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jj009 Offline

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14.09.2019 09:33
pact were winners through most of their 18 seasons in lower leagues before they joined MLS, so it is not a total surprise Antworten

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana president Kelly Krauskopf initially built the fledgling Fever around home-state star Stephanie White.Turns out, the hard-working rookie she drafted in 2001, Tamika Catchings, emerged as the face of the franchise.On Sunday, the two most iconic players in Fever history -- one now the coach -- will say farewell to the WNBA in their final regular-season home game. Coach White is taking over the Vanderbilt program and Catchings is retiring.I think they had an equal impact. What both leave behind and have meant to this franchise ... Krauskopf said, pausing. Steph was the very first player I went out and got to start this franchise. They were the cornerstones of this franchise.The game Sunday against Dallas wont be their last. Indiana has already clinched a playoff spot, and these two still envision going out after a victory celebration.Regardless, it seems fitting that White and Catchings, who have shared so many moments and memories over the past 15 years, are leaving together.Its hard to fathom just how much these two have meant to Indiana.Catchings legacy has been well-documented on the court. She started Friday nights game at Minnesota ranked No. 2 in WNBA career scoring (7,353 points), sixth in assists (1,487) and 12th in blocks (384), She already held the league record for steals (1,071) and needed just three rebounds to pass all-time leader Lisa Leslie (3,307).Those numbers only tell part of the tale of the 2011 WNBA MVP, 2012 Finals MVP, five-time defensive player of the year and 10-time All-Star, who spent most of her career being cited as the top choice front-office executives would build a franchise around and the top choice of league players as the teammate they wanted.Before arriving in Indianapolis, the shy, hearing-impaired kid went from Texas prep star to four-time All-American and part of an undefeated national championship team at Tennessee. Krauskopf took her No. 3 overall in the 2001 draft even though she knew Catchings would miss that first season with a torn ACL.Her growth as a player and a person was equally impressive. She started a foundation to help young people achieve their goals, became the president of the players union, wrote a book, interned at the NBA and got married in February.The four-time Olympic gold medalist could have enjoyed a WNBA farewell tour in her final season, but instead turned it into a legacy tour in which she gave something back to her fans.I dont need anything and basically I dont want anything. It only seemed right, Catchings said. It was about the kids being there and seeing how excited they were. The thing I enjoyed most was being able to spend time with each kid in the autograph line and being able to talk to them. I remember one place this boy yelled across the gym at me and I looked up at him and you could just see his face. He was so excited -- and thats a boy.Catchings calls her foundation, Catch The Stars, and the impact its had on other peoples lives her proudest achievement. On Friday, Catchings said her teammates donated $50,000.Inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse, so many more people are proud of the star.NBA All-Star and new Olympic gold medalist Paul George bought 5,000 balcony tickets for Sundays game, which were distributed to fans on Friday. Krauskopf talks about the handwritten notes she keeps in a desk drawer from children and parents thanking Catchings for speaking at their school, in their community or just being a role model.But thats nothing compared to actually being on the court with her.As a teammate, you want to be better for her, White said. I will never forget one play, I dont remember where we were, and I missed an assignment on the defensive end, and she said `Come on, Steph. I felt like I let her down.The truth is, White was pretty good herself.She was the small-town star who made it big -- going from 1995 Gatorade national player of the year and 1995 Indiana Miss Basketball at nearby Seeger High School to Purdue, where she won a national championship in 1999. Then onto the WNBA, where she handed over the reins of Fever team leader to Catchings so White could start a coaching career.When White returned as an assistant in 2011, Catchings was still excelling. The next year when the Fever finally captured their first WNBA title, they celebrated together.Now with the 39-year-old White bound for Vanderbilt and the 37-year-old Catchings eager to trade the hot and cold tub treatments for a little travel and some extra rest, the two players Krauskopf put in place all those years ago are ready to say goodbye together.Ive noticed her (Catchings) this year, just watching as much as she can, taking it all in. Im trying to do it, too, because I keep thinking this will be so odd next year, Krauskopf said. Tamika is the cornerstone of this franchise, and Steph has been here off and on from the beginning. This is our teams foundation.John Randle Womens Jersey . Already owning gold from competition in Vancouver in 2010, Loch posted a combined four-run time of 3:27.526. That included a track-record third run of 51. Brett Favre Youth Jersey . PAUL, Minn. . -- Yogi Ferrell orchestrates pretty much everything in Indianas offence. Randy Moss Vikings Jersey . The 17-year-old native of Marystown, N.L., pulled out of Skate Canada International last month in Saint John, N.B., with the same problem. Dalvin Cook Vikings Jersey . Vancouver Whitecaps and Toronto FC failed to make the postseason while Montreal Impact fell at the first hurdle losing heavily to Houston Dynamo in the Eastern Conference Knockout Round.MONTREAL -- The new guys in Major League Soccer didnt take much time to get to the top. Halfway through their second season in the league, the Montreal Impact lead the Eastern Conference with a league-best 9-4-4 record. And although they have played fewer games than most clubs, their 31 goals also lead the 19-team league. "You see a team that knows how to get points in this league," fullback Jeb Brovsky said Monday. "Last year, we gave up a few goals. "The mental focus is what it takes. Weve learned what it takes to win." As an expansion team in 2012, Montreal went 5-9-3 through the first 17 games of the 34-game regular season. They ended up 12-16-6 for 42 points to finish out of the playoffs in seventh place in the East. This year, they already have 31 points -- a 13-point improvement from the halfway mark last year. They have done it with most of the same players they had by the end of the 2012 campaign, but with new coach Marco Schallibaum replacing MLS rookie Jesse Marsch. It seems the former Swiss international and veteran coach was just what a team led by older Italian stars needed to take the next step. Even if the fiery Schallibaum has already served three one-game suspensions. "I see the team is motivated on the field and is progressing, its all very positive," said Schallibaum. So far, the 2013 campaign has been all about winning. It started in the pre-season when they won the Disney Soccer Classic tournament in Orlando, Fla. While running off victories in regular season play, they also won the Voyageurs Cup by beating Toronto FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps in the Amway Canadian Championship. The challenge will be to keep that pace up through the second half with opponents tightening defences to shut down league-leading scorer Marco Di Vaio, who has 11 goals. Also, the Impact are playing four additional games thanks to their qualification for the CONCACAF Champions League. The team ended the first half in a mini-slump that saw them blow a lead to lose 4-3 at home to Colorado, then eke out ties with Toronto and Chivas USA, two of the leagues lowest ranked clubs. The question is whether it is a temporary slide or a sign they have already peaked. "Theres certainly been some wake-up calls and reality checks," said goalkeeper Troy Perkins. "Thats to be expected. "Were into July, halfway through the season. Its always like this. Good things will happen to the teams that can grind it out and stay the course. We look back and we have to understand we are a good team. In the first half, weve done great things. We should be able tto do it again.dddddddddddd." The season started with surprise wins in Seattle and Portland, so they matched their total of away victories in 2012 in the opening two games. The Impact were winners through most of their 18 seasons in lower leagues before they joined MLS, so it is not a total surprise they were able to assemble a competitive squad in short order. Most of the current team were brought together in their expansion year, including striker Di Vaio and AC Milan great Alessandro Nesta. Both will be 37 by the end of July. There is a strong Italian accent with Nestas central defence partner Matteo Ferrari and two newcomers, Di Vaios former Bologna teammates Daniele Paponi and Andrea Pisanu. But raised in Europe where soccer is a winter game, they will be tested in the summer heat. "Certainly for the guys from Italy, this is a new thing for them," said Perkins. "Theyre in a for a rude awakening. "When we play some teams from the south, its going to be hot. You have to be willing to suffer through the pain to get the result." Fullbacks Brovsky and Hassoun Camara and midfielders Patrice Bernier, Felipe Martins, Davy Arnaud, Justin Mapp, Sanna Nyassi and Collen Warner all started last season in Montreal and remain key figures on the squad. Perkins was acquired late last season and has been an improvement in goal over the unhappy Donovan Ricketts. Under Schallibaum, the 33-year-old Bernier has thrived despite being moved to a more defensive position, and Mapp, a frequent target of fans invective last season, was a standout until sidelined by a recent injury (hes expected back for a game Saturday in New York). Warner and Nyassi have seen their minutes drop from last season, but have played well mainly as substitutes. The extra depth on the roster, including rookie midfielder Blake Smith and sophomore striker Andrew Wenger, has helped overcome some injuries. "Overall, were extremely happy with where we are," said sporting director Nick De Santis. "We know its going to be very hard to stay in first pace. "The objective from Day One was the make the playoffs. And, of course, its important if we can continue getting points and stay up there as well." With the international transfer window opening this week, De Santis said he would look for another "creative" offensive player and some long-term help on defence. Nesta is not expected back next season, and central defender Nelson Rivas missed most of last season and has yet to play in 2013. De Santis wants him on the field soon, if only to test his ailing knees. ' ' '

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