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Higuain, Kamara star in Crew SC’s win at DC United, 2-0

 

Federico Higuain

Ola Kamara

 

Federico Higuain scores his 40th career goal for the Black & Gold;
Zack Steffen records first career MLS win and first career MLS shutout

For Release: March 18, 2017

 

 

Columbus Crew SC 2 – D.C. United 0

RFK Stadium (Washington, D.C.)

Saturday, March 18, 2017

 

NEXT MATCH FOR CREW SC (1-1-1, 4 points)

 

Columbus Crew SC vs. Portland Timbers (MAPFRE Stadium – Columbus, OH)

Saturday, March 25 (7:30 p.m. ET / The CW Columbus, Spectrum Sports, BCSN2, CD102.5 FM, La Mega 103.1 FM, English radio stream on ColumbusCrewSC.com).

 

MEDIA RESOURCES AVAILABLE

 

FULL BOX SCORE: http://bit.ly/2mWlTRL

TEAM STATISTICS: http://bit.ly/2mEHM6k

 

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS: http://bit.ly/2mg3dj5

HEAR FROM SPORTING DIRECTOR AND HEAD COACH GREGG BERHALTER IN POST-MATCH PRESS CONFERENCE: http://bit.ly/2mHPZI5

AUDIO FROM DEFENDER ALEX CROGNALE: http://bit.ly/2mHPZI5


AUDIO FROM
MIDFIELDER JUSTIN MERAM: http://bit.ly/2mHPZI5

TODAY’S MATCH INFO:

 

Venue: RFK Stadium (Washington, D.C.)

Referee: Ted Unkel
Assistants: Adam Wienckowski, Andrew Bigelow
Fourth Official: Jorge Gonzalez

Attendance: 14,031

Weather: 50 degrees and clear

 

GOALS/ASSISTS

CLB – Federico Higuain (Penalty kick) 38’

CLB – Ola Kamara (Penalty kick) 66’

 

DISCIPLINARY SUMMARY
DC – Ian Harkes (Caution) 17’

DC – Lloyd Sam (Caution) 41’

CLB – Harrison Afful (Caution) 45+1’
DC – Marcelo Sarvas (Caution) 70’
CLB – Josh Williams (Caution) 72’

 

 

LINEUPS

 

Columbus Crew SC: Zack Steffen; Josh Williams, Alex Crognale, Nico Naess; Harrison Afful, Artur (Mohammed Abu 70’), Wil Trapp ©, Jukka Raitala; Federico Higuain, Justin Meram (Ethan Finlay 63’); Ola Kamara (Adam Jahn 80’)

 

Substitutes not used: Brad Stuver, Lalas Abubakar, Hector Jimenez, Niko Hansen

D.C. United: Bill Hamid; N. De Leon, Seve Birnbaum ©, Sean Franklin, Taylor Kemp; Ian Harkes, Marcelo Sarvas, Luciano Acosta (Lamar Neagle 75’); Lloyd Sam (Sebastien Le Toux 60’), Patrick Mullins (Jose Guillermo Ortiz 28’), Patrick Nyarko

Substitutes not used: Travis Worra, Jared Jeffrey, Bobby Boswell, Julian Buescher

TEAM NOTES
Midfielder Federico Higuain scored his 40th goal for Crew SC by converting a penalty kick in tonight’s match. The goal increased his margin as Crew SC’s leader in Penalty Kick Goals, bringing his total to 15 while playing for the Black & Gold. Higuain has started in all three of the Black & Gold’s regular-season matches this season.

Homegrown Player Alex Crognale made his MLS debut for the Black & Gold as a starter in tonight’s match. Defender Josh Williams made his season debut and his first MLS appearance for Crew SC since returning to the club.

 

Goalkeeper Zack Steffen recorded first career win and first career shutout with tonight’s 2-0 win over D.C. United, making three saves on the night. Steffen has started in all three of the Black & Gold’s regular-season matches this season.

Forward Ola Kamara scored his second goal of the season and his 18th goal for Crew SC. He has made three appearances (all starts) this season. Kamara’s goal was his second of the season and the forward has now scored in back-to-back matches for Crew SC after tallying last weekend in Houston (March 11).

 

Kamara is now 3-for-4 in penalty kicks for Crew SC since joining the club ahead of the 2016 campaign while Higuain is now 15-for-21 from the spot for the Black & Gold dating back to 2012

 

Crew SC’s last victory on the road came at Camping World Stadium against Orlando City SC on September 17, 2016.  Tonight’s 2-0 win was also the club’s first shut-out of the season. Prior to tonight, Crew SC shut-out the Chicago Fire on October 1, 2016 at MAPFRE Stadium.

 

Tonight’s victory at RFK Stadium brought Crew SC’s all-time record against D.C. United to 27-27-11,

 

NHL Morning Skate Report for Sunday, March 19, 2017; Capitals punch Playoff ticket

SATURDAY’S RESULTS
Home Team in Caps
DETROIT 5, Colorado 1
Columbus 3, NY ISLANDERS 2 (OT)
NY Rangers 3, MINNESOTA 2
Chicago 2, TORONTO 1 (OT)
Montreal 4, OTTAWA 3 (SO)
Washington 5, TAMPA BAY 3
CAROLINA 4, Nashville 2
St. Louis 3, ARIZONA 0
EDMONTON 2, Vancouver 0
Anaheim 2, SAN JOSE 1

OSHIE’S HAT TRICK HELPS CAPITALS PUNCH TICKET TO THE POSTSEASON
T.J. Oshie (3-1—4) scored the third regular-season hat trick of his NHL career to help the Capitals become the first team to clinch a berth in the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, their 27th postseason appearance in franchise history and ninth in the past 10 seasons.

* At 46-17-8 (100 points), the League-leading Capitals reached the 100-point mark for the 10th time in franchise history and third consecutive season.

* Oshie, who equaled a career high for points in a game, has collected 29-20—49 in 2016-17 (58 GP) to establish a personal best for goals in a season.

Nicklas Backstrom (0-4—4) matched a career high with four helpers to reach 54 assists and move within one of tying Connor McDavid for the League lead.

PURSUIT OF DIVISION TITLES HEATS UP
The race for first place in both the Atlantic and Pacific Divisions intensified Saturday as the top two teams in each division met in Ottawa and San Jose, respectively:

Paul Byron scored the decisive marker in the shootout – after both teams tallied a tying goal in the third period – to power the Canadiens (40-23-8, 88 points) past the Senators (39-23-8, 86 points) in the first half of a back-to-back home-and-home set. Montreal and Ottawa will play tonight on Rogers Hometown Hockey before closing their season series on Saturday at Bell Centre (OTT: 2-0-1; MTL: 1-1-1).

* Ryan Getzlaf (0-1—1) reached the 800-point milestone (235-565—800) to help the Ducks (38-23-11, 87 points) improve to 5-1-1 in their last seven games and move within four points of the Sharks (42-22-7, 91 points) for first place in the Pacific Division. Jonathan Bernier (33 saves) improved to 5-0-1 in his last six appearances, while Jakob Silfverberg (GWG) reached 20 goals for the second time (also 2015-16).

Meanwhile, Chicago opened a five-point lead atop the Central Division and Western Conference with a victory in Toronto:

* Ryan Hartman scored in the final 20 seconds of overtime to power the Blackhawks (46-20-5, 97 points) to their fourth consecutive win. John Hayden tallied the first goal of his NHL career (2 GP) to become the second Illinois-born player to score for the Blackhawks this season, joining Vinnie Hinostroza (6).

OTHER PLAYOFF HOPEFULS SECURE KEY VICTORIES
Several clubs secured victories to improve their chances of clinching a playoff berth:

* Cam Talbot (33 saves) picked up his sixth shutout of the season and Connor McDavid netted the game-winner as the Oilers (38-24-9, 85 points) reclaimed third place in the Pacific Division. McDavid regained sole possession of the League lead with 25-55—80 and became the first Oilers player to reach the 80-point mark in a season since 2013-14 (Taylor Hall: 27-53—80).

Jake Allen (31 saves) registered his fourth shutout of the season to help the Blues (38-28-5, 81 points) improve to 7-1-0 in their last eight contests and overtake the Predators (35-25-11, 81 points) – who lost in regulation – for third place in the Central Division. Allen established a career high with his 27th win of the season. St. Louis and Nashville will wrap up their season series on April 2 at Scottrade Center (NSH: 3-1-0; STL: 1-3-0).

Zach Werenski (0-2—2) notched an assist on Cam Atkinson’s overtime goal to lift the Blue Jackets (46-18-6, 98 points) to a 6-1-0 mark in their last seven games. Werenski has collected 11-35—46 this season (70 GP) – including 2-5—7 during an active five-game point streak – and now sits five points shy of tying the single-season franchise record for most by a defenseman, a mark set by James Wisniewski in 2013-14 (7-44—51 in 75 GP).

Jimmy Vesey scored his fifth game-winning goal of the season to guide the Rangers (45-24-3, 93 points) – who occupy the first Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference – to their League-leading 26th road win of the season, two shy of matching the franchise record set in 2014-15. Elias notes that Vesey became the first Rangers rookie to score five or more game-winning goals in a season since 1985-86 (Mike Ridley: 6).

LOOSE PUCKS
The Hurricanes (30-27-12, 72 points) extended their point streak to six contests (4-0-2) . . . Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov scored the 100th and 101st goals of his NHL career . . . William Nylander (1-6—7 in 7 GP), Elias Lindholm (2-4—6 in 6 GP), Rickard Rakell (4-2—6 in 5 GP) and Artemi Panarin (3-3—6 in 5 GP) extended their points streaks . . . Ducks forward Andrew Cogliano skated in his 776th consecutive game and tied Craig Ramsay for the fourth-longest such run in NHL history . . . Sharks forward Logan Couture (1-0—1) skated in the 500th game of his NHL career . . . The Maple Leafs donned Toronto St. Pats uniforms, honoring one of their earliest eras in franchise history.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY NHL PUBLIC RELATIONS; COURTESY NHL MORNING SKATE PUBLICATION

South Carolina Gamecocks Spring Football underway; Coach Muschamp assesses progress

Will Muschamp

COACH MUSCHAMP SPEAKS AFTER SATURDAY SCRIMMAGE Spring Practice Number 8 Held at Williams-Brice Stadium COLUMBIA, S.C.

(March 18, 2017) – University of South Carolina head football coach Will Muschamp addressed the media following Saturday’s scrimmage at Williams-Brice Stadium. Overall: “We got practice eight in the books today. It was kind of a half-practice, half-scrimmage. We got a lot of good things accomplished today. We got the coaches off the field and let the players play. We had about 75 live scrimmage snaps, which we need. We had counted on about 40. I was pleased with the tempo and some things we were doing, so we kept on going. We’ve got a long way to go, but we are certainly much improved from where we were.” On the offense: “We’re better on the offensive skill, although we do have some guys out. Randrecous Davis had sports hernia surgery, so he’ll miss the rest of spring. I’m disappointed for him. He’s going to be a really good football player for us. Bryan Edwards and Or’Tre Smith have been limited, but have been partaking in most of practices. I’ve been pleased with both of those guys. A.J. Turner has been out with a hamstring injury. He has not practiced this spring, but we’re hoping to get him back next week. We’ve got to get all of our offensive skill all together on the field at once. That’s what’s been frustrating offensively.” On the defense: “Chris Lammons sprained his foot, but he’ll be fine. He’ll be back next week. Skai (Moore) had an ankle today, but will be back next week. We need to continue to come up front and improve. I’ve been pleased with the play of Skai (Moore), Bryson (Allen-Williams) and T.J. (Brunson) for the most part. We’ve got more competition in the secondary than we’ve had, which will certainly help us.” On the special teams: “In the kicking game there have been some positive things that I’ve seen. We’re just far too inconsistent snapping it, kicking it and punting it. We’ve got to get much, much more consistent.” Comparing this team now to the same time last year: “It’s night and day. More than anything, we’ve got some depth on the offensive line. We’ve got some depth in the front seven – not at linebacker, but in our front four. We’ve got more depth at defensive back. We have more options as far as skill guys are concerned.” On the right tackle position: “I think that Zack (Bailey) is a guy that feels comfortable at right tackle. Obviously, it’s a learning curve when you’re going from a confined area as a guard to now when you’re on the edge. I’ve been pleased with his progress. Blake Camper is doing extremely well. Blake’s playing his best football since we’ve been here.” On the left side of the offensive line: “Donell (Stanley) and D.J. (Park) both need to be more consistent day-in, day-out. Malik (Young) and Sadarius (Hutcherson) are battling it out at left tackle. Competition is our best friend as coaches because you’ve got some guys who know they have to perform every single day.” On the wide receivers: “Or’Tre (Smith) and Bryan (Edwards) have taken part in the individual stuff and a lot of the skeleton stuff, just not the full 11-on-11, although Or’Tre did today and he’s progressing extremely well. Korey Banks has done some nice things, Chavis Dawkins has done some nice things, Terry Googer has. We need to be more consistent in those positions. I think Deebo Samuel is having an outstanding spring. I’ve been extremely pleased with him and how he’s come out and worked.” On the backup quarterbacks: “Michael (Scarnecchia) can throw the ball extremely well. He missed an entire year with the labrum. He missed an entire year of taking snaps, reading the coverages and doing all the things you do, so this is really his first year in the scheme and system, but he can really throw it. Jay (Urich) was here today and certainly will be here in the fall to compete. Bailey (Hart) and Danny (Gordon) have done some nice things. We’re going to have to have some other alternative looks to what we need to do. We’ll continue to work through that.” On the pass rush: “We need to improve. We need to get better. We need more fast-twitch up front. We’ve got to get more edge guys. I’ve been very pleased with Dennis Wonnum. He’s had a good spring for us. Dante (Sawyer) has done nice things for us. Daniel Fennell has had two back-to-back good practices for us. We’ve got to have him come along for us. Taylor (Stallworth) has done some nice things inside. We’ve got to get more guys we can count on front. We’re very thin from a standpoint of experience and guys we feel we can win the SEC East with.”

www.GamecocksOnline.com

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & A COURTESY OF University of South Carolina Athletics Media Relations

Angels add veteran utilityman Luis Valbuena

Luis Valbuena with Astros in 2015 By EricEnfermero - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

The Los Angeles Angels recently agreed to terms on a two-year contract with INF Luis Valbuena.

Valbuena, 31, appeared in 90 games for Houston in 2016, batting .260 (76/292) with 17 doubles, a triple, 13 home runs and 40 RBI. The utility infielder set career highs in batting average, on-base percentage (.457) and slugging percentage (.459) while appearing defensively at third base, first base and second base. A left-handed batter, Valbuena posted a .267 (20/75) clip and .741 OPS (.341 OBP/.400 SLG) against left-handed pitching during the 2016 campaign but hit 11 of 12 home runs and 13 of 17 doubles vs. righties.

The Caja Seca, Venezuelan native joins the Angels after appearing with the Mariners (2008), Indians (2009-11), Cubs (2012-14) and Astros (2015-16) throughout the course of his nine-year career. An international free agent signed by Seattle in 2002, Valbuena has averaged 20 doubles and over 10 home runs per year since the start of the 2012 campaign. In 798 career games, he has amassed a .232 (588/2535) average with 145 doubles, nine triples, 83 home runs and 269 RBI.

 

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

Cleveland Indians trim Spring Training roster as Opening Day gets closer

The Cleveland Indians today announced the following roster moves relative to the 2017 Major League Spring Training roster:

Optioned LHP RYAN MERRITT, LHP SHAWN MORIMANDO and RHP ADAM PLUTKO to Triple-A Columbus.

Reassigned RHP TRAVIS BANWART, RHP STEVE DELABAR, RHP JOSH MARTIN, LHP CHRIS NARVESON, LHP JAMES RUSSELL, C GUILLERMO QUIROZ, INF RONNY RODRIGUEZ, INF ERIC STAMETS and OF GREG ALLEN to Minor League camp.

The Major League Spring Training roster now consists of 43 players, including 10 non-roster invitees.

 

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

 

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