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NIKE, Inc. Teams with the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation for the “BUILD IT AND THEY WILL BALL” Basketball Court Renovation Initiative

NIKE, Inc., Kevin Durant and the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation (KDCF), on Monday announced the  “BUILD IT AND THEY WILL BALL” Courts Renovation Initiative to increase the number of high quality basketball courts accessible to underprivileged youth across the United States and internationally.

Together, they will launch an annual program to build or completely renovate basketball courts. The court underlays will include Nike Grind, a premium material made from recycled athletic shoes and Nike manufacturing scrap that provides cushioning and durability. This program joins Kevin Durant’s goal to build courts that inspire and motivate young athletes with Nike’s long-term commitment to supporting projects that create access to sport and physical activity opportunities for youth.

“When I was young, playing basketball was one of the things that kept me out of trouble and kept me focused on my growth and maturity in to the man I would eventually become,” Durant said. “For that reason, I’ve always wanted to play a leadership role in communities and neighborhoods – like the one I grew up in – and give kids a chance to choose health, teamwork and basketball over some of the other negative influences they may face. Thanks to Nike and many other supporters, the renovation and development of these basketball courts is the perfect opportunity to open these doors.”

BUILD IT AND THEY WILL BALL will propel the mission of the KDCF to enrich the lives of youth from low-income backgrounds through various educational and athletic programs.  Trips abroad to Asia and Europe have also inspired Durant to connect internationally with the next generation leading the game.

The first three locations benefitting from this collaboration are Oklahoma City, OK, Washington, D.C., and Berlin, Germany.  These basketball courts will be operational and open to the public by September 2015.

About the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation (KDCF) 

The Kevin Durant Charity Foundation is a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 mission-based organization founded by Kevin Durant to enrich the lives of at-risk youth from low-income backgrounds through educational, athletic and social program support.

For more information on the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

http://kevindurant.com/kevin-durant-charity-foundation/

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Andrea Pirlo to Join New York City FC as Third Designated Player

The New York City Badge shown on the Yankee Stadium Video Board. Photo by: Stacy Podelski

The New York City Badge shown on the Yankee Stadium Video Board. Photo by: Stacy Podelski

New York City FC are delighted to announce the signing of World Cup and UEFA Champions League winner Andrea Pirlo. One of the most decorated and respected midfielders in soccer, Pirlo will become the team’s third Designated Player and arrives to New York City FC on a free transfer from Juventus, 2015 UEFA Champions League Finalists.

Pirlo joins the Club on July 21 and will be available for selection immediately following that. Pirlo teams up with fellow Designated Players: David Villa, a World Cup and UEFA Champions League winner, and UEFA Champions League winner Frank Lampard completing a decorated international trio, who have had a huge impact on European soccer for over a decade.

In an exclusive interview with NYCFC.com, Pirlo said:

“I have been wanting this experience for a long time and now that the opportunity materialized I wanted to take it.This is a Club on the rise and shares my same hunger to achieve important results in the League. I am hoping to win.”

“I had several opportunities to play outside of Italy, but I never had a doubt in picking New York for the enthusiasm of the people that come watch the team.”

“I met with the coach, Jason Kreis, and he gave me a fantastic impression of the Club. He has well defined ideas in mind, and I am sure we will get on well and create a good relationship to train well and try to win together.”

Pirlo has spent his entire professional career in Italy and is renowned for his incredible passing range and set piece ability. In nearly 700 matches at club level he has won two Champions League titles, and has won the Italian title six times.

He has 115 caps for Italy and was part of the 2006 World Cup winning squad.

Speaking to NYCFC.com, Kreis said:

“We have said from the outset that the right player for the third DP slot was worth waiting for. Nobody could question that in Pirlo we are bringing one of the best in the world and one of the finest players to come to MLS. Like David Villa, his final game in Europe was the Champions League Final, which demonstrates a player competing at the highest level of our sport.”

“We are getting a player with a competitive spirit and a winning mentality. He’s not only won a World Cup, he was the Serie A Player of the Year in three of the last four seasons.”

Those words were echoed by New York City FC Sporting Director Claudio Reyna, who added:

“In Andrea Pirlo we are getting one of the most recognized and influential players in world soccer. We are building something incredibly special in New York; with a blend of exciting and experienced players who are known all over the world and with some fantastic young talent, who will only benefit from being around individuals like Andrea, David Villa and Frank Lampard. The greatest privilege of all will be to watch this team play in front of our incredible fans at Yankee Stadium.”

Pirlo will be officially added to New York City FC roster upon receipt of his P1 visa and ITC.

Andrea Pirlo by the Numbers:

Bio

Age: 36

Birthday: May 19, 1979

Position: Midfield

Height: 5’9 (1.77m)

Weight: 150 lbs (68kg)

Place of birth: Flero, Italy

 

Playing career

Brescia: 1995-98

Inter Milan: 1998-01

  • Loan to Reggina: Sept. 1999
  • Loan to Brescia: Jan. 2000

AC Milan: 2001-11

Juventus: 2011-14

 

Honors

UEFA European U-21 Championship: 2000 (top goalscorer with 3; team captain; named tournament’s Golden Player)

Coppa Italia: 2002-03

Champions League: 2002-2003, 2006-07

European Super Cup: 2003

Olympics bronze medal: Athens 2004

Italian Championship: 2003-04, 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15

World Cup: 2006

European Super Cup: 2007

FIFA Club World Cup: 2007

Serie A Player of the Year: 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14

Serie A Team of the Season: 2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14

Italian Super Cup: 2012, 2013

Italian Cup: 2014-15

 

  • Made his Serie A debut as a 16-year-old with Brescia during the 1994-95 campaign.
  • Played in 20 Serie A matches (19 starts) for Juventus during 2014-15 season with 4 goals (all from outside the box) on 8 shots on target. Added 5 assists.
    • 10 starts in Champions League in 2014-15 (1 goal)
    • 2 starts in Coppa Italia in 2014-15
    • 1 start in Supercoppa Italiana in 2014-15
  • Most recently played in Italy’s 1-0 international friendly against Portugal in Geneva on June 16.
  • Made his international debut for Italy against Azerbaijan on Sept. 7, 2002
  • Has 115 Caps for Italy with 13 goals.

New York City FC will next be in action on July 12 against the New England Revolution. Set to make their debut for the club will be Frank Lampard and possibly the new newest defenders Andoni Iraola and Jose Angel Tasende. Match time between NYCFC and the Revolution is set for 3:00 pm with the action set to air on ESPN.

For more information on New York City FC and for tickets to the upcoming matches fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

http://www.nycfc.com

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PHOTO GALLERY: New York Cosmos B v Rhode Island Reds

1495 Sports is proud to bring the following photo gallery from the New York Cosmos B 9-0 victory over the Rhode Island Reds. Leading the way for the Cosmos B was Jenison Brito who recorded a hat trick in the match.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For more information on the Cosmos B fans are encouraged to click here:

http://www.nycosmos.com

Fans can also click here for the latest:

http://www.npsl.info/teams/74882107/74883410-74882193/TEAM.html

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VIDEOS: Cosmos Post-Match from 7/5/15

1495 Sports is proud to bring the following post-match videos from the New York Cosmos 1-1 Draw against the Indy Eleven in North American Soccer League Action on 7/5/15:

Head Coach Giovanni Savarese:

Player Post-Match Thoughts featuring:

Walter Restrepo, Sebastian Guenzatti and Jimmy Maurer:

To read 1495 Sports Journalist  Brad Kurtzberg’s recap from the match fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

http://1495sports.com/2015/07/06/late-goal-earns-cosmos-1-1-draw-in-fall-season-opener/

For more information on the New York Cosmos and for tickets to the upcoming matches fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

http://www.nycosmos.com

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Late Goal Earns Cosmos 1-1 Draw in Fall Season Opener

Wálter Restrepo celebrates his goal that helped the Cosmos tie up the match v Indy Eleven. Photo by: Stacy Podelski

Wálter Restrepo celebrates his goal that helped the Cosmos tie up the match v Indy Eleven. Photo by: Stacy Podelski

The New York Cosmos earned a hard-fought 1-1 draw with the Indy Eleven in their NASL fall season opener Sunday night at Shuart Stadium.

Walter Restrepo came off the bench to score the tying goal in the 78th minute. Indy goalie Kristian Nicht made the initial save but the rebound bounced off of Restrepo’s head and into the net.

Restrepo was confident he could make a contribution to the Cosmos attack when he came into the match. “I saw there was a lot of space out there and I was able to use my speed to help our offense,” he said.

The Cosmos controlled the ball for most of this match, but the conservative play of Indy prevented the home team from getting too many quality scoring chances. The Indy defense played back and was very passive, forcing the hosts to make perfect passes to set up plays. Unfortunately, the timing was slightly off on the Cosmos attack for portions of this match so while New York dominated possession 59-41 percent for the match, they were unable to finish their chances.

Indy drew first blood on a strange goal in the 26th minute by Wojciech Wojcik. A clearing attempt by defender Jimmy Mulligan was deflected and created the scoring chance for the Indy Eleven.

“Mulligan went to clear it, their guy stuck his leg out and the ball just went straight up in the air,” explained Cosmos goalie Jimmy Maurer. “I couldn’t tell where it was going to drop, either outside the box or inside the box. I tried to hold my line but it just ends up on their forward’s foot and he hits it in the corner. It’s tough. We just dominated the game and they get one weird break and all of a sudden we’re down 1-0.”

Raul at first was celebrating when the Cosmos had scored their second goal-sadly the play was called offsides. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

Raul at first was celebrating when the Cosmos had scored their second goal-sadly the play was called offsides. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

The Indy defense continued to frustrate the Cosmos into the second half, so Head Coach Giovanni Savarese turned to his substitutes. He added Restrepo for his speed to try to find spaces in the Indy defense and Raul for his overall offensive ability. The moves paid off when Restrepo scored his goal in the 78th minute.

The crowd of 3,647 almost witnesses a last minute win for the home team when Sebastian Guenzatti scored off a perfect cross by Marcos Senna. The initial call was a good goal but when Nicht and about six of his Indy teammates rushed the officials, they conferred and ruled the play was offside.

New York Cosmos Head Coach Giovanni Savarese prior to the match v Indy Eleven. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

New York Cosmos Head Coach Giovanni Savarese prior to the match v Indy Eleven. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

“From where I was, it looked a little bit like it was offside,” Coach Savarese admitted. “That was my impression at first when I saw the play. For me, what I think is difficult, is when the referee makes a decision, it should be taken, especially when there is doubt. It has happened many times to us. Many time it has gone the other way, and we have taken it and kept on going. So regardless of what I saw, I just don’t understand why the decision was changed.”

Neither team was able to score in five minutes of stoppage time and the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

“We had some chances. I think we did some very good things,” said Savarese. “But they also exposed us in some areas. So staying unbeaten is a good thing, but you always want to get three points when you play at home.”

NOTES:

The Cosmos return to action July 18 when they travel to Jacksonville to take on Armada FC. The following week the Cosmos travel to Indianapolis for a rematch with the Indy Eleven. The next home game will be August 2 against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.

For more information on the New York Cosmos and for tickets to the upcoming matches fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

http://www.nycosmos.com

For the post-match videos fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

http://1495sports.com/2015/07/06/videos-cosmos-post-match-from-7515/

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Masterful Matt helps Brooklyn Cyclones Blank Williamsport 2-0

 Matt Blackham celebrates with catcher

Matt Blackham celebrates with Catcher  Brandon Brosher. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

On what turned out to be a beautiful Independence Day at MCU Park the Brooklyn Cyclones improved to a 10-5 record with a 2-0 victory over the Williamsport Crosscutters (13-2).

Cyclones starter Matt Blackham (2-0) had a terrific night going 7.0 shutout innings, allowing just two hits and one walk while, for the second consecutive start, sitting down out nine batters.

Both the Cyclones and the Crosscutters were held without a run until the bottom of the Fourth Inning, when Brooklyn struck for the first run of the game.

Vinny Siena. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

Vinny Siena. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

It was in that frame that Vinny Siena got things going with a single to left field, before back-to-back walks to David Thompson and Jeff Diehl loaded up the bases for the Cyclones.

With Zach Mathieu at the dish, Brooklyn was able to plate a run on a wild pitch by Williamsport starter Jose Taveras that plated Siena and giving the home team a 1-0 lead.

The Crosscutters had a few opportunities to score in the Top of the Fifth and in the Top of the Eighth, but they were unable to cash in on both chances.

Brandon Brosher getting some warm-up swings. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

Brandon Brosher getting some warm-up swings. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495 Sports

In the Bottom of the Eighth Inning Catcher  Brandon Brosher hit his first homer for the Cyclones for the 2-0 lead. Brosher  got the call to Brooklyn on June 28, was drafted by the Mets in the 2013 June Amateur Draft in the 36th Round.

Brooklyn saw Carlos Valdez have a 1-2-3 9th inning to record his first save of the season.

These two teams will meet twice more at MCU Park before the Cyclones have an Off Day on Tuesday, July 7. Taking the mound for Game 2 for Brooklyn will be Jose Celas who will take on Mitch Gueller of Williamsport, start time is set for 5:00 p.m.

1495 Sports is proud to bring the following Postgame videos:

Pitcher Matt Blackham

Brooklyn Cyclones Manager Tom Gamboa 

For more information on the Brooklyn Cyclones and for tickets to upcoming games fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

http://brooklyncyclones.com/splash/

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Barclays Center set to host NXT TakeOver on August 22

Barclays Center. Photo by: Stacy Podelski

Barclays Center. Photo by: Stacy Podelski

Professional Wrestling fans get excited as for the firsts time ever NXT TakeOver will emanate from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.

The Superstars and Divas of Tomorrow have set the wrestling world on fire with the NXT TakeOver live specials on WWE Network, which have all emanated from Full Sail University in Florida — until now. As announced by WWE COO Triple H, on Saturday, Aug. 22, NXT will invade the Barclays Center on the eve of The Biggest Party of The Summer for the seventh NXT live special.

Brooklyn is the place to be this summer, with the 28th annual SummerSlam taking place on Sunday, August 23 and Monday Night Raw airing live on USA Network one night later, both also from the Barclays Center.

Don’t miss your chance to see the high-octane action featuring the next generation of WWE, live and in person on the biggest stage yet. Tickets for NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn go on sale Saturday, July 18 at 12 p.m. EST at Ticketmaster.com.

For more information on the WWE fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

http://www.wwe.com

For more information on the Barclays Center fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

http://www.barclayscenter.com

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