New midshipmen are sworn in at the U. S. Naval Reserve at the United States Merchant Marine Academy. (Photo courtesy of (USMMA) Jack Branin of Ocean City was recently sworn in as a midshipman in the U.S. Naval Reserve at the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) at Kings Point, N.Y.As part of his four-year education, Branin will spend one year training as a cadet aboard ocean going vessels. USMMA is the only federal academy where students train on commercial vessels traveling around the globe.The United States Merchant Marine Academy is a federal service academy that educates and graduates licensed Merchant Marine officers. In addition to the rigorous academic and physical requirements for admission, applicants must be nominated by their congressman or senator.Branin was nominated by New Jersey Congressmen Jeff Van Drew and Donald Norcross.All USMMA graduates earn both a bachelor of science degree and a Merchant Marine Officer license, and incur an obligation to serve the country as an active or reserve officer in the U.S. armed forces.The U.S. Flag Merchant Marine – manned by U.S. merchant mariners – is essential for securing the country’s commerce in peacetime and delivering warfighters, weapons and military supplies in times of conflict.The majority of “Kings Pointers” will serve as Navy reservists in the Strategic Sealift Officer Program while working aboard U.S. flag vessels. Others will serve on active duty in the nation’s armed forces.Last year marked the 75th anniversary of the dedication of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (1943-2018). Dedicated in wartime, USMMA has served the nation in both peace and war. As the first federal academy to admit women, USMMA also celebrated the 40th anniversary of the first women to graduate from any federal service academy. Learn more at www.WeAreTheUSMMA.com.
– Sizzling semi-finals predicted tomorrow nightWHO can stop the resurgent Leopold Street is the ‘million dollar’ question being asked by most pundits after witnessing them reproduce a crushing display, this time against the previously unbeaten Mocha who they defeated 4-1 to set up a semifinal date with Future Stars tomorrow evening, at the National Gymnasium.Playing in the second game of the quarter-finals on the exciting inaugural Guinness Cage/Three Peat Promotions Indoor Championship on Saturday night, Leopold Street, led by their in-form Captain Okanie Fraser and the skillful Omallo Williams, who both netted a brace they outmuscled a strong Mocha team with consummate ease to leave the bookmakers with no choice, but to install them as firm favourites to lift the title.However, the most impressive performance of the night must go to Ol Skool Ballers who continued to show no fear for any opponent as was demonstrated in their hard fought 2-0 triumph over another previously undefeated team in Albouystown ‘A’ who many felt were on the cusp of producing their best results in many years.Joel McGarrell and the diminutive and prolific Roy Cassou had other ideas as they set up victory with solitary strikes to book a date with the experienced Back Circle squad that has moved into contention almost unnoticed.Back Circle made it to the last four after coming from behind twice, before winning a penalty shootout against a strong West Front Road ‘Gold is Money’ unit.In the other quarter-final matchup, Future Stars, one of the more electrifying teams in the championship scraped past North Ruimveldt in fortuitous circumstances following a Jermaine Beckles strike that ricochet off the backboard, before slamming onto the feet of defender Gerald Gritten and landing in the goal.Up until then it was a closely fought contest with the outcome hard to predict.The fans had their monies worth and all four semi-finalists Captains are promising to lift their game even further to entertain the fans come tomorrow night.Over $800,000 in prize monies and trophies will be up for grabs with the winner set to receive $400,000 and the championship trophy, while second, third and fourth place finishers will take home $200,000, $100,000 and $50,000 along with trophies respectively.Apart from Banks DIH under its Guinness brand the other sponsors are: Star Party Rentals, Faye Joseph, Claude Geddes Recreational Sports Club, National Sports Commission, Windjammer International Hotel & Cuisine, Woodpecker Trophies & Sport, Y.K Investments & Pawn Shop, Henry Chase, Jai Signs, Trophy Stall of Bourda Market, John Fernandes Ltd, E-Networks Inc and the Bike Shop of Robb Street.Meanwhile, the Organisers are extending thanks to the sponsors, fans and ranks of the Guyana Police Force for their support throughout the championship.The night’s full results are seen below:Game-1Albouystown-A-0 vs Ol Skool Ballers-2Joel McGarrell-35thRoy Cassou-36thGame-2Leopold Street-4 vs Mocha-1Leopold Street ScorersOkanie Fraser-4th and 17thOmallo Williams-28th and 34thMocha ScorerAmos Ramsay-6thGame-3Back Circle-2 vs Gold is Money-2Back Circle won 2-1 on penalty kicksBack Circle ScorerStephon McLean-14th and 17thGold is Money ScorersJamal Haynes-8thJamal Pedro-10thGame-4North Ruimveldt-0 vs Future Stars-1Jermaine Beckles-14thSemi-finals matchups:Ol Skool Ballers vs Back CircleFuture Stars vs Leopold Street
On Saturday, No. 14 USC jumped back into the win column after last week’s loss to Washington State, as it defeated Oregon State 38-10 on Saturday at the Coliseum.“A good win for our football team, any Pac-12 win is,” head coach Clay Helton said. “[We’re] 1-0 on the week, 5-1 on the season and looking at the game without watching the film yet, I really felt like our defense did an amazing job.” While it was an all-around strong performance for the Trojans on both sides of the ball, redshirt sophomore quarterback Sam Darnold was unable to depart from his recent turnover-prone play. In the first quarter, he fumbled the ball on his own 20-yard line in a play eerily similar to last week’s fumble against Washington State.Then with three minutes left in the first half, Darnold threw his ninth interception of the year, failing to see a linebacker float to the ball in coverage. He almost gave up the ball again in the second half, fumbling on his own 22-yard line, but tackle Toa Lobendahn recovered it on the one-yard line, narrowly avoiding a safety. Darnold had thrown nine interceptions all of last season.“I think honestly, I’m stopping the offense a little bit right now with the way I’m turning the ball over,” Darnold said. “I’ve just got to be better.” Trevon Sidney catches a pass in USC’s win over Oregon State – Matt Karatsu | Daily TrojanOutside of the turnovers, Darnold, for the most part, looked accurate and poised behind an offensive line reshaped due to injuries. On the game, he threw for 316 yards, completing 23 of 35 passes. However, one Oregon State player was less than impressed with the sophomore quarterback’s game. “Nothing special,” said Oregon State cornerback Kyle White. “He’s a normal Pac-12 QB. I didn’t see anything special. He made his throws, made his reads. He fumbled twice. He had one picked off, should’ve been three. He’s OK.” The Trojans started off fast and furious in their return to the Coliseum after two weeks on the road. Their first drive, which featured a balanced attack between run and pass, was punctuated by a 37-yard touchdown strike from Darnold to freshman wide receiver Tyler Vaughns over the middle. Minutes into the game, Darnold completed his longest pass since Week 3 against Texas. Vaughns finished with five catches for 68 yards and a touchdown.The Trojans’ fast start was not limited to the offensive side of ball. Immediately following the touchdown drive, Oregon State quarterback Darrell Garretson threw an interception to a leaping sophomore cornerback Jack Jones placing USC deep in enemy territory. Junior running back Ronald Jones scored on a four-yard toss a few plays later, giving his team an early 14-0 advantage. With the touchdown, Jones has scored in 12 consecutive games that he’s played in. While more emphasis was placed on the passing game, Ronald Jones turned a solid day at the office. He finished with 79 yards, averaging over six yards a carry. “I’ve been practicing with those guys all week,” said Ronald Jones about the reshuffled offensive line. “I felt comfortable trusting the guys and the reads.”Christian Rector leaps to block a pass – Matt Karatsu | Daily TrojanThe home team would exit the first half with a 21-3 lead, with USC’s third touchdown coming on a 16-yard touchdown catch by junior receiver Deontay Burnett early in the second quarter. Celebrating his 20th birthday on Saturday, Burnett scored his team-leading sixth touchdown of the year.The Trojans’ offensive momentum continued into the second half. After Oregon State was forced to punt, the team efficiently and effectively drove 91 yards in just over three minutes, scoring a touchdown when Darnold found freshman tight end Josh Falo wide open on a wheel route for 30 yards. It was both Falo’s first career touchdown and first career reception.Freshman placekicker Chase McGrath added a 29-yard field goal with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter on what would be Darnold’s final drive of the game. In backup redshirt freshman quarterback Matt Fink’s first career drive, he bursted open for a 51-yard touchdown run on a read option play. After the freshman’s dynamic rush, USC fans were treated to another special moment as redshirt sophomore blind long snapper Jake Olsen once again came onto the field to snap for the extra point. As the crowd roared, Olsen once again delivered a perfect snap.Redshirt freshman quarterback Matt Fink runs for a touchdown – Matt Karatsu | Daily Trojan“Credit to old Matty Fink,” Helton said. “Matt did a wonderful job getting in there and making the most of his opportunity. I’d like to thank coach [Gary] Andersen for the class he showed for allowing us to get Jake in to perform his craft.”The Trojan defense turned in a dominant performance on Saturday afternoon. In addition to sophomore cornerback Jack Jones’ early interception, redshirt sophomore linebacker Christian Rector came up with an important fumble recovery in the third quarter, just as the Beavers were making a push for the end zone. The defensive lineman has shown a knack for finding the football; he has two fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles on the season.“This guy [Rector] is becoming a superstar in the last four games,” Helton said. “[He] continues to show up in big ways as we enter the month of October here.” Overall, the defense gave up one touchdown on the afternoon, when Oregon State running back Atavis Pierce ran it in from six yards out in the fourth quarter.“I think we played pretty well,” senior safety and team captain Chris Hawkins said. “The score says we played well, the stats say we played well. I think we can get a lot better. I’m not satisfied, but I think it was a good win for us.”
Valverde opted for the Brazilian midweek against Inter Milan, and his gamble worked out as the attacking midfielder scored the opening goal in the 2-0 victory.Real Madrid are however are in the depths of a poor run of form that could cost head coach Julian Lopotegui his job. For all intensive purposes, the former Spain coach is a dead man walking, with management at the club weighing up potential suitors before releasing Lopotegui of his duties.Last time out, Real cruised to a routine 2-1 victory over Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League. However, it is the winless run in five league games that has got Los Blancos in trouble. It’s the side’s worse start to a season in 17 years.Part of the problem is that Real simply did not invest after the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, the clubs all-time leading goalscorer and the supplier of some 50 goals a season for the side. The return of striker Mariano Diaz to the club the only signing of note in the summer, simply put he is not the quality to match up to Ronaldo and as a result Real have suffered. While most of the blame should fall squarely at Real President Florentino Perez, it would seem that Lopotegui will get the boot for his role in the malaise.Lopetegui said it was the happiest day of his life being named coach of Real Madrid but he could not have imagined this. Four and a half months, 138 days, nine La Liga games. One defeat at Camp Nou on Sunday and that might well be that.If Florentino Perez’s mind is already made up, the result against Barcelona may not matter. A draw, or even a Madrid win, is not beyond the realm of possibility. After all, this game rarely has much respect for form and Lionel Messi is injured.“It’s a great game for us in this moment because we have no choice but to stand up,” Toni Kroos told AFP this week. “We have to show how good we are against a difficult opponent and I think we can do it.”A surprise success would make sacking Lopetegui harder to justify but five games without a win, more than eight hours without a goal, these are not quickly forgotten either.There were disgruntled whistles at fulltime on Tuesday, the home fans deflated after watching a team that featured UEFA’s best goalkeeper, defender and player hang on for a 2-1 victory over Viktoria Plzen.After the match, Lopetegui talked about turning points and changing dynamics but his demeanour perhaps betrayed the truth. “I don’t often smile anyway,” he said. Madrid’s chaotic performance had weakened his position, not strengthened it.Isco insisted on Monday that if they fire the coach, they should fire the players too. Lopetegui might have added the one the club did let go last summer took an average of 50 goals a season with him.Players though are never accountable – certainly not ones crowned European champions only five months ago – and He instils confidence, which leads to creativity and precision. He also sets the rules and for some, perhaps Perez included, this team has been indulged for too long.For their part, the players might argue they have struggled before and come through, not least under Zinedine Zidane last season.“The confidence in my opinion is not a problem,” said Kroos, whose Germany coach Joachim Loew is among those considered a potential successor to Lopetegui.“We have many champions in the World Cup and the Champions League, and we have shown we can turn around tough situations. Remember that in the last few years, we have not only played good games, there have been bad ones too.“We are creating, we are doing everything we can to get good results and that proves we are behind the coach. He is a very good coach in my opinion and I’m confident we can turn this around with him.”Opposite Lopetegui this weekend will be Ernesto Valverde, watching his Barca side with their own superstar extracted too.This will be the first Clasico without Messi or Ronaldo since December 2007. The strikers then included Ruud van Nistelrooy and Robinho for Madrid, Samuel Eto’o and Ronaldinho for Barcelona.Messi will return, in three weeks if his right arm heals as expected, but Ronaldo’s permanent absence has weighed heavier with every chance missed.When Barca went three games without a win last month, the feeling was both clubs were in crisis. Lopetegui was under pressure, but so was Valverde.Then Messi blew away Tottenham at Wembley and, a day later, Madrid lost 1-0 to CSKA Moscow, lacking the snap and spark Ronaldo once provided and that Messi had given the night before.Momentum has diverged since. Two more Madrid defeats followed to leave Lopetegui on the brink while Barca are now 10 points from 12 and top of the table.“Madrid will be even more dangerous,” Valverde said on Wednesday. “They will come here to demonstrate all the strength they have.”He also knows failure to put away a wobbling rival will see the doubts circling again, but win, and a seven-point gap opens up.Or, Madrid can cut it to one, with only a single game, at home to Real Valladolid, against an opponent in the top half before Christmas. It will either be a chance for a Lopetegui revival or, the perfect start for his successor.HEAD TO HEAD06/05/18 Barcelona 2-2 Madrid23/12/17 Madrid 0-3 Barcelona23/04/17 Madrid 2-3 Barcelona03/12/16 Barcelona 1-1 Madrid02/04/16 Barcelona 1-2 Madrid21/11/15 Madrid 0-4 Barcelona22/03/15 Barcelona 2-1 Madrid25/10/14 Madrid 3-1 Barcelona23/03/14 Madrid 3-4 Barcelona26/10/13 Barcelona 2-1 Madrid02/03/13 Madrid 2-1 Barcelona07/10/12 Barcelona 2-2 Madrid21/04/12 Barcelona 1-2 Madrid10/12/11 Madrid 1-3 Barcelona16/04/11 Madrid 1-1 Barcelona29/11/10 Barcelona 5-0 Madrid10/04/10 Madrid 0-2 BarcelonaPremiership TableTeam P GD PtsMan City 9 23 23Liverpool 9 13 23Chelsea 9 13 21Arsenal 9 11 21Tottenham 9 9 21Bournemouth 9 4 17Watford 9 1 16Everton 9 3 15Wolves 9 1 15Man Utd 9 -1 14Leicester 9 0 12Brighton 9 -3 11Burnley 9 -7 8West Ham 9 -6 7Crystal Palace 9 -6 7Southampton 9 -8 6Cardiff 9 -11 5Fulham 9 -14 5Huddersfield 9 -14 3Newcastle 9 -8 2FixtureTodayBrighton v Wolves 15:00Fulham v B’mouth 15:00Liverpool v Cardiff 15:00Southampton v Newcastle 15:00Watford v Huddersfield 15:00Leicester v West Ham 17:30SundayBurnley v Chelsea 13:30Crystal Palace v Arsenal 13:30Man Utd v Everton 16:00Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Barcelona welcomes a beleaguered Real Madrid to the Camp Nou for the first El Clasico of the season and a victory for the Catalans would consolidate their place at the top of the La Liga table, although it could be a hard task without Leo Messi who will miss the game with a broken arm. A defeat for Real would almost certainly mean that Julien Lopotegui would be relieved of his duties as head coachAfter initially struggling, it seems that Barca has found their rhythm at home and in Europe. Last weekend, Barca returned to the top of the table with a comfortable 4-2 win over Sevilla, whilst a 2-0 win over Inter Milan midweek ensured that Ernesto Valverde’s side maintained a perfect start in the Champions League. Questions remain about the defensive stability of the side, although the recent form of keeper Marc-André ter Stegen has been impressive and could prove to be a match winner for the Blaugrana.Much of the pre-match build-up has been dominated by the absence of Messi who is ruled out with a broken arm. Rafinha is the likely candidate to replace the Barca captain on Sunday evening.