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Sky Blue FC Finishes Home Stand Against Portland Thorns FC on Saturday

Sky Blue FC celebration. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495Sports

Sky Blue FC (0-12-3, 3 points) will return to National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) action on Saturday, hosting Portland Thorns FC (7-5-5, 26 points) at Yurcak Field in Piscataway, N.J. The match-up gets underway at 7:00 p.m. ET, and tickets are available now online.

Saturday night will mark the second meeting of the season between Sky Blue FC and the Thorns. The two clubs first met in June at Providence Park, playing to 1-1 draw. A Christine Sinclair to Lindsey Horan goal in the 45th minute gave Portland a 1-0 advantage in that contest before Carli Lloyd buried a second-half penalty kick to level the count in the 77th minute.

Sky Blue FC will be looking to snap a three-game losing streak on Saturday after coming out on the wrong side of a 4-0 result last weekend against the first-place North Carolina Courage at Yurcak Field. Pacing the Courage attack in that contest was Lynn Williams, who registered a hat trick.

The Thorns enter Saturday night on a two-match winning streak, and the fifth-place side has earned a result in five of its past six games. Most recently, Portland knocked off the Houston Dash last Sunday at Providence Park, 3-1.

Both teams will be missing some key players on international duty this weekend. Sky Blue FC will be without the services of Carli Lloyd (USA) and Katie Johnson (Mexico), while the Thorns will be missing Tobin Heath, Lindsey Horan, Adrianna Franch and Emily Sonnett as they prepare for the upcoming Tournament of Nations with the U.S. Women’s National Team.

Historically, the overall series with Portland stands at 6-5-3 in favor of Sky Blue FC, with an even mark of 2-2-1 at Yurcak Field.

For more information on Sky Blue FC and for tickets to upcoming games fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

http://www.skybluefc.com

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New York Liberty to Welcome Mystics at County Center

New York Liberty Huddle. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495Sports

The New York Liberty (7-16)  wrapped up a two-game road trip with a loss to the Atlanta Dream on Thursday. They return to the Westchester County Center on Saturday to take on the Washington Mystics (13-10).

 

QUICK HITS

 

Tina Charles’ 19.7 points per game rank seventh in the league (as of 7/20).

 

Charles’ 6.9 rebounds per game slot her 12th in the league (as of 7/20).

 

Kia Nurse’s ranks top-10 among rookies with 8.7 points per game (as of 7/20).

 

Brittany Boyd’s 5.1 assists per contest rank fifth in the WNBA (as of 7/20).

 

Boyd ranks top-10 in the league in steals per game with 1.4 (as of 7/20).

 

Bria Hartley ranks top-15 in the league with 3.6 assists per game (as of 7/20).

 

Epiphanny Prince’s 45.0 percent conversion rate from three ranks fifth in the WNBA (as of 7/20).

 

The Mystics defeated the Liberty on a three-point buzzer-beater earlier this season (6/28).

 

Kia Vaughn scored a season-high 16 points against the Mystics earlier this season (6/28).

 

Charles notched one of her five double-doubles this season in the last matchup against the Mystics, finishing with 26 points and 12 boards (7/5).

 

The Liberty have won their last two regular season home matchups against the Mystics, dating back to the 2017 season.

 

KEY MATCHUP

 

The Mystics’ Natasha Cloud notched a double-double the last time these two teams met, finishing with 10 points and 10 assists. As Washington’s premier facilitator, she’ll duke it out against Brittany Boyd, who is fresh off a 10-assist performance of her own against the Dream.

 

LAST MEETING

 

On July 5, 2018, Elena Delle Donne paced the Mystics with 21 points as they handled the Liberty in Washington, 86-67.

 

The Liberty trailed by just two with under two minutes to play in the third, but a 15-5 Mystics run got the lead up to double figures.

 

Natasha Cloud contributed 10 points and 10 assists for Washington. Tina Charles finished with a double-double as well, leading the Liberty with 26 points and 12 rebounds.

 

TINA’S PLACE IN LIBERTY LORE

 

With a jumper midway through the first quarter against the Dream on Wednesday, Tina Charles surpassed former teammate Cappie Pondexter to become the franchise’s second-leading scorer. The veteran has now scored 2,981 points while wearing a Liberty uniform. Her 5,224 total career points rank 16th in WNBA history.

 

BOYD OH BOYD

 

Brittany Boyd continues to have a breakout season as an all-around floor general for the Liberty. Against the Dream, the fourth-year pro stuffed the stat sheet with eight points, seven rebounds, and 10 assists, her third game this season with at least 5/6/8. She already has three double-digit assist performances in 2018 after having just one such game in her previous three seasons.

 

BLOCK PARTY

 

The Liberty rank towards the bottom of the league in blocks with 2.8 per game, but their shot-swatting numbers have been on the rise recently. Over their last four, the Liberty are averaging 4.3 per game, including a season-high eight against the Dream. Kiah Stokes has averaged over a rejection per game over that span, and the center is now two away from becoming the franchise’s leading shot-blocker.

 

RETURN OF RIS

 

After missing the previous 10 games due to injury, Marissa Coleman returned to the Liberty lineup against the Dream, albeit on a tight minutes restriction. The versatile wing, who has started 11 games this season, averaged 22.0 minutes per game before her injury.

 

ALL-STAR FESTIVITIES

 

The WNBA announced the team rosters for Verizon WNBA All-Star 2018 on Thursday. Tina Charles, who will be appearing in the game for the sixth time in her career, will suit up for Team Parker in the contest. The Liberty have two more games, against Washington and at Minnesota, before the week-long break.

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

http://liberty.wnba.com

 

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Mets Roster Moves

The New York Mets today returned outfielder Yoenis Céspedes from his rehabilitation assignment and reinstated him from the Disabled List. The Mets also recalled RHP Drew Smith from Las Vegas (AAA) of the Pacific Coast League. Céspedes will wear #52 and Smith will wear #62 and both will be available for tonight’sgame. In order to make room on the 25-man roster, the Mets optioned infielder Dominic Smith and RHP Corey Oswalt to Las Vegas (AAA).

 

Céspedes has been on the DL since May 14 with a strain of the right hip flexor. He last appeared for the Mets on May 13 when he went 2-4 with a homer at Philadelphia. Céspedes played 9.0 innings at first base for the rookie-level Gulf Coast Mets on Wednesday and went 1-4 with a three-run homer. He played 7.0 innings in leftfield for the Gulf Coast Mets on Tuesday and went 1-4 with a single. Céspedes played 5.0 innings in leftfield in a simulated game on Monday and had seven plate appearances (two homers, single, walk, strikeout).

 

Cespedes is hitting .255 (35-137) with six doubles, eight homers and 28 RBI in 37 games with New York this season.

 

Smith, 24, has allowed one earned run in 3.0 innings (3.00 ERA) in three games with the Mets this year.

 

Smith was 5-1 with three saves and a 2.68 ERA (11 earned runs/37.0 innings) in 25 combined games with Binghamton (AA) of the Eastern League and Las Vegas (AAA) this year. He was 5-1 with a 2.76 ERA (10 earned runs/32.2 innings) in 23 games with Las Vegas.

 

Oswalt, 24, was 0-2 with a 5.64 ERA (14 earned runs/22.1 innings) in five games, four starts for the Mets.

 

Smith, 23, was hitting .183 (13-71) with one homer in 28 games for the Mets.

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

https://www.mlb.com/mets

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Boxing Card set for August 4 at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Former super lightweight champion Sergey Lipinets will battle Erick Bone in a 147-pound 10-round showdown live in primetime on FOX and FOX Deportes on Saturday, August 4 from NYCB Live, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions.

The Lipinets vs. Bone clash will kick off the primetime broadcast, which begins at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT and is headlined by former 147-pound world champions Andre Berto and Devon Alexander in a 12-round showdown and former world champion Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin facing 168-pound contender J’Leon Love. Sensational junior middleweight prospect Joey Spencer will also be in action.

A special edition of Premier Boxing Champions on FS2 and FOX Deportes begins at 5:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. PT and will feature unbeaten 2016 U.S. Olympian Antuanne Russell (6-0, 6 KOs) taking on Jose Arturo Esquivel (10-7, 2 KOs), plus, time permitting on the telecast, his brother Antonio Russell (11-0, 9 KOs) in an eight-round bantamweight fight. The FS2 and FOX Deportes telecast is headlined by unbeaten light heavyweight contender Marcus Browne taking on once-beaten Lenin Castillo in a 10-round match and a welterweight fight between former world champion Luis Collazo and Bryant Perrella.

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by TGB Promotions, DiBella Entertainment and Mayweather Promotions, are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.ticketmaster.com, www.nycblive.com, or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at the Ticketmaster Box Office at NYCB LIVE. Group discounts are available by calling 516-231-4848.

The 29-year-old Lipinets (13-1, 10 KOs) is looking to bounce back from a unanimous decision loss to pound-for-pound star Mikey Garcia in an IBF 140-pound title fight in March. Lipinets, who was born in Martuk, Kazakhstan and now lives in Beverly Hills, California, had won the vacant title against Akihiro Kondo last November and will be moving up to welterweight for the matchup against Bone.

Bone (20-5, 8 KOs) enters the match with Lipinets on a four-bout win streak since losing by split decision to Eddie Ramirez in 2017. The 29-year-old from Manabi, Ecuador is coming off a split decision victory over Cameron Krael on May 11. Bone is a tough veteran who has tangled with former world champions Shawn Porter and Chris Algieri.

Additional action inside the arena will see unbeaten rising contender Brandon Figueroa (15-0, 10 KOs) battling fellow unbeaten Luis Roy Suarez Cruz (13-0, 8 KOs) in an eight round bantamweight fight, top lightweight contender Richard Commey (26-2, 23 KOs) in a 10-round showdown against Mexico’s Yardley Cruz (24-10, 14 KOs) and heavyweight Marlo Moore (1-0, 1 KO) in a four-round fight against Thomas Hawkins (4-2, 1 KO).

For more information: visit www.premierboxingchampions.com,

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3-time, 2-division World Champion “El Gallo” Jose Antonio Rivera Returns to ring for first time in 7 years on “Homecoming” card

Granite Chin Promotions (GCP) and Rivera Promotions Entertainment (RPE) hosted a press conference on July 18 at The Ballot Box in Worcester, Massachusetts, to make a major announcement, as well as introduce local fighters on the August 17th pro boxing card at The Palladium in Worcester.

Three-time, two-division world champion “El Gallo” Jose Antonio Rivera (41-6-1, 24 KOs) is making his return in the “Making History” main event, in large part because he wanted to fight on the same card as his son, A.J. Rivera, who was to become the first pro boxer who was born with Spina Bifida. A.J., who is a rising matchmaker in New England, was unable to get medically cleared in time and he will not be fighting Aug. 17.

The event has been renamed, “Homecoming”, because six of the competing fighters, including Jose Antonio Rivera, live in Worcester.

“Unfortunately,” announced promoter Chuck Shearns, who co-promotes Granite Chin Promotions with Chris Traietti, “A.J. isn’t fighting on this show because he couldn’t get medically cleared in time.”

“I trained hard and was within five or six pounds of my contract weight,” a disappointed A.J. Rivera explained. “I passed all of the medical tests except for the CATSCAN. I fought the doctor a little and said I wanted a second opinion. Those results won’t be in time, so I can’t fight on this card.”

“The reason I’m coming back was to make history with my son,” Jose Antonio Rivera added. “We had talked about it a long time but, unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be for A.J. for this card. He’s already part of history already as the only fighter born with Spina Bifida who fought as an amateur. I feel bad, but everything happens for a reason and as a father, my son’s safety always comes first. He will continue to be an important part of our team to make our company a success. People are thrown curveballs in life like this and we’ve regrouped to turn this into a positive. We’re still fighting for the cause (Spina Bifida).”

Now 45 years old, Rivera has already lost more than 30 pounds, and he is within eight of his contracted weight for his eight-round fight against Ruben “Modern Day Warrior” Galvan (27-26-4, 10 KOs).

In 1997, Rivera captured the International Boxing Organization (IBO) World welterweight title, stopping Gilberto Flores in the second round. Six years later, he traveled to Germany to take on undefeated, hometown favorite Michel Trabant (38-0) for the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) World Welterweight Championship, in which Rivera won a 12-round decision and the belt.

Two fights later, in front of nearly 10,000 hometown fans in Worcester, Rivera won a 12-round unanimous decision in 2006 over defending champion Alejandro Garcia (25-1) for the WBA World super welterweight title.

Middleweight Kendrick Ball, Jr. (9-1-2, 6 KOs) and junior middleweight Khiary Gray (15-4, 11 KOs), both promoted by CES Boxing, will be making their pro debuts at home in Worcester. Ball faces an opponent to be determined in the six-round co-featured event, while Gray (15-4, 11 KOs) meets Antonio Chaves Fernandez (9-33, 4 KOs), of Brockton, MA, also in a six rounder.

Undefeated light heavyweight prospect Richard “Popeye The Sailor Man” Rivera (8-0, 7 KOs), fighting out of Hartford, CT, is slated to fight in a six-round bout vs. TBA, as well as his stable mate, two-time New England Golden Gloves champion “The Chosen One” Sharad Collier (1-0, 1 KO), who takes on his Mexican opponent, Emmanuel “Pollo” Valadez (5-4, 4 KOs), in a four-round match.

Also scheduled to fight on the undercard in four-round bouts are Springfield, MA welterweight Jose Angel “KO” Ortiz (4-13-1, 1 KO) vs. Seth Basler (0-8) and pro-debuting featherweight Joshua Orta vs. Worcester’s Edwin Rosado (1-7-1, 1 KO), Southbridge, MA welterweight Wilfredo “El Sucaro” Pagan (4-0, 2 KOs) vs. TBA, Worcester lightweight Francisco Irizarry (4-0, 2 KOs) vs. TBA, Worcester’s pro-debuting lightweight Eslih Owusu.vs. Mexican Engelberto “Guarura” Valenzuela (11-14 (3 KOs).

All fights and fighters are subject to change.

Tickets, priced at $75.00 (ringside) and $45.00 (general admission), are on sale and available to purchase at http://www.ThePalladium.net or the Palladium box office (general admission only), or by contacting Jose Rivera (elgallojar@gmail.com/508.864.6954), AJ Rivera (anthoneerivera@gmail.com/774.272.2269) or any of the fighters.

Doors open at 6 p.m. ET, first bout 7 p.m. ET.

Event sponsors include Lundgren Honda, Elm Wealth Group, Atty. Maria M. Rivera-Cotto, Championsofhealth@USANA.com, Chieftain Liquors, Centro Las America, Baystate Savings Bank, Pamela Laporte Realty, Worcester Vocero, ChrisFIT Xperience and Grille 57 (hosting the official weigh in and after party).

A portion of the proceeds will go to Spina Bifida Association of Greater New England.

PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES

Joe Antonio Rivera: “I want to thank everybody for coming. Tomorrow is four weeks to the weigh in. It’s an important date because fighting is easy, making weight isn’t. I want to thank Granite Chin Promotions

“Four Worcester fighters (Ball, Gray, Irizarry and Owusu) on this card have never fought here. It’s huge having Kendrick and Khiary on this card and I’d like to thank CES Boxing for allowing them to fight here. I’m proud of Kendrick and Khiary and excited to have them fighting on this show. Chuck and Granite Chin are running this show, I’m only focused on my opponent.

“I’m excited to have an opponent who is coming to fight. He’s my third opponent, but that’s part of boxing. I’m training hard, passed my medicals, and it’s like I’m hungry again. I haven’t fought in years, but I’ve taken good care of my body. I didn’t visualize doing this at 45. I’ve also heard that, after August 17th, there’s a possibility of a title for me by the end of this year.”

Chuck Shearns (GCP co-promoter): “I’m honored to be involved in this show. Jose and I have been friends for years. Months ago, this all started with a text conversation (Chuck, Jose and A.J.). A week later, it started getting serious, and then we had Jose and A.J. fighting on this card. Unfortunately, A.J. isn’t fighting on this card, but the show will go on.”

Jimmy Burchfield (CES promoter): “What’s important is that Jose Antonio Rivera is fighting on this card and that’s why I’m allowing ‘Pepper’ (Ball) and Khiary to fight on this card. I’ve had a good relationship with Chuck and I’ve known Jose and A.J., who worked for me, for a long time. Nothing was happening in Worcester boxing for years, until Jose and A.J. started promoting here, but Worcester has always been a good fight town. All the fighters here will be proud of your victory. This is beautiful! They’ve been around him and know what he’s accomplished in life. Jose has never abused his body, he’s taken good care of himself.

“We (CES Boxing) had an event scheduled August 17th at Twin River (Lincoln, RI), but we moved from that date, and now everything is focused August 17th on Worcester. How could I not have my Worcester fighters on Jose Rivera’s comeback card? ‘Pepper’ and Khiary really wanted to fight on this card. These kids (fighters seated at head table) look up to Jose for what he’s done and in life and his comeback is a really big story. I know what ‘Pepper” and Khiary are going to do and I know what Jose is going to do because he’s a veteran. I believe this will be a sell out!”

Kendrick Ball, Jr.: “I want to thank my promoter, Jimmy Burchfield, for giving me the okay to fight on this card. I also want to thank Granite Chin Promotions and Rivera Promotions Entertainment. I’ve waited for this a long time. This fight will give me a chance to redeem myself and show why I’m the next great middleweight to come out of Worcester. I’m ready to get it on.”

Khiary Gray: “I want to thank Rivera Promotions Entertainment, CES Boxing and Granite Chin Promotions for giving me a chance to fight at home for the first time. This is a rematch for me. I stopped him in the first round, but there was some controversy. I know he’s coming to fight.”

Eslih Owusi: “I just graduated from high school and I wasn’t going to turn pro until after that. Fighting as a pro will be much more exciting than in the amateurs.”

Jose Angel Ortiz: “I’m very excited. I haven’t fought in two years. I was supposed to return before, but things didn’t work out. I never left boxing because I’m in the gym all the time working out or training other fighters. Jose and I are both in our forties. We’re going to show everybody that we can still fight.”

Edwin Rosado: “I will try and put on the best show I can.”

Joshua Orta: “I’m very happy about my first pro fight. I’ve dreamed of this day. Everybody is going to see an exciting card. I love this sport and always train hard.”

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“SUPERBOX LIVE: Rise Up” live on Super Channel July 28 live from Powerade Centre in Brampton, Canada

Super Channel, the destination network for Canadian boxing fans, has announced the second installment of its new live boxing series, “SUPERBOX LIVE’, airing Saturday night, July 28, presented by Lee Baxter Promotions, at Powerade Centre in Brampton, Canada.

International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior welterweight champion Petros Ananyan (13-0-2, 6 KOs) will defend his title against Canadian fan-friendly Steve “The Dragon” Claggett (26-5-1, 17 KOs) in the 10-round main event.

To watch “SUPERBOX LIVE: Rising Up” live in Canada, showcasing some of Canada’s top professional fighters, as well as more exciting boxing to come in 2018, fight fans can contact their local cable provider to subscribe to Super Channel and all that it offers, including premium series, movies and much more, for as low as $9.95 per month.

“SUPERBOX LIVE: Rising Up,” starting at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT, will also be aired on delay via BoxNation in the United Kingdom, as well as Match TV in Russia.

Protocol Sports Marketing Ltd has been named exclusive representative for international rights for SUPERBOX LIVE.

Armenia-native Ananya, now residing in Moscow, captured his title last October, when he upset 30-1 defending champion Luca Giacon, who was fighting at home in Spain, by way of a six-round technical decision.

The reigning North American Boxing Association (NABA) USA junior middleweight title holder, Claggett upset highly-touted prospect Yves Ylyssee, Jr. (14-0) last October in Montreal, by way of a 10-round decision for the IBF North American title.

“I am excited to work with SUPERBOX LIVE for the first time,” promoter Lee Baxter commented. “I think this can be the beginning of a great platform for Canadian fighters to show their skills and also build international fights right here in my hometown!”

“SUPERBOX LIVE is excited to be working with Lee Baxter Promotions,” said Mike Garrow, who is the co-creator of SUPERBOX LIVE. “Not only has Lee Baxter staged a number of great events here in Canada, he has elevated a number of athletes who have competed on the world stage in a short period of time. This is exactly what we are looking for in SUPERBOX LIVE events.”

In the eight-round co-feature, Indian welterweight and Bollywood star, Neeraj “Gangster” Gorat (9-2-2, 2 KOs) makes his second World Boxing Council (WBC) Asian title defense, against an opponent to be determined.

Canadian featherweight prospect Ross Mylet (2-0), fighting out of Oakville, Ontario, faces Francisco “Relempago” Ubiet (6-3, 2 KOs) in a four-round match.

In the televised opener, Women’s International Boxing Association (WIBA) super featherweight champion Sandy “Lil Tyson” Tsagouris (16-2, 7 KOs), defends the title she won March 18, 2017 for the first time in a 10-round bout against her Mexican challenger, Guadalupe Solis (5-2, 2 KOs).

All fights and fighters subject to change.

About Super Channel

Super Channelis a national premium pay television network, offering subscribers exceptional entertainment value with four diverse channels – Super Channel Fuse, Super Channel Heart & Home, Super Channel Vault and GINX Esports TV Canada – plus, access to Super Channel On Demand where available by service provider.

Super Channel’s mission is to entertain and engage Canadian audiences by providing a unique and exclusive entertainment experience. With a core foundation of integrity and accountability, we dedicate ourselves to implementing innovative programming strategies and unparalleled team work that provides viewers with exceptional value and variety.

Super Channel is owned by Allarco Entertainment 2008 Inc., an Edmonton-based media company.

Super Channel is currently available on Bell TV, Shaw Direct, Rogers Anyplace TV, Shaw Cable, Cogeco Cable, Access Communications, Bell Alliant TV, Source Cable, SaskTel, MTS, Novus, EastLink, TELUS, Videotron, Westman Communications and other regional providers.

Connect with Super Channel:

www.superchannel.ca

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Tina Charles Reaches Milestone in New York Liberty Loss Against Dream, 82-68

Tina Charles. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495Sports

Neither the New York Liberty nor the Atlanta Dream could get much going offensively in the first few minutes of their second matchup this season. However, the Dream (14-9) ended the first quarter on a 16-5 run and didn’t look back, ultimately coming out on top, 82-68, at the McCamish Pavilion on Thursday night.

 

The Liberty (7-16) held the Dream to just 31.8 percent shooting from the field in the contest. But Atlanta brought down 49 rebounds, including 21 on the offensive end, both season-highs by a Liberty opponent. New York grabbed 35 boards, but only seven of which came on offense.

 

With a jumper midway through the first quarter, Tina Charles surpassed former teammate Cappie Pondexter to become the franchise’s second-leading scorer.  The forward has now scored 2,981 points in a Liberty uniform.

 

Charles finished with 11 points and four rebounds. She was the lone Liberty player to score in double figures. Brittany Boyd had a standout performance nonetheless, stuffing the stat sheet with eight points, 10 assists and 7 rebounds. It was her third double-digit assist performance of the season.

 

The Liberty came into the matchup on a hot streak offensively, but they could not keep the momentum going. Their scoring total (68) was 22 points less than their average over their previous four games (90.0).

 

The loss was the Liberty’s second in a row. They will look to right the ship when they face the Washington Mystics for the third time this season on Saturday. The matchup is set to begin at 3:00 p.m. (ET) at the Westchester County Center.

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

http://liberty.wnba.com