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WWE and Special Olympics Host first ever Play Unified Bocce Tournament

On a perfect day at Brooklyn Bridge Park, the WWE and the Special Olympics hosted the first ever Play Unified Bocci Tournament. Featuring the newly named ambassador to the Special Olympics in WWE Superstar The Big Show along with WWE Superstars Mark Henry, Becky Lynch, Asuka, Andrade Almas, Jinder Mahal, Kevin Owens, Peyton Royce and Billie Kay, along with WWE Ambassador Dana Warrior

The WWE Heroes got to spend time with the heroes of the Special Olympics, playing Bocce Ball, Connect Four, Cornhole, Jenga and other amazing games to celebrate the spirit of competition and the inspiration that are the athletes of the Special Olympics.

1495 Sports is honored to bring the following video look from the day:

Featuring thoughts from the new President and CEO of the Special Olympics Stacey B. Hengsterman along with WWE Superstars Jinder Mahal and Kevin Owens


For more information on the Special Olympics in NYC fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

http://specialolympics-ny.org/

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

https://www.wwe.com/

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New York City FC Suffers tough 2-0 loss to the Philadelphia Union

New York City FC. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495Sports

City looked to tighten the race for the Supporters Shield against Atlanta and New York Red Bulls in the City of Brotherly Love, but were left looking for answers after a promising start in the first half.

Head Coach Domenéc Torrent tinkered with both the attack and defense, starting Jo Inge Berget alongside the duo that combined to score three goals in Toronto, Captain David Villa and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi.

Maxime Chanot and Ben Sweat started the match over Sebastian Ibeagha and Ronald Matarrita, presumably to rotate the squad as they kept an eye towards Wednesday’s Derby in New York.

The Blues began the game aggressively with Jo Inge Berget stretching the high line of the defense.

Midfielder Maxi Moralez created problems as quickly as the second minute of the game, with a difficult strike on goal that required effort from Philadelphia’s keeper. The chance would be CIty’s most threatening.

Philadelphia would make the proper adjustments in the second half. Coming out aggressively and ultimately finding the back of the net initially with Cory Burke. They would double the lead with Ilsinho, securing the win.

City would finish the match with nine men after Ronald Matarrita was shown a straight red card and Jesus Medina left with an apparent hamstring injury.

To cap a miserable night, both are ruled out of the derby through suspension and injury, respectively.

Key Moment..

City began the match with promise, as the attacking trio of Berget, Villa, and Moralez linked up for a brilliant attempt on goal.

City took advantage of the pressing shown by the Union defense, but were unable to convert their chances.

NYCFC.com Star of the Game

Sean Johnson

Following his two-game absence through injury, there wasn’t much Sean could do with either goal and the scoreline may well have been even worse for the Boys in Blue without a couple of smart stops.

What’s Next…

It’s the Hudson River Derby this Wednesday, August 22 vs. New York City Red Bull. Get your tickets below…

https://www.nycfc.com/

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3-time, 2-division world champion Jose Antonio Rivera returns with a bang KO winner in his first fight in 7 years

Seven years after his last fight, “El Gallo” Jose Antonio Rivera returned to the ring in grand fashion last night (Saturday) to headline “Homecoming, presented by Granite Chin Promotions in association with Rivera Promotions Entertainment, at The Palladium in Worcester, Massachusetts.

The 45-year-old Rivera (42-6-1, 25 KOs), 35 pounds lighter than he was in February when he started training, packed the house in his hometown, fully entertained his supportive fans. Three-time, two-division world champion Rivera pressured Larry “Slomoshun” Smith (10-38-1, 7 KOs) from the opening bell and he never let up.

It took a few rounds for Rivera to wear off the rust, but he fed Smith a steady diet of body shots, gradually breaking down his opponent, as he won round after round on points. Twice in the sixth round it looked like Smith was done, but the tough Texan showed a lot of heart to survive.

Finally, Rivera closed the show in the seventh round, when Smith broke his hand in the fifth round and was unable to continue, kneeling in his corner, obviously in pain.

“I’ve always been tough,” Rivera said after the fight, “but I was a little rusty. He tested me early but, once he saw I wasn’t going anywhere and knew he was in for a fight. I started warming up in the fourth round. I was always a 12-round fighter. I didn’t know he broke his hand until after the fight. I feel great. We gave a good fight to the fans who have always supported me.”

“I give myself a C+ tonight. I’m going to talk with my family, but I’m thinking about one more fight, to make it 50 for his pro career).”

In the co-featured event, Worcester super middleweight Kendrick Ball, Jr. (10-1-2, 7 KOs) demolished Fabian “El Lobo” Valdez (2-4), flooring him with a right uppercut and soon after finished him with a vicious body shot for a technical-knockout victory in the opening round. The popular Ball was fighting at home for the first time as a professional

The rematch between Worcester junior middleweight Khiary Gray (16-4, 12 KOs) and Antonio Chaves Fernandez (9-34, 4 KOs) ended in the same fashion as their first encounter did three years ago. Also fighting at home for the first time, Gray blasted out his game opponent, cracking him with a picture-perfect, left-fight combination that put Fernandez on his back. Fernandez beat the count, but referee Bob Benoit halted the action.

Southbridge, MA junior middleweight Wilfredo “El Sucaro” Pagan (5-0, 3 KOs) remained undefeated, using a relentless body attack to drop Engelberto “Guarura” Valenzuela (11-15, 3 KOs) three times, the last ending the fight midway through the third round.

Springfield, MA junior lightweight Joshua Orta (1-0, 1 KO) turned in an impressive pro debut in a barn-burner that ended when (1-8-1, 1 KO), of Worcester, was unable to continue fighting after the third round.

Worcester welterweight Eslih Owuso (1-0) pitched a shutout in his pro debut, decking veteran Bryan “The Brick” Abraham (6-31-2, 6 KOs) twice in the second round, en route to a unanimous decision win.

In the opening bout of the night, 45-year-old Jose Angel “KO” Ortiz (5-14-1, 2 KOs) dropped Patrick Leal (0-5) 10-seconds into the fight, once more later in the opening round, and stopped him in the second. Oritz, fighting out of Springfield, MA by way of Puerto Rico, was fighting for the first time in five years, and he registered his first victory in seven.

A portion of the proceeds was donated to Spina Bifida Association of Greater New England.

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Sky Blue FC Forced to Settle for a Draw Against Utah Royals FC

Sky Blue FC march onto the pitch. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495Sports

Sky Blue FC (0-14-5, 5 points) returned to National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) action on Saturday, playing to a 2-2 draw against Utah Royals FC (7-7-8, 29 points) at Yurcak Field. Sky Blue FC was on the verge of picking up the win after taking a 2-1 lead into the 4th minute of second-half stoppage time, but an Amy Rodriguez equalizer on the final play of the game leveled it at two goals apiece.

“This was a really good performance from the opening minute of the game,” said Denise Reddy, Sky Blue FC head coach. “We played tight defensively, and we were smart in our attacks. We also did a good job of not allowing them to counter much in transition. I am so proud of the way our team played because they never stopped working at any moment in the game. They deserved more out of this performance.”

Sky Blue FC opened the scoring in the 14th minute, finding success on a series that started with Madison Tiernan sending a feed upfield to Imani Dorsey on the left flank. Dorsey then pulled the ball back before delivering a pass to Raquel Rodriguez on top of the 18. Rodriguez quickly played Carli Lloyd before taking back possession and touching forward to Katie Johnson, who slid into a strike that blew past Utah goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart and gave Sky Blue FC a 1-0 advantage.

The lead was nearly extended to a pair of goals in the 25th minute after Johnson sent a hard roller to Savannah McCaskill, who flicked a crafty back heel over a defender that found Lloyd as she raced into the penalty area. Lloyd then fired a shot that was just wide of the far post.

In the 48th minute, Sky Blue FC officially pushed its advantage to 2-0. The play started on the back line when Domi Richardson powered a ball upfield to Johnson, who sped under it and turned towards the center of the park. She initially looked to send a through-ball to an overlapping Imani Dorsey, but it was deflected by a defender. Johnson left no doubt on her following touch, lofting a ball into the left upper 90 that essentially froze Barnhart and gave her team a 2-0 edge.

With Sky Blue FC in control of the momentum, the hosts suffered a setback in the 55th minute when the match was temporarily halted after a lightning strike occurred near Yurcak Field.

Shortly after action resumed, Utah Royals FC was able to climb within a single tally in 58th minute. Taylor Lytle received a ball on the end line and then cut it inside for Rodriguez, who hit a shot towards the frame. Her strike then took an unfortunate deflection that resulted in an own goal, making it a 2-1 contest.

Sky Blue FC nearly put this one out of reach in the 72nd minute. Rodriguez intercepted a pass in the midfield that Sarah Killion quickly collected before hooking up Lloyd, who then danced through a pair of defenders before perfectly lofting distribution up the right flank for McKenzie Meehan. With Rodriguez racing down her lane outside the 18, Meehan fed the Costa Rica international a hard roller that she blasted on target, but Barnhart was able to make a diving save of the attempt.

As regulation eventually came to a close, the 4th official revealed that Sky Blue FC would have to hold onto its 2-1 edge for another three minutes of stoppage time. After doing so, Utah Royals FC eventually created one final opportunity deep into the 4th minute of extra time that ended with Christen Press laying off a ball for Rodriguez, who scored the equalizer and hung a final 2-2 tally.

Sky Blue FC will now hit the road for a four-game stretch before returning home to Yurcak Field for its 2018 season finale on Saturday, September 8, hosting the Orlando Pride for a noon kickoff. Tickets for that game are available now online or by calling 888-SBFC-TIX (888-723-2849). The first 1,500 fans through the gates will receive a Carli Lloyd bobblehead, courtesy of Brielle Orthopedics.

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

http://www.skybluefc.com/

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New York Liberty Finish Season in Phoenix

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

The New York Liberty (7-26) gave the Seattle Storm a battle on Friday evening, but the Storm ultimately pulled out an 85-77 victory. The Liberty will look to end their season on a high note when they face the Phoenix Mercury (19-14) on Sunday at the Talking Stick Resort Arena, with the tip scheduled for 6:00 p.m.

 

QUICK HITS

 

Tina Charles’ 20.1 points per game rank seventh the league (as of 8/18).

 

Charles’ 7.1 rebounds per game are slot her 11th in the league (as of 8/18).

 

Charles ranks top-20 in the league in blocks per game (as of 8/18).

 

Kia Nurse’s ranks top-10 among rookies with 8.5 points per game (as of 8/18).

 

Nurse is shooting 86.8 percent from the free throw line, good for sixth in the league (as of 8/18).

 

Brittany Boyd’s 5.2 assists per contest rank fifth in the WNBA (as of 8/18).

 

Boyd is top-20 in the league in steals per game with 1.2 (as of 8/18).

 

Bria Hartley ranks top-15 in the league with 3.6 assists per game (as of 8/18).

 

The Liberty and Mercury both rank top-five in the WNBA in assists per game (as of 8/18).

 

KEY MATCHUP

 

The last time these two teams met, Diana Taurasi hit seven of her 11 looks from behind the arc to lead the Mercury to victory. Sugar Rodgers, who is coming off a fourth quarter in which she drained four from deep, will look to match Taurasi shot for shot from the shooting guard position.

 

LAST MEETING

 

On June 26, 2018, Diana Taurasi scored a game-high 27 points, including seven makes from deep, as the Mercury bested the Liberty, 83-69.

 

The Mercury never trailed in the matchup, as they built themselves a solid cushion in the first quarter by outscoring the Liberty 30-16.

 

Four New York players reached double figures, but Tina Charles was the leading scorer with 12 points. The forward added eight rebound as well.

 

STOKES MOVING ON UP

 

Kiah Stokes secured her first double-double of the season against the Storm on Friday, grabbing a career-high 15 rebounds in addition to a season-high 10 points. With her seventh board, the fourth-year pro surpassed Teresa Weatherspoon to move into sixth in franchise history on the glass. She is the second player to surpass the current Liberty staff member this season, joining Kia Vaughn.

 

EFFECIENT SUPERSTAR

 

Tina Charles made her return to the Liberty lineup against the Storm after a one-game absence, and the veteran picked up where she left off, scoring a team-high 21 points. It was her fifth straight appearance with at least 20, and what is most impressive about that streak is her efficiency; she has shot 50 percent or above from the field in each of those contests.

 

SECOND HALF SLIP

 

The Liberty currently find themselves in a season-long 12-game skid, but they have fought admirably in each of those matchups. In nine games across that span, they have held a second-half lead, but to see it eventually slip away.

For more information on the New York Liberty fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

http://liberty.wnba.com/

 

 

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New York Jets Transcript – Head Coach Todd Bowles 8.18

On it looked a little sloppy out there, did that lead to the gassers…

Guys were tired, we were going to run some anyway. I was going to try to condition them after a day off – coming back off a long trip just to condition them and keep practicing. Just to make sure we get our running in.

On Brian Winters and Kelvin Beachum being close to returning…

Yeah, they are close. We’re just playing (it) slow and we’re working them in slowly. We’re going to take our time with them.

On do you expect them (Beachum and Winters) to be back before the regular season…

I’m hopeful of it, yeah.

On because of their experience can they get away without playing in the preseason…

Yes they can, but they need to play and they need to practice. We don’t try to hold anybody out until regular season. When they’re ready they will be back out there.

On Quincy being out there during team drills…

He looked quick, he should have the freshest legs in camp. He caught the ball well and we’re working him in slow as well. Just happy to have him back.

On is playing three games in 11 days to start the season going to put your rookie quarterback in a bad situation and how much would that factor into your decision to name a starter…

(It) doesn’t factor in, we knew the schedule in the spring. How many games we play in how many days does not factor in (our) decision.

On what have you seen in very limited action of Parry Nickerson…

Well he just got back today, the fact that he is healthy is great. He’s moving around, we just got to test him and see how much recall he had with the plays he learned and then kind of bring him along slow and then go from there.

On how much of a challenge it is for him to learn the slot spot with all the time he’s missed…

It’s important (to catch up on missed practice) anytime you miss time at that spot because you have to do a lot of things – be a corner, safety (and) linebacker. He’s a bright guy and we will just give him plenty of reps, but we just got to make sure he is healthy first before we increase his workload.

On do you know or care to tell us who is going to be the starter against the Giants…

Not at this time, no.

On are you close to making a decision on who your starting quarterback will be in the regular season…

I have some ideas in my head, but I’ll wait until (after) the last two preseason games.

On you will not name a starter after the Giants game, you will wait until after week 4…

Probably.

On are you impressed with Sam Darnold ability to pick up things quickly and if so was that a little bit better than expected…

I knew he was smart, everybody learns differently. You don’t know until you get in and throw the playbook at him and see what they can comprehend and what they can’t. He’s done a great job of remembering everything and playing with poise and control. I’m happy with where he is.

On is that a big thing that people may not understand that it is so important for a quarterback…

Well the growth period for any rookie that’s a big thing. I think any rookie at any position that plays early that gets a lot of time in early or starts early in preseason. That shows a lot about their study habits and their growth. It’s just a credit to him putting his head down and working.

On usually rookie quarterbacks make glaring mistakes, we haven’t seen any from Darnold from our point of view. Is that how you see it as well…

It’s early, it’s progress. It’s not a matter of him doing anything glaring or not glaring, a mistake is a mistake. As a rookie quarterback, rookie DB, rookie lineman you’re going to learn from experience in plays. He will learn some things as he goes, he accepts everything, he understands everything. He applies it the next time around without making the same mistake. That is a good trait to have.

On did Trumaine Johnson pull a hamstring during the game and is that why you held him out of practice…

He strained it. We just held him out for precaution.

On if Johnson should be back soon…

Hopefully.

For more information on the New York Jets fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

https://www.newyorkjets.com/

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New York Liberty cannot Weather the Storm, Fall 85-77

Sugar Rodgers. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495Sports

A 12-0 run midway through the first quarter helped the Seattle Storm build a 16-point advantage over the New York Liberty in the third matchup between the two teams. The Liberty (7-26) battled back to briefly seize the lead in the third quarter, but the Storm (25-8) thwarted the comeback attempt with an 85-77 victory at KeyArena on Friday night.

 

The Liberty were down to just eight active players for the fourth consecutive game, but leading scorer Tina Charles made her return to the lineup after a one-game absence. The veteran finished with a team-high 21 points, her fifth straight game with at least 20. She made 10 of her 16 attempts from the field, good for a 62.5 percent conversion rate.

 

Kiah Stokes secured her first double-double of the season in the contest, grabbing a career-high 15 rebounds in addition to a season-high 10 points. It was her fourth double digit rebounding performance in her past five appearances. With her seventh board, the fourth-year pro surpassed Teresa Weatherspoon to move into sixth in franchise history on the glass.

New

Sugar Rodgers and Brittany Boyd finished in double figures as well, finishing with 12 and 11 points, respectively. All of Rodgers’ scoring came in the fourth quarter, when she drained four of her looks from behind the arc.

 

The Liberty defense was disruptive, forcing 19 Seattle turnovers, but it was not enough to end their 12 game skid. They will look to end their season on a high note when they face the Phoenix Mercury on Sunday. The matchup is set to begin at 6:00 p.m. (ET) at the Talking Stick Resort Arena.

For more information on the New York Liberty fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

 

http://liberty.wnba.com/