Press Association Sport understands the Eredivisie side has accepted an improved offer for the 23-year-old United States international and the Black Cats will now attempt to thrash out personal terms with him. Sunderland’s initial bid was rejected by AZ, but such is manager Paolo Di Canio’s interest in the player that a second approach was always expected. Press Association The Wearside outfit’s interest in Altidore became apparent on Friday night when a statement connecting him with a move to the Black Cats appeared on the player’s official website, only to be removed within hours. Altidore has previous Premier League experience having spent the 2009-10 season on loan to Hull from Villarreal. He scored one league goal as the Tigers were relegated, and his English experience came to a premature end when he was sent off against Sunderland in the penultimate match of the season. The American had joined Villarreal from New York Red Bulls in 2008 but spent much of his contract with the Spanish side on loan elsewhere, with Xerez, Hull and then Bursaspor. The striker agreed a permanent move to AZ in July 2011 and finished his first campaign in Holland with a haul of 22 goals in all competitions before adding 23 goals for the 2012-13 Eredivisie season, helping the club to a first KNVB Cup in 31 years. Altidore has also scored 17 goals in 60 appearances for his country after making his senior debut in 2007. Having failed to score since November 2011, he ended a lengthy goal drought in an international friendly victory over Germany in Washington DC last month. Should the move go through, Altidore will join goalkeeper Vito Mannone, defenders Valentin Roberge and Modibo Diakite, midfielder Cabral and winger David Moberg Karlsson as part of Di Canio’s new-look squad at the Stadium of Light. Sunderland and AZ Alkmaar have reached agreement over a deal for striker Jozy Altidore.
Karachi: Pakistani pace bowler Hasan Ali says he will invite cricketers from India to his wedding with Indian national Samia Arzoo to be held in Dubai on September 20.Ali did not specify which Indian cricketers would be on the list of invitees but said he would be happy if they turn up.“I will invite the Indian cricket team and players to come to my marriage ceremony, after all, we are all cricket mates,” Hasan told ‘Urdu Express’ newspaper here.“I would love it if some Indian players come to the ceremony in Dubai, it would be lovely. The contest is on the field and not off it. In the end, we are all professional cricketers and must share happiness,” he said.Samia holds a degree in Aeronautics from an Indian university and is a flight engineer with the Emirates airlines. She is based in Dubai while her family members are settled in New Delhi. For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.
MUMBAI, India (Reuters) – While traditionally formidable on home soil, India’s cricket teams have been known to struggle on their travels, but West Indies batting great Brian Lara has said the current side are a force to be reckoned with anywhere in the world.India completed their 11th consecutive Test series win at home last week when they took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the ongoing three-match series against South Africa.They are also the only unbeaten team in the recently launched World Test Championship with four wins from as many matches – two of them coming in the West Indies in their previous Test series.Lara, who once held the record for most runs in Test cricket before being overtaken by Sachin Tendulkar, said Virat Kohli’s men would have to show a level of consistency for them to be considered in the same league as the world-beating sides of West Indies and Australia of the past.“We all know the Indian team were not the most respected when they travelled. They were very respected at home but now India on a world stage anywhere they play are a force to be reckoned with,” Lara told reporters at an event in Mumbai on Thursday.“Well, those teams dominated world cricket … the West Indies in the ’70s and ’80s, the Australians in the ‘90s and the early part of the 21st century. India have that capability.“They’re now travelling well, they’re playing abroad and beating oppositions, which is great. World cricket is a lot more competitive now – Australia, South Africa and England.“So India will have to do it over a period of time, dominating all teams, to be considered. But they are definitely a top cricketing nation at the moment.”India have occupied top spot in the world Test rankings since late 2016 and a lot of that credit, according to pundits, goes to their fast bowlers.Lara, who scored 11 953 runs from 131 Tests and still holds the record for the highest score of 400 not out in an innings, said India batting mainstay Kohli was the “ultimate captain” and the side’s fast bowlers were “unbelievable”.“The Indian outfit – batting, bowling and fielding – is exceptional,” the 50-year-old said. “I thought their fast bowlers were sometimes unplayable (against West Indies).“I saw (India) in the West Indies and I must say what I was accustomed to in the past … this is pretty special.“And the guys that you have on the sidelines, it reminds me a little bit of what the West Indies had back in the ’80s and ’90s … the reserve strength is very important in assessing a team’s ability.”
On Monday, the latest UCLA star announced an early departure from the athletics program.It wasn’t for the NFL or the NBA Draft. Instead, it was redshirt freshman Mallory Pugh — a star forward for the U.S. soccer team who debuted in the Olympics at the age of 17 — making the headlines. On Monday morning, Pugh made the decision to forgo her remaining four years of college eligibility in order to pursue a professional soccer career.Pugh isn’t the first women’s soccer player to make this move — Lindsey Horan did the same two years ago, skipping the college process completely to play for Paris Saint-Germain F.C. in France. This decision is common among Olympic athletes in every sport. The reason? A set of NCAA rules that hold back college Olympians from receiving the same compensation as the rest of their team.Due to NCAA restrictions, Olympians still can’t accept any form of payment or gifts from their federations. That means that Olympic athletes forgo massive paychecks in order to earn a college education.Katie Ledecky, the current Stanford swimmer who won five gold medals in the Rio Olympics, made this fact famous when she was forced to refuse a waffle maker during a stint on The Ellen Degeneres Show. Despite the fact that she’d recently set multiple world records and won gold medals along the way, Ledecky couldn’t accept the gift in order to protect her “amateur” status in the NCAA.The irony of this situation is that athletes like Pugh and Ledecky aren’t “amateurs” in any regard. Sure, they’re still college students and yes, they’ve only been legal adults for a few years. But these athletes represent some of the top competitors in the world, and they have already shaped and molded the future of their sports. Ledecky will always set the bar in any pool that she swims in, and Pugh is tough enough for veteran opponents to guard despite being only 18 years old.Ultimately, Olympic athletes who decide to stay in college take on the duties of both an Olympian and a college athlete, but forgo many of the rewards of both teams. When the Olympics and the World Cup roll around, these elite athletes will even skip out on college practices and games to travel to national team camps and events. And many athletes won’t benefit from the free education that is considered “compensation” for their time as a college athlete — take, for example, former USC women’s soccer player Amy Rodriguez, who delayed her graduation in order to compete in the 2008 Olympics.When discussions of NCAA player compensation and amateur restrictions are brought up, the most common argument in defense of these rules is one that protects sports such as women’s soccer or swimming. The main concern is that compensation and gifts would be aimed mainly at sports that turn a profit, such as football or men’s basketball, without the same funds being spread to less popular sports. This would seem unfair, especially since every college athletics team works the same demanding hours and invests the same level of effort while chasing a national title.But the issue of national team compensation flips that argument completely on its head. When it comes to paying Olympic athletes, football and men’s basketball are completely removed from the conversation, as one is not an Olympic sport and the other fields a team of NBA players. In the Olympics, the teams stacked with NCAA talent are the less popular events that could be hurt by player compensation — anything from swimming and women’s soccer to water polo and gymnastics.The intricacies of NCAA player compensation can be debated for hours, but this specific issue is simple. Olympic athletes should be allowed to accept money for their work on their national teams. The compensation comes from national federations, meaning that it puts no pressure on colleges to spend athletic funds on player paychecks rather than scholarships or other expenditures. This type of compensation also doesn’t allow fans to sway athletes or violate any type of “gift-giving” regulations that the NCAA feels are necessary.In the end, there aren’t any clear reasons why the NCAA does not allow student Olympians to accept the same rewards as the rest of the team. After all, the athletes accept their medals — which are priced upwards of $500 — along with piles of team-branded gear, free flights and team events that include free games, concerts and more. The extension of a team salary seems as if it would follow common logic.And in the end, how are these restrictions truly helping the NCAA? Whether or not Pugh or Ledecky enter their school with a U.S. salary in their bank account, they will remain the top athletes of their age groups. No amount of national team payment could change the fact that these athletes are the best of the best, and they certainly wouldn’t do anything about the fact that Ledecky will lap most of her competition, NCAA or international.Pugh’s decision could put her at a level of risk that male college-stars-turned-pro don’t necessarily face, as women’s soccer doesn’t have the same financial payout as men’s sports like football or basketball. Although Pugh already has the star power to become the next Alex Morgan or Mia Hamm, her paycheck after a couple of years in the NWSL or the Euro Leagues will be only a fraction of the salary of men’s basketball or footballone-and-done stars.Nonetheless, taking the leap into professional soccer this early is a gamble that, barring injuries, will pay off in the long run for Pugh. And next season, the NCAA will miss out on one of the most explosive players in the game.It’s time for the NCAA to make a change. Allowing athletes to reap the benefits of their Olympic glory won’t do anything to hurt the college game — and it might, in fact, help it.Julia Poe is a sophomore studying print and digital journalism. She is also the sports editor of the Daily Trojan. Her column, “Poe’s Perspective,” runs on Wednesdays.