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New York City FC has goaltending changes as Johnson Departs and Freese added

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Sean Johnson. Photo by: Stacy Podelski/1495Sports

In a flurry of moves New York City FC had a huge change in the goalkeeper position recently, as they had lost Sean Jonson to Toronto FC, but was able to gain Matt Freese.

These moves, made in separate times of the day, showed the continuous changing of the guard for New York City FC. The first announcement the team made was the fact that Johnson had departed NYCFC for Toronto.

Johnson who has been the heart, soul and one of the leaders for the boys in blue will be one who will be missed with the  2023 campaign being just around the corner. Sean, who was signed by the team in 2016 and became the team’s number one goalkeeper in 2017. Since then he has been able to play in 206 matches, tallying 18,660 minutes, while recording 60 clean sheets. 

Thanks to his amazing leadership ability, Johnson was appointed as the team’s captain in the 2021 season, where he was able to have 10 clean sheets in the regular season and playoffs combined and became a huge part of the team winning their first ever MLS Cup Championship.

NYCFC Sporting Director David Lee said: “We would like to thank Sean for all the hard work and leadership he has given to this Club both on-and-off the field. Sean has been a leader and a fantastic professional since the day he arrived and ultimately played such an important part in winning the Club our first MLS Cup in 2021. 

“Sean has also been a role model and we have been proud of the work he has done in the community and in his role on the Executive Board of Black Players for Change. Sean has given everything to this Club since he has arrived, but we understand his decision to take on a new challenge and to do what he feels is best for him and his family. We wish him nothing but the best in the next stage of his career.” 

Later in the day the franchise had announced that they were able to sign Goalkeeper Matt Freese from the Philadelphia Union.

NYCFC Sporting Director David Lee said: “We are delighted to have been able to finalize this acquisition and would like to welcome Matt to New York. He is an extremely talented American goalkeeper who is coming into the best years of his career. He is an excellent shot stopper, and we believe is ready to take the next step in his career and we are excited to see his continued development at NYCFC.”  

“We knew there was a possibility that we would need to add a goalkeeper to our group this season and Matt has been our priority target and will provide excellent competition for Luis Barraza and Cody Mizell. We believe that Matt complements our strong core of keepers at the Club, while also having the talent and opportunity to compete for the starting role.” 

Freese has been a rising goalkeeper for the Philadelphia Union, as he became the 10th player in history to move from the Academy to the FIrst Team in 2018. Freese, who hails from Wayne, Pennsylvania has been able to start in 16 games, logging 1,334 minutes for the Union.

Matt Freese said: “I am excited to be joining New York. They are a Club with a rich history of success and player development. I’m buzzing to work with Nick Cushing, Rob Vartughian and the rest of the coaching staff to be able to reach my full potential. I look forward to working as hard and as smart as possible every day in order to contribute to the team and continue to hone my craft.”  

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

https://www.nycfc.com/

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Jake Paul and Tommy Fury set for February 26 in Saudi Arabia

Fans of combat sports get excited as Most Valuable Promotions was able to set up a dream match in the making. It will be international superstar Jake Paul taking on pro boxer Tommy Fury in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Sunday, February 26, 2023. There will also be an action packed main event that will have Badou Jack “The Ripper” taking on  WBC Cruiserweight Ilunga Makabu in the co-main event. In addition Ashton Sylve who is a rising star in the world of boxing will take on Maxwell Awuku.

The bout between Paul and Fury was supposed to take place in December 2021, but Fury withdrew because of a medical issue. Paul went to take on Tyron Woodley in what was a one-punch knockout of a bout. 

For Paul, who started his pro boxing journey in January 2020, will go head to head with Fury, who is not only a more experienced boxer but comes from a family of boxers; as his brother Tyson is a world class star in the world of combat sports.

Thus far Jake has been able to have a 6-0 record with 4 knockouts, as he was able to gain a recent victory over Combat Sports legend Anderson Silva. In addition to beating Silva, Paul has been able to defeat the likes of British YouTube star AnEsonGib along with former NBA star Nate Roberson to only name a few.

“The moment of truth has finally arrived,” said Paul. “On February 26th, I will get in the ring with a ‘real boxer,’ an 8-0 fighter from a storied fighting family and show the world the truth about who Jake Paul, the boxer really is.”

Fury, meanwhile, got into boxing at the age of 12, as he has had 12 amateur fights while also winning two regional titles.  Tommy made his professional debut in 2018, winning that bout by decision. Since that time he has been able to knock out his next four opponents. During the 2021 season Fury was able to have three bouts, shutting out Daniel Bocianski in six rounds.

“Jake Paul has already achieved more than anyone thought possible when we started this journey three years ago. Six professional fights, five pay-per-views, over $150 million of revenue generated and viral moment after viral moment,” said Nakisa Bidarian, co-founder of Most Valuable Promotions. “Jake is an undeniable pay-per-view star and we are delighted to collaborate with Top Rank and ESPN+ to distribute this massive event between two of boxing’s biggest names to millions of homes in the United States. Thank you to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, its Ministry of Sport and Skill Challenge Entertainment Enterprises for their vision and commitment to putting on this event.”

​​”Jake Paul and Tommy Fury have fan bases that extend far beyond the world of boxing,” said Top Rank President Todd duBoef. “We are thrilled to partner with MVP and distribute this event on pay-per-view in the U.S., including ESPN+ PPV as the exclusive digital platform.”

“We are very excited about the upcoming event featuring Jake and Tommy in Riyadh and look forward to welcoming them to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” stated Chairman of Skill Challenge Entertainment, His Highness Prince Khaled bin Abdulaziz Al Saud

“With the consumption of YouTube content per capita in Saudi Arabia remaining one of the highest in the world, the highly anticipated bout featuring one of its most renowned personalities-turned-boxer, Jake Paul, will be amongst the most-viewed events globally. The excitement of this being his biggest challenge to date is very appealing as he takes on a legitimate boxer in Tommy Fury,” he added.

For more information on Top Rank Boxing fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

https://www.toprank.com/

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Aaron Estrada has career-high in leading Hofstra to victory over Elon, 85-65

It was a career-high day for Aaron Estrada, as he was able to pour in 40 points in the Hofstra Men’s Basketball 85-65 victory over Elon. Thursday seems to be a lucky day for the Pride as the team has now won 19 consecutive games on that day.

That trend continued thanks to Estrada, who was all over the floor for Hofstra, the last time the Redshirt Senior saw 35 points was against James Madison on February 5, 2022. At that time Estrada was 16-for 25 from the field, while also having 8-fro-15 from three-point range in the game. The last time Hofstra University saw a 40-point game performance was also against Elon, but that was when Omar Silverio reached that feat.

Overall the Pride have been playing well as the team has now won two straight, in addition to six of their last seven games. Hofstra now improves to a 14-8 overall record, while also having a 7-2 mark in Colonial Athletic Association Play.

Hofstra was able to get on the scoreboard quickly, tallying six early on and was able to have a 17-5 run to be able to get a 28-17 lead. Elon was able to get back into the game though, by rattling off 10 points of the half, and cutting the lead to 35-33 at the Half.

The action went back and forth between the two teams, before Estrada hit a key three-pointer that made the game 39-37 with 18:44 left. Elon had themselves a solid lead, but Hofstra was able to fight back thanks to Estrada who tied things up. 

The Pride then took over the momentum of the game scoring 10 consecutive points to gain a 55-45 lead thanks to a three-pointer by Tyler Thomas.

Elon hung though though, as they cut the lead to four 63-59 with about 7:19 left in the game. Hofstra roared back with a 11-0 run to seal the deal. 

Rounding out the scoring for Hofstra was Thomas who had 23 points, that included five three-pointers. Also shining was Jaquan Carlos who had nine assist in what was a stellar showing for the Pride.


Hofstra will continue their road trip on Saturday as they will travel to #18 Charleston for a 4:00 p.m. game

NOTES

– Hofstra is 12-5 all-time against Elon and the Pride has won seven of the last nine games in the series with the Phoenix. 

– Hofstra is now 93-19 over the past nine seasons when holding its opponent under 70 points. The Pride is 7-2 this season in that scenario and 17-4 under Speedy Claxton

– With his 40 points in the game, Estrada is now just six points shy of 1,000 for his Hofstra career. He would become the 40th member of the 1,000-Point Club at Hofstra. 

– With Estrada (eight) and Thomas (five) each having five or more three-pointers, it marked the first time since February 13, 2021 that two Pride players each had five or more three-pointers in the same game. Jalen Ray and Tareq Coburn each tallied five against James Madison. 

– The 40-point game was the 18th in program history. 

– Hofstra is 10-1 over the past two seasons when two players score 20 or more points in the same game and 28-6 since the start of the 2017-18 season in that scenario.

For more information on the Hofstra University Athletics Department fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

https://gohofstra.com/index.aspx

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Artur Beterbiev and Anthony Yard to thrill fans in Wembley Showdown

It will be an action-packed bout as Artur Beterbiev (18-0, 18 KOs) will take on Anthony Yard (23-2, 22 KOs) on Saturday at OVO Arena Wembley in London. Beterbiev is the WBC/WBO/IBF unified light heavyweight champion and brings a 100% knockout rate as he will take on British powerhouse Yarde.


Yarde and Beterbiev exchanged an intense stared own two days before the fight, as the duo participated in a press conference.
Beterbiev-Yarde and undercard bouts will stream live and exclusively in the U.S. on ESPN+ at 3:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. PT.

This is what Beterbiev, Yarde and Top Rank chairman Bob Arum had to say.

Artur Beterbiev

“In our camp, we always try to be ready for different scenarios. If it’s a tough fight, we’re going to be ready.”

“I feel good. I hope on January 28 I will change a little bit (to turn into a monster). I said he looks like a bodybuilder because of his muscles. I don’t have this muscle and I didn’t say it to mean anything bad. I said it because he looks strong!”

Anthony Yarde

“Everyone knows the type of character I am. I’m very calm. I jump at opportunities, and again, you go thorough certain things in your journey to strengthen you. You go through certain things in your journey to prepare you as well. So, that’s why I keep saying I’m so excited.”

“I’m happy to be alive, happy to be at this stage of my life as well. Being an underdog, over-dog middle dog… it don’t matter to me. I’m a dog! When I get in the ring and I start throwing my hands about, everyone knows what I can do. If you want to say it does anything to me, it gives me that little push, that little urge. But, again, it’s expected. I don’t lie or bullsh*t anybody. He’s got 18 fights, 18 wins, {100 percent} knockout ratio, Olympian. He’s done a lot in the sport, and that’s why he should be respected. I’ve respected him this far. As I said before, when we get in the ring, surely he will be saying the same thing. There’s no respect in the ring when you try and take the respect away from your opponent.”

“Three belts, legacy and history. I’m happy it’s Beterbiev. This scary person. I’m happy that it’s three belts. It just makes it all that much better. It’s gonna feel like it’s earned. It’s not no easy way out. There’s a lot of fighters that get a mandatory world title, or they get someone that they’re meant to beat, they’re the a-side, etc. I like this route. This route gives me the goosebumps, the good feeling. It’s the journey. The journey is what makes me happy.”

Bob Arum

“I think, pound for pound, the biggest puncher in boxing today is the guy on my right who has knocked out every opponent that has been put in front of him, not because he isn’t a very good boxer — because he is a very good boxer — but he also has that magic that you can’t really train a fighter for. It’s instinctive, the ability to punch and knock out an opponent. So, I’m very happy to be here. I know Anthony Yarde, I’ve followed him. He’s a terrific fighter, also with a big punch. He’s a very, very exciting type of fighter.”

Marc Ramsay (Beterbiev’s Trainer)

“We’ve known {about} Anthony Yarde for a long time. I look at all the light heavyweights from their beginning until they reach the level of my fighter. I know he’s a good fighter, a complete fighter. He’s fast, he’s powerful, he can box, he can counterpunch. But we get ready for all of those elements in the training camp. We have a very productive training camp. We reached every single objective that we faced before the training camp. No excuse, no injury, no nothing. We’re just ready to perform and give the fans what they want to see.”

“I know everyone wants to talk about {Beterbiev’s perfect KO rate} and has questions about this, but this is really not the focus we have as a team. We work with Artur to get ready to fight the best way we can. Power is power. Power is there, but that is not the main objective for us. We don’t put the focus on that.”


For more information on Top Rank Boxing fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

Top Rank Boxing – The Worldwide Leader in Boxing Promotions

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NASCAR Hall of Famer Tony Stewart Returns to FOX for the Clash and Daytona 500

FOX who is always known for their great coverage of NASCAR continues that fine tradition for the second consecutive year in Los Angeles and Daytona. They will do so in style as NASCAR Hall of Famer and three-time NASCAR Cup Series Champion Tony Stewart will serve as an analyst in the FOX NASCAR booth, alongside Mike Joy and former teammate Clint Bowyer.


The Trio will be on hand to call the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum from Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb 5 (8:00 p.m.) in addition to the 65th running of the DAYTONA 500 on Sunday February 19.


“I’m thrilled to be back in the FOX NASCAR booth for the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum and the Daytona 500 again this year,” Stewart said. “I was honored to call both last year and really enjoyed seeing the action from a different perspective and role, not to mention the sheer entertainment of sharing a booth with Clint and Mike. I’m looking forward to opening the new season with FOX and seeing what 2023 holds for the sport.”


Last year Stewart was on the call for the NASCAR Cup Series races at Circuit of the Americas and Sonoma Raceway. He was also able to join the FOX Sports booth as an analyst for the US Nationals in Indianapolis. Stewart was also able to team with Adam Alexander and Bowyer to call the season-opening NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Daytona.


FOX NASCAR BUSCH LIGHT CLASH AT THE COLISEUM SCHEDULE

(all times live unless otherwise noted and subject to change)

Wednesday, Feb. 1

NASCAR RACE HUB (6:00-6:30 PM ET) (FS1)

Thursday, Feb. 2

NASCAR RACE HUB (6:00-7:00 PM ET) (FS1) (live from LA Coliseum)

Friday, Feb. 3

NASCAR RACE HUB (6:00-7:00 PM ET) (FS1) (live from LA Coliseum)

Saturday, Feb. 4

NASCAR Cup Series practice (6:00-8:00 PM ET) (FS1)
NASCAR RACE HUB: WEEKEND EDITION (8:00-8:30 PM ET) (FS1)
NASCAR Cup Series qualifying (8:30-9:30 PM ET) (FS1)

Sunday, Feb. 5

NASCAR RACEDAY (4:00-5:00 PM ET) (FOX)
Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum Heat Races (5:00-7:00 PM ET) (FOX & FOX Deportes)
NASCAR RACEDAY (7:00-8:00 PM ET) (FOX)
Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum (8:00-10:00 PM ET) (FOX; FOX Deportes broadcast on the FOX Sports app)

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

FOX Sports News, Scores, Schedules, Odds, Shows, Streams & Videos | FOX Sports

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

NASCAR Official Home | Race results, schedule, standings, news, drivers

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U.S. Men’s National team falls to Serbia 2-1

In what was a great way to see what the U.S. Men’s National team has to offer, they were able to play Serbia in what was a 2-1 decision in Los Angeles.


There were a ton of positives that had come out of the match, as the National Team featured a club that averaged just over 23 years of age, and eight of those players making their international debuts. Helping to lead the way for the U.S. in the scoring column was Forward Brandon Vazquez who became the 59th USMNT player to score in their debut.


What was amazing for the U.S. Men’s National team was the fact that there were eight players making their debut in the match, that is the highest total of first caps in one match since the team’s 2-0 victory against Canada on September 3, 1992.


The night featured plenty of action for both clubs, as the US was able to find some quality connections as Vazques and Cade Cowell helped to lead the charge. USA Goalkeeper Gaga Slonina, who at the age of 18 became the youngest keeper to play in that spot, showed some great talent and quality saves throughout the match.


Cowell and midfielder Alan Sonora continued the quality chances for the United States, with great opportunities from the distance in the First Half. It was Vasquez who started the scoring in the 29th minute.


Serbia was able to strike back quickly in the 43rd minute thanks from a free kick from midfielder Luka Ilic that was able to get past the US Defenders. Velko Simic was able to tally the game-winner, burying an opportunity into the cage.


The United States were not deflated though and continued to play with great energy and enthusiasm. Cowell almost was able to tie things up on a turnover around the 56th minute, but that opportunity went behind the goalkeeper prior to being cleared.


Overall, the USA was able to record 20 goals, with five of them being on target, while seven of the nine corner kicks came after the internal. The team was able to see fine performances from Paul Arriola, Alex Zendejas, Eryk Williamson, DeJuan Jones and more.


Up next for the USMNT will be a match against Colombia on Saturday, January 28 at Dignity Health Sports Park,

The action between these two clubs is set for 7:30 p.m. Thus far the USA holds a 12-2-3 record when playing at DHSP.

GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN

USA – Brandon Vázquez (Julian Gressel), 29th minute –Aidan Morris controlled the ball at midfield and played Alan Soñora to his right. He then found Gressel out wide on the right flank where he whipped a cross into the box for Vázquez, who placed a quality header just inside the left post. USA 1, SRB 0

SRB – Luka Ilic, 43rd minute – After Los Angeles Galaxy forward Dejan Joveljić drew a foul just outside the USA box slightly toward the left, Ilic equalized with a left-footed free kick that split the U.S. wall and bounced into the bottom left corner past a diving Slonina. USA 1, SRB 1

SRB – Veljko Simic, 46th minute – A long ball from defender Marko Mijailovic after Serbia won a U.S. goal kick got away from the American back line, took an awkward bounce and Simic swooped into the win the ball and glide behind the U.S. defense. He then slotted his shot past Slonina from 13 yards into the left corner out to take the lead. USA 1, SRB 2

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

USMNT | U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team | U.S. Soccer Official Site (ussoccer.com)

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Artur Beterbiev looks to show why he is the King of the World of Boxing

Thus far Arthur Beterbiev has been impressive in the world of boxing. Beterbiev who has won the WBC/IBF/WBO light heavyweight championship is the only world champ with a 100 percent knockout rate. Beterbiev looks to keep his streak going as he will take on England’s hard punching Anthony Yarde (23-2, 22 KOs) on Saturday evening at the OVO Arena Wembley.

Beterbiev-Yarde and undercard bouts will stream live and exclusively in the U.S. on ESPN+ at 3:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. PT.

Beterbiev will have a chance to return to London, as the last time he had a chance to fight in front of their fans was in the 2012 Olympics. In his last showing Arthur lost in a close bout to Oleksander Usyk in the quarterfinals of the heavyweight bracket that concluded his amateur career. Arthur has been able to reside in Montreal for more than a decade, while fighting his first eight pro bouts in Canada. Thus far he has been able to capture the IBF Championship in 2017, earning the WBC crown in 2019 and adding the WBO belt in June.

This is what the main event combatants had to say following Wednesday’s media workout.

Artur Beterbiev

“I had a good camp. I had good sparring. I will try to do my best.”

“My team and I always try to be ready for anything, any strategy.”

“I can’t compare {Yarde} to Joe Smith. It’s a different fight. Joe Smith had a belt at that time. It’s not comparable.”

On a potential Dmitry Bivol fight

“Right now, it’s Saturday night. I only think about Saturday night.”

Anthony Yarde

“If you look at what he’s accomplished so far, it’s amazing, and that’s what amps me up. So, again, I beat him, I deserve some respect.”

“I don’t look at what any other fighter has done {to him}. I don’t look at what he’s done to other fighters. Realistically, all you look at is style, but even that, you can’t take too much from. You only know once you step in there with a person, and you both shape up and you both start trading leather.”

“He’s never been in a situation where he’s lost. But for me, it’s all about me. That’s the way I am. That’s the way I operate. It’s about me and my legacy. He’s just the person with the belts.”

On the home crowd advantage

“I just feel like this one feels right. This one feels better. {The Sergey Kovalev fight} didn’t. All that matters is when we get in that ring. Everything that’s said before is all he said, she said possibilities and things like that. When we get in the ring, that’s when we’ll see.”

For more information on Top Rank Boxing fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here:

https://www.toprank.com/