The Aberdeen/Matawan Twisters U16 girls travel soccer team seeks players for the spring season. Girls born after Aug. 1, 1989, are eligible. There are no residency requirements. Call (732) 566-7166 or e-mail email@example.com for additional information. The New Jersey Lightning of the Jersey Shore is now accepting new registrants. Everyone is encouraged to come and try out. The Lightning will play an A-plus schedule consisting of tournaments and games in the Garden State Wood-Bat League. The organization has been around for 11 years and is a multiple-team organization. Team placement is based on age. Teams run by age from 10 through 24. The games do not interfere with school and other sports activities because the games are held on Sunday. For more information, visit fatheadsportsonline.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Hazlet Recreation is sponsoring a field hockey clinic on April 22 and 29 at a cost of $7. The clinic will be held at Raritan High School Athletic Field from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. for grades five through eight. Shin guards and mouth piece are required. Director is Janet Citro, Raritan High School’s head girls field hockey coach. Registrations will be taken at the James J. Cullen Center, 1776 Union Avenue, Hazlet, by check or money order only. There is a $15 late fee for registrations taken after April 21. The Sting, Hazlet United Soccer Association’s U8 boys travel soccer team, journeyed to Colonia last Saturday for their MNJYSA (Mid-New Jersey Youth Soccer Association) spring season opener. Their first game as an MNJYSA Flight 3 team was a tough one for the Sting. In a game played with no subs and two players on the disabled list, the Hazlet Sting were defeated by Colonia F.C. Lightning, 2-1. The Sting, down 2-0 with approximately 10 minutes left in the game, rallied and scored. The goal brought life back into the fatigued Sting players, but Colonia Lightning’s defense held strong and prohibited the Sting from tying the game. The Hazlet Sting look forward to Saturday’s first home game at the HUSA Complex, where they will take on the Bridgewater S.A. Titans. The Sting hope to be back to full strength for what promises to be an exciting matchup. The HUSA U8 Sting players are Resul Abas, Jake Capichana, Adam Chang, Brian Edwards, Jacob Hiban, Chris Medina, Joe Miragliotta, Barry O’Sullivan, Alan Troisi and Russell Van Cleve. The Hazlet Sting is coached by Ralph Troisi, who is assisted by Bob Edwards and Pete Miragliotta.
If the Northeast Conference coaches have it right, Monmouth University soccer teams will rule again. Both the men’s and women’s teams, which won the NEC championships last fall, are picked by the coaches to repeat as the conference’s best. This is nothing new for coach Rob Mc- Court’s men. They’ve won the past three league titles. “The NEC is a talented conference, and it is an honor to be ranked at the top of the preseason coaches’ poll,” said McCourt, the NEC Coach of the Year in ’07. “Our players are working hard to live up to this billing and the pressures that go with it. “It is a prestigious award, but we are aware that there is a long road ahead,” he added. “Finishing on top of the NEC is always our top priority.” Monmouth was 12-5-2 overall and 7-2 in league play. The Hawks are 20-2-5 in NEC play since 2005 under McCourt. Defense has been Monmouth’s trademark during its three-year run as NEC champion, and much of the nucleus of last year’s club, which had a 0.74 goal-against average, is back, led by All-NEC Second Team defenders Angelo Amato and Daniel Bostock. Sophomore Bryan Meredith (Scotch Plains-Fanwood) will take over for the graduated Daniel Schenkel in goal. Monmouth lost leading scorers Damon Wilson (seven goals, six assists) and Tom Gray (six goals, four assists). Expected to pick up the slack are senior Rob LaRocca and sophomore Ryan Kinne. The Hawks had the No. 30-ranked recruiting class in the country, led by Ramsey midfielder Cesar Blacido. He will join his brother Jorge Blacido, a junior transfer from Fairleigh Dickinson. The top area recruit was speedy forward George Quintano from Manalapan. He led the Braves to the NJSIAA Group IV state cochampionship last fall. Monmouth University’s women’s coach Krissy Turner said her only concern is how the Hawks play, and not their ranking. “It’s an honor to be selected by your peers as the team to beat going into the season,” she said. “However, we have yet to step on the field and compete in 2008. Expectations are high, which they should be, but getting results on the field is what we are focusing on.” Monmouth was 12-5-4 overall last fall, including a 6-2-1 record in league play. The Hawks lost plenty with the graduation of NEC Player of the Year Amy Hoyer and First Team All-NEC defender Brittani Heller. But there is a reason the coaches like Monmouth to repeat. They have a lot of talent returning, led by All-League forward Andrea Lopez. She had 14 points on five goals and four assists. She had the only goal of the match in Monmouth’s 1-0 win over Sacred Heart in the NEC championship game. Also returning are midfielder Joanna De- Moor and defender Shannon Rogers. De- Moor was third on the team in assists (three) and Rogers ranked third in scoring (nine points).
BY TIM MORRIS Staff Writer The wheel. That’s the shape of the Championship of America trophy that is given to the winner at the Penn Relays.Bringing the wheel back to Christian Brothers Academy has been the goal of the Distance Medley Relay team all year.George Kelly, Theo Foster, Dan Mykityshyn and Mike Mazzaccaro teamed up to finish second in the DMR at the New Balance Indoor Nationals back in March setting a state record with their 10:02.99.The Colts did win a national title indoors with Conrad Lippert joining Mykityshyn, Kelly and Mazzaccaro on the victorious 4-mile relay.All the focus now is on tomorrow’s High School Boys’ Distance Medley Championship ofAmerica race at Franklin Field on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.Kelly, who runs the opening 1,200- meter leg followed by Foster (400), Mykityshyn (800) and Mazzaccaro, who run the anchor 1,600, will be looking to become the third Colts DMR team to win the Penn Relays. The Colts won previously in 1985 and 1988.Should the Colt quartet win tomorrow’s race, it only be the latest in a series of incredible performances by CBA this school year. It started in the fall when the Colts regained the cross country Meet of Champions title and set a Holmdel Park team average record. The team was ranked in the top 10 nationally and won the Nike Cross Nationals Northeast championship. During the indoor season, the Colts were undefeated in championship meets and in addition to winning the indoor national title, captured the 4×800 relay at the prestigious Millrose Games at Madison Square Garden.One of the teams lining up against the Colts will be Red Bank Catholic.Kevin Byrne (1,200), Connor Mc- Namara (400), Rob Devine (800) and Rob Napolitano (1,600) make up RBC’s team.RBC’s girl’s Distance Medley Relay quartet of Liana Marzano, Meghan McMullin, Lindsey Bellaran and Molly McNamara will look to add a Championship of America trophy to the Casey’s war chest.During the indoor season, the same quartet were national champions in the 4×800 relay running the third fastest indoor time in US history, 8:56.94, at the New Balance Indoor Nationals in NYC.Marzano will run the opening 1,200-meter leg for the Caseys and McMullin will carry the baton for the 400 leg. Bellaran will run the 800 and McNamara the anchor 1,600.Indoors, RBC won the Eastern States Championship DMR in 11:58.82.Much like CBA boys, Penn has been the focus of the RBC girls all year.There will be individuals from the area competing at the Penn Relays that run today through Saturday.CBA thrower Phil Ragan will be competing in the high school javelin tomorrow. He has a personal best of 191-10.Also tomorrow Matawan’s Andre Hodge will be throwing the discus. His personal best is 163-8.
Things are heating up in girls lacrosse, as Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, Shore Regional High School and Red Bank Catholic (RBC) High School battle for supremacy.Rumson-Fair Haven and Shore Regional will square off May 8 in a game that could decide the A Central title. The Bulldogs handed Shore Regional its only division loss thus far, a 15-4 final last month, while Rumson-Fair Haven has yet to drop an A Central bout.The Blue Devils are on a tear coming into the big game. Since falling to Wall High School by just one goal, Shore Regional has blown out Jackson Memorial High School and A Central opponents Point Pleasant Borough High School and St. Rose High School.Shore Regional (12-3) got three goals from Lauren Britton, who also contributed three assists, on its way to a 15-3 victory over St. Rose last week. Allie Reiser added three goals. Sarah George scored twice and assisted on two more.Toppling Rumson-Fair Haven (14-1) is still a tall order for the Blue Devils. The Bulldogs didn’t lose a single game the entire month of April. Their only loss came March 31 against Moorestown High School.Rumson-Fair Haven is coming off two division wins, both by wide margins. Brittany Bruno and Jillian Swikart exploded for four goals apiece to lead the Bulldogs past Manasquan High School, 18-10. Elizabeth Scarrone posted three goals, while goalie Anna Babiak had four saves.On May 2, the Bulldogs toppled Holmdel High School, 17-3, with the help of three goals from Swikart. Scarrone, Kiley Pearman, Alexandra Geiger and Morgan Steinhacker each found the back of the net twice.A nearly spotless record earned Rumson Fair Haven the top seed in the Shore Conference Tournament (SCT), which was due to begin May 5.The Bulldogs, winners of the last two SCT championships, were slated to face No. 16 Barnegat High School to kick off the 2015 tournament. Rumson-Fair Haven is looking to become the first team to win three consecutive titles since Shore Regional.Second-seeded RBC (13-2), last year’s SCT runner-up, has dominated B North this season. The Caseys have won all of their division matchups, losing only to Rumson- Fair Haven and West Morris Mendham High School.The Bulldogs continued to demonstrate their formidable attack against the Caseys last week. Five goals from Swikart, plus three goals from both Bruno and Maggie Jennings, were too much for RBC to overcome. Jackie Mauro and Ariana Mancini accounted for RBC’s two scores.Shore Regional received the third seed in the SCT and was lined up against No. 14 Red Bank Regional High School for the first round. With eight championships, the Blue Devils have won the SCT more than any other team in history.The No. 4 slot went to Wall, followed by Colts Neck High School as the fifth seed. St. John Vianney High School was seeded seventh, and Ocean Township High School is the No. 11 seed.St. John Vianney played at home against No. 10 Manalapan High School in its firstround game, and Ocean Township traveled to No. 6 Manasquan.Quarterfinal games will be held May 7 at the higher seed’s home field. The semifinals are scheduled for May 9 at Ocean Township. The top and bottom seeds will play at 5 p.m., followed by the other two teams at 7 p.m.The SCT championship game will be hosted by Monmouth University at 4 p.m. May 11. By MATTHEW ROCCO Correspondent
By Tony JimenezChelsea manager Jose Mourinho has drawn up a contingency plan in the event he fails to land his number one target, Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney, before the transfer window closes on September 2.The Europa League holders have already had two big-money offers for the unsettled England international rejected and Mourinho hinted after Sunday’s 2-0 win over Hull City that he would eventually make a third attempt to sign Rooney.“We have Plans B and C,” the Portuguese told a news conference on the eve of Wednesday’s home game against Aston Villa in the Premier League.“Don’t ask me names because it’s difficult to speak about players from other clubs. We have the conditions to try to improve our team by bringing in one more player and we are going to try that till the end.”Chelsea will again be without Brazil defender David Luiz because of a hamstring problem but Spain midfielder Juan Mata is hoping to feature after missing the opening game of the season against Hull.The club’s player of the year for the last two seasons has been troubled by a thigh injury but said he was now ready to return.“I didn’t train for a few days but I came back, worked with the physios and on Thursday last week I trained with the first team, not at 100 percent but trying to get to my best,” Mata said.“Now I feel better and I am looking forward to playing and starting my season.”UNUSED SUBMata was an unused substitute against Hull and said he was impressed with Chelsea’s performance, especially in the first half when they scored twice and missed a penalty.“It was a very good start,” the Spaniard added. “The first 30 minutes were amazing.“The team pushed, pressed and recovered the ball very high (up the pitch) and scored two goals. It could have been even more and we played well.”Eden Hazard was one of the standout performers in the opening 45 minutes against Hull but Mourinho is demanding more from the talented young Belgium playmaker.“I know what I want from him – I want more responsibility and I want more ambition because when you are a normal player you have to be happy when you perform okay,” the Chelsea manager said.“When you have top talent (like Hazard) you cannot waste that talent so I want to give him that ambition to be better and better and to express himself on the pitch match after match, not be up and down.”Mourinho’s comments evoked memories of his first spell in charge at Stamford Bridge between 2004 and 2007 when he regularly took Joe Cole to task in an attempt to achieve a high level of consistency from the skilful England midfielder.
By Nemanja BjedovCyprus have travelled to Iceland for their penultimate World Cup qualifier in Reykjavik on Friday night with no chance of reaching next year’s finals in Brazil.“We have arrived hoping for a good performance and a positive result. Our players are motivated, they are fully fit and I believe that we will be focused enough to achieve our goal,” said caretaker national team coach Michalis Hadjipieris.Cyprus are currently bottom of Group E with only four points from eight matches, with the only victory of the campaign recorded over Iceland last September in Larnaca, when Konstantinos Makrides’ goal proved to be enough to settle the match.“We need to follow the game plan from the beginning until the end and try to exploit our opponent’s weaknesses which we have identified through our scouting,” added Hadjipieris who will be sitting on the bench of the national team for the first time.Kick-off is set for 9:45pm Cyprus time with Croatian referee Ivan Bebek appointed to officiate the match.
By Anthony Boadle and Todd BensonNeymar’s exit from the World Cup due to a back injury left Brazilians shocked and angered, darkening the mood after the hosts’ 2-1 win over Colombia in the quarter-finals had sparked nationwide celebrations.The loss of their star player has dented Brazil’s chances of winning a record-extending sixth World Cup, and first on home soil, and left Brazilians wondering who can replace him for Tuesday’s semi-final showdown with Germany.“Neymar fractures vertebra and is out of the Cup,” the country’s three main newspapers headlined in their online editions, completely overshadowing accounts of the thrilling 2-1 victory over Colombia.The papers published blow-by-blow diagrams of the play in which Neymar was kneed in the back by Colombian defender Juan Zuñiga, burying coverage of the stunning free-kick by David Luiz that sealed Brazil’s victory.“This is terrible news. The worst possible news. Neymar is so important to us,” said student Fabian Ruiz, 19, walking with friends down a street in Belo Horizonte, dressed in Brazil’s trademark canary yellow shirts and quaffing beer from cans.“Without him, the other players will have to fight more. It is going to be so difficult against Germany now.”A large crowd of fans wearing Brazil shirts gathered outside the hotel in Fortaleza where Neymar was taken after the match. As he was being taken in on a stretcher, they chanted: “Força Neymar,” or, “Be strong Neymar.”Social media was flooded with messages about the incident, with many Brazilians calling on world football’s governing body FIFA to punish Zuñiga in the same way Uruguay striker Luis Suarez was penalized for biting an Italian player.One columnist went so far as to describe the challenge as a “savage attack.”“Neymar out of the Cup because of cowardice and foul play by the Colombian player,” Fabricio Tavares, a Brazilian university professor, wrote on Facebook, echoing a common view heard on streets and in bars around Brazil.Wishes for a speedy recovery poured in from all over, including Argentine playmaker Lionel Messi, Neymar’s team mate at Barcelona.Even Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff used her Twitter account to call on Brazilians to unite around Neymar and the national team.Argentine great Diego Maradona also lamented Neymar’s injury, telling Venezuela-based Telesur TV network: “It concerns not only the Brazilian people but all of us who love football. It was his World Cup, in his country. He had great hopes.”At a bar in Sao Paulo, couples were still dancing late on Friday night to celebrate the win over Colombia, but the news of Neymar’s injury dampened the mood.“We were so happy but now it is sad. Very sad,” said Monica Ferreira, 27, who watched the game at the bar with friends. “He is our best player. We love him because he plays so hard when he puts on the Brazil shirt.”Some fans thought Brazil’s chances were over without Neymar.“He is our best player. I don’t think we can win the Cup without him,” said a distraught-looking Eduardo Gomes, a 33-year-old fan, as he texted to find out more about Neymar’s injury, drinking beer with his girlfriend sitting on his knee.Other fans, more optimistic about their country’s chances, said Brazil could pull it together and play even better without Neymar, suggesting the team had relied too heavily on him.“At this point I don’t really feel that we need him so badly,” said Jair de Souza, a Sao Paulo doorman who heard the news on the radio. “It’s shocking but the guys have handled worse pressure.”Narcisio, a waiter at a sushi restaurant in Brasilia, said there were other good players waiting in the wings.“Today Neymar did not play well and our team still performed well,” he said. “If we get past Germany, the Cup is ours.”
By Andreas VouThe Nicosia derby went APOEL’s way by a solitary goal with ex-Omonia forward Giorgos Efrem scoring the vital winner. The Cypriot international made the forbidden switch in the summer and was subsequently on the receiving end of intense verbal abuse prior and during the match but Efrem responded in the best possible manner.On 38 minutes, APOEL broke forward in a three-on-four situation: Sheridan laid the ball off to Manduca who elegantly flicked the ball into the path of Efrem. The former Arsenal academy graduate then cut inside onto his favoured right-foot before sliding the ball past Moreira in the Omonia goal.Despite the abuse faced, Efrem’s celebration was muted in respect to the club he served for five years and 165 appearances. An unsavoury moment was again one of the highlights of the derby, as the league’s leading scorer Mickael Pote was believed to have been subject of racist abuse from the APOEL fans, though the club strongly deny those claims.The 1-0 win for the champions sees them extend their lead at the top of the table to five points, though second-placed Apollon can reduce the deficit when they take on Anorthosis on Monday night.Elsewhere, AEL left it until the very last minute to snatch all three points against Othellos Athienou thanks to Andreas Stavrou’s strike.Ermis recorded their fourth consecutive league win with a 2-1 victory over ninth-placed Ethnikos Achnas which keeps the Aradippou team in third place.AEK Larnaca bounced back from last week’s disappointing defeat to Ethnikos by earning a hard-fought 1-0 win against the league’s bottom side Doxa Katokopias. Vander’s ninth minute strike was enough to separate the two teams and keep AEK in fourth position in the standings. And in the final game of the round on Monday night, second-placed Apollon beat Anorthosis 1-0 in Larnaca to go only two points behind APOEL at the top of the table.
DISGRACED former FIFA president Sepp Blatter said on Friday he had met lawyers from the U.S. Justice Department but was not a suspect in their corruption investigations.The 81-year-old, banned for six years by FIFA’s own ethics committee at the height of a scandal engulfing world soccer’s governing body, told journalists he had otherwise had little contact with U.S. lawyers and was not under the scrutiny of their legal system.Several dozen soccer officials, including a number from FIFA, were indicted in the United States in 2015 on corruption-related chances.Blatter was not among them, although he subsequently said his lawyer had advised him not to travel abroad.“I have had very little contact from my American lawyers because I was never a person of interest under scrutiny by the American justice,” he told a round table of international reporters on Friday.“I have been investigated in two or three matters … but there is no wrongdoing.”He said Swiss prosecutors had not contacted him over a separate case initiated in September 2015 against him relating to accusations of criminal mismanagement and misappropriation. “I have never heard anything, my lawyer has heard nothing about that.“I have been interviewed and I will be interviewed in future but not in these cases; I am interviewed in cases concerning the activities in FIFA, as a person of information,” he said.Blatter said he was still generally liked by his Swiss compatriots.“Here in the city of Zurich and Switzerland in general, I am not only accepted but they like me,” said Blatter, who has denied all charged against him.“I don’t have the impression that I am a rejected man. Why should I be rejected? I have done a good (job at) FIFA.”
PNG internationals Rhyse Martin and willie Minoga will be meeting their opponents at the National Football Stadium on Sunday in round six of the Intrust Super Cup competition.We asked Minoga how is he feeling to come back home and play in the different colours and this is what he had to say: “Training is all good and I am happy to come back to Port Moresby and play, it’s like coming back home. My heart is with the Hunters, my brothers, I’ts only that I’ll be in different colours but otherwise everything is good. They are my brothers so I will give my best game to my brothers,” the Blackhawk enforcer said.With the Pacifc Test coming up in May 7, Minoga is one of the current Kumuls, so when asked about playing for the Kumuls Minoga said: “Yeah the Test match is just around the corner but I know the Kumuls will doing great under Michael Marum so we know we will be alright.””I just want to say thanks to friends, families and all the supporters who will come and watch the game on Sunday and I know many people will be their to support both teams.”