Watford sign Victor Ibarbo on loan from Roma

first_img Press Association Colombia forward Victor Ibarbo has signed for Watford on a season-long loan from Roma. Watford said on their official website: “Colombian international Victor Ibarbo has signed for Watford on a season-long loan, the Hornets are delighted to confirm.” Guedioura had two loan spells at Watford last season and returns on a permanent basis from Crystal Palace after signing a three-year deal. The Algeria international joined Oulare at the Hornets after the Belgium Under-21 international agreed a five-year deal from Club Brugge. Guedioura made 17 appearances and scored three goals in Watford’s promotion-winning campaign last term. Oulare came through the academy ranks at Lille in France before moving to Brugge in 2013, where he scored nine goals in 39 appearances. Midfielder Miguel Layun earlier joined Porto on a season-long loan from Vicarage Road. The Mexico international joined the Hornets in January, helping them to promotion to the top flight, but now could be in Champions League action with Porto. center_img Ibarbo joined midfielder Adlene Guedioura and 19-year-old Belgian striker Obbi Oulare in moving to Vicarage Road on transfer deadline day. The 25-year-old has spent seven months with Roma, having previously played for Cagliari. last_img read more

Young Badgers to rely on senior goaltenders

first_imgUW goaltender Scott Gudmandson will be counted on to anchor a young men\’s hockey team this season.[/media-credit]Mike Eaves lost a lot at the end of last season. The Wisconsin men’s hockey team said goodbye to 345 points produced by 12 players. Seven senior forwards graduated. The guy the players elected as the team’s next captain was one of four underclassmen to leave for the pros early.What’s a head coach to do?Well, as some guy from New Jersey said, you’ve got to hold on to what you’ve got. And in Eaves’ case, that’s two senior goaltenders.Prior to last weekend’s season-opening tournament in St. Louis, Eaves said the Badgers would need to lean on returning senior netminders Scott Gudmandson and Brett Bennett. With 10 freshmen joining the team, Wisconsin wasn’t sure what it was going to get on the offensive side of the puck. It’s too early to say the nine goals UW scored in its two games will allay those worries.“I think coming into the season, we knew that we were going to be a little more defensive-oriented team,” Gudmandson said.Still, young guys will make mistakes. Eaves is hoping the veterans in goal will steady the team when those issues arise.“I think with their experience and their ability to play, they’ll be able to cover up some of the young mistakes we’re going to make,” he said. “That helps us grow as a team, it’s always easier to grow when you don’t get burned on some of the mistakes you do. So hopefully they’ll be able to do that, and this weekend was a pretty good indication.”Entering last season, it was an open competition between Gudmandson and Bennett, a transfer from Boston University. This season, it’s much the same, with Gudmandson getting the start in Friday night’s 4-3 loss and Bennett posting a shutout in UW’s 6-0 win over Holy Cross.Eaves has no problem not having a de facto No. 1 goaltender, praising the efforts of both his netminders.“”They both won big games last year, no question,” Eaves said. “We forget that Brett beat Denver, beat Minnesota.”Last season, Gudmandson was able to take over the starting job, due to Bennett going down with a shoulder injury in December. Gudmandson would get the larger share of starts after the injury, eventually pulling away and becoming the Badgers’ No. 1 guy.While Bennett beat No. 1 Denver in January, making 30 saves in the 4-3 win, he also was pulled in a game against Minnesota-Duluth for allowing two goals in the first 3:12 of play. He didn’t look the same after the injury.“If I had my brace here, I’d let you wear it and you can tell me (how it affected me),” Benentt said. “It’s one of those things where you’ve got to fight through it. You never ever use that as any kind of excuse. I’m just glad to be healthy and looking forward to this season.”Wisconsin rode Gudmandson all through the playoffs, eventually making the national title game. But with a healthy Bennett back in the fold, Eaves wants both his goaltenders to anchor his team.“Last year, it was healthy competition; it brought out the best in both of us,” Gudmandson said. “Hopefully it will do the same again. I know we both want to be that starting guy, I know for sure I want that to be my net. I really don’t want to share it. But I can only control what I can control.”The duo’s numbers last season were good, but not staggering; Gudmandson finished 20-5-4 on the season with a 2.34 goals-against average, while Bennett went 8-6, with a 2.82 GAA. By comparison, 2010 WCHA player of the year Marc Cheverie had a 2.08 GAA and six shutouts for Denver.Many critics pointed to Wisconsin’s goaltending as the one weakness in the 2009-2010 team, especially during its NCAA run. But the experience Gudmandson and Bennett gained last year is crucial in fueling the expectations of the two this season.“You can’t put a price on that,” Eaves said. “That’s why it’s important they play well for us, because that will help us get off to the kind of start that will help us in the long run.”“I think it’s huge,” Gudmandson agreed. “You can’t take experience away; it’s something that’s invaluable.”And with experience comes confidence. Last year, the confidence came from an explosive offense that was shut out just three times and one of the most talented defensive corps in the nation.This season, that confidence might have to start at the other end of the ice. With a young team, it will be up to the guys trying to stop goals to keep the Badgers on course.“I think confidence for a goaltender is like for a quarterback in football. The whole team, they have to have confidence in the quarterback in football, and if they don’t, things are going to break down, Gudmandson said. “It’s the same thing in hockey, the whole team’s got to have confidence in the goalie, they’ve got to know he’s going to make saves back there, otherwise things are going to break down up front.”Serving as the go-to guys this season doesn’t faze either goaltender. While the Badgers’ offense was able to mask any deficiencies in net by scoring four goals a game last season, it could be very different this year.But that’s just fine by the both of them.“Me and Scott talked about it. We know that we’re going to have to be really important to this team if we’re going to do something special this year,” Bennett said. “We’re ready to shoulder the load.”last_img read more

Wimbledon 2016: Venus Joins Serena in S’final

first_imgUnseeded Russian Vesnina thrashed Slovakian 19th seed Cibulkova 6-2 6-2 in the remaining quarter-final on court one.Venus Williams showed she remains a real threat on the All England Club grass with an impressive win over world number 96 Shvedova.The champion in 2000, 2001, 2005, 2007 and 2008 made it through to her first Grand Slam semi-final since the 2010 US Open.At 36, she is the oldest major semi-finalist since Martina Navratilova finished runner-up at Wimbledon in 1994.“I love playing the game,” said Venus Williams, who slipped outside the world’s top 100 in 2011 after being diagnosed with the immune system disease Sjogren’s Disease. “When you’re winning matches it makes it that much sweeter.”The American, who played her first Wimbledon in 1997, recovered from losing an early break to win the opening set tie-break from 5-2 down.She then dominated the second set, racing into a 5-1 lead and holding off signs of a Shvedova comeback to serve out the win.“What a tough day on the court,” Venus added. “The tie-breaker, it felt like she would win. I felt like my opponent was on fire.“I felt like the crowd enjoyed all the great points. She got them involved in the last game. We gave them good tennis today.”Serena Williams’ presence in the semi-finals is far less of a surprise than that of her sister, but the world number one needed to be at her best to see off Pavlyuchenkova.The American, 34, converted the only two break points of a desperately tight contest, the first with a crushing backhand return in the opening set, the second thanks to a Pavlyuchenkova double fault in the second.Williams, the six-time and defending champion, fired down 11 aces and 29 winners as she closes in on a 22nd Grand Slam singles title.“It was good,” she said. “I am excited to be able to win and get through, it felt really good. I knew Venus was up 5-1 and then I saw (the result) on the court (scoreboard), so I was like ‘Yay’.“I am just trying to win my match. I knew I had a tough opponent and one thing I have learnt this year is just to focus on the match.”Vesnina completely dominated against Cibulkova, who appeared to run out of energy after a successful run that began with winning the Eastbourne title ahead of Wimbledon.The Slovakian can at least take comfort that she does not have to postpone her wedding, which can now go ahead as planned on Saturday.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Five-time champion Venus Williams on Tuesday reached the Wimbledon 2016 semi-finals for the first time since 2009 with victory over Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova.Eighth seed Williams – at 36 the oldest Grand Slam semi-finalist for 22 years – beat unseeded Shvedova 7-6 (7-5) 6-3.An all-Williams final remains possible after top seed Serena beat Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4 6-4.In Thursday’s semis, Serena will play Russia’s Elena Vesnina and Venus will take on Germany’s Angelique Kerber.“We don’t really talk too much about it but we are playing doubles later, so we are just happy to be in the semi-finals,” Serena told BBC Sport.Asked about a potential final meeting, she added: “It will be great. Venus is such a tough opponent I want her to win so bad – not in the final if I am there, but if I’m not, I do.”Kerber, the fourth seed, beat Romanian fifth seed Simona Halep 7-5 7-6 (7-2) in the opening match on Centre Court.last_img read more

Sprint king Bolt scores first goals in f’ball bid

first_img0Shares0000It was Bolt’s first start since joining the A-League club in August for an indefinite trial © AFP / PETER PARKSSYDNEY, Australia, Oct 12 – Sprint legend Usain Bolt made his case for becoming a professional footballer Friday when he scored his first goals after starting up front in a pre-season game for Australia’s Central Coast Mariners.The 100 metres world record-holder, who has been bidding for a professional contract since he retired last year, recovered from a painful kick in the groin to grab a double against Macarthur South West United in Sydney. Bolt, 32, finished with his left foot after some slack marking on 55 minutes, celebrating with his trademark ‘Lightning Bolt’ pose in front of more than 5,000 fans — a rare turnout for a pre-season game.The Jamaican, wearing number 95 on his shirt in a nod to his 100m world record time of 9.58secs, then capitalised on a defensive mix-up to score his second on 69 minutes before being substituted six minutes later with the score at 4-0.Bolt said he had a “lot more to learn” and was keen to join the Mariners on a professional contract © AFP / PETER PARKSIt was the first game Bolt has started since joining the A-League club in August for an indefinite trial.“I’m just happy that I got a chance and I’m proud of myself,” Bolt told host broadcaster Fox Sports after the game.“It was a big deal… first start and scoring two goals. It was a good feeling. This is what I worked towards. I try to get better and I am on the way to doing that.”Bolt said he had a “lot more to learn” and was keen to join the Mariners on a professional contract.“I’m keen, that’s why I’m here to play my best and to try and get into the team,” he added.The superstar, a massive Manchester United fan, was handed a chance to train with the A-League side for an indefinite period in order to pursue his boyhood dream of becoming a professional footballer.Whether he signs for the Mariners appears still up in the air, but the brace bolstered his case after a difficult first-half where he missed chances and appeared to struggle with the pace and movement of the game.“They’ve seen me in training, they’ve seen what I’m capable of and so, they need to analyse and say, ‘Is he good enough for this club?’ and they will tell me that,” Bolt told reporters after the game.“I just did what I had to do and that’s as far as I can go.”Recently installed coach Mike Mulvey said he was focused on the first game of the season for the Mariners, who finished bottom of the table last season, but heaped praised on the eight-time Olympic champion for his goals.“You’ve got to be so happy for the guy, haven’t you?” Mulvey told reporters.Bolt appeared to appeal for game time, saying he would improve as he gained more understanding of his teammates and what they wanted.He has previously tried out with clubs in Germany, South Africa and Norway to no avail.The Mariners have been giving him one-on-one sessions on top of the squad’s training in a bid to turn him into A-League material for when the season starts a week from now.The Mariners will face Brisbane Roar, the club Mulvey was sacked from in 2014, in their first game next Sunday.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more