Cardiff confident landing Liverpool fullback Clyne – thanks to Warnockby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveCardiff City are chasing Liverpool fullback Nathaniel Clyne.The Mirror says Cardiff are confident of winning the race to sign Clyne on loan.The 27-year-old has been back on the scene at Anfield in recent weeks but will move down the pecking order again when Joe Gomez returns to fitness.Fulham and Leicester have also shown an interest in taking the right-back next month.But Bluebirds boss Neil Warnock is hopeful that his past association with Clyne — the pair worked together at Crystal Palace — will give him the edge. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Man Utd boss Solskjaer compares Rashford to Juventus star Ronaldoby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has compared Marcus Rashford to Cristiano Ronaldo due to his swerving free-kicks.Rashford has often cited the Juventus superstar as a player he’s tried to emulate in his career.And after scoring United’s second from a set-piece in last night’s 2-0 win over Newcastle, Solskjaer had high praise for the 21-year-old.Speaking after the game, Solskjaer told BBC Sport: “Marcus Rashford has the Cristiano hit, it swerves everywhere, but I liked his goal today. Calmed himself down, just passed it in. Well done.”He is only 21, you have to remember that.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man Utd legend Robson praises caretaker Solskjaerby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United legend Bryan Robson has sung the praises of caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.Robson has been with the squad for their warm-weather training camp in Dubai this week and praised the way Solskjaer is getting the best out of them.“Since he’s come into the club he’s been really positive with what he’s been saying and the way he wants the team to play,” said Robson.“The atmosphere seems to be really upbeat around the squad and they’re enjoying the type of work he’s doing. “Obviously, winning five games on the bounce is great for confidence and put a smile back on everyone’s faces.”
Inter Milan director Ausilio: Palmeiras wanted to sell us Gabriel Jesusby Carlos Volcano9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveInter Milan sporting director Piero Ausilio admits they came close to signing Manchester City attacker Gabriel Jesus.Ausilio says Palmeiras were willing to sell them the Brazil international.“We were negotiating with Gabriel Jesus for a month,” Ausilio told Sky Sport Italia.“Our offer was also better than Manchester City’s. Palmeiras preferred to sell him to us but the lad, through his agents, let us know that he preferred to play for Guardiola.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
Juventus goalscorer Higuain: We won with great character and determinationby Carlos Volcano18 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveJuventus goalscorer Gonzalo Higuain was delighted with the manner of victory over Inter Milan.The Argentine came off the bench to score the winner in the 2-1 triumph.“It was a great game from Juve. Inter were the most solid side in the league, they had won six out of six,” Pipita told Sky Sport Italia.“We played with great character and determination. I am glad we took it home.“This is a great start to the season, but it’s still early and we want to fight on all fronts.” About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
Harry Winks: Spurs players behind the managerby Paul Vegas18 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveHarry Winks says Tottenham Hotspur’s squad are sticking by Mauricio Pochettino.The Argentine is under pressure to keep his job after Saturday’s loss to Brighton, leaving the club with a record of three wins from 11 games this season.But Winks believes Pochettino has the complete support of his playing squad.”He’s our manager. He’s been fantastic ever since he’s been at the club and taken the club to new heights,” Winks said.”At the moment we are going through a bit of a rough patch. That happens in football, every club goes through it.”It’s important we stand up as men and get through these dark times, and hopefully we can get back to playing well and winning as much as we can.”In the last six years we have come such a long way, we have become a title-challenging side. But we haven’t shown it this season, we have only shown it in parts.”In certain games we have played really well but for the majority of this season we haven’t shown what we are about.”It’s important we look back on it and reflect so realise it’s not been good enough, no excuses. The only way we can put it right is back in training and the next match.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Barcelona coach Valverde pleased with De Jong after victory over Eibarby Carlos Volcano5 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBarcelona coach Ernesto Valverde was happy with Frenkie de Jong’s performance after victory over Eibar.De Jong played a key part in the victory and was applauded off by the home fans when he was substituted.”He’s having a great start to the season,” Valverde said about the midfielder.”We’ve seen that he gives us a lot for the strength that he has, as much in attack as in defence.”This is why the crowd recognised him.” About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
BYU’s football team will be lacking some depth when it takes on Nebraska in its season opener on Sept. 5. The school announced Tuesday morning that it will be disciplining “10-ish” players for the game against the Huskers due to their role in the brawl against Memphis. Following the Miami Beach Bowl on Dec. 22, many of the Cougars and Tigers’ players got into a severe scuffle on the field. Multiple punches were thrown, faces were battered – it was an incredibly ugly scene.BYU will discipline “10-ish” players for their role in brawl with Memphis in their opener vs. Nebraska. Still not saying who, however.— Tim Griffin (@TimGriffinBig12) March 3, 2015Here’s video of the brawl.With star quarterback Taysom Hill returning, BYU was expected to be a tough test for Nebraska in Week 1. The Cougars’ chances of pulling off an upset in Lincoln took a decent hit today, though.
The Coaches Poll received a major shakeup, and the AP promises to do the same after a wild week five, but neither replaced the nation’s top team. ESPN’s College Football Power Rankings, however, did just that. After struggling at Indiana, Ohio State falls a few spots, replaced at the top by Utah, which continues to benefit from its dominant Oregon win. The Big 12 powers Baylor and TCU also look good, after both put up points in bunches on Saturday.Here are the full rankings: Twitter/@UtesEquipment1. Utah2. TCU3. Baylor4. Ohio State5. Clemson6. LSU7. Michigan State8. OklahomaT-9. Texas A&MT-9. Florida11. Alabama12. Northwestern13. Florida State14. Notre Dame15. Stanford16. Ole Miss17. MichiganT-18. UCLAT-18. USC20. Georgia21. Oklahoma State22. Iowa23. Cal24. Boise StateT-25. TempleT-25. HoustonHow did ESPN do this week, fans?
Given Chelsea’s win over Manchester City exactly a month ago, it is no shock that Maurizio Sarri has continued the Eden Hazard as a false nine experiment in his bid to find the best system for the players he has at his disposal. And yet despite all the encouragement that came from becoming the first English team to beat the Premier League champions this season, the truth is the Blues have not looked anywhere near as potent going forward with the Belgium international in a central role. A 1-0 defeat to Tottenham at Wembley only served to highlight how desperate Sarri must be to get a striker in before the closure of the January window. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? The Blues produced 17 shots to Spurs’ six in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final and yet failed to make a breakthrough. Too often they attempted shots from long range when unable to pick a way through the home side’s defence. Their best chances fell to N’Golo Kante and Andreas Christensen – neither of whom are noted for their finishing despite the former’s improved goal return this season – with Hazard still looking to create rather than get into the six-yard box himself. Under successive managers he has slowly become the first-choice central striker, and though signing big names in January is notoriously difficult, the club must act this window to try lift the goalscoring burden off Hazard’s shoulders. Chelsea have scored just 11 goals in their last 10 Premier League matches, and five in their last six in all competitions. Since going up front against City, Hazard has scored just three of his 12 goals this season while playing in that new role. As if Sarri did not know already quite how effective his side might be were they to have a stronger focal point, he need only have looked towards the other end of the pitch. Harry Kane may have needed a VAR-assisted penalty to ensure he found the net for the sixth successive match, but it was he that won it because he was willing to run in behind the defence and draw Kepa Arrizabalaga from his goal to foul him.That is not Hazard’s game. The former Lille man far more enjoys picking up the ball in deeper areas and running at defences, and while he is certainly one of the very best at doing it in world football, if he is the central striker, more often than not there is no one there for him to play in once he reaches the edge of the box.Of course, he is not the only option available to Sarri, but rather depressingly for Chelsea fans he seems the most viable.Despite two goals against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup on Saturday, Alvaro Morata’s confidence is shot. He missed out here due to a minor hamstring problem, but with his agent having met with Sevilla in the last few days suggestions are he would rather be anywhere else than west London right now.Olivier Giroud came off the bench after missing the last two games through injury, but he has just five goals all season, with four of those coming in the Europa League. An effective impact substitute, yes, but the World Cup winner cannot be relied on to lead the line on a regular basis.The only bright spot in an attacking sense once again came from Callum Hudson-Odoi, with the teenager able to shrug off the pressures of yet another bid from Bayern Munich that arrived earlier in the day.He showcased exactly why the Bundesliga champions are willing to fork out £35 million ($44m) for his services with an enterprising display on both flanks on what was just his fifth senior start. The big occasion certainly did not get to him, and on this evidence Sarri would be wise to offer him more opportunities in a bid to tie him down to the new deal he was offered in the summer.This tie is far from over for Chelsea as Sarri searches for the first major silverware of his career, and the way in which they were able to dominate for long periods was in stark contrast to how his side disintegrated against Tottenham in the league earlier this season.But with it understood that their pursuit of Gonzalo Higuain has been deemed too complicated by the club’s hierarchy, attention now must turn to finding a striker of similar goalscoring pedigree.Chelsea could still win three trophies this season and secure a top-four finish in the Premier League. But on current evidence they will not get anywhere near that return while Hazard toils in an unfamiliar role.
College Football Week 10 picks by The Spun staff members.After the 31 games that our staff picked last weekend, the office race is unbelievably close. Four of us are within one game of first place, with a big shake-up at the top after the Week 9 results. Matt Lombardi and I are tied in first with records of 264-81 on the year, while Andrew Holleran and Matt Hladik are just one game back at 263-82. Andrew McCarty had a huge Week 9, finishing first for the week at 24-7.Here are the full office standings through eight weeks:Record:Picks Back:T-1.Matt Lombardi264-81T-1.Dan Lyons264-81T-3.Andrew Holleran263-821T-3.Matt Hladik263-8215.Andrew McCarty256-8976.Kaitlin McCabe250-95147.Steve Driscoll249-9615College Football Week 10 features 35 games that we’ll be picking this week. We have a rare Tuesday night game involving a ranked team, with No. 17 Western Michigan traveling to Ball State. On Thursday, Oklahoma makes the trip up to Ames to face Iowa State, and Colorado hosts UCLA. Saturday isn’t the craziest one of the college football season, but we do have intriguing match-ups between, Baylor and TCU, Florida and Arkansas, Penn State and Iowa, Ohio State and Nebraska, and of course, Alabama’s huge trip to LSU.Here are our staff picks for every Power Five and Top 25 game for College Football Week 10.(*On mobile, our College Football Week 10 picks are best viewed in landscape mode.)GameLombardiHolleranLyonsHladikDriscollMcCabeMcCartyBall State vs. 17 WMUIowa State vs. 12 Oklahoma21 Colorado vs. UCLA21 Boise State vs. San Jose StateNotre Dame vs. NavyOle Miss vs. Georgia SouthernMiss. State vs. 7 Texas A&M 11 Auburn vs. VanderbiltBoston College vs. 5 LouisvilleTexas Tech vs. TexasRutgers vs. IndianaIllinois vs. Michigan StateNorthwestern vs. 8 Wisconsin18 UNC vs. Georgia TechMiami vs. PittWake Forest vs. Virginia3 Clemson vs. Syracuse2 Michigan vs. MarylandMinnesota vs. PurdueKSU vs. 22 Oklahoma StateDuke vs. 23 Virginia TechStanford vs. Oregon State13 Baylor vs. TCUArkansas vs. 10 FloridaSouth Carolina vs. MissouriTennessee vs. Tennessee Tech25 Washington State vs. ArizonaNC State vs. 19 Florida StateUSC vs. Oregon14 West Virginia vs. Kansas20 Penn State vs. IowaKentucky vs. Georgia15 LSU vs. 1 Alabama6 Ohio State vs. 9 NebraskaCal vs. 4 WashingtonSeason Record264-81263-82264-81263-82249-96250-95256-89
ATLANTA, GA – DECEMBER 07: An ‘SEC’ logo is seen on an end zone pylon before the Missouri Tigers take on the Auburn Tigers during the SEC Championship Game at Georgia Dome on December 7, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)One of the best games on the schedule this weekend in college football is an SEC East showdown between Georgia and South Carolina in Columbia.Georgia ran away with the SEC East last season. The Bulldogs won the SEC Championship Game and nearly won the national title. They are 1-0 on the year and back for more.South Carolina, meanwhile, had a breakthrough season under Will Muschamp in 2017. If any team is going to challenge Georgia in the division, why not them?A victory at home over the Bulldogs will be tough to attain, but would be absolutely massive in Week 2.ESPN’s FPI has released its prediction for the game.The computer model overwhelmingly likes Georgia over the Gamecocks.Georgia and South Carolina will kick off at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday from Williams-Brice Stadium.The game will be broadcast on CBS as its SEC “Game of the Week.”
ATLANTA, GA – DECEMBER 07: An ‘SEC’ logo is seen on an end zone pylon before the Missouri Tigers take on the Auburn Tigers during the SEC Championship Game at Georgia Dome on December 7, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)The SEC Network’s college football pregame show is in Auburn this morning in anticipation of the Tigers’ showdown against Tennessee.Auburn and Tennessee are set to kick off at noon E.T. The game will be on SEC Network.We had an unfortunate moment with an Auburn cheerleader behind Paul Finebaum this morning.An Auburn cheerleader appeared to take a tough fall as the show was going on.Check it out:This poor Auburn cheerleader?????? pic.twitter.com/HLQH5bDxmP— Ty Bohannan (@Tbo280) October 13, 2018Yikes. Hopefully everything is OK.Auburn and Tennessee are set to kick off at noon on SEC Network.
HOUSTON, TX – NOVEMBER 17: The Houston Cougars fans storm the field after the Cougars defeated the Louisville Cardinals at TDECU Stadium on November 17, 2016 in Houston, Texas. Houston Cougars won 36 to 10. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)There are now just four undefeated teams in college football. The latest team to go down: the USF Bulls.South Florida was clinging on to its donut in the “L” column by the skin of its teeth.Earlier in the year, the team narrowly beat Illinois, one of the worst teams in the Big Ten. It needed a lot of luck to get by a one-win Tulsa team two weeks ago, and struggled with one-win UConn last week, eventually winning 38-30.Today was the day it finally all fell apart.Houston knocked off USF football 57-36 in today’s game.Quarterback D’Eriq King absolutely shredded Charlie Strong’s Bulls defense in every facet.He had 419 yards and five touchdowns through the air, and another 132 on the ground, with a pair of scores.The game also featured a very ugly moment on the sideline for the Bulls, with linebacker Khalid McGee charging and shoving assistant coach Blue Adams. The two had to be separated on the sideline.USF having some sideline issues between a player & coach pic.twitter.com/RLuZSu81Vq— CJ Fogler (@cjzer0) October 27, 2018Late in the third quarter, USF’s Blake Barnett tossed a 39-yard touchdown pass to DeAngelo Antoine to cut Houston’s lead to 43-36. From there, Houston finished the game on a 14-0 run.Charlie Strong’s going to need to get his team to regroup after this one.
30 Oct 1999: A general view of the cloudly sky and the packed stadium taken during the game between the Kansas State Wildcats and the Baylor Bears at Wagner Field in Manhattan, Kansas. The Wildcats defeated the Bears 48-7. Mandatory Credit: Elsa Hasch /AllsportKansas State head coach Bill Snyder is facing some major criticism for calling out one of his players while speaking to the media after the game.The head coach was asked a question about his special teams’ struggles in the 14-13 loss to TCU on Saturday. He responded to the question by singling out one player’s mistake.Kansas State’s Isaiah Zuber fumbled on a punt early in the first quarter, TCU recovered and scored a touchdown a couple of plays later.Snyder appeared to put all of the special teams’ struggles in the loss on him:Here’s Bill Snyder on Isaiah Zuber when asked about the special teams struggles pic.twitter.com/TA5JTMFfiW— John Kurtz (@jlkurtz) November 4, 2018It’s rare to see a major college football head coach call out a player like that, especially when the question didn’t mention anyone specifically.It’s been a tough season for Kansas State, which fell to 3-6 on the season with the loss.There are some who believe this will be Snyder’s final season at Kansas State.
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – SEPTEMBER 3: View of a Michigan Wolverines football helmet before their game against the Utah Utes at Rice-Eccles Stadium on September 3, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)Michigan football star Rashan Gary has suffered an injury in the second half of the Wolverines’ game against Ohio State this afternoon.Gary, a potential high NFL Draft pick, has been dealing with an injury for much of the 2018 regular season, but he’s made his way back onto the field in recent weeks.The standout defensive lineman appeared to suffer some kind of lower-body injury in the third quarter of today’s game.Gary was helped off the field.Michigan defensive end Rashan Gary able to walk off the field, but with an arm around a trainer, after going down with an injury.— Dan Hope (@Dan_Hope) November 24, 2018Gary getting helped to the sideline— angelique (@chengelis) November 24, 2018Losing Gary would be a major blow to a Michigan defense that has struggled to get pressure on Ohio State’s backfield for much of the contest.Ohio State is leading Michigan, 24-19, early in the second half. The game is on FOX.Stay tuned for more injury updates on Gary.Update: Michigan star linebacker Devin Bush has now gotten injured.Now linebacker Devin Bush is down for Michigan.— Eleven Warriors (@11W) November 24, 2018Update No. 2: Gary is back on the field, at least.Rashan Gary just ran onto the field and joined the defensive huddle— angelique (@chengelis) November 24, 2018
TEMPE, AZ – NOVEMBER 25: The Arizona State Sun Devils marching band performs before the college football game against the Arizona Wildcats at Sun Devil Stadium on November 25, 2017 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)With the regular season officially over for college football, many upperclassmen are deciding whether or not to enter the 2019 NFL Draft. Although N’Keal Harry will have the opportunity to play in a bowl game for Arizona State, it appears the star wideout has already made up his mind about his future.Harry is arguably the best pass-catcher in the country, finishing the season with 73 receptions for 1,088 yards and nine touchdowns. From the moment he took the field for the Sun Devils, he’s instantly became an offensive weapon.This isn’t his final year of eligibility, but it’s clear that he’s ready to enter the professional ranks. In a heartfelt message to his supporters on Twitter, Harry announced he’ll enter the upcoming draft.Here is the post:Thanks for everything?? #SunDevilForLife pic.twitter.com/PsIoYkWAyz— Keal (@NkealHarry15) November 26, 2018It’s apparent that he enjoyed his time with the Sun Devils, as he said “It has truly been an honor to represent Arizona State University.”Fortunately for Harry, he finished his final regular season appearance with a victory.Congratulations to him on an excellent collegiate career, and we wish him luck in his quest to become an elite wideout in the NFL.
LINCOLN, NE – OCTOBER 14: Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes watches player warm up before the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium on October 14, 2017 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)On Tuesday afternoon, Ohio State held a press conference to announce Urban Meyer’s retirement. After seven seasons with the program, Meyer decided now was a good time to walk away from the program amid health concerns.Ohio State revealed offensive coordinator Ryan Day will take over for Urban Meyer after the team’s game against Washington in the Rose Bowl.So what will Meyer do with all of his newfound time? Well, after Ohio State’s game in the Rose Bowl, one media analyst predicts Meyer will land a new job with a major network.Richard Deitsch of the Athletic said it’s “inevitable” that Meyer lands with either ESPN or FOX.I think it is inevitable Urban Meyer lands at Fox or ESPN — at least for a short-term stay. History has shown sports networks do not particularly care about past indiscretions (maybe they would on OJ. Then again.) At ESPN, I thought Meyer was a good analyst. 1/2— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) December 5, 2018Meyer worked with ESPN after his time with the Florida Gators came to an end. However, Meyer has a complicated relationship with the company following his acceptance of the Ohio State job while under contract with the Worldwide Leader.Will Meyer head to the analyst booth? Stay tuned.
NORMAN, OK – SEPTEMBER 22: Quarterback Kyler Murray #1 of the Oklahoma Sooners throws during warm ups before the game against the Army Black Knights at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on September 22, 2018 in Norman, Oklahoma. The Sooners defeated the Black Knights 28-21 in overtime. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray took a nasty shot late in the game against Alabama. Star defensive lineman Quinnen Williams hit Murray with a helmet-to-helmet blow and landed with most of his weight on the Sooners’ quarterback.Murray laid on the ground for several minutes while be attended to by medical staff.Video shows Murray’s helmet getting ripped off during the play. He was forced to leave the game of at least one play, but hopped right back in the game when he was eligible.Those watching at home expected a flag to be called on hit by Williams.Check it out.Dru Samia has gotta calm down, already been flagged this game for extracurricular stuff – pic.twitter.com/BV5seurD29— Michael Kist (@MichaelKistNFL) December 30, 2018The officials decided not to throw the flag on the play, but got Williams for an offside call just a few plays later.Alabama leads the game 38-20 with just under 12 minutes left in the contest. Can the Heisman Trophy-winner overcome an 18-point deficit in the final minutes?Stay tuned.
ATLANTA, GA – DECEMBER 01: Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks on before the 2018 SEC Championship Game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 1, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)Nick Saban has some work to do to fill out his Alabama football staff.The Crimson Tide head coach knew he’d be losing Mike Locksley to the Maryland, where he is now head coach.The program’s two other most important offensive assistants are also on their way out now.Josh Gattis, Alabama’s co-offensive coordinator with Locksley, is moving up to Michigan to be the Wolverines OC under Jim Harbaugh.Dan Enos, who was expected to be the next Alabama offensive coordinator, will instead serve in the same role at Miami.Earlier it was reported that Steve Sarkisian is discussing a return to Alabama to be the team’s offensive coordinator, a position he previously filled during the 2017 national championship game against Clemson. He was set to continue on in that role, but instead left to take the same job with the Atlanta Falcons.Alabama fans don’t seem thrilled with the notion of bringing back Steve Sarkisian, but per a new report, Nick Saban is talking with a pair of other notable offensive coaches.AL.com reports that Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chip Long was on campus today, and that Butch Jones, the Alabama analyst and former Tennessee head coach, could return to the team in an expanded capacity.It is unclear if they’re in competition with Sark to become OC, or if these moves could be in conjunction with that hire.From the report:Notre Dame offensive coordinator Chip Long was also in Tuscaloosa today, according to sources. It looks like he could join the staff in some capacity even if/when Sarkisian is hired as offensive coordinator.[…]While it has been reported elsewhere that Butch Jones was set to join Mike Locksley’s staff at Maryland, sources have said that Jones is still currently working for Alabama. AL.com previously reported that while there was a good chance Jones could end up at Maryland, it was still possible Jones could end up staying at Alabama if he was promoted to an on-field job.Long did a very nice job turning Notre Dame into a College Football Playoff-caliber offense with the move to Ian Book at quarterback a few weeks into the season.Jones obviously didn’t work out at UT, but he’s a strong recruiter who knows the league, and one would imagine Saban believes he can be an asset on staff if he gives him a promotion like this.Whomever it comes down to, Alabama has a number of spots to fill, and Saban is gunning for a return to the top of the sport.[AL.com]