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Archive for March, 2017

2017 Reds Hall of Fame Bobblehead Series starts off with #16 shortstop Leo Cardenas through the Month of April

Leo Cardenas Bobblehead (courtesy Reds Hall of Fame)

The First Of Six To Be Given Away This Season

Press Release | 10:15 AM ET

The Reds Hall of Fame & Museum’s collectible bobblehead program expands in 2017 to feature six Reds Hall of Famers, presented by Dinsmore & Shohl LLP.

The first bobblehead in the series features Reds Hall of Famer Leo Cardenas, Hall of Fame Class of 1981. Nicknamed “Mr. Automatic” for his defensive reliability, the Cuban-native served as the Reds shortstop from 1962 through 1968. He led National League shortstops in fielding percentage twice and won a Gold Glove in 1965. Five career All-Star appearances, including four for the Reds, rounded out a Reds Hall of Fame-worthy career. This is Cardenas’ first depiction as a bobblehead.

The bobbleheads are free with regular-price admission to the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum (or a Scotts Great American Ball Park tour) beginning Saturday, April 1 at 10 a.m. and will be available Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays throughout the month of April, while supplies last.

Only 6,000 bobbleheads have been produced and there is a limit of one bobblehead per visitor per day.

The bobblehead series continues through September with a different Reds Hall of Famer available each month:
• April: Leo Cardenas
• May: Tommy Helms
• June: Pete Rose
• July: Ron Oester
• August: Dave Parker
• September: George Foster

Admission to the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum is $10 for adults, $8 for students/seniors and $6 for active military/veterans. Children ages four and younger are free.

The best way to ensure a bobblehead is to join the museum as a member. To become a member, please visit redsmuseum.org or call (513) 765-7923.

Reds to Bronze: The Story of Reds Statues now open!
The new exhibit Reds to Bronze: The Story of Reds Statues chronicles and celebrates the nine Reds legends and their statues sculpted by local artist Tom Tsuchiya. Through game-used and period items, fans will learn about these Reds icons and get a behind-the-scenes look at the process and tools used by Tsuchiya to craft these enduring tributes to some of the greatest players in Reds history. The exhibit also includes a special focus on the creation of the new Pete Rose statue to be dedicated on June 17.

About the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum
Driven by a mission to celebrate greatness, preserve history and provide inspiration, the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum at Great American Ball Park is the place where the story of Reds baseball comes alive each day. The Museum features 16,000 square feet of historical, interactive and educational exhibits, highlighting the rich and storied tradition of the Reds for fans of all ages. Since its inception, 86 players, managers and executives have been honored with induction.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY REDS MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com

 

MLS News: League remains youngest, most diverse; Week 5 Previews; Crew SC hosts Orlando City

This Week in MLS – March 27, 2017
  • MLS leads the way in CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying
  • MLS remains youngest and most diverse league in North America
  • Week 5 Game Previews

MLS leads the way in CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying
MLS players continue to play a large role in deciding which nations will be represented at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Leading the way in total representation and performance on the field during last week’s CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying, MLS players accounted for 29 of the 84 athletes (34.5%) to play in the three matches. By comparison, Liga MX contributed the next most players with 17 out of 84 player appearances.

MLS players also made themselves known on the scoresheet, tallying six of the nine goals scored, while players from Germany’s Bundesliga registered two goals, and Liga MX players contributed one.

For the U.S. Men’s National Team, Seattle Sounders FC forward Clint Dempsey dazzled with a hat trick in San Jose, pushing him atop the U.S. record books with 17 World Cup Qualifying goals, surpassing Toronto FC forward Jozy Altidore’s mark of 16 goals.

The three goals also brought his overall USMNT scoring total to 55, within striking distance of Landon Donovan’s national scoring record of 57 goals. All that stands between Dempsey and that 57-goal record this Tuesday is Sounders FC teammate and Panamanian stalwart defender Roman Torres, who scored the MLS Cup championship-winning penalty kick for Seattle in December.

In total, six MLS players feature on Panama’s roster, with four receiving the start in last week’s 1-0 loss to Trinidad and Tobago. Minnesota United FC and T&T midfielder Kevin Molino scored that game-winning goal against Panama and will be looking to earn points against the top team in the table this week, Mexico.

CLICK HERE for a schedule of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying matches and viewing options.

MLS remains youngest and most diverse league in North America
Major League Soccer is once again leading the charge in diversity (as determined by birthplace) in the North American sports landscape.  From its current pool of 600 players, a league-record 67 countries are represented in MLS.

Among those 600 players, 222 have been capped by their national teams (37%) while nearly 75%, 38 of 51, of current Designated Players (average age of 25.76 years) have been capped.

Among these internationally capped players, 40 standouts in MLS have been included on a FIFA World Cup roster. With the recent signing of German star Bastian Schweinsteiger to the Chicago Fire, there are now four players currently playing in Major League Soccer who have reached the pinnacle of the sport with a FIFA World Cup title.

MLS Player Maps and Lists

World map of players by birthplace

Map of players born in the U.S. and Canada

Map of players born in Latin America and Spain

League (year) Total # of Players Players Born Abroad (% born outside U.S.A. & Canada) Countries Represented (incl. U.S.A. & Canada) Average Age of All Players (in years)
MLS (2017) 600 283 (47.2%) 67 25.67
MLB (2016) 1089 313 (28.7%) 23 28.96
NHL (2016-2017) 755 215 (28.5%) 21 27.52
NBA (2016-2017) 448 96 (21.4%) 44 26.98
NFL (2016) 2078 60 (2.9%) 27 26.87

Courtesy of the Elias Sports Bureau
*Leagues in season include all players on current rosters.
*Leagues out of season include players on rosters when the season ended.
*Totals as of March 21, 2017

 

Week 5 Game Previews
Friday, March 31
Sporting Kansas City at Toronto FC, 7:30 p.m. ET

  • Toronto FC return to action off their first victory of the season, still undefeated through three games as Jozy Altidore scored in a second consecutive match in a 2-0 win at Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
  • Sporting are also still undefeated, winning for the first time and scoring their first goals of the season in a 2-1 defeat of the San Jose Earthquakes.

Atlanta United at Seattle Sounders FC, 10 p.m. ET

  • Atlanta United have equaled the all-time MLS record with 11 goals after their first three games, and Josef Martinez has also tied the MLS record with five goals in his first three MLS contests, after their 4-0 win against the Chicago Fire last time out.
  • Sounders FC won for the first time in defense of their MLS Cup title, Clint Dempsey scoring for a second time this season in league play in a 3-1 win against the New York Red Bulls in their last MLS match.

Saturday, April 1
San Jose Earthquakes at New York City FC, 2 p.m. ET

  • Rodney Wallace scored for a second consecutive match in NYCFC’s last contest, a 1-1 home draw with the Montréal Impact at Yankee Stadium.
  • The Quakes went down to defeat after two wins to open the new season in their last match, a 2-1 loss at Sporting Kansas City in their first away game of the campaign.

Montreal Impact at Chicago Fire, 3 p.m. ET

  • The Fire return to action off their first reversal of the new season, a 4-0 loss at Atlanta United in their last match.
  • The Impact are still looking for a first win of the new year, reaching a second consecutive draw last time out in a 1-1 result at New York City FC.

Orlando City SC at Columbus Crew SC, 4 p.m. ET

  • Rookie Niko Hansen scored the game-winning goal in his full professional debut, giving Crew SC their second consecutive win in a late 3-2 victory against the Portland Timbers.
  • Orlando City SC made it two wins from two starts on the season in their last action, Cyle Larin scoring for a second consecutive contest in a 2-1 win against Philadelphia Union. Larin has scored all three goals for OCSC this season.

Philadelphia Union at D.C. United, 7 p.m. ET

  • D.C. United have opened a season without scoring in their first three games for the first time in the club’s 22 years, suffering a second consecutive loss in a 2-0 defeat by Columbus Crew SC in their last match.
  • Union suffered their first loss after a pair of draws to begin the season, falling 2-1 to Orlando City SC last time out.

Real Salt Lake at Minnesota United FC, 8 p.m. ET

  • Minnesota United have set a record in allowing 18 goals in the first four games of their MLS existence, falling for a third time in a 5-2 loss to the New England Revolution last weeken
  • Real Salt Lake are still searching for a first victory of the season, reaching a second draw this year in a scoreless result with the New York Red Bulls last weekend in Daryl Shore’s head coaching debut.

New York Red Bulls at Houston Dynamo, 8:30 p.m. ET

  • The Dynamo return to action after suffering a first defeat following a pair of victories to start the season, dropping a 4-2 decision at the Portland Timbers last time out.
  • The Red Bulls have taken points from three out of four matches this season, following their scoreless draw with Real Salt Lake last weekend at Red Bull Arena.

LA Galaxy at Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 10 p.m. ET

  • The Galaxy are coming off their first win of the season after opening with a pair of defeats, Romain Alessandrini setting up both goals in their 2-1 victory at Real Salt Lake two weeks ago.
  • Whitecaps FC are still looking for a first league triumph of the new season, losing for a second consecutive match in a 2-0 defeat by Toronto FC at BC Place in their last contest.

Sunday, April 2
New England Revolution at Portland Timbers, 9 p.m. ET

  • Juan Agudelo scored a pair of goals and Lee Nguyen made it two goals from two games as the Revolution returned to action in a big way, a 5-2 win against Minnesota United at Gillette Stadium, the club’s first win after back-to-back losses to start the season.
  • The Timbers saw their perfect start to 2017 come to an end, despite Fanendo Adi scoring a fourth goal in four games this season in a 3-2 defeat at Columbus Crew SC.


 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF MLS COMMUNICATIONS

NHRA veteran Clay Millican heads to Las Vegas this weekend still searching for that elusive victory

Clay Millican 2017 car (photo by National Dragster courtesy NHRA)

 

Clay Millican (photo by National Dragster courtesy NHRA)

 

TOP FUEL VETERAN REMAINS CONFIDENT FIRST WIN COMING APPROACHING DENSO SPARK PLUGS NHRA NATIONALS

 

LAS VEGAS – Clay Millican is still trying to chase down that elusive first NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series victory, but a new approach and a team entering its third year together has provided a recipe Millican believes will lead to a win sooner rather than later.

 

As for how soon, Millican is confident it won’t be long in his 10,000-horsepower Great Clips/Parts Plus dragster, and perhaps as quickly as this weekend’s 18th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

 

“I think a win is right around the corner,” said Millican, who has eight career finals appearances. “It’s just a matter of when we’re supposed to win. Every weekend we go, I think it’s going to be the weekend. I really feel like we can get a win. This is our third year with this group and I think it’s the best group of people working on this car this team has ever had. They looked like they were in mid-season form after the first test session. They know what they’re doing and they’re not second-guessing it.”

 

Antron Brown (Top Fuel), Alexis DeJoria (Funny Car) and Jason Line (Pro Stock) were last year’s winners of the event that will be televised on FOX Sports 1, including three hours of live finals coverage starting at 6 p.m. (ET) on Sunday. The first of two annual stops in the high-stakes city is the fourth of 24 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events during the 2017 season, and Millican enters the race ninth in points after falling in the second round to eventual winner and eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher at the most recent race in Gainesville, Fla.

 

Millican has grabbed round wins at each of the past two events this season, but after posting a career-best run of 3.689 at 328.38 mph at the fall race in Vegas last year, there’s been an early-season shift for crew chief David Grubnic and Millican’s team. The performance is still there – Millican ran 3.71 in Phoenix – but Millican believes a different focus will have a payoff throughout the season.

 

“I think our goal this year has been to try to find some consistency,” Millican said. “We didn’t miss the mark too much at Gainesville and went down the track five out of six runs, which is fantastic. We’re going to try to maintain that without giving away a ton of performance. I feel like our chances of winning are way better the more you go down the racetrack. Plus, the more runs you make down the track, the more information you get for when you do you need to push it.”

 

Millican hopes that balance allows his team to end up in the winner’s circle on Sunday. Getting that first victory will be difficult facing off against a loaded field that includes points leader and two-time 2017 winner Leah Pritchett, three-time defending world champ Brown, Schumacher, Doug Kalitta and Brittany Force. No matter the outcome, you will surely find Millican with a smile on his face all weekend.

 

“I’ve been in a final round there and we run well there,” Millican said. “This first (Las Vegas) race is especially fun because it’s the DENSO (Spark Plugs NHRA) Nationals and we are the DENSO car. That makes it a lot of fun. I really enjoy the Vegas races and I really enjoy being around the DENSO people. As long we’re talking about what we do as a race team, I can talk all day long. When it comes to talking racing, I can talk with the best of them.”

 

Alexis DeJoria’s Funny Car win was her second in three years at the track, but she’ll have to contend with two-time 2017 winner Matt Hagan, Gainesville winner John Force and defending world champ Ron Capps, a five-time Vegas winner.

 

Jason Line’s dominant start to last season in Pro Stock that included a victory at the facility, ended with a world title. The event also features the highly-anticipated K&N Horsepower Challenge for eight top Pro Stock drivers. Greg Anderson is the defending winner, earning a $50,000 paycheck last year.

 

Thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series is also on the bill and after nitro qualifying, fans can watch the spectacular Muy Caliente Racing jet dragsters sponsored by Lucas Oil. Jet cars are thrust driven vehicles propelled by jet engines with exciting pre-run flame shows.

 

As always, fans can interact with their favorite drivers with an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet. This unique opportunity gives fans direct access to the teams, allowing them to see firsthand the highly-skilled mechanics service their hot rods between rounds, and get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers.

 

Fans also will want to visit NHRA’s popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and race vendors create a carnival atmosphere, with interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food and fun for the entire family.

 

Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds at 2:00 and 4:30 p.m. on Friday, March 31 and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, April 1, at 1:30 and 4 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 2.

 

To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, call (800) 884-NHRA (6472) or visit www.NHRA.com/tickets. Kids 12 and under are free in general admission areas with a paid adult. For more information about the NHRA visit www.NHRA.com.

 

***

 

DENSO SPARK PLUGS NHRA NATIONALS

 

WHAT: The 18th annual DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals, the fourth of 24 events in the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Drivers in three categories – Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock – earn points leading to 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world championships. The race also will feature competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Series.

 

WHERE: The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas. Track is located approximately 15 miles north of downtown Las Vegas off Interstate 15.

 

WHEN: Friday through Sunday, March 31-April 1

 

SCHEDULE:

FRIDAY, March 31 -

 

LUCAS OIL SERIES qualifying

MELLO YELLO SERIES qualifying at 2 and 4:30 p.m.

 

SATURDAY, April 1- LUCAS OIL SERIES eliminations

MELLO YELLO SERIES qualifying at 1:40 and 4:05 p.m.

K&N HORSEPOWER CHALLENGE at 1:30, 4 and 5 p.m.

 
SUNDAY, April 2 - Pre-race ceremonies, 11:15 a.m.

MELLO YELLO SERIES eliminations begin at noon

 

TELEVISION: SUNDAY, April 2, FS1 will televise three hours of live finals coverage at 6 p.m. (ET)
 
2016 EVENT WINNERS:

 

 

Antron Brown, Top Fuel; Alexis DeJoria, Funny Car; Jason Line, Pro Stock; Anderson, K&N Horsepower Challenge.

 

MOST VICTORIES: John Force, 6, FC: Larry Dixon, 4, TF; Tony Schumacher, 4, TF; Antron Brown, 3, TF: Robert Hight, 3, FC; Greg Anderson, 3, PS; Jeg Coughlin, 3, PS; Kenny Bernstein, 2, TF; John Force, 2, FC; Cruz Pedregon, 2, FC; Mike Edwards, 2, PS; Erica Enders, 2, PS; Allen Johnson, 2, PS.
MOST K&N HORSEPOWER CHALLENGE VICTORIES:

 

 

 

Greg Anderson, 5; Kurt Johnson, 4; Jeg Coughlin, 3; Bob Glidden, 3; Warren Johnson, 3; Larry Morgan, 3; Bruce Allen, 2; Erica Enders, 2; Allen Johnson, 2; Jim Yates, 2

TRACK RECORDS: Top Fuel – 3.689 sec. by Steve Torrence, Oct. ’16 and 332.67 mph by Shawn Langdon, Oct. ’15.

Funny Car – 3.871 sec. by Jack Beckman, Oct. ’16 and 331.94 mph by John Force, Oct. ’16.

Pro Stock – 6.559 sec. and 210.28 mph by Erica Enders, Oct. ’15.

NATIONAL RECORDS:  

Top Fuel – 3.658 sec. by Leah Pritchett, Feb. ‘17, Phoenix; 332.75 mph by Spencer Massey, Aug. ’15, Brainerd, Minn.

Funny Car – 3.822 by Matt Hagan, Aug. ’16, Brainerd, Minn.; 335.57 mph by Hagan, May ’16, Topeka, Kan.

Pro Stock – 6.455 sec. by Jason Line, March ’15, Charlotte, N.C.; 215.55 mph by Erica Enders, May ’14, Englishtown N.J.

 

TICKETS: For tickets call (800) 644-4444. Tickets also available online at www.lvms.com/tickets.

 

 

 

RACE PREVIEW WRITTEN BY Sara Slaughter; COURTESY NHRA COMMUNICATIONS

 

Akron AD thanks Keith Dambrot for putting men’s basketball back in national spotlight; long-time coach is headed to Duquesne

Keith Dambrot

From Larry Williams, Director of Athletics:

We are very grateful for the enormous contributions that Coach Keith Dambrot has made to our excellent men’s basketball program. His hard work with our student-athletes, combined with their dedication to going the extra mile, have brought great success to The University of Akron – including the winningest season in UA history – and we value his role in making that happen. He and the Dambrot family will always be a part of The University of Akron family, and we wish him well as he moves along.

We will immediately launch a national search for our new basketball coach, and we reaffirm our commitment to building our basketball program and all of Akron Athletics into a nationally recognized program across the board. In addition to finding a new coach, we are working to be in a position to upgrade the James A. Rhodes Arena and we will need to rely on support from the community to achieve that goal.

 

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Cathy Bongiovi; COURTESY AKRON ATHLETICS COMMUNICATIONS

 

MLS names Revolution forward Juan Agudelo as the Alcatel Player of the Week

Juan Agudelo in 2010 By West Point Public Affairs, CC BY 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

NEW YORK(Tuesday, March 28, 2017) – New England Revolution forward Juan Agudelo was voted the Alcatel MLS Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for the fourth week of the 2017 MLS season. 

The 24-year-old notched a brace in New England’s 5-2 victory over Minnesota United FC at Gillette Stadium on Saturday to help the Revolution grab its first victory of the season (1-2-0, three points). The dominant performance was Agudelo’s third multi-goal game of his MLS career, while the five team goals marked the club’s highest scoring game since 2014. Dating back to last season, New England is now 5-0-0 in its last five contests in which Agudelo has scored.

Agudelo put the Revolution on the board early, scoring in the fourth minute to give New England a 1-0 advantage. Finding himself uncovered in front of goal, Agudelo perfectly headed a Chris Tierney cross into the left corner of the net past Minnesota goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth (Watch Goal).

The U.S. Men’s National Team player would strike again in the 40th minute to push New England’s lead to 4-1. Agudelo received a pass from Diego Fagundez on the left side of the field and made a run into the box, squeezing a right-footed shot through a myriad of defenders to complete his brace (Watch Goal).

The Revs next travel to face the Portland Timbers at Providence Park on Sunday, April 2 in a nationally televised matchup (9 p.m. ET, ESPN2/ESPN Deportes).

The MLS Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season by a panel of journalists from NASR. The group consists of members of print, television, radio and online media.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & COURTESY OF MLS COMMUNICATIONS

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