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Coronavirus Spreads to Soccer’s Schedule, Closing Stadiums and Stranding Teams

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In China, officials struggling to contain the spread of the coronavirus have delayed the start of the soccer season for months, and at least one top-division team has been marooned in the Middle East for weeks, unable to return from a preseason training camp.

In South Korea, fans attending matches earlier this month were checked for fever before being allowed inside stadiums, and masks were ubiquitous in the stands in Japan recently — until Tuesday, when officials announced that there will be no league play until at least mid-March.

But the effects of the coronavirus on the global soccer calendar have crossed borders, too. Asia’s soccer confederation announced three weeks ago that the matches in its biggest club championship involving Chinese teams would not be played for several months, and Vietnam has banned the hosting of sporting events of any kind this month, forcing even more games to be rescheduled.

Now the disruption has spread to Europe.

In Italy, where the number of confirmed coronavirus cases neared 300 on Tuesday, at least one game — the second leg of a knockout tie on Thursday between Internazionale of Milan and Ludogorets of Bulgaria in the Europa League — is to be played behind closed doors as the authorities continue to restrict public gatherings in the northern region of Lombardy.

The decision on Tuesday to play the game without spectators came after the Italian authorities postponed four league games last weekend.

Inter Milan, a top contender for the Italian league title, said the decision was a result of several days of talks with health officials in Lombardy and European soccer’s governing body, UEFA, over how to stage the game, which could not be canceled because of the lack of alternate dates.

The game against Ludogorets is believed to be the first time a European soccer match has had to be played behind closed doors because of a health crisis. Usually such conditions are imposed on teams as a punishment for fan violence or racist episodes.

Inter, which is owned by a Chinese company, had already been taking steps to minimize the risks to its staff members from the virus. Nonessential employees have been told to work from home, and the club has purchased stocks of face masks and hand sanitizer for the team’s headquarters.

The decision to go ahead with Thursday’s match at Milan’s cavernous San Siro stadium was confirmed on Tuesday. Inter, which has an even bigger game on Sunday, when it is scheduled to visit first-place Juventus, was one of the four Italian clubs that postponed a match in the country’s top league last weekend.

Other European countries are now contemplating similar possibilities. On Tuesday, the French club Olympique Lyonnais said in a statement that it had “taken note” of the French authorities’ decision to let its match against Juventus in the Champions League proceed “in its initial configuration” on Wednesday night. Up to 3,000 fans of Juventus, a team based in the northern Italian city of Turin, are expected for the game, which is sold out.

Asked about the match, Olivier Véran, France’s health minister, told RTL radio that the authorities were being vigilant but that there were currently “no scientific and medical arguments” justifying the cancellation of large events in France.

“Should we stop Fashion Week?” Véran said. “Should we stop games? Should we close universities? The answer is no.”

He added, “We are not closing the borders because we do not know how to, but because it would make no sense at this stage.”

Health officials and governments in Asia, where sports schedules have been most affected since the virus first started to spread, are facing a far different reality.

When Afshin Ghotbi, the Iranian-American coach of the Chinese team Shijiazhuang Ever Bright, was thrown into the air by his soccer players in early November after clinching promotion to the Chinese Super League, he had no inkling that almost four months later, he and his squad would still be waiting for the new season to begin.

Shijiazhuang Ever Bright, whose home city of 11 million is about 165 miles southwest of Beijing, should have kicked off its new campaign last weekend. But instead of taking on Chinese superclubs like Guangzhou Evergrande and Shanghai SIPG in front of 40,000 fans, Ghotbi’s team is playing preseason games in empty stadiums in Abu Dhabi, its base for five weeks and counting.

Team officials said that they did not expect to play competitive soccer until at least May or even be allowed to return to China before mid-March.

“It is a challenge for the players,” Ghotbi said. “They are away from their families and psychologically they feel very helpless.”

Ghotbi, a former head coach of Iran’s national team, has experience in global events disrupting sports schedules. He was in charge of the Japanese club Shimizu S-Pulse in 2011 when an earthquake and tsunami caused the Japanese league’s season to be delayed for six weeks.

“Back then, we also tried to use the football team as a source of inspiration and hope,” Ghotbi said. “And we are trying to do the same now through banners in the stadiums we play and through social media, though it is different as we are outside China.”

To keep his players sharp physically and mentally, he and his coaches have created a points system for intrateam activities, among other distractions. “Even changing the hotel can make a difference,” he said.

Similar challenges are now being faced across East Asia. South Korea, where the number of confirmed coronavirus cases neared 1,000 on Tuesday, postponed the start of its domestic season indefinitely on Monday. The next day, Japan’s J. League announced a delay of three weeks.

Individual qualifying matches for the 2022 World Cup and the 2020 Olympics have already been moved; in one extreme example, the China women’s soccer team was quarantined inside an Australian hotel, forced to exercise and train in hallways, before it was allowed to play a series of Olympic qualifying games.



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Working at home | News, Sports, Jobs

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Tarik Muse, a former Liberty High School athlete who is now an assistant strength and conditioning coordinator at Mercer University, slaps hands with Mercer players before a game. Muse offers tips on how athletes can stay in shape despite using limited equipment while at home.

Home training

First in a series of stories on how athletes can stay in shape during Ohio’s “stay-at-home” order issued in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Terry Grossetti is the strength and conditioning coach at Youngstown State University, and the former Slippery Rock football player owns two training facilities in western Pennsylvania, where he has helped prepare around 150 athletes for the NFL — 80 being signed to NFL contracts.

And yet, over the last few weeks with his business being shut down, the well-conditioned 34-year-old has been working out at home like most everyone else who’s trying to stay in shape during the “stay-at-home” order set in place by Gov. Mike DeWine in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The situation has been tough for just about everyone in the Mahoning Valley, and high school athletes are no exception. State tournaments were canceled for the majority of the winter sports and spring sports are on hold — as is any training, weightlifting or conditioning at area high schools.

That doesn’t mean athletes can’t stay in shape, and Grossetti, Reuben Green III and Tarik Muse, all strength and conditioning coaches at Division I colleges, have some tips on how athletes can continue to build their bodies during these trying times.

In stories over the next few days, different areas of exercising, speed training, weightlifting and nutrition will be explored by coaches and coordinators who are currently finding ways to keep college athletes in shape despite limited equipment and communication.

“A wise man once told me, the more equipment you need as a trainer, the worse a trainer that you are,” said Grossetti, now in his second year at YSU. “Our programs are still pretty good. You don’t necessarily need a lot of equipment to develop power, to develop speed. A lot of those concepts that you’re going to be applying to the athletes are basically using their body weight anyway. You just have to find a way that they can do that in the privacy of their own home or at a local track, or yard or high school.”

The first part to a workout is the warm-up, and all three coaches agreed that warm-ups have changed dramatically over the years.

Spending 10 to 15 minutes stretching the entire body before a workout is now a thing of the past. There are a few ways athletes can prepare for the training session; it just depends on what the person will be doing.

Green, a Youngstown State graduate who coached in the area before moving on to the collegiate level, said “dynamic” stretching, which mimics the motions of the upcoming workout, is a good starting point.

“You want to get warmed up with the movement that you’re doing, more of a dynamic warm-up,” said Green, who had stops at Stanford and Ohio State before becoming the assistant strength and conditioning coordinator at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. “I like more of a static stretching at the end, kind of in a yoga format, to really focus on your breathing while stretching. But in the beginning, more of a dynamic warm-up, just get your body going through the movement that it’s about to do.”

Grossetti was on the same page.

He said athletes should almost never “static stretch,” which is essentially holding a stretch longer than 10 seconds, prior to training. He said muscles lose their elasticity and “ability to produce force” after static stretching. Instead, he uses similar tactics as Green.

“At Youngstown State, we do a ton of mobility work before we train,” Grossetti said. “There’s a difference between mobility and flexibility. We do mobility work beforehand. Basic mobility is to get the tissues that we’re about to train with warmed up and mobile to be able to handle the load that they’re about to be forced upon.”

One basic example of a “dynamic” stretch or “mobility” is to lean forward with your hands against a wall swing each leg back and forth (side to side and front to back), Grossetti said. This rotates the hip and prepares the lower half of the body for a number of possible exercises. Again, he emphasized that the movement depends on what the upcoming workout will be.

“Mobility is more about your joints,” he said. “Flexibility is more about your muscles.

Muse added a little wrinkle to the warm-up.

The 2014 Liberty High School graduate is a strength and conditioning coach at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, after stops at Duke and North Carolina State. He agrees that static stretching prior to training is not helpful. He does like to work in another tactic.

“I’m a big fan of doing some soft-tissue work with like foam rollers, lacrosse balls, baseballs, stuff like that, to break up the some of the scar tissue that they may have in those sore areas,” said Muse of pressing and rolling different implements against sore areas of the body. “I do that before sprinting or lifting. After they get their workout in, if they feel like they need to stretch afterwards, I’d let them do that.”

While stretching before training was frowned upon, all agreed that yoga is a great workout to help with recovery and flexibility.

Some other important areas of preparation, according to all three, were having proper rest, being hydrated and not allowing TV, phones or electronic devices to distract from the workout.

“Your nutrition, your hydration and your sleep play a pretty big role,” Grossetti said.







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Redskins Sign Ronald Darby⁈ + Why We Should Sign S Damarious Randall + Why 2020 Will Be Big Try Out!

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Welcome to Street Scores! It’s your boy Rico giving y’all some more heat! DAILY REDSKINS NEWS! Very important topics! JUST IN! Here, I give ya’ll all of the background information, speculations, professional insights and opinions, critical analysis, and everything else concerning this Ronald Darby situation!

Today’s Topics:
Redskins sign cornerback Ronald Darby to a 1-year prove it deal worth $4 million! Is this a steal⁈ What does the cornerback group look like⁈ Is it not a big weakness anymore⁈ Will the Redskins still pursue Bashaud Breeland or Logan Ryan⁈ + Why the Redskins should get ex Browns safety Damarious Randall! + How 2020 Regular Season will basically be one big try out, audition, test run for many players! & Ron Rivera is handling free agency like this! What is Rivera’s long-term strategy⁈

Let Me Know:
Are you happy we signed Ronald Darby⁈ Do you want Damarious Randall⁈ Do you like Rivera’s first off season⁈

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This is where you can get that REAL. Watch, fake punch that like button, slide this into your favorites, bookmark, comment, debate, roast, joan, and most importantly, SHARE!

Some of the photos and videos used in this video are found through Google and are not owned by me. All music is either owned by me or has been given permission to use by my cousin Lyriq Harper.

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ronald darby is very talented high upside 2017 eagles superbowl run pro football focus pff graded high but keeps getting hurt injuries led to terrible 2019 season bounceback recover in jack del rio defense potential low risk high reward 1 year prove it deal signings sean davis competition starting free safety back up training camp battle linebacker group deep depth starter versatility slot corner kendall fuller is there any chance the redskins still get sign bashaud breeland logan ryan from the titans redskins should not will not trade back from 2nd overall pick take chase young tank

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100 Best Youth Hockey Jerseys (USA)

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We pick the TOP 2 Youth Hockey Jerseys in EACH STATE in the USA!
Enjoy our list of the Top 100 Youth Hockey Jerseys.
Birmingham Bulls (AL)
Huntsville Jr. Chargers (AL)
Alaska Blue Devils (AK)
South Anchorage Mighty Moose (AK)
Little Rock Aces (AR)
NW Arkansas Jr. IceHogs (AR)
Arizona Jr Sun Devils (AZ)
Arizona Jr. Coyotes (AZ)
LA Jr. Kings (CA)
San Jose Jr. Sharks (CA)
Colorado Thunderbirds (CO)
Vail Mountaineers (CO)
Whalers Youth Hockey (CT)
Mid-Fairfield Jr. Rangers (CT)
Delaware Ducks (DE)
Delaware Jr. Blue Hens (DE)
Florida Jr. Everblades (FL)
Florida Alliance (FL)
Atlanta Mad Hatters (GA)
Columbus Cottonmouths (GA)
Hawaii: NONE
Iowa City Blizzard (IA)
Des Mounds Buccaneers AAA (IA)
Lewis Clark Lightning (ID)
Salmon Rapids (ID)
Chicago Fury (IL)
Chicago Mission (IL)
Indy Jr. Fuel (IN)
Fort Wayne Force (IN)
Kansas City Stars (KS)
Topeka Jr Roadrunners (KS)
Owensboro Puckhogs (KY)
Lexington Thoroughbreds (KY)
Baton Rouge Blades (LA)
Louisiana Junior IceGators (LA)
South Shore Kings (MA)
Boston Jr. Eagles (MA)
Team Maryland (MD)
Tri-City Eagles (MD)
Maine Moose (ME)
Brewer Witches (ME)
Little Caesars (MI)
Honeybaked (MI)
Warroad HS Hockey (MN)
Minnesota Blades (MN)
St. Louis Blues AAA (MO)
St. Joseph Griffons (MO)
Gulf Coast Aces (MS)
Miles City Generals (MT)
Copper City Kings (MT)
Carolina Jr. Hurricanes (NC)
Raleigh Raptors (NC)
Fargo Angels (ND)
Minot Wolves (ND)
Omaha AAA (NE)
Fremont Flyers (NE)
Top Gun (NH)
Northern Cyclones (NH)
Mercer Chiefs (NJ)
Igloo Jaguars (NJ)
New Mexico Scorpions (NM)
New Mexico Ice Wolves (NM)
Vegas Jr. Golden Knights (NV)
Nevada Jr. Wolfpack (NV)
Rome Grizzlies (NY)
Long Island Royals (NY)
Shaker Heights Red Raiders (OH)
Belfry Spiders (OH)
Oklahoma City Oil Kings (OK)
Tulsa Jr. Oilers (OK)
Bend Rapids (OR)
Southern Oregon Jr Spartans (OR)
Penguins Elite (PA)
Philadelphia Jr. Flyers (PA)
Providence Hockey Club (RI)
Newport Whalers (RI)
Charleston Jr Stingrays (SC)
Carolina Rage (SC)
Sioux Falls Power (SD)
Rushmore Thunder (SD)
Knoxville Jr Ice Bears (TN)
Nashville Jr. Predators (TN)
Dalls Stars Elite (TX)
Texas Tigers (TX)
West Coast Renegades (UT)
Utah Golden Eagles (UT)
Washington Little Capitals (VA)
Ashburn Xtreme (VA)
Green Mountain Glades (VT)
Northshire Bulldogs (VT)
Seattle Jr. Thunderbirds (WA)
Tri-City Jr. Americans (WA)
Milwaukee Jr. Admirals (WI)
Northeast Wisconsin Jr Gamblers (WI)
West Virginia Wild (WV)
Morgantown Blades (WV)
Jackson Moose (WY)
Wyoming Cutthroats (WY)
Georgetown Titans (DC)

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