Sharing goal for now, Anghel, Quinlan battle for starting spot

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on September 7, 2010 at 12:00 pm Commentscenter_img With the departure of Syracuse career saves leader Eliza Bennett-Hattan at the end of the 2009 season, the SU women’s soccer team was left with an empty net. Six games into the 2010 season, the net is still not inhabited by one sole starter. Two players are vying to become Bennett-Hattan’s replacement. The competition is ongoing between freshman Brittany Anghel and sophomore Erin Quinlan. ‘Obviously it’s been up in the air right now for whoever is going to come in and earn that spot and make it their own,’ SU assistant coach Katie Ely said. ‘Obviously when you lose a four-year starter, that spot is open for whoever wants it.’ With the two, the net is not solidified. But Orange head coach Phil Wheddon is not worried regarding his goalie by committee. Anghel and Quinlan have started games for Syracuse (1-3-2) early this season, creating the current uneasy decision-making process for Wheddon.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text ‘They’re both doing very well,’ Wheddon said. ‘They’ve made key saves when we needed them to make key saves. We’re still looking to see who’s going to win the race, if you will. But they’re both working very hard, and I’m very proud of their effort so far.’ At this point, Wheddon is debating whether or not to stick with his goalie platoon throughout the rest of the season. Wheddon does not appear ready to choose one goalie over the other. Anghel has been the only one to win a game, but also has a goal against average of 1.89, which is a point higher than Quinlan’s 0.9. Anghel struggled this weekend, giving up seven goals on 17 shots on goal against quality opponents Washington and No. 4 Portland. ‘We want someone to take charge, be a leader back there,’ Ely said. ‘Organize our defenders. Help us in the counterattack, and their distribution, whether it’s from their hands or their feet.’ The stat line is always at the forefront of a team’s successes and failures. With Anghel and Quinlan, the coaches are looking for statistical improvement as the learning curve takes its course. That learning curve continues for the two young goalies. And the stats tell a part of their story. Anghel has started in four of the six games for the Orange, posting a 1-2-1 record. Quinlan made her debut during Syracuse’s opening game against William & Mary on Aug. 20, giving up just one goal but losing a 1-0 decision. She has a 0-1-1 record in her first two games. ‘They’re a little nervous, obviously, and the pace of the game and decision making needs to be very, very quick on the collegiate level,’ Wheddon said. ‘I think they both had an adjustment period, but hopefully that period is over, and they can settle down and play.’ Senior forward Megan Bellingham sees the position battle as an opportunity for players to maximize their potential. With a replacement lurking, the player — in this case, the goalie — cannot get comfortable. The player must continually strive for better. ‘You have to strive to push the person in front of you, even if you’re not going to make the field,’ Bellingham said. ‘That’s what makes a good team great.’ The coaches may not like having to decide which candidate comes away with the starting job. The choice may give the team a different look, but it affects the efforts of the players, as well. The Syracuse coaching staff now has the difficult task of choosing the right fit, but it may be for the team’s benefit. No matter how long it takes. ‘Both of them worked really hard this summer and put in a lot of time and effort through the preseason,’ Ely said. ‘It’s been a good competition, definitely. It makes my job, Phil’s job, everyone’s job hard, to try and decide who it’s going to be.’ [email protected]last_img read more

NFL pro days don’t tell the entire story

first_img“Goal Line Stand” runs Thursdays. If you would like to comment on this story, visit or email Michael at [email protected] Wednesday afternoon, dozens of NFL scouts were on campus to watch former Trojans work out in an effort to raise their positions in April’s draft. It’s really the last chance for these athletes to make an impression on the scouts and millions of dollars are at stake. However, I don’t buy it.Though it’s important for teams to know a player’s measurables, such as their height, weight and speed, scouts are looking too deep into the numbers. If a player can play, he can play and no number quantifies a player’s heart and desire to be the best.Beyond numbers · Though players such as redshirt junior defensive end Nick Perry are tested on measurables, they should be examined for their play. – Chris Pham | Daily TrojanSure, a player can skyrocket in the draft if he runs particularly well or if his bench press is extraordinary, but not every star has had great measurables. Jerry Rice, arguably the best receiver in history, ran a less-than-stellar 40-time at around 4.70. Anquan Boldin, who has been among the league’s most consistent receivers since he entered the League in 2001, ran a 4.75, slower than many defensive ends. They turned out OK, didn’t they?But perhaps you are a firm believer in numbers and believe that no matter how good your mental attributes are, you still need to have strong physical ones to complement.Well, why does the NFL hold an entire combine and insist on schools holding pro days as well? If the point of the combine is to measure the measurables, what is the point of a pro day? Especially when the pro day is just two weeks after the combine.People train months for the combine (which really doesn’t have that much to do with football, anyway). Is a player going to be that much better in a workout two weeks later? And if he does perform better, wouldn’t you be skeptical, especially if the results were significantly better than they were before?But more importantly: Does one become a better football player in that short time frame between the combine and the pro day? Many players decide not to workout in positional drills while at the combine, saying that they want to work with players they are familiar with on their home turf.But at the next level, quarterbacks aren’t going to have the luxury of throwing to “their guys” on “their field.” Their rosters will constantly change, players will get released and they will be throwing to different players frequently.Linemen, you are not going to have the same coaches you had in college telling you what drills to run. There will be no scripting — it will be about learning on the fly.Robert Griffin III for instance, the star quarterback from Baylor University, decided not to throw at the combine because he wanted to be with his receivers.What are we possibly going to learn about him when he throws to receivers he has been throwing to in practice for nearly five years in a set of drills that have been specifically designed for him to look good?What did scouts likely learn about star USC tackle Matt Kalil at pro day? He probably looked athletic and ran good times considering his size. But did anyone really learn about him as a football player? I doubt it.The combine does not measure a prospect as a football player. For the most part it measures athleticism, which is important, but it is by no means the end all, be all.For me, pro day is overkill. It’s scripted. It’s performed by the coaches of the player’s alma mater. It is done in almost too comfortable of an environment. And it happens right after the combine; does the player in question really become a better NFL prospect in 13 days? If scouts think so, maybe they should take another look.A great athlete is an asset for an NFL team and will always be envied, but I will take a great football player over a great athlete any day. If the player happens to be both? Well, I guess you hit the jackpot.I will always take a player’s tape more seriously than a 40-yard dash time. I will always take a player’s heart more seriously than his vertical jump.Football is not won with numbers, as everyone in the NFL is talented; it is won with what players possess mentally, emotionally and in their hearts. Nothing at a combine or a pro day can quantify that.last_img read more

Swiss refuse to release Venezuelan FIFA suspect on bail

first_imgZURICH (AP):A senior South American soccer official has been denied bail on health grounds in Switzerland as he fights extradition to the United Sates after being indicted in the FIFA bribery case.CONMEBOL vice-president Rafael Esquivel of Venezuela, one of seven soccer officials arrested in Zurich in May, is currently in hospital in Switzerland, the Federal Office of Justice told the Associated Press yesterday.At the time of his arrest, the 68-year-old Esquivel was president of the Venezuelan federation he has led since 1988. He has since been replaced by an acting president.Esquivel is accused by American authorities of receiving bribes worth millions of dollars in connection with the sale of marketing rights to the Copa America tournaments in 2007, 2015, 2016, 2019 and 2023.Esquivel is appealing against the decision last month by the Swiss justice ministry to grant an American extradition request, the Berne-based justice office said.poor stateAn earlier statement by the Federal Criminal Court, which didn’t name Esquivel, said he had sought bail because of his “advanced age and poor state of health”. That was “not regarded as sufficient to counter the risk of absconding”, the court said.The court also found that he was “more than capable of travelling”, has no close ties to Switzerland and electronic monitoring would not reduce his flight risk. Further medical tests are being carried out.Extradition requests have also been granted for ousted FIFA vice-president Eugenio Figueredo and former Costa Rican federation president Eduardo Li.Three other men are in custody in Switzerland after being indicted in the corruption case launched by the US Justice Department and arrested while here for the FIFA Congress in May.The US blocked Nicaragua’s attempt to extradite FIFA development staffer Julio Rocha. Costas Takkas, a British aide to former FIFA vice president Jeffrey Webb, and JosÈ Maria Marin, who was president of the 2014 World Cup organizing committee in Brazil, remain in custody.Webb is the only one of seven men arrested in Zurich to now be in the US.Sepp Blatter is still in power at FIFA after rejecting demands on Friday from four sponsors to quit immediately instead of remaining president until the emergency election in February.When contacted by the Associated Press yesterday, Coca-Cola, Budweiser brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev and McDonald’s all declined to say what their response would be to Blatter snubbing their request. Visa did not respond to questions.last_img read more