The visit of the Dutch is one of just two matches for manager Martin O’Neill to finalise his tournament squad, with another match against Belarus next Tuesday.O’Neill has yet to name his team for tonight’s game at the Aviva Stadium, although he has confirmed that John O’Shea will line-out in the heart of the defence.The Sunderland defender says the squad hope to get as much as possible out of the two matches
MORE: Opening Day schedule for all 30 MLB teamsOakland AthleticsThe A’s have been great at reaching the playoffs in the past decade, but not so great at advancing. Since 2012, they have a pair of division series losses and a pair of wild-card losses. Last season, Oakland won 97 games for its first winning season since 2014, only to lose 7-2 to the Yankees in the wild-card game. But they won’t get the chance in 2019 to make up for this loss. It won’t be for lack of effort — the A’s spent December adding Jurickson Profar via trade with the Rangers and signing Joakim Soria and Mike Fiers — but because that effort wasn’t enough.The problem is that the AL West is still dominated by the Astros, and even though the AL Central is weak, the concentration of power is in the East. The Yankees and Red Sox are bound to spend the spring and summer duking it out for the division, and as predicted here last week, the Rays are well-positioned to compete for a wild-card berth.That means that of the five available spots in the American League, three will probably go to AL East teams. Sorry, A’s.If they’re going to defy this prediction, they will need a lot of the things that went right in 2018 to happen again. And that’s just not that common. Expecting to pull quality starts from the likes of Edwin Jackson and Trevor Cahill out of a hat just isn’t reasonable. Matt Chapman is easily among the best all-around third basemen in baseball even in a deep field of talent, but he cannot carry the offense alone.Simply, the A’s got a little lucky last year, and while it was fun to watch, it’s just not likely to happen two straight years. They don’t have the depth. They will need the Rays to crater or something unforeseen to go wrong with one of the Astros, Indians, Red Sox or Yankees, but don’t count on that.MORE: Big changes coming to MLB rosters, trade deadline, moreMilwaukee BrewersThe American League is going to be tough, but the National League is probably going to be a lot worse. Last year, the Dodgers, Rockies, Cubs, Brewers and Braves all made the postseason. This year? Milwaukee will watch the 2019 playoffs from home.It’s absurd. The Brewers won 96 games last year. They came within a game of going to the World Series. Their bullpen was untouchable. They had the NL MVP in their lineup.But here’s the problem: At the start of September last year, the Brewers were 4.5 games behind the Cubs and just barely in a wild-card spot. And then they went 19-7 in September, losing for the final time of the season on Sept. 22, spinning off an eight-game streak from there and slipping past the Cubs in game 163. Change one detail along the way and they’re facing the Rockies in the wild-card game instead. Maybe Cardinals pinch-runner Adolis Garcia doesn’t stumble rounding third base and fail to score a game-tying run in the bottom of the eighth on Sept. 26 and the Brewers end up losing that game. That’s all it would have taken.The difference for Milwaukee was razor-thin last year, and kind of like the Athletics, expecting that kind of good fortune to repeat itself is not reasonable. Making the playoffs is a yearly crapshoot, and even the best-laid plans of baseball teams can sometimes fall short. Last week, we looked at the Cardinals and Rays, both something of dark horses to reach the postseason this fall.Today, it’s the opposite: two teams that played last October but will miss out this season. Let’s start in the American League. A big part of the Brewers’ success last year was a bullpen that was pushed hard and a rotation that defied its pedigree. The bullpen is still deep, with Jeremy Jeffress, Josh Hader and Corey Knebel picking up the back end of each game, but their collective otherworldly performance of 2018 will be very hard to replicate. Hader was dazzling in his second season but almost doubled his number of innings and made 20 more appearances than 2017. Hader seems like the real deal, but calling on him for 80-plus innings for another season might not work out as well. Jeffress was brilliant in 2018, but that was far and away his best season — at age 30. And Knebel, while stellar in the postseason, had to be optioned to the minors in late August last year, so it’s fair to question what he can give the Brewers in 2019.In the rotation, the Brewers loses Wade Miley, who signed with the Astros on a one-year deal, but they get Jimmy Nelson back from injury. If they are going to be successful again in 2019, Nelson will need to be a big part of that, despite missing the end of 2017 and all of 2018 to injury.This is not a knock on the Brewers’ talent — it’s legit. They’re the small-market, Midwestern team that everyone should root for. The problem for them might turn out to be a Cardinals team that has improved by adding Paul Goldschmidt and Andrew Miller and can now boast a bullpen to rival theirs — look out for Jordan Hicks — and a Cubs team that looks to get full, healthy seasons from Yu Darvish and Kris Bryant. All three teams will trade punches all season, but unless the Brewers can repeat the September they had last year, they’ll be the first team knocked out.
FILE PHOTO: Gareth SouthgateLondon, United Kingdom | AFP | Gareth Southgate defended the decision to honour Wayne Rooney by fielding England’s top international goalscorer in a friendly against the USA at Wembley next week.The Football Association announced on Sunday that Rooney would be awarded his 120th cap as a tribute to his England career which appeared to have come to an end when he retired from international football in August 2017.That decision has been criticised in the English media with a number of exciting young prospects needing more game time to be tested at the international level and the USA game seen as preparation for what could be a crucial Nations League decider against Croatia four days later.“I am still able to look to the future in terms of the squad we have picked,” insisted Southgate.“But also I have talked a lot to the players about the importance of the shirt, the history of the shirt, honouring the former players, and I think all the players would respect that Wayne’s contribution deserves the best possible send-off.“I understand that has caused debate but for me it is a small way of appreciating what he has given to his country.”Rooney, 33, scored 53 goals in his previous 119 caps. However, he failed to carry his country to the level of success they enjoyed under Southgate at the World Cup this year by reaching the semi-finals. The former Manchester United captain has starred for DC United since moving to Major League Soccer in June.But Southgate confirmed that Rooney wouldn’t start the match or wear the number 10 shirt, but could be handed the captain’s armband as a substitute.“He won’t wear number 10 because he won’t start the game,” added Southgate.“When he came on in his last game, Jordan Henderson ran over and gave him the armband. I guess that it will depend on the circumstances of the game and the players who are out there but I have no issue with that.”– Wilson called up –Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson is rewarded for his fine start to the campaign with a first England call-up among a bumper 28-man squad named on Thursday.No English player has scored more than Wilson’s six Premier League goals so far this season.“He’s a threat in terms of running in behind defences. He’s been involved with either scoring or assists, with a high number of goals this season, so it’s a good opportunity for us to have a look at him and see how he fits into what we do,” said Southgate.Share on: WhatsApp Pages: 1 2
Craig Robinson, left, with his younger sister, first lady Michelle Obama. Both are Princeton University graduates.First lady Michelle Obama’s older brother Craig Robinson has joined ESPN as a color commentator for this season’s college basketball coverage, the network announced.Robinson was the head coach at Oregon State University basketball coach and now prepares to make his debut during ESPN’s mid-November season-opening Hoops Tip-Off Marathon.President Obama’s brother-in-law graduated from Princeton University, just like his sister Michelle Obama, and he was a two-time Ivy League basketball player of the year in the early 1980s. Robinson immediately pursued his graduate studies at the famed University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business.He later became a bond trader and investment banker. Despite the exciting career and great pay, the career could not fill the void in his life for basketball. Therefore, Robinson returned to coaching in 1999, taking a massive pay cut. He first worked six years as an assistant at Northwestern University, and then became head coach at Princeton’s Ivy League sister school, Brown University.In 2008, the same year his brother-in-law was elected president, Robinson became head coach at Oregon State, which had been winless the previous year. He coached there for six years, compiling a not-very-distinguished career record of 93 wins and 104 losses (which still put him fourth in wins in the school’s history), and was fired in May.Robinson’s first game will be Nov. 18, on ESPN2, in a game between Iona and Wofford.
The Kootenay Ice skated into the Christmas Holiday break on a two-game unbeaten streak after scoring a 2-0 shutout of Thompson Blazers of Kamloops Sunday in BC Major Midget Hockey League action at the NDCC Arena.Timely goals by Bradley Ross of Trail combined with stellar netminding from Nelson’s Curt Doyle paced the Ice to the shutout win.Saturday, the two teams played to a 3-3 tie.”We had a strong weekend overall,” said Ice coach Brian Jones.”It would have been nice to have both wins but that’s the way it goes sometimes.” Sunday, the teams took turns forcing the opposing goalies to be sharp before Ross converted the game’s first goal in the second period.The Trail Minor Hockey product added some insurance with his second of the game midway through the third period.Doyle then shut the door on the Blazers for Kootenay’s third game of the season. The win allowed the Ice to move into within two points of the Blazers in BCMMHL standings.Saturday, Brendan Makay of Trail and Hunter Floris of Vanderhoof scored to give the Ice a 2-1 lead after one period.Ross increased the lead to 3-1 with a goal in the second before the Blazers scored twice in the period to even the score at 3-3 after 40 minutes.”Everyone played well all weekend and executed our systems really well consistently,” said Jones.”Curt Doyle, with the shutout, and Brad Ross, offensively, stood out for us.”Ben Kelsch of Nelson was in goal for the Ice.Kootenay, a collection of players from throughout the region, returns to action January 9 against Greater Vancouver Canadians at the NDCC Arena.
A community alert has been raised this afternoon in East Donegal over two suspicious vehicles.Locals are asked to stay vigilant of two cars in the Ballindrait area outside Lifford.The cars were identified as a black Volkswagen Passat (06DL Registration) with three men on board and a Silver Peugeot (10LM Registration). Anyone with any information is asked to contact Letterkenny Garda Station on 0749167100.Alert raised over suspicious vehicles in East Donegal was last modified: March 6th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)
Go behind the scenes of AMC’s blockbuster zombie drama The Walking Dead and discover how they create the jaw-dropping (and face chewing) VFX.Top image via FanPopEver wonder how they create the realistic zombie VFX for The Walking Dead? FXGuide.com recently sat down with the show’s visual effects supervisors to get a behind-the-scenes look at how they produce their VFX magic.An intense amount of motion capture and modeling goes into creating the realistic zombie characters, all done by the skilled team at LA’s Stargate Studios. Pro visual effects artists use Maya for The Walking Dead’s modeling, rigging, and animation, while After Effects is used for compositing characters and effects into the final show. Lightwave, 3ds Max, and Photoshop are also used in the visual effects pipeline. The team relies heavily on blue and green screen to create digital set extensions and visual enhancements.A cool visual effects workflow hack: Stargate’s team has compiled a library of CG zombies that can be added to any scene. This cuts down the number of on-set extras that are needed, making shooting faster and scenes more versatile.Check out FXGuide’s full post for a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the post-production process of The Walking Dead, complete with interesting before-and-after VFX shots. Here are a few VFX breakdown videos from Stargate Studios that explore the blood-and-guts process of creating The Walking Dead’s visual effects:Best of The Walking Dead VFXThe Walking Dead Season 3 Visual Effects ReelWalking Dead Season 2 VFX Reel“The Walking Dead” Season 1 Reel 2010Be sure to check out PremiumBeat for all kinds of VFX tips and demo reels!
eSports Best FIFA XI of all-time Last updated 2 years ago 18:04 10/16/17 Comments(78) 1/14 Best FIFA XI of all-time Getty Images Full screen 1 of 14 Share Close Cristiano Ronaldo is the highest rated player in FIFA 18, but which players have been given the best overall ratings in the history of the game? FacebookTwitterRedditcopy eSports Gallery
Touch Football Australia (TFA) footwear partner X-Blades is giving away one free pair of X-Blades boots to every affiliated competition in Australia!What a great prize these will make for your next fundraising raffle, MVP award or that special thank you to a dedicated volunteer.To redeem your free pair of X-Blades boots, simply update your details, contacts and locator information on Touch Football Online (TFO) before January 1, 2015. For instructions on how to update your details please click on the attachments below. For further instructions on converting to TFO please contact Lauren Atkinson, TFA Affiliate Services Coordinator on (02) 6212 2800 or [email protected] Get in quick and scoot over to TFO for your new X Blades boots!Related Filesxblades_promotion-pdfdetails__contacts___locator-pdfRelated LinksBlades Free Boots!
OSU redshirt sophomore quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) and redshirt sophomore H-back Jalin Marshall (7) celebrate a touchdown against Rutgers on Oct. 24 at High Point Solutions Stadium. OSU won, 49-7. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead / Photo EditorThe offensive problems that have plagued Ohio State (8-0, 4-0) all season seem to have finally been resolved, for now. Redshirt sophomore quarterback J.T. Barrett returned to the starting lineup for the first time this season and he led the Buckeyes to a 49-7 rout in OSU’s first trip in program history to Piscataway, New Jersey, to take on Rutgers.Barrett totaled five touchdowns (three passing, two rushing) and 324 yards of offense as he helped show the nation the potential of the Buckeye offense that has been off to a rocky start. Since being phased more and more into the offense after the game at Indiana, Barrett has collected 10 touchdowns and 500-plus yards of offense in his last three games combined. After Saturday night’s performance, it is clear that he has solidified his place once again as coach Urban Meyer’s No. 1 option.The Buckeye offense started slow in the first quarter, but once Barrett was settled in the offensive steamroller began moving, as the Buckeyes tallied 49 unanswered points on an overwhelmed Rutgers team. Junior Ezekiel Elliot ran for 142 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries as he once again led the Buckeye rushing attack. Barrett also added his second straight 100-plus yard rushing game.On the defensive side of the ball, the Buckeyes were able to easily contain Rutgers all night long, and only gave up a touchdown in the final seconds of the game. Redshirt sophomore cornerback Gareon Conley picked off a pass, while sophomore Raekwon McMillan led the team with seven tackles.OSU has a bye next week before a home matchup against Minnesota, while Rutgers goes to Camp Randall Stadium to face off against Wisconsin on Oct. 31.By the numbers:21 – OSU picked up its 21st straight win last night, the longest current winning streak in the nation.2 – The amount of matchups ever between the Scarlet Knights and the Buckeyes, with the first meeting last year in Columbus. OSU is now 2-0 in the series.3 – The Big Ten currently has three undefeated teams in the top 10 of the AP Poll (Michigan State, OSU and Iowa). The Pac-12, SEC and ACC only have two between the three conferences.0 – The Buckeyes played a nearly flawless game on Saturday and didn’t get a single penalty called against them.49 – Tied for the most points put up by the Buckeyes this season (the other game was against Maryland).21-8 – The Buckeyes enter a tough stretch to end the regular season, as they are scheduled to play four teams with a current combined record of 21-8, and all of whom feature a current winning record (Minnesota, at Illinois, Michigan State, at Michigan).