Christian Eriksen: Studying Andrea Pirlo has boosted set piece accuracy

first_img Eriksen produced two superb free-kick strikes as Spurs twice fought back from deficits to draw 2-2 at Swansea in the Barclays Premier League on Sunday. They were the Denmark midfielder’s first goals of the season after an injury-hit start to the campaign, but the 23-year-old has underlined his reputation as one of the best free-kick exponents in English football – even if he spoke about an Italian influence. “I’ve watched Pirlo taking free-kicks and he makes it look so easy,” Eriksen said. “When he’s there (over the ball) he knows what to do. “But everybody has a different position of doing it. I know I have my own and it’s working.” Eriksen said that he had not even been practising free-kicks because of a knee injury which ruled him out for a month until mid-September. “I’ve done it for many years but I haven’t really done it since I was injured – I think my practice was in the game because we had a lot of free-kicks. “But I know what feeling I have to step over the ball and score. I’ve always had a good shot and take free-kicks. “At Ajax I only took them at the end of my time there, but at some point it turned after a lot of training and a bit of focusing.” Spurs have lost only once this season, away to Manchester United on the opening day, and have now gone 10 games without defeat in all competitions. And Eriksen believes Spurs can maintain their progress with Mauricio Pochettino now in his second season at White Hart Lane. “There’s always been a good spirit here and, although some new lads have come in, everyone knows what they have to do,” Eriksen said. “It’s a good mix and with the more games we get the more we know each other. “We have had to learn a lot of things pretty quick but now we have the time to build on something and you can see we know what we’re doing. “Everything is still open because a lot of teams are losing points, but that makes it a fun season.” Swansea have gone four games without a league win but their performance against Spurs was a marked improvement on recent defeats at Watford and Southampton. And Spurs old boy Gylfi Sigurdsson believes they are still capable of finishing in the top half of the table. “We started the season really well but we have not been like ourselves the last three or four performances,” Sigurdsson said. “We have dropped points, which is going to happen in the season, and there is still a long way to go. “But if we play our style of football we will be in the top half of the table. “We go away now for the international break but we can build on this game and performance to keep the momentum going.” Press Association Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen has revealed studying Italian maestro Andrea Pirlo is the secret behind his dead-ball brilliance.last_img read more


FB : Home turf: Entering 2nd year with Orange, MacPherson achieves goals set in Syracuse upbringing

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Macky and Cameron MacPherson were only children, but they felt like kings. As they rode their bikes or walked or ran to Manley Field House to watch Syracuse’s football practice, the brothers were two of the guys.Their grandfather and legendary former SU head coach Dick MacPherson would go with them, and the two youngsters could roam around the field during practice. Syracuse’s then-head coach, Paul Pasqualoni, was a former assistant under MacPherson.‘The guys would mess around with me and my little brother,’ Macky MacPherson said. ‘They’d all just mess with us, and I think they enjoyed us being around.’But as they grew up as part of the Syracuse program, their gallivanting started to get in the way. So in an attempt to keep Macky occupied, Dick asked the Syracuse long snapper at the time to teach Macky how to long snap.What was meant to amuse the 8-year-old Macky’s attention span turned into an interest. That interest turned into a skill.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘The long snapper, you can imagine how excited you’d be to teach an 8-year-old,’ said Maureen MacPherson, Macky’s mother, with a hint of sarcasm. ‘But he did it, and Macky got the hang of it right off.‘I think certainly that was always Macky’s dream to play there.’The skill stuck with him through his childhood, all the way through his high school playing days as a center at Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse. And the dream — to play football at SU — became a reality in his junior year at CBA, when he verbally committed to Syracuse. Now an even greater aspiration is being realized, as Macky is in line to take over as the Orange’s starting center as a sophomore.It’s everything a Syracuse lifer, the grandson of one of the most heralded coaches in SU history, could hope for.‘I’m loving this,’ he said. ‘I mean, honestly, I never thought in a million years I’d be in this situation. As a sophomore, being able to play with the ones, and I’m just trying to secure that starting spot.’Macky has always been close to Syracuse football and the SU community — walking-distance close. The MacPherson’s home lies less than a mile from both the Carrier Dome and Manley, allowing for those easy bike rides to practice.It’s the same house Dick MacPherson lived in when he was head coach of SU. Maureen MacPherson bought the home from her parents, and with that, Macky essentially grew up living on campus. And with the SU football team at practice.‘Macky was running around, working hard, snapping the football,’ Dick MacPherson said. ‘We’d go eat, and then I’d take him home. He grew up watching these guys play.’Maureen MacPherson gives her father a lot of credit for helping raise Macky. On Sundays, Dick would take his grandchildren to church, breakfast and the toy store.Once Macky was old enough to handle it, he became a ball boy for Syracuse. He no longer needed to be kept busy at practice. Now he had a job to do.In Macky’s first game as a ball boy, he received his first hit. Maureen said one play spilled out of bounds, and Macky didn’t get out of the way in time.‘He was standing there watching, and next thing you know, his feet were over his head,’ Maureen said.Though Macky said he was too young to completely grasp everything he was taking in as a ball boy, he still reaped the benefits. Most of the time, he was on the opposing team’s sideline, he said. That was beneficial for him because he got an outsider’s opinion of players on the SU football team he adored.And sometimes he got a scoop. While working the sideline during a Syracuse-Rutgers game in 2007, Macky chatted with then-Rutgers junior running back Ray Rice. They talked about how Rice originally wanted to play at SU before choosing Rutgers. Rice proceeded to tell Macky he planned to leave for the National Football League.Macky also had the opportunity to work as a ball boy for the Champs Sports Bowl in 2004, the last bowl game the Orange played in until SU won the Pinstripe Bowl last year.It was Macky’s bowl game experience seven years ago that set his mind toward playing in a bowl game one day.‘That’s really how I kind of knew I wanted to play Division I,’ he said, ‘or at least the highest level I could, because I fell in love with it.’Macky’s younger brother, Cameron, became a quarterback. It was almost too perfect to be true. One of the brothers snapped the ball, and the other dropped back to receive it.Their mother said the whole neighborhood could watch their routine in the streets. As long as the snow wasn’t too deep, Macky would snap to Cameron out of the shotgun. Cameron would throw up a bomb down the street, and Macky ran down to catch it. The center would run back up the field of concrete, and they would do it again.Both went on to play at CBA. Macky grew into the role of starting center. Cameron, a rising senior in high school, will start at quarterback next fall.But it was not a foregone conclusion for Macky that Syracuse would be the next step after CBA. As a junior, he received interest from Stanford, Maryland and a few other schools, including Ivy League schools, Maureen said.‘We only heard a little bit from Syracuse, so we really weren’t sure if they were interested in him,’ she said.Syracuse’s peak point of interest came when Macky was visiting another school. He was in Boston, meeting with the Harvard head coach and watching the Crimson’s spring football game when he received a call from SU linebackers coach Dan Conley, Maureen said.Conley, a former player under Dick MacPherson, wanted Macky to stop by and talk with the Syracuse coaching staff. When they returned home, Macky and his mother met with SU head coach Doug Marrone the next day.Just like that, Macky was offered a scholarship to the school he’s been associated with his entire life. He jumped on the opportunity, verbally committing that day.Macky got immediate playing time as a freshman at long snapper. Even though he wasn’t playing center, he was learning.The Orange’s starting center was senior Ryan Bartholomew, who anticipates getting selected in April’s NFL Draft. For Macky, Bartholomew was the perfect person to have on the team to answer questions. And Bartholomew knew he had another role when it came to Macky.‘I knew he was the future of the center position,’ Bartholomew said. ‘His way was to try to learn from me. … Because he wanted to learn, I tried to teach him as much as possible.’Though Macky is small — he weighs 256 pounds, whereas Bartholomew weighed 298 a season ago — he makes up for it with his football IQ. Both Bartholomew and current Syracuse offensive guard Zack Chibane said he will overcome the lack of size.Marrone is also confident in Macky’s ability to step in as starting center. Marrone, a former SU offensive lineman, said as long as Macky listens to those next to him on the offensive line, he will be fine.‘He’ll be OK,’ Marrone said. ‘I feel good about him, I do. He’s played center, he can move, he’s smart, he’s bright.’Macky also has Syracuse in his bloodlines. From his grandfather’s success with the Orange to the home he grew up in less than a mile from campus, Macky was raised on the turfs of the Carrier Dome and Manley.The center calls his grandfather after every practice and almost every night. But he isn’t calling ‘Coach Mac.’ He’s calling his grandfather. They don’t talk Xs and Os.Dick MacPherson said they talk about five nights a week about how he’s doing academically and how he’s adapting to the rigors of handling a college course load and playing football at the same time. Macky said the best thing he can do for his grandson is to not give any advice. He wants to leave that for Marrone.Dick said he’s proud of his grandson’s work to become SU’s starting center in the same way any grandfather is proud of his grandson for chasing his dreams. Dreams that started on bike rides to Manley and Sunday routines a decade ago.‘I’m very proud of who he is and how he’s working and doing the right thing,’ Dick said. ‘And I think the most important thing is his teammates and his coaching staff feel the same way, and hopefully they do.’mcooperj@syr.educenter_img Published on April 6, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Mark: mcooperj@syr.edu | @mark_cooperjrlast_img read more


Beat writers predict winner in Syracuse-Florida State matchup

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 17, 2016 at 10:59 pm Syracuse (4-6, 2-4 Atlantic Coast) takes on No. 17 Florida State (7-3, 4-3) on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. The Orange faces Dalvin Cook, who is regarded as one of the best running backs in the country. Check out how our beat writers think the matchup will unfold.Tomer Langer (4-3)GutterballFlorida State 35, Syracuse 17A month ago, this seemed like an interesting game that Syracuse, although still an underdog, would have a chance in. Florida State was coming off an incredibly unconvincing 17-6 win to Wake Forest (after a one-point victory against Miami and a stretch where it lost two of its four games), and Syracuse was coming off its best regular season win in program history with a team flying high. That all came crashing down to earth with Eric Dungey’s injury against Clemson. With him unlikely to play, it’ll be hard for SU to compete in this game that pushes them almost completely out of bowl contention.Chris Libonati (8-2)Dalvin Cook-edFlorida State 34, Syracuse 13The last time I predicted the No. 17 team in the country to beat Syracuse, the Orange upset Virginia Tech. What do I know? I do think this is a bit different, though. Zaire Franklin called Dalvin Cook the best running back in the country and I agree. Deondre Francois has been solid. I just don’t think the SU defense will suppress the Florida State offense.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textJon Mettus (8-2)Early FeastFlorida State 43, Syracuse 13The No. 17 team in the country is coming to the Carrier Dome, but don’t expect fans to stream onto the field after the game like when SU topped Virginia Tech earlier this year. Syracuse is undersized, undermanned and overmatched. Dino Babers said he “hope(s)” SU can win. And that’s all it’ll be: a hope. Cook and company are just too good for a Zack Mahoney-led squad to knock off. Commentslast_img read more


Watch Angels’ Luis Valbuena hit a home run against Dodgers and what happens with the ball

first_img Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter Luis valbuena is so extra— chris (@chrispineda98) March 23, 2018 Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone And he’s now hit a home run every time he’s ever played 2b.— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) March 23, 2018You can keep track of the Dodgers’ home runs hereRelated Articles And Luis Valbuena hit one to dead center off Hyun-Jin Ryu that cleared five rows. Well struck.— Jim Alexander (@Jim_Alexander) March 23, 2018 Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Luis Valbuena spoils Hyun-Jin Ryu’s thus-far scoreless night with a solo homer to right-center. All runs so far have come on solo shots. #Dodgers 2, #Angels 1, Mid-4. #springtraining— Mark Carlisle (@mwcarlisle) March 23, 2018What happened to the ball after the home run?And here it is!! pic.twitter.com/JtIvAFKWxr— BOOG (@boog_77) March 23, 2018Another homer for the Angels:Another HR swing! #Dodgers 3, @Angels 2 | https://t.co/BeitOjAltJ | #PrimeTicket pic.twitter.com/cniRP0Fo2p— FOX Sports West (@FoxSportsWest) March 23, 2018center_img Angels’ Luis Valbuena hit a home run against pitcher Hyun-jin Ryu of the Dodgers in the Spring Training Game. The run by Valbuena brought the Angels within one run of the Dodgers’ 2-1 lead in the Top of the 4th.From ONE knee! Luis Valbuena (@adan_jome) blasts one for @Angels | #LAASpring pic.twitter.com/xdukvImEli— FOX Sports West (@FoxSportsWest) March 23, 2018 Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Now that’s more like it! @adan_jome cuts the Dodgers’ lead in half with a solo shot in the 4th.2-1 Dodgers. pic.twitter.com/0ha8JE3FgY— Angels (@Angels) March 23, 2018 Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more


Celtics vs. Raptors: Time, TV channel, how to live stream

first_imgAt 37-23, the Celtics instead find themselves as the fifth seed and nine games back of the Bucks. Despite Kyrie Irving’s optimism that the Celtics aren’t discouraged and will eventually get up to speed, things have not gone well since coming out of the All-Star break. The Celtics dropped a one-point heartbreaker at Milwaukee on Thursday before losing to a 16-45 Bulls team playing on the second night of a back-to-back Saturday.MORE: Watch Celtics vs. Raptors live with fuboTV (7-day free trial)Toronto (44-17), meanwhile, is playing like a potential title contender, and the sky is the limit as the Raptors are still learning to play with new parts acquired at the trade deadline. The Raptors had won seven straight, including a victory at Philadelphia, until losing for the first time in the month of February this past Saturday to Orlando.Forward Paskal Siakam has been playing the best basketball of his three-year career, averaging over 20 points in Toronto’s last five games. Three-time NBA All-Star Marc Gasol, who was acquired from Memphis at the deadline, will likely be a huge factor, as the Celtics have struggled to defend skilled big men all season.Tuesday’s matchup is the fourth and final time the two teams will meet in the regular season, with the Celtics holding a 2-1 advantage after sweeping the Raptors in Boston. The race for Eastern Conference supremacy is at full speed, and with just a little over 20 games remaining in the regular season, Toronto and Boston are running out of time to catch Milwaukee for the top spot.Boston entered the season pegged as the favorite to come out of the East, but has ultimately been a huge disappointment to date. What time is Celtics vs. Raptors? The Celtics play the Raptors on Tuesday, Feb. 26. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. ET.Celtics vs. Raptors TV channel, live streamThe game is part of TNT’s national broadcast. It can also be streamed live online with fuboTV, which offers a free trial.Where is Celtics vs. Raptors being played? Scotiabank Arena in Toronto plays host to Tuesday’s game. “Jurassic Park” has treated the Raptors kindly, as they own the third-best home record in the league at 25-6. Boston is 14-15 on the road and has dropped two straight away from home.last_img read more


400K+ Iowans still without power after storm, the wait may be days long

first_imgSeveral thousand utility workers are fanned out across Iowa, trying to restore electricity to more than 400-thousand people who still don’t have it after Monday’s storm. MidAmerican Energy says 200-thousand of its customers remain without power. Spokeswoman Tina Hoffman says it could take a couple of days to restore everyone.“There is so much tree damage and in addition to line crews, that we have ready to do that work, we have tree crews that sometimes have to go before them to get debris cleared out of the way, get the trees off lines, those kinds of things,” Hoffman says, “so it’s really a layered process.” Hoffman says utility crews from as far away as Colorado are helping, with more on the way. She says all of MidAmerican’s crews are being called back to Iowa.“MidAmerican has crews helping out on the East Coast as well from last week’s storm,” she says. “We’ve called those crews back because things are looking a lot better over there and obviously, we have outages and our customers need those crews on the ground here.” Hoffman says some customers might be without power for a couple of days — and they should treat all downed wires as if they’re energized.“Stay away from those lines,” Hoffman says. “If there are trees on them, our crews will take care of those things. Customers should not try to handle those things on their own.” Alliant Energy says about 210-thousand of its customers are without power this (Tuesday) morning. In Cedar Rapids, officials imposed an overnight curfew so crews could work safely to clear trees and other debris from city streets.last_img read more