Los Angeles, CA – By now LA sports fan have been slowly seeing changes happening at the Memorial Coliseum. The minute the LA Rams playoff run ended on January 6 the demolition of the south side of stadium began.
The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum’s $270 million renovation and restoration is past the halfway point according to team involved.
In a special ceremony the union workers and USC folks had the opportunity to personally sign the final beam of the Coliseum’s new Scholarship tower. Representing the USC Football team was head coach Clay Helton with players Marvell Tell (7), Ajene Harris (27), Cameron Smith (35), Porter Gustin (45).
The Rams and Trojans also took time to explain a few fun facts for the updated fan experience for the 2018-19 season.
At the games there have been added two Terraces on both side below the peristyle. USC will use it for students and donors, and the Rams will use it for group sales tickets.
The fans who have seats on the southside will have increased leg room and brand new seats to enjoy the game. On part two of renovation all the other seats will be replaced and rows will be cut down from 36 seats across down to 18 seats across for less traffic.
On all fans tickets you will have an assigned gate to enter through due to construction. Now for the Rams you have to have physical ticket or a mobile ticket. Long gone are the pdf printable paper tickets.
A big theme for both teams is “GO METRO”
Fans will still be able to have great tailgates in assigned areas, please go :
Los Angeles FC moved into third place in the Western Conference standings after newly acquired Christina Ramirez scored two first-half goals to lead the Black and Gold to a 2-0 victory over Real Salt Lake Wednesday at the Banc of California Stadium.
Ramirez arrived to the LAFC after a trade with Minnesota United last week and helped his team snap a five-game winless skid.
“I’m just glad that we won and that’s the important thing,” Ramirez said. “Anyway that I can contribute; tonight with the goals, another day it will be with an assist or defensive driving.”
LAFC got on the board in the 13th minute when Carlos Vela gathered the loose ball and sent a pass to Ramirez who flicked a soft shot over the goalkeepers head.
“He’s the one that, in the right moments, knows how to find space in the box,” LAFC head coach Bob Bradley said. “And he can score in different ways. That was apparent tonight.”
In the 29th minute, Ramirez gave LAFC a 2-0 lead on a left-footed shot from just outside the six-yard box.
The Black and Gold will host Colorado on Sunday before heading to the StubHub Center to take on rival Los Angeles Galaxy Friday, Aug. 24.
“Before the game I challenged for more concentration, more intensity, more helping each other on the field, more leadership, all of those things, and then at halftime I said, today we need a shutout,” Bradley said.
GRANADA HILLS, Calif. – LA36 will televise a full slate of Los Angeles City Section regular season football games for the 2018 season. All games will be tape delayed and replayed on LA36 the following week.
Long-time veteran broadcaster Randy Rosenbloom returns for another year of play-by-play. He has broadcasted LA City Section games for more than 30 years. The coverage begins this Friday with Grant hosting Canoga Park at 7 p.m.
“I am happy to be back again broadcasting LA City Section football games,” Rosenbloom said. “This is my favorite time of the year. It’s a great opportunity for the Section as well as the schools involved.” LA36 is on Spectrum Cable throughout much of Southern California and reaches nearly one million homes. Games will run for the entire year at least 15 times each. Much of the air time is prime time after 7 p.m. Games will be archived on the LA36 website www.la36.org after airing.
Additional future games could be added to the following schedule as the season progresses.
Los Angeles, CA – The Los Angeles Sparks held a four-point lead with 44 seconds left in the fourth quarter when point guard Chelsea Gray knocked down a pullup jumper.
New York turned it over on its next possession and Gray made a pair of free throws to seal the 74-66 win over the Liberty Tuesday night at the Staples Center.
Gray scored a career-high 26 points to help the Sparks secure home court for their playoff opener. The Sparks are tied with Connecticut for the fourth playoff spot and will face each other Sunday in the season finale.
“It’s a defensive fight and a defensive effort,” Gray said. “You build on that from your offense. From here on out, it’s up to us.”
The first half was full of back-and-forth action as both teams traded leads before the Liberty pulled away in the second quarter. A 17-foot jumper by Kia Nurse gave New York a nine-point lead with just under a minute left in the first half.
Los Angeles head coach Brian Agler said it was good for his team to go from a deficit to a lead and then hold on.
“We don’t get to do that very often and it’s great preparation for the playoffs,” Agler said. “That’s like a playoff game. You just have to grind out every single possession.”
The Sparks erased a nine-point deficit in the third quarter before Nneka Ogwumike’s layup tied it at 51. Los Angeles would take a 61-58 lead into the fourth quarter but Bria Hartley’s 3-pointer evened the score, 61-61.
Candace Parker hit a 3-pointer and Gray’s steal and 3-point play gave the Sparks a six-point lead with 6:08 remaining in the fourth quarter. The Sparks led by one before Gray’s final four points sealed the win.
“The hardest thing for a point guard in the WNBA is understand the tempo,” Parker, who scored 14 points with 10 rebounds, said. “She (Gray) controlled the tempo and she controlled the game. Guarding her is tough.”
The Sparks will end the season with two road games before they host its playoff opening game.
Los Angeles, Ca – The Los Angeles Sparks held a one-point lead with 12 seconds left in the game when point guard Chelsea Gray knocked down a pair of free throws to secure a 78-75 win over Phoenix Sunday at the Staples Center.
‘”You just have to play to your instincts,” Gray said. “And play within the realm of what we want to get done offensively and defensively. That’s how we play best.”
Gray scored a season-high 24 points and Candace Parker added 14 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists. This was Parker tenth double-double of the season.
Parker made a free throw in the second quarter to become the 20th player in WNBA history to score 5,000 career points.
The two-time WNBA MVP said she didn’t know she was close and was confused at first when the fans began to cheer loudly but then realized they were cheering because of the milestone.
“I appreciate all the fans who have stuck with me,” Parker said. “I really appreciate my teammates, my coaches and my doctors that have gotten me to this point. Nothing is promised and I’m really going to be happy in this moment.”
Riquna Williams hit a 19-foot jumper as time expired in the first quarter to give the Sparks a 20-16 lead. The Sparks went on a 17-2 run with four minutes left in the second quarter.
The Mercury hung around and made a couple runs in the second half, including a 10-2 run that pulled them within one point in the fourth quarter. The Sparks pulled away with a three-pointer by Gray and a couple free throws by Williams.
Diana Taurasi pulled the Mercury back within one point with a three-pointer midway through the fourth quarter. Taurasi fouled out with just under three minutes left in the game.
Taurasi was held scoreless in the first half and finished with 11 points. Brittney Griner led the Mercury with 22 points. DeWanna Bonner added 20 points and nine rebounds.
“Diana is one of the greatest players ever to play,” Sparks head coach Brian Agler said. “I don’t know if you could ever shut her down but you just try to make it as difficult as possible.”
With six games remaining and five of those six on the road, every game will be important in terms of implications it has for the playoffs.
“There’s no time to relax,” Angler said. “You can’t come out and not ready to play this time of year. There’s going to be a lot of playoff type atmosphere games from here on out.”
Costa Mesa, CA – Fans packed the Jack Hammett Sports Complex in Costa Mesa for the Los Angeles Chargers first ever blue-white scrimmage Saturday morning. The Chargers went live and simulated game action to prepare for their first preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals.
“We put them in some game situations, and it felt like it on the field,” Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said. “We believe, the more times we can expose them to this type of atmosphere, the better they’re going to get. You’re always concerned about injuries when you have a scrimmage or a live period, but they came out pretty clean. I’m very pleased with that.”
Wide receiver Mike Williams had a solid day during the scrimmage, catching two touchdowns and hauling in a deep pass down field. Geno Smith found Williams in the back of the end zone for the first score.
Philip Rivers connected with Williams for his second touchdown. Last year’s first round continues to improve and showcase his play-making abilities.
“I wanted to get out in front of them and show them that I can make some plays,” Williams said. “They were enjoying the day. I appreciate the fans coming out and supporting us.”
Rivers moved the offense with ease and found Tyrell Williams deep down field for a big gain. Several plays later, Rivers hit tight end Virgil Green down the seam for a 15-yard gain.
“We did some good things,” Rivers said. “There are plenty of things to work on, coach on from — correct when we watch the tape this afternoon. We’re still early, shoot, it’s August 4. We still have over a month until the opener. We just have to keep heading in the right direction.”
The Chargers will hold a walk-through closed to the public on Sunday. They’ll return to training camp at Jack Hammett Sports Complex on Monday.
Los Angeles, CA – The Los Angeles Sparks led at halftime against the Minnesota Lynx but the third quarter was crucial. The Sparks used intensity and tough defense to keep the Lynx from making a run and coming back.
“We’ve been up at halftime in the last four or five games we have lost at home.” Candace Parker said. “The third quarter, to us, was huge. We came out and answered that.”
Parker finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Sparks to a dominating 79-57 win over the defending champion Lynx Thursday night at the Staples Center. It was Parkers’ ninth double-double of the season.
The Sparks defense held the Lynx to a season low in total points and made defensive stops from beginning to end. Both teams know each other well, having played 20 times in the last three years.
“I think it all starts with the defensive end,” Sparks coach Brian Agler said. “We got off to a good start. We only gave up eight points in the first quarter and Candace was real aggressive early.”
Los Angeles took 20-8 lead after the first quarter and continued the dominance in the second quarter as Chelsea Gray dropped a no-look pass to Nneka Ogwumike for an easy layup and a 12-point lead.
Parker had 16 points and six rebounds in the first half and the Sparks led, 40-29, at halftime. Coming off her second ALL-Star appearance, Gray continues to shoot, penetrate and make plays.
“I was taking what the defense gave me,” Gray, who added 18 points and nine rebounds, said. “Once we are getting stops and playing in transition, we are one of the best teams to do that.”
The Sparks sit at third place in the Western Conference standings with seven games left in the season and remain in the playoff hunt.
“Every game is very important,” Agler said. “We are going to try to get the highest seed possible.We got very good opponent in Phoenix coming in here on Sunday. Everytime someone wins or loses, the whole standings adjust so we have to get as many wins possible.”
Indianapolis, IN – With active hands, feet and jumping the passing lanes, the Indiana Fever forced the Dallas Wings into 21 turnovers. The gameplan of defensive from the scouting report gave the Fever enough for a win.
“I liked our pace. Even when [Dallas] made one of their shots, we got back into our halfcourt and made them work on defense,” said coach Pokey Chatman, “We never let them get comfortable. We got the ball into our offensive in about 5 to 6 seconds usually and that forced them to run with us. I thought tempo helped us.”
The Fever’s offense had 6 players score in double figures in 84-78 victory for the teams’ fourth of the season.
Cappie Pondexter scored a season-high 18 points for the Fever. This was her seven in 10 games with Indiana scoring in double-figures.
The key for Cappie is that she’s such a veteran. The key is having the ball in her hands,” said Chatman, “It’s not necessary for her to score it, but to control it.”
Liz Cambage lead the Wings with 37 points, 9 rebounds for her back to back 30 point games.
But without All Star Skylar Diggins-Smith all the Fever attention went to Cambage.
“She’s a really great player, you can’t just expect to stop her, so our approach was throw bodies at her and make her work harder. One way to get to her is to make her work on the defensive end, too,” said Chatman, “We forced her into seven turnovers which I thought was big. She got her points, but we didn’t let anybody else break out and hurt us.”
The Fever youth is still growing up right before our eyes and this season comes close to an end. They have learned some great lessons from veterans and by playing more and more minutes on the court.
They will take on the New York Liberty Saturday afternoon and go for another victory.
Mercedes Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA – Atlanta set another attendance record Wednesday night, this time for the MLS All Star Game, with an official total of 72,317. Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said via a translator he “was very pleasantly surprised for the entire climate and the entire impression that we got. You know it’s not easy to put 70,000 people in a stadium.” Nonetheless, Atlanta United has routinely filled Mercedes Benz Stadium and hold the top five most highly attended games in MLS history.
Comfortable in front of his home supporters, Josef Martinez scored for the MLS All Stars in the 26th minute, assisted by Nacho Piatti, to even the score with Juventus at 1-1. After a Martinez header initiated a scramble inside the 6-yard box, the ball ricocheted to Piatti who headed it laterally from left to right across the goalmouth, where Martinez sprinted in from the right to head in the tying goal just over two Juventus defenders.
As the only goal-scorer for the MLS All Stars on the night, Martinez won the game MVP award. Asked how it felt to score the goal in front of the home fans, Martinez said via a translator “I feel very happy. It was a very important game with a very important opponent. I feel thankful for this week and to the other players and their efforts today.”
After a week of festivities, the MLS All Stars faced off against perennial Series A champions Juventus Wednesday night in Atlanta. Noteworthy match production included synchronized wristbands of flashing lights for fans, fire cannons, waterfall fireworks from the halo board, and light displays on the field. The host city also put on an inspiring week of events beginning Saturday with the MLS Block Party at Historic Fourth Ward Park and culminating with the game at the juggernaut Mercedes Benz Stadium Wednesday night.
Noteworthy All Star Week events included the kick-off MLS All Star Concert featuring 2 Chainz and Cheat Codes, MLS All-Star Community Day celebrating opening new soccer play spaces around the city and country, Juventus and MLS All Stars open training, the Special Olympics Unified Sports All-Star match, the MLS Homegrown Game vs Tigres UANL U-20s, the MLS Digital HQ including the MLS FIFA All-Star Challenge tournament, the Soccer Celebration, and, of course, the MLS All-Star Game.
MLS teams played last weekend, leaving little time to prepare for the challenging exhibition match. Martinez commented on the task faced: “There was a lot of pressure—beyond the fact that we had a very good opponent and we had to do well, it was an important game, especially at this caliber. We had never played together before, we only had 3 days to meet, but I think we looked good despite that.”
MLS All Star coach Tata Martino acknowledged devising tactics with the short timetable: “we know we have a responsibility to try and play in this game and not just contain and try to defend Juventus; this is a team of MLS All Stars, the best players in the league, chosen by the fans and by the coach, so we felt like we had a responsibility to really try and impose our own style on the game.” Indeed his team pressed high and counterattacked.
Separately he added “I think especially in the first half the team was able to get out on some really good counterattacks and take advantage of that and playing quickly to counter. Taking into account that we only had about two days together, I think everyone did an excellent job in the first half and in the second half.”
On the other side of the touchline, Juventus also played well, particularly defensively. Multiple scoring chances were cut off or saved by goalkeeper Wojciech Szczęsny. Even the MLS All Star goal required multiple shot attempts in the same series.
Offensively Juventus broke through in the 21st minute when the team worked the ball across from right to left advancing forward through midfield. Ultimately Matheus Pereira served a cross in from the left wing to Andrea Favilli at the near post. Favilli out-jumped the defense and headed the ball across MLS All Star goalkeeper Brad Guzan and inside the far post to take an early lead. Both Brad Guzan and later Zack Steffen also saved multiple quality shots on goal, as did Szczesny for Juventus.
Full time ended with a 1-1 draw that took the match to penalty kicks. Both teams took quality shots from the spot. Only Bradley Wright-Phillips’s shot landed just an inch or two too wide, knocking off the left goalpost. Mattia De Sciglio stepped up and buried the final shot for Juventus who won on penalties.
Next up, Juventus will continue preseason preparation for the Serie A season which begins August 18th against Chievo. The All Star Game falls in the middle of the MLS season, so players selected have limited recovery time. All Star Game MVP Josef Martinez and Atlanta United face last year’s MLS Cup champions Toronto FC on Saturday. Said Josef, “the team trained yesterday. We’ve personally had some long days, Monday especially we had a lot of appearances, but we had fun. It was my first All Star game and I think we maximized it to the fullest.”
“If You Don’t Stand for Something, You’ll Fall for Anything,” Alexander Hamilton
It’s a breath of fresh air to see an athlete to take advantage of a platform like football.
We are all too familiar with the NFL players taking a knee for social injustices, that was led by Colin Kaepernick a few years back.
Some don’t want to admit it but Kaepernick’s stance narrowed down his opportunities to be back on a NFL roster. But while he had the platform before millions, he kneeled for others.
In Mexico City, John Carlos along with Tommie Smith they raised their fist with a black-glove and heads bowed to display America still had a long way to go back 1968.
Years later Carlos says, “I didn’t do anything special, I just had an opportunity.”
All throughout sports history you can look at different athletes using their platforms. There are tons of athletes who have started foundations for the youth to express that someone cares. These programs allow youth to see there is more to life than a few square blocks around them.
Next time you watch a NFL or College game look at their cleats or their wrist tape. You might find a scripture, or an area code depending on who it is.
Freedom of speech, expression is a great thing when we are allowed to use it. It takes courage to stand or push an agenda.
One thing I know, passionate people go hard for what they believe in.
Stand tall and use your platform; whether it’s big or small.