FIFA U-20 World Cup final..

first_imgEngland, Venezuela braced for big occasionAFTERr 22 days of competition, the FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea Republic 2017 is set to conclude with Venezuela and England both looking to become world champions in the age group for the very first time.Taking centre stage after the match for third place between Uruguay and Italy, the two finalists will step out at the Suwon World Cup Stadium today at 19:00hrs (local time) with designs on lifting the trophy at the end of the night.Though neither side were tipped to get this far, both have shown that they deserve to be where they are. While Venezuela were the more impressive in the group phase, winning all three of their matches, the English have been in irresistible form in the knockout phase, all of which points to a very intriguing encounter.Venezuela’s exceptional run is rich reward for two and a half years of hard work, numerous training camps and no fewer than 37 friendlies. Not for nothing are La Vinotinto the competition’s leading scorers with 14 goals and the most prolific side in terms of attacking statistics: most shots on goal (110), most attempts on target (38) and most shots against the woodwork (5), a stat in which they are level with England.Meanwhile, Wuilker Farinez has made the fewest saves (13) of the four goalkeepers who contested the semi-finals. Farinez has been outstanding for his team, producing some truly superb stops, though he has been ably supported by his defence.England are the competition’s fourth-highest scorers with 11 goals, while their keeper Freddie Woodman has had to make only two more saves than Farinez, an indication of the strength of his backline.Paul Simpson will be pleased to have midfielder Josh Onomah available for selection again following his sending-off in the quarter-finals, though the coach has been backed up by his supporting cast, having used every member of his squad so far with the exception of third-choice keeper Luke Southwood.( read more

Lakers see D’Angelo Russell emerging as a leader

first_imgWith that extra experience, however, Russell said he has “more of a business-like approach in everything I do. “I’m keeping guys going and getting them to pick it up when they need it, including myself,” Russell said. “I’m not going to have it every day. But with our guys, I try to pick them up and let them know we’re all in this together.” The Lakers liked how Russell spent most of his offseason at the team’s practice facility, bolstering both his strength and post presence. Walton praised Russell for huddling teammates together and providing positive reinforcement during Wednesday’s evening scrimmage. Various teammates noted improvement in Russell’s 3-point shot during summer league play and training camp practices. Lakers rookie Brandon Ingram also credited Russell for giving him advice on how to train properly for his upcoming season. “He’s out here with something to prove this year,” Lakers third-year guard Jordan Clarkson said. “I think he’s changing his mindset a little bit in terms of that. He’s doing a good job.”That Russell has emerged as a leader does not surprise the Lakers. They selected him No. 2 in the 2015 NBA Draft because of his court vision and outside shot. Lakers forward Metta World Peace recalled Russell often telling him last season, “I’m going to be that guy.” “He wants that challenge,” World Peace said. “He’s not shying away from that role. The organization is building around a core. You need somebody to come in and want to take that role.” There marked numerous obstacles, though, that prevented Russell from taking that role his rookie season.Russell lost his starting spot 20 games into the 2015-16 campaign because Scott disliked his inconsistent play, attitude and work ethic. After initially struggling to share ball-handling duties with Bryant, Russell fielded criticism for looking to score more instead of passing. Once he had his starting job back, Russell averaged 15.1 points, made 38.3 percent of his 3-point shots and had 3.3 assists per game. But Russell then lost trust in the locker room after the release of a video that showed Nick Young admitting to infidelities.“He had moments of brilliance,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said. “Then he had moments that clearly showed he’s a 19-year old player playing in the NBA.”Yet, Kupchak predicted that Russell will “have a really good year.” Young publicly made amends with Russell. He will not have to worry about losing his starting position again. Walton will provide more positive reinforcement to Russell than Scott. The Lakers also feel encouraged with Russell’s growth.Yet, plenty of work still awaits. Walton conceded Russell had “some questionable moments” in Wednesday’s scrimmage before chalking defensive miscues as “normal stuff.” Russell has sought advice from veteran point guards Marcelo Huertas and Jose Calderon on how to run pick-and-roll properly. And the Lakers will try to balance between coaching and empowering him to run the offense as he sees fit. “I always felt I had the leadership qualities as far as being a leader or leading a team. But at the end of the day, I’m a young guy,” Russell said. “I don’t really know what it takes to be successful as I want to be. Then you have veteran guys that do. It’s about listening to those guys, learning from your mistakes and learning from the coaching staff. There’s a lot I can really gain.”Compared to that dreary night in March however, Russell has already gained a lot. Unlike that game against Memphis, Russell has both young and veteran teammates alike eager to listen and eager to follow.“He’s ready to get that extra step,” Huertas said. “He’s ready for this new challenge.” SANTA BARBARA >> The dejected look wore on D’Angelo Russell’s face. He stomached frustration from yet another loss. And even with Kobe Bryant out of the lineup, Russell neither felt empowered nor respected to lead the Lakers. “I don’t really have the credibility or experience,” Russell said. “So what I say goes through one ear and out the other.”Russell uttered those words nearly six months ago after a regular-season game against Memphis with a soft tone and a deflated expression. Eight months later, the Lakers’ second-year guard has captured an audience that appears ready to listen.A season after former Lakers coach Byron Scott often questioned Russell’s maturity, work habits and familiarity with the playbook, Lakers coach Luke Walton has seen Russell cast an entirely different impression through three days of training camp and endless summer workouts. “He’s been great. He’s been professional. He’s been vocal,” Walton said Thursday. “He’s doing everything we’re asking.”A season after several of his veteran teammates pleaded patience for Russell’s want to start and run the offense as he sees fit, those same players are both noticing and appreciating Russell’s looming presence. “He’s more talkative and he understands the game more now,” Lakers reserve guard Lou Williams said. “Last year, he was more quiet because he was still trying to learn. Now that he’s had a season under his belt, he understands where he wants the basketball and how to run the offense.”Russell spent most of his rookie season contending he could emerge as a leader if granted more opportunities. Nonetheless, Russell shifted the narrative about his redemption as swiftly as one of his no-look passes. “I don’t necessarily have the credibility. But to an extent, I do,” Russell said. “I know what it takes a little bit. But not really. I haven’t really done anything. I have a year under my belt so I have more experience.” center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more