URI Rams Fall To New Hampshire, Now 0-3 On Season

On Sunday in New Hampshire, the University of Rhode Island Women’s Soccer Team fell to the University of New Hampshire 0-2. With the loss, the Rams drop to 0-3-0 on the season.

The first half of this match was scoreless with both sides unable to find the finishing touch. In the second half things started to go UNH’s way. In the 52nd minute UNH was awarded a penalty kick that ended up deciding the entire match. Whitney Wiley bagged the penalty for UNH to take a 1-0 lead. This was Wiley’s third goal of the young season.

In the 82nd minute of action UNH took a 2-0 lead with Emily Bini setting up Francesca Picicci for a goal. URI struggled to get shots on target with seven total shots but just two on target. As for UNH they had 11 total shots and had eight on target. URI had Teresa Morrissey in net for most of the game and she made five saves while conceding two goals. Faith Hutchins came in on in relief and made one save on shot on goal.

Overall there was very little available on this match with no highlights or live stream provided so not much detail on how the game as a whole transpired other than the box score. More on this match will be added if more information is released.

URI will be back in action next Sunday when they travel to Boston to take on Northeastern.
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Bryant Series With Mount St. Marys Canceled Due To Positive Covid Case

It was announced on Sunday evening that the Bryant University Men’s Basketball team will have their series with Mount St. Mary’s canceled due to a positive Covid-19 case within the Bulldogs program. This series was supposed to take place on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.

Due to the current pause and with the NEC Tournament taking place next weekend, it is still unclear if the Bulldogs will be taking part in the Tournament. With the first round taking place on Saturday, March 6th, if contract tracing expands wide enough within the program, the Bulldogs may not be able to take part in the tournament.

If the Bulldogs were to win both games this week against Mount St. Mary’s, the Bulldogs would have guaranteed themselves the number 1 seed in the NEC Tournament. We will know later on this week if the Bulldogs will be able to take part in the tournament. But right now, the athletic department can not comment on any injuries or Covid-19 related matters.
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New England Revolution 2021 MLS Training Camp Preview

The MLS off-season is behind us and the 2020 MLS regular season is on the horizon. I am not sure how one of the shortest off-season in recent years also felt like one of the longest but here we are. On Monday the New England Revolution will officially report for training camp and full team training can begin on March 8th once a handful of medical hurdles (including COVID) are cleared. That being said the cat is already out of the bag.

Many of the Revolution players actually reported on February 22nd which was the original MLS report date but was pushed back due to the collective bargaining agreement negotiations. For the next 6+ weeks, the Revolution will be preparing for a 2021 MLS regular season that is slated to begin on April 17th.

This hasn’t been a traditional off-season and this training camp will be anything but traditional

At the moment we do not have an official schedule from the league other than the fact that there will be 34 regular season matches and the Canadian teams will be based out of the United States for the foreseeable future. In addition, we do not have the stereotypical preseason schedule. Usually a week or two into preseason the Revs take off for warmer pastures and get in a few matches to build up to 90-minute fitness. At this point, there is no preseason schedule.

To make things even more interesting the team could be without two of their starters with both Henry Kessler and Tajon Buchanan potentially missing time during training camp due to the U-23 Concacaf Olympic Qualifiers that are taking place in March. With success and talented players come international call-ups. Absences do allow for other players to get more reps and ultimately see if the depth is where it needs to be.

2020 High Level Recap

During the 2020 MLS regular season, the Revs played two matches to start the year and then went on a hiatus until July due to COVID-19. Despite that and losing their star in Carles Gil to injury the team went 8-7-8 and was able to make the playoffs as the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference.

With Gil returning late in the season the Revs were able to hit the playoffs running at full speed. New England defeated the Montreal Impact to open the playoffs and then hit the road to defeat the Philadelphia Union and then Orlando City SC to make the Eastern Conference Final.

The Revs momentum was halted in the ECF where they fell to the eventual MLS Cup winners in Columbus Crew SC in a 1-0 finish.

2021 New England Revolution Roster

Departures (12): Alex Buttner, Isaac Angking, Jeff Caldwell, Nicolas Firmino, Kekutah Manneh, Michael Mancinne, Cristian Penilla, Seth Sinovic, Antonio Delamea, Diego Fagundez, Kelyn Rowe, Lee Nguyen

New Additions (6): Earl Edwards Jr. (GK), Christian Mafla (DEF), Wilfrid Kaptoum (MID), A.J. DeLaGarza (DEF), Ema Boateng (MID), Edward Kizza (F)

Photo Credit: New England Revolution

Forwards (6): Gustavo Bou, Tajon Buchanan, Adam Buksa, Teal Bunbury, Edward Kizza, Justin Rennicks

Midfield (8): Ema Boateng, Luis Caicedo, Scott Caldwell, Carles Gil, Wilfrid Kaptoum, Tommy McNamara, Matt Polster, Damian Rivera

Defenders (7): Brandon Bye, A.J. DeLaGarza, Andrew Farrell, DeJuan Jones, Henry Kessler, Christian Mafla, Collin Verfurth

Goalkeepers (3): Earl Edwards Jr., Brad Knighton, Matt Turner

As of post, the Revolution has 24 out of 30 available first team slots filled up, three of three Designated Player spots, and seven of eight International roster spots. The team has yet to sign defenders Jon Bell or Francois Dulysse who they own MLS rights to.

Key Things I Will Be Watching Out For

Newcomers: It’s hard not to look at the newcomers and think they are the number one thing to keep an eye on. Is Mafla a true improvement over Buttner at left-back? Can Kaptoum replace Penilla and provide the club with more consistency? And can Edward Kizza really provide depth at striker given the club is using an international roster spot on him? Right-Back Battle: DeJuan Jones and Brandon Bye are essentially fighting over the same minutes. At the end of last year, Jones won the battle but this will be a very interesting position to keep an eye on going forward. Another wrinkle for the pair could be Tajon Buchanan playing at right-back as he did during the playoffs.

Photo Credit: New England Revolution

Defensive Midfield: This was an area of weakness for the club last year right from the jump. How does Luis Caicedo look after a year off and will Scott Caldwell be on the opposite side or will it be Matt Polster? What If: Carles Gil going down last year was a death blow to the Revolution. They struggled to score without him and I am not sure they addressed this area of depth concern if he were to go down again. If a DP goes down it’s a body blow to any team but the key is to have a roster that can at-least tread water in their absence. There is roster upside in new and returning players that could fill that gap but I am not 100% convinced they have done enough. Goalkeeper Duel: When New England brought in a veteran like Edwards Jr. to be on the goalkeeper depth chart it was clear Arena and company are preparing for Turner to miss some time this year. And no I am not Charlie Davies talking about Europe but rather international duty with USMNT. Depending on who you ask Turner is now second or third on the USMNT depth chart. USMNT has a busy year that includes World Cup Qualifying in the Fall, Nations League, and the Gold Cup. It’s not a complete certainty that Turner will miss time but it will be interesting to see the back-up battle between Knighton and Edwards Jr..Buksa Has To Step Up: Adam Buksa’s 2020 performance was not worthy of the DP stats that he currently holds. I personally give him a mulligan for not having great service in the absence of Gil. When Gil returned you could see Buksa’s performance lift back up. No mulligan for 2021 and if the Revolution are half-way thru the season and it looks like 2020 it might be time to pull the ripcord. In regards to training camp, I would look to see what shape Buksa came into camp the chemistry build with Gil.

Week 1 Training Camp Schedule

Not going to give away any state secrets here but the media will meet with a number of Revolution players this week. To kick things off Bruce Arena will speak on Monday, Teal Bunbury, Carles Gil, and Matt Turner on Tuesday, and then Ema Boateng, A.J. DeLaGarza, and Wilfrid Kaptoum on Thursday.

Off the training pitch there will be a 2021 kit reveal on Tuesday. There has been a credible leak of the kit already.

We will keep you updated with the latest here on Trifecta Sports throughout 2021. Make sure to follow me on Twitter as well to get the very latest.
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LAX Pays Tribute To Lakers Legend Kobe Bryant, Daughter Gianna Bryant

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It’s been just over a year since a helicopter crash claimed the lives of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna Bryant and seven others.

And the Los Angeles International Airport has found a cool and fitting way to honor the Lakers legend and the other victims.

The Federal Aviation Administration recently approved and published new instrument approach charts for two of its runways at LAX, renaming their respective final approach fixed points to KOBBB and JIANA.

These charts essentially work as a type of map that guide pilots during the landing of an aircraft. Of course, the spellings are a bit creative because the fixes must be five letters and can’t be duplicated from another runway, but they check out phonetically.

Check out the charts here.

This tribute comes a few weeks after it was announced that pilot Ara Zobayan’s decision making likely was the fault for the crash.

More NBA:
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NFL Insider Details What Jets Could Trade Texans For Deshaun Watson

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We’ve all heard the Deshaun Watson rumors.

But one NFL insider, the Houston Chronicle’s John McClain, offered some insight into exactly what one AFC East suitor — the New York Jets — could offer for the 25-year-old Houston Texans quarterback.

“The Jets could start with (Sam) Darnold, their first-round picks this year (second and 23rd overall) and their first- and second-round picks in 2022,” McClain wrote in the Houston Chronicle on Saturday. “That would be three ones, a two, Darnold and perhaps defensive end Quinnen Williams.”

Could McClain just be speculating? Sure. But as an NFL reporter for more than four decades, his voice carries serious weight. And if he writes it’s time for the Texans to start entertaining offers, as he did Saturday, it could be because he knows they already have.

In case for some reason you need the back story, Watson has asked Houston for a trade while the Texans insist they have no plans to deal the franchise signal-caller. Maybe you’ve even heard how Watson followed that up by expressed that he will sit out this season if he’s not dealt.

In addition to the Jets, the Miami Dolphins, Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos are among the teams that have been linked to Watson in trade speculation.

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Red Sox Prospect Zach Bryant ‘About Messed My Pants’ After Trade

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Zach Bryant received quite the surprise Saturday.

Bryant, a 22-year-old pitching prospect, was dealt to the Boston Red Sox to complete an August trade in which Josh Osich was sent to the Chicago Cubs.

For a few reasons, it was hard for Bryant to contain his excitement.

“Well, given the recent circumstances for minor leaguers, I about messed my pants when I got a call saying, ‘We know you definitely aren’t expecting this.’ But when they said I was going to the Sox, I was ecstatic of course,” Bryant told NESN.com after learning of the transaction.

“The first people I told were my parents and my grandma and they were almost in tears.”

And while he obviously was excited for another opportunity to pursue his dream of playing Major League Baseball, that wasn’t the only part that had Bryant overjoyed.

Despite being born in Daytona Beach, Fla. and playing college baseball at Jacksonville University, Bryant has been a die-hard Red Sox fan since childhood.

“It all started watching Manny (Ramirez) and Big Papi (David Ortiz) when I first started watching baseball,” Bryant said.

“I fell in love with the energy Boston’s always had and, of course, fell in love with Fenway. Then of course I was very young so whenever I’d play Xbox I’d play as the Sox, and started learning about all of the history with the Sox, and the rest is history. Year in and year out I was all about the Sox.”

Boston is down in Ft. Myers Fla. for spring training, and begin their exhibition schedule on Sunday against the Minnesota Twins.

More MLB:
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Red Sox Prospect Zach Bryant ‘About Messed My Pants’ After Trade

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Zach Bryant received quite the surprise Saturday.

Bryant, a 22-year-old pitching prospect, was dealt to the Boston Red Sox to complete an August trade in which Josh Osich was sent to the Chicago Cubs.

For a few reasons, it was hard for Bryant to contain his excitement.

“Well, given the recent circumstances for minor leaguers, I about messed my pants when I got a call saying, ‘We know you definitely aren’t expecting this.’ But when they said I was going to the Sox, I was ecstatic of course,” Bryant told NESN.com after learning of the transaction.

“The first people I told were my parents and my grandma and they were almost in tears.”

And while he obviously was excited for another opportunity to pursue his dream of playing Major League Baseball, that wasn’t the only part that had Bryant overjoyed.

Despite being born in Daytona Beach, Fla. and playing college baseball at Jacksonville University, Bryant has been a die-hard Red Sox fan since childhood.

“It all started watching Manny (Ramirez) and Big Papi (David Ortiz) when I first started watching baseball,” Bryant said.

“I fell in love with the energy Boston’s always had and, of course, fell in love with Fenway. Then of course I was very young so whenever I’d play Xbox I’d play as the Sox, and started learning about all of the history with the Sox, and the rest is history. Year in and year out I was all about the Sox.”

Boston is down in Ft. Myers Fla. for spring training, and begin their exhibition schedule on Sunday against the Minnesota Twins.

More MLB:
Matt Barnes Knows Red Sox Pitching Is At New Level In 2021

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Bruins Notes: Brad Marchand Explains Where Focus Needs To Be After Skid

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The Boston Bruins returned to the ice Saturday after being on the losing end of two consecutive brutal defeats in New York.

The Islanders, as you may have heard, claimed a 7-2 victory on Thursday while the Rangers followed it up with a 6-2 win over their own Friday.

Boston will play the Rangers again in New York on Sunday afternoon, and Bruins winger Brad Marchand explained where the team’s focus needs to be.

“Yeah, you know, that’s one thing that we’ve always been good at is being resilient. We’ve always had a really high compete level and I just think we just got a little bit away from that. So, we just have to get back to competing hard — that being the main part of our game that we need to focus on and everything else will kind of fall into play,” Marchand told reporters Saturday.

“We’re known to be hard to play against and we just can’t let a bad bounce or a bad break affect our game. We have to stick with it. And that’s why we come back in third periods or take over late in the game, because we just wear teams down. We just kind of got away from that a little bit, but that happens in a season. (You) just want to try to get ahead of it and get back as quick as you can, which is what we’re going to try to do.”

Marchand explained how important it is, especially during these trying stretches, to stay “even keel.”

“The biggest thing is just stick together. We’re all going through it together. It’s easy to get caught up in it when you — we’ve had a couple bad games, there’s no question we can be much better than what we were the last two nights — but we just want to stick together as a group. We’re going to go through good times, going to go through bad teams and you just want to stay even keel. I think that’s the biggest thing. You never get up you never get down, just always even keel.”

The message was heard loud and clear by defenseman Charlie McAvoy, and it’s something McAvoy has heard plenty of times prior.

“Something the guys like to say, something the guys harp on is ‘Never too high, never too low,’” McAvoy told reporters Saturday. “It’s definitely something to keep in mind right now.

“The culture of this team is winning. It’s what we’re accustomed to, it’s what we’re used to. So, when we’re losing games, you can tell. It’s not something we’re OK with. It comes down pretty hard. So, kind of like I said, we’re excited to get back it tomorrow and hopefully get back in the win column. But it’s definitely good to have that perspective that regardless of what’s going on and the immediate struggles that we’re having not to get too high, not to get too low ever. Keep that even keel. Stay positive.”

Here are Saturday’s other Bruins notes from media availabilities, transaction, etc.:

— The Bruins on Saturday claimed defenseman Jarred Tinordi off waivers. Tinordi played seven games for the Nashville Predators this season.

NESN.com’s Logan Mullen revealed what Tinordi will provide the Bruins. The 6-foot-6, 230-pound left-shot defenseman — who’s tallied one goal, 10 assists in 88 career games — was used in 5-on-5 situations and the penalty kill in Nashville.

— Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy explained how Tinordi, who he called a “bigger guy, stay-at-home guy,” provides the Bruins with a player that ultimately could end up complementing McAvoy, a first-pairing defenseman.

“I’m not going to say he’s going to go in the first pair because we haven’t seen him yet, but he is that type of defender who could find a lot of usage in our back end right now because we lack that, obviously,” Cassidy said.

— Cassidy also mentioned how — despite his recent challenge to defensemen — the addition of Tinordi shouldn’t be viewed as a message-sender to Boston’s core of youthful blue liners.

Instead, it’s adding a player that could help offset the injury-related absences of Jeremy Lauzon and Kevan Miller.

“Wake up call? I don’t know,” Cassidy said. “Our depth has been challenged in terms of size. (Jeremy) Lauzon, Kevan Miller bring a lot of that element and with them being out — we don’t know on Miller obviously with Jeremy going to be four weeks minimum from his date of injury — so this gives us a different look back there, little more stout and stiffness.”

— Cassidy did provide a bit of an injury update, as well.

The Bruins bench boss said he considers defenseman Matt Grzelcyk “doubtful” for Sunday’s game. Miller, Cassidy explained, is “disappointed” as he works his way back from what seems to be knee soreness.

Miller will be re-evaluated when the Bruins get back to Boston.

— Cassidy changed up Boston’s lines/pairings after a second consecutive loss.

Here’s how they looked heading into Sunday’s 12 p.m. puck drop.

More NHL:
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LeBron James Insinuates Hypocrisy After Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s Comments

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For some reason, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the latest person to tell philanthropist and NBA superstar LeBron James to essentially “stick to sports.”

The Swede soccer legend Thursday criticized James for participating in politics, and suggested the Los Angeles Lakers star “do what you’re good at.” In other words, “shut up and dribble.”

Ironically, James is quite good at both.

He is fresh off an NBA title, and his charitable endeavors include starting a school for underprivileged youth in his community. And on Friday night, James called out Zlatan for what he feels is some hypocrisy.

“He was the same guy who said when he was back in Sweden … because his last name wasn’t a certain last name, that he felt there was some racism going on when he was out on the pitch,” James told reporters Friday, per ESPN’s SportsCenter. “I speak from a very educated mind, so I’m kind of the wrong guy to actually go at because I do my homework.

“I would never shut up about things that are wrong. I preach about my people, and I preach about equality. Social injustice. Racism. Systematic voter suppression. Things that go on in our community.”

You can hear James’ full comments in the video below:

LeBron responded after Zlatan Ibrahimovic criticized him for his activism.“I’m kind of the wrong guy to actually go at because I do my homework.” pic.twitter.com/VyKgBrYuiz— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 27, 2021

Talk about a mic drop.

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Friars Open BIG EAST Play With Win Over UConn

On Saturday in Storrs, Connecticut the Providence College Friars took on the University of Connecticut Huskies. This was the BIG EAST conference opener for both teams and the Friars prevailed with a 2-0 road win. With the win PC moves to 2-0 on the season and 1-0 in conference play.

Providence was able to capture the lead rather early in this one with the Friars earning a penalty kick in the 13th minute of play. Paulo Lima took the penalty and bagged it giving the Friars a 1-0 lead. This was the juniors first goal of the season and his ninth goal in his PC career.

The next goal for the Friars game in the 61st minute with Gil Santos setting up former New England Revolution Academy standout Gevork Diarbian for a goal. This is the freshman’s second goal of the season and the second of his collegiate career.

As a whole the total shots advantage for Providence wasn’t lopsided with PC outshooting UConn 9-7. Accuracy is what played a major factor with the Friars getting seven shots on goal compared to the Huskies two. Friars goalkeeper Rimi Olatunji was in net picking up the clean sheet.

The Friars will be back in action on Wednesday when they will travel to Pennsylvania to take on Villanova. Villanova is 0-3 on the season having suffered losses to La Salle University, Drexel University, and Georgetown University. For what it is worth Nova was picked to finish sixth in the BIG EAST this season in the coaches preseason poll.

There will be more Rhode Island college soccer action on Sunday when the University of Rhode Island Women’s Soccer team takes on New Hampshire in a conference game at 2:00 p.m. ET. URI is 0-2 on the season after losses to Providence and UConn.
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