Ibrahimovic: ‘If United need me, I’m here’

LA Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic has joked about returning to Manchester United after claiming he is still good enough to play in the Premier League.

Ibrahimovic, 37, has scored 46 goals in 49 games for Galaxy since arriving from Old Trafford in 2018 but after United sold Romelu Lukaku this summer with Alexis Sanchez set to follow, he hinted at a comeback.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

“Nah, I did my job in Europe. I enjoyed it, I have 33 trophies that I brought with me here and hopefully I can get something here. And then we will see where that adventure finishes.”

The former Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan, Barcelona and Juventus striker added that he still checks for United’s results and was aware of the 2-1 defeat to Crystal Palace on Saturday.6

“I look, I look, I look,” he added. “I saw the last game and I think they were unlucky. If they score the penalty, it’s a different game but a game in England is not finished until its finished.

“Anything can happen, especially in the last minutes where everything is in the heat of the moment.”

Ibrahimovic said he is not surprised to see Wayne Rooney depart Major League Soccer but is not sure what he will do when his own contract is up at the end of the year.

“No, I’m not surprised [that he’s going back],” Ibrahimovic said. “Absolutely not.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

“I think he came, he tried, he did his best and, yeah, he had patience. You need a lot of patience and it has finished, the patience. I mean, my deal is until December 31. What happens afterwards I don’t know.

“I’m in a different position than Wazza. Wazza is much younger than me. I am old but still dominating, still making the difference. Let’s see what happens. I have to be feeling good physically.”

Man United held to draw by 10-man Saints

Manchester United’s patchy start to the Premier League season continued with a 1-1 draw at 10-man Southampton after a Jannik Vestergaard header cancelled out a brilliant Daniel James goal for the visitors on Saturday.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

The result left United on five points from four games after last weekend’s shock 2-1 home defeat by Crystal Palace while Southampton, who stretched their winless league streak at home against United to nine games, have four points.

Wales winger James, signed from Swansea City during the close season, netted the third goal of his United career with a 10th-minute rocket into the top corner which gave Saints keeper Angus Gunn no chance.4

The visitors dominated the opening half and livewire James forced a reflex save from Gunn with another piledriver from 20 metres midway through the first half after Marcus Rashford had headed well wide from close range.

But United faded after the break and Vestergaard equalised in the 58th minute when he rose above Victor Lindelof to head home emphatically a Kevin Danso cross from the right after visiting keeper David De Gea had saved a Danny Ings effort.cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping

The home side were forced to hang on in the closing stages after Danso was sent off in the 73rd minute for a second bookable foul when he hacked down Scott McTominay, with Gunn denying Rashford and substitute Mason Greenwood.

Andrew Bogut revels in victory over Team USA

Those four simple words were Andrew Bogut’s typically wry reaction after Australia’s history-making win against Team USA in the second of their two-game exhibition series at Marvel Stadium.

Speaking minutes after the Boomers’ 98-94 victory in front of a 52,079 capacity crowd, Bogut said the performance was one of the highlights of his illustrious career. The Boomers big man also signalled that the victory was a huge moment for the psyche of Australian men’s basketball, with the team — world basketball’s longtime bridesmaids — now firmly believing they can beat anyone they lock horns with.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

“[That was] huge for us,” he said. “It’s a friendly, so we want to keep that in context, but we did create history tonight — the first senior Australian men’s team to beat an American team. I was fortunate enough to do it in juniors so I told the boys, ‘welcome to the club.'”

The 34-year-old said Australia’s growing presence in the NBA was starting to pay dividends on the national stage, admitting some players were previously “starstruck” against the best players in the world. He added Saturday’s win over Team USA would be a turning point among the group.5

“We feel like we can beat anyone in the world … this [is] the first time I’ve felt that with the Boomers. In the past, we’d be going to an Olympics or Worlds and not so much making up the numbers but [thinking], ‘We’ll give it a fair shot and what happens, happens.’

“We were competitive in the past but it wasn’t like we were [thinking], ‘We’re trying to win a gold medal and beat anyone we come across’ and I think this group genuinely has that belief. And I think a lot of that comes from having guys in this squad who are playing with those Team USA guys on a nightly basis [in the NBA] and not just warming the bench, but playing against them. In the past we have had guys who were a little starstruck about playing against [the big names], but that’s not the right mindset.”

Boomers teammate Chris Goulding, who starred in Game 1 before a quieter outing on Saturday, was pinching himself after the win. But he was also trying to retain perspective with the World Cup only a week away.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

“It was a great day for Australian basketball,” he said. “We feel like we’re starting to play to our potential, but I think we can play even better, which is so exciting.

“We wanted to enjoy it and make sure the crowd enjoyed it but we have bigger goals — to keep it [the excitement] under wraps and use it as a stepping-stone and hopefully be better again … and if we have to play [Team USA] again, we’ll be ready.”

The two-game exhibition series didn’t come without its controversies, with stars withdrawing from both squads, and ticketing and seating issues at the venue, but Bogut and star teammate Patty Mills — the matchwinner for the Boomers in Game 2 — were both thrilled at the growth of basketball in Australia.

“We just had 52,000 people twice come to a football stadium for a game of basketball — if someone would have told me that five or six years ago, it just wouldn’t happen,” the Melbourne-born veteran said. “On top of that, we won, so I’ve never seen basketball at this height in this country. I couldn’t be prouder to be an Australian basketballer right now. To win a game against the USA in my home city is something I never would have thought was realistic as a kid … to beat them is a whole other ballgame.

Australia stuns Team USA, snaps 78-game streak

For the first time in nearly 13 years, a U.S. roster of NBA players played an international game — and lost. Patty Mills scored 30 points, and Australia rallied from a 10-point deficit in the second half to stun the Americans 98-94 and snap a 78-game U.S. winning streak that started with the bronze-medal game at the 2006 world championships.

“They wanted it more than us tonight,” U.S. guard Kemba Walker said. “Lesson learned for us.”

It was the first loss for the U.S. in a major international tournament or exhibition since the 2006 world championship semifinals against Greece. The Americans won the bronze there, then were unbeaten through the cycles for the 2007 FIBA Americas, 2008 Olympics, 2010 World Cup, 2012 Olympics, 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.

Add all that up, along with wins over Spain and Australia with this team, and it was a 78-game winning streak for the U.S. — the longest in program history.

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“It was awesome,” Mills said.6

Australia had never beaten the Americans, and the U.S. national team had been 30-0 all time in Australia.

“Some of it is expected with a new group that’s trying to learn about each other and learn a system,” U.S. coach Gregg Popovich said. “So it’s not surprising. But the Aussies gave us a great lesson as far as where we want to be and how you have to play in this kind of a competition.”

A World Cup where Serbia has already made very clear it expects to win gold, where NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo will lead Greece, where France figures to have a medal shot and now with the Australians absolutely knowing they can beat the U.S. will begin next week with no shortage of realistic title hopefuls.

USA Basketball is No. 1 in FIBA’s world rankings, but so far in the run-up to this World Cup — with most of the top NBA stars deciding to not play this summer — the Americans have not looked like a lock for more gold. They beat Spain by nine in Anaheim, California, on Aug. 16, needed a big second half to defeat Australia by 16 on Thursday, and then let a sizable second-half lead slip away Saturday.

“Obviously, this was a great step for us,” Australia guard Joe Ingles said.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

Mills plays for San Antonio, so ordinarily Popovich — the longtime Spurs coach — would enjoy seeing what the veteran guard did down the stretch. Mills scored Australia’s last 10 points, doing it all from banking in 3-pointers to slicing through for a layup that put the hosts up by six with 1:50 left.

“As I told you all after the last game, Patty’s a pain,” Popovich said.

Walker scored 22 points for the U.S., while Harrison Barnes had 20. Donovan Mitchell’s 3-pointer with 1:05 left got the U.S. to within 97-94. The Americans then forced a stop on the ensuing possession and had two chances to tie — but Mitchell’s 3-pointer was off, Joe Harris missed a corner 3 a few seconds later and Mills iced the game with a free throw.

Aron Baynes left the floor with his head back, screaming in celebration as he slapped hands with delirious countrymen. Ingles and Andrew Bogut grabbed their kids and brought them onto the floor for a look.

OBJ full go at practice, good sign for Week 1

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. participated in team drills Monday for the first time since early August.

Beckham has been battling a hip injury, which has also kept him out of the Browns’ first three preseason games.

Beckham is not expected to play in Cleveland’s final preseason game Thursday against the Detroit Lions. But his return to full activity in practice is a good sign he’ll be ready for the Sept. 8 season opener against the Tennessee Titans.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

“He looked good,” Browns coach Freddie Kitchens said after practice. “We’ve been working on the side with him with other things. Just natural progression. It was good to have him back out.”6

Kitchens added that he’s not concerned about the chemistry or timing between Beckham and quarterback Baker Mayfield, as the two prepare to play their first game together.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

“They’ve been working through the whole camp. … Just because there wasn’t any team drills doesn’t mean they weren’t working,” Kitchens said. “They’ll definitely be on top of their game when we start game-planning. … It’s knowing where to line up, where to be, getting to your depth and catching the ball. After that, it’s get the ball in [Beckham’s] hands and see what he can do.”

Cam Newton’s injury puts spotlight on Panthers’ struggling backup QBs

There is optimism Cam Newton will be ready for the opener against the Los Angeles Rams after suffering a mild mid-foot sprain in Thursday’s preseason loss to the New England Patriots. That was the good news for the Carolina Panthers, but there’s still reason to be concerned about the quarterbacks.

Backups Kyle Allen and Will Grier have yet to prove they’re capable of playing at a consistent level should Newton miss time.

Allen, undrafted out of Houston last season, has completed 50% of his preseason attempts in Norv Turner’s offense, which is designed to be heavy on high-percentage passes. He has 124 yards and no touchdowns.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Grier, a Charlotte native and a third-round pick out of West Virginia in April, hasn’t been much better at 53.5% for 196 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions.5

Between them, they have one NFL start: Allen in last season’s finale, when the playoff-bound New Orleans Saints rested most of their starters. Allen and Grier also have two of the four lowest yards per attempt of any quarterbacks during the preseason, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Allen is averaging 4.4 yards per attempt and Grier 4.6.

The loss to the Patriots magnified how inefficient Allen and Grier — and the offense in general — have been during three preseason games. The Panthers had only two first downs and 29 total yards in the first half, and finished with seven first downs and 99 total yards.
The struggles of the offensive line complicate matters. This rebuilt group, led by free-agent center Matt Paradis replacing retired-and-then-unretired Ryan Kalil (now with the Jets), has several veterans.

Yet so far they haven’t developed the chemistry to allow any of the quarterbacks to work efficiently. Newton was sacked twice in three series, the second resulting in the injury, and had to throw away another pass while scrambling to avoid a sack.

The coaching staff can work on correcting mistakes, but getting Allen or Grier to perform at a high enough level to win — should Newton’s ankle force him to miss the opener or any other game — is another story.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

An argument can be made that it’s time to bring in a veteran, but there aren’t a lot of great options.

Man Utd hammer Chelsea with Rashford double

Marcus Rashford scored two goals with Anthony Martial and Daniel James also on the scoresheet to earn Manchester United an emphatic 4-0 victory over Chelsea in their opening match of the Premier League.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer handed debuts to new boys Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire with James left on the bench while his opposite number Frank Lampard opted to start without United States international Christian Pulisic, but did name youngster Mason Mount in his line up.nfl cheap jerseys nike

The visitors were the better team in the early exchanges and will argue the opening goal came against the run of play.

Referee Anthony Taylor played advantage following a foul by Jorginho and in the next phase of play Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma was adjudged to have fouled Rashford in the box. Following a short consultation with the video assistant referee, Taylor pointed to the spot and Rashford made no mistake.7

The goal galvanised United who improved after taking the lead, but it was Chelsea who came closest to scoring when left-back Emerson Palmieri rattled David De Gea’s crossbar.

Lampard introduced Pulisic for his Premier League debut on 58 minutes and he showed some bright touches, winning a free kick with his first involvement.

However, as they pushed forward in search of an equaliser, Chelsea were caught on the counter-attack and were 2-0 down on 65 minutes.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

Maguire won the ball on the edge of the United box before playing in Rashford. The England forward passed it to Jesse Lingard. He teed up Andreas Pereira, who swung in a tantalising cross, which was finished off by Martial.

And just two minutes later, it was 3-0 when Pogba won the ball in midfield and played in Rashford, who beat the offside trap to slot the ball past goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

Solskjaer introduced James, who got in on the act with a debut goal on 82 minutes to make it 4-0 when played in by Pogba after another United counter.

The result represents a dream start to the campaign for Solskjaer but, for Lampard, there will have been some serious concerns as to how much his side struggled to deal with United’s counter-attacks.

Pulisic Watch: How U.S. star is doing at Chelsea, game by game

Welcome to the Christian Pulisic Watch, as the U.S. international starts the next phase of his career after his $73 million move to Chelsea from Borussia Dortmund. ESPN FC will be tracking the American’s progress here all season.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

How he performed (out of 10): 5 — All told, Pulisic was by no means overwhelmed as he entered from the substitutes’ bench, but the fact remains that he wasn’t that impactful, and the chance he created came long after the game had been decided. That said, Pulisic walked into a team that fell apart defensively after he entered the match, so Lampard will have far bigger concerns about his side than Pulisic’s performance.5

Highlight: Normally, making your debut with your new club would rank as a highlight, but a 4-0 away defeat tempers this considerably. Pulisic did have one sequence where he shook loose from Aaron Wan-Bissaka only to be fouled by Paul Pogba after he released the ball. Pulisic’s best moment came in second-half stoppage time when he set up Emerson Palmieri for an attempt at goal that forced a sharp save from United goalkeeper David De Gea.

Lowlight: The team performance was one to forget given the scoreline, with Chelsea’s defense looking highly suspect. For Pulisic, he started the game on the bench, which counts as a disappointment given the anticipation attached to his debut. Frank Lampard, who was making a league debut of his own as the club’s manager after starring for the Blues as a player, preferred Ross Barkley and Pedro in the wide positions that Pulisic would have been expected to occupy.nfl cheap jerseys nike

Lampard told NBC Sports afterwards that, “I just felt coming to Old Trafford, the type of game it was, I knew we needed bodies in midfield because it’s a busy area for them … So Ross coming in off the line, bringing a bit of stability in midfield and around midfield would be good for us.”

After entering the match in the 58th minute, Pulisic did have a few chances to run at the defense but wasn’t able to threaten the United goal off the dribble. He also had a chance to pick out fellow substitute Olivier Giroud with a cross in second-half stoppage time, but couldn’t connect.

Ben Simmons will probably beat you one-on-one — in video games

When asked about his love of video games, Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons pulls out his phone and flips through a gallery of photos. After a bit of perusing, he stops on the picture he was attempting to find, an older, sepia-tone one contrasting with his state-of-the-art smartphone.cheap nike nfl jerseys china

In the snapshot, an adolescent Simmons lounges in an Australian living room, playing video games on a lazy day, with close friend and fellow future NBA player Dante Exum sitting beside him.

my whole life,” Simmons says. “The first game I really got into was Resistance for Playstation. That was the shooter I played. And then from there I started playing Call of Duty, picked all those up and eventually got into PC gaming a little later [with Counter-Strike], PUBG, a little bit of Fortnite — not too much Fortnite, because I’m not into building stuff. It’s too much.”

With a new generation of stars like Simmons entering the NBA, video gaming culture has permeated the league alongside these stars. What once would have seemed uncool to bring up in the locker room has become standard talk between teammates and friends, with arguments sometimes settled through video games. Nowadays, players throughout the NBA stay connected by gaming together online and even creating leagues in games such as Madden and NBA 2K where they can compete regularly against each other.

While some players lug their consoles onto planes or set them up as a fixture in the clubhouse, Simmons primarily plays on a PC, a convert from his younger days of playing on the Playstation and Xbox.6

“I used to be console [player], but PC is much easier,” Simmons says. “Every game is right there, you can log on and everything is much easier.”

Growing up in Australia, Simmons was just like any other kid fascinated with games, consuming Call of Duty content from the top players and entertainers on YouTube, such as Optic’s Hector “H3CZ” Rodriguez. Since moving to America and reaching the NBA, he has gotten to know and grown close to H3CZ and Thomas “Temperrr” Oliveira, the co-founder of FaZe Clan.

Simmons’ game of choice nowadays is PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which is why he is spending some time in Los Angeles this offseason while competing in PUBG Mobile’s Team Up Superstar Showdown. Although this version of PUBG is played on a mobile device, Simmons has had few problems adjusting, defeating every other NBA player he has faced and capping the event off by defeating a team captained by Eastern Conference rival and reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

Before leaving the venue, Simmons even razzes the MVP as Antetokounmpo is conducting an interview, reminding him that while the Milwaukee Bucks star might have gotten the edge against the 76ers on the court this year, he got the last laugh … at least, in the world of video games.

Simmons doesn’t just talk trash with NBA rivals, but with his own teammates too. In the hierarchy of gamers in the 76ers locker room, Simmons notes that there is only one other teammate who can keep up with him in terms of gameplay and trash talk — Joel Embiid.

“If you put me on PC, I’ll destroy him,” Simmons says. “He plays FIFA. I can beat him in FIFA. Here’s the thing: I don’t play FIFA, but I’ve beaten him in a game of FIFA. I can play any game.”

After doubts, Melo confident he wants to play

Carmelo Anthony says the end of his tenure with the Houston Rockets made him question whether he still wanted to play in the NBA.

“I felt like the game didn’t want me back at that point in time,” Anthony told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith on First Take, referring to a period in which he described himself as being “emotionally vulnerable.”cheap nike nfl jerseys china

Now, Anthony says, the passion to play is back.

“I’m in the gym every single day,” Anthony said. He also noted that “silence is not my surrender” and that he has been quiet until now because he felt like he needed to step away from the game to “reevaluate myself, reevaluate my career, reevaluate my life.”5

Anthony, a 10-time All-Star and six-time All-NBA player, last suited up for the Rockets for a 10-game stint that ended early in the 2018 season.nfl nike jersey cheap

He said he doesn’t blame friend Chris Paul or even two-time former coach Mike D’Antoni and said he never had a conversation with James Harden about his Rockets exit.

Anthony said being told by Rockets general manager Daryl Morey that he was being let go was a shock.

“He came in and basically said, ‘Look, your services are no longer needed,'” Anthony said of his conversation with Morey. “I was like, ‘What? Hold up. What the hell are you talking about? … You telling me I can’t make a 9-, 10-man rotation on this team?'”

Anthony said of his conversation with Morey that he “didn’t like how that went down” and that it caused him to have doubts about himself.

“That was an ego hit. That was a pride hit,” Anthony said. “I started questioning myself after that. Can I still do this? What did I do? I asked him this. … He just said it wasn’t working out.

“When somebody in power that tells you that they no longer need your services … I’ve been utilizing my services for a long time. For you to tell me you don’t need that no more. I honestly felt that I was fired. I felt like [what] other people go through on a day-to-day basis. People get fired. I honestly felt like I got fired.”