Golden Eaglets To face Hosts Turkey, Senegal, Guatemala

Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets have been placed in Group A with Turkey, Senegal and Guatemala for the UEFA/CAF World Cup prep tournament in Istanbul, reports Completesports.com.

The competition will start on September 20 and end on September 28.

The competition is organized as part of the team’s preparation for the FIFA U17 World Cup in Brazil.

The Golden Eaglets have been camping in Abuja and playing series of friendly matches under the tutelage of Coach Manu Garba ahead of World Cup.

This will be the second time, Golden Eaglets will visit the country, they also traveled to the European country before the 2019 U17 African Cup of Nations in Tanzania.

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Cubs lose 4-2 to Gray, Reds

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs had been scoring in bunches lately.

Then Sonny Gray took the mound for the Cincinnati Reds.

The Cubs were shut down by Gray and two relievers Tuesday night, falling 4-2 to the Reds in a loss that hurt their playoff positioning.

Chicago had won five in a row, outscoring its opponents 59-18 during the stretch. But it managed just two runs against Gray (11-7) before Michael Lorenzen and Raisel Iglesias closed out the five-hitter for Cincinnati.

”Sonny just keeps pitching great,” Reds manager David Bell said. ”He went deep into the game against a great lineup. It doesn’t really matter who he’s facing right now, the best teams, the best lineups. He’s pitching with that much confidence.”

The Cubs (82-69) dropped into a tie for the second NL wild card with Milwaukee, which held off San Diego for a 3-1 victory. They also missed out on an opportunity to gain ground on NL Central-leading St. Louis, which lost 6-2 to Washington.

Rookie Aristides Aquino hit his 16th homer for Cincinnati (71-81), and Joey Votto and Eugenio Suarez each drove in a run.

Gray struck out nine in 6 2/3 innings. The All-Star right-hander improved to 5-1 with a 1.46 ERA in his last nine outings

”I felt pretty good out there today after I kind of got going,” Gray said.

Yu Darvish (6-7) struck out 13 in seven innings for Chicago, but was hurt by a slow start. Kyle Schwarber had three hits and two RBIs.

Darvish fanned 14 in his previous start, a 4-1 win at San Diego on Thursday. He has 217 Ks in 170 1/3 innings on the year.

”Yu is on quite a run right now, but unfortunately their guy is really good, too,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. ”In spite of us swinging the bats well lately, Sonny did a nice job also.”

Gray departed with runners on the corners, and Lorenzen struck out Nicholas Castellanos to end the inning.

Lorenzen then worked the eighth before Iglesias pitched a perfect ninth for his 32nd save.

Darvish struck out the side in the first, but Cincinnati scored three times. Votto doubled home Josh VanMeter before Aquino hit a drive to left-center for his first homer since Sept. 2.

Aquino, who was recalled from the minors on Aug. 1, has six homers against Chicago in six games.

”I made a good pitch to Votto, but he’s a great hitter,” Darvish said. ”For Aquino, that’s my mistake. I should throw a breaking ball.”

Gray helped himself in the fifth, reaching on a one-out single and eventually coming around on Suarez’s base hit to give Cincinnati a 4-2 lead.

All-Star catcher Willson Contreras started at first base in Chicago’s second game since Anthony Rizzo sprained his right ankle during Sunday’s 16-6 victory over Pittsburgh. Rizzo is wearing a walking boot for five to seven days, casting doubt on the slugger’s availability for the rest of the season.

Schwarber drove in Castellanos with a double in the first and a triple in the third.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Reds: Votto was back in the starting lineup after missing two games with an illness. … SS Jose Iglesias (sore back) was out of the lineup for a fourth straight game, but pinch-hit in the ninth and struck out. … INF Freddy Galvis missed his third straight game with left knee soreness. Bell said Galvis could return this weekend.

Cubs: RHP Craig Kimbrell (elbow inflammation) threw 16 pitches in a simulated inning. Maddon said the closer’s session ”was very encouraging,” but cautioned the team needed to wait until Wednesday to evaluate Kimbrel’s response before determining a next step. … All-Star SS Javier Baez (hairline fracture in left thumb) will visit with doctors this week in advance of resuming training activity. Baez expected to miss the rest of the regular season. … RHP Brandon Kintzler (right oblique strain) could resume throwing in the next few days, pitching coach Tommy Hottovy said.

UP NEXT

Reds right-hander Tyler Mahle (2-11, 5.11 ERA) faces Cubs left-hander Jon Lester (13-10, 4.59 ERA) in the series finale Wednesday night. Lester has allowed 15 runs (12 earned) over 10 1/3 innings in his last two starts.

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Milan, Inter Not Interested In Buying Giuseppe-Meazza For €70m

San Siro – the Giuseppe-Meazza Stadium, which is the official ground of two Italian Serie A clubs, AC Milan and Inter Milan has been put up for sale by the Mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala, for a fee of €70m.

The owner, Milan Municipality through the Mayo, Giuseppe Sala, wants to do away with the famous stadium that has been the traditional home ground of AC Milan and Inter Milan in their domestic and European games.

Surprisingly, neither Milan nor Inter has shown interest in acquiring the facility.

Sala is the Mayor of Milan Municipality and the move to dispose of the stadium is seen as a way for him to force the hands of Nerazzurri and Rossoneri to accept the idea of ​​restructuring the enclosure, built in 1926 and refitted on three levels since the 1990 World Cup.

san-siro-giuseppe-meazza-stadium-ac-milan-inter-milan-serie-a-giuseppe-sala

But it appears Inter and Milan are unlikely to jump on the opportunity, because of the cost of the works and the obligation to go into ‘exile’ because of the construction site.

Both have already opted for a new stadium, to be built on the San Siro parking lot, accompanied by a real estate project and the amount of the operation would be 1.2 billion euros and would have the advantage of being able to enjoy the Giuseppe-Meazza Stadium almost until the inauguration of their new home.

“San Siro would then be shot down to make way for an area of ​​activity, source of juicy rents, such as those that affects Juve since 2011 around its Stadium,” claims an unnamed Milan official.

The Mayor of Milan has said that San Siro will still be operational in seven years to host the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics 2026.

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2B Kipnis breaks hand, a blow to Indians’ playoff chances

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Indians’ postseason chances have been dealt another blow – second baseman Jason Kipnis has a broken right hand.

Kipnis will need surgery on the fractured hamate bone, the same injury that has kept third baseman Jose Ramirez out of Cleveland’s lineup for weeks. The team said Kipnis will need four to six weeks to recover, which means the earliest he could be back is mid-October. By then, the Indians could be deep into their offseason.

They are still chasing first-place Minnesota in the AL Central and trailing Tampa Bay and Oakland for a wild card. The loss of Kipnis will make it even harder to make up any ground in the standings.

”I always feel like we’ll figure it out,” manager Terry Francona said. ”Sometimes you lose a little margin for error. Sometimes it becomes more challenging. That’s part of it. You deal with it.”

The Indians has been ravaged all season by injuries, the most impactful ones to Ramirez, outfielder Tyler Naquin and two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber, who hasn’t pitched in the majors since breaking his arm on May 1.

Naquin recently underwent season-ending knee surgery after crashing into the left-field wall while making a catch in Tampa.

The 32-year-old Kipnis, who was having a solid season, has been bothered by soreness in his wrist for several weeks. The two-time All-Star felt discomfort after taking a swing on Sunday against Minnesota and left the game after hitting a double.

An MRI taken Monday showed the fracture, and the team is coordinating with hand specialist Dr. Thomas Graham, who performed the same operation last month on Ramirez.

This could be Kipnis’ final season with the club. He has been with Cleveland his entire career, and the team holds a club option for 2020 worth $16.5 million.

”It’s like you get kicked in the stomach a little bit just because you’ve been with these guys now for seven years and through a lot,” said Francona, who began managing the Indians in 2013. ”Some thick, some thin. But you still come through it.”

Kipnis is expected to address the media Wednesday.

Ramirez has been playing catch and taking ground balls. He could begin hitting drills soon. Kluber was close to returning last month, but strained an oblique muscle during a minor league game. He’s been playing catch at 100 feet.

The Indians have recalled utilityman Andrew Velazquez from Triple-A Columbus. The 25-year-old was acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays on July 3 and started at second base Tuesday.

A switch-hitter, Velazquez batted .244 with five RBIs in 12 games for the Clippers. He also has been slowed by left thumb and right hamstring injuries, going on the disabled list three times, most recently from Aug. 17-30. He has played five different positions this season.

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

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Amapakabo Leads Home Eagles Against Togo In CHAN 2020 Qualifier

Imama Amapakabo will lead the home-based Super Eagles out to Lome on Friday for the first leg of a 2020 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifying fixture against Togo on Sunday, Completesports.com reports

The home- Eagles have been preparing for the game in Abuja under the tutelage of Amapakabo.

The bulk of the U23 team – the Olumpic Eagles, that edged out Sudan 5-1on aggregate in the Africa U23 Cup of Nations qualifiers are part of the squad.

Goalkeeper Adamu Abubakar, defenders Olisa Ndah, John Lazarus and Ebube Duru as well as midfielders Fatai Gbadamosi, Ndifreke Effiong and Sunusi Ibrahim are expected to make the final squad to Lome.

The reverse fixture will take place in Nigeria a fortnight later.

The overall winner of the game will qualify for the CHAN 2020 tournament to be hosted by Cameroon.

The home-based Super Eagles made it to the final of last edition of CHAN, losing 4-0 to host nation Morocco.

By Adeboye Amosu

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Iman Shumpert rejects offer from Rockets, who’ll have several familiar names in minicamp

Iman Shumpert is the best free agent available.

Why hasn’t he signed yet? Apparently because he spent the offseason negotiating with the Rockets, but those talks haven’t produced a deal.

Shams Charania of The Athletic:

Kelly Iko of The Athletic:

Alykhan Bijani of The Athletic:

I wonder whether Houston tried to sign Shumpert to a contract similar to Nene’s, creating another trade chip. The Rockets are close to the luxury tax and probably wouldn’t guarantee Shumpert much. It doesn’t take months to negotiate a simple minimum contract.

Shumpert (29) is a credible wing in a league starving for them. He played well for the Kings last season before getting traded to Houston, where he struggled. Other teams should be interested.

The Rockets have just nine players with guaranteed salaries. There’s plenty of room for some of these past-their-prime veterans to make the regular-season roster. It might mostly depend on which of Terrence Jones (27), Nick Young (34), Luc Mbah a Moute (33), Corey Brewer (33), Raymond Felton (35) and Thabo Sefolosha (35) are in the best shape at this stage.

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11 Business Nuggets from Super Eagles Bronze Medal Triumph –

11 Business Nuggets Introduction;

This year, the Super Eagles of Nigeria participated in the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) a biennial competition organised by Confederation of African Football (CAF), haven won the title for a third time in 2013.

The memories of that victory is quite vivid in my head as I was at the Nelson Mandela stadium that faithful Sunday evening. The whole stadium was agog as Sunday Mba netted a last gasp winner for the Super Eagles. It was the battle of the Titans that night as Burkina Faso tried in all futility to get back
from the goal deficit.

Coming into this year’s AFCON the Super Eagles had evolved and were looking like the favourites, we have come into the tournament as underdogs haven won all our qualifying matches in the run up to the competition. Bright and rising stars from the English Premier League and Spanish La Liga made the list of promising stars who had AFCON 2019 to prove their worth.

All went in their favour till the Semi Final match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and Algeria, as Manchester city winger Mahrez was the difference between the two sides. That ended our cup expectations and saw us settle for bronze medal at the expense of Tunisia.

In today’s tumultuous business environment we can use the performance of the Super Eagles of Nigeria as a business case to analyse how we can better manage our business and outperform our expectations. There was a lot of business lessons to be learnt from the Super Eagles performance, and shed light on how we can avoid the pitfalls on our journey to business growth and profitability.

The content of this book will not only guarantee business growth and profitability but also, will give you
an edge over your competition;

What you will LEARN;

  • Focusing on your unique selling points (Strengths)
  • Delivering on your KPIs effortlessly
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Ethical Hacks to outwit your competition
  • Managing your business to profitability; Brick by Brick
  • Importance of adopting a savings culture
  • Building lasting wealth
  • Managing talents in your business and teams

There is a saying that if it is too good to be true, then it is probably not true. I believe this philosophy
100%. However this eBook evidently breaks all the protocols pertaining to its practicality.

Who needs this eBook?

  • If you have a business and you are struggling to distinguish from the what, when, where and how of your business; then this eBook is for you.
  • If you have not started your business and you already have a business concept; this eBook if for you.
  • If you are still battling with a business idea and yet to conceptualise it; then this eBook is for you.

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Steelers act like contenders, even with life after Big Ben

Make no mistake about it, the Pittsburgh Steelers are currently on a slippery slope.

After limping out to a surprising 0-2 start, the typically solid Steelers — who will be without quarterback Ben Roethlisberger the rest of the season due to a devastating elbow injury — are potentially one loss, and certainly one more quarterback injury, away from the dreaded season from hell.

You know, the year where everything goes wrong for a contender, starting with an injury to a star player, and they somehow end up with a franchise-changing high pick.

It most famously happened in the NBA in the 1996-97 season, when star center David Robinson was limited to six games due to back and foot injuries, the Spurs won the lottery and drafted Tim Duncan. It also happened in the NFL in 2011, when Peyton Manning missed the whole season with a neck injury and the Colts landed another franchise quarterback in Andrew Luck during the ensuing draft.

So yes, it’s not a stretch to say the Steelers — who are now tasking second-year pro Mason Rudolph with leading them out of football hell, as Tony D’Amato would say — are on the precipice of disaster without Roethlisberger, all of which makes their all-in, chips-in-the-center-of-the-table trade for Miami Dolphins safety Minkah Fitzpatrick late Monday night surprising.

Minkah Fitzpatrick wanted out of Miami’s rebuild. He’s now a Steeler. (Getty Images)

An optimist would call the trade bold. A realist would call it risky. A pessimist might call it dumb.

None of this has anything to do with Fitzpatrick, a fine player who was wasting away on the worst NFL roster seen since the winless 2008 Lions. The 22-year-old is an intriguing versatile talent and former first-round pick, the kind of player the tanking Dolphins should be building around.

Only, the second-year pro didn’t like the way he was being used — at strong safety, a position even his mother agreed he didn’t feel comfortable at — and the Dolphins opted to trade him and add to their treasure trove of draft picks, bringing their total first-round bounty in 2020 to three in their attempt to improve the odds for drafting a franchise quarterback. Good for them.

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Fitzpatrick will now bolster a position of need for the Steelers, who lack deep cover talent at safety (a big-time problem in today’s pass-heavy NFL) and took an additional hit when current starter Sean Davis suffered a torn labrum Sunday (but still expects to keep playing).

Yet, it all comes at a cost because the decision to trade a first-round pick that could be immensely valuable — while in the process, outbidding bonafide playoff teams like the Kansas City Chiefs, who made an aggressive offer for Fitzpatrick, a source told Yahoo Sports, but were ultimately felled by their likely placement at the end of the draft’s first round — speaks to the faith they have in the 6-foot-5, 235-pound Rudolph, a third-round pick in 2018.

Rudolph didn’t look bad in his first regular-season NFL action Sunday in relief of Roethlisberger. In one half, he completed 12 of 19 passes for 112 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. (The pick wasn’t his fault, as the ball bounced off the hands of receiver Donte Moncrief and into a defender’s waiting grasp.)

But by setting themselves up to go without a first-round pick for the first time since 1967 — dead serious — the Steelers better be right about Rudolph, and he better not get hurt.

Rudolph will be playing behind one of the league’s most experienced and cohesive lines. He is particularly good at selling play-action and he loves to throw downfield. It’s possible for the Steelers to successfully get away from the pass-heavy lean they’ve undertaken under Roethlisberger and recommit to a running game that has been unacceptably dormant through the first two weeks of the season.

And hey, maybe Rudolph’s insertion into the starting lineup will also be a good thing for second-year receiver James Washington, a second-round pick a year ago who thrived in a productive battery together at Oklahoma State but has yet to put it all together on the pro level.

However, if the Steelers are wrong about Rudolph, the chances of Pittsburgh avoiding the season from hell — one that includes their first losing year since 2003, when they went 6-10 under the great Bill Cowher — go way down. And that’s why the trade is also a double-down bet on current coach Mike Tomlin who, for all the criticism he has taken from Steelers fans, has never finished worse than 8-8 in his previous 12 seasons as head coach.

With a typical respectable Tomlin season, the Steelers’ 2020 pick will fall anywhere from the middle to the end of the first round and they’ll win the trade, since Pittsburgh would be unlikely to find anyone as good as Fitzpatrick, the 11th overall pick a year ago, at that spot.

Anything short of that will be a disaster because it means Rudolph didn’t work and Pittsburgh will need to find another young quarterback to groom for the future, even though the 37-year-old Roethlisberger is intent on coming back. A top-10 pick, which they’d end up with for sure following the season from hell, would have been a good place to start, especially since they already shipped their third-round selection to Denver in their draft day trade up for linebacker Devin Bush.

So, we’ll see. Just know that the Steelers’ fate — and whether the optimistic, realist or pessimist will end up being right in the end — rests almost entirely in the hands of Rudolph, who could do his bosses a solid by justifying their faith in him with his play over the next 14 games.

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Rooney: American Players In MLS Are Underpaid

Former England forward Wayne Rooney says that American players in the Major League Soccer are underpaid as the league heads towards negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement this winter.

Rooney linked up with DC United in 2018 and is set to conclude his stay in the MLS after the end of the current season.

The former Manchester United and Everton striker will head back to England in January to join Sky Bet Championship club, Derby County.

The league’s existing collective bargaining agreement is due to expire on Jan. 31, 2020, with players having previously threatened to strike before a final-hour deal during the last negotiations in 2015.

This time around, the focus is on increased salaries, better travel accommodations and increased player movement, having secured a limited form of free agency during the last set of negotiations four years ago.

With players still flying on non-charter flights and being paid in accordance with the league’s salary cap structure, Rooney says he believes MLS players deserve more than what they are currently getting.

“I feel that American players get underpaid,” he told ESPN.

“I feel they deserve to get more money to stay in line with football in the rest of the world but also in terms of the American sports.

“I’m not saying it to benefit me, I obviously won’t be in the league next season. I think it’s only fair to those players who are putting in the same work as all have to earn the right to earn more money for doing it.”

He added: “I think the flight issues, in terms of you get so many chartered flights, I believe if a team wants chartered flights than they should be able to charter as many they want. They should be able to do whatever they want with that.”

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Senzaltela, Story lead Rockies over Mets 9-4

DENVER (AP) — Pitcher Antonio Senzatela hit a tying, two-run single that ended a year-long 0-for-44 slide at the plate, Trevor Story followed three pitches later with a three-run homer of Steven Matz to cap a six-run fourth inning and the Colorado Rockies beat the Mets 9-4 Monday night to drop New York five games back for the second NL wild card with 12 games to play.

Brandon Nimmo, batting leadoff for the first time since May 17, opened the game with a home run off Senzatela (10-10). Starting their last road trip of the regular season, the Mets built a 4-1 lead on Jeff McNeil‘s two-run homer in the third that stopped an 0-for-13 slump and Amed Rosario‘s RBI double in the fourth.

Matz, who allowed Ian Desmond’s second-inning homer, needed 42 pitches to get through the fourth and dropped to 0-2 with a 10.15 ERA in three starts at Coors Field.

Charlie Blackmon singled with one out, Ryan McMahon walked and Garrett Hampson hit an RBI single with two outs.

No. 8 hitter Drew Butera walked to bring up Senzatela, who had not gotten a hit since a two-run single off San Francisco’s Dereck Rodriguez on Sept. 16 last year. With the count 1-2, Senzatela lined a sinker into left field. Story followed with a drive into the left-field seats off Matz (10-9), who allowed seven runs, six hits and two walks in four innings.

Senzatela gave up four runs and eight hits in six innings.

Desmond made a nice leaping catch near the top of the left-field wall against Nimmo in the fifth.

Hampson had three hits, including a run-scoring single in the seventh off Paul Sewald, and Nolan Arenado hit an RBI double in the eighth against Edwin Diaz.

Mets rookie Pete Alonso ended a career-worst 0-for-21 slump with a fourth-inning single.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: RHP Robert Gsellman (right tricep tightness) could return before the end of the regular season, manager Mickey Callaway said. … Callaway said INF Dominic Smith (right shoulder) is in Florida and will begin baseball activities soon.

Rockies: LHP Kyle Freeland (left groin strain) is scheduled to throw a simulated game on Tuesday. Freeland, out since Aug. 21, hopes to return this season.

HOMER HAPPY

Colorado has allowed 16 leadoff homers, tying the major league record set by the 2017 Seattle Mariners, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

HITTING THE WALL

Mets LF J.D. Davis ran into the wall after snaring Story’s drive in the eighth inning. He lay on the ground and was looked at by a trainer but stayed in the game.

UP NEXT

New York RHP Marcus Stroman (8-13, 3.35), making his ninth start since joining the Mets on July 28, will face Colorado RHP Tim Melville (2-2, 5.16) Tuesday.

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

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