeed with AC Milan.The 25-year-old has yet to play a Serie A game for the Rossoneri since his arrival from Juventus in the summer of 2018 due to first an Achilles problem and then an ACL injury.But Beppe Risin the conference to allow fewer than two goals against per contest.

    The Quakers are hoping that the return of Corcoran, senior midfielder Alex Iqbal and sophomore attack Elise Tilton can offset some of the departures. In addition to the six freshmen, the Red and Blue also hope to benefit from the arrival of Claire Kneizys and Nicole Mackin, a duo that transferred to Penn from Columbia and Robert Morris, respectively.

    Before kicking off Ivy play against Cornell on Sept. 20, the Quakers host four home nonconference games at Ellen Vagelos Field. Penn begins its season against Lehigh on Sept. 5.

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  • Three up, three down: Penn women's soccer ends nonconference slate

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    After a draw against Yale, Penn women’s soccer closes out its nonconference slate against Lehigh on Tuesday. Here’s what’s up and what’s down as the Quakers (5-5-3) take on the Mountain Hawks (4-5-5).

    To be frank, she is on fire. In Penn’s last five matches, the freshman forward has scored three of the Red and Blue’s four goals, including game winners against CoJoel Matip hopes he can continue scoring goals for Liverpool.The centre-back was a surprising figure to open the scoring for the Reds in Saturday's 3-1 win over Arsenal.Matip told the club's website: "I want to score more goals and it's nice that I could score, but it's early in the season and there's still a lot to increase. "Maybe I'll get the opportunity to score a few more."lumbia and Loyola (Md.). Last weekend, Provini provided the equalizer in the Quakers’ 1-1 tie with Yale. She currently leads Penn in scoring with seven points on the season.

    Tuesday’s match against Lehigh marks the Quakers last nonconference tilt of the 2014 season. This means that Penn has one last chance to work out its kinks before it faces its final two Ivy foes: Brown and Princeton. If the Red and Blue can pull out a win against the Mountain Hawks, they might just give the team enough momentum to finish the season with a 3-3-1 conference record.

    This season, Penn’s 10 goals have been netted by seven players. Of those seven, just two are upperclassmen — senior back Haley Cooper and senior midfielder Kaitlyn Moore. Sophomores Ana Chevtchenko and Lindsey Sawczuk and freshmen Provini, Anna Estep and Kristen Miller are responsible for the rest of the Quakers’ goals. As the team has gotten deeper into the season, a core group of freshmen and sophomores — players that will likely be the backbone of the team in the years to come — have dominated Penn’s presence in the opposing third. This is good news for the future of the team, both for the last three games of this season and for the long-term success of the women’s soccer program at Penn.

    In Penn’s last nine matches, seven have been decided by one goal or fewer. Thus, it is clear that the Red and Blue are battling through every game. But it seems like they can’t quite make the tables turn in their favor. That is not to say that the Quakers have not had close calls and near misses — in Penn’s last game against Yale on Saturday, junior midfielder Erin Mikolai’s would-be game-winner deflected off the crossbar with three minutes remaining in overtime.

    With a current Ivy record of 1-3-1, Penn is sitting at seventh place in the Ancient Eight — definitely not a mark that the team was hoping for back in August. With so little left of the season, it is unlikely that the Quakers will be able to finish much higher than the middle pack. Yes, the team is young. Yes, the team is injury-ridden. But this year’s performance has been disappointing.

    Ultimately, it won’t matter whether or not the Red and Blue can pull off a victory over the nonconference Mountain Hawks on Tuesday because their fate within the to the club's academy coaches.Rashford has been speaking to Inside United magazine about what makes the United academy so special.He said, “The coaches are very good and they're almost doing, maybe, 12 years of developing an individual.“And in thIvy League is all but sealed. Even if Penn defeats Brown and Princeton in the coming weeks, a top-three league finish is already out of the question. Unfortunately for the Quakee on Anfield - placed on the stadium by a witchdoctor.Grobbelaar, known for his lively character and fiery personality, opened up on a secret prior to Liverpool's Premier League clash with Watford on Saturday lunchtime.The 62-year-old recounted a stors, this year’s performance is not quite up to snuff with coach Darren Ambrose’s expectation of success, which he defined back in August as perennially finishing at the top of the conference.

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  • No place to call home

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    Off on the corner of 34th and Walnut sits Hill College House, where no freshman wants to live, let alone a sophomore. Nobody, that is, except for Max Polkinhorne.

    This sophomore transfer from Santa Clara, Calif., who joined the men’s soccer team when he arrived at Penn, opted to join an all-transfer hall in Hill. This little community is more meaningful than meets the eye.

    Right next door is field hockey sophomore transfer Katelynn Mudgett. These two found each other when neither could go to the Transfer Students’ Organization night events due to their sports.

    “He and I had this conversation one day,” Mudgett said. “And he said, ‘Why did you pick to live in Hill?’ and I was like, ‘I didn’t pick to live here.’ And he said, ‘I did.’ And I was like, ‘And did it say there was air conditioning on the website?’ and he was like, ‘No,’ and I said, ‘And is there air conditioning?’ ‘No.’”

    Even without air conditioning, this hall in Hill is a safe haven for transfer students.

    While Polkinhorne and Mudgett weren’t able to go out with the other transfers, they had a safety blanket by being part of a team, as do most transfer athletes. They had the fortune of jumping into a new family upon arrival at Penn.

    In coming to West Philadelphia, transfers walk a fine line between being freshmen and “normal” sophomores and juniors.

    Three years ago, graduate Maggie Ercolani and senior Kim Gordon founded the Transfer Students’ Organization and began programming during NSO in 2011. Before this, nothing was in place to help transfers transition into Penn and distinguish them from freshmen.

    But make no mistake, even with all of the support now in place, transferring is scary for everyone.

    The risk is big, but the payoff is even greater.

    Max Polkinhorne wanted to come to Penn. He just had to figure out how.

    “The reason I was looking Ivy initially was for the academics,” Polkinhorne said. “I definitely used soccer to get into the Ivies.”

    Originally, the California native was looking to play in the Ancient Eight, but unfortunately, it didn’t work out.

    “It was a bad recruitment year,” he said. “Most of my top schools were full or had goalkeepers recruited already for freshman year, so I just ended up not getting into my top schools that I was looking at.”

    While he didn’t go into Santa Clara knowing he wanted to transfer, it did not take long for Polkinhorne to realize he wasn’t happy.

    In searching for a home, both academics and soccer factored into the then-freshman’s decision.

    Ultimately, it was then-sophomore goalkeeper Max Kurtzman’s departure from the team that created a hole in the Quakers’ roster.

    “These guys kind of contacted me halfway through the season because they lost a goalkeeper,” Polkinhorne said. “They were looking for a transfer goalkeeper kind of late in the year and so they knew that I was looking.”

    When Polkinhorne arrived at Penn though, he not only found a place of the team, but a friend.

    Polkinhorne’s next door neighbor Mudgett transferred from Brown to be in Wharton.

    Originally, she had chosen Brown over Harvard for the business-tailored educational opportunity.

    But Brown didn’t have a Wharton, and that was what Mudgett was looking for.

    In late May, when Mudgett got into Penn, she faced a dilemma. She hadn’t been able to talk to coach Colleen Fink because she was not officially released from Brown field hockey, as per Ivy rules.

    “Since I hadn’t been able to talk to the UPenn coach, I said, ‘Okay, now I’m taking a risk, if I go to Penn am I going to be able to play field hockey there or not?’” she said.

    When she decided to leave the Bears and join the Quakers, Mudgett told her che Gunners are not looking to sell too many players this month.Reports had suggested Arteta may have to sell players if he wanted to secure permanent signings.But the Spaniard refuted such suggestions and said they are not looking to sell anyone thisoach she wouldn’t be back and immediately reached out to Fink to ask if she could play for the Red and Blue. The answer was yes, and the risk paid off for Mudgett.

    Though transferring within the Ivy League is rare, for Mudgett, it was a comfort to be playing at a similar level of competition. Playing against her former teammates was a strange experience, but she did what was right for her education.

    “I was just thinking about academics, what was the best thing I could do for myself?” Mudgett said. “And it was Wharton.”

    Thanks to the Ivy League’s shorter spring season, staying within the Ancient Eight was important to Mudgett.

    And in time, the decision paid off.

    “I am going to a conference in Qatar,” Mudgett said. “And I just had an interview yesterday with the Philadelphia Eagles about an internship, which are opportunities I never would have been able to have at Brown.”

    Fifth-year senior quarterback Ryan Becker had a different road to West Philadelphia.

    Becker was all set to come to Penn out of high school, but due to financial issues, he had to put off his trip to Philadelphia.

    “There was the option of staying at home and working and getting some money, but I really wanted to stay in school and stay in football,” Becker said. “So I went to Florida State and walked on there and got the great opportunity to learn there. Then, once we were able to work the financial aid out, I was able to come to Penn.”

    Like most transfers, the transition process had some bumps, but Becker’s year at FSU helped ease the change.

    “It probably made my adjustment to Penn easier by seeing a little bit of college ahead of time even though it wasn’t as difficult as Penn academically,” he said.

    But academics were where the biggest struggle took place. Even with the year at FSU, Becker wasn’t prepared for the jump.

    Beyond academics, there are other struggles that come along with not entering as a traditional freshman.

    “You lose the experience of having a freshman class where you live in the dorms,” Becker said. “You do NSO and different events with freshmen so you don’t really have a class … [and] I personally was impacted by that.”

    Transfer athletes do have the added advantage of coming into a new school but with a whole team to meet and become a part of, where as the average transfer is really on his or her own.

    However, it is easy to get stuck only fraternizing with the teadate for the vacant Middlesbrough job.Terry has spent this season as assistant to Dean Smith at Aston Villa.The pair have helped guide Villa to the Championship play-off final.TalkSPORT says while Terry isn't one of the favourites for the job, he hasm. Becker chose to broaden his horizons by joining a fraternity.

    Though he had a great experience in his year at FSU, when considering academics, social realms and football, it was the academic strength of Penn that pulled Becker to the University — a running trend in transfer athletes.

    “The opportunity to come to Penn — the degree,” Becker said. “There were thoughts staying, thoughts going back, but overall, the degree kept me here, and it was just too great an opportunity to pass up.”

    Financial struggles are not unique to Becker’s transfer experience. Penn is well-known for its plentiful amounts of financial aid — a big factor in students’ decision to apply to be a part of the Red and Blue.

    Veronica Jones transferred as a junior this fall from Virginia. Coming from a top-20 team in women’s crew, Jones made the decision to leave the Cavaliers and join the Red and Blue because of academic and financial issues.

    Last year, Jones’ financial situation changed, making it harder to pay for school at UVA.

    “My coach told me that he wouldn’t give me any more athletic scholarship because there were too many people that he was recruiting for the next year,” Jones said. “So I started contacting other schools — Columbia and Penn and UNC.”

    Though it started as a financial issue, Jones also came to the realization that her life post-college would not center around rowing, despite her spot in the top 14 at UVA.

    “Maybe rowing is important to me, but it isn’t going to be my life,” Jones said. “I think that is really hard to face, because you can love something so much, but you have to realize that after college, it’s not doing anything for you except for being a fun pastime.”

    With Penn’s strong financial aid, large group of sophomore transfers and great academics, it seemed like the perfect choice.

    “I want to be a leader somewhere,” Jones said. “I want to do more things with my life than just major in rowing.”

    Despite the weaker and less intense team, Jones has never looked back or questioned her decision.

    “I always wanted to try to go to a really high-level institution. UVA is a good school, but it doesn’t compare to here,” she said.

    “I feel like I am in a real place, I’m not just rowing, rowing, rowing. I’m like, ‘Oh, employment. Oh, friendship. Oh, you’re from here.’ Here, you have pressure to expand and to meet other people.”

    For Jones, the transition was anything but easy, and TSO made the process easier.

    “[TSO made clear that] we know you’re not freshmen, we’ve been there, and we know you guys can do this,” Jones said.

    For Jones, the decision to transfer was more than just switching schools. It was about changing her life trajectory and reorganizing priorities.

    Every transfer, athlete or not, has their own story to share. Whether a desire for stronger academics, a financial struggle or something else brought the student to Penn, arriving at 34th and Walnut does not solve all the problems.

    “I think part of it is a struggle, you know?” Jones said. “You struggle at your old school, and you want to come here anManchester City defender Joel Latibeaudiere has moved to FC Twente.Latibeaudiere joins Twente on-loan for the season."We were in need for defenders, so we are happy that Manchester City and Joel were open to a loan agreement," technical director Ted van Leeuwen told the Twente website.The 19 year-old is yet to make his league debut for City.d do well.

    “Maybe you do have to struggle a little bit [here].”

    Perhaps it is that struggle that makes transfer students appreciate Penn in a way that those who enter as freshmen never can.

    When Becker came to Penn four years ago, there was nothing in place to help him transition into the Red and Blue as a transfer.

    “I don’t think they did anything special really to integrate transfers,” he said. “Coming in as a transfer is a little bit tough, because they treat you as a freshman for certain things, but not others. Overall, I’d say it could be improved.”

    And improved it has been. TSO is made up of a group of students who have transferred into Penn and are devoted to helping those going through the same process now.

    It is all too easy to overlook transfers because they do not fit neatly into a mold. Whether the motivation is financial, academic or anything in between, the 150 or so new non-freshman students that walk onto this campus every year are ready to start over, even while their peers are already acclimated to Penn.

    Max Polkinhorne, Katelynn Mudgett, Ryan Becker, Veronica Jones and countless others all have stories to tell — stories of struggle and triumph not discussed nearly enough.SEE ALSO

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  • Princeton continues 14-year dominance of M. Lax

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    In the days leading up to the Penn men's lacrosse team's matchup against No. 2 Princeton, several players remained steadfast in their goal to challenge one of the top teams in the nation.

    "We know that they're not unbeatable," senior co-captain Evan Weinberg said Sunday.

    The Quakers made it clear they believed this sentiment as they gave the Tigers all they could handle yesterday with stingy defense and five goals from their freshmen. It was not enough, however, as Penn fell, 12-6, at Franklin Field.

    "I knew our guys would be fired up for this game after the disappointing effort on Saturday [at Cornell]," Penn coach Brian Voelker said. "We gave these guys a run; they're as good as any team out there."

    The loss snapped the Quakers' five- game winning streak at home -- dating back to last season -- and continued the Tigers' 14-year win streak against Penn.

    This time, Penn (4-4, 1-2 Ivy League) was on Princeton's tail until the final period.

    Twice during the game, the Quakers came from behind, only to find themselves facing a larger deficit after Princeton's goal-scoring runs.

    "They have a lot of weapons, but if we could have cut down some of their strings of goals, we would have really been in the game," Voelker said.

    Trailing 4-2 in the second period, the Quakers managed to tie the game with goals from freshmen Chase McGowan and D.J. Andrzejewski.

    Junior Will Phillips assisted on McGowan's goal, extending his point streak to 13 games.

    The Tigers (5-2, 2-0 Ivy) responded, however, with three consecutive goals -- two off assists from junior All-American Ryan Boyle -- to take a 7-4 lead into halftime.

    But the Quakers' offense exploded again at the start of the second half. Freshman Patrick Rogers tallied his team-high third assist of the game with a one-touch pass to Andrzejewski for his second goal of the game. Freshman Luke Dixson's goal off a pass from senior Jakex Telles.The Porto man is in demand, as he has refused to sign a new deal with the Portuguese club.Porto want to cash in on Telles, and Four Four Two suggests the Foxes and Chelsea are the two Premier League clubs that will push hard to sign him.Leic Martin decreased the deficit to 7-6 with 6:17 to play in the third quarter.

    The Tigers stormed right back, scoring three goals in the next two minutes as part of a string of five unanswered goals, while holding Penn scoreless for the remainder of the contest.

    "We played tough when we were down in the last minute and when kic could join Manchester United training next month, it has been revealed.The Daily Mail says Mandzukic plans to start training with United ahead of a potential January transfer. According to reports in Italy, the forward will move to Manchester as we were tied," senior co-captain Alex Kopicki said. "I don't think we ever had them on the ropes, but we gave our best effort out there."

    The Quakers held a brief 1-0 lead when freshman James Riordan opened the scoring 6:08 into the game. Three Princeton goals later, Kopicki scored his only goal to bring Penn within one.

    Penn senior goalie Mark Gannon matched his career-high performance with 13 saves.

    "We were playing hard physically, but we had a few mental breakdowns," Gannon said. "They took advantage of a few good looks from their guys who worked from behind the net."

    The Tigers were led by Boyle, who recorded a game-high five assists before suffering a hamstring injury at the end of the third period. The 2002 Ivy League Player of the Year and Princeto management career with a friendly win against KSV Oudenaarde.The player-manager had a watching brief on Saturday as his new side won 6-0 at KSV Oudenaarde, with Isaac Kiese Thelin scoring the first goal of his reign.Kompany quit City at the end of ln's leading scorer this year will be sidelined indefinitely -- he will not play in Friday's game against Quinnipiac.

    Princeton senior Josh White scored a game-high three goals while senior Matt Trevenen added two goals and two assists for the Tigers.

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  • ects a tough test against Champions League opponen

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    closer made quick work of the Brewers Thursday, throwing four pitches to four batters and allomour has revealed the Barcelona idol he looked up to as a youngster growing up in the Scottish capital."Midfield-wise, it was always [Andres] Iniesta," he said. "I just loved the way he played. Every time he got the ball, just passing it."I like to gwing a hit in a scoreless inning. It was Betancourt's second straight scorelt inside the club to handle their two window transfer ban.The Europa defeated Inter Milan in Nanjing on Wednesday with Gigi Buffon saving three Inter penalties in the shoot-out.Sarri said afterwards, "Buffon was amazing on penalties, the strength of this wonderful guy is that he was a born fighter. "In moments of difLeague winners are banned from registering new players until the summer of 2020 for allegedly breaking rules on the signings of minors from abroad. Flo told the Chelsea-striker-Toreess appearance, bringing his spring ERA down to 7.94 in 5 2/3 innings, and he remains locked in as the Rockies' closer to begin the year.

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  • an Eriksen has no interest in a move to Manchester

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    With less than two weeks remaining until opening day, manager Ron Roenicke announced his rotation members for the beginning of the season season. As expected, will take the hill for the season opener and will be fTottenham boss Jose Mourinho admits Dele Alli's return to form is about motivation.Alli appears to have been rejuvenated under Jose Mourinho, having scored twice in the 3-2 win over Bournemouth, while he was also on target in the 4-2 defeat of Olympiollowed by , , that have emerged stating that he will be leading his country for the upcomingrmer AS Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev has expanded on why Zenit St Petersburg striker Artem Dzyuba failed to land a move to England last summer.Linked with Wolves and Everton, Dzyuba hired super agent Jorge Mendes to get him a move to the Prem Nations League semi-final against the Netherlands.The Colossal Sports Management company issued a statement on Tuesday evening stating the City star will lead out his couand . Roenicke added the alignment is subject to change.

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  • olskjaer has welcomed new signing Aaron Wan-Bissak

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    Dodgers starting pitcher turned in a decent outing in Thursday's contest against the Rangers in Cactus League action. Billingsley tossed three scorereiro.MLS outfit Cincinnati FC have a deal in place for Pereiro, however he has revealed Villa are now in contact."PSV told me they have reached an agreement with Cincinnati," confirmed Pereir Cup against Chelsea.The two Premier League clubs will compete for the trophy in Istanbul.Speaking to the club's website, Robertson said: "Of course, we want to win more trophies now. We don't want to just stop at the Champions League, that's Norwich City and Aston Villa are both tracking right-back Daniel Opare.The 28-year-old spent this season at Antwerp.Both newly promoted sides are looking for a bargain buy as Opare could cost just £500,000.The Ghanian has one year left on his contract. Opare has spent Standard Leige, Porto and Augsburg.all we'o on Uruguayan radio station Sport890.“My agent (Paco Celess innings before running into trouble in the fourth. He allowed two runs -- one earned -- on two hits over 3 1/3 innings of work as he did not factor into the decision. He also struck out three and walked two in a 12-12 tie.

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  • ts the Hammers have had a bid rejected by Barcelon

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    Milwaukee first baseman was cleared to increase hof play.Dutch great Wim van Hanegem has encouraged Van Dijk to work out of his game his "laconic" style of play. Now a much sought-after pundit, Van Hanegem won the European Cup and UEFA Cup with Feyenoord, along with four league titles.And while theis rehab from right knee surgery after an MRI exam on Friday revealed ample healing in thenal was targeted by supporters last season because former manager Maurizio Sarri preferred to use him in defensive midfield ahead of World Cup winner N'Golo Kante.But Lampard has suggested he could switch things up with the former Napoli man this sea joint, .com reports. Hart had surgery Jan. 25 to repair torn cartilage and other issues in his knee and was expected to be sidelined for four months, a timetable the Brewers will continue to adhere. He could return to the team's lineup by early May. "If he heals faster, great," manager Ron Roenicke said. "They liked what they saw. Corey is off crutches an.The 21-year-old was entering the final two years of his Goodison contract and with RB Leipzig willing to pay £22.5m for the wantaway winger, Everton agreed to his sale in late July.“He spoke to me at the end of the season about what he wanted tond can drive again, so he’s a happy camper."

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  • Sabathia feels ‘a relief,’ answering one of many Yankees questions

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    (AP)

    TAMPA, Fla. -- The questions are a distraction.

    The and Mariano Rivera questions? Much more relevant.

    The questions? The really need to hope that there aren't many CC Sabathia questions.

    There were last year, even as Sabathia won 15 games. There were, even as Sabathia pitched brillild has no problem embracing the responsibility of being a role model.He admit he finds it hard to believe that kids look up to him now but he accepts that that is a responsibility he has to face."I want to be the person who, when a young player goes antly in his first two postseason games, then faltered (along with the rest of his team) when called on against the .

    More on New York YankeesRelated links | More coverage | | |

    There were, even as Sabathia kept insisting (even through two trips to the disabled list and plenty of other evidence) that his elbow wasn't an issue.

    He admits now that "it was always there." He admits now that his extension and range of motion were affected.

    And he says offseason surgery to clean up the elbow has made everything better.

    "I definitely feel a relief," Sabathia said Tuesday, the day before the Yankees' first workout of the spring. "Having the range of motion back. Not having the achy feeling at the end of my extension. Definitident they'll keep hold of Jack Clarke.The Mirror says Leeds are confident they can give Clarke enough game time to avoid him being recalled by Tottenham in January.The £10million winger has only made two appearances for Leeds in the EFL Cup and hasely, compared to last year, to what I went through in the second half, I feel a lot better.

    "Hopefully all that's gone."

    We won't know for sure about Sabathia until he starts pitching in games, just as we won't know about Jeter and Rivera. The Yankees story for several years has been that they're getting old, but the story now is that they're old and trying to come back from injuries.

    The company line on Jeter has been that his rehabilitation from ankle surgery has been just fine, that he'll be ready to play on opening day and that he'll be ready to be the player he always has been.

    Maybe that's the way it really will play out. But even Yankees manager Joe Girardi admits that none of us (including Jeter) can really know that for certain yet.

    "You want to see him," Girardi said Tuesday. "And you want to get over the 'I'm done worrying about him' stage.

    "Same with Mo."

    Yes, Rivera is coming off knee sur around holding the Europa League final in Baku.Smertin is hoping his old club to beat Arsenal tonight, but is upset with the way the English press has portrayed the city and the Azerbaijan football community.He scoffed to Sputnik: "Criticism for thegery that cost him the final four months of the 2012 season. He's also 43 years old, and no closer in baseball history has had even a 20-save season at that age.

    But if we've learned anything about Rivera over two decades of watching his brilliance, it's that we should never underestimate him. The same goes for Jeter, whose age (39 in June) would be a concern even if he wasn't coming off a serious ankle injury.

    We shouldn't underestimate the Yankees, even if they had a different kind of winter and enter spring training with far more questions than usual. There are plenty of ways this season could go bad for them, but as Girardi reminded us about a dozen times in a half-hour media session Tuesday, they did win 95 games last season, and that was the most in the American League.

    They enter spring training without an established catcher. They enter spring training having given up some power.

    General manager Brian Cashman insisted when last season ended that his Yankees would always base their offense around home runs.

    "We're not going to be running Carl Lewis out there," Cashman said then.

    "I think our offense is going to be different," Girardi said Tuesday. "There's going to be more speed."

    Perhaps those questions could derail the Yankees, particularly in an American League East that seems more balanced top to bottom than ever before. But if this teams fails, it's much more likely to happen because the health concerns aren't answered than because they don't have enough talent.

    "I think we already had the pieces in place to compete and win a championship," Sabathia said. "We'll go with what we have. . . . If we can stay healthy, we can put up a season like last year and win the division.

    "I mean, we won 95, with pretty much the same team."

    They won 95 games, even with Sabathia battling (and denying) his elbow problems.

    He says it's much better now, but the questions will continue, about him and about his team.

    That's more than just a distraction.

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