The 22-year-old has been sidelined since before Christmas, but made an impressive impact at Bishop’s Stortford on Tuesday afternoon in a match which had been postponed from Monday evening because of a waterlogged pitch. Townsend set up the opening goal for Souleymane Coulibaly on 19 minutes, then added a second himself shortly afterwards when cutting inside from the left and also had a hand in Spurs’ third goal before being replaced at half-time by Aaron McEneff. Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood is confident Townsend has the character to regain full match fitness and play his way into the England World Cup squad. With Arsenal forward Theo Walcott suffering a serious knee injury which ended his own World Cup dreams, the door would seem to open for Townsend to secure his seat on the plane to Brazil, having impressed when handed his opportunity for the senior England team during the final qualifying fixtures. Sherwood sees no reason why the Spurs academy product cannot enjoy a successful end to the season for both club and country. ”Andros backs himself to be better than anyone else in the world, that is the sort of character he is. He needs to get himself fit and firing again and I am sure you will see the best of it,” said Sherwood, whose side beat Crystal Palace 2-0 at White Hart Lane on Saturday. ”I have known him since he was a kid and he is a good lad. He is a top trainer and he wants to be playing in every minute of every game, but he will get his opportunities and I am sure he will be productive between now and the end of the season for us.” Should Townsend show no ill effects from his run-out, then the winger could come back into first-team contention at Swansea on Sunday. Tottenham winger Andros Townsend marked his return from a hamstring injury with a goal in the Under-21s 4-1 win over Newcastle. Press Association
A group of black players in MLS have united to form the Black Players Coalition of MLS, the newly-founded organization announced on Friday.The organization’s announcement coincides with Juneteenth, which commemorates the day on which Union forces in Texas delivered the news of the Emancipation Proclamation to the region, freeing the last group of slaves in the United States. It also comes amid ongoing protests and unrest across the world, with the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis sparking wider discussions about the issues of race and police brutality in society.With the formation of the organization, the Black Players Coalition will look to “address the racial inequalities in our league, stand with all those fighting racism in the world of soccer, and positively impact black communities across the United States and Canada.”Toronto FC’s Justin Morrow has been named the organization’s executive director, with Philadelphia Union defender Ray Gaddis, Chicago Fire forward C.J. Sapong, former D.C. United forward Quincy Amarikwa, FC Cincinnati defender Kendall Waston, Portland Timbers forward Jeremy Ebobisse, New York City FC goalkeeper Sean Johnson,, Nashville SC defender Jalil Anibaba, Colorado Rapids forward Kei Kamara, Minnesota United defender Ike Opara and D.C. United goalkeepers Bill Hamid and Earl Edwards Jr serving as board members.The group has secured $75,000 (£60,000) in charitable contributions by the MLS Players Association, with the non-profit organization aiming to lobby for bias training, community initiatives, cultural education courses and a more prominent role in league leadership.”As we celebrate Juneteenth and the coming together of our coalition, we must remind ourselves that such progressivism was once met with vehement backlash,” a portion of the coalition’s statement read. “May this reminder serve as a warning to us all that confronting systemic racism head-on will never be a smooth, constantly upward trending path, but rather a timeless battle that will force us to reinvent the very essence of our [email protected] is about giving BLACK PLAYERS in MLS a VOICE and making SYSTEMIC CHANGE both in & outside of our league.https://t.co/wO79U8iKST#MLSisBLACK pic.twitter.com/t2oaHtzfjD— Black Players Coalition of MLS (@BPCMLS) June 19, 2020″We hope our organization can be an extension of our ancestors’ sacrifice for the next generation to live in a more equitable society as we seek to forge our own path forward under one united voice.”Lastly, we’d like to acknowledge all the other professional athletes standing up against racism. We see you and you empower us. Whether you happen to be singing this tune alone, or supported by a group, we want you to know that we are with you. We are here to fight this battle together. We will be heard.”Friday’s announcement, which saw many of those involved tweet “There will be change” alongside the hashtag “#MLSIsBlack, also saw the organization recognized by the league, as MLS pledged to support the coalition’s efforts. “MLS proudly recognizes and supports the Black Players Coalition of MLS — a group of players who today, on Juneteenth, have established themselves as influential change leaders,” the league said in a statement.”The League looks forward to continued and longstanding collaborations with the Black Players Coalition of MLS through efforts aimed at developing the game in Black communities, prioritizing diversity, and addressing implicit bias through league-wide cultural and educational initiatives.”MLS is set to return to play on July 8 with the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando.
The performance schedule for “Santa’s Circus” is as follows: Wednesday, December 18 at 7pm; Thursday, December 19 and Friday, December 20 at 4pm and 8pm; Saturday, December 21 and Sunday, December 22 at 12pm, 4pm and 8pm and Monday, December 23 at 11am, 3pm and 7pm. Santa’s Circus is the story of an orphaned girl that has stopped believing in Christmas. She takes an extraordinary adventure to the North Pole and learns the spirit of Christmas never disappears for those who believe. She encounters wonderful characters such as snowmen, penguins, angels, reindeer, toy soldiers, gingerbread men, and of course Santa himself. The Avenel Performing Arts Center (APAC), a new multi-disciplinary performing arts center located in Woodbridge, New Jersey, presents “Santa Circus” Wednesday, December 18 thru Monday, December 23, 2019. Francisco is the eighth generation of a family dedicated to the entertainment business. He has taken part in numerous prestigious international festivals and also has been recognized with different awards, honors and nominations, and an Emmy award in the category of “Outstanding Non-Fiction Program” for his work in the series “Fire Within.” Since 2002, he has worked simultaneously with Cirque du Soleil as a co-creator of the show “Varekai” which has been seen by more than 9 million people around the world. Outside of work, he volunteers with non-profit organizations by creating and implementing workshops to teach young children about the circus arts. The Avenel Performing Art Center is located at 150 Avenel Street in Avenel, New Jersey (located within Woodbridge Township). To purchase tickets, visit www.avenelarts.com or contact the Box Office Tuesday-Saturday from 12pm-5pm at (732)314-0500. Francisco created Santa’s Circus for his daughter Luna, who also performs in the show, continuing their family’s circus tradition. “Santa’s Circus is a magical show not to be missed”, says Francisco. “It’s a show inspired by my passion for my daughter and the importance to spend quality time with family. Values and tradition seem to be vanishing especially now with electronics toys and devices taking all of the attention of our kids. But, at Santa’s Circus you will recapture that family time and truly feel the magic of this season.” Tickets are: $69.50 for Adults, $66.50 for Senior Citizens (65+)/Active Military and $49.50 for Children 12 & Under. There is a 10% discounted rate for Groups of 10 or more. The Avenel Performing Arts Center opened April 10, 2019. The Avenel Performing Arts Center promises to energize Avenel and surrounding communities by programming exceptional, professional theatre, music, comedy, dance and more. The Avenel Performing Arts Center is also the home of Curtains Bar and Restaurant. Curtains Bar and Restaurant will be serving an expansive menu featuring bar apps, salads, burgers, pasta and steaks alongside a full-service bar with a seasonal cocktail menu and weekly specials. To make reservations at Curtains Bar and Restaurant call (732)582-4595. The cast includes over 15 performers including dancers, jugglers, tightrope walkers, contortionists, magicians, comedians, clowns, and trapeze artists all lead by Francisco Santos.
Bob BaffertMartin GarciaSusan ChuCharlie ChuPress ConferenceTHE MODERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, we are back down in the media briefing room, and the winner of the TwinSpires and twinspires.com Breeders’ Cup Sprint is Drefong, and we are joined now by the winning connections. Having a seat on our right is trainer Bob Baffert. This is his fifth win in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. To our left, winning jockey Martin Garcia and Susan Chu and Charlie Chu. The horse runs in the colors of Charlie’s small stable. But Susan actually was first into the Thoroughbred game, and Charlie, who knows a good thing when he sees one, got in soon after. But, Bob, we’d like to start with you, as we typically do. Bob, if you could just take us through the race, the two California horses were on the lead the whole time. Tell us how you saw it?BOB BAFFERT: Well, Drefong, he looked so good in the paddock. This is probably the sharpest he’s ever been. So we’ve been taking our time. We were bringing him up to this point. So I just told Martin, we had a discussion about, you know what, if you get away from there, just whip him a little bit, and he did a great job. I knew there was going to be a little bit of a speed deal. I was worried about the inside post because he had to force his hand. But he waited. He let him just sort of ease up there without really forcing the issue, and then once I knew Masochistic and him were going to battle, and when Masochistic — he’s a really good horse, and I thought, wow, I think we’re going to run second. Then turning for home, he knows the horse really well. You just can’t really hit him too much. He doesn’t like the whip too much, and he got after him a little bit left-handed. But I knew at the 1/8th pole, I thought, wow, this horse is really — it was almost like watching Beholder and Songbird yesterday. I mean, when they throw down like that, I mean, those two horses really threw down in the stretch.It’s one of those things that I’m just lucky that I happened to be on the better end of it. But it was a pretty fast race. Because this track is not real — we’re used to a really faster track, but I’m just glad that the Chus, they’ve been very lucky. They’ve been extremely blessed and fortunate. They’ve had some nice horses. So Susan just loves the animals. She wants to keep them all and take care of them. She’s the kind of owner that really worries about her horses.Charlie, he’s game. He’s a sportsman, he loves the horses. So he’s got his whole family here. So it’s a great honor to have a horse like this, to have a talented horse. For him to show it today, we didn’t know how fast he was, because he’s done everything, and today he needed to be really, really good to beat that horse.THE MODERATOR: They were really moving. Martin, you were actually on the inside of Masochistic, so just tell us how your horse responded and about your trip in general?CHRIS RICHARDSON: Well, I was pretty confident since I got on him here in the paddock. And Mr. Baffert told me just let him run, whatever, however he’s happy, and I was really comfortable.THE MODERATOR: Let’s hear from the Chus, please. Susan, this is a big win. Just tell us about your reaction and the experience of winning a Breeders’ Cup Race if you would.SUSAN CHU: Yeah, we are so honored to be sitting here with Bob and with Martin together. And Bob knows how much we love this sport, and we love our horse. I’m so appreciative to everybody doing everything for us, Bob and Jimmy, Donato, everybody in Bob Baffert’s stable that support us 100%. And we so appreciate we have a chance to be winning today. So this is so joyful.We have a big, strong family coming to support us today from everywhere, all over the country to watch us on such a special day. This is really so joyful. Thank you.Q. Bob, good when a plan comes together. I mean, you knew he was training good, and then the track hadn’t been playing necessarily in the favor of speed, but today it worked out. So good to see that all come together?BOB BAFFERT: Well, I mean, when he broke and he broke with him and Martin, he just let him ease up there that first quarter. He rode a really beautiful race. When I saw the fraction 21, I think it was 60 something, I thought, and I thought: That’s manageable. That’s okay. These are good horses. They can handle that.When I saw Masochistic out there with Mike Smith, I thought that horse is running his A-game, and I’ve been watching that horse train. So I knew it was going to be a battle. But the 3/8th pole it looked like Masochistic was going to have the edge on us. But, you know, this little horse and Martin, they just — when the running started, he just brought it. And the 1/8th pole, I could just tell that horse — it just shows you the will to win they have. And he was just — both horses were just champions. They were just throwing it down.The Breeders’ Cup, I remember years ago I was in Chicago, and I ran second and third, and Bob Lewis, one of my greatest owners ever, I was complaining to him about it, You know what? Maybe we could have done this, whatever. Just complained a little bit. I was just trying to — and he said, Robert, hey, that’s why they have these races. The best horses are in the race, so there’s no excuses. And that’s what happens.So they threw it down, and it was incredible, because after losing Lord Nelson this week in the lineup, that really hurt. He was doing so well also. It would have been nice to have him in there. But it’s great that I knew Drefong was ready to do it. His post, I was a little leery. If he would have been on the outside, I would have felt a little bit better. But, like I said, it was a great time for Martin to reunite with me (laughing). He got a big, fat check.THE MODERATOR: Well, you brought up the topic. So let me ask, Martin, how it feels to be back riding the best horses in the Baffert barn again or several of the best horses in the Baffert barn and what your probation period was like?CHRIS RICHARDSON: I feel lucky.SUSAN CHU: He has to.Q. It is part of the story of this horse.BOB BAFFERT: You know, he needed some time there. You know, when you have one jockey just constantly and if you’re going through a rut or whatever, it’s tough. Just like a jockey can get beat and he can get on the next race and win with the trainers. It’s a lot of pressure.So sometimes it’s tough to really — like, if I use 10 different, 20 different riders, you really don’t notice it. But guys, if they get a little cold, if the trainer gets cold, if you’re both cold, there’s a lot of tension.So sometimes that happens. You have your little — we really didn’t have any argument. But it’s one of those things where sometimes it’s good to have that time away just to reorganize, and it’s worked well. So, you know, he knows my horses. He knows how they’re going to be ridden. When Mike Smith chose Masochistic, and he’d won on it before, and Charlie — we talked to the Chus, and they were, you know, well, I could put whatever, but I know Martin knows the horse really well. Came in there, worked these horses, got them ready. So it’s one of those things where it’s just, you know, I wasn’t mad at him. But we needed some separation. It was getting tense. So everything’s good. Look at him.Q. Can you reflect a little bit on the Breeders’ Cup Sprint specifically? It was a breakthrough win for you. Your first emergence onto the national stage, the first time you won it. Your success specifically in this race? Just talk about how well you’ve done in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint and what this race means to you?BOB BAFFERT: You know what, when I first was training quarter horses, I remember watching the first Breeders’ Cup, and I thought, wow, that looks so much — that is exciting. So I thought maybe I could do something like that, maybe the Sprint. Maybe I could win a Sprint race. I remember Thirty Slews was the first horse I ever bought for $30,000. When he won the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, I thought that day at Gulfstream Park I had reached the pinnacle of my career. That was it. I’ve never — I never had that feeling again until I won a Kentucky Derby. But it was just the most exciting. I can’t even remember how I got to the Winner’s Circle. I was so afraid if I didn’t get there in time they were going to take the picture without me. That’s how nervous I was. So it was one of those things where I remember I had to take an elevator to Gulfstream Park, and it wasn’t coming and I was panicking. I was like, I’ve got to get down there. They’re going to take the picture without me.But still it’s a thrill. Breeders’ Cup Races, these championship races, there’s a lot on the line. Not only the money, but the championships. The championships. This is when they hand out the championships in the fall. So hopefully this put Drefong in the conversation, and we’ll see what goes.Q. When did you get involved in racing, and some background on your involvement in the sport of Thoroughbred racing? When did you get started buying horses?SUSAN CHU: Yeah, we actually started show jumping, and since all of our family — myself, my daughter, my son — we are all riding horses. So we know horses. We love horses when the kids were so young. And after that, we watched the Kentucky Derby years ago, four, five years ago, and my husband and I, we took our kids to Churchill Downs to watch the Kentucky Derby. It was a surprise: Oh, this horseracing is totally different. It’s amazing sport. So I turned ahead to my husband and said, Charlie, let me do horseracing. How’s about that? And he said, Okay. Since from then, actually just probably four, five years ago, I’m working so hard. I started searching, searching, searching. I know Bob Baffert is the best. So I’m searching. I tried to compare with Bob 100 times without getting him. And then he has so many people blocked me, I could not reach him.So you know what I’m doing? Finally I decide just buy a ticket, fly to California to see him. And then the first time he met me in the stable, I was so nervous. I thought this is the very top trainer. Does he want to talk to me? I don’t know. I was so nervous. I just took the trip myself.So he asked me, Are you sure you want to do horseracing? I said, Yes. And so he said, Okay, I’ll help you.BOB BAFFERT: I was trying to talk her out of it.SUSAN CHU: So, yeah, that is the starting.FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports