Giants Training Camp Live Returns to MSG Networks This Friday
First Day of Training Camp Kicks Off with 9AM Live Report, 11:30AM Live “Kickoff” Special, and First Episode of “Giants Training Camp Live” at 6PM
Live Giants Coverage Through August 29th Brings Giants Fans the Latest News and Analysis from Giants Training Camp Every Weekday
New York, NY (July 26, 2017) – MSG Networks (NYSE: MSGN) and the New York Giants have announced that MSG and MSG+ will telecast “Giants Training Camp Live” beginning Friday, July 28 through Tuesday, August 29.
The 30-minute, live show will telecast weeknights at 6pm on both networks following scheduled Giants training camp sessions. Encore presentations of each show will be telecast later in the night. MSG Networks, the official Regional Sports Home of the New York Giants, will telecast a variety of weekly Giants programming during the NFL season.
MSG Networks begins the all-day Giants takeover, presented by Mercedes-Benz, at 9am on Friday, July 28, which includes “Giants Training Camp Live: Kickoff Special.” Bob Papa and David Diehl will deliver live reports every half hour through 6pm from the Giants’ practice facility, the Quest Diagnostics Training Center, in East Rutherford, NJ.
At 11:30am, the 30-minute show – “Giants Training Camp Live: Kickoff Special” – will follow on MSG, providing an exclusive, sneak-peek into the Giants first day of training camp practice right from the sidelines. Giants programming on July 28 will then culminate with the first episode of “Giants Training Camp Live” at 6pm.
Following the all-day Giants takeover, “Giants Training Camp Live” will telecast weeknights at 6pm and feature Bob Papa along with special expert analysts every night, including Carl Banks, Howard Cross, David Diehl, Shaun O’Hara, Amani Toomer, Antrel Rolle, Jeff Feagles and Paul Dottino as they recap the day’s activities. Each show will air live from the Giants’ practice facility and include exclusive training camp footage and interviews with Giants players, coaches, and reporters, as well as social media updates.Posted on
Rangers Counting on Zibanejad to Step Up in Big Way
No, the expectations on Zibanejad being better and taking a step up in performance come from need.
The Rangers and Zibanejad narrowly avoided salary arbitration Tuesday, agreeing to a new five-year contract worth an annual cap hit of $5.35 million (which was Zibanejad’s demand, while the Rangers offered $4.1 million prior to the arbitration hearing).
Rangers GM Jeff Gorton was willing to go to that dollar figure to buy three years of unrestricted free agency from his 24-year-old center, who enters his second season as a Ranger.
Having dealt Derek Stepan prior to the NHL entry draft, the Rangers need Zibanejad to take over Stepan’s offensive contributions and some of his many responsibilities in matchup and defensive roles. Whether Stepan was or wasn’t a legit No. 1 center is arguable, but the same can be said for Zibanejad, and the Rangers fell short with both last season. Now they have one.
They will go into the coming season, barring a trade, with Zibanejad, Kevin Hayes, possibly J.T. Miller, David Desharnais, and perhaps either, or both, rookies Lias Andersson and Boo Nieves, as their centers. Rangers coach Alain Vigneault prefers Miller as a winger, but might have to move Miller back to his original position due to necessity.
Zibanejad is a better skater, better shooter, stronger and better on faceoffs than Stepan, but Stepan was better defensively, was a stalwart on the penalty kill, and produced solid, if not stellar, numbers. Zibanejad should benefit from having first-line type wingers and from having newcomer Kevin Shattenkirk feeding him pucks for one-timers on the power play.
“Seeing Derek being traded was a little bit of an alert to me that I might get a chance to play a bigger role,” Zibanejad said. “As a player, you always want to more responsibility and a bigger role. It’s something that I am working really hard to make sure that I take advantage of the chance that I am getting.”
He simply must, because the Rangers need him to do so.
“You always want to improve and develop and there have always been moments where you feel you can take your game to the next level and that is what I am working on in the summer, doing all the things that I can do to prepare myself for this opportunity,” Zibanejad said. “And I don’t think there is a single guy out there that would say no to an opportunity like this. I’m super, super happy and excited for the season. You always want to improve and be better than last season. I’m super pumped and excited for this upcoming season.”
Zibanejad had 14 goals, 23 assists in just 56 games last season, which started strongly for him, but hit a major speed bump when he broke his leg sliding into the end boards in overtime of a Nov. 20 game. Though he had some moments upon returning, his game didn’t seem back to where it was until the playoffs.
Now he jumps from a No. 2 center with a high ceiling to a No. 1, with Hayes jumping from No. 3 to No. 2.
The Rangers avoided arbitration, as they have every summer since 2009 when Nik Zherdev went through the process and the Rangers walked away from his awarded contract.
With the arbitration date, a 48-hour (until Thursday) buyout window opened for the Rangers. It seems unlikely they will use it on veteran defenseman Marc Staal if for no other reason than it would create eight years of dead cap space, especially since they already have six years of dead cap space due to the earlier buyout of Dan Girardi.
With the Zibanejad signing, the Rangers have approximately $3.05 million worth of cap space remaining, with just 12 forwards, seven defensemen and two goalies. That includes Jesper Fast, who will start the season on injured reserve after hip surgery. They have no significant players still unsigned.Posted on
Rangers Re-Sign Mika While Isles & Devils Busy Too
Celebrating a five-year, $5.35 million annual pact, the 24-year-old Swede virtually bubbled over the prospects of his second season as a Blueshirt.
“I’m super-happy,” Zibanejad exulted in a Tuesday conference call. “I always wanted more responsibility.”
While a serious left leg injury (fractured fibula) cost him 26 games in 2016-17, Mika tallied 14 goals and 23 assists for 37 points in 56 games.
“Now,” he explained, “I want to take my game to the next level and already am preparing for this opportunity.”
Obtained from Ottawa on July 18, 2016 along with the Senators’ second-round pick in 2018, Zibanejad cost the Rangers Derick Brassard, who moved to Canada’s capital along with New York’s seventh-round pick in the 2018 Draft.
“Yes, I was disappointed in the way we finished in the playoffs,” he said, “but I feel good about our additions, including Kevin Shattenkirk on our defense.”
Completing his first New York season, Mika sported a plus-nine rating and was lauded for his blend of speed, skill and deadly shot.
The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder skated in a dozen playoff games with two goals and seven assists for nine points and a plus-four rating. His injury really was Mika’s only meaningful downer in his Rangers debut season.
General Manager Garth Snow made sure that the Toronto native was protected in the Expansion Draft and with good reason. Pelech has proven to be solid in his own end with some offensive upside.
His deal calls for four years at $1.6 million annually which has Adam thrilled and delighted.
“It’s a great feeling when an organization puts that type of faith in you,” he told Newsday. “Hopefully, over the next four years I can establish myself as an NHL regular and push the Islanders to the playoffs.”
Like Pelech, the native of Switzerland, measures 6-foot-3, 210 and figures to make the New Jersey varsity, vying for a spot on the third D-pair, likely with Ben Lovejoy.
Mueller’s deal calls for two years at $800,000 per year.
Up front, General Manager Ray Shero returned hustling Joseph Blandisi to his roster. Joltin’ Joe has a two-year, two-way pact at $680,000 at the NHL level. Some observers believe that he’ll start the season in the AHL.
Once promising goalie Scott Wedgwood gets another chance to prove he has a shot at the bigs after signing a one-year, two-way contract worth $650,000 at the NHL level.
A torn labrum in his right shoulder required surgery last season and virtually cost him a good hockey year. He appeared in only 10 games but could surprise this time around in mint condition.Posted on
Rangers Re-Sign Mika Zibanejad to 5-Year Deal
Mika Zibanejad is staying in New York!
The Rangers announced that they signed the 24-year-old center to a five-year deal worth an average $5.35 million per year.
In his first season on Broadway, Zibanejad skated in 56 games, recording 14 goals and 23 assists for 37 points. He also had two goals and seven assists in 12 playoff games, including the overtime game-winner in Game 5 of the first round against Montreal.
Zibanejad, a native of Huddinge, Sweden, was originally drafted sixth overall by the Senators in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft and was acquired from Ottawa last offseason in exchange for Derick Brassard.
Where Libs Stand Entering Second Half of Season
With one minute and 32 seconds left in what would turn out to be the Liberty’s most impressive win of the season, a 96-80 knockout of the Eastern Conference-leading Connecticut Sun on July 19th at The Garden, all five New York starters were on the bench, a smile on their faces.
Such a sight seemed improbable after the Liberty returned from a 12-day road trip and proceeded to drop a 78-68 home decision to the last place Chicago Sky on July 14th.
That loss dropped New York to 8-9. Those preseason expectations of playing for the franchise’s first-ever WNBA title seemed as far fetched as a Congressional agreement on a new healthcare insurance plan.
“That was the low point,’’ acknowledged Shavonte Zellous. “We weren’t having any fun on the court.”
After that game, team president Isiah Thomas visited the locker room and told the players to remember to have fun.
Sugar Rodgers, a first-time All Star, made those moves seamless by accepting a new role as the sixth man. Rodgers isn’t the first Liberty player to sacrifice for the good of the team but when one of the league’s top 3-point shooters doesn’t make waves, it sends a message.
After the victory over Connecticut, Tina Charles, who scored 28 points and grabbed 17 rebounds, was asked what message she had for her teammates before they went their separate ways for the WNBA All-Star break.
“I just told them to be safe and enjoy themselves.’’ said Charles, a Queens native and former Christ the King star.
From ‘No Fun,’ to ‘Enjoy Themselves,’ in five days.
Tina Charles speaks with Rosalyn Gold-Onwude after recording 28 points and 17 rebounds in the Liberty's win over the Sun.
“We know we’re a good team,’’ Charles said. “At times it’s just we still have to figure it out.
“A lot of teams are able to figure it out at the beginning of the season, they have experience like in Minnesota and L.A. and then you have teams that are still figuring it out along the way and that’s where we are.
“I think everybody’s being very professional. Everybody’s getting better in their position and their role for this team. We’re just starting to click.
“So for me the position where we’re at, I’m happy we were able to handle that adversity. I’m happy we were able to respond. We didn’t kick ourselves. We’re moving.’’
Charles and Rodgers moved on to the All Star game were both acquitted themselves very well.
Charles scored eight points on 2-of-4 shooting on 3’s and had two rebounds and two assists in just 14-plus minutes. Rodgers scored 10 points and had three rebounds in 19 minutes in her inaugural All-Star game. She also took 2nd in the 3-point shooting contest.
Bottom line: Charles got some much-needed rest and Rodgers got the affirmation that she’s one of the new wave WNBA stars, a far cry from when she averaged 1.9 points and played just 7.6 minutes as a rookie with the Minnesota Lynx.
“I’ve always believed that I was a star,’’ Rodgers said. “I told Bill and people that I’m a star. Now I’m really a star.’’
The Liberty (10-9) resume play Tuesday night with a huge test at the 1st-place Minnesota Lynx. The team arrived in the Twin Cities on Sunday and practiced Monday.
Laimbeer had some concern about how the break would affect the team. The last two games, an 85-55 blowout of Washington and the rout of the Sun, saw New York post its best back-to-back performances of the season.
“The structure that we have right now is good for us,’’ Laimbeer said. “We’re pushing the pace better. We’re getting easier baskets. We have good role definition.
“We’re not fully there. I think they enjoy what we have right now and it’s been showing in the way we’ve been playing.”
With 15 games remaining in the season, here’s a look at what would help the Liberty, currently sixth in the overall standings, move into a Top 4 playoff slot and receive a first-round bye.
1. Get the Queens Bee Some Rest
The competition for league MVP has been whittled down to Charles, Minnesota’s Sylvia Fowles and reigning MVP Nneka Ogwumike.
Charles is second in scoring (20.5) and rebounding (9.9). Ogwumike is third in scoring (20.3). Fowles (20.1) is fourth. Fowles is third in rebounding (9.8) while Ogwumike (7.9) is 10th.
Here’s the rub. Charles is playing 33.2 minutes per game, second in the league. Fowles is at 29.9 and Ogwumike is at 31.6.
That might not seem like a significant number but look at this way. Over a 34-game schedule, Charles will play 112.2 more minutes than Fowles, or almost three more games.
As well conditioned as Charles is, the Liberty need to reduce her minutes. The game plan can’t change. Establishing Charles early is the first order of offensive business. The season goes through her. It will go better if she’s rested.
2. Dynamic Trio
Epiphanny Prince and Shavonte Zellous are the two best players on the team at creating their own shot and attacking the paint from the perimeter.
Rodgers is the best shooter as evidenced by her taking second in the WNBA All Star 3-point shooting contest.
When two of the three score in double figures, the Liberty is 5-4. Prince and Zellous are developing a feel for when each player is hot and in attack mode. Rodgers is adjusting to her new role off the bench.
Come playoff time, it would be a great advantage to have at least two of the three scoring in double figures on a consistent basis. It takes the load off Charles and makes the Liberty harder to defend.
3. Bench Marks
The loss of starting point guard Brittany Boyd in the second game of the season sent ripple effects throughout the first half of the season.
As Laimbeer tried different combinations it not only altered the starting lineup but the bench composition. Assuming there are no significant injuries, the rotation should stabilize in the second half of the season, which means the players coming off the bench should know their roles and develop some consistency. They’ll have to.
In seven of the nine Liberty losses, the bench failed to outscore the opponent. Six times the bench was outscored and in one loss bench scoring was equal.
Laimbeer’s decision to bring Rodgers off the bench could be the difference maker. With her 3-point shooting and overall offensive game, she can be the Jamal Crawford of the WNBA.
4. Get the Point
Boyd’s injury might have derailed some other teams. But the Liberty’s depth – a credit to Thomas and Laimbeer – is why the team was able to overcome the loss of its starting point guard.
Laimbeer first turned to Bria Hartley, who was four months removed from the birth of her son and some nine months since she last played in a regular-season game. Naturally, there was an acclimation period.
Laimbeer turned to Prince when she returned from Europe after playing in the 2017 FIBA EuroBasket Tournament. Prince, however, is more of a shooting guard than a point guard and the Liberty went 1-4 with her as the lead guard.
Laimbeer then went back to Hartley. The team looked the best it has in the first half of the season, beating the Washington Mystics and Connecticut Sun by an average of 23 points.
“For me, it was more of a confidence thing,’’ said Hartley. “Physically I felt good, but when you don’t play in a game in such a long time, you lose a little of that confidence. I feel like I’ve got that back.’’
In addition to Hartley, the Liberty caught a huge break. They waived top draft choice Lindsay Allen after training camp and shockingly, no WNBA team picked up the former Notre Dame All-American.
New York resigned her and ‘L.A. Cruisen’ gets better with every game. Her plus/minus rating of +34 is fourth best on the team and the Liberty is 7-0 when she has a plus rating. If Hartley and Allen continue their solid play, the Liberty get the point.
5. Garden of Dreams
The Liberty is 7-4 at home and 3-5 on the road. They begin the second half of the season on a five-game road trip in which they will face the two best teams in the league – Minnesota and L.A. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that the Liberty will play six of their final 10 games at the World’s Most Famous Arena. The Liberty is averaging 82.5 points at home and 74.1 away. They’re allowing 78 points per game at home and 81.3 on the road.
In between starting the road trip in Minnesota and ending it in L.A., the Liberty face the three worst teams in the WNBA. The Indiana Fever, Chicago Sky and San Antonio Stars have a combined record of 19-44.
If the Liberty go 3-2 on the trip and take care of business at home, they have a good chance of seizing one of the top four seeds in the playoffs.
That would make the dream of winning the franchise’s first ever WNBA title a little more attainable.Posted on
OFFICIAL RULES: The MSG/New York Red Bulls Kick It to Win $100K Sweepstakes
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING.
ENTRY PERIOD: You can enter The MSG/New York Red Bulls Kick It to Win $100K Sweepstakes (“Sweepstakes”) between 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time (“ET”) on July 22, 2017 and 11:59 p.m. ET on September 24, 2017 (“Entry Period”). Sponsor shall have the sole discretion in determining the timeliness of any action or inaction related to this Sweepstakes. All times mentioned in these Official Rules are in Eastern Time, unless expressly noted otherwise.
ELIGIBILITY: This Sweepstakes is only open to legal United States residents who live within a seventy-five (75) mile radius from Red Bull Arena, located at 600 Cape May Street, Harrison, New Jersey 07029 (“Territory”), 18 or older. Current or former professional or semi-professional soccer players and coaches are not eligible to participate. Current or former high school or college soccer players or coaches who have played or coached (as applicable) within the past five (5) years are not eligible to participate. Anyone who has played or coached an Olympic or international soccer team in the past five (5) years or who has played as a field-goal kicker for Varsity high school, college or semi-professional, or professional football in the past five (5) years are not eligible. Employees, officers, directors, successors, assignees and agents of MSGN Holdings, L.P. (“Sponsor”), Red Bull New York, Inc. (“RBNY”), Red Bull Arena, Inc., Major League Soccer, L.L.C. (“MLS”) and Soccer United Marketing, L.L.C. (“SUM”), participating sponsors/partners, and their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates and advertising and promotion agencies/companies, public relations agencies, prize suppliers, including any vendors providing services in connection with this sweepstakes (collectively, the “Sweepstakes Entities”) and members of their immediate family (spouse, parent, children, siblings and their respective spouses, regardless of where they reside) and persons living in the same household, whether or not related, are not eligible. Void outside the Territory and where prohibited. Subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws.
HOW TO ENTER: During the Entry Period, to enter, visit Msgnetworks.com/Sweeps (“Sweepstakes Entry Page”) and follow the directions to complete and submit the entry form. Bonus Entry: Entrants can receive up to three (3) bonus entries by watching a participating New York Red Bulls live broadcast on MSG Networks (collectively, “Participating Broadcasts”) then visiting msgnetworks.com/redbulls during the Sweepstakes Period and following the directions to provide the secret Watch & Win code. Each Participating Broadcast Watch & Win secret code is worth one (1) bonus entry. The Watch & Win secret code for each Participating Broadcast will be announced twice on-air, and also be posted on msgnetworks.com/redbulls during each Participating Broadcast. The Participating Broadcasts include July 29, 2017, August 12, 2017 and September 23, 2017. To be eligible for any First Prize drawing, entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. ET on the day of the applicable Participating Broadcast. All entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. ET on September 24, 2017 to be eligible for the Grand Prize drawing. Entries generated by script, macro or other automated means or by any means which subvert the entry process are void. No entrant can earn more than four (4) entries in this Sweepstakes. Entries become the sole property of Sponsor. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify any entry and remove any post that it determines, in its sole discretion, is not in compliance with these Official Rules.
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WINNER NOTIFICATION: Potential First Prize winners will be notified one (1) business day following the applicable Participating Broadcast and the potential Grand Prize winner will be notified one (1) business day following the New York Red Bulls live broadcast on MSG Networks scheduled to take place on September 25, 2017. Potential winners will be contacted via email and/or telephone and may be required to execute and return an affidavit of eligibility, a publicity release (except where prohibited), a liability release and a copy of his/her valid personal identification card bearing his/her photograph, name, age, and address within twenty-four (24) hours of date of notification. Return of a prize or prize notification as undeliverable, failure to sign and return requested documentation within the specified time period, the inability of Sponsor to contact a potential winner within a reasonable time period or noncompliance with these Official Rules by a potential winner will result in disqualification and, at Sponsor’s sole discretion, the prize may be awarded to an alternate winner for the drawing at issue, time permitting. No one is an official winner until the Sponsor’s verification is complete.
Prizes: FIrst Prize (3) (one (1) per Drawing): Winner will receive two (2) general admission tickets to a 2017 New York Red Bulls game taking place at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ. Approximate Retail Value: $180-$360. Exact game will be determined by Sponsor. Transportation to and from game is not included as part of prize.
Grand Prize (1): Winner will receive four (4) tickets to the New York Red Bulls home game against DC United, scheduled to take place on September 27, 2017 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ. Prize also includes club seats, including complimentary food and beverages (excluding alcohol), and on field pre-game access (subject to signing and returning to Sponsor a waiver and release as required in accordance with the RBNY’s standard policies and procedures) as well as the opportunity to participate in the a kick challenge at half-time
(“Half-time Kick Challenge”) (see details below) for the chance to win $100,000. Exact details of the food and beverage(s) is subject to availability and will be determined by Sponsor, and exact details of on field pre-game access will be determined by Sponsor. Approximate Retail Value: $800. Transportation to and from game is not included as part of prize. The Grand Prize must be accepted in its entirety. Unless otherwise approved by Sponsor, Grand Prize winner cannot designate someone else to participate in the Half-Time Kick Challenge on his/her behalf. If the Grand Prize winner does not wish to participate in the Half-Time Kick Challenge, he/she will forfeit the Grand Prize.
Half-Time Kick Challenge: The winner will be brought out onto the field where he/she will participate in the Half-Time Kick Challenge. The winner will be given one (1) chance to kick a regulation soccer ball through a specific target hole from a designated spot on the field. The soccer ball must be kicked from the ground. No practice, warm-up or qualifying kicks will be permitted. If the winner steps on or over the designated line before kicking the soccer ball, the kick will be disqualified. A successful kick consists of the winner kicking a regulation-sized soccer ball through a specific target hole. Decisions of Sponsor with respect to whether a winner “successfully” kicks the soccer ball through the target are final and binding. If the winner does not make a successful kick, the $100,000 will not be awarded.
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Disclaimer: MSGN Holdings, L.P. is responsible for the collection, submission and processing of entries and the overall administration and execution of this Sweepstakes. Entrants should look solely to MSGN Holdings, L.P., and not any of the other Sweepstakes Entities, regarding any questions related to this Sweepstakes.Posted on
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Red Bulls Kick It To Win $100K Sweepstakes
ENTER FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN $100K! Complete the form below to enter.
You could take a shot at Red Bull Arena for $100K, win Red Bulls tickets and more. Enter now.
Also, watch the Red Bulls on MSG Networks between July 29 – September 23. For additional chances to win, enter the secret code words shown on-air on this entry page.
No purchase or Game Watch necessary. Individuals residing within a 75 mile radius of Red Bull Arena only, 18+. Additional restrictions apply to current and former soccer players and coaches as well as field-goal kickers. See Official Rules for complete restrictions. Ends 11:59 p.m. ET 9/24/17. Travel to/from arena not included as part of prize. Void outside area stated and where prohibited. See Official Rules at msgnetworks.com/sweeps for complete details, including additional eligibility restrictions, alternate method of entry for Watch & Win secret code entry action. Sponsor: MSGN Holdings, L.P.Posted on
All-Star Duo Shining Brightly for Liberty
It is common practice that on many NBA teams, and some WNBA teams, the rookies carry the veterans’ bags.
And fetch their post-game meals.
And make sure the team plane or bus is fully stocked with the player’s favorite snack.
When Mason Plumlee was the only rookie on a Brooklyn Nets team that featured vets such as Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Brook Lopez, Plumlee often was seen hauling bags of popcorn.
So when she was jokingly asked if Sugar Rodgers would carry her bags at Saturday’s WNBA All-Star Game in Seattle (3:30; ABC), she said to check with rookies Lindsay Allen and Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe. They confirmed the rookies have not had to play foot servant.
Rodgers, the second pick in the second round of the 2013 WNBA Draft, is not a rookie but she is making her All-Star Game debut in her fifth season. Charles, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 Draft, is making her fifth All-Star Game appearance and is a starter for the third time.
It turns out that Charles, the Liberty power forward from Connecticut, and Rodgers, the three-point sharpshooter out of Georgetown, have developed a mutual admiration society.
“I’ve watched Sugar develop into one of the best shooters in the league,’’ Charles said. “I really respect how she’s worked on her game to get where she is both on and off the court.’’
Rodgers has had one of the hardest paths to success of any player in WNBA history. According to a story Rodgers wrote for the Players’ Tribune, she was homeless at the age of 14.
Her mother died from lupus on July 14, 2005, which is why Rodgers wears No. 14. Her father was a no show. Her brother and sister were in and out of prison. Her Suffolk, Virginia neighborhood wasn’t featured in Better Homes and Gardens.
Rodgers had basketball and a relentless drive to make something of herself.
Sitting on the bench her first year in Minnesota wasn’t going to deter her when the drug dealers, drive-by shootings and sleeping on friends’ couches didn’t.
Ta’Shauna “Sugar” Rodgers: From homeless to bench-warmer to Georgetown’s all-time leading scorer (men or women) with 2,518 points, to WNBA All-Star. Take heed, young players. Take heed.
“I came off playing zero minutes at Minnesota and now look at me,” said Rodgers. “It just tells the rest of the younger girls in the league, wait your turn and be patient. Your time is coming if you work hard.”
Which is what Charles has done her entire career. She doesn’t play the game of basketball; she attacks it. Heading into the break she is second in the league in scoring (20.5 points) and rebounding (9.9) and is a leading candidate for MVP honors.
“No one works harder than Tina,’’ said Rodgers. “Every game, every practice, every meeting she pushes herself and she pushes us as a team.’’
Rodgers also will participate in the three-point contest, which will take place at halftime of the All-Star Game. She said she will donate the $10,000 prize to Charles’ Hopey’s Heart Foundation if she wins.
Hopey’s Heart Foundation educates young athletes about the importance of healthy eating, being able to spot the symptoms of concussion and placing AEDs in gyms throughout the country. Charles donates almost all of the WNBA salary to the foundation.
Each player is facing unique challenges this season. In her eighth year, Charles is averaging 33.2 minutes per game. She has never averaged fewer than 31 minutes per game.
Rodgers recently was moved from the starting lineup to the sixth man. She’s among the league leaders in three-pointers made (41) and three-points per game (2.3) and can be instant offense off the bench.
“If that’s what they need me to do, that’s what I’m going to do,’’ Rodgers said. “I’m going to do my job and that’s where they need me. They thought that I could come off the bench and bring scoring and bring the energy so sometimes you have to sacrifice for the betterment of the team.”
It’s not as if she has to carry anyone’s bags.Posted on
Red Bulls Turning Up the Heat on the Competition
As the days get hotter, so do the New York Red Bulls.
For a third straight year, they seem to be heating up as the summer rolls along.
Far from a summer swoon, the Red Bulls have won three of their last four games in regular-season play and have come out victorious in six of their last seven matches across all competitions.
The Red Bulls are roaring into the proverbial ‘dog days,’ after a 5-1 win on Wednesday night over the San Jose Earthquakes, the latest exhibit for a portfolio that is growing in strength.
Watch all the match highlights of New York's massive 5-1 victory at home against the San Jose Earthquakes.
It’s just in time for another summer run of results, in what has now become an annual tradition for this squad.
“I think that in the heat we’ve had good results, I think our record is quite good. I think it’s also just partly getting everybody fit enough, getting everybody locked in, getting things moving in the right direction,” Marsch said on Thursday.
“Listen, I think you can criticize me for that too and say that ‘it’s taken too long’ and ‘When am I going to figure it out?’ [We] shouldn’t wait until June for our team to come together.”
After the 5-1 win over San Jose, Jesse Marsch talks about how the formation change makes the Red Bulls a stronger club.
Marsch went on to say that some of his players weren’t fit enough heading into preseason which can have a trickle down effect for a slow start. There is no denying though that over the past two years — and certainly now — the Red Bulls’ form turns red hot when it becomes flip-flop weather.
But why the strength in the heat of summer over the past three seasons? It mainly is in their makeup.
This organization, in many ways, is built to not just withstand but thrive during hot and humid conditions. Unlike previous incarnations of the Red Bulls who were veteran-laden, the group under Marsch has gotten younger and more athletic, a team built to better cope with high temperatures. Recovery time is less between matches and younger bodies simply can handle the tough temperatures better than older players.
Sean Davis gives the Red Bulls a 1-0 lead over San Jose in the 38th minute.
In addition to being younger, the team also doesn’t have as many international players as in past years. When international tournaments happen in the summer, the Red Bulls’ depth doesn’t take as much of a hit as other teams around the league. They also have young depth on their bench, another added bonus to withstand the heat.
The team’s vaunted high press and counter-pressing causes opponents to chase the game and wilt in the high temperatures.
“I know that’s the nice thing about being around for awhile – if you can last long enough – you can get to know your team pretty well, can get to know the personnel and get to know when things are starting to move in the right direction,” Marsch said.
“We’ve been very positive but at the same time, in those moments, it is also key to keep your foot on the gas and so like even today, I was really on top of training to make sure there’s no complacency.
“Yeah, we have to keep pushing.”
– Aurelien Collin, out with a hamstring injury the past few weeks, may not be a go for Saturday’s match at Minnesota United. Minnesota plays on turf which can aggravate the injury.
“I don’t know, this is taking longer than I thought,” Marsch said of Collin’s availability.
The center back was thought to be good to go last week in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup, but did not play.
“He just has swelling in the back of his leg, that’s odd. Each day we think that tomorrow is going to be the day and we get him in training – it’s just taken long.”
– Connor Lade didn’t have a muscle pull when he was substituted in the first half, which good news, but Marsch still termed the full back as “day-to-day” for this weekend’s match.
– Marsch said that Tyler Adams, who cramped late in Wednesday night’s game, was fine and good to go.
– Gonzalo Veron came into the San Jose match as a second half substitute and set up the Red Bulls’ second goal.
Sacha Kljestan doubles New York's lead off a nice feed from Gonzalo Veron.
Marsch was asked Thursday if the Argentine attacker is making a case for the Starting XI.
“Listen, yes the answer to that is yes, he’s continuing to get better and sharper. The Starting XI part, he’s also super effective off the bench. When the game opens up a little bit he can be very explosive and very dangerous,” Marsch said.
“When the game is a little bit tighter, it is hard for him to find the game. He doesn’t prevent me from using him from the start. We’ll see, we’ll see how we chose to use him for Saturday.”
– Right back Michael Amir Murillo, fresh off several strong performances for Panama in the Gold Cup, will travel with the Red Bulls to Minnesota and will be available for selection. He was at the team’s facility on Thursday following Panama’s 1-0 loss to Costa Rica in Philadelphia.Posted on