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Laudrup: Chelsea enquired after me

first_img But, quoted in A Bola, Laudrup claimed there was interest from Stamford Bridge before Mourinho signed on for a second spell. He said: “Someone tried to know my availability through intermediaries, but there was nothing concrete. “Also, I had given my word that I would be in Swansea.” Chelsea were unavailable for comment when contacted by Press Association Sport. Arguably Laudrup’s most important act as Swansea boss was completing the signing of Michu for just over £2million last summer. The Spaniard has gone on to score 27 goals for the Swans and has been rewarded with his first call-up to the Spain squad for their World Cup qualifiers against Belarus and Georgia. The 27-year-old placed on record his thanks for Laudrup, telling the club’s official website: “It’s because of Michael Laudrup that I am here. “He is one of the best managers I have ever worked with in my life.” He also revealed Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata has been helping him adjust to life in the squad. “I feel like I am annoying Juan Mata as I am always asking him about the training and the new experience,” he said. “Mata is helping me a lot, I know him very well. I can’t describe the feeling when I went into the pitch wearing the shirt of the best team of the world. “But it is very easy to play with all these players. The players who are in the squad are the best in the world and they’re at the maximum level.” Swansea have also given a first professional deal to Pau Morer. The 18-year-old Spanish midfielder has been training with the club’s Under-21s since July, but could not sign professionally until his 18th birthday. Swansea manager Michael Laudrup has told a Portuguese newspaper Chelsea enquired about his availability prior to their appointment of Jose Mourinho. The Dane was linked with a number of high-profile jobs after guiding the Welsh club to Capital One Cup glory and a ninth-placed finish in the Barclays Premier League. A falling out between Swansea and Laudrup’s agent Bayram Tutumlu over proposed transfer targets only added to the speculation, but the former Getafe and Real Mallorca boss ended up staying in south Wales. Press Associationlast_img read more

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Randle shines on defense

first_imgNot only does USC’s women’s soccer franchise have a solid selection of talent -— old and new — to fill out this season’s roster, but the team is also growing stronger as a unit on the field each day.“This team couldn’t be more different than the teams of the past,” junior defender Dominique Randle said.Randle said the team’s biggest improvement since her Trojan start three years ago is confidence.“I see our team improving on our movement off the ball and reading each other better,” Randle said. “I think over the past year, we all really connected and understand how everyone plays.”The addition of transfer players Sydney Myers, from Santa Clara, and Amanda Rooney, from North Carolina, are also proving to be a big asset to this collective mindset in the current preseason.“Now, we added a few players and developed a style of play that complements the type of players we are,” Randle said. “We are trusting ourselves and our abilities more than we have in the past.”As far as this season goes, though, everyone has something to contribute to the journey.“We have built such a strong team dynamic that every player has an influential role on the team,” Randle said. “Compared to other teams in the conference, I think we pride ourselves in making sure every last player can play any position. Being interchangeable is what makes our team so unpredictable and dangerous.”Randle, the No. 5 defender, is among the pack of influential Trojans on the field this season. After being redshirted freshman year from an injury, she came around in 2014 to make big contributions for the Women of Troy. Randle finished the season with four shots and 20 starts out of 21 games played.“She’s got a unique story having to fight through the injury for the first part of her career and last year finally making it through a season and not just making it through, becoming one of our best defenders,” head coach Keidane McAlpine said. “Randle’s season turnaround from redshirt to defensive asset highlights her mental fortitude and her determination to succeed.Randle’s defensive contributions this seasons are among the advantages that could push USC through challenging conference play, but also importantly, give the women a chance at redemption in this year’s NCAA Women’s Championship. The Women of Troy left in the first round last championship after losing to Pepperdine 4-2 in shootouts.As a collective season, USC finished fourth in the Pac-12 with a 6-5 record, just behind Colorado (6-4).  UCLA finished at the top of the conference with 10-0 and Stanford (9-1) took second.Nonetheless, last year’s shortcomings seem to have created a goal-oriented outlook for the coming season, where Randle can expect to lead.“She’s going to be huge for us,” McAlpine said. “Our team last year I think cut 10 goals off the record season total from the year before, and that was one of our goals going into the year. I think the mindset now is to shave more goals off the season, to put us in a better position longterm.”Thinking more about the team as a unit, Randle also sees goal-fulfilling potential.“This preseason, we haven’t forgot what we learned so now it is taking what we did last year and integrating the new players,” Randle said. “So far, they are doing better than expected. At the rate we are going, we should be ready for any competition and we should exceed the goals we have set for ourselves.”According to Randle, the Trojan’s motto this season is, “One Moment, One Now”.Living up to the motto, Randle says that she and her teammates plan on taking each of their battles on the field one game at a time, regardless of whether they carry conference championship implications.“Conference games are always a battle, we always want to finish in at least the top three. However, we must prepare for each game individually,” Randle said.The Women of Troy split their opening weekend, beating Texas Tech but falling to Florida State on a late goal. Their next game is at UC Riverside on Aug. 28.last_img read more

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Megan Rapinoe victim of possible hate crime, according to NYPD

first_img USWNT invited to bipartisan meeting with female U.S. senators Women’s World Cup 2019: USWNT returns with hardware … and champagne … in hand Rapinoe and the rest of the U.S. women’s team were in New York City Wednesday for the championship parade after winning the 2019 Women’s World Cup. New York City police are looking into a possible hate crime committed against U.S. women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe.Posters of Rapinoe were defaced with derogatory slurs in the NYC subway system in midtown Manhattan, which has prompted an investigation by the city’s Hate Crime Task Force, according to ESPN . Abby Wambach on Megan Rapinoe, USWNT: They’re redefining ‘what it means to be a woman’ Rapinoe, who is openly gay, has been vocal in her support of the LGBTQ community and the need for gender equality.She hasn’t publicly commented on the messages on the posters, which have since been cleaned up. Related News She gave an empowering speech calling for everyone to be kinder to each other, and said the diversity on their team is what made it so great.“Just (a) shoutout to the teammates … This group is so resilient. Is so tough. Has such a sense of humor. Is just so badass,” Rapinoe said Wednesday. “There’s nothing that can faze this group. We’re chillin’. We’ve got tea sippin’. We’ve got celebrations. We have pink hair and purple hair. We have tattoos and dreadlocks. We’ve got white girls and black girls, and everything in between. Straight girls and gay girls.”Rapinoe hasn’t commented on the posters nor the derogatory language.last_img read more

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