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Wonderkids Okello, Poloto cut from Uganda squad

Uganda head coach Sebastien Desabre has dropped KCCA FC duo Allan Okello and Julius Poloto from the Cranes squad set to face Lesotho in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier later this week.

Okello, one of Uganda’s most promising attacking midfielders, was cut on Monday and will play no part in the upcoming double-header as the Cranes look to boost their hopes of reaching a second consecutive AFCON.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

The Cranes, who lead Group L, will host second-placed Lesotho on October 13 at the Mandela National Stadium, Namboole before the return late in Maseru three days later.

“We have trimmed the team to the final 24 after three days of testing,” Desabre told KweséESPN. “We shall embark on residential training as the professional players also start arriving [on Monday].8

Uncapped Okello, who helped KCCA FC reach the group stage of the CAF Champions League, is not downhearted after his omission.

“Although I have not made it to the final squad, this will encourage me to keep working hard,” Okello told KweséESPN. “Calling me up for the first time has motivated me.”

Milton Karisa, who joined Moroccan Premier League side Mouloudia Club D’Oujda last month, and Tout Puissant Mazembe new boy Benson Joseph Ochaya have been included.

After failing to lead the Uganda Cranes to a win against Tanzania last month in his first match in the AFCON qualifiers as head coach, Desabre is finding himself under increasing pressure to deliver results nfl nike jerseys for cheap

Denis Onyango, Salim Jamal Magoola, Charles Lukwago, Murushid Juuko, Isaac Isinde, Timothy Awanyi, Denis Iguma, Nicholas Wadada, Godfrey Walusimbi, Isaac Muleme, Joseph Ochaya, Hassan Wasswa Mawanda, Saddam Ibrahim Juma, Taddeo Lwanga, Moses Waisswa, Khalid Aucho, Allan Kateregga, Farouk Miya, Emmanuel Okwi, Edris Lubega, Derrick Nsibambi, Milton Karisa, Allan Kyambadde and Patrick Kaddu.

How the ESPN Fantasy Soccer tier system works

Each week, you’ll select a Tier 1 and Tier 2 forward; a Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 midfielder; and a Tier 1 and Tier 2 defender, in addition to your goalkeeper. The best players available obviously will be in Tier 1. Tiers 2 and 3 will feature less heralded players, mostly from teams that are not championship contenders, testing your knowledge of the entire league.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Makes sense, right? But remember, you’ll want to pick a new team of players every week — taking advantage of lopsided-looking matchups, for instance. When Manchester City plays Huddersfield Town, for example, you’ll probably want to stock up on City players.

But it’ll also be important to take a close look at the tiers each week, because there will be changes. Players could move up or down a tier, depending on their current form. Fulham midfielder Jean Michael Seri might have been a Tier 3 midfielder at the start of the season, since he plays for a newly promoted side. But Seri already has a goal and an assist, and is sixth in the league in passes completed, so he’s a Tier 2 midfielder this week.5

Players could change positions, too. West Ham’s Marko Arnautovic had generally played as a midfielder prior to last season, but he then was shifted to center forward over the course of the campaign. He’s playing at center forward again this season, so he’s a Tier 2 forward this week, rather than being listed among the midfielders.

As you’ll see, the tiers aren’t exhaustive — there are nine Tier 1 forwards available for selection in the Premier League this week, for instance. There will be more players available in the lower tiers, but not that many more. We want to give you plenty of options, but not overwhelm you.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

And some players will be added or dropped from the game altogether due to injury, form, etc. Man City’s Kevin De Bruyne is expected to be out for at least a couple more months, but once he’s back, you can bet he’ll be a Tier 1 midfielder every week for the rest of the season, as long as he’s healthy.

So, don’t forget to check your team, and the list of players in each tier, before every round of games begins. Because the tiers can be adjusted any given week, and that could really impact your results. Your team from the previous week will roll over automatically, but if one of your players changes tiers or drops out of the game altogether, you’ll be left with a blank spot and earn no points at that position.

Fans in China use ‘polite booing’ for Sixers’ JJ Redick

Chinese fans booed Philadelphia 76ers shooting guard JJ Redick every time he touched the ball during Friday’s preseason game at Mercedes-Benz Arena, harboring hard feelings for a racist slur he used several months ago.

However, many fans applauded Redick’s marksmanship as he scored 28 points on 10-of-10 shooting in the 76ers’ 120-114 win over the Dallas Mavericks.nfl cheap nike jerseys

“It was the most polite booing that I’ve ever received in my life,” Redick said. “I mean, they booed and they cheered. It was like, ‘We’re mad at you, but we appreciate the way you shoot a basketball.'”

Redick was one of several NBA players to record a video wishing fans a happy Chinese New Year in February for Tencent, a Chinese media company and partner of ESPN. Redick stumbled over his words in the video, and it sounded like he used an offensive term in reference to Chinese people.6

Redick apologized in February, explaining that he was “tongue tied,” and reiterated his remorse Friday, praising China’s culture and energy. He said he expected to be booed and that Chinese fans are entitled to do so.

“The whole thing, it was a very unfortunate situation,” Redick said. “I’m just deeply, deeply remorseful for offending so many people.”

Redick, who is coming off the bench to make room for Markelle Fultz in the 76ers’ starting lineup, said the booing did not provide him any additional motivation. He was simply in a spectacular shooting rhythm, his lone miss not counting because he intentionally launched a halfcourt heave after the buzzer at the end of the third quarter.cheap nfl nike jerseys free shipping

“I did take an extra dribble on purpose even though it was a preseason game, because I wanted a 10-for-10 night,” said Redick, who was 7-of-7 from 3-point range.

Kyrie Irving says he became sold on Celtics: ‘I believe in the franchise’

Kyrie Irving made a splash Thursday night at the Boston Celtics’ annual Fan Appreciation Night by announcing his intention to re-sign with them after season’s end.

On Friday, he explained his decision further — casting light on the turnaround from his perceived indecision about whether to stay in Boston.cheap official nike nfl jerseys

“I’m happy here,” Irving said. “Every single day is at an all-time competitive high. What more can you ask for from an organization than taking a chance as far as getting me out of Cleveland? Really taking a chance regardless of whether I signed back or not.

“They had the same attitude. They just wanted to show me what being a Celtic is about, and that I was going to come around, and I absolutely did. I believe in it. I believe in the franchise.”

Irving initially had planned to opt out of the final year of his current five-year deal at the end of the season and was reportedly keen in the past on the allure of the New York Knicks.5

Irving told reporters Friday he had been indecisive at the end of last season, coming off knee issues after his first season in Boston.

“I needed just some time to kind of be back in Boston and feel great about different things I wanted to explore in my career,” Irving said.

He added he enjoyed “having an environment where I’m challenged on a physical level as well as mental.”

The tradition and history of the franchise also appealed to Irving, who revealed he dreams of putting his No. 11 in the rafters one day.

“Obviously, a lot of great players have come before me, but to grow my name in Boston Celtics tradition and history is something I’m glad I can do, and I plan on,” Irving said.

Irving caught the front office off guard by telling them he intended to re-sign, as Boston and Irving’s camp had not had conversations recently about his contract.nfl cheap nike jerseys

“Me asking the Celtics if they would have me back, that was the first question,” Irving said. “I just wanted to make sure. And then at that point, it was an easy decision.”

Added Irving: “Honestly, it just was like, ‘Man, I do not want to move again.’ I do not want to uproot my family and just be dealing with anything new again. No disrespect to other organizations, but here is perfect for me.”

Heat pushing Wolves to accept revised offer for Jimmy Butler

Minnesota’s preferences in a Miami deal have included center Bam Adebayo, guard Josh Richardson and a protected 2019 first-round pick, league sources said. A trade could take on a larger construction to include more players, league sources said.

In any Butler deal, Minnesota has wanted to unload center Gorgui Dieng and the $48 million left on his contract.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Timberwolves executives told other interested teams in the past 24 hours that they didn’t have any offers that met the franchise’s criteria to honor Butler’s trade request and planned to hold on to him until a deal met their requirements, league sources said. Miami is one of the preferred destinations of Butler’s, league sources said. He has told the Wolves that he’ll leave the team in July free agency, and has expressed interest in several teams with max salary space, including the LA Clippers, Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks.6

Houston has also been aggressive in attempting to trade for Butler, sources said. Like Miami, Houston doesn’t have the salary-cap space to sign Butler in the summer and needs to acquire him now to obtain his Bird rights to retain him on a new deal in July.

When the Timberwolves return from a West Coast preseason road trip early Thursday morning, president of basketball operations and coach Tom Thibodeau is expected to push for Butler to return to practice and start preparations for the regular season, league sources said.

Butler could return as soon as next week, but hasn’t made a decision and is still rehabbing his surgically repaired right wrist, league sources said.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

Butler, 29, has expressed no intentions of missing regular-season games if he’s healthy to play, league sources said.

So far, Minnesota has allowed Butler to stay away in the preseason; presumably as the team works to find a trade for him. As the Wolves traveled, Butler has been working out at the team’s facility and has been in regular contact with teammates.

Jason Collins looks to future as Lakers celebrate their first Pride Night

As he proudly celebrated the Los Angeles Lakers’ first Pride Night when he was honored by the organization Thursday, Collins said he has been in contact with and supports other athletes who have yet to come out.

“Definitely hoped that there would be more players who would step up because I know I’m not alone,” Collins said before the Lakers played the Kings at Staples Center in a preseason game. “I’m in contact with some people who are in professional sports in the big four and aren’t ready to publicly come forward yet. My job with the NBA now is to try to create an environment that makes them feel comfortable to step forward and also to tell our allies that we need them to step forward as well.”cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Collins, who is a Global Ambassador and diversity advocate for the NBA, returned to the site where he played his first game as an openly gay male athlete after he signed a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets and faced the Lakers on Feb. 23, 2014.

Minnesota United FC midfielder Collin Martin is currently the only openly gay professional male athlete in North America after he became the second openly gay player in Major League Soccer history, following Robbie Rogers of the LA Galaxy.5

Collins praised the NBA as “the best overall with regards to being an ally” as the Lakers hosted members and supporters from the LGBTQ community and celebrated diversity, inclusion and unity. Lakers CEO Jeanie Buss showed her support by wearing a Lakers Pride Night shirt and also dyeing her hair.

Collins, though, hopes gay male athletes can come forward and receive the same reaction that many WNBA players have.

“To have it like in the WNBA, where a player like a Sue Bird can step forward, and everyone is like, ‘Great, go win that championship,'” Collins said. “And that’s exactly what she just did. Or what happened with Elena Delle Donne right before the Rio Olympics, same type thing and everyone’s like, ‘Great, nike nfl jerseys cheap china now go win a gold medal.’

“So when we’re at that day with male athletes who choose to step forward and share their true self with the world, it’s like, ‘Great, now go win a championship.’ And so we have some work to do, because throughout male professional sports, at least in North America in the top five leagues, we only have one currently out male player, and that’s in the MLS.”

What does success look like for LeBron’s Lakers?

In the moments after the Game 1 loss in the NBA Finals in May, a combination of rage, frustration and disappointment led LeBron James to explode in the visitors’ locker room in Oakland and punch a whiteboard, cracking a bone in his hand.

James’ teammates and coaches had never seen James quite in that state. It was an extreme example of his intense competitive spirit. Even though his Cleveland Cavaliers were heavy underdogs to the Golden State Warriors, James very much believed that he could lead the team to an upset.

This is James’ personality, it’s who he is. He plays to win and he competes at the highest level regardless of the circumstance. As he has said on numerous occasions: “Any team that has me has a chance.”cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

When he doesn’t win, it can devastate him. Some of the darkest times in his career have been after Finals losses. His euphoria in 2012, when he got his first title after several Finals defeats, and then in 2016, when he won in Cleveland, were a result of shedding the pain as much as victory.7

In the weeks after this past NBA Finals, James and his friends and family had deep discussions on how he’d psychologically manage a move to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers are on a different timeline toward a championship than any team James had been on for more than a decade. Even before his eight straight NBA Finals appearances, he was on back-to-back 60-win teams that were upset before the Finals. For the 2018-19 season, Vegas has the Lakers’ win total pegged at 48.

“Ad nauseum” was how one of the people involved in the decision-making described the frequency of the talks about how different this journey would feel. James’ goals, definition of success and management of failure have to evolve. And those who know him best know it’s going to be an ongoing challenge to accept his new circumstances. After all, the Lakers now have him.

“I’m not a very patient guy, but I understand that I have to be,” James said this week. “I’ve got to be patient with myself too because this is a new start for me.”china nike nfl jerseys cheap

James was answering a question about Lakers’ expectations but also repeating a mantra in some respects. Known for posting quotes in his locker and writing reminders on his shoes, perhaps his own quote on the matter would be useful for him to refer to as the next six months unfold.

Drafting these players could make or break your fantasy hoops season

Rolling the dice means confronting the prospect of drafting a single player that could, all on his very own, make or break your season.

At its core, winning in fantasy hoops is about one thing: maximizing return on your draft-day investment. You need to create differentiation between your team’s numbers and your fellow pseudo general managers. To do that, you’ll have to balance risk versus reward in some extreme configurations.

If you’re in it to win it, you’ll need to venture out of your comfort zone and take a player with at least one red flag.

Red flags come in all shapes, sizes and hues. There are a lot of “maybes” in fantasy hoops.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Maybe a player is coming off a season-ending injury and has a return date you can’t trust. Maybe a player just switched teams. Maybe a player just got relegated to a sixth-man role. Maybe a player is getting up there in years. Maybe a player is still a couple of seasons away from his peak. Maybe a player has a key statistical flaw you’ll have to build the rest of your team around. Maybe a player is playing for a coach he can’t stand … and the feeling is mutual.6

I play in a lot of expert leagues. To win in those, I’m looking to take at least two big swings. Players that might scare other experts off, but will provide the statistical differentiation I’ll need to succeed.

Let’s take a look at some polarizing options that could single-handedly make or break your season.

(For the purposes of this discussion, I’m going off of our preseason points rankings.)china nike nfl jerseys cheap

Do you take Antetokoumpo No. 1 overall in a points league? Will he finish the season at No. 1 on the Player Rater? There’s no question the Greek Freak is a top-five asset, but is his considerable upside worth risking a No. 1 overall pick over more established uber-talents like James Harden and Anthony Davis?

If you’re picking No. 1 overall and you miss — even by a few draft slots — the squandered value can tank your team.

If you wager on Antetokoumpo at No. 1, you’re betting on the 23-year-old’s considerable upside. Unlike Harden and Davis, Antetokoumpo still has room to grow. In 2017-18, he only posted a middling 76.0 FT percentage. And although his 3-point production improved as the season progressed, he still only finished with a 30.7 3PT percentage.

What makes Steelers-Ravens special? Close calls and ‘car wrecks’

When safety Eric Weddle played for the then-San Diego Chargers, he would look at the calendar for the nationally televised Baltimore Ravens-Pittsburgh Steelers game and circle it.

“That’s the game everyone watches because of the competitiveness, the fight and the passion between the two teams,” said Weddle, who is set to start in his fifth Ravens-Steelers game on Sunday night. “It’s just one of the best games to play in.”

The faces of the NFL’s most heated rivalry have changed from Ray Lewis and Hines Ward to Terrell Suggs and Ben Roethlisberger.

But what made this divisional feud so good a decade ago — the physical hits, dramatic finishes and big-game ramifications — still exists today.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Asked if it’s fun to play in this rivalry, Roethlisberger answered, “Yes and no.”6

The Steelers quarterback has enjoyed competing against the likes of Lewis, Suggs and Ed Reed but … “you feel like you’ve been in about five or six car wrecks.”

Why this has been a must-watch game is because the lifeblood of this rivalry has been bad blood.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

In 2002, Ravens cornerback James Trapp stomped cleats-first on Plaxico Burress. A year later, Steelers linebacker Joey Porter ran out to the Ravens’ buses after a game to pick a fight with Lewis.

Over the past decade, Roethlisberger has had his nose broken by Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata, and Lewis ended Pittsburgh running back Rashard Mendenhall’s season by breaking a shoulder.

When Big Ben leaves, the party begins in Steelers locker room

That the needle dropped when the quarterback departed was no coincidence.

“You’ve got to respect what he wants,” Darrius Heyward-Bey said. “He’s not here, it’s party time.”

There’s an unwritten rule in the Steelers locker room that Roethlisberger works to protect — no blaring loud music during core business hours.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Players cultivate a casual, laugh-heavy atmosphere each day, but from 8 a.m. until post-practice showers between 3 and 4 p.m., musical silence is black and golden.5

Roethlisberger says the Steelers’ setup has been this way since he arrived in 2004 and veterans such as Alan Faneca and Brett Keisel kept the speakers off.

Now, at 36, Roethlisberger is upholding the tradition, though he’s not trying to be the get-off-my-lawn dad.

“That’s one of the reasons they invented headphones, so you can listen to your music,” said Roethlisberger with a laugh. “If you want to listen to music, that’s no problem, we just don’t want to have to hear it at other people’s lockers. It’s just kind of always been that tradition and we try to keep it going.”cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Roethlisberger occasionally enforces the rule with teammates, either in person or via his long-distance connection.

“Usually I’ll send AB [Antonio Brown] a text on the other side of the locker room,” Roethlisberger said. “I’ll be like, ‘AB, music.’ He’ll look down and say, my bad. It’s pretty funny. We have fun with it. He’ll say like, it’s Vinny [Williams] or somebody else. It’s usually done in fun. It’s not really serious. But I try to keep that tradition alive.”

Players don’t need Roethlisberger to formally address the team about the music, Heyward-Bey said. The rules are understood, and players get a feeling about how things should be.