Review Category : National Sports

Syracuse Soccer Team Pulls of Epic Locker Room Trick

Courtesy CuseMSOC(SYRACUSE, N.Y.) — The Syracuse men’s soccer team has pulled off an epic locker room stunt as one player tried to “head” the ball to his teammates without hitting the ground.

Senior defenseman Liam Callahan bounced the ball to all 25 of his teammate’s noggins, one at a time, without the ball ever hitting the ground. Finally, he headed the ball into a trash can.

Callahan told ABC News’ Good Morning America that he and his teammates attempted the trick 20 times. The final try was ultimately successful and captured on film.

On Friday, the defending ACC champs kick off their season against rival University of Massachusetts.

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Dale Earnhardt Jr. Will Miss Michigan, Darlington Races Due to Concussion

Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images(STATESVILLE, N.C.) — Dale Earnhardt Jr. will continue to miss time on the track as he recovers from a concussion.

Hendrick Motorsports announced Wednesday that NASCAR’s most popular driver will miss the Sprint Cup races at Michigan International Speedway this weekend and Darlington Raceway during Labor Day weekend.

Alex Bowman will sub for Junior at Michigan, while Jeff Gordon will fill in at Darlington.

Hendrick Motorsports said Earnhardt underwent further evaluation Wednesday at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Medicine Concussion Program.

“We know how hard Dale is working to get back,” owner Rick Hendrick said in a statement. “He’s following what the doctors are saying, to the letter, and doing exactly what he needs to do. Everyone wants to see him in a race car, but his health is first and foremost. We’re behind him.”

Earnhardt has been out of action for over a month. Bowman replaced him in the No. 88 Chevrolet SS car in the July 17 race at New Hampshire. Gordon has driven the car since then.

Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images

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Scoreboard Roundup — 8/24/16

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE

Baltimore 10, Washington 8
Philadelphia 5, Chi White Sox 3
Houston 5, Pittsburgh 4
Texas 6, Cincinnati 5
Miami 3, Kansas City 0

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Tampa Bay 4, Boston 3, 11 Innings
Detroit 9, Minnesota 4
Oakland 5, Cleveland 1
N-Y Yankees 5, Seattle 0
L.A. Angels 8, Toronto 2

NATIONAL LEAGUE

St. Louis 8, N-Y Mets 1
Arizona 10, Atlanta 9
L.A. Dodgers 1, San Francisco 0
Milwaukee 7, Colorado 1
Chi Cubs 6, San Diego 3

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Hope Solo Suspended from the U.S. Women’s National Team for Six Months

AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images(CHICAGO) — U.S. Soccer announced Wednesday that they have suspended goalkeeper Hope Solo from the Women’s nation Team for six months for her miscondict during the Olympics in Rio.

“The comments by Hope Solo after the match against Sweden during the 2016 Olympics were unacceptable and do not meet the standard of conduct we require from our National Team players,” U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said in press release.”Beyond the athletic arena, and beyond the results, the Olympics celebrate and represent the ideals of fair play and respect. We expect all of our representatives to honor those principles, with no exceptions.

“Taking into consideration the past incidents involving Hope, as well as the private conversations we’ve had requiring her to conduct herself in a manner befitting a U.S. National Team member, U.S. Soccer determined this is the appropriate disciplinary action,” Gulati added.

Solo will not be eligible for selection to the Women’s National Team until February 2017 as a result of the suspension.

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Olympic Marathoner Hasn’t Returned to Ethiopia Since Anti-Government Protest

Matthias Hangst/Getty Images(RIO DE JANEIRO) — Ethiopian marathon runner Feyisa Lilesa has not returned to his home country since making anti-government demonstrations after he won a silver medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, ABC News has learned.

Lilesa’s agent Federico Rosa confirmed to ABC News Wednesday that the runner did not fly home to Ethiopia with the country’s Olympics team Monday.

“He didn’t go back to Ethiopia,” Rosa wrote in an email. “Plan for future not clear yet, we will know more in some days.”

As Lilesa crossed the finish line in second place in the men’s marathon race Sunday, he lifted his arms above his head and crossed his wrists to make an “X.” The 26-year-old made the gesture again on the podium and later explained he was protesting against the killings of the Oromo people in his home country.

“The Ethiopian government is killing my people, so I stand with all protests anywhere, as Oromo is my tribe,” Lilesa told reporters at a news conference after the race. “My relatives are in prison and if they talk about democratic rights, they are killed.”

Lilesa, whose whereabouts could not be confirmed by ABC News, then warned that he could be thrown in jail or killed if he stepped on Ethiopian soil after making that gesture.

“If I go back to Ethiopia, maybe they will kill me. If not kill me, they will put me in prison. I have not decided yet, but maybe I will move to another country,” he said.

A GoFundMe page set up to support Lelisa’s bid for asylum has raised over $123,000 so far. Lelisa’s agent did not confirm whether the runner was seeking asylum.

The daring gesture that Lelisa made in Rio is the same one people have made for months in protests across the Oromia region, home to Ethiopia’s largest ethnic group, the Oromo.

Anti-government protests have rocked Oromia since November. The demonstrators and opposition members were initially protesting against the Ethiopian government’s plan to integrate infrastructure development and expand the municipal boundary of the capital, Addis Ababa, into surrounding towns in Oromia. Some feared the urban expansion would cause Oromo farmers to lose their traditional lands.

The largely peaceful protesters were met by federal security forces that have allegedly used excessive and lethal force to quell the demonstrations. More than 400 people are estimated to have been killed, thousands injured and tens of thousands arrested since November 2015, according to a report by Human Rights Watch based on over 125 interviews with witnesses, victims and government officials.

The Ethiopian government canceled the proposed Addis Ababa Integrated Development Master Plan in mid-January. But activists and researchers said that hasn’t stemmed demonstrations or the alleged crackdown in Oromia as protester grievances have swelled because of the government response.

Earlier this month, the United Nations urged the Ethiopian government to allow for international observers to conduct independent and transparent probes into the allegations. Ravina Shamdasani, a spokeswoman for the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, said it’s critical for human rights experts to have access to areas where there are reports of ongoing arbitrary arrests, intimidation and harassment.

“We call on the government to ensure that the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression are protected and that those detained for exercising these rights are promptly released,” Shamdasani told reporters at a news conference in Geneva.

As for Lelisa, Ethiopia’s Communications Minister Getachew Reda recently told CNN that Feyisa Lilesa “is entitled to make” a “political statement.” Reda called the marathon runner “an Ethiopian hero” and said he “shouldn’t at all be worried” to return home.

“I can assure you nothing is going to happen to his family nothing is going to happen to him,” the minister told CNN this week.

The Federal Government Communication Affairs Office of Ethiopia did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

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Minnesota Wild Changes Goal Song to Prince’s ‘Let’s Go Crazy’

iStock/Thinkstock(ST. PAUL, Minn.) — The NHL’s Minnesota Wild will go wild for Prince this coming season.

The hockey team announced Tuesday that beginning with the 2016-2017 season, it will use his song “Let’s Go Crazy” when it scores a goal during home games at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

The Wild, which had been using Joe Satriani’s “Crowd Chant” as its goal song, said the change was made in response to feedback from a survey taken by season ticket holders this summer.

“Our in-arena experience is designed for the fans, so it’s great to be able to show them we take their feedback to heart,” John Maher, vice president of brand, content and communications for the Wild, is quoted as saying in a story posted on its website. “At the same time, it’s our privilege to celebrate an iconic hometown artist that clearly has had an incredible impact on our community and the world.”

Prince was found dead in his Minneapolis-area home on April 21. It was determined that the singer, who was 57, died from an accidental overdose of the powerful painkiller fentanyl.

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Dominique Dawes Helps Renovate NY Boys & Girls Club

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Dominique Dawes traded the balance beam for a hard hat recently as she helped renovate a Boys & Girls Clubs of America center in New York’s Harlem neighborhood.

Dawes, a mother of two, is a spokesperson for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, which provides after-school programs for young people.

“Fifty-thousand kids are truly going to be positively impacted around the U.S.,” said Dawes, who recently appeared on ABC News’ Good Morning America as an analyst during the Rio Olympics. “They are going to be introduced to sports and extracurricular activities, there’s going to be gaming.”

The 36-year-old Harlem club given a refresh by Dawes and other volunteers is part of a special $2.5 million initiative called “Renovation Across the Nation.” As part of the program, one Boys & Girls Clubs of America location in every state will receive a $50,000 grant from Lowe’s, a GMA sponsor, to refresh, enhance and expand club facilities.

Expansion at the Harlem club will bring a new 10,000-square-foot facility to house a teen center, counseling spaces, a digital media lab and a new kitchen.

Lowe’s and the Boys & Girls Club of America have improved 130 locations across the country since 2009.

Debora, 16, of Florida, was the winner of an art contest whose mural will be placed in all 50 of the renovated clubs.

“I just hope it shows other artists like me they have the ability to do a lot of things,” the teen told ABC News.

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Kyle Larson Paying Tribute to Target with Darlington Throwback Scheme

Allen Kee / ESPN Images(DARLINGTON, S.C.) — Kyle Larson is the latest Sprint Cup driver to unveil his throwback paint scheme for the Darlington race on Labor Day weekend.

The image, released Tuesday on social media by Larson and Chip Ganassi Racing, shows a red-and-white No. 42 Chevrolet that pays homage to retailer Target’s first entry in motorsports, in the IndyCar Series in 1990.

A number of other drivers have already revealed their Darlington throwback schemes on social media.

Darlington Raceway will host the Bojangles’ Southern 500 on Sept. 4.

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Scoreboard Roundup — 8/23/16

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE

Pittsburgh 7, Houston 1
Baltimore 8, Washington 1
Cincinnati 3, Texas 0
Kansas City 1, Miami 0
Chi White Sox 9, Philadelphia 1

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Oakland 9, Cleveland 1
N-Y Yankees 5, Seattle 1
Toronto 7, L.A. Angels 2
Boston 2, Tampa Bay 1
Detroit 8, Minnesota 3

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Milwaukee 6, Colorado 4
N-Y Mets 7, St. Louis 4
Atlanta 7, Arizona 4
L.A. Dodgers 9, San Francisco 5
Chi Cubs 5, San Diego 3

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Texas Rangers Place Outfielder Josh Hamilton on Release Waivers

Allen Kee / ESPN Images(DALLAS) — Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton has been placed on unconditional release waivers.

Hamilton, 35, only played 50 games for the team in the past two seasons after suffering from knee injuries and undergoing surgery for his left knee in June.

He was placed on the release waivers once he was activated from the 60-day disabled list. The move opens the possibility for him to rejoin the team on a minor league deal in 2017.

“I’m hopeful that if he’s healthy and our roster is in a spot where we’d still like to have him back, we can work it out,” Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said in a conference call according to ESPN. “But that’s still a few steps down the line.

“We’ve talked about it for a period of time, and he understands why we did it.”

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