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Vineyard Wind Wins Offshore Connecticut

first_imgThe Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has selected Vineyard Wind to advance to contract negotiations for its 804MW Park City Wind project as part of the state’s Request for Proposals (RFP).The Park City Wind project will now enter into contract negotiations with the state’s two electric utilities, The United Illuminating Company and Eversource Energy, for a contract with a 20-year term.The resulting contracts will be subject to review and approval by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA).According to DEEP, Park City Wind is offered at a price lower than any other publicly announced offshore wind project in North America.It also includes an estimated USD 890 million in direct economic development, including Bridgeport Harbor and the local supply chain. Vineyard Wind estimates 2,800 direct full-time employment years will be created in Connecticut through the project.The selection of the project, which will provide the equivalent of 14% of the state’s electricity supply, is said to represent the largest purchase of renewable energy in Connecticut’s history.“Vineyard Wind is proud that our Park City Wind proposal was selected in this competitive process and we are excited to work with Governor Lamont and DEEP to deliver jobs and economic development opportunities to the Bridgeport region and meaningful reductions in harmful carbon emissions,” said Lars Pedersen, CEO of Vineyard Wind.“We look forward to building on the work already underway with a network of project partners, local officials, the maritime community, other developers, and all stakeholders involved to make Connecticut a hub for the offshore wind industry in the United States for decades to come.”To remind, DEEP launched the RFP for up to 2,000MW of offshore wind power in August, which represents the U.S. state’s first solicitation dedicated specifically to offshore wind development.Vineyard Wind revealed shortly after that it had submitted a proposal that comprises a set of bids, including a required 400MW plan and options to develop projects that will generate 800MW, 1,000MW and 1,200MW of offshore wind capacity.The joint venture of Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and Avangrid Renewables proposes to construct the project in one of its two federally designated lease areas located south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket on the east coast.last_img read more

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Birth control should be fully covered under health plans, report says

first_img Share HealthLifestyle Birth control should be fully covered under health plans, report says by: – July 20, 2011 66 Views   no discussions Contraceptives, sterilization and reproductive education should be covered by health insurance plans with no cost to patients under the health care reform law, a new report recommends.The birth control methods, services and education should be available “so that women can better avoid unwanted pregnancies and space their pregnancies to promote optimal birth outcomes,” according to a report from the Institute of Medicine, an independent, nonprofit organization that gives advice to decision makers and the public.Annual HIV tests, breastfeeding support and a well-woman care visit should also be fully covered as preventive services, the report states.Under most health insurance plans, birth control such as hormone pills and implantable devices are partially covered, but require patients to contribute financially. If the Institute of Medicine committee’s recommendations are accepted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, women will no longer have to shell out co-pays, deductibles or other out-of-pocket fees for approved birth control or sterilization methods.It’s unclear whether HHS will implement the report’s recommendations. That decision could come as early as August. “We are reviewing the report closely and will release the Department’s recommendations of what additional preventive services for women should be covered without cost sharing very soon,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.She called the IOM report “historic” and said its recommendations were “based on science and existing literature.”The IOM committee recommended that all U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptives, including the morning after pills, should be fully covered by insurance plans.Contraceptives can help families plan pregnancies, the report states. A national survey found that an estimated 49% of all pregnancies in the United States were unintended in 2001.And women who have unintended pregnancies are more likely to have little or no prenatal care, and engage in risky behaviors such as smoking, drinking or experience domestic violence.Birth control can also help women space time between births. Short periods between pregnancies have been associated with increased risk of higher mortality for children under age 5, low birth weight, preterm births, stillbirths, miscarriages, and maternal death.The direct medical cost of unintended pregnancy in the United States was estimated to be nearly $5 billion in 2002. The cost savings due to contraceptive use in that same year was estimated to be $19.3 billion, according to a study cited in the IOM’s report.Health care professional associations such as the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Public Health Association already recommend the use of family planning services as part of women’s preventive care.Dr. James Martin, Jr, president of The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, said the organization “really believes unimpeded access to affordable contraceptives for all women is foundational.”Martin, who practices in Jackson, Mississippi, noted that a substantial number of the pregnancies were unplanned and that some low- or middle-income women didn’t have access to contraception because of cost.Health plans covering an annual preventative care visit is also important, because that’s when contraceptive methods would be discussed with a doctor, he said.Planned Parenthood welcomed the committee’s recommendations.“Millions of women, especially young women, struggle every day to afford prescription birth control,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.“Today’s recommendation brings us a step closer to ensuring that all newly insured women under the health care reform law will have access to prescription birth control without out-of-pocket expenses.”But the topic of birth control and contraceptives remains highly sensitive because of personal or religious beliefs.Jeanne Monahan, director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council, said the group’s chief concerns were what kind of birth control the plans would be required to cover.Emergency contraceptives such as Plan B and Ella are taken after sexual intercourse to prevent pregnancy. Ella works primarily by stopping or delaying ovulation, according to the drug maker. Plan B uses a hormone found in birth control pills to prevent ovulation or interfere with fertilization.Monahan likened the emergency contraception to an “abortion drug.” The Family Research Council is a faith-based nonprofit.“The overall question of mandating contraception, we believe that will inherently violate people’s conscience rights,” she said. “There are many people with conscience objections. They will be forced to pay insurance premiums which will ultimately cover these things that violate their conscience.”“The question is whether the government should mandate that every health plan will cover these drug costs. They shouldn’t be forced to violate their consciences,” Monahan said.Although the recommendation on contraceptives is most likely to attract controversy, the IOM committee also suggested that the following programs be fully covered as preventive services:— Screening for gestational diabetes for pregnant women between 24 and 28 weeks— DNA testing for high-risk HPV for women starting at 30 years of age; recurring every three years— Annual counseling on sexually transmitted infections for all sexually active women— HIV testing and counseling on an annual basis for sexually active women— Breastfeeding support and counseling, including costs of renting breastfeeding equipment— Screening and counseling for interpersonal and domestic violence— One preventive care visit a year for adult womenCNN News Sharing is caring!center_img Share Tweet Sharelast_img read more

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Rooney needs to be fully committed

first_img Press Association Last month, departing manager Sir Alex Ferguson revealed he had rejected a transfer request from the England international. Sorting the 27-year-old’s future is one of the key things for new boss David Moyes to address but van Nistelrooy – who left Old Trafford for Real Madrid in 2006 – expects it will ultimately be the player’s decision. “It is a matter of how he feels. If he feels he is committed to the club I think there is an opening,” said the Dutchman. “If he says there isn’t I don’t think there is a future for him but it is up to him. I think the fans would love him to stay but it depends on the commitment. “If he is fully here everyone loves him but when he is not fully committed it is probably better to move on.” Former Red Devils defender Henning Berg also thinks Rooney will have final say on the matter, although he does not expect United to give in easily. “It is up to Wayne Rooney. If he is 100 per cent committed and wants to play and that is everything he has to go for he has the talent and the qualities to play a big part at this club,” he said after a United v Real Madrid legends game in aid of the Manchester United Foundation. “I think David Moyes and Rooney have to talk about that and if Rooney feels it is not 100 per cent for him then maybe things will change. “I don’t know too much about the history (of Rooney’s transfer requests) but with David Moyes coming in they have to sit down and talk about it – but ultimately Wayne has to see what he feels. “He is still under contract so I think the club is still in a good position.” center_img Former Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy believes Wayne Rooney has to leave the club if he is not 100 per cent committed.last_img read more

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Fabregas: I’m committed to Chelsea

first_imgSpain midfielder Cesc Fabregas is fully committed to the “important project” at Chelsea, but maintains he will always hold Arsenal close to his heart. He won the Primera Division, a Copa del Ray and the FIFA Club World Cup during his three-year spell back in Spain, before sealing a return to the Premier League with Chelsea this summer. In an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais, Fabregas explained his feelings for Arsenal will not be diminished by whatever he may go on to achieve across London with Chelsea. “Don’t think I didn’t think about it (playing for Arsenal’s rivals when I decided to join Chelsea). I will keep the Gunner feeling forever and I know that I will return to Highbury (Emirates Stadium) and (it) will be a special moment, but I am a committed guy,” Fabregas said. “I remind you that I played the Champions League final against Barcelona (with Arsenal) and I swear I would have done anything to win that game – and I have been a Barcelona fan since I was a kid. “So I know that when I play against Arsenal I will know who is my (current) team, who are my colleagues and who I defend. And I know that the Arsenal fans will understand me, I have no doubt.” Mourinho felt Fabregas needed little convincing to join him at Chelsea, sealing a £28million move just before the World Cup. Fabregas added: “If you’d told me five years ago that I would play for Chelsea and Mourinho I would not have believed you, but life changes. “I started to think about leaving Barcelona after the Copa del Rey final. It was when I started to think that it had finished, that there was a change or that I didn’t want to continue. “I spoke with my agent and asked him to find me a new team, and an offer from Chelsea arrived. For me it was coming back to London, where I grew (up). There was no better way out. “I spoke with Mourinho and he told me the things I needed to hear. I felt valued. I felt I was going to be important in an important project.” Press Associationcenter_img The former Gunners captain feels comfortable working under Blues boss Jose Mourinho, with Arsenal having decided against taking up an option to bring him back from Barcelona to the Emirates Stadium. Fabregas, 27, joined the Gunners from his boy-hood club as a raw teenager and developed into one of the most dynamic midfielders in the game, before returning to the Nou Camp in August 2011. last_img read more

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African Nations Cup to kick off amid same old complaints

first_imgBy Mark Gleeson(REUTERS) – The African Nations Cup begins next week against a backdrop of civil strife in host nation Gabon and ever more strident complaints from European clubs about the tournament taking away key players midway their season.On the footballing front, the Ivory Coast seek to defend their title, Egypt bid to revive former glories and tiny Guinea Bissau aim to continue their fairytale run.The trio are among 16 countries at the biennial tournament played at four venues across the oil-rich central African country, which only months ago was beset by civil strife after a disputed election kept President Ali Bongo in power amid allegations of widespread fraud.The possibility of more protests around the tournament, which will bring an international spotlight the country rarely enjoys, means the likelihood of stifling security as a backdrop to what is supposed to be a celebration of African soccer.Excitement over the event has also been tempered by ongoing controversy over its timing as the Confederation of African Football doggedly refuses to change the scheduling, much to the frustration of the main European leagues who lose players for a month in the middle of their seasons.FIFA rules allow countries to call up players, causing a club versus country conflict every two years which this time has led to more players than ever opting to stay with their clubs.Cameroon, usually among the favourites, will take a weakened side to the tournament after eight players told coach Hugo Broos they wanted to stay with their clubs rather than risk losing their places by going to Gabon.But holders Ivory Coast have been able to add to their talent pool with Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha eschewing overtures to stay loyal to England and embarking on a new course with his international career.IVORIAN STALWARTSHe will make his debut next week to become the first England international in more than half a century to play for another country, strengthening an Ivorian side without stalwarts Yaya Toure (retired) and Gervinho (injured).They are among the favourites along with Algeria – spearheaded by newly-crowned African player-of-the-year Riyad Mahrez – Ghana, Senegal and Egypt, who have won a record seven Nations Cup titles but not played in the last three tournaments.Their last appearance was in 2010 when they won a third successive title before the fall-out from the Arab Spring protests impacted heavily on the country’s football.Reaffirming Egypt’s place among the continental heavyweights is the goal of their Argentine coach Hector Cuper. “I know well that the fans adore trophies so we got to try and bring one back,” he said.Gabon will open the tournament on January 14 at Libreville’s Stade l’Amitie against Guinea Bissau, who defied all conventional wisdom to reach the finals for the first time.One of the world’s poorest countries, the team from the former Portuguese colony have not played a match since September but are eager to continue their heroics after dumping out former champions Congo and Zambia in the qualifiers.“We are up against vultures who have great experience of the Nations Cup,” said Guinea Bissau coach Baciro Cande.“But we will give the best of ourselves and our goal is to get to the quarter-finals.”last_img read more

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Bangladesh rise to No.6 in ODI rankings

first_imgBANGLADESH have climbed up to No. 6 on the ICC ODI rankings on the back of their first victory over New Zealand in conditions outside of home.The five-wicket win came in Dublin where the teams were engaged in a tri-nation tournament with hosts Ireland ahead of the Champions Trophy. Bangladesh now sit above three Full Members – Sri Lanka, Pakistan and West Indies – and have 18 rating points behind England.In the current rankings cycle, results between May 2016 and 2017 get 100% weightage and those between May 2014 and 2016 get 50%. Bangladesh won six out of 14 completed games between May 2016 and 2017, including a drawn series with Sri Lanka. They qualified for the Champions Trophy, a tournament they will play for the first time in 10 years.Bangladesh had 18 wins in 28 completed games between May 2014 and 2016, when they made the World Cup quarter-final and earned series wins over India, South Africa and Pakistan.The top eight teams on September 30 this year gain automatic qualification to the 2019 World Cup. At the May 1 rankings update, Bangladesh were in seventh place with 91 points, with Pakistan only three points behind them.Their promotion now to No. 6 gives them a lot more breathing space.(ESPNCricinfo)last_img read more

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The Latest: Twin Cities Marathon to be held virtually

first_img“We know our fans are as eager to return to Monmouth Park as we are to have them back,” said Dennis Drazin, chairman and CEO of Darby Development LLC, which runs the track.The 37-day meet runs through Sept. 27, highlighted by the $1 million Haskell Invitational on July 18.___Pittsburgh is out of the running to be one of the two hubs for the NHL when the league resumes its season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.The Penguins submitted what the club called an “aggressive” bid to be a hub city and was among the 10 finalists — including seven in the U.S. — announced by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. They announced Tuesday they weren’t selected, joining the Columbus Blue Jackets. Three-time Grand Slam semifinalist Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria said Sunday he has tested positive for the virus. Borna Coric played Dimitrov on Saturday in Zadar and said Monday he has also tested positive.Djokovic left Croatia after the final was canceled and was tested in Belgrade. The results are expected soon.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports The Latest: Twin Cities Marathon to be held virtually Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The Twin Cities Marathon will be held virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions in Minnesota, the latest road race altered, postponed or canceled by the pandemic. Bowdoin President Clayton Rose cited limitations on campus attendance in an announcement detailing the school’s plans for the fall semester. UMass Boston interim Chancellor Katherine Newman said in a memo that the school will focus on remote instruction in the fall with no on-ground student activities.Both schools compete in Division III. Bowdoin has 31 varsity teams. UMass Boston has 18.Rose said there may be an opportunity for the winter, spring and possibly fall athletes to participate and compete in some form after Jan. 1. But there will be no elimination of programs or furloughs or cuts to athletic administration, staff or coaches.Newman said she is hopeful conditions will improve enough by October that the school will be able to open some on-campus programs.___ Associated Press Penguins President and CEO David Morehouse said simply being a finalist reflected the city’s support of the team and the NHL.The Penguins are among 24 teams that are in Phase 2 of the league’s Return to Play program, which consists of small group workouts without coaches. Those 24 teams will eventually be part of an expanded playoff format, with 12 teams committed to each of the two host cities.Canada’s federal government last week said it would allow the league to quarantine internally, making Toronto, Vancouver and Edmonton realistic possibilities.___Maine’s Bowdoin College and UMass Boston are canceling their fall sports schedules due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s karate world championships have been postponed for one year because of the coronavirus pandemic.The World Karate Federation says the championships will now take place from Nov. 16-21, 2021, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.The governing body says “the well-being and safety of competitors and fans could not be ensured amid the ongoing epidemic of COVID-19.”Karate was set to make its debut at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo but that event has also been postponed by a year.The karate worlds are held every two years. The scheduled 2022 event has also been put back one year to 2023 in Budapest, Hungary. Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin says two unidentified players have tested positive for COVID-19 and recovered.Tomlin said Tuesday the players tested positive at some point earlier this year. Both players went through what Tomlin called “the appropriate protocol” and have since returned to work.Neither player visited the team facility at any point during the offseason. The Steelers, like the rest of the NFL, have been meeting and training remotely rather than in person since mid-March.___The U.S. National Soccer Hall of Fame has postponed its 2020 induction ceremony to 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. June 23, 2020 This year’s induction ceremony had been scheduled for Sept. 19-20 in Frisco, Texas, where the Hall of Fame is located.Members of the 2020 and 2021 classes will be inducted together in a ceremony next year.Voting for the 2020 class was completed earlier this year but not yet announced.Former U.S. national team goalkeeper Hope Solo, dismissed from the team following the 2016 Olympics, was among the first-time eligible players on the ballot. U.S. national team members Brad Davis, Whitney Engen, Herculez Gómez and Clarence Goodson also were among 14 first-time eligible players on the 42-person ballot.___ ___Another tennis player has tested positive for the coronavirus after taking part in an exhibition series organized by Novak Djokovic in Serbia and Croatia.Viktor Troicki says he and his pregnant wife have both been diagnosed with the virus. The former top-20 player from Serbia played against Djokovic in Belgrade during the first part of the two-leg tour.Djokovic was the face behind the Adria Tour. The series started in the Serbian capital and then moved to Zadar, Croatia, last weekend.There were no social distancing measures observed at the matches in either country. Twin Cities in Motion, the marathon’s organization, said Tuesday that the 39th edition of the event will not be staged as usual on Oct. 4 in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Registered runners instead can run any 26.2-mile distance during the month of October and submit their times online to receive the finisher T-shirt and medal. The Boston Marathon recently announced a similar, crowd-free format.The Twin Cities Marathon had more than 8,000 entrants last year, with 6,700 finishers. An estimated 300,000 spectators annually line the course. The weekend roster of races that includes the marathon and several shorter-distance events was expected to draw as many as 30,000 runners.___Monmouth Park will reopen for simulcast wagering and sports betting on July 2, with live horse racing returning the following day.The complex will operate at 25% capacity as part of New Jersey’s second stage of loosening of restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The racetrack has been closed to the public since March 16 because of the pandemic.last_img read more

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Winners Connection face Topp XX, Botofago clash with Coomacka

first_imgTONIGHT  is semifinals night in this year’s Upper Demerara Football Association’s (UDFA) yearend Christmas football championship with Topp XX facing Haynes and Lewis Winners Connection in the first game at 19:00hrs and the second game pits the unheralded Coomacka Mines team against the 2017-18 winners Botofago from 21:00hrs.Now the highest seeded team in this final-four package, Botofago will be favoured to come out on top when they face upstarts Coomacka; but a resurgent Topp XX side, now seeking to earn former glory as one of the region’s top club teams, face an uphill task against multiple-time champs Winners Connection.Last Wednesday the final set of preliminary round games were played at the MSC ground. In the first game Topp XX made their qualification good with a 3-0 thumping of Amelia’s Ward Panthers. The win for Topp XX was engineered by some positive play in overtime thumping of the Panthers who held their own, up to 90 minutes of play.However, in the extra period of play Topp XX took over and through a 90 plus 4-minute goa,l Keon Hall rolled the ball over to a running Jamal Bentick who banged home for a 1-0 lead.Ten minutes later Bentick again scored, this time off a free-kick. The Panthers goalkeeper sparred at the shot and as it was coming out Bentick ran on to hammer home goal number two for a 2-0 score.After switching over, Topp XX again netted, this time from a nice buildup Ryan Noel exchanged with Bentick, and with the ball played inside Noel easily converted for the 3-0 win in the 90th plus 21 minutes.In the second game Haynes and Lewis Winners Connection earned that semifinal spot with a 4-2 victory over Capital FC with a hat-trick brace from Marmalaque Davidson and the other by Shaquille Frank in the exciting win.For tonight’s matches no doubt Haynes and Lewis Winners Connection will be tested by Topp XX in the first game. Davidson and Frank are the players to watch as they continue to get goals in this tournament. Topp XX will show their worth through their captain Ryan Noel and Carlos Grant who has been getting goals of late. With Ruel Williams and Travis Waterton playing at the back this should be a good encounter.The night cap is what will be the crowd-puller with their scores of fans coming from the south of Linden in the Mines area. Coomacka who have reached their first semi-finals of this tournament will have no pressure on themselves and their coach Carlsdale Aaron is confident of a surprise.Aaron when asked of his chances of advancing at the expense of Botofago said:  “These guys are very young and eager to play football. Everything we are going to put into it and once they execute to the game plan, no team can stop us. We showed what we can do last year when we came against the best team in Linden when we had Eagles United on the ropes, but lost on goal difference.”Key to a win tonight will be the Coomacka midfield player Ateba Edmundson, Lorrick Daw at last back and goalkeeper Kellon Major.President of the Botofago side, Colin Moore, said his players like the Haynes brothers up front in Shane and Jamal, Jashawn Moore in the middle and a compact defence system will allow his team the chance to get past this youthful Coomacka side.Botofago Club captain Colin Moore offered this comment: “Well, we all know we didn’t start the tournament on a positive, as we lost our first two games but won the third handsomely and that in itself was responsible for us progressing. The players have been more committed since as this tournament was hastily planned and we are looking to grow one game at a time.”last_img read more

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Injury forces Smith to watch action from afar

first_imgJEFF SCHORFHEIDE/Herald photoReduced to merely watching as a fan from the stands, Brendan Smith felt far removed from the one thing he knows, the one thing he loves.Smith couldn?t play hockey.More than a month ago the freshman defenseman was skating in a game, and suddenly something didn?t feel right. He tweaked something in his back.Hoping it would correct itself, Smith played through the pain for five more games. But it didn?t go away. In the middle of the Friday night game against Denver, he felt a paralyzing pain and knew right then his injury was serious.?I really couldn?t even move my body,? Smith recalls. ?That was the first time I was like ?What is wrong?? I can?t even play it hurts so much.?A freshman season that held so much promise for Smith after the Detroit Red Wings made him its first pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft and 27th selection overall was abruptly halted.?When he went down, everyone felt for him. It was pretty serious,? said Craig Johnson, the man who replaced Smith in the lineup.The Red Wings had no reason to send scouts out to Badger hockey games. Nor could Smith polish his game, one that was still a work-in-progress after making the switch from forward to defenseman a few years ago.?You only have like 40 games per season, which is really short compared to the OHL or even the USHL,? Smith said. ?Missing a weekend is huge. I?ve missed six.?Append the actual acute pain of his back, and the misery enveloping Smith?s features was apparent.?It?s been hard, especially when you see teams like Minnesota play and you?re forced to watch while everyone tells you how great it is,? Smith said.?It?s a really tough thing to handle, especially since he?s a competitor,? Davis Drewiske said of Smith?s injury.Feelings of disconnect from the team set in during the first few weeks following Smith?s injury because injured players don?t attend road games.?It?s difficult because you don?t feel like a part of the team,? Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves said. ?I know that having been through that myself. It?s tough.?That?s where Eaves, the entire coaching staff and the team have doubled their efforts to make Smith feel welcome.?We go out of our way to make sure he?s a part of the team, make sure he?s in on meetings and learning and bust his chops when he doesn?t look sharp,? Eaves said.For that, Smith is grateful.?Coach has been great,? Smith said. ?He?s talked to me and brought my spirits up a few times. You?ve got KP (Kevin Patrick), who helps me with problems all the time; Coach gives me a little boost; and obviously Oz (Mark Osiecki) talks to me like I?m still playing.?Smith may have needed the extra support and inclusion from time to time, but he didn?t ever quit the fight to get back onto the ice. From Johnson?s vantage point, the way Smith has handled himself during his first significant injury is something special.?I give him credit, being a first-round draft pick dealing with a serious injury and keeping his head up as much as he has; every day coming to this rink and being supportive of everyone,? Johnson said. ?That kid?s strong, really strong.?The weeks Smith wasn?t allowed to skate didn?t keep him from getting a little bit of practice.?I want to play so much just watching practice, so I?d actually grab a stick and start standing with my shoes on because all I want to do is play,? Smith said.Last week Smith?s recovery process took a baby step when he stepped back onto the ice for the first time to test his back and skate around a little bit. This week he has been practicing in full equipment and participating in no-contact drills.Gasping through practice and Eaves? Greased Lightnings ? killers between the blue lines ? was a breath of fresh air. Smith knows he?s getting closer.Each day brings new hope, an added incentive to work through the exhaustion ? as he works his way into game-playing shape ? to one day get back into the lineup.Still, patience is a must. And as difficult as the first few weeks were for Smith, these final few have been agonizing.?Right now I feel like I can go, but I can?t because I?m still being patient with my back,? Smith said, whose back is still stiff at times. ?It?s so hard. … I just want to play.?When Smith debuted for the Badgers, it took little time for Smith to confound the opposition with his scoring and passing abilities. He scored six points in the first four games and 10 after seven. Although he then went through a dry spell, scoring just one point in the next four series, he had turned it on again right before the injury.If all goes well, Smith would like to make his return before the bell rings on the end of the regular season. Translation: next weekend.?I want to play against St. Cloud State, but I don?t know if I?ll be ready or allowed,? Smith said, ?The doc has to clear me first.?So the defenseman just keeps telling himself: ?I?m almost there. I?m almost there.?last_img read more

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CHAN 2018: Silver-winning Eagles Back from Morocco

first_imgThe Home-based Eagles delegation to the 5th African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Morocco returned to the country in the early hours of Tuesday, proudly clutching their silver medals.Players and officials arrived the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at about 3am aboard a Royal Air Maroc aircraft, and were received by officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), including former Nigeria international Abdulrafiu Yusuf (Assistant Director, Technical) and Mr. Sunday Okayi (Assistant Director, Competitions).The delegation was then flown to the Federal Capital, Abuja by the first flight out of Lagos.The team won four of its six matches at the continental championship, drawing one, before losing the Final match to a super-charged Moroccan team on Sunday. The silver medal-winning outing remains Nigeria’s best in the history of the CHAN, a step better than the harvest by the Class of 2014, who returned with bronze medals from South Africa.Meanwhile, some of the Nigerian stars who shown brightly at the Championship in Morocco are wanted by clubs in Europe and Asia.Sunday Faleye is wanted in Austria, while striker Okechukwu Gabriel, who netted the winner in both the quarterfinal and semifinal, is wanted by Moroccan giants Raja Casablanca as well as clubs in Norway, Switzerland and Russia.Midfielder Ifeanyi Ifeanyi has attracted interest in the Major Soccer League (MLS) in the US while even 37-year-old Rabiu Ali could play the final years of an illustrious career in Asia.Besides grossing $750,000 prize-money as beaten finalists, Nigeria will enjoy a decent rise in the FIFA World Rankings after they won four, drew one and lost a game in Morocco.Three weeks in the freezing winter in Morocco has most certainly been worth all the trouble.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

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