Van Gaal warns of tough test

first_imgManchester United boss Louis van Gaal has stressed the importance of maintaining momentum but is taking nothing for granted against Stoke. The result ensured they maintained fourth place in the table and Van Gaal now wants to make sure they kick on. The 63-year-old said: “Winning, for a top club like Manchester United, is the most important thing in a week, or in a day. “Especially when we are in fourth position in the league table you have to win, otherwise others shall overcome you. “Of course I had hoped that we would win on Saturday but we have to win also against Stoke City. “But in the Premier League nothing is easy. When you see Liverpool struggling against Stoke City – (scoring in the) 85th minute – that shows. You see Arsenal struggling against West Bromwich Albion – they could also have lost. “Every game is difficult. That is why the Premier League is exciting, because you never know. There is an atmosphere in the stadiums (that is) fantastic and the fans are always supporting their club, until the end. That is fantastic. That is why I want to work in the Premier League, because of that, the atmosphere.” United will be without forward Angel di Maria after the Argentinian pulled up with a hamstring injury early in the clash against Hull. The club are still to learn the full extent of that problem but captain Wayne Rooney is expected to be fit after banging his knee on an advertising hoarding late in the game. United are seeking a fourth successive Barclays Premier League win as they host the Potters on Tuesday night. United have been inconsistent since Van Gaal took charge in the summer but the Dutchman reflected on their most satisfactory performance to date after Saturday’s one-sided 3-0 win over Hull. Striker Radamel Falcao might also be pushing for a start after coming off the bench to play the latter stages on Saturday following his recovery from a calf injury. Van Gaal said: “He was not fit to play 90 minutes, but for 20 minutes okay. I can use him because now he has trained for a full week with the first team. He needs match rhythm.” Stoke manager Mark Hughes believes the club can cope with the injuries that are beginning to pile up. Midfielders Steve Sidwell and Glenn Whelan are the latest to join the casualty list that also includes Victor Moses (thigh), Robert Huth (calf), Peter Odemwingie (knee) and Dionatan Teixeira (broken foot). Influential centre-back Huth, who has not played a league game for a year after suffering setbacks while recovering from a long-term knee injury, is at least closing in on a comeback. The virus that swept through the training ground last week also appears to have been cleared, with Phil Bardsley back in the squad for Tuesday’s clash at Manchester United after missing Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Liverpool because of the bug. It was at Anfield, though, where Sidwell and Whelan suffered their injuries, with the latter out for up to six weeks with a grade two tear of a medial knee ligament, whilst replacement Whelan picked up a calf muscle problem and is out of the trip to Old Trafford, and almost certainly Saturday’s visit of Arsenal. Hughes said: “Steve has had a scan and it’s slightly better news because we thought he would be out for six to eight weeks. “But it’s not as severe a tear and he is now likely to be out for four to six weeks. “It’s a blow to us with the amount of games we have coming up, but at least we’re encouraged by the better news. “Glenn, meanwhile, has been checked over and it’s not a pull, which is also good news, but he’s not available for tomorrow. “These injuries of late have coincided with the illness that broke out last week, which we could have done without. “We cleared people out of the training ground which enabled us to keep it away from the majority of the senior squad. “A few went down with it, but if we hadn’t have done what we did then we might have been more greatly affected than we were in the end. “Hopefully now we’re over this one. “As for the injuries, you can’t really avoid them because they’re occurring in matches and they’re difficult to legislate for, even though you try to do everything correctly. “There’s not a great deal we can do about it. It’s just a phase we are going through and we’re trying to make the best of it.” After back-to-back defeats, Hughes could not have asked for a more difficult task with which to resurrect his side’s fortunes than going up against his old club who have won their last three matches. “We’ve had the two losses, but in terms of performances I’ve been pleased enough,” said Hughes. “They seem to have run into a little bit of form unfortunately from our point of view. “If we’d faced them earlier then maybe it would have been easier, but they’ve had three wins on the trot and they seem to be getting to grips with what the manager wants and how he wants them to play. “We’ll have to play very well, we have to accept that. “But in terms of confidence going into a game at Old Trafford we’re not affected because we’ve proven this year we can give a good account of ourselves no matter who we play.” Press Associationlast_img read more

No. 5 women’s soccer prepares for weekend home stand

first_imgJulia Erickson | Daily TrojanAwards on lock · Senior midfielder and defender Savannah Levin was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week Tuesday.Returning home after a 2-0 win at Arizona State, the No. 5 women’s soccer team welcomes Washington State to McAlister Field on Thursday. The Women of Troy had their program-record 10-game winning streak halted against Cal two matches ago, but they rebounded with a clean shutout of Arizona State over the weekend. Now, they hope to work on a new streak, starting with two in a row against the Cougars.Last time out, USC got back in the win column thanks to goals from redshirt senior forward Katie Johnson and senior midfielder and defender Savannah Levin, along with another shutout from redshirt senior goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme. The Women of Troy’s success so far this season has been built on a high-octane, but unselfish offense — and a stone wall between the sticks.Johnson’s seven goals are tied with senior midfielder Morgan Andrews for the most on the team, and four other players have chipped in with multiple scores this fall, including six from redshirt junior forward Alex Anthony. A whopping nine Women of Troy have also recorded more than one assist, and Prudhomme has conceded just seven goals in 14 games. Prudhomme now has nine clean sheets on the year and has let in two goals on just one occasion: the team’s season opener at Santa Clara. Simply put, the Women of Troy score often and are rarely scored against — an effective, if not revolutionary, strategy.USC is currently the fifth-ranked team in the nation, but head coach Keidane McAlpine’s group is looking up at four schools in the Pac-12 standings. With five games left to play in the regular season (all in-conference matchups), the Women of Troy are within spitting distance of the conference summit, as Colorado, Cal, Stanford and Utah are all within a game of USC. A matchup against Washington State (1-5 in Pac-12 play) might be just what the Women of Troy need to make up that short gap. Utah and Colorado take on both Northern California teams in this week’s slate of games, making it a prime opportunity for USC to catapult itself into the Pac-12 lead.The Cougars won’t be easy prey, however. Although USC edged Washington State 1-0 in both of the teams’ previous two meetings, the Cougars claimed a 2-0 victory the last time they visited Los Angeles. They grabbed their first conference win of the season a week ago against Arizona State but lost to Utah in their most recent game. Washington State is yet to win on the road this year, and the Women of Troy will look pile on and hand the Cougars their sixth loss in seven matches.The Women of Troy will kick off at 2 p.m. on Thursday before returning to McAlister Field on Sunday to host Washington.last_img read more

Premier League’s new five substitute rule, explained: Why teams aren’t restricted to just three changes in 2020

first_imgManchester United, Liverpool and Co. will return to our television screens in June as the Premier League restarts after a three-month coronavirus-enforced hiatus.There will be a couple of small, but notable changes to the game in this brave new post-Covid-19 landscape, including the obvious fact that there will be no supporters at the match in the interests of public health. The game itself of course will largely be the same, but we will now see more substitutions being made in competitive matches due to the five-substitute rule.So what is the rule all about and why has it been introduced? Goal brings you everything you need to know.MORE: Five things to watch as Premier League returnsContentsWhat is the five-substitute rule?When was the five-substitute rule introduced?Why has the five-substitute rule been introduced?Will the five-substitute rule become permanent?What is the five-substitute rule?The ‘five-substitute rule’ is a temporary change to the maximum number of substitutes a team is permitted to make during a game, increasing the number from three to five.In addition, the Premier League has increased the maximum number of substitutes permitted to sit on the bench from seven to nine.However, while the total number of substitutions possible in a game is now 10 instead of six, managers will only be allowed to make changes at three points in the game.The idea behind limiting the number of stoppages for substitutions is to reduce the level of disruption in a match, something that could in theory be exploited.Return to topFor the remainder of the 2019/20 season, Premier League clubs will now be able to make 5️⃣ substitutes instead of 3️⃣The maximum number of substitute players on the bench has been increased from 7️⃣ to 9️⃣Full statement on these temporary rule changes:— Premier League (@premierleague) June 4, 2020When was the five-substitute rule introduced?The IFAB made a temporary amendment to Law 3 of the Laws of the Game in May 2020 following a proposal made by FIFA.In a circular to all national football associations and federations, the IFAB outlined the nature of the change and indicated that competition organisers had discretion regarding whether to apply it or not.Premier League shareholders subsequently agreed to implement the change for the remainder of the 2019-20 season, which resumes in June 2020 and will conclude at the end of July.Return to topWhy has the five-substitute rule been introduced?The five-substitute rule was introduced with player welfare in mind as football resumed in the midst of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.A three-month lay-off without competitive action, even though players continued to train individually during the hiatus, combined with a lot of games in a short period of time is a risky prospect.Players such as Kevin De Bruyne have expressed concerns about the chances of sustaining injuries when action resumes, while ex-Liverpool physio Andy Renshaw predicts there will be “a ton” of muscle issues.As well as the increased potential for injury, climate was also a consideration in the decision to increase the number of substitutes, with leagues continuing in the height of summer, when temperatures peak.The IFAB and FIFA are fully aware of these associated risks and, accordingly, made the temporary change. The IFAB also stressed existing Laws of the Game which allow for water breaks.”The COVID-19 pandemic has had a far-reaching impact on daily life, including sport, around the world,” the IFAB’s circular to national assocations and federations read. “As many countries begin to emerge from this situation, the focus is slowly turning to the resumption of football competitions that have been affected by the virus.”When competitions resume, matches may be played in a condensed period (e.g. to reduce the impact on future competitions) and in different weather conditions, both of which could have an impact on player welfare.”Return to topWill the five-substitute rule become permanent?The five-substitute rule has initially been introduced as a temporary measure and is ostensibly in place until the end of 2020.FIFA and the IFAB will revisit the rule change at a later stage in order to assess whether its application needs to be extended into 2021. It is entirely possible that the temporary rule change could end up becoming permanent – should it be considered to improve the game – but it is currently only a temporary tweak.Therefore, it is expected that the IFAB will revert the rule to the previous maximum of three substitutes in a game.Return to toplast_img read more

Acting Attorney General Whitaker appears before House Judiciary Committee

first_imgWASHINGTON — Acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker had a testy exchange with the chair of the House Judiciary Committee today  during hearing in which lawmakers asked him for details on his handling of the criminal investigations surrounding President Donald Trump.The chair of the committee, Democrat Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York asked Whitaker, who is an Ankeny, Iowa native, was asked if he had talked with President Trump about the investigation. “As I’ve said earlier today in my opening remarks — I do not intend today to talk about my private conversations with the president of the United States. But to answer your question, I have not talked to the president of the United States about the special counsel’s investigation, ” Whitaker replied.Nadler then asked Whitaker if he had talked with White House officials about the investigation. “Again mister chairman, as I mentioned in my opening statement, I do not intend today to talk about my private conversations with the president, nor White House officials,” Whitaker replied. “But I will tell you consistent with what I have already said, I have not talked about the special counsel’s investigation with senior White House officials.”Whitaker continued clashing with Nadler when he pointed out the chairman had exceeded his time limit for questions. “Have you ever been asked to approve any request or action to be taken by the special counsel?,” Nadler asked. “Mister chairman, I see that your five minutes is up,” Whitaker said to groans and laughter in the room. “I am here voluntarily, we have agreed to five minute rounds,” Whitaker said.The hearing recessed a short time later as the representatives were called to take a vote. Whitaker is an attorney who had been serving as chief of staff to Attorney General Jeff Sessions when the president asked Sessions to resign. Whitaker was named acting Attorney General and is expected to be replace soon as William Barr will take over.Whitaker was the Republican Party’s nominee for state treasurer in 2002. He was one of several candidates who competed against eventual Republican nominee Joni Ernst in the 2014 U.S. Senate Primary.last_img read more