By Witshi Bien-Aime
When it comes to the biggest European soccer competition none comes closer than the Champions League. This elite competition was created in 1955 and rebranded in 1992. Since the beginning of this prestigious competition 22 different teams have won the title with Real Madrid lifting the trophy an unrivaled 11 times.
This year the competition didn’t have some of the traditional clubs like Manchester United and Chelsea, but there have also been some surprise appearances as Leicester City have made the knockout stages and it is their first year playing in the competition. There were no shocks throughout the group stages but currently in the round of 16 all of the big favorites have fallen to defeat. The biggest shock was Barcelona’s 4-0 lost vs PSG. Throughout the whole game the Parisians dominated the Catalan side in every way. Dortmund lost 0-1 to Benfica in a very entertaining game with Dortmund doing a lot to cause the Portuguese side Problems they still lost.The favorites this year are Real Madrid.They have been on a tear since the start of the competition this year and they have the best overall team with a lot of depth.
I asked Nicolas Medina on what he thought of this years competition. “I think Bayern will win the champions league,” he predicts, “they have been dominating the Bundesliga for a good amount of seasons now. Their top scorer Lewandowski will for sure help them win the title for the Bundesliga. Not only that but the Champions League”. Another person I interviewed was Nicolas Kruczkowski who said “Currently I think Real Madrid will win the Champions League even though i want Napoli to win. Real Madrid have the most competitive team and they all play together really well. Ronaldo is playing the best he can and like the best in the world. Zinedine Zidane is doing a really good job with the team just that they need a solid striker. Their biggest challenge would be PSG and Bayern Munich”.
By Witshi Bien-Aime
The English Premier League has always been a very competitive competition ever since its creation in 1991. To many, it's known as the most competitive league in all of soccer. The atmosphere is alway crazy and during the whole city supports their beloved club. Even the least successful clubs always have a large fanbase cheering them on regardless, as they're always the clubs with the history.
Before the invention of the Premier League, the competition was known as the Football League First Division. The name was changed in 1991 and the world has adapted to it. Six teams have won the league since the creation. Manchester United have won the title the most number of times (13) and have a powerful presence in the league
Chelsea won their first title in 2004 with Jose Mourinho as manager they won the league again the following year, and won it again in 2009/10. The club had to wait another 5 years for another Premier League crown, won by a returning Mourinho. Since then the club has had ups and downs. Last season a shambolic blues side finished in 10th place leaving one of the most surprising seasons in the league's history with Leicester City winning as the ultimate underdog. This season has changed for both the London club and the league. Chelsea are clear leaders with 60 points, a full 8 points above second placed Manchester City. But there is a tight race for second with only 4 points separating City and their cross town rivals Manchester United, a team who currently reside 4 places below the Citizens.
I Interviewed soccer fans about what they think about the outcome of the league and these were their responses…
“This season the BPL league has been an interesting one, lots of amazing and unrepeatable goals have been scored, many emotions have been shown, Chelsea at this point in the season seems like the winners to take the trophy home, there have been a lot of contenders who have come close to take their spot, lots of teams that were in second and just a few points behind such as, Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool, and now Spurs, They have all shown they could possibly take Chelsea’s spot but no one could be able to, so my prediction is that Chelsea will win the league.” - Nicolas Medina
“I think the title race is over. Chelsea are going to win the Premier League they have about a 10 point lead and other teams aren't catching up. I'm a Manchester United fan and I think they don't have a chance for the title just hoping we get into top 4” - Nicholas Kruczkowski
“The title race this season is alot different then we have seen in the past few seasons. Although there is the possibility for a different outcome, it looks like Chelsea will win seeing that they are 9 points clear at the top and no other teams are very consistent this season. Chelsea has been really consistent but the Premier League you really never know and Chelsea has a bad couple of games there's a chance for another team to comeback and win. The top 6 are all really close and if anny one of those teams can find a consistent form they stand a chance.” - Joshue Balderrama
By: Justin Louis
As the first half of the NBA Season comes to a close, some teams are performing at their peak, while others are desperately looking to add another asset in their quest for the championship or to make the playoffs. On February 23rd, the NBA Trade Deadline will take place as teams look to upgrade viving for that playoff spot. Griffin Root (‘17) says “The NBA trade deadline forces teams to assess their roster and make lineup decisions by a certain date. This makes them analyze what they need short term and long term.”
In the midst of all this drama happening in the NBA, the process of “tanking” for some teams are beginning. “Tanking” is a term used in the NBA when a team purposely lose games in order to get the number one pick in upcoming draft. Only Eight teams from both the Western Conference and Eastern Conference can compete in the playoffs for the championship. There are a couple of teams in the NBA that are considered by the media as “championship material” while others are called “contenders.”
The elite teams are The Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, Boston Celtics and the Houston Rockets. According to ESPN News, Lebron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers has gone on record to say what his team needs more. “We need a f***ing playmaker. I’m not saying you can just go find one, like you can go outside and see trees. I didn’t say that.” With that being said, management of the Cavaliers have traded away Chris Andersen for cash and a second round pick. As the deadline fast approaches, look out for the Cavs to add another piece in order to repeat as NBA Champs.
The Houston Rockets have been soaring, thanks to their lead man, James Harden. With the trade deadline a couple of days away, the Rockets have just aquired Lou Williams from the Los Angeles Lakers for shooting guard Corey Brewer according to ESPN News. Williams is a deadly shooter that adds great depth to the Rockets. With the Playoffs right around the corner, the Rockets seem to be all in as they look to go deep in the playoffs and win the championship.
Playoff contenders are teams looking to get into the playoffs, fighting for that 7th or 8th spot. Teams such as the Oklahoma City Thunder, New York Knicks, New Orleans Pelicans, and Denver Nuggets are contenders. The New York Knicks have been under the media’s eye for quite some time. All the noise surrounding the Knicks have been about Carmelo and Phil Jackson not getting along, and the incident with Charles Oakley and owner James Dolan. Oakley was banned for life by James Dolan for an altercation that happened during a Knicks game. Currently they’re four games out of the 8th seed with their record being 23 - 34. The Knicks are desperately trying to get out of this dark cloud that’s hanging above their franchise.
The talk around the league is that Westbrook will win MVP. Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder has been averaging a triple double almost every game. As great as this is, the Thunder are currently seeded in 7th spot, but the media wonders how long Westbrook can keep this up? Westbrook needs helps so that someone can take the load off of him every night. According to Legion Hoops, OKC have their eye on shooting guard, Wilson Chandler of the Denver Nuggets. Will OKC make a trade to get him in order to take off some pressure from Westbrook?
“Demarcus Cousins has been traded to the New Orleans Pelicans!” according to Espn News. As soon as the all star game was done, Cousins was traded from the Sacramento Kings to the Pelicans. Cousins will now team up with Anthony Davis, as the two look to carry the Pelicans into the playoffs. The move came to a surprise by the media as the Kings made it clear that they weren’t trading him. With this opportunity, Cousins now has a chance to make the playoffs for the very first time.
As you can see, the NBA Trade Deadline is a pivotal moment in the NBA. Many teams use this platform as a way to boost their chances into the playoffs in order to win the championship. Find out on February 23 if your favorite NBA team makes a trade to increase their chances of winning the big won.
By Bryanna Perez
On February 6th and 7th 2017, the two hometown teams, Norwalk High and Brien McMahon High School came together to not only continue the rivalry, but also to help raise money for a good cause. Both boys and girls from both teams, are seen wearing a pink long sleeve shirt that says “Hoops for Cure” during their warm ups. So where did the money for each shirt go towards?
The Foundation, Hoops 4 Cure, was created in 2008 by a community of individuals affected by Pseudomyxoma Peritonei, Appendix Cancer, and related Peritoneal Surface Malignancies.
All the money that is raised and donated from the Hoops 4 Cure Basketball Challenge will go to the ACPMP Research Foundation to aid in funding research grants and education.
According to the sports director at Brien McMahon High School, Joe Madaffari, Hoops 4 Cure has been around for many years. It all started when coaches and players wanted to give money to the cancerous cause. “Back about nine to ten years ago there was a movement with the girls more than the boys to raise some money for cancer care. What they did was everyone wore pink. They asked for donations and the concession stand money went to hoops 4 cure as well. The very first time they did it, they made about 120 dollars. Ever since then they continued to play for cancer.”
Even after almost a decade, the two schools continue to help raise money for cancer. Madaffari tells Pridetime, “Even though the coaches have changed, the causes haven't.”