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Dec 17, 2012 7:56pm
Medium lingzi 1454 posts

LONDON —Manchester United, Liverpool and Sunderland stepped up their
preparations for the upcoming Premier League season by flying out on off-season
tours across the globe Monday. Brandon Spikes Black Jersey . Man United
headed to Durban in South Africa to play AmaZulu FC on Wednesday night before
going up against Ajax Cape Town on Saturday. United will then fly to China to
face Didier Drogbas new side, Shanghai Shenhua, on July 25. Coach Alex Ferguson
has selected a 22-man squad for the tour, including the likes of Paul Scholes,
Rio Ferdinand and his new signing from Borussia Dortmund, Japanese midfielder
Shinji Kagawa. Wayne Rooney and Nani have been left out to be given more time to
recover from the European Championship, while Ryan Giggs stays in England as he
will captain the British football team at the London Olympics. Meanwhile,
Liverpool has flown out to Toronto to begin a three-match tour of North America
and Canada, beginning Wednesday against Toronto FC at the Rodgers Center. The
team will then join principal owner John Henry and chairman Tom Werner for the
100-year celebrations of Fenway Park, the historic ballpark of the Boston Red
Sox—which are also owned by Werner and Henry—by taking on Roma on July 25.
Liverpool will finish its tour in Baltimore against Premier League rival
Tottenham three days later. Liverpools squad for the tour includes England
captain Steven Gerrard and new signing Fabio Borini. Goalkeeper Pepe Reina will
enjoy an extended break as he was part of Spains Euro 2012-winning squad. Luis
Suarez stays behind as he is part of Uruguays Olympic football squad. Sunderland
travel to South Korea to compete in the Peace Cup alongside German club Hamburg,
Dutch side Groningen and local side Seongnam. Coach Martin ONeill, who won the
trophy in 2009 as coach of Aston Villa, believes the trip will be a good
opportunity to step up the intensity of the off-season training. “Over the
course of the coming days well start to get a bit more fitness into the players
with some harder work alongside some sort of enjoyable work as well,” ONeill
said. Sebastian Vollmer Jersey . —Georgia is
dealing with a big loss heading into its Southeastern Conference showdown
against South Carolina. Wes Welker Jersey . There are no style points
in the NBA, however, and the Lakers can still accomplish what they set out to so
in the Sooner State by rebounding in Game 2 set for Wednesday night. You can
watch the game live on TSN at 9:30pm et/6:30pm pt. http://www.nflpatriotsfansstore.com/nike-stevan-ridley-Patriots-jersey/
. Corbeil helped the Sea Dogs open the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League finals
with two straight wins against the Rimouski Oceanic. Dan Connolly Jersey . The right-hander
pitched six shut out innings as the Blue Jays defeated the Kansas City Royals
4-1 on Wednesday. “I felt good today,” Villanueva said. John Hannah Jersey . —The Los Angeles
Lakers signed seven-foot Canadian centre Robert Sacre on Friday.Each week, The
Reporters put their thumbs out to the good and the bad in the world of sports.
This week, they discuss the magic of R.A. Dickey, Hockey Canadas decision to
release Nail Yakupov, Mitt Romneys praise of Jack Nicklaus and the behaviour of
Jon Cornish and Khalif Mitchell. Bruce Arthur, National Post: My thumb is up to
R.A. Dickey of the otherwise hopeless New York Mets. More and more, so much of
baseball can be reduced to math, and while this helps us understand the game, it
can strip away the magic of the unknown, too. Well, R.A. Dickey was an
unremarkable pitcher for a decade before he was convinced to try a knuckleball
in 2005, and has blossomed the past three years. Now, at 37 years old, he is
second in the National League in wins with 20, second in ERA and first in
strikeouts. Nobody could have predicted this. Dickey is the only knuckleballer
in baseball right now, hes 37 years old, and even he doesnt know where the ball
is going next. Magic. Steve Simmons, Sun Media: My thumb is up, sort of, to
Hockey Canada,  along with CHL commissioner David Branch and the Sarnia Sting
for finally coming to their senses in the matter of Nail Yakopov. Yesterday,
Hockey Canada announced it would be signing the transfer papers enabling
Yakupov, a Russian, to play at home in Russia. While just about everyone tripped
over semantics here while trying to come to a conclusion, what seemed lost –
until yesterday was the best interest of the kid, the No. 1 pick in the NHL
Draft. While ideally he would like to play for the Edmoonton Oilers, we know
thats not happening right now. Rob Gronkowski Red Jersey. So in support of
Yakupov, his finances, his future and that of the Oilers, the right decision has
been made. It just took a little too long to get there. Michael Farber, Sports
Illustrated: My thumb is down to U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney. On a
campaign stop in Ohio this week, the Republican nominee  – with Jack Nicklaus, a
native of the state in tow – declared the Golden Bear the greatest athlete of
the 20th century. If Romney had called Nicklaus the greatest golfer of the
century, he would have been rock solid. But even avoiding foreign policy and
limiting the list to USA athletes, clearly Nicklaus would rank behind, say,
decathlete Jim Thorpe or Michael Jordan. As the American on this panel, my
choice is Babe Ruth. To borrow Romneys favorite number, Ruth was a 47 per cent
greater athlete than Nicklaus. Dave Hodge, TSN: My thumb is down to the mooning
Jon Cornish of the Calgary Stampeders and the throat-slashing Khalif Mitchell of
the B.C. Lions. Their behaviour brought fines from the Canadian Football League.
Apparently suspensions werent warranted and neither player was cast in the same
light as eye-black-slurring Yunel Escobar, but really its all the same when
these guys embarrass themselves, their teams and their leagues – when they
offend fans with actions that are rightfully called “stupid”. I get the
complaint that political correctness is out of control, but not quite as much as
that which provokes it.  ’ ’ ’ 

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