The Toffees struggled in the first half at Goodison Park after Aiden McGeady hit a post and trailed to Leandro Bacuna’s 34th-minute opener. But Everton were a different prospect after the break and pulled level through substitute Steven Naismith 16 minutes from time before Kevin Mirallas earned a 2-1 win with a spectacular free-kick. Roberto Martinez described Everton’s victory over Aston Villa as the most satisfactory three-point haul of the season. “And we are a team that when we enjoy ourselves we are quite difficult to play against. I think that’s what we proved in the second half.” In the absence of Romelu Lukaku and new signing Lacina Traore, Mirallas took over striking duties, and it was generally not a happy experience for the Belgian. But he had the last word, picking himself up after being fouled by Ciaran Clark five minutes from time and placing the ball beyond the reach of Brad Guzan from 30 yards. Leighton Baines has made such strikes his speciality but the England man had a watching brief this time. Martinez said: “Kevin found it very frustrating, as you would expect. He was surrounded by Aston Villa players and we couldn’t get into the final third. “They were trying to stop us really high up the pitch. Kevin was working extremely hard without getting any sort of joy. “I think Kevin Mirallas’ quality is as good as Leighton Baines, obviously with different feet. It would be difficult to separate them. “What I like about the two players, more than the technical aspect, it’s the meaning of scoring a goal to get three points. They’ve both got that mentality of controlling the moment and that’s something you need to be born with.” Villa went into the match on the back of a very different derby experience after beating West Brom 4-3 on Wednesday, and manager Paul Lambert felt they deserved something at Goodison. He said: “The first goal was really poor from our point of view. I think the second goal you hold your hands up and say it’s a world-class free-kick, and you can’t do anything about that. “I don’t think we deserved to lose the game. We took the sting out of the crowd and frustrated Everton, who are a good side. “In the first half, other than Aiden’s shot against the post, there’s not a save that Guzan’s had to make, and we scored a really good goal.” The victory, coupled with dropped points for Tottenham and Manchester United, repaired some of the damage from Tuesday’s Merseryside derby hammering by Liverpool. Everton climbed back to fifth place and to within a point of Liverpool, albeit having played a game more. Manager Martinez said: “From our point of view it’s the most satisfactory victory of the season. “You could see in the first half we were very cagey and wary and that stopped us getting on the ball and having the fluency that we normally have. “When you hit the post and then you concede a goal, it becomes a real test of character, and I thought the way we reacted in the second half was one of the most pleasing aspects that you can have as a manager. “With the character and the talent and the desire in that dressing room, I couldn’t be prouder. It’s a moment to get really excited about the end of the season after that sort of performance.” Martinez denied their first-half display was a hangover from the 4-0 defeat at Anfield, blaming tactical changes he tried to implement. The Spaniard said: “It was my fault more than anything. In the first half we were too responsible. There were too many players who wanted to do the right things without enjoying themselves. Press Association
USC is home to some of the greatest sport teams in the country. With over 120 national championships in sports ranging from football to water polo, you could say USC is the school to attend for student athletes.However, even with all the national championships, Olympians and Heisman Trophy winners, something feels missing.Soccer is the world’s largest, most watched and most played sport. To put things into perspective, 115 million people watched the Super Bowl this year, setting a U.S. record for the most viewed television program in history. The day before the Super Bowl, however, Premier League leaders Chelsea and Manchester City played, drawing over 500 million viewers worldwide, or almost five times as many viewers as America’s biggest sporting spectacle.Despite soccer’s massive international appeal and rising domestic popularity following the past few World Cups, USC does not field a Division I men’s soccer team. However, there are numerous reasons why USC should be pushing to add a team.To start off, I’m still amazed that USC has teams in much smaller sports like water polo and swimming. These are great sports, but they draw nowhere near the popularity that soccer does. The skeptic will be quick to point out that USC does have a women’s soccer team and is limited by restrictions from Title IX.Yes, the Trojans do field a women’s team, a pretty good one too, as it won the NCAA tournament back in 2007. But USC’s constant claims that it cannot field a team because of Title IX is rubbish.Title IX requires that universities have equal funding for both men’s and women’s collegiate teams, which has contributed to the rise of women’s sports in the United States. While many smaller schools are hampered by Title IX regulations, leading to some sports teams being cut, larger schools such as UCLA, Stanford and Virginia, to name a few, all manage to have both men’s and women’s soccer teams.This past year, UCLA and Virginia played in the NCAA men’s soccer national championship game, with the Cavaliers taking the trophy home (thank God). Both of these schools also field highly competitive football and basketball programs, yet still manage to have a men’s soccer team. Other top schools like North Carolina, Louisville and California also manage to field teams in football, basketball and soccer.It is incomprehensible that a university with more than $4 billion endowment cannot find the money to fund a Division I men’s soccer program.As a former member of the USC men’s club soccer team here on campus, I can speak firsthand in saying that the interest and talent is present for the administration to start a Division I squad. Every semester, the club team draws over 100 players vying for a spot on a 30-man roster.Most of the players that play for the club team have the talent to easily play for competitive Division I or Division II teams. However, by choosing to attend USC, the players are stuck in a much lower level of play.The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, home to the USC football team, recently sold out an annual tournament featuring teams from Mexico’s premier soccer division. The Coliseum is also set to host the Mexican national team versus Ecuador this coming March.Soccer is growing rapidly in popularity, especially in Los Angeles, following the United States’ successes in recent World Cups. USC is situated in one of the largest youth soccer hotbeds in the country. Numerous players from the L.A. area, like Landon Donovan, have gone on to play professionally.On top of international success, Los Angeles’ professional team, the Galaxy, has won the MLS championship three out of the last four years, while selling out almost every home game. On top of that, the Galaxy recently signed English star Steven Gerrard to a contract for next season, driving home the fact that U.S. soccer is becoming a global brand.How can a university which enrolls almost more foreign students than any other school fail to recognize the importance of soccer?USC often boasts about being one of the most diverse universities in the United States, enrolling more than 9,000 foreign students during the 2012-2013 year. Most of these students come from countries where soccer is viewed as a religion, leaving them shocked by the fact that the Trojans do not have a team.Upset by the fact that the university has yet to add a Division I program, some disgruntled students have taken action into their own hands. There is currently a petition on the popular website change.org with close to 800 signatures, almost 5 percent of the undergraduate student body.The university recently announced that it will be adding another men’s sport in the coming future, after women’s lacrosse was added three years ago. Along with wrestling and lacrosse, soccer is one of the sports up for consideration. For now, students will have to be content with intramural and club soccer.There will always be obstacles, and I’m not saying it will be easy, but adding a men’s soccer team to USC is a must. The ball is in your box, USC. Give the students what they deserve and bring the beautiful game to Los Angeles.Nick Barbarino is a junior majoring in business administration. His column “Beyond the Arc” runs Fridays.
A dissident republican from Donegal has been jailed for having an imitation firearm.Detectives from Serious Crime Branch welcomed the sentence imposed on Finbar Kelly, one of two men jailed after they were arrested in a police operation against dissident republican terrorists.Kelly, 36, received a two-year jail term suspended for two years after admitting having an imitation gun and a statement from a drug vigilante group. John Joseph McNally (47) from Belfast was jailed for 22 months after pleading guilty to having an imitation gun.Police stopped a car in Newtownabbey on 30 August 2012 and recovered an imitation firearm. During a follow-up search at Kelly’s home a document which appeared to be a speech on behalf of a drugs vigilante group was recovered, containing threats to drug dealers and those involved in anti social behaviour.Welcoming the sentences at Laganside Court in Belfast today, a spokesman for Serious Crime Branch said: “Some of our communities are terrorised by those who purport to be their protectors. We will do everything we can to ensure such criminals do not succeed. We would encourage everyone to work with us to ensure the rule of law is upheld and the threat of violence is reduced.”DONEGAL MAN JAILED FOR HAVING IMITATION FIREARM was last modified: March 28th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegaldrugsFinbar Kellyimitation gunvigilantes