RSF relieved by Mauritanian blogger’s release

first_img Follow the news on Mauritania Organisation MauritaniaAfrica Religious intoleranceProtecting journalistsOnline freedoms Judicial harassmentFreedom of expressionInternet RSF_en Receive email alerts Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is relieved to learn that Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mohamed, a Mauritanian blogger sentenced to death in 2014 for “blaspheming” the Prophet in a blog post, was finally freed yesterday. Detained for the past three years, Mohamed was released after an appeal court in the northern city of Nouadhibou reduced his sentence to two years in prison. Prosecutors have nonetheless appealed against the court’s decision, calling it too lenient. November 10, 2017 RSF relieved by Mauritanian blogger’s release Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mohamed’s judicial ordeal began when a Nouadhibou criminal court found him guilty of apostasy and sentenced him to death in December 2014, although he gave a public apology and denied intending to insult the Prophet in his December 2013 blog post.A Nouadhibou appeal court upheld the death sentence on 21 April 2016 but changed the charge on which was convicted to “atheism” and asked Mauritania’s supreme court to rule on the sincerity of his professed repentance.The supreme court referred the case to a different appeal court, the one that finally issued its ruling yesterday. As well as giving Mohamed a two-year jail term, the court fined him 60,000 ouguiyas (150 euros).However, prosecutors filed an appeal today against this decision, saying it was much too lenient and again seeking the death penalty for Mohamed.“It is a relief to know that Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mohamed is free at last and we hope he will not be subjected to another trial as a result of the prosecution’s appeal to the supreme court,” RSF editor in chief Virginie Dangles said.“This blogger should never have had to spend three years of his life in prison because of what he wrote. His case has deeply divided Mauritanian society and we urge the authorities to lose no time in doing whatever is necessary to protect him.”Mohamed’s lawyer said she was not sure if it would be safe for her client to remain in Mauritania, given the hostile climate and the fact that prosecutors are again seeking the death penalty.Thousands of people have protested to demand the death sentence whenever his case has come before a court. Another hostile street demonstration took place in the capital, Nouakchott, a week ago.No one has been executed in Mauritania since 1987 and Mohamed was the first person in his country to be sentenced to death for apostasy. RSF and other free speech organizations had constantly called for his release for the past three years.Mauritania has fallen in RSF’s World Press Freedom Index in recent years and is now ranked 55th out of 180 countries. MauritaniaAfrica Religious intoleranceProtecting journalistsOnline freedoms Judicial harassmentFreedom of expressionInternet May 20, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information News Mauritanian reporter held for two days over Facebook post News to go further News News July 6, 2020 Find out more Journalists face archaic sanction of capital punishment in some parts of the world RSF backs joint op-ed by 120 West African media and journalists calling for Beninese journalist’s release March 13, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

Defense still has plenty of swagger

first_imgWith time to kill before “Salute to Troy” and fall camp wrapping up, a horde of freshmen and their parents flocked to Howard Jones Field on Saturday to catch a glimpse of this football team everyone’s been making such a fuss about.There were the diehards who could spot any player, even the incoming freshmen, and recite their name immediately. But many in attendance were armed with rosters, a helpful aid in answering an important question.Who are these guys?The offensive players are more easy and fun to point out. There’s the freshman wunderkind vying for the starting quarterback position, his lanky competition waiting to get healthy and back in the race and the speedy tailback waiting for a breakout junior season.Putting a face on the defense, however, proved at times more difficult — unless it was senior Taylor Mays.As the lone player on USC’s media guide and perhaps the most recognizable member of the team, it would be easy to reduce USC’s defense to Mays. But Pete Carroll’s units have always transcended being about one star. It’s a collective effort that requires collaboration to establish a group dynamic.And if you asked most fans strolling by Tommy Trojan to name a starter on defense other than Mays, I’d bet that you’d get quizzical looks and a few responses asking whether Rey Maualuga still had any eligibility left.It’s not for a lack of talent that the unit’s individual players aren’t as recognizable as their predecessors ­— of the projected starters, only redshirt senior Josh Pinkard was rated lower than a four-star prospect coming out of high school, and he’s more than outplayed that ranking.But even when many of these players were playing important roles as spot players last year, they had players like Maualuga, Brian Cushing and Kevin Ellison to set the tone. Those players ultimately molded the defense in their own image.Almost all of the players have shown flashes in fall camp, if not games themselves. But most fans aren’t diehard enough to analyze fourth-quarter blowouts and spring scrimmages, so they can be forgiven if the first thing that pops to mind when they think of junior Malcolm Smith is still “Steve Smith’s brother” instead of “starting weakside linebacker.”Head coach Pete Carroll is the ultimate sculptor in all of this, as he is the mastermind behind how the defense will look. But the appearance is somewhat fluid and depends on the players. Carroll was so enamored with how aggressive the defense was last year that he began opining about downplaying the importance of reducing penalties so long as the Trojans could keep points off the board.Getting a handle on what this group will be like is hard given that we’ve only seen bits and pieces, but if Saturday’s scrimmage was any indication, the Trojans’ defense once again has plenty of swagger, and reason for it.The only points scored on the day came courtesy of a safety — linebacker Shane Horton leveled tailback Curtis McNeal in the backfield — and the defense recorded six sacks. With each stop, the defense got more amped up, hooting and hollering along the way.“It was game-like with the way they were running and hitting out there,” Carroll said, while still scolding the offense for their various shortcomings throughout the day.It may be unfair to crown the defense kings of camp after the performance given the offensive players that were out for the day (redshirt sophomore Aaron Corp, redshirt junior Damian Williams, redshirt senior Charles Brown and redshirt junior Allen Bradford all sat out). But it’s clear that the unit is ahead of the curve.If confidence is one facet of the new defense’s personality, then composure will have to be another. Carroll’s units have been about being in the right place at the right time more than about backbreaking plays, and this defense will have to follow suit. With a full house guaranteed for Ohio State and fans screaming like they were trying to cause seismic activity in Michigan, USC will have to know where to be without much communication.If the defense isn’t up to the early test of character, the Buckeyes could find their opening. While still not an advanced passer, sophomore quarterback Terrelle Pryor is a big enough threat running the ball that he can make USC pay the same way Dennis Dixon did in 2007.The defense does not have to reinvent the wheel when carving out its niche. Mays and Carroll are obsessed with USC history and spoke of the school’s past great defenders at Pac-10 media day almost as much as they talked about current members of the team. If the team can maintain the steady level of elite play that has been a hallmark of USC defenses under Carroll, he won’t care what the public’s image of the group is.No matter what, though, the group will have four months to make their presence known around campus as well as on the field.“Tackling Dummy” runs Mondays. To comment on this article, visit or e-mail Michael at [email protected]last_img read more

Aleš Gornjec – Comtrade Gaming – Understanding business & the regulation of sports bonusing

first_img StumbleUpon UKGC hails ‘delivered efficiencies’ of its revamped licence maintenance service  August 20, 2020 Related Articles Share UKGC launches fourth National Lottery licence competition August 28, 2020 Financial incentives can be bonuses that reward playing time or increase bet size to meet bonus eligibility among a variety of other creative options and ultimately follow a player journey of attracting their interest, rewarding their investments and retaining their loyalty. Reputable gaming platforms create a streamlined bonus creation module that provides the functionality to create highly tailored campaigns that can be tested on player samples before implemented to their target group. The method behind creating a lucrative bonusing campaign should be based on measurable data and predictive modelling as seen on Comtrade Gaming’s Bonus Module on their iCore – Enterprise Gaming.Instead of focusing on mass-market sign-up bonuses, platforms can divides bonuses based on particular stages in player lifecycle development to trigger or award particular behaviour. Personalised offers are provided based on segmented playing styles and operators take a more relationship-based approach.Bring awareness to a new range of games configured onto the product portfolioDrive continuous play by multiple bonuses to be triggered by previous bonus redemptionReward VIP players to extend player lifetime valueCross-sell products to decrease additional acquisition costsOnce players begin their activities, platforms can determine and segment their particular playing style and introduce targeted incentives through real-time notifications, whether they be in-game, device push notifications or targeted e-mails. Not only does this manage player relationships, but shapes the player experience based on their particular activity. Central bonusing works with loyalty campaigns introduced later in a player’s lifecycle with data collected on CRM and business intelligence modules. For example, Comtrade Gaming’s Multi-channel bonusing is scalable and evolves with the operator through real-time activity monitoring and optimised player profiles.The bonus module on platforms are both an acquisition and retention component and is the foundation to product support. Between real-time rewards that run across any product or supplier and the automated segmentation that supplies operators with the ability to customise their marketing efforts, player conversion workflows are perfected. Share Winning Post: Swedish regulator pushes back on ‘Storebror’ approach to deposit limits August 24, 2020 _______________________Aleš Gornjec General Manager of Comtrade GamingAleš Gornjec founded the Comtrade Group’s gaming division and serves as Comtrade Gaming’s General Manager. Comtrade Gaming is an independent software supplier to the gaming industry that delivers open gaming platforms, casino management systems and professional services to both online and land-based sectors. Submit Aleš Gornjec – Comtrade GamingFrom a platform provider to client perspective, Aleš Gornjec General Manager of Comtrade Gaming details that the industry has to rethink and re-understand its all-round strategy with regards to bonuses and player incentives.__________________________________More than 8.5 million pages on Google are devoted to online gaming promotions, which means that there is both strategy and opportunity when focusing on this aspect of operator business. While operators are thinking in terms of acquiring quality players, players are focusing on the quantity of their bet returns.According to, “Whether the bonus money can help you overcome a small house edge at the blackjack tables, or allow you to show a profit against tough competition in the poker room, getting a top gambling bonus is often the difference between winning and losing in online gambling!”  Whenever a player gains something, even if occasionally, they should return.The Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) recent endeavour on countering the labrynth of bonus terms is a campaign against operator evasiveness that purposely choose not to the abide by regulations and/or consumer law. The operators who pride their business on longevity and high player loyalty avoid these marketing ploys as it affects all levels of their online operations and ultimately leads to their demise. Industry-leading gaming sites make sure to substantiate bonusing campaigns with clear terms and conditions, but accountability and consent also falls on the player to inform themselves about what they are agreeing to participate in by reading the requirements and limitations. With the digitalisation of sports betting, bonusing accompanied with gamification is shaping to be one of the defining benefits to the multi-channel experience and a point of differentiation among operators.Bonusing in its current context can provide considerable benefits to players, especially as platform technology enables adjusted offers according to playing styles and player journeys to optimise the online gaming experience. The Gambling Commission’s emphasis on ensuring licensees act accordingly with bonusing terms also extends to technology providers working in the same sphere. Operators looking to be aligned with the Gambling Commission’s priorities should turn to platforms that are supported by the organisation, as is Comtrade Gaming’s iCore – The Enterprise Gaming Platform.Not all platforms are created equally and this can create a significant effect on bonus campaigns and the operator’s ability to optimise their business. The advantage of online bonuses are the immediate configuration possibilities to continue a player journey, real-time rewarding, adjustments to acquisition responses and experimentation with campaign variables. Bonusing modules within online platforms serve as a single point for bonus management across multiple brands, suppliers and products and work as the controlBonusing modules within online platforms serve as a single point for bonus management across multiple brands, suppliers and products and work as the control centre for both acquisition and retention strategies.  Customising them is done most successfully through an i-gaming platform that is capable of handling business intelligence, customer relationship management and multi-channel products.A recent survey conducted by Talend found that 67% of UK gamblers would be more loyal to a bookmaker that offered a higher level of personalised service. Surprisingly, 72% said they do not feel bookmakers are doing enough to offer this personalization. In this sense, effective bonusing can:Attract playersProvide brand transparencyIncrease player lifetime valuelast_img read more

100 street construction to start Monday

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Construction on 100 street from 114a avenue and the East Bypass Road will start Monday.The work is part of the final phase of improvements for 100 street from 110 avenue to the East Bypass Road.  The road will be upgraded to four lanes along with new street lights, storm sewer upgrades, multi-use trail and new traffic signals.The work on 100 street started in 2017 and was broken up into three phases, with the first two phases completed in 2017.- Advertisement -During construction, 100 Street between 114A Avenue and the East Bypass Road, the multi-use trail along 100 Street between 114A Avenue and the East Bypass Road, the connection between the East and West Bypass trails, and the parking lot near the East Bypass Road will be closed.The following detour routes will be in place for the duration of construction:From north of the City: take the East Bypass Road to 93 Street and then to 112 AvenueFrom east of 100 Street: take 98 Street to 112 AvenueFrom west of 100 Street: take 102 Street to 112 AvenueCouncil awarded the tender for the project to Knappett Industries (2006) Ltd. for $5,826,567.60.Advertisement This map shows the detour routes while construction is under way – City of Fort St. Johnlast_img read more

Three Things Helping Professionals Can Do to Improve Health Equity for Those Living with Serious Mental Illness

first_imgReferences:National Alliance on Mental Illness. (2018) Mental Health by the Numbers.National Institute of Mental Health. (2015).National Institutes of Health. (2010). NIH Announces Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.Olfson M, Gerhard T, Huang C, Crystal S, Stroup TS. Premature Mortality Among Adults With Schizophrenia in the United States. JAMA Psychiatry. (2015) 72(12):1172–1181. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.1737Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA). (2017) Key substance use and mental health indicators in the United States: Results from the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. HHS Publication No. SMA 17-5044, NSDUH Series H-52.Veterans Health Administration. (2016) National Veterans Health Equity Report FY2013. (123 – 147). Written by Alicia Cassels, MA, MFLN Program Development SpecialistA large and growing body of research documents the sobering reality that individuals living with serious mental illness (SMI) die at rates between 14 and 30 years earlier than others as the result of natural, preventable conditions (JAMA Psychiatry 2015, Veterans Health Administration 2016, NIMH 2015). Two general categories can be used to describe the severity of mental health conditions. Any Mental Illness (AMI) and Serious Mental Illness (SMI).The first category, AMI encompasses all recognized mental illnesses. AMI is common among adults in the U.S. In fact, nearly 20% of U.S. adults (44.7 million) live with some type of mental illness. SMI represents a much smaller subset of AMI. SMI is defined as mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder resulting in significant functional impairment, and limiting at least with one area of major life activity. In the united States 4.2% of all U.S. adults, 10.4 million, live with SMI (SAMSHA, 2017). The reduced life expectancy for those living with SMI represents a significant area of health disparity which, according to the National Institutes of Health, can be defined as,a difference in the incidence, prevalence, mortality, and burden of disease and other adverse health conditions that exist among specific population groups in the United States (NIH, 2010).The fact that individuals living with SMI face such greatly reduced life expectancy is disconcerting. Perhaps more frustrating is the evidence that deaths among those living with SMI tend to be attributable, in great measure, to preventable illness and disease. In a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association Psychiatry, individuals with Schizophrenia were documented as dying more than 28 years earlier than others. These individuals lost,28.5 years of life, primarily because of natural causes. Eighty-five percent of the premature deaths were due to largely preventable conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease (JAMA Psychiatry, 2015).Similar patterns are documented in the National Veterans Health Equity Report. Individuals living with SMI and treated in VA facilities experienced reduced life expectancy resulting from preventable illness and disease like coronary artery disease. The overall reduction in life expectancy for members of the Veteran SMI population treated at VA facilities was documented on the lower end of the overall mortality gap at 14-18 years shorter life expectancy. Members of the Veteran SMI population treated at VA facilities exhibited high rates of hypertension, lipid disorders, and tobacco use, all factors which serve to increase the risk for coronary artery disease. Along with cardiovascular disease, coronary artery disease has consistently been shown to be leading causes of death among individuals living with SMI. The report also documented higher rates of dental disorders and housing insufficiency for the Veteran SMI population as compared to the Veteran population as a whole (Veterans Health Administration, 2016).Helping professionals can play an important role in reducing health disparities among individuals living with SMI. Three steps helping professionals can take to improve health outcomes:1. Spread the WordShare information about mental health disparities with colleagues, individuals living with SMI, family members, and those providing social support and treatment services.2. Include Health and Wellness Goals in Treatment and Service Plans Support clients living with SMI in prioritizing and planning around health and wellness goals to include exercise, maintenance of healthy diet and weight, participation in regular preventative medical and dental care, and the avoidance of tobacco.3. Learn More About SMI and Health Equity Excellent resources and information can be found via the National Alliance on Mental Illness web page.last_img read more

Falcons become butt of the joke after Super Bowl collapse

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. “No,” Ryan shot back, managing a weak smile. “I don’t pay much attention to it.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Tampa Bay coach Dirk Koetter, a former Falcons’ offensive coordinator, wound up apologizing for that little back-and-forth.No need, said Falcons safety Ricardo Allen.This team can take it.“It does nothing for us,” he said Wednesday. “This world is so lost in staying in the past… Yes, we lost that game. They won that game. That’s last year. This is a new year. This team, we have the mindset of next-play mentality.“If you have a bad play, OK, next play. They’re going to make plays. Bad game? Next game.”Ryan, in a way, addressed the issue head-on by taking part in a Gatorade television commercial that featured, among others, Michael Jordan and Serena Williams talking about their biggest disappointments. Titled “The Secret to Victory,” it ends with a recreation of the Falcons quarterback dejectedly leaving the field after the Super Bowl, a voiceover describing his “utter disbelief,” before he stares into the camera and says one word.Defeat.Then it shows Ryan getting back to work, throwing one pass after another on the practice field, ending with the mantra, “Make Defeat Your Fuel.”“It’s about moving forward,” Ryan said. “To me, that’s what made sense. You learn from all these things throughout your life. Different things happen to you along the way. You learn from them and try to use them as motivation.”And the jokes? Is he using those as motivation? Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Justin Hardy #16, and Matt Ryan #2 celebrate with Tevin Coleman #26 of the Atlanta Falcons after he scored a touchdown on a 82 yard interception against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl 51 at NRG Stadium on February 5, 2017 in Houston, Texas. / AFP PHOTO / Timothy A. CLARYFLOWERY BRANCH, Georgia — Hey, did you hear the one about Choking Awareness Day?It’s held on 3-28.ADVERTISEMENT Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Atlanta coach Dan Quinn has pushed his team to look forward, not backward.He keeps insisting there will be no hangover from the devastating loss.“When we came back, I knew there was going to be questions like, ‘OK, how much more work do we have to do to talk about last year?’” Quinn said. “I got my answer pretty early in training camp when I saw us go for it in the biggest way.”But he understands that plenty of Atlanta fans are a bit sensitive to all the barbs.“I love our fans,” Quinn said. “For them to get (ticked off) about it, that’s cool with me.”That means you, Peyton Manning, who got in on the act at the ESPY Awards.“I believe in the Falcons. I believe in (MVP quarterback) Matt Ryan and Dan Quinn, and I know in my heart the Falcons will be back,” the former NFL great said, setting up his zinger. “I wanted the Falcons to hear that from me now, at the beginning of the show, because they’re going to stop paying attention three-quarters of the way in.”Even two other NFC South rivals, teams the Falcons will face twice this season, couldn’t resist the chance to pile on.On March 28 — yep, 3-28 — the Carolina Panthers tweeted a picture of four players. But only two were tagged: No. 3 (Derek Anderson) and No. 28 (Johnathan Stewart). Clearly, that was no coincidence, which became apparent when the tweet was quietly deleted a few hours later.A couple of months later, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sent out a seemingly innocuous tweet pitching their team-logo fidget spinners. When the Falcons’ account chimed in with a GIF of cornerback Desmond Trufant asking if the Bucs were “nervous about something,” the Bucs quickly responded by tweeting a picture of cornerback Vernon Hargreaves (No. 28) celebrating with quarterback Jameis Winston (No. 3). Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’center_img Isaiah Thomas on trade to Cavaliers: ‘It still hurts’ Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side Lots and lots of jokes.Even now, as Atlanta prepares to open the season Sunday with a road game against the Chicago Bears, there’s no sign of the jabs letting up.Just last weekend, when Texas A&M squandered a 34-point lead in the second half and lost 45-44 to UCLA, a Lou Holtz parody account on Twitter claimed the Aggies were unveiling a new logo. Naturally, it was the Falcons’ distinctive emblem.In New Orleans, home of the Falcons’ biggest rival, the Dirty Coast shop on Magazine Street has been offering T-shirts with a scoreboard-like design “28-3, 3rd, 2:12” — when Atlanta was still up by 25. As if that wasn’t enough to bring a smile to Saints’ fans, the store also has been raising money to put up a billboard with the same design outside Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the Falcons’ new stadium.“I don’t pay attention to that,” Atlanta linebacker Deion Jones said with a shrug. “It happened. We can’t go back and change it. So, I mean, you lick your wounds a little bit, then you have to get on with your life.”ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES MOST READ NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Of course, that punch line references the score late in the third quarter of last season’s Super Bowl, when it looked as though the Atlanta Falcons would finally win their first championship.Then, as they remember all too painfully in these parts, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots scored 31 consecutive points to pull off the greatest comeback in the title game’s 51-year history, winning 34-28 in overtime.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingBrady collected his fifth ring.The Falcons became the butt of the joke. 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RBNY trade Kljestan to Orlando City

first_imgTransfers Red Bulls trade captain Kljestan to Orlando for Rivas and Redding Ives Galarcep Last updated 1 year ago 23:23 1/3/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Sacha Kljestan Red Bulls New York Kevin Jaira Transfers Orlando City New York RB MLS New York has dealt away its captain for the second time in two years, trading the midfielder along with TAM for the attacker and defender The New York Red Bulls have traded Sacha Kljestan to Orlando City in exchange for Carlos Rivas and Tommy Redding, the teams announced Wednesday.In addition the Kljestan, Orlando City will receive $150,000 in targeted allocation money (TAM) from the Red Bulls.ESPN was the first to report the trade. Sources later confirmed the exchange to Goal. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player “We are thrilled to bring Sacha to Orlando,” Orlando City general manager Niki Budalic said in a statement. “His ability to see the field and make the final pass will be huge assets for us. But more than that – he’s a winner. He’s won everywhere he’s gone, and we look forward to that continuing here.”Kljestan joined the Red Bulls prior to the 2015 season and immediately became one of the league’s best creative midfielders. He racked up 16 regular season goals and added 51 assists during his three-year run with New York.He also helped the team capture the Supporters Shields in 2015, though the Red Bulls were unable to win an elusive MLS Cup during his time there. He led the league in assists both of the past two seasons. Prior to his time with the Red Bulls, Kljestan played for Belgian club Anderlecht and in MLS for now-defunct Chivas USA. He also has featured for the United States national team on numerous occasions. NEWS: New York Red Bulls acquire Carlos Rivas and Tommy Redding from @OrlandoCitySC in exchange for @SachaKljestan and Targeted Allocation Money. | #RBNY— New York Red Bulls (@NewYorkRedBulls) January 3, 2018It is the second time in two seasons the Red Bulls have dealt their captain from the previous campaign. Last season the team traded Dax McCarty to the Chicago Fire. The club also has jettisoned several key members of its attacking group, with Gonzalo Veron and Mike Grella also exiting this offseason. The 32-year-old Kljestan will now move to Orlando, where he will be tasked with filling the shoes of a legend. Kaka was the Lions previous No.10, before retiring after the 2017 season.“It’s never easy to trade a player, especially one that has been as impactful as Sacha,” Red Bulls sporting director Denis Hamlett said in a statement. “That said, this move is in the best interest of our club now and for the future. We are adding two young, exciting players that have MLS experience.”Rivas, 23, has played three season is MLS, all with Orlando City. He is coming off a campaign in which he scored five goals and added five assists for the Lions, both highs in MLS. Rivas has eight goals and 13 assists across his three seasons in MLS. The 20-year-old Redding is a U.S. youth international and started 14 games for Orlando City last season. The central defender has played three years in the league and has featured in 38 games with 31 starts over that span.last_img read more

10 Thoughts On Oklahoma’s 38-20 Win Over Oklahoma State

first_imgStat from @BerryTramel: Oklahoma’s last 3 possessions: 76, 82, 80 yards, 3 TDs. Oklahoma State has run 4 plays in that span.— George Schroeder (@GeorgeSchroeder) December 3, 20166. OU was batteredOne of the most frustrating things about all of this is that Dede Westbrook was eviscerated in the second quarter and didn’t play at all in the second half. OU has no other receivers. This is not hyperbole. Their second-best true receiver came into the game with 320 yards on the season, and Mayfield still found a way to do work.Even further, Mixon didn’t look like himself and Perine was injured multiple times. OU was without defensive players all over the field, and OSU was completely healthy.With Jordan Parker down, Parrish Cobb, who the #Sooners hoped to redshirt is in the game— Ryan Aber (@ryaber) December 3, 2016And they still closed when it counted. Mostly because …7. Baker is a ballerI hate it. I hate it so much.I sports hate him with a passion when he’s playing Oklahoma State.This was my personal hell after the game.This is my own personal hell.— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) December 3, 2016But that dude can go. He can play some college football. Johnny Mayfield is the best improviser in the country and he showed up when it mattered most. He’s a dude.(It also helps when he has more time in the backfield than it takes me to dress my two toddlers in the morning)“I think it’s pretty clear what happened,” said Gundy after the game. “One of the things that I had concerns with coming in was them getting in big plays, and that’s what happened. Unfortunately we played pretty good, in fact maintained some quality drives and had some defensive stands, but they big-played us.“I was concerned about Mayfield and his ability to buy time, move around and sling the ball down the field, and he was able to do that. He’s obviously really good at that.”8. Where Was Washington?The President had eight targets and it felt like two. Why not at least throw it up a couple times, especially when he’s making grabs like this?This is an insane catch by Washington.— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) December 3, 2016I do think the rain helped OU in that Baker’s improv skills allowed his receiver to run around until OSU’s defenders fell down. Rudolph doesn’t do that (at least not like Baker), and you could tell the timing and patterns were all askew all afternoon. Especially for Rudolph2Washington.9. The Lone Bright SpotJustice Hill is a dog (and was the lone bright spot offensively for the Pokes — along with Chris Carson). He went over 1,000 yards on the season after a 16-rush, 99-yard performance on Saturday, and he was a complete maniac all day. /Whispers OU didn’t even recruit this guy, and he was the best RB on a field of great ones … at least for the first half.He was even impressive when his runs got called back.10. What’s next?Oklahoma State will get (probably) Colorado in the Alamo Bowl. This is a great outcome for the Pokes from a postseason perspective. The Alamo Bowl is the second-best Big 12 bowl game, and Colorado is a good matchup for the Pokes. It will be fun to play a former Big 8/Big 12 brethren in a bowl game, and you don’t have to worry about getting run off the field like you would if USC was the opponent.From a big picture standpoint, I don’t really know how to feel. I came into Saturday thinking Oklahoma State was either going to win or make it dang close. It did neither, although Grogan making the FG late could have made it a lot tighter than it turned out to be. Gundy now has 10 losses to OU in 12 years and is 1-3 in de facto Big 12 title games.You have a lot coming back next year for Round 3 (and Round 4?) with Baker and Co., but this was a butt-whupping of the most frustrating variety. It wasn’t like last year. Last year, you were hurt and OU was immense. This year, you caught a ton of breaks. It is OU that was riddled with injuries and hanging on by one of Baker’s facial handlebars.OSU couldn’t get it done when with the chips were down in Norman and a Big 12 title on the line. Just as winning 10 (!) Big 12 titles in 18 years likely never gets old for Bob Stoops, the sting of knowing your team wasn’t good enough (again) doesn’t dull. OSU had a real chance to turn the Big 12 and Bedlam tide on Saturday, and it failed as spectacularly as possible.On to the next one (which happens to be basketball tonight at Maryland!) BOX SCOREI just typed the words “someone should put a mullet on a Crying Jordan” if you wanted to know how this Saturday is going. Oklahoma State got beat up in Norman 38-20 on Saturday with the Big 12 title on the line. The score was only that close because Samaje Perine had mercy and took a knee at OSU’s 1-yard-line with a few seconds left.Shoutout to Perine for doing that, by the way. As one of our PFB squad members said: Joe Mixon probably would have run that in and thrown the ball in Jordan Sterns’ face.On Saturday, an injured Sooners team showed out in a game where OSU (and specifically Mason Rudolph) did not. It seemed everyone but Bob Stoops got hurt for the Sooners on Saturday, but OU kept coming and eventually overwhelmed OSU. The Cowboys ran the ball spectacularly in the first half (181 yards) but OU answered with 301 (!) on the ground in the second.It got away from Oklahoma State in a hurry, too. After somehow taking a 17-10 lead with two minutes to go in the second quarter, Oklahoma State was outscored 28-3 over the final 32 minutes. It was a second-half whipping for a team that is now 2-10 in Bedlam under Mike Gundy.Joe Mixon, fittingly, delivered the knockout blow with 10 minutes left in the game when he scampered 79 yards for a touchdown seconds after Ben Grogan missed a 38-yard FG that would have pulled the Pokes to within one score (and possibly changed the entire complexion of the game).We have much to discuss. Let’s get to work.1. Mike Gundy was not greatFor some reason Mike Gundy continues to coach Bedlam like he either A. Has the better recruits than OU or B. Is Kansas State. Why he chooses to do either of these is completely beyond me.Oklahoma State has to be creative in big games like this because it has worse players. This is just factual. Look at recruiting. Look at the rosters. I know this. You know this. Literally everyone who watches college football knows this. And yet, there is no creativity out of Mike & Mike. Year after year, that’s disappointing.Oklahoma State is playing like they’re just trying to cover the spread.— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) December 3, 2016There were two big issues when it comes to Gundy (well, really big issues) on Saturday that we need to address here.First, why did Oklahoma State not throw a Hail Mary from OU’s 45 with 10 seconds left in the first half after running it on first down? Even worse, why did Oklahoma State not try to throw a 15-yard pass from the 50 after Barry Sanders’ return? You had 18 seconds left in the half and Ammendola has 50-yard range. You have to get 16-17 yards and have all the time in the world. What are you doing?I really felt like this is where Oklahoma State lost its edge in the game. It was coming off a defensive drive in which it had just given up a game-tying touchdown, and OU was about to get the ball to start the second half. How do you not even try for points? It’s not like you were on your own 10-yard-line. This was the most unforgivable mistake (to me) for Gundy on Saturday. There’s just no “F you” in him when Stoops is on the other sideline.I want to see stuff like this out of Gundy:I want to see Gundy finger-wagging Stoops after big-time TDs. I want to see him winking at the camera and taunting the OU crowd after huge scores. Instead, he just tucks his mullet between his legs and heads for the locker room. Sad!The other issue is kicking the field goal with 10 minutes left in the game before Mixon put a dagger in our hearts (more on him in a minute). I have less of an issue with the decision to kick the FG and more of a problem with the way you ended up in that situation to begin with.Let’s recap: There is a three-minute replay of a potential first down earlier in the drive. If you don’t get it, you know you have fourth and inches in your own territory. You have literally three minutes to think about this. Then you send the punt team on the field before calling a timeout and changing your mind. What in the world?There was little to no rhythm to the OSU offense all day, and it seemed to be the result of indecision from Mike & Mike. And we can continue to talk about Gundy’s poor showing all we want (and I’m sure we will!), but the reality is that OSU did not lose that game because Gundy chose to kick a field goal instead of go for it on fourth down. OSU lost this game for two reasons …2. Mason Rudolph was horrificJust downright putrid. He was 11/25 for 186 yards, but that doesn’t even begin to tell the story. He dropped two balls including one under center on the goal line that could have cost OSU a touchdown, and he wasn’t even remotely close on a lot of his throws. Gundy said it as kindly as he could after the game, but Rudolph was bad.“We just couldn’t get a very good grasp of the ball,” said Gundy. “It wasn’t a really good day for us to have an opportunity to throw it down the field.”Rudolph’s struggles created two issues. The first is that Mike & Mike got gun-shy on throwing the deep ball (even though they should have probably done it on every down despite Rudolph’s woes because, well, it worked both times they tried it).The other issue is that OU realized this at halftime, loaded up the box and kept an OSU team that ran for 181 yards in the first half to 36 yards in the second. An offense that came alive early was buried late because No. 2 was no threat at all.There is no bigger Mason Rudolph fan on the planet than yours truly, but there is not a rational human being alive who could have watched what Rudolph did on Saturday and said he was anything but terrible. That crushed OSU’s chances of winning a Big 12 Championship.3. OSU didn’t take advantage in the first quarterThe other reason OSU lost is because it didn’t take advantage of its stingy defense in the first quarter. This game started a lot like the Texas Tech game at home in November. OU’s first three drives went like this:PuntPuntPuntOSU led by just three points after those three drives. If you didn’t think the OU offense — one of the best in Big 12 history — was going to come on late in the game, then you haven’t been paying attention to OU all year.You needed to be up 14-0 or 17-0 at the end of that sequence like you were against OU. That’s where the game was lost, not in Gundy’s decision to kick a field goal with 10 minuets left.4. Dr. 1st Half, Mr. 2nd HalfAre you prepared to look at the rushing charts for the first half and the second half? I’m not sure you are, but here is what they looked like.First halfOU: 40 rushing yards (ESPN previously had this number at 3, I have since corrected … apologies)OSU: 181 rushing yardsSecond halfOU: 301 rushing yardsOSU: 36 rushing yards[monkey covering his eyes emoji]OU’s plan was pretty clear — let Baker give you the lead and ride Perine and Mixon until they break. They almost did. Perine fumbled in the fourth quarter in a scene quite reminiscent of 2014.2014: OU leads 28-14, Perine fumbles/hurt on OSU 29 with 20 min. left2016: OU leads 31-20, Perine fumbles/hurt on OSU 18 with 13 min. left— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) December 3, 2016Alas, OSU could not take advantage.5. Those drive chartsAfter OSU took that 17-10 lead, this is how each team progressed.OU: TD-TD-TD-Fumble (that would have been a TD-TD-Perine kneels on 1OSU: Ends half abruptly-Punt-FG-Missed FG-Turnover on downsOU closed like a Big 12 champ is supposed to close on its home field. Oklahoma State closed like a bartender who over-served himself.I’m not sure if the moment overwhelmed the Cowboys or if they just didn’t have the horses to shut it down, but the game seemed to flip when OU went 76 yards for a TD at the end of the first half and Gundy ran the clock out at the 50. OSU strained to get field goals in the second half, and OU had its way on the ground.After that mess at the 50-yard-line before the half, OSU never truly got off the mat. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Mike Gundy’s Conservative Coaching May Have Lost Oklahoma State the Big 12 Title

first_imgWith 13 minutes left in the Bedlam-Big 12 title game, Oklahoma State was down 31-20 on the road in the Sooners’ house. After the Cowboys gave up a play that seemed like it would close the door on OSU’s Big 12 title hopes, Samaje Perine fumbled the ball at the Oklahoma State 18-yard line.A glimmer of hope?The Cowboys got their turnover. The team that leads the Big 12 in turnover margin rarely loses a game when they’ve won that battle. Unfortunately, the Cowboys didn’t pay it off. They dispossessed Perine. But Oklahoma State needed to get down the field and score.They again leaned on the run game with Justice Hill making one of the few second-half positive yard plays to start. Then, after a horribly marked (yellow line) first down marker was missed by Blake Jarwin just by inches, the Cowboys faced fourth down and very short at the Oklahoma 40-yard line.What is Mike Gundy going to do? Punt … right?Nope. Let’s call a timeout right after the officials ate up enough time to decide I was able to grab popcorn. Then decide to just to send your punt team back to the bench and let Chris Carson run for 16 yards… There you go, Coach.Unfortunately, the Cowboys found themselves at third-down-and-ten at the Sooner 29-yard line after a predictable draw play saw Justice Hill register a no-gain.So what do you do?Hand it off to Chris Carson for an impressive run that almost made the first down.Throughout this game (and in many past in-state Big 12 contests) Mike Gundy has been accused of coaching conservatively. This one may take the cake.Facing a fourth and short, Gundy held the dice in his hand. Instead of going for a first down, he elected to roll Ben Grogan out. It hooked wide left.I’ll say that the fourth-and-two field-goal attempt does less to cement Gundy as a “little brother” coach than the previous play call on third down that was obviously designed to get three points instead of seven.Now, Mason Rudolph had one of the worst games of his career and I can’t really blame the weather. When a quarterback of his caliber finishes with a 44 percent completion rate, 186 yards and no touchdown passes, you need to look behind center.Rudolph’s struggle on the road is a real thing.The field was wet. The ball was wet. But you can merely glance at Baker Mayfield’s stat line and you’ll dismiss that from your excuse list.Back to Gundy. He coached scared. There’s really no other way to look at it. But I think it was more of a collective effort on his part than just that one play/drive.If Grogan makes that kick, it’s a one-possession game with almost ten minutes remaining. But my problem isn’t with the miss. It’s with what the decision to go for a field goal represents. A field goal? A smart play, given the numbers, that could bring it to one possession. Going for it? That shows some gumption that you’re all in.Back-pedaling into the first half, another prime example of this. The Cowboys got a 49-yard kickoff return from Barry J. Sanders out to the 50. With 18 seconds left, even my daughter was drooling at the thought of a potential score before the half. Instead, they ran the clock out. With time and timeouts in hand.The Cowboys left a lot out on Owen Field, which is disappointing. But for all the swagger and moxie the mullet gives Mike Gundy, he had the opportunity at just his second conference title and put a cap on it. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more