Rockets are gearing up for postseason tourneys

first_img BY WARREN RAPPLEYEAStaff Writer The Raritan High School wrestling team is rolling along with a 9-3 mark thanks to eight competitors who have 10 or more wins apiece. The Rockets are sitting in first place in their conference and are also looking forward to defending their NJSIAA Central Jersey Group II tourney. T.J. Mitchell (10-2 at 103 pounds); Billy Voutsinas (12-3, 112); Phil O’Hara (11-3, 119); Dave Seidenberg (14-1, 125); Kevin Whalen (12-4, 135); Shawn Putnam (13-2, 140); Rich Bryant (12-4, 215); and Jeff King (13-2, heavyweight) are all having outstanding seasons for coach Rob Nucci. In addition, Chris Rafalco is 9-7 at 130 pounds and Jason Sagos is 9-3 competing in the 145-pound division. “We’ve had good consistency throughout the lineup,” Nucci said. “So many guys have stepped up and they’re finding ways to get the job done.” The coach also praised four juniors who have held their own in some of the upper weight classes: Jim Shields (152 pounds), Kevin Gilgannon (160), Anthony Kinzel (171) and Jim Curry (189). And if that isn’t enough, Raritan has received strong contributions from several other grapplers who are likely to play prominent roles in coming seasons, Nucci said. They include junior Stephen Ip, sophomores Greg Alexander, Kevin Moore and Bobby Kolb, as well as freshmen Bob Hornacek and John Boyle. Moore is 5-2 competing mainly at 119 pounds; Hornacek is 5-1 in action at 112 pounds, and Boyle is 3-3 at 189 pounds. Raritan is coming off a tough quad-meet on Saturday, when the Rockets downed both Toms River North and Pinelands but lost to CBA in the final match. “That was disappointing, but our guys wrestled well,” Nucci said. “We have a lot of wrestling ahead of us and we’re anxious to get going in the state tournament. We just can’t look too far ahead, as we’ve got a few more matches left.” Raritan will visit Howell to compete against the host team and Central Regional on Saturday, and will host St. John Vianney on Feb. 9. Mat notes… All eyes will be on Southern Regional this weekend as teams vie for the Shore Conference Tournament championship. The SCT seeding meeting was Monday night, which determines the top 16 teams that will compete for the team title. Division winners receive automatic entry, but the committee has the say in the seeding. First-round action is slated for later today as the top four seeds will play host to three teams each in the opening and quarterfinal rounds. The winners of the first two bouts will match up in the next round. The SCT semifinals and finals will be held on Saturday at Southern. Among the local teams hoping to make some noise in the SCT are Raritan, Middletown North and CBA. The Lions have been a steady team throughout the campaign, while the Colts have been coming on strong lately, with wins over Howell and Raritan last week. Ocean Township is the likely top seed, followed by Jackson, Southern and Wall. BY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Staff Writer Balanced squad hoping to collect more hardware last_img read more

Sports Shorts

first_imgThe Hazlet Youth Athletic League will be sponsoring a three-game, round-robin summer softball tournament starting July 20 for ages 8, 10, 12 and 14. The tournament fee is $375 ($350 for leagues sending three teams) and no AAU teams are allowed. Please call (732) 264-3060, ext. 6, for more information, or visit the Web site www.hyal.org. The Raritan High School Hall of Fame is accepting nominations. Nominations are for outstanding accomplishments in athletics at Raritan from 1962 to 1985, or post high school honors. Nominees must have demonstrated recognition such as All-County, All-Shore, All-District, All-State either in high school or similar recognition for participation in college or professional sports. Nominations are also requested for coaches and service awards. For consideration, nominees must not be actively coaches for at least five years. The HOF committee selections will be based on a standardized criteria. Final selections will be announced prior to the induction ceremony. Nominations will be accepted up until June 30. For more information, contact the school at (732) 264-8411. The Atlantic Bicycle Club of Monmouth County held its annual Tour of Colts Neck races on May 1. A total of 315 racers participated in the various events. The feature race, a 30-mile road race with 87 licensed Category 3 participants, was won by Christian Mambelli, of Matawan. Mambelli is a member of the Colavita Racing Team. Hazlet Recreation is sponsoring a Raritan Rocket Development Softball Camp July 11-14 for ages 10-15 at a cost of $95. The camp will be held at Raritan High School from 8:45 a.m. to noon. Bat, glove and proof of physical are required. Helmets and catcher’s equipment to be brought if possible. The camp will be directed by Janet Citro. Registrations may be done by mail or in person at the James J. Cullen Center, 1776 Union Ave., Hazlet, through July 8. There is a $15 charge for late registrations. Payments only by check or money order will be accepted. The following are the current standings for the Monmouth Women’s Softball League: Chubby’s Bar3-0 Grist Mill/ Conrad Smith Nursery2-0 Walt St. Pub2-1 Brannigan’s Bar2-1 Huddy’s Inn/White Rose2-1 TOL Fragrances1-1 The Globe Sports Bar1-2 Murphy’s Bar-Rumson1-2 Dublin House/ Little Silver Pharmacy1-2 Charlie Brown’s-Lincroft1-2 Arena Builder’s-Holmdel 1-2 MPPI Ins./VEI Limo0-3 The Aberdeen/Matawan girls fall softball league will be holding registration for it 2005 season. The league is open to residents and nonresidents grades 4-12 as of September. For more information, go to www.leaguelineup.com/amyaa, call Jim at (732) 290-9576, or e-mail amyaa2005@optonline.net. Hazlet Recreation will be sponsoring a basketball camp for boys and girls ages 9-15 on July 18-21. The cost is $100. The camp will be held at the Hazlet Middle School from 9 a.m. to noon A physical is required. The camp will be directed by Sean Devaney. Payment may be made by mail or in person at the James J. Cullen Center, 1776 Union Ave., Hazlet. There is a $15 charge for late registrations. Payments only by check or money order will be accepted. Middletown Youth Athletic Association Little League presents Practice Makes Perfect Baseball/Softball Camp for the 2005 summer at Bodman Park. There will be five four-day sessions, beginning June 27, July 5, July 11, July 18 and July 25. All sessions are 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for ages 8-16. Prices are $225 for one session, $425 for two, $625 for three and $800 for four sessions. There is also a 10 percent discount for multichild registrations. Included in the fee are a camp T-shirt, a written player evaluation, Practice Makes Perfect awards lunch and numerous individual player awards. For a brochure or more details, call (732) 671-1238 or e-mail PMPbaseball camps@aol.com. Currently, a swim team for the 2005/2006 winter season is being formed for Raritan High School. This team will be 100 percent self-funded by donations and fund raising. The team needs to raise $28,000, and all donations are greatly appreciated. On Saturday, June 11, the team will be holding a Flea Market at Middle Road School from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. They’re asking for any vendors and those residents who would like to clean out their garages to participate. Spaces available: $25 for vendors (new items), two or more spaces $45, plus a donation of a $15-plus product to be placed in an auction basket; $10 for garage sales (used items), two or more spaces $15. Please bring your own tables. There will also be food and activities for the whole family. If you’d like to donate an item to be auctioned, please do so by June 8. Set-up time is 7:15 a.m. and the rain date is June 12. Call Marge McDonald to register or with questions (732) 888-1573 or e-mail raritanswimming@aol.com. Heather Anzivino, a sophomore forward at Kean University, received the MVP Award as a member of the women’s soccer team. She was chosen MVP despite suffering a season-ending injury and missing the final six games of the season. The Hazlet Bombers U13 boys are looking for players for the upcoming season. The Bombers play in MOSA division and will be in National 2 this fall. Anyone born between Aug. 1, 1992, and July 31, 1993, and is interested in playing, please contact Ed Young at (732) 739-0429. The St. John Vianney High School Football Camp for boys grades five to eight will be held July 11-14 at the Holmdel school. Cost is $85 and includes T-shirt, football notes and a video. Call (732) 449-3953 or check out the Web site at camp.sjvfootball.org. The Battle of Monmouth Fire girls U14 (fall 2005) Monmouth-Ocean Soccer Association team is holding tryouts on Wednesdays, June 8 and 15, 6-7 p.m. at Wemrock Road Soccer Fields in Freehold. Girls must be born after July 31, 1991. Call Gregg Silva at (732) 866-9692 for more information. No residency requirements.last_img read more

Huskies baseball team has plenty to look forward to

first_imgBY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Staff Writer BY WARREN RAPPLEYEAStaff Writer The Matawan High School baseball team went on a tear late in the season, winning eight of its final 11 contests, thanks in large part to the contributions of several young players. Coach John Kaye’s Huskies finished at 12-11, or 11-11 depending on who you talk to. A controversial decision by the NJSIAA to not count a forfeit win over Asbury Park cost the Huskies a berth in the Central Jersey Group II tourney. Asbury Park arrived late for the contest, which was scheduled on the final day teams could qualify for the state tourney. Kaye noted that the umpiring crew declared a forfeit before Asbury Park arrived, but the struggling Blue Bishops disputed the decision. Later in the day, Matawan defeated Keansburg, which gave the Huskies a .500 record and a tournament berth. “We certainly would have liked to have played the Asbury Park game, but once the umpires made the decision, it was out of our hands,” Kaye said. “Since the game was on the last day to qualify, we needed that win.” Nevertheless, Kaye’s team has plenty to look forward to. Three sophomores broke into the starting lineup and performed well, and a pair of juniors – center fielder Nick Chomko and shortstop Julian Sonnenfeld – each hit .345. Sonnenfeld also blasted three homers and led the team with 22 RBIs. Of course the Huskies will miss stellar seniors such as John Foster, Tyler Renner and Danny Conti. Foster led Matawan with a .398 average and 25 runs scored. The second baseman had a .450 on-base percentage to go with 31 hits and 18 RBIs, while providing solid glove work in the field. Renner went 3-5 on the mound with a 3.80 ERA, but Kaye noted that Renner often drew the top opposing teams. In 55 innings of work, Renner struck out 65 batters, and he tossed a one-hitter in a 10-1 triumph over Delsea. Conti, a lefty, went 4-2 with two saves and became more aggressive as the campaign rolled along, challenging hitters with good results, the coach noted. A first baseman when not on the hill, Conti hit .340. Meanwhile, sophomore Dan Geran pitched well when called upon, turning in a 3-1 mark. Junior Matt Buragina showed promise, and infielders Kevin Knox and J.D. Melendez are likely to see some pitching duty next spring. Sophomore catcher Fran Santimauro did an outstanding job defensively behind the dish. Alternating between the No. 2 and 9 spots in the batting order, Santimauro hit .385 with 12 RBIs and displayed good speed on the base paths. Melendez, who started the season 0-15 at the plate, hit .365 overall with 19 RBIs as he went on a tear down the stretch. Knox, who manned the hot corner, hit .255 and contributed several clutch hits, Kaye notes. “We started out all right, but then we struggled,” the coach explained. “We were 4-8 when the guys turned things around, and our younger guys deserve a lot of credit for that. It’s not as easy as it looks.” During the season, Matawan scored victories over Raritan, Rumson-Fair Haven and Manasquan. In the Shore Challenge, the Huskies downed both Linden and Delsea. While there’s plenty of optimism for next year, the Huskies will be moving up to the Shore Conference’s Class B North division. Currently Matawan resides in the Class A Central division. “That will be a challenge, but we’ll be ready for it,” Kaye said. Lions should contend once again next year BY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Staff Writer After going through something of a rebuilding year, the Middletown High School North softball team will be looking to get back to its winning ways next spring. With just two seniors in the lineup, new coach Bill LaFalce’s team managed to post a respectable eight victories against 11 defeats. Along the way, the Lions upended Colts Neck in the opening round of the Monmouth County Tournament and also scored a win against crosstown rival Middletown South. The Lions went 6-6 in the Shore Conference’s competitive Class A North division, and seven of the 11 losses were by two runs or less. “At times our inexperience showed,” LaFalce said. “We seemed to have one bad inning every game and usually that turned out to be the difference in the game. On the other hand, the girls got a lot of experience and they were learning from their mistakes.” Shortstop Cara Piasecki and right fielder Liz Kelly were the Lions’ two senior starters. Both were solid defensively, and Piasecki’s .321 average was second on the team. Piasecki also drove in eight runs and whacked a pair of triples. Junior Lindsey Nadolny topped Middletown North in batting with a .352 mark. The third baseman also contributed three doubles, a homer and seven RBIs. DH Danielle Susi hit .308 with four RBIs, and first baseman Jenna Lougee ended the campaign at .286. Both are juniors. LaFalce noted that sophomore Casey Crist performed well at second base and contributed a .268 average. Freshman right fielder Amanda Svenson displayed strong potential with a .275 average, and Laura Dorsa, another freshman, did a good job and kept improving behind the plate. Middletown North should be set again next year on the mound with Krystal Kinsella. The junior hurler was 6-10 but had a 2.33 ERA while striking out 100 batters in 108 innings of work. “The girls were in every game they played,” the coach said. “They made mistakes, but the effort was good and they continued to improve. I was very pleased with our efforts against some of the top teams like Ocean and RBC. The girls played very well; we just couldn’t get past them. Those kinds of games will help us next season.” The Lions were actually quite stingy defensively, allowing an average of just under 2.5 runs per game. To pick up more victories, Middletown North will have to score a few more runs. “If we can improve our hitting throughout the lineup, we’ll be a strong contender next year,” LaFalce said. “We have a good experienced pitcher, and the girls generally play good defense. And most of the girls are coming back. Of course, we’ll have to get a new shortstop, but we do have a lot of talent.”last_img read more

Seraphs seem to be heading in right direction

first_img BY DOUG McKENZIEStaff Writer CHRIS KELLY staff Mater Dei is looking to John Supon once again to lead the Seraphs this season, as they look to build on the momentum they gained at the end of last year. Momentum can mean everything in high school football. Once a team gets rolling, good things tend to happen, one after another. But just how long momentum lasts depends upon the team. This year’s Mater Dei football team is hoping that their momentum survived the offseason. The Seraphs lost their first eight games of the year last year, before winning their final two, 27-17 over Keansburg and 35-0 over Immaculate Conception in a consolation state playoff game. In those two games, head coach John Corneliusen’s team gave their finest efforts of the year, and began to show the type of improvement Corneliusen was looking for throughout the season. As they entered this season, Mater Dei was hoping to continue that trend, with a host of players returning for what they hope will be a program-boosting campaign. Leading the way is senior quarterback John Supon, who is starting for the third-straight year, while seniors Michael Heyer and Anthony Meli start in the backfield, with junior Alex Horan in the mix as well. Other threats for the Seraphs are senior Jay Cash at the split end, senior Pat Barthole as the flanker, and juniors Chris Theobald and Justin Vega at the tight end position. One of the strengths of this year’s team should be its offensive line, where seniors Ryan Lino and Brian Von Bargen are the guards, senior Sean Conway is the center, and senior Andrew Kelleher and junior Will Grenger are the tackles. Their overall experience should pay dividends as the Seraphs face some of the smaller defenses on their schedule. On defense, many of the same players will be featured, with Line and Von Barger joining senior Alan Schuluwitz, Theobald and Grenger on the defensive line, with Cash, Conway and Vega manning the linebacking spots. The secondary includes Meli and junior Anthony Albanese at the corners, with Supon and Heyer at the safety position. This is an experienced Mater Dei team that has certainly taken its lumps over the last few years. This year, they look continue the progress they showed at the end of the 2005 campaign. On Saturday, they opened up with a good Point Beach team, and played well early on. However, Point Beach opened up its air attack late in the second quarter to take a 14-0 lead at the half, than added a field goal to start the third. Mater Dei’s offense managed to get a touchdown on a Supon 4-yard pass to Cash late in the third quarter, but the Garnet Gulls were able to hold the Seraphs off from there. This Friday night, the Seraphs will make the trip down to Point Pleasant to take on a defending state champion Point Boro team that is fully expecting to make another championship run after last year’s 12-0 campaign. This is certainly a tough draw for a Mater Dei looking to progress, but it also represents an opportunity to show everyone just how far they’ve already come. Game time is 7 p.m. BY DOUG McKENZIE Staff Writer last_img read more

Solid Hornets team faces important week

first_imgBY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Staff Writer BY WARREN RAPPLEYEAStaff Writer The Holmdel High School baseball team faces an important week as it continues its quest to qualify for the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group II Tournament. Coach Ed Reckage’s Hornets were 4-3 heading into Tuesday’s home game against Raritan. This afternoon Holmdel will visit Monmouth Regional for first-round game in the Monmouth County Tournament. Tomorrow the Hornets visit Central Regional and travel to Rumson-Fair Haven on Friday before returning home on Saturday for a rematch with RFH. “This is a big week for our team,” the coach said. “Our team can compete with anyone and now we have to bear down and get some wins.” To qualify for the state tournament, teams must have a .500 or better record at the end of play on May 10. Reckage said his team has played well defensively – Holmdel averages under an error-per-game, and the pitching has been good. He noted that his team has hit when needed, but that base running miscues have been costly. Thus far the Hornets have picked up victories over University Academy of Jersey City, RBC, and Red Bank Regional (twice). The losses have come against Jackson, Manasquan (on a suicide squeeze play), and St. John Vianney, which rallied in the final inning. Holmdel has been playing without power-hitting shortstop Mickey Zudonyi, who is out for the season with a shoulder injury. Zudonyi flirted with a .500 average last season and is excellent with the glove. Third baseman Anthony Ferraioli has been the Hornets’ top hitter and Reckage said the lefty hitter “may be the toughest out in the Shore.” Ferraioli is batting .571, with a homer, six RBIs and an on-base percentage over the .600 mark. First baseman Anthony Paganucci has been stinging the ball as well. He has a homer to his credit and has been hovering around the .400 mark throughout the campaign. Catcher Nick Renna has blasted a pair of home runs, while providing a solid presence behind the plate. Reckage also noted that Brian O’Neill has moved from third to short and has been doing a good job defensively and batting out the number-two spot in the order. On the mound both Joe Brescia and sophomore Ian Wladika have a pair of wins. Brescia, who has a deep repertoire of pitches including a split-finger fastball, is 2-1 with two complete games to his credit. The hard-throwing Wladika, who mixes things up with a knuckleball, is 2-0. Tim Baisley, Tim Butler, who is just returning from a shoulder injury, and sophomore Jean-Luc Orlando round out the pitching staff. The Hornets have a speedy outfield with Kyle O’Gorman in right field, and juniors Glenn Grainger in center field and Chris Monfassani, the lead-off hitter, in left field. Other members of the team include DH Mike Renna, hard-working reserve catcher Mike Bock, junior second baseman Ryan Garber and versatile junior Brian Amabile. “Our guys have been battling and as a team, they’re doing a lot of things right,” Reckage said. “If we can cut down our mistakes on the bases, we can play with anyone. I really like our pitching and defense and I think our hitting is coming around.”last_img read more

Hometown fans

first_imgMiddletown High School South fans cheer on their team as they walk out onto the field prior to the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group 3 game against Steinert High School held at Middletown South on Nov. 12. The Eagles went on to beat Steinert by a score of 35-8. ERIC SUCAR, stafflast_img

sport shorts 

first_imgJim Pantaleano captured his 6,000th lifetime victory with two wins at Freehold Raceway on Dec. 14. With wins in the ninth race guiding Stunt Man Hall ($3.40) and eleventh with Devine Filly ($3), the 50-year old Cleveland, Ohio native reached the milestone.Pantaleano drove in his first race when he was 16 years old at a matinee fair in Ohio and won his first pari-mutuel race at Northfield Park in 1985. His career best win total of 436 was reached in 2002, 2003 and again in 2010, while his best money won total of $5,659,812 was reached in 2011.Live racing resumes at Freehold Raceway on Dec. 22 with the featured Hurricane Sandy Pace and “Racing Toward Recovery Day.” Freehold will donate all net proceeds from live racing to The FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties. Post time for the first race is 12:30 p.m.Freehold Raceway is the nation’s oldest and fastest daytime half-mile harness racing track.last_img read more

BCC men’s basketball team is ranked No. 3 nationally

first_img Brookdale Community College’s Paul Little (No. 34) puts up a shot against Ocean County College during the Dec. 20 game played on Brookdale’s home floor in the Robert J. Collins Arena in Lincroft. The Jersey Blues, ranked No. 3 in the country, remained undefeated with a 94-57 victory. ERIC SUCAR staff Brookdale Community College men’s basketball coach Paul Cisek had quite a task in front of him this year.How do you find replacements for a team that went 28-4 and finished sixth at the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Division III national championships? He did not have a single returning player on the 2012-13 Jersey Blues.“We had not one player back,” Cisek pointed out. “We have a new 11.”So, how are the “new 11” doing? In a tribute to Cisek’s recruiting skills and ability to quickly define players’ roles, Brookdale is 10-0 and ranked No. 3 in the country. The Jersey Blues haven’t missed a beat.“I got some pretty decent local talent,” Cisek said of his recruiting class.Among those is freshman Neil Thompson from Monmouth Regional High School, who has taken this team under his wing. “He’s a leader and a competitor,” Cisek said. “He gets [the team] to play hard. He’s tough and tenacious.”Because of his defensive prowess, Cisek has him cover the opposition’s best player. He’s averaging 4.1 steals a game, along with dishing out 5.6 assists per game on offense. He’s also scoring 16.1 points per game, which is second highest on the team.Cisek is using a three-guard set with Amir Gilliam (a transfer from Pratt, Kan., who lives in Long Branch) and Paul Little (Hawthorne-Christian).The forwards are David Rosado (Saddle Day River) and Jake Nickerson (Barringer).The 6-foot-3-inch-tall Nickerson is Brookdale’s leading scorer at 16.7.The bench is very talented and gives Cisek a number of options. Damian Williams (Bayonne), for instance, is the best shooter on the team and he can bring instant offense into the game. If Cisek wants to go with a bigger lineup, he has Brian Adams (Manalapan) and Anthony Seward (Neptune), who are both 6 feet 5 inches tall.Sammy Singletary (Paterson), Rickey Stevens (Monmouth Regional) Casey Skievaski (Freehold Township) and Cory Soanes (Matawan) are solid guards who can score and distribute.The formula for Brookdale’s early-season success has been simple — the Jersey Blues get after it on the defensive end of the floor.“What’s unique and much different about this team is that we are very, very quick,” Cisek said. “We play great defense.“We hustle and play with great intensity,” he added. “We play straight man-toman full court and get after it. We keep coming at them, creating turnovers.”Transition baskets off turnovers have been a big part of the Brookdale offense that is averaging 77.1 points per game, while the team surrenders just 56.9 points a game on defense. Brookdale’s offense has been very balanced with Rosado (13.1), Williams (12.6) and Singletary (11.0) all averaging double figures in points.One concern that Cisek did have was rebounding, because the Jersey Blues lacked a true big man under the glass. Not to fear. Their tenacious defense includes their play under the glass. They are plus-13 (63-50) in rebounding without anyone averaging in double figures. Little, Nickerson, and Rosado are each averaging better than five a game.There’s something else driving this team and it might best be labeled as intangible.“The best part about it, they don’t want to lose,” said Cisek. “They are energized. They believe they can win.”It’s more than believe after 10 games. The Jersey Blues know they can win.Brookdale will open its 2013 home schedule on Jan. 8 at 7 p.m. against Manor College. BY TIM MORRIS Staff Writer last_img read more

Chelsea hit Arsenal for six, Liverpool and City win big

first_imgBy Toby DavisChelsea ripped apart Premier League title rivals Arsenal in a 6-0 mauling at Stamford Bridge on Saturday to ensure Arsene Wenger’s 1,000th game turned sour and Liverpool and Manchester City kept up the pressure with big wins.Yaya Toure scored a hat-trick including two penalties as City wrapped up a punishing 5-0 win over bottom club Fulham and Luis Suarez’s prolific run continued with three goals as Liverpool twice came from behind to thrash Cardiff City 6-3.The goals were spread about for Chelsea as Samuel Eto’o, Andre Schuerrle, Eden Hazard, Oscar (2) and Mohamed Salah were on target for the leaders in a match likely to be remembered for a bizarre refereeing blunder as much as Chelsea’s cut and thrust.Official Andre Marriner flashed a red card at Arsenal’s Kieran Gibbs for a handball on the goalline by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.The sending-off did little to affect the destination of the points, however, as Arsenal were already 2-0 down when Gibbs was dismissed and Hazard stepped up to convert the resulting penalty to make it 3-0 after just 17 minutes.Chelsea stayed four points clear of Liverpool in second, the Londoners having played a game more, with Manchester City six adrift of Chelsea in third but with three games in hand. Arsenal slipped to fourth.Everton moved up to fifth with a 3-2 win over struggling Swansea City and Norwich City improved their chances of avoiding the drop by beating relegation rivals Sunderland 2-0, their second a stunning volley from Alex Tettey.West Bromwich Albion lost 2-0 at Hull City and Newcastle United’s Papiss Cisse scored in stoppage time to inflict a painful 1-0 defeat on Crystal Palace.last_img read more

Record U.S. soccer crowd sees Man United beat Real Madrid

first_imgBy Andrew BothThe largest crowd to watch a soccer match in the United States – 109,318 – poured into Michigan Stadium on Saturday to see Manchester United beat Real Madrid 3-1 in a friendly.The appeal of two of the world’s most iconic sports teams attracted fans to the International Champions Cup match at the ‘Big House’ – the University of Michigan’s American football stadium in Ann Arbor.The previous U.S. record attendance for a soccer match was 101,799 at the 1984 Olympic final between France and Brazil at the Rose Bowl in California.The largest crowd ever to watch a soccer match was at the 1950 World Cup in Rio de Janeiro when 173,850 paying spectators came to the Maracana for the Brazil-Uruguay final clash, though unofficial estimates put the attendance as high as 210,000.Two first-half goals by Ashley Young proved enough to help United beat the European champions on Saturday despite Real’s world record signing Gareth Bale scoring from the penalty spot.United’s win means they advance to Monday’s final in Miami, where they will meet traditional English rivals Liverpool.The crowd got an added bonus when Cristiano Ronaldo made a surprise appearance for Madrid in place of Alvaro Arbeloa in the 74th minute, having been ruled out of contention before the match with what was reported to be an injured left knee.Young had opened the scoring in the 21st minute when he capped off a 20-pass move to beat keeper Iker Casillas at his near post from about 12 metres.Real equalised in the 27th when Bale was fouled in the box by United defender Michael Keane and then got up to convert the penalty by sending David De Gea the wrong way.However, it took United only 10 minutes to regain the lead when Young curled in what looked like a cross from the left. United’s England forward Wayne Rooney timed his run perfectly but did not appear to make contact with his attempted header.His presence distracted Casillas, though, with the keeper reacting too late to stop the ball curling inside the far post.United, playing under new manager Louis van Gaal, padded their lead in the 80th when substitute Javier Hernandez headed home an exquisite pass by Shinji Kagawa from close range.“I think we were fantastic from the first minute to the end,” Young told Fox Sports.last_img read more