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New York City FC Drafts Three Players in2022 MLS SuperDraft 

New York City FC (NYCFC) recently drafted Forwards Kevin O’Toole, Kingsford Adjei and El Mahdi Youssoufi in the 2022 MLS SuperDraft.

O’Toole was selected with the 34th overall pick in the Second Round after NYCFC traded down from their 28th pick in the First Round via a trade with FC Dallas in exchange for $50,000 General Allocation Money. The Princeton University Forward played 17 games, starting in 14, contributing seven goals and nine assists in 2021 for the Tigers. The Montclair, N.J., native was a 2021 All-American and a two-time Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year.

With the 56th overall pick in the Second Round, the reigning MLS Cup champions selected Forward Kingsford Adjei from the University of Dayton. The Ghanaian native scored five goals and provided three assists and led the team in shots on goal in fifteen games for the Flyers. The senior was named to the A-10 First Team three years in a row.

The St. Francis Brooklyn Forward was selected with the final pick of the 2022 MLS SuperDraft. Youssoufi, played 16 games with the Terriers in 2021, tallying 13 goals and two assists while becoming just the third player in program history to be named NEC Player of the Year while earning All-Northeast First Team honors.

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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Fordham Wins Nailbiter Against Duquesne, 72-71

In what was an action-packed thriller between two Atlantic 10 Conference teams, the Fordham Men’s Basketball team (9-5, 2-0) defeated Duquesne (6-8, 1-1) on Wednesday night.

It was the 45th meeting between the two and it had featured a bit of everything that a basketball fan loves, including some thunderous dunks and blocks by both teams.  The Rams had four players in double-figure scoring as Darius Quisenberry and Antonio Daye, Jr both had 16, while Chuba Ohams followed with 14 and Antrell Charlton rounded out all scorers with his 14 points.

Ohams had one of the more impressive performances for the Rams as the Graduate student also had 16 rebounds, while also bringing a vocal leadership as well as putting on a stellar defensive performance with some of the more impressive blocks (8 total) that has been seen in a while.

1495 Sports is proud to bring the following Press Conference after the team’s victory:

The victory is a sweet one for Fordham, as it is the first time the University has recorded a 2-0 record since joining the Atlantic 10 Conference during the 1995-96 season.

Fordham showed what they were made of, as the team trailed by 13 at the half, with the score at 31-18. The Rams slowly chipped away at that lead to make the score 40-33.

The Dukes regained the lead making the game 44-33, before Fordham was able score 12 unanswered points to take their first lead of the half, 45-44 on a layup by Daye

As the game progressed the Rams were able to take their largest lead of the night 63-55 on a layup by Daye. Duquesne showed some great fight and heart by outscoring the Rams 14-5 over the next few minutes to take a 69-68 lead.

Ohams was able to connect on a beautiful hook shot, which gave the rams a 70-69 lead with 23 seconds left. Things started to get intense in Rose Hill Gym, as it had seemed as if the Dukes would walk away with the victory, but a Dayle jumper with four seconds left lifted Fordham to the thrilling victory.

With the victory tonight the Rams were able to snape a six-game winning streak for Duquesne against Fordham. The Rams have been playing well when they outrebound a team as they have a 7-3 mark.

Fordham will return to Atlantic 10 play on January 15, when they travel to St. Louis to take on the Saint Louis University Billikens in the Chaifetz Arena with the tip set for 2:30 p.m.

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

https://fordhamsports.com/

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Getting to know Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez protégé Undefeated bantamweight prospect John “Scrappy” Ramirez

Undefeated bantamweight prospect John “Scrappy” Ramirez (8-0, 7 KOs), the second boxer signed to 3 Point Management (3PM) which also manages 43-0 Gilberto “Zurdo” Promotions, was arguably the most active boxer in the United States in 2021 with seven professional fights, including three on high-profile platforms headlined by “Zurdo,” the former World Super Middleweight Champion, and today the top-ranked World light heavyweight contender.

“’Scrappy’ is a hard-working kid that I’ve known for a while now and it’s great to have him around,” Zurdo commented. ”He brings a larger-than-life personality, and his flare is often well-received. I believe if he continues to work hard and stays in the gym, the sky is the limit. We know he’s a true athlete and I would put him against anyone in the bantamweight division.”

“Scrappy” made his pro debut December 18, 2020, on a pay-per-view event promoted and headlined by “Zurdo.” Two fights later, “Scrappy” fought in his first scheduled 6-rounder, in addition to a slated 8-round bout in only his sixth pro fight.

“Scrappy” and “Zurdo” are not related, however, they’re close and as the 25-year-old John explained, “With us it’s little bro and big bro. He may not be working my corner, usually because he’s fighting later on the same card, but I’m with him every day we’re training at Brickhouse (Boxing), and he’s always giving me tips and support. I live in downtown Los Angeles only a 15-minute drive from the gym in North Hollywood. It has it all and the real beauty of it is that it attracts fighters to spar and train with, especially when fighters are there for their training camp. We just had ‘Zurdo,’ David Benavidez, and 4-time world champion Brian Viloria, who is there as a trainer, for our last fight.

‘I feel good knowing I was the second fighter signed by 3 Point Management. Now, we have other fighters in our stable and that brings more competition. I want to be the best and, even though we’re on the same team, I want to go out there and do what it takes to be the best fighter I can be. I’m with ‘Zurdo” every day I’m in the gym and I watch him. He makes everything look easy, effortless, and that’s beautiful. He put his trust in me and I want to show him it was a good decision. I take great pride in being the first fighter they signed.”’

Ramirez’ long, arduous journey to this point started on the gridiron not in a ring, when he was a key member of the Lincoln High football team, profiled in a 2015 documentary, “ESPN 60: Letterman.” The players were from a crime-ridden part of Hollywood that was riddled with drugs and guns. Ramirez was a 5’ 4”, 160-pound running back on a team that, starting in Pop Warner competition, then advancing to Lincoln High, which hadn’t experienced success in football. Lincoln High went on to become a 3-time league champion, highlighted by semifinals playoff appearance in his senior year, eventually leading “Scrappy” to a roster spot Los Angeles Valley College’s football team.

Despite being warned he’d be red-shirted as a freshman, Ramirez played on the varsity as a true freshman but, after his first season, “Scrappy” wasn’t happy with his playing time nor the business side of college football. “Scrappy” soon found himself in what he described as a “dark place” for months, trying to figure out what he wanted to do with his life. He tried to enlist in all four military branches, but was rejected because, he said, due to all the tattoos on his body and their visual placements. One day, he heard a friend’s voice from the past saying, ‘Go to a gym.’ Despite having no experience in boxing, he walked into the famed Wild Card Gym to speak with Hall of Fame trainer, owner Freddie Roach, who told Ramirez training would be hard and that he’d need to start as an amateur boxer. His work ethic was admirable and because he was a gifted athlete, everything soon clicked, and he became a student of boxing. Ramirez had 25 amateur matches, capturing top honors in the Sugar Bert National Championships, as well as in the regional Golden Gloves and SoCal tournaments.

“I was on the right track,” Ramirez added. “Everything I learned in football from Coach Muskaki Matsumoto (Lincoln High) I applied in boxing like discipline. I trained hard every day and there was no wasted time.”

Ramirez moved to New York City because a boxing friend of his had a manager there willing to help “Scrappy” make his pro debut. Unfortunately, though, the pandemic quarantine went into effect, canceling his scheduled pro debut only one week prior to its scheduled date. Ramirez stayed in Churchill Gym, sparring and training, still hopeful of making his pro debut in the Big Apple. He eventually returned to Los Angeles and several weeks before the inaugural Zurdo Promotions event in Galveston, Texas, he received what is now a life-changing call from Zurdo’s manager, David Suh.

“Before I went to New York City, I had talked to David about making my pro debut,” Ramirez added. “He remembered when I came back to LA and asked if I wanted to make my pro debut on December 18th (2020). I believe everything happens for a reason. I had become friends with Julian Chua at Wild Card. He saw me working at the gym and liked my work ethic. He gave me pointers and told me that one day we’d be working together. Julian became Zurdo’s head trainer and now he’s mine, too.”

His impressive pro-debut performance – first-round KO — led to enticing “Scrappy” into signing a managerial contract with 3 Point Management.

“Scrappy” says he’s an exciting, unique fighter from his ring walk to his outfit, as well as the way he fights. “I bring Bad Intentions into the ring,” he added. “It’s fun! I’m a chess player who always plans ahead. I’m versatile and able to adapt in the ring, which is super important. I want to take your soul!”

“’Scrappy’ not only has the skills,” Chua added, “he has the charisma and showmanship it takes to be a real star in this sport. Don’t confuse confidence with arrogance. He takes his training with a world championship attitude.”

A self-proclaimed student of boxing, “Scrappy” has particular enjoyed watching and studying Hector Camacho, Edwin Valero, Adrien Broner, Canelo Alvarez, Gervonta Davis, Vasyl Lomachenko, and, of course, “Zurdo” Ramirez.

“I am destined,” Ramirez concluded. “I’ve seen all this. I visualized, planned, and created these experiences before they happened. I was one of the most active fighters in the nation last year. My goal for 2022 is to stay busy, keep learning, and make statements. I’d like to have 6 more fights, get ranked, and bring home a championship belt. I will keep winning and give people a show.

INFORMATION:

Website: www.ZurdoPromotions.com

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Tajiri vs. Myron Reed vs Mystery man title match signed for Dallas

Major League Wrestling (MLW®) recently announced a Mystery World Middleweight 3-way featuring Tajiri (champion) vs. Myron Reed vs. a Mystery Entrant for Friday, January 21 at MLW Blood & Thunder at Gilley’s in Dallas, featuring an MLW Fusion TV taping.

The reigning World Middleweight Champion Yoshihiro Tajiri will make his second title defense in Dallas when he grants the “Young GOAT” Myron Reed a rematch… but MLW matchmaker Cesar Duran has added a twist: a Mystery Entrant! 

“Who doesn’t like a surprise and a debut? I give you TWO for the price of one!” states Duran. “With a title on the line, the stakes couldn’t be any higher!”

A Mystery World Middleweight 3-way adds an unpredictable dimension to the title fight, making Reed’s quest to become a 3-time champion all the more difficult while the “Japanese Buzzsaw” now must overcome two challengers — in one match!

🎟

 Buy tickets starting at $10 at: www.MLWDallas.com.

Who is the mystery man making his MLW debut? Find out on January 21 in Dallas as MLW presents Blood & Thunder!

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Gotham FC Adds Goalkeeper Michelle Betos to Squad Ahead of 2022 Season

Gotham FC of the National Women’s Soccer League announced today that veteran goalkeeper Michelle Betos has signed a two-year deal that will bring the New Yorker back to her hometown roots. Gotham FC acquired her rights in December after Racing Louisville FC waived her.

“I can’t believe we managed to get Michelle here with us at Gotham FC,” said Head Coach Scott Parkinson. “She’s a competitor, has the highest standards professionally and will help us all understand what it means to play for and represent this community.”

After more than a decade-long career that has spanned multiple leagues both overseas and domestic, the Queens, N.Y. native will finally get the opportunity to play in front of a hometown crowd.

“I’m thrilled to be joining this club,” said Betos. “I have always dreamed of playing at home and Gotham FC just inherited 40+ crazy Italian fans at Red Bull Arena every weekend.”

Betos joins Gotham FC after a season with expansion side Racing Louisville FC where she started 20 matches, logged 1800 minutes, and recorded an impressive 96 saves. The team captain finished the year second overall on the league leaderboard for saves despite being sidelined with an injury late in the season.

Prior to Racing, Betos spent her first seven seasons in the NWSL in the Pacific Northwest competing on both sides of the Cascadia Rivalry. After playing the inaugural NWSL season with then Seattle Reign, Betos found her way to the Rose City where she would go on to earn 2015 Goalkeeper of the Year and help the Thorns win the 2016 NWSL Shield alongside current Gotham FC teammate Allie Long. In 2015, she notably scored an equalizer in the 95th minute against then FC Kansas City, making her the first goalkeeper to score in NWSL history. Betos played overseas in Norway for Toppserien side Vålerenga Fotball Damer in 2017 before returning to the Reign in 2018.

“I have such an incredible amount of respect for everyone in the organization from the top down, and I know their locker room is truly a special one,” added Betos. “The potential of this team is so exciting, and I believe we will achieve great things this season and beyond.”

Gotham FC begins the pre-season on February 1 before kicking off the 2022 season on Saturday, March 19, with group play for the NWSL Challenge Cup. The Cup will feature three groups of four teams, playing double round-robin matches, semifinals and the NWSL Challenge Cup Final on Saturday, May 7, broadcast on the CBS Television Network and available to stream live on Paramount+.

For more information on Gotham FC fans are encouraged to click on the link seen here
https://gothamfc.sportngin.com/

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Mets to Retire Keith Hernandez Number on July 9

The New York Mets announced recently announced the team will retire Keith Hernandez’s uniform #17 prior to the Saturday, July 9 game vs. Miami.

Hernandez was elected to the Mets Hall of Fame in 1997, ranks second in team history in batting average (.297) and earned six Rawlings Gold Gloves with the Mets, the most in franchise history.

Hernandez will become the fourth player to have his number retired by the Mets, joining Tom Seaver (#41), Mike Piazza (#31) and Jerry Koosman (#36). In addition, the Mets have retired #14 for Manager Gil Hodges, #37 for Manager Casey Stengel and #42 across baseball for Jackie Robinson.

“I’m thrilled,” said Hernandez, who has spent nearly three decades with the Mets as a player and broadcaster. “This is truly a special honor that lasts beyond a lifetime. I can’t thank Steve and Alex Cohen and the Mets Hall of Fame Committee enough. I was very emotional when Steve called to let me know about the number retirement. This is the highest honor an organization can bestow upon a player. I also want to thank Mets fans, who have treated me like family since I arrived in 1983.”

“Keith was the first captain in team history and a great leader and catalyst on that ’86 championship team,” said Chairman, CEO and Owner Steve Cohen. “He was a defensive wizard at first and was a clutch performer late in games. We made a promise to continue celebrating and honoring our tremendous history and this is another deserving step in that direction. Congratulations, Keith.”

Hernandez led the NL in fielding percentage in 1985 and 1986 with the Mets, won 11 Gold Gloves overall and is a member of the Rawlings Gold Glove Hall of Fame.

Hernandez was named to five All-Star teams during his career and ranks fourth in club history in on-base percentage (.387) and 10th in RBI (468). On May 6, 1987, his teammates elected him the first captain in Mets history.

The Bay Area native slashed .310/.446/.413 with 34 doubles, 13 homers, 83 RBI and an NL-leading 94 walks in 1986. He delivered three RBI in Game Seven of the 1986 World Series.

Hernandez was acquired by the Mets on June 15, 1983 from St. Louis in exchange for pitchers Neil Allen and Rick Ownbey.

He has been in the Mets television booth since 1999, including the last 16 years on SNY, where he’s won three Emmys for “Best Sports Analyst.”

Single game tickets are available on Mets.com/tickets.

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Hofstra Men’s Basketball falls to Towson, 78-66

Junior Aaron Estrada once again led Hofstra, scoring a career-high-tying 24 points, but it wasn’t enough as the Pride men’s basketball team fell on the road to Towson, 78-66, on Tuesday evening at SECU Arena. Estrada was joined in double figures by senior Omar Silverio with 14 points and Abayomi Iyiola with 12. 

Hofstra drops to 9-7 overall and 1-2 in conference play, while Towson improved to 11-5 and 2-1 in Colonial Athletic Association action. 

Towson took an early 6-2 lead just over 90 seconds into the contest before Hofstra used an 8-0 scoring run later on to earn a 13-9 lead with 16:07 showing on the clock after back-to-back three-pointers from Estrada. Towson would regain the lead as the Tigers scored eight straight points to turn a three-point deficit into a five-point advantage, 22-17, with 8:03 left in the opening stanza. 

The lead for the Tigers grew to as many as nine, 37-28, with 1:40 left in the first half before Hofstra closed the half with seven straight points, including four from Estrada and a three-pointer in waning seconds from Silverio. 

Towson opened the second half by scoring nine of the first 10 points in the stanza to take a 10-point lead, 46-36, with 16:39 left in regulation. Back-to-back three-pointers from graduate student Jalen Ray and Silverio quickly closed the gap to four less than a minute later to keep the Pride in the game. Silverio continued his hot hand later in the half, draining a jumper to make it a five-point contest, 53-48, with 11:11 showing on the clock. The Tigers answered, though, and scored nine straight points to take a commanding 62-48 lead with almost exactly nine minutes left. 

Hofstra was able to close the deficit to eight, 62-54, with 6:54 remaining after a quick 6-0 run that culminated with a driving layup from Estrada. That would be as close as the Pride would get, though, as Towson earned the win. 

Iyiola led Hofstra with seven rebounds, while Silverio added a career-high-tying six. 

Jason Gibson had 26 points, including eight three-pointers, for the Tigers, while Cameron Holden tallied 11 points and 10 rebounds. 

Hofstra will finally return home for the first time since December 12 when it hosts Delaware on Saturday (January 15) at 2 p.m. 

Tickets are available for purchase at HofstraTickets.com, by calling (516) HOF-TIXX, or by visiting the Hofstra Athletic Ticket Office in the lobby of the David S. Mack Sports and Exhibition Complex during normal business hours. 

NOTES
– Hofstra is 46-28 all-time against Towson and the Pride has won seven of the last nine and 10 of the last 14 in the series. The Hofstra/Towson series, which began with an 86-71 Pride victory during the 1982-83 season, is the Pride’s third-most common series in program history. The 74 all-time meetings rank only behind Delaware (97) and Drexel (94). 
– Ray played in his 137th career game and hit one three-pointer in the contest to give him 269 in his career. He is now four games away from tying the school record for games played (Desure Buie; 141 from 2015-20) and eight three-pointers away from second all-time in program history (Justin Wright-Foreman; 277 from 2015-19).