The Latest: French soccer league suspended

first_imgThe French soccer league has suspended all matches indefinitely because of the coronavirus outbreak.Matches were scheduled to be held in empty stadiums but the French league made its decision in an emergency meeting a day after President Emmanuel Macron addressed the nation on television.No indication has yet been given as to when the league could resume. The league says it will next meet on Tuesday following a UEFA meeting.___9:55 a.m. Borussia Mönchengladbach played Cologne on Wednesday and although there were no fans in the stadium, hundreds assembled outside.The league asked fans “not to gather in front of the stadiums and to do their part to protect the population.”Second-division club Hannover has put its players into self-isolation after two tested positive for the coronavirus. Hannover’s game against Dynamo Dresden on Sunday has been called off.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the coronavirus outbreak’s affect on sports around the world (all times local):___11 a.m. March 13, 2020 The Latest: French soccer league suspendedcenter_img ___10:40 a.m.The German soccer league says it will play this weekend’s games as planned without spectators but may suspend the league as of Tuesday.The league board says it will propose a suspension through April 2, to be voted on by member clubs on Monday.All of this weekend’s games are due to be played in empty stadiums. Associated Press Everton has become the third Premier League soccer club to put its entire playing squad in quarantine after a player reported symptoms consistent with coronavirus.Arsenal and Chelsea announced similar measures on Thursday.Everton says the club is in regular contact with the player in question and is monitoring the wellbeing of all players and staff. Its training complex has been closed down along with its stadium, Goodison Park.Everton is scheduled to play Liverpool in the Merseyside derby on Monday.However, it is increasingly likely all Premier League matches will be suspended. League officials are holding an emergency meeting to discuss future steps.last_img read more

Recovery act: After 2-year postseason ban, USC back in national championship hunt

first_imgOn Jan. 10, 2009, Pete Carroll stepped down as USC head coach. The resignation started a period of turmoil for the Trojans.Rumors had been swirling of potential NCAA sanctions for USC. On June 10, they became official. Both Southern California and the NCAA found that 2005 Heisman Trophy-winning running back Reggie Bush received gifts from an agent, thereby forfeiting his amateur status.Bush was forced to return his Heisman, but he was already in the NFL. The bigger issue was for USC.The storied program vacated its final two games of the 2004 season, including its national championship, and all of its wins in 2005. The Trojans were also banned from postseason play in both 2010 and 2011, and were docked scholarships for three seasons.On Saturday, No. 2 USC (1-0) will meet Syracuse (0-1) inside MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. But the past penalties continue to swirl around USC, as it will play with 75 scholarship players instead of the typically allotted 85 this season.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIt hasn’t mattered for USC as of yet. The Trojans entered the season ranked No. 1 in the country and are among the favorites to win their first national championship since — technically — 2003.But not everyone is buying the hype.“They’re certainly talented,” Sports Illustrated college sports writer Pete Thamel said. “But I worry that depth may catch up to them this year a little bit and I’m not sold on their defense.”Overall, though, the general consensus seems to be that the hype is justified for USC. Even Thamel said he believes they are in the national championship conversation.The sanctions could have crippled USC, but the Trojans have already bounced back to become a national threat once again.In 2009, USC started a true freshman quarterback for the first time in program history. Matt Barkley joined the Trojans with lofty expectations as Rivals.com’s No. 5 overall prospect and ESPN’s top prospect. That season, Barkley led Southern California to a 9-4 record and an Emerald Bowl victory over Boston College.But Carroll left for the Seattle Seahawks during the ensuing offseason. Lane Kiffin left the University of Tennessee and returned to his alma mater to take over as head coach.The NCAA handed down its sanctions and allowed all USC players to transfer without penalty. Barkley could have been one of them.But what he would do was never in doubt.“I never questioned my loyalty to this school, never thought I was going to leave,” Barkley said in a teleconference Tuesday. “It never crossed my mind once.”Instead, the Trojans used the two sanction-ridden seasons as growing experiences. Everyone who stuck around at USC did so knowing that, for two seasons, there would be no postseason glory.What that fostered was a tight-knit group that puts individual goals in the backseat.“We have a very close team,” Kiffin said in the teleconference. “I think they’re very unselfish. I think we have so many nationally star players, nationally recognized players that it creates pressure for stats on kids, but our kids aren’t like that.”Southern California showed that last Saturday.In USC’s season-opening 49-10 victory over Hawaii, starting running back Curtis McNeal carried the ball just five times, and preseason Heisman Trophy candidate wide receiver Robert Woods had just six catches. For a team hoping to take full advantage of its bowl eligibility, the win was all that mattered.Still, Barkley continued to grow into his role as one of the nation’s best college quarterbacks. After guiding the Trojans to a solid 8-5 record in 2010, Barkley led Southern California back onto the national stage in 2011.Despite spending nearly half the season unranked, USC finished the season No. 6 in its final season of bowl ineligibility.That could have been the end of the Barkley era in Los Angeles.The quarterback likely would have been a Top-10, if not Top-five, pick had he left for the NFL following his junior season. When his left tackle, Matt Kalil, declared for the NFL Draft on Dec. 16, 2011, many expected Barkley to follow.Six days later, Barkley held a press conference to announce his decision. The quarterback presented his head coach with a Christmas ornament featuring a picture of the two of them with the words “One more year” written on the back.“The fact that we couldn’t play the last couple years in the postseason had a lot more to do with it,” Barkley said of his decision to return for his senior season. “Just knowing the team we have this year and how special these guys are, and the talent level and really the character of these guys and how bad they want it, how hard they were willing to work, I saw that at the end of last year and I didn’t want to miss out on it.”While Barkley’s had the chance to play in a bowl game, most of his teammates are still waiting for their opportunity. For players like tight end Randall Telfer, this is the moment they’ve been waiting for since they set foot on USC’s campus.A redshirt sophomore, Telfer arrived at Southern California knowing that he would be unable to play in a bowl game during his first two seasons. But after two seasons of watching games from home in December and January, the Trojans are expected to be playing at the end of the season.“It’s definitely a big deal,” Telfer said. “This is what I came to USC for.”And for roughly half of the Southern California student body, 2012 is the first chance they have to see the Trojans play in the postseason.Telfer says the feeling around campus is noticeably different this season from a year ago because of the expectations and anticipation for the postseason.“We’ve got a lot of support coming from students, staff, faculty,” Tefler said. “So it just starts with family, community, and there’s lots of excitement in the community.”But right now, the focus for USC isn’t the past two seasons, nor is it the national championship, which isn’t until Jan. 7, 2013.For now, the Trojans are taking an approach of one game at a time. There’s still a long way to go until the postseason, and Barkley doesn’t want to let his final chance at a bowl game slip away.“Nothing’s set in stone, you’ve got to work for it,” Barkley said. “That’s a long way away, January’s a long way away. We know that it’s really going to take one game at a time.“We knew that it’s going to be a long haul.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 5, 2012 at 2:22 am Contact David: dbwilson@syr.edu | @DBWilson2last_img read more