Juventus are closing in on the signing of Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra. Press Association Evra signed a one-year contract extension with United eight weeks ago, but the defender has since been given permission to leave Old Trafford. The 33-year-old’s move to Turin had been put in doubt following the resignation of manager Antonio Conte, but his replacement Massimiliano Allegri was keen to continue the club’s pursuit of the player. Evra, who has been at United for eight years, is on holiday at the moment, but Press Association Sport understands he could be announced as a Juve player on Monday. Evra will not be the last player to leave Old Trafford this summer. When asked whether there would be any player departures, executive vice-chairman told MUTV on Sunday: ”Yes, I think so. ”The manager makes that decision and a few players have already gone and there may well be a few others that go. ”It’s also worth commenting that we’re not in Europe this year (so) there’s less games, maybe the manager takes the view that he wants a tighter squad to bed in. ”If you do the analysis over last year, Liverpool performed extremely well with a smaller number of players but that’s a decision for the manager.” Woodward insists he will give his full backing to new manager Louis van Gaal in his quest to improve the squad following their seventh-placed finish last term. The Dutchman has spent upwards of £50million on Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera. He has also been linked with Arturo Vidal, Daley Blind, Kevin Strootman and Thomas Vermaelen. Woodward says there is plenty of cash available to Van Gaal if he decides he needs to strengthen further. ”There is no fixed budget. Financially we are extremely strong, we have funds available,” Woodward said in an interview filmed on the club’s pre-season tour of the United States. ”Louis is the boss and is assessing what’s going on but we have been in dialogue for some time about targets so there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes… we’re continuing to move forward on some of those targets… so watch this space. ”The time he (Van Gaal) spends here (in America)as well, he’ll be able to assess more what he’s got and continue to tweak the decisions if we need to. ”We want to do what it takes to win the title.” Woodward has become tired of seeing targets slip through his fingers. “I want to stop seeing the best players going to other clubs in Spain, I want us to stand out as the best club in the world,” he said. “We’ll do absolutely everything we can to achieve that.” Van Gaal put his 25-man squad through a double training session on Monday at the StubHub Center. United will kick off their pre-season campaign with a match against the Los Angeles Galaxy on Wednesday, before then travelling to Denver, Washington and Michigan to play Roma, Inter Milan and Real Madrid as part of the International Champions Cup.
On Friday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis made an announcement that he will be sending the National Guard to set up a mass COVID-19 testing site in Palm Beach County.“If you look at the numbers in the state of Florida, Dade and Broward far and away, the top two counties for infections. Palm Beach is kind of a distant third,” DeSantis said. “But if you look at Palm Beach’s numbers, they have not had nearly the amount of testing that Dade and Broward have had.”According to the Florida Department of Health, 5,845 people have been tested in Broward County, 5,310 have been tested in Miami-Dade County, and 1,488 have been tested in Palm Beach County. Palm Beach County has 194 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 763 in Miami-Dade County and 596 in Broward County.At the moment it is unclear where the location for mass testing in Palm Beach County will take or when it will began.WATCH NEWS CONFERENCE:
It’s become an all too familiar story. The USC women’s soccer team watches its opponents celebrate a thrilling victory, while it is left completely shocked.All too often, there has only been silence on the Trojan sideline after the final whistle. And the Women of Troy’s (3-7-0) loss to Washington State (7-3-1) was no exception.Early surge · Junior forward Samantha Johnson (right) scored on a header 14 seconds into the Women of Troy’s Pac-12 opener against Washington State. It would prove to be their lone goal of Sunday’s contest. – Jaideep Chadha | Daily TrojanWith the score knotted at one in the 86th minute, Wazzou forward Brandi Vega singlehandedly dribbled through three Trojan defenders and took off down the right sideline.Matching her run unmarked down the middle was midfielder Jocelyn Jeffers. Vega centered it on a platter, and Jeffers slotted it past a helpless sophomore Shelby Church in goal.“It sums up everything we’ve been through this season,” USC coach Ali Khosroshahin said. “We lose focus in the most crucial moments in front of the goal. We lose our discipline.”That loss of discipline was the culmination of a Cougar onslaught over the previous 25 minutes.Washington State forced three corner kicks in quick succession and recorded 11 of its 18 shots in the second half.“I don’t even know what to say,” senior defender Claire Schloemer said. “It’s a heartbreaker. It brings back Texas.”Schloemer referenced the Women of Troy’s last game at McAlister Field two weeks ago, when they blew a 1-0 lead in the 80th minute before going on to lose in overtime.This time looked like it might be different. Off the opening kick, sophomore midfielder Haley Boysen broke free down the left sideline before launching a centered pass to senior forward Samantha Johnson, streaking down the center of the field. Johnson headed the ball right over the keeper’s shoulder for her first goal of the season.Fourteen seconds in the Trojans had the lead.The rest of the first half was mostly Women of Troy-dominated as well.Senior midfielder Carly Butcher had a pair of blistering shots from long range, including one that hit the crossbar and went straight down.The USC sideline screamed that the ball crossed the goal line and went in, but the referee just shook his head.“I thought for the first 60 minutes we were the better team,” Khosroshahin said. “And then about the 65th minute they stepped up and we shrank.”A more apt time, in the 67th minute, the Women of Troy suffered the same type of defensive breakdown that has plagued them all season.After the Women of Troy conceded a free kick deep in their own half, Cougar defender Rachael Doyle ended up with the ball to the left of the USC goal.She headed the ball back into the box, and it slithered all the way through the mass of Women of Troy defenders, Cougar attackers, and Church and found its way into the side netting to tie the game at one.“Just a lack of attention to detail,” Schloemer said. “[The scorer] didn’t even attack the ball. It just hit off her head and went in.”It’s starting to become desperation time for the Women of Troy, as they are in danger of suffering their first losing season since 1992.Now at the halfway mark, the Women of Troy have yet to win at home, and face the daunting task of the Pac-12 ahead.The Women of Troy will get another chance to right the ship next weekend when they host the Oregon schools at McAlister Field.
In this, the Warriors Era, brief as it has been at four seasons and counting, they have been everything the NBA could hope for in a marquee team.They’ve been entertaining, changing the game with their up-tempo style and 3-point shooting firepower.They’ve been lovable, led by Steph Curry, the first NBA superstar you could describe as “cuddly.”They’ve been great, posting win totals of 67-73-67 en route to three consecutive NBA Finals, of which they won two … and they would have won all of them if they hadn’t blown a 3-1 lead in 2016 after Draymond Green got himself suspended for Game 5. They’ve been big box office with the three highest Finals TV ratings in the last 13 years for an Oakland-Cleveland ugly-duckling matchup against LeBron James and his supporting cast.The Warriors are building San Francisco glamor into their future with their self-funded $1 billion arena in the city, which will open in 2019.They made themselves financial giants with Forbes valuing the franchise at $3.1 billion, just behind the Lakers’ $3.3 billion, and ticket prices in the new arena set to jump 33 percent – along with a $35,000 “membership fee” for the honor of paying for the premium seats, which is refundable and serves as a mammoth interest-free loan.They’ve also been insufferable despite the presence of all-world good guys Curry, Kevin Durant and Coach Steve Kerr with owner Joe Lacob periodically trumpeting their greatness – or, actually, his greatness – as if reminding everyone who’s Numero Uno.Happily for the NBA, the Warriors now have a real test of their greatness, tied 1-1 with Houston going into Game 3 of the Western Conference finals on Sunday, after having finished seven games behind the Rockets during the regular season. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Unhappily, the matchup being in the conference finals leaves the real Finals looking like an anti-climax, raising the question of whether the league shouldn’t finally seed the playoffs regardless of conference.Departure from tradition that it would be, it would solve the age-old problem of anti-climactic East-West imbalance … which once tilted Eastward but not lately … while ensuring that any team deserving of a Finals berth has the chance to prove it.The over/under for this year’s Finals looks like five games, even if they’re weeks away and we won’t know which of the remaining four teams will be there. Whether it’s the young Celtics without Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward or the Cavaliers with little more than LeBron, winning more than one game against the Warriors or Rockets looks like an upset.If the trick for the Warriors is reaching the Finals, not winning them, it comes after a long season with Kerr braced for trouble after three long postseasons.After beating second-place San Antonio by margins of 11-6-6 in the West, the Warriors saw Houston blow past them – and pulled up in the stretch, going 44-14 before the All-Star break, 14-10 after it. Kerr had to use 27 starting lineups, compared to 24 combined the previous three seasons, even with personnel changes like KD’s 2016 arrival. Curry left with a knee injury in early March and wasn’t back until the second round of the playoffs.Even with Kerr intent on biding his time, the San Francisco Chronicle’s Ron Kroichick cites a dispirited one-sided loss to Indiana in April when the boyish coach bristled at their “pathetic” performance, noting it’s hard to win “if you don’t put forth any effort at all.”And now, the Rockets.The Warriors won Game 1 in Houston as Durant scored 37 points and the press ganged up on the Rockets for playing so much isolation.The Rockets won Game 2 by 22 as the press ganged up on Curry, who suddenly wasn’t getting good looks, going 2 for 13 from 3-point range in the first two games.Kerr, asked what percentage of Steph’s problem is his knee, joked, “13.7 percent” – perhaps just to show that things weren’t so dire he’d lost his sense of humor.Unfortunately for the Warriors, their wondrous pre-KD ball movement, which saw Draymond average 9.5 assists during the 2015-16 season, has devolved to throwing Durant the ball and making the occasional cut.Durant isn’t really a 7-footer as Houston Coach Mike D’Antoni keeps calling him. He was 6-9 in stocking feet at the 2007 pre-draft camp but with his length, high release and huge advantage over P.J. Tucker or whoever from D’Antoni’s small-ball lineup is assigned to defend him, KD looks like a 3-point shooting Wilt Chamberlain.It remains to be seen if the Warriors are as great with KD as they were before him. On one hand, he’s a No. 1 option who can always get a shot and get to the line in the clutch. On the other, their ball movement, which surpassed that of the Spurs as the best the game has ever seen, isn’t the same.For better or worse, they’re now dependent on KD. Green all but made it official, trademarking a new name for their starters – “the Hampton 5” – who met on Long Island recruiting Durant in 2016 (Curry, Green, KD, Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson).That’s not quite the Basketball of Tomorrow the Warriors have been emblematic of … as proclaimed by Lacob in a 2016 New York Times profile (“We’re light-years ahead of probably every other team in structure, in planning, in how we’re going to go about things”) … after six seasons as owner.Typically, Lacob again soared, metaphorically, ahead of his team this season, allowing himself to look past their fortunate present with KD, Steph, et al., to an uncertain future.“We’ll build around the core until we decide maybe we shouldn’t,” Lacob told Bay Area New Group’s Mark Medina, “but right now it feels pretty good.”Full-of-themselves Chicago officials talked that way in the Bulls’ 1990s heyday, signaling their players were replaceable – hastening the departure of key pieces like Phil Jackson, Scottie Pippen and perhaps even Michael Jordan. Never underestimate the tendency of people hearing their futures discussed over their heads to take it poorly.Great as both West finalists are, only one can sit atop the pyramid. If it’s not the Warriors, the press will really start in on them. Then we’ll see who Lacob is ahead of and by how many light-years.
(Eds: Changes in headline, intro)Shimla, Dec 29 (PTI) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur kept key Home and Finance departments with him after the portfolios were alloted today.Besides Home and Finance, the chief minister will also look after the General Administration, Planning and Personnel department and all other departments not alloted to any minister.Mohinder Singh Thakur has been allocated Irrigation and Public Health, Horticulture and Sainik Welfare departments, while Kishan Kapoor will be in charge of Food and Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs and Election departments.First-time MLA Suresh Bharadwaj has been given Education (Elementary and Higher), Parliamentary Affairs and Law portfolios.Anil Sharma, who quit the Congress to join the BJP ahead of the assembly polls, has been allocated Multipurpose Projects and Power and Non-Conventional Energy Sources departments.The lone women minister Sarveen Chaudhary has been allocated Urban Development, Town and Country Planning and Housing departments, while Ram Lal Markanda will be in charge of Agriculture, Tribal Development and Information and Technology departments.Vipin Parmar has been given Health and Family Welfare, Medical Education, Ayurveda and Science & Technology, while Virender Kanwar will have Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries departments.Vikram Singh has been given Industries, Labour and Employment, Technical Education and Vocational and Industrial Training, and Govind Singh Thakur has been allocated Forest, Transport, Youth Services and Sports departments.Rajiv Saizal has got Social Justice and Empowerment and Cooperation.Jai Ram Thakur was sworn in as the 14th chief minister of Himachal Pradesh, along with 11 other ministers, at a ceremony at the historic Ridge Ground here on December 27.advertisementGovernor Acharya Devvrat administered the oath of office and secrecy to the 52-year-old Thakur, a five-time MLA from Seraj, and other ministers.The council of ministers has six new faces.The assembly polls took place on November 9 and the results were announced on December 18.The BJP defeated the Congress by winning 44 seats in the 68-member assembly.The Congress managed to bag just 21 seats. Two seats went to Independents, while the CPI(M) won one seat. PTI PCL SMN SMN
One would imagine that a match-winning hundred like the 281 against Australia in the Kolkata Test would be the best moment in VVS Laxman’s career but no, the former India cricketer picked his maiden century against the same opposition in the Sydney Test as the one closer to his heart.The stylish batsman revealed this at the release of his autobiography ‘281 and Beyond’ in Hyderabad on Thursday night.Laxman, who shot to the limelight with a knock of 167 in 2000, believes this was closer to his heart as it was first international hundred and it gave him confidence and belief that he was capable of playing at the highest level.Also Read – Prithvi Shaw stole Virat Kohli’s thunder in Rajkot, says VVS Laxman”From 1996 to 2000, I never had a hundred. I never ever felt I was able to establish myself in the Indian team. If I had not got that 167, probably I would not have got another chance to play. The fashion in which I got these runs and against quality bowling on a challenging wicket and tough conditions gave me the confidence.””It removed doubts and apprehensions I had about my game. I started to feel that I belong to international cricket and that I can go out and perform against the best bowlers,” added Laxman in a chat with popular cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle.Also Read – Thanks for all the memories: Vaughan, Laxman pay tribute to Alastair CookLaxman, who retired from international cricket in 2012 after a career spanning 16 years, is known for his historic knock of 281 in 2001. His inning and record stand with Rahul Dravid, set up a stunning victory for India after following on.advertisementLaxman believes this was turning point for his career and also in the fortunes of the Indian team.He also revealed that this knock of 281 did not come as a surprise. Known as ‘Very Very Special’ in cricketing circles, Laxman said with the extensive fitness training and hard work, he was physically and mentally ready to play that kind of inning.Also Read – CAC trio of Tendulkar, Ganguly and Laxman could move away in new BCCIHe did not agree with Harsha Bhogle that 281 trapped him as people started to have huge expectations from him.”I learnt after the first 4 years of struggle at highest level that especially in our country you can’t afford to fall into a trap. Everyone will have expectations. I never played game to fulfill expectations of others.”Also Read – Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman plant saplings under Haritha Haram programmeThe event saw Harsha Bhogle in free and frank conversation with Laxman, his family members, former cricketers Arshad Ayub, Venkatapathi Raju and autobiography co-writer R. Kaushik.Telangana’s Information Technology Minister K.T. Rama Rao and badminton coach P. Gopichand also shared their views at the event attended by former cricketers, coaches and friends of Laxman.Also Read – VVS Laxman’s kids broke down after David Warner’s ball-tampering banLaxman, who preferred cricketing career over becoming a physician like his parents, said the toughest decision for him was giving up as an opening batsman.In 1996 when Laxman was included in the Indian team he was announced as an opener. “I took it up as a challenge. It was one of the tough decisions,” he said.When he was dropped in 2000, he joined the Hyderabad team and started playing first class cricket. “I told myself that I am going to lead the life as a first class cricketer. I decided I will work hard but I will never ever open the batting. It was toughest decision because there was no guarantee of getting into playing XI of India,” he said.He recalled that at that time the middle order was packed with experienced players like Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Mohammed Azharuddin and Sourav Ganguly.Laxman represented India in 134 Tests, scoring 8781 runs at 45.97. He scored 17 Test centuries, six of which came against Australia.(With IANS inputs)Also Watch – It’s one of weakest teams vs one of strongest, says Harbhajan Singh