Rangers Romp Flyers 6-3 in Preseason Action



On Monday night at Madison Square Garden it was business as usual as the New York Rangers played the Philadelphia Flyers and scored three goals in the first period and dominated the rest of the game, even though the Flyers got three of their own it came in the second and third periods.

One of the Rangers prized talents who is currently with the Quebec ramparts of the Quebec major junior hockey league is Anthony Duclair who showed in Chicago what he can do and continued it on Steve Mason as he power skated past Braden Coburn and ripped a high shot off the bottom of the crossbar and in.

A free agent after his college hockey season Ryan Haggerty from Stamford, Connecticut made two power moves on Mason taking the same route, in the first period he got around the defenseman and powered the shot across the crease and stuffed it in, in the second period he did the same thing but this time he went to the near post and shot it off the bottom of the bar and in.

Henrik Lundqvist made some solid saves in this preseason tilt and played the whole game making 22 saves on 25 shots, but as of right now the Rangers are going to have to make some decisions, because while Duclair and Haggerty might make the team this season it would be better if Haggerty goes to the Hartford Wolf Pack and Duclair who isn’t eligible for the minors does have a route back to Juniors.

But once again the Flyers come to the Garden and they get blown out of the rink being down by three goals and ending the game by that same deficit as the Garden faithful went home happy. As for me it was first time back at the Garden after the full transformation and I have to say it blew me away from the scoreboard to the brand new sight-lines to watch a hockey game.  I hope to get another chance to watch a Rangers game again live and in living color.

Author: Daniel Feuerstein
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Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Flyers at Devils Photo Gallery

Fans Favorite Game-day Gallery from the Prudential Center
New Jersey Devils 3 Philadelphia Flyers 1 Final
(Photos Courtesy of RICHARD CRONIN)







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Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Lions at Jets Podcast Recap


Join Daniel Feuerstein and Rick Laughland as they review the Week 4 match-up as the New York Jets hosted the Detroit Lions to finish off three games in a row against NFC North Division opponents

Lions at Jets Podcast Recap Show
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Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Geno Smith's days as the starter are numbered



So the first month of the season has gone by for the Jets and at the moment it’s not looking very good for a second year quarterback and the second season offensive coordinator. After earning their first win of the season against Oakland, it’s been three straight losses against three of the four NFC North division opponents.

There was a great start against the Green Bay Packers at historic Lambeau Field getting three touchdowns and leading at the half till the start of the second half and it all fell apart. The Monday Nighter against the Chicago Bears at home where turnovers led to a fourteen point deficit to the start the game and just recently against the Detroit Lions a great opening possession until too many three and outs that held them back.

The big question is this, is Geno Smith over thinking on the field and is Marty Mornhinweg over-scheming and putting too much pressure on the second year quarterback? At the moment it looks like both men are cancelling each other out as Mornhinweg has abandoned the run in earlier games and Smith’s decision making has looked horrible.

Many were saying during the game that Michael Vick should replace Smith for the second half of the game or at least one game to allow the embattled quarterback some time to relax and observe what he is doing right or wrong, because at the moment he’s not getting the job done. At the same time why did Mornhinweg have all three running backs out and the play was a QB keeper that led to nothing?

These losses to these three in the NFC was terrible because all were winnable games as either top players were injured for all three games, but the Jets couldn’t get out of their own way with costly turnovers and careless play from their young signal-caller.


At the moment Vick is the short-term answer as the writers of Fans Favorite agree and say Smith needs to take a break for one game and then get back on his horse and get ready to resume, but he needs to make better decisions and make sure that when players are wide open he hits them with confidence or else Vick makes a permanent return to the field.

Author: Daniel Feuerstein
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Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Red Bulls demolished by Galaxy 4-0

It was a big deal when most of the players down in El Salvador during midweek in the CONCACAF Champions League didn’t come thru to remain in that competition, the majority of the squad that didn’t play went to the Stub Hub Center to face Landon Donovan and the Galaxy for the final time.

What happened was a destruction against the Red Bulls and that has left a very bad taste in the mouth to the fans as well as the NY media who believes that this terrible loss destroyed a great month for the club who improved their playoff positioning. But to be honest this was a terrible loss that saw Robbie Keane open the scoring.

An early goal in the 8th minute from Robbie Keane started the downfall as he got a nice pass from Landon Donovan and a cute chip that was high enough to go over Luis Robles and gently inside the near post for the early lead, but after that it was all Red Bulls.

But when the second half began, the Galaxy got their act together and just pounded the Red Bulls all over the place. Chris Duvall who has had a good rookie season couldn’t handle a bouncing ball and Donovan picked his pocket and scored to make it a two goal lead in the 50th minute.

Then Gyasi Zardes made it a three goal lead in the 69th minute and Keane getting his second of the game in the 82nd to finish the job. The Galaxy came out fighting and wanting this game once they put in that early goal in the second half.

While it was a clinic by the Galaxy the Red Bulls showed some lackadaisical moments at the start of both halves. While they were buzzing and attacking the Galaxy net after Keane’s first goal, sadly the league leader in goals had three chances to put one away and was met with Jaime Penedo’s gloves to make some solid saves.

But the questions are coming about the game plan that the team had this week, why didn’t Tim Cahill or Bradley Wright-Phillips at least play a half in that scoreless draw in El Salvador against F.A.S. and why did the team come out flat to start both halves. That answer falls on the shoulders of Mike Petke and to be honest he needs to answer those questions.


But as of right now his job is not on the line. Making the playoffs is the number one priority and right now the club is going to get into the Wild Card game unless they finish off the last four games in a flourish & with three of the four at Red Bull Arena, I believe they can get a solid finish.

Author: Daniel Feuerstein
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Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Rick Laughland Says Eli Manning and the G-Men Are Finally Turning that Corner




FOX Sports Giants Insider discusses how Eli and the Giants are changing gears and transitioning very well into their new offense, after Donnell’s 3 touchdown performance he will no longer be flying under the radar, and after Cousins first turnover he was just a snowball going down a mountain.


Read more: http://www.foxsportsradio.com/articles/jt-the-brick-399356/rick-laughland-say-eli-manning-and-12806609/#ixzz3Ef5pkKAM



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Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Rick Laughland says Eli Manning's job is safe




Giants and Jets Insider Rick Laughland chats with Arnie Spanier and Brady Poppinga (filling in for JT The Brick) to talk the Giants big victory over the Texans. With the offense finally starting to click, Rick tells us Eli Manning's job is safe for now. He also previews the Jets Monday Night Football match against the Bears. Success begins and ends with the QB position and Geno Smith looks to impress under the lights against Chicago. He tells us with the Patriots poor play, New York will be able to contend with them for the AFC East title.

Photo: Getty Images


Read more: http://www.foxsportsradio.com/articles/jt-the-brick-399356/rick-laughland-says-eli-mannings-job-12789581/#ixzz3Ef6ucu4K


Rick Laughland on FOXSports Radio


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Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Lions at Jets Preview Podcast



<p>Join Rick Laughland and Daniel Feuerstein as they preview the Week 4 match up and finish up the three in a row opponents for the New York Jets against the NFC North as they host Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions.

Lions at Jets
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Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Madden 2015 Review



When it was first announced that Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman would be the featured athlete on the cover of Madden 15, I debated boycotting the game that I had grown to love for over 25 years. 

The last thing I needed in my life was to support a big mouth cornerback who essentially rode on the coattails of a ferocious pass-rush then made one crucial play in the NFC Championship game against a B-list receiver. (Yes I'm looking at you Michael Crabtree)

Despite my urge to forgo this year's installment of Madden, I hopped over to my local GameStop and dropped $59.99 (plus tax) and popped the disc into my Xbox One. 

As usual the game did not disappoint but with an increased emphasis on defensive play-making, it became apparent that the developers swayed the pendulum too far in favor of defensive backs. 

There are no incomplete passes in Madden 15. Any attempted pass is either hauled in by a receiver or member of the opposing secondary, which creates a feast or famine scenario for any offensive player. 

Initially the game became mind-numbingly (if that's a word) frustrating as what appeared to be easy completions were intercepted by Sherman and others with ease and returned for six points. After enduring the same issues against both human and CPU players, it became evident that the running game might help to keep defense's honest and build a well-balanced attack. 

Mastering the rushing attack came with it's share of growing pains as getting out of my own backfield became a small victory during my first few games, but eventually I was able to perfect the art of perimeter runs and bashing between the tackles. 

Once I started developing competency in the rushing attack, the play-action passing game opened up a whole new world of possibilities. The previously unstoppable defensive backs began creeping up to the line of scrimmage and reacted to run fakes, while I floated passes over their heads with Geno Smith. (Yes I know GENO SMITH).

This year's installment of Madden came with its fair share of glitches and nonsensical plays that gamers have endured year-after-year, but with some patience and careful playcalling it can be a rewarding experience outwitting and confounding both the CPU and human players alike. 

The Madden Franchise is still the Gold Standard of football video games, so here is a breakdown of how this year's version scored on my grading scale. 


Graphics: 9.5

The player models are impeccably detailed with every bead of sweat and strain of hair visible. (Not sure that this is always a good thing, but you get my point) The crowd's reactions are realistic and overview shots of the stands create a more immersing experience. 

Gameplay 7.5

If you plan on slinging the football around like you've been accustomed to in other Madden games, you're in for a rude awakening. Madden 15 puts the power back in the defense's hands (thanks Richard Sherman) as interceptions are sometimes easier to make than completed passes. If you're able to find a nice balance of run and pass, the CPU's AI seems to level off, which gives you a fighting chance. 

Replay Value: 6.5

It seems as though only 15-20 plays in the playbook actually work with regularity in this game, which creates a monotonous feeling when playing against friends or the CPU. Madden 15 has some lasting replay value, but a more expansive choice of "effective plays" would make for a higher entertainment value. 

Overall: 7.5

Madden used to be a "must-buy" for any football fan, but Madden 15's defensive-heavy gameplay and lack of effective offense make for a somewhat boring and frustrating experience for most users.  





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Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Red Bulls tie with F.A.S. eliminates them from CCL





This was a tough one to swallow for the Red Bulls as they knew they needed to get a win to keep their hopes alive for the final CCL match against the Montreal Impact, but sadly what they earned was a scoreless draw that normally would do wonders to any side on the road in a tough environment, but sadly the other side just wanted to keep it close.

Club Deportivo F.A.S. from El Salvador just went thru a coaching change and the players that the Red Bulls faced back in late August were not the same ones, yet they were the better side in all facets of the game with the exception of one stat. That important stat was the scoreboard and once again they couldn’t find a way to get a breakthrough.

The two moments in the game that looked to be a sure goal was in the 36th minute when Raul Renderos took down Ambroise Oyongo in the area and the referee pointed to the spot to give the Red Bulls a chance to take a lead. You would expect Peguy Luyindula to take the spot kick for the opportunity to take a lead, but instead it was Saer Sene who is getting a third chance to start in these games.

As Sene took two steps to the ball, he got underneath it and the shot went well over the crossbar which was the first glare of doom for Red Bulls fans. The next one was a converted chance to start the second half, but sadly the offside flag went up nullifying Sene’s second attempt to convert for an early lead at the start of the second half.


After the full ninety minutes the Red Bulls left with a draw and sadly kicked out of the CONCACAF Champions League Knockout stage. The first hit of a problem came in the 17th minute as Mike Petke had to burn a sub as Lloyd Sam was taken out for Hamstring Tightness in his Right leg which will rule him out for the road trip to Los Angeles and face the Galaxy.

Even though there were some glimpses of hope with some set pieces and attacking runs the Red Bulls will play a meaningless game in the end of October against the Montreal Impact who will now advance to the Quarterfinals next year at the beginning of the 2015 MLS Season. Unlike the first group stage game Tim Cahill was on the field with a solid side of starters and reserves, but this time around this solid side didn’t have the Australian International and some toughness was lost.

Head Coach Mike Petke said he was coming down to El Salvador to win with 90% of the roster and brought their own chef as well as paying for a chartered flight from Newark, to San Salvador which looks like it was all for nothing after that performance. If the head honcho in Austria doesn’t take these Confederational Club tournaments seriously, then they should just inform the league, US Soccer & CONCACAF to not include them anymore.


While I understand it’s not ideal to have the group stage towards the end of the MLS regular season, sadly these are the rules that CONCACAF has made & with F.A.S. looking terrible in league play including the CCL, this match was ripe for the pickings because the Red Bulls were the better side from top to bottom. Now the only thing that is left for them is to clinch a playoff spot with five league games left and they hope to patch it up quick against Landon Donovan.

Author: Daniel Feuerstein
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Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Jeter's next stop will be Cooperstown


On Sunday, September 28th at Fenway Park in Boston Massachusetts will be the final Baseball game that Derek Jeter will play in his professional career. Having been one of the lucky fans of the many that supports the New York Yankees is truly an honor to see a man who has changed the shortstop position since Cal Ripken Jr.

Many, many times we have seen Jeter run out to the left side of the second base bag and track some tough balls to create spectacular double plays, running to the bag to be the middle man of those double plays, or that ever loving run to the lip of the left field grass while making a jump throw to first base that is either on the money or needs one quick hop to get that big out.

How about that great play in Oakland during the 2001 Playoffs where Shane Spencer overthrew the cutoff man and out of nowhere was Derek Jeter rushing to the ball just a few feet from the home plate circle and quickly flipped it to Jorge Posada who tagged out a standing up Jeremy Giambi at the plate.

How many times have we seen Derek Jeter in the late innings of most regular season and playoff games get to the plate and swing at pitches to drive the ball to the opposite field and bring in the tying, leading or tack on runs to make sure the ball game was well out of reach against the opposition.

Or those special moments when a Home Run is needed from Jeter as he swings for the fences and delivers a tremendous shot that either earned him his 3,000th career hit, or that game winning Game three World Series homer off of Byung Hyun Kim in extra innings and into the month of November.

Let’s also count all those moments against the hated rivals in the Boston Red Sox as majority of the time he thwarted the bean town bummers except for one season where they lost the three game lead in the American League Pennant in 2004. Of course we can’t forget that great moment inside old Yankee Stadium where he ran from his position and never broke stride, all for grabbing a ball landing foul and when he got it leapt into the stands and was a bit bloody on his face afterwards.

Then again how about that one World Series back in 2000 when New York faced New York and Jeter answered Mets fans at the start of Game four with that leadoff Solo Home Run that had the Yankees leading two games to one and of course won it in five.

What he has done on the field is plenty to speak of with so many great moments they are tough to really name them all no matter how small or how big, Jeter has done some amazing things in this era of baseball it’s really hard to keep track of them all. But off the field is even better, because he never once got into the newspapers for the wrong reasons. He has his Turn 2 foundation to help out children in need and he was always talking to the people of New York whenever he got the chance.

I had the opportunity to meet Jeter on the Upper East Side as he walked out of an apartment building while friends and I were heading back to the subway from dinner, I saw him and after he talked to a family of three he saw me and said hello. I shook his hand and had a quick conversation and then wished him a good night that made me feel good to see him acknowledging the fans of the Yankees.

In closing I will say this, Jeter as of right now is a part of Yankees history and it’s just another era of the club that has won 28 World Series with the last five under Jeter’s guidance. His numbers are not into the upper echelon like a Babe Ruth or a Ted Williams, but what he has done is come up in clutch situations and when he’s needed to come up big in the playoffs Jeter has done that. He’s made the players around him better and has the complete respect from every major league player in all the teams of baseball. From his first full season in 1996 with a Home Run at Progressive Field in Cleveland to start his journey all the way to now, I expect him to be unanimously voted in as a first ballot hall of famer into Cooperstown, NY.

Author: Daniel Feuerstein
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Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Jets Podcast: Bears at Jets Review



Join Rick Laughland and Daniel Feuerstein as they review the Monday Night match-up as the New York Jets host the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium



Bears at Jets Podcast Review Show Link

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Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Postgame Video: Giants 30 Texans 17 Final


Backpack Broadcasting's Dexter Henry and The Giants Beat's Rick Laughland recap the New York Giants 30 -17 win over the Houston Texans at MetLife Stadium.


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Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Wright-Phillips' Third Hat Trick Powers Red Bulls to Victory


This was a game that the Red Bulls needed to continue their fantastic unbeaten run to keep their playoff hopes alive and with the Seattle Sounders coming up the NJ Turnpike from winning their fourth US Open Cup Championship and with a few changes, this was still a dangerous team to face.
But this was also a game where Bradley Wright-Phillips was a game time decision to start for Mike Petke coming off the Hamstring tightness in his right leg and when the signal was given it was the BWP show.

30 seconds in Wright-Phillips combined with Ambroise Oyongo on the first goal of the game as a nice ball was sent from Lloyd Sam and a quick pass to Oyongo who took his shot, Stefan Frei does make a save but gives up a rebound and it was ripped top shelf. The Red Bulls took the one goal lead into halftime and they knew that wasn’t enough to win the game.

So Wright-Phillips got two more chances to make sure the Red Bulls kept the lead and did so in the 54th minute when Lloyd Sam was tackled down inside the Seattle area and a penalty was awarded. Frei dives to his right and get a touch on the ball, but not enough as BWP earned his second on the night.

Two minutes later it was a pure highlight goal when Roy Miller is attacking down the left flank and makes a great cross that bounced at Wright-Phillips and he goes top shelf for his third hat trick of the season and more importantly converted goals number 22, 23 & 24 on the season.
Even though Clint Dempsey pulled one back and Tim Cahill scored his second of the season that deflected off the inside of the near post, this night was for Bradley Wright-Phillips who didn’t want to talk about the record, because the club hasn’t qualified for the playoffs just yet.

“I know Seattle is a dangerous team.” Said Wright-Phillips, “I was thinking more just keep a clean sheet, I wasn’t expecting a hat-trick but that’s how football goes.”

But the Sounders just winning their fourth US Open Cup championship within three days you figured there were going to be some changes to the starting eleven by Sigi Schmid & Head Coach Mike Petke prepared his team no matter who was starting for the opposition.

“We prepared for a lineup this week and obviously it was a little different when they gave the paper, but you look at their front line tonight to start. Between Chad Barrett and Kenny cooper they have a lot of goals in this league, you know they’re experienced players and it could have gone either way.”

Now a trip to El Salvador to face CD F.A.S. in the CONCACAF Champions League and a direct flight to Los Angeles next week to face Landon Donovan one more time and the Galaxy.


Author: Daniel Feuerstein

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Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Jets Podcast: Bears at Jets Preview Show


Join Rick Laughland and Daniel Feuerstein as they preview the Monday Night matchup as the New York Jets host the Chicago Bears in the second of three consecutive games against the NFC North.


Check Out Sports Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with The Jets Beat on BlogTalkRadio

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Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Want to Write for FansFavorite.com?



Are you an insightful New York/New Jersey Sports Fans? Are you looking to build your name in the competitive sports media world?
Well you've come to the right place. FansFavorite.com is looking for beat writers to cover all the NY Metro area teams. Contact us at FansFavorite123@gmail.com with a resume and cover letter and you could be the next member of our editorial staff. So what are you waiting for? Apply today!
Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

MLS changes logo for a reboot in 2015


As the nineteenth season of MLS is about to come to a close within a week and a half and then the playoffs will begin at the end of October with the Wild Card games. Since the start of this league there have been subtle changes to the league logo that all of us have been use to with a soccer cleat kicking a ball with the big letters of the league underneath.

And as we all know Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association have silhouette players as a part of their logos while the National Hockey League has a shield and the National Football League has a shield with stars and the actual ball, just like what MLS has done but now there is a big change from the league.

A shield that has the letters of the league with different colors separated diagonally and that diagonal line continues to go thru and outside of its border. Three stars are at the top left corner above the letters of M L S. To be honest it’s not a bad change and it will grow on me and other soccer fans as time goes by. The new logo will be on every single team jersey on the sleeves and the team colors will also affect these new logos as well.

In a certain way this change is a bit refreshing as at times certain logos have been bland or changed for the heck of it as a quick boost to the fans of a certain team or an entire league. The NFL has always added many stars meaning the amount of teams they have in the league, but now with the updated version the eight stars (Four on each side above the letters) represents the divisions and conferences.

The NHL changed the colors of its shield from a black and orange blah, to a firm and exciting Silver and black with an added trim while MLB & the NBA have kept their league logos since they were first used. But that doesn’t mean the old soccer cleat & ball with the big MLS logo wasn’t terrible, it just signified the sport that we soccer fans enjoy. In England the Premier League has a royal lion while holding a soccer ball in place. Most of the other leagues worldwide use a soccer ball or a soccer field as a part of their logo, but while this new version represents the top league in the United states it’s not so bad and I think it will be exciting to see.


Author: Daniel Feuerstein

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Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Will Prokhorov's Championship promise go unfulfilled?



With the additions of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry and newly hired coach Jason Kidd, the expectations were sky high for the Brooklyn Nets heading into last season. Now with Garnett representing the lone holdover from the Nets' short-lived drive for a championship, the expectation level for the team has dropped considerably and that has put players' minds at ease.

The Nets are younger on the court and more experienced along the sidelines as Lionel Hollins takes over the coaching reigns following Kidd's unceremonious departure for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Owner Mikhail Prokhorov promised the Nets fans base a championship within three years and now it's put up or shut-up time for the Russian billionaire .

"Every team has a grand plan, and we're moving slowly, step by step, because it's easy to make a strong team, but it's very difficult to make a championship team. So we are on the right way and I'm expecting our championship within three years now," Prokhorov said in 2012 during the ribbon cutton ceremony at the newly opened Barclays Center.

The Nets are now an afterthought in the Eastern Conference and while a healthy Brook Lopez and Deron Williams form a viable duo, it's unlikely that this Nets roster can topple a rebuilt Cleveland Cavaliers squad, a new-look Chicago Bulls team or even a veteran-laden Indiana Pacers bunch.

So while Brooklyn is flying under the radar this upcoming season, fans won't soon forget the championship promise their owner delivered during their inaugural season in the Borough.

If Prokhorov fails to deliver a Larry O'Brien Trophy to the championship-starved Nets fans left in New Jersey and now in Brooklyn, things could turn ugly very fast for the charismatic and outspoken owner.
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Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Nets and Knicks 2014 Season Predictions


The NBA regular season is still over a month away, so FansFavorite would like to jump the gun and predict where both New York basketball clubs will finish in 2014.



Nets 2014 Season Outlook


2013 record: 44-38


Projected 2014 record: 50-32 | No. 4 Seed in the East

With Brook Lopez back in the fold, the Nets will get back to inside-out basketball and play through their big man on offense. Lionel Hollins will impart his defensive philosophy on a Brooklyn team that struggled to defend the paint consistently last season. If Deron Williams can stay healthy and motivated under new leadership and in a new system, the Nets could be a dark horse team to keep a close eye on in a wide open Eastern Conference.


Projected 2014 TEAM MVP: Brook Lopez


Projected 2014 Stats:

22.2 PPG 7.9 Rebs 1.9 Blks 4.0 Asts

Projected Sixth Man Team Award: Jarrett Jack



Knicks 2014 Season Outlook


2013 record: 37-45


Projected 2014 record: 37-45 | No. 10 Seed in the East


Phil Jackson might be calling the shots in the front office, but the Knicks are lacking the depth and talent to contend for a playoff spot in 2014. Carmelo Anthony will continue to carry the offensive load, but Iman Shumpert is the only willing defender on the team’s roster. Unless the Knicks are clicking on all cylinders beyond the arc, they’re going to be on the wrong side of some lopsided losses this upcoming season. Look for 2015 to be the year that finally gives Knicks fans some playoff hopes.



Projected 2014 TEAM MVP: Carmelo Anthony


Projected 2014 Stats:

28.2 PPG 7.9 Rebs 0.4 Blks 3.0 Asts

Projected Sixth Man Team Award: J.R. Smith



Author: Rick Laughland
















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Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Sounders win fourth US Open Cup Title in Extra Time


What a fantastic final we saw at PPL Park last night as the Philadelphia Union played toe to toe against the Seattle Sounders who are three time US Open Cup champions and had a job to do which was win their fourth which they failed in penalties back in 2012 at Sporting Park against Sporting Kansas City.

While this was the first final inside the state of Pennsylvania in modern times for the US Open Cup the Union were engaged and ready to attack the Sounders for their first ever title during their short, but interesting five year history as a free kick for the Union got them on the board late in the first half.

Cristian Maidana took the free kick in the 38th minute just a few yards away from the Seattle area and somehow out of nowhere Maurice Edu got in between two Sounders defenders and found a way to make some space for himself and headed in the first US Open Cup Final goal in Union History. But while the Union took that lead into halftime, it wasn’t going to be for long.

Chad Barrett quickly leveled the score in the 47th minute when a free kick was headed a couple of times from within the area, till Barrett got his head on the ball and puts it into the back of the net. From that point on the Sounders were attacking and showed their energy as the better side. Every time they attacked the Union’s net, Zac MacMath was shining with saves, but Stephen Frei made some solid saves as well as getting help from the posts & crossbar.

But in overtime that’s when the Sounders pounced and dominated the match. A great run in the 101st minute by Obafemi Martins on the far side of the field, till he held up & found a trailing Clint Dempsey who took his shot one time bending the ball inside the near post for the lead & in the 114th minute Martins put the final nail in the coffin to earn the Sounders their fourth title in five tries.

To the Union fans who came to PPL Park for the clubs first ever US Open Cup Final that were totaled at 15,256 did a fantastic job attending, supporting and I hope they will come to future US Open Cup Union games and fill the stadium as this knockout competition is fun to watch.
The Seattle Sounders have tied the Chicago Fire as the two MLS sides in modern day history to achieve four US Open Cup championship and are both one shy of the famed Bethlehem Steel of Pennsylvania & Maccabee SC club from Los Angeles who have five titles.

Once again the American Soccer Community celebrates another fantastic final for the National Championship of US Soccer and we can only hope that 2015 will be bigger and better than this edition was.


Author: Daniel Feuerstein

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Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Jets/Giants writer Rick Laughland on FOXSports Radio


Fox Sports' Rick Laughland joins JT The Brick to discuss the Jets/Packers and the timeout controversy. He also tells us Eli Manning doesn't look comfortable, and Victor Cruz isn't performing.


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Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Jets at Packers Review Show




Check Out Sports Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with The Jets Beat on BlogTalkRadio

Join Daniel Feuerstein & Rick Laughland as we review the late Sunday Afternoon as the New York Jets squandered a 18-point first half lead and fell to the Green Bay Packers by a final of 31-24.
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Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Jets At Packers Preview Podcast






Check Out Sports Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with The Jets Beat on BlogTalkRadio

Join Daniel Feuerstein and Rick Laughland as they preview the New York Jets first road game of the 2014 season as they head to the Midwest and face Aaron Rogers and the Green Bay Packers at historic Lambeau Field.
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Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Red Bulls late penalty forces draw with Union



This was the third straight match against Eastern Conference Rivals as the Red Bulls traveled down the NJ Turnpike to face the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park. The match was delayed for an hour due to a torrential rain storm that hit the area, but with that time to allow the system to leave the game was ready to be played.

The Red Bulls got on the board first when they were awarded with a penalty inside the Philadelphia area, Peguy Luyindula was held back from the loose the ball by Ethan White. Yes Luyindula went down with ease, but it’s still a penalty as White did grab him preventing him from going after the loose ball. He calmly converted the spot kick in the 37th minute for the early lead.

But three minutes later Thierry Henry was able to double the lead from distance. A nice cross from Chris Duvall from the near side finds Henry at the edge of the area and as he teed it up, the surface still a bit slick from the rain as the ball skips off of Union goalie Zac MacMath and into the back of the net. Two milestones happened on that play as Henry’s ninth of the season was his 50th career MLS goal while Chris Duvall earned his first career assist.

But a quick response by the Union happened in the 41st minute when Pedro Riberio blocked a clearance from Jamison Olave and deflected the ball into the net to pull one back, but the Red Bulls still led the game by a goal. Inside second half stoppage time the Union got their call for a penalty and it looked like Ibrahim Sekagya took down Riberio but closer look was shown that the Union player kicked up his feet and went down easy.

Sebastien LeToux took the penalty and converted to the far post while Luis Robles dove to the near post, so at the end of the match the Red Bulls still took home a point and after the last two games they took seven out of nine. Robles played a great game as well and made some spectacular point blank saves to keep the lead as the Union continued to knock the door down for an equalizer.

Obviously you would love to see the Red Bulls take nine out of nine, but this is nothing to get sore about as you saw the club starting to get tired and break down a bit. But still there is a CONCACAF Champions League game coming up next in Montreal and then a home game against Seattle as the month of September continues to get more grueling.


Author: Daniel Feuestein

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Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Lloyd Sam’s late regulation winner gives Red Bulls three points


This is the oldest rivalry in Major League Soccer since the league was founded in 1996. These two sides have been going after each other tooth and nail with great victories and hard defeats, no matter who has worn the shirt of those respective sides. But this was the big one in 2014 that the Red Bulls needed to climb back up in the Eastern Conference standings to get a playoff position.

The match winner was within the final 11 seconds of regulation before the added time clock began to tick as Lloyd Sam converted his shot past Bill Hamid who had a hell of a game for DC United. The ball was inside the DC area as Jamison Olave held off a defender and played the ball to the near side of the field, might have ticked off the leg of Thierry Henry but Sam was able to slide towards the ball and took a swing with his right leg to convert the only goal of the game.

Sam was strong tonight bringing up the ball and solid on his crosses, but when it came down to needing him to convert his chance at the death, Lloyd Sam was the one to do and doing his Bradley Wright-Phillips dance to celebrate in style. “He’s been one of our most steady performers all year.” Said head Coach Mike Petke, “Over the last month or so, we’ve asked him to do things a bit differently here and there, tuck in a little bit more, but at the end of the day he always has free reign to go wide because that’s his strongest position.”

The Red Bulls were up a man from the 32nd minute till the end of the game as Fabian Espindola was sent off for a high boot that hit Dax McCarty in the chest and knocked him down. It was a fair challenge that went wrong as Espindola didn’t get McCarty with the cleats, but the outside of the boot that knocked him down. But when you go up a man after the first half hour of the game, then the mentality can get a bit whacky when you know your side is up a man.

While some of the chances weren’t there due to some sloppy play, those that were was stopped by DC United goal keeper Bill Hamid as had made several strong saves to prevent NY to take a lead early in the game. Hamid who has matured this season, looked solid and calm in his net and made a terrific save on Thierry Henry late in the second half.
But for the Red Bulls it’s their first back to back wins since April when they defeated Philadelphia & Houston in back to back home games. Six points for the home side and now a road trip back down to PPL Park to face the Philadelphia Union before a trip back to Montreal in CONCACAF Champions League play.

Author: Daniel Feuerstein
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Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

The Jets Podcast: Radiers at Jets Recap


Check Out Sports Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with The Jets Beat on BlogTalkRadio

Join Daniel Feuerstein and Rick Laughland as they review the Season Opener of the 2014 Season with the New York Jets playing host to the Oakland Raiders.
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Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Jets earn ugly win over Raiders despite miscues


The opening game of the 2014 NFL Sunday Season is upon us as everyone gets ready to start tailgating and making the march to the MetLife Stadium to see the New York Jets open up against the Oakland Raiders who have had a terrible season after terrible season.

This game even though they did go 1-0 to start the season, was a game where it shouldn’t have been as close as it was on the scoreboard. This was a game where Geno Smith and the offense made many errors as well as many good plays to get the Green and White into blowout city, but somehow they forgot their tickets to blowout city and got caught on the platform of the train station.

How was it possible after earning a grand total of 402 yards (212 rushing, 190 passing) that the Jets barely squeaked thru that game winning by a measly five points on a team that is still trying to find ways to improve their roster and finding that winning chemistry, instead the Jets almost put themselves into a situation that they couldn’t get out of.

Outside of those negatives the positives are Geno Smith looked solid and in rhythm with the play calling and his front five are keeping him upright just long enough to make the throws down the field finding Eric Decker, Jeremy Kerley and others down the field. But when the stats are in favor of the team leading the game the majority of the way that team should be up by a lot.

There are many things the Jets need to clean up when they travel to Green Bay, Wisconsin next week and face Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, but the one thing that needs to happen is stay away from the mental errors and the penalties that kept the Raiders in the game for absolutely no reason what so ever. Because the Jets defense had a great game today and they did their job flawlessly, unlike what the offense did on their side of the ball.

Author: Daniel Feuerstein
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Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

NFL should revisit Bye Week Schedule


Since the NFL has gone into these bye weeks to help give all the teams a break into a 17 week schedule it has truly refreshed the teams in a grueling four month affair that gives some nagging injuries a chance to heal up a little bit quicker, but I’m sorry to say when certain teams gets a week of rest between weeks four thru six is a bit much for my taste.

Especially when the Denver Broncos gets a break after the first three weeks of the season and then they relax at the end of September. Why should anyone get scheduled a bye week when you barely get thru a month of an NFL season? It’s makes no sense at all and to me it feels like your getting another week off after the pre-season is over and only playing in three regular games.

I would love to propose to the NFL & the Players Association a new way to make sure the bye weeks are still viable and when the players deserve a real break in the regular season. It’s very simple and easy to understand, when Week’s 8 & 9 come around or if you want to make it Week’s 9 & 10 that’s when half the teams in each conference will take a break depending on which of those weeks they will get it.

So let’s say it’s Week 9 of the NFL Season, the two divisions in the AFC & the other two of the NFC that will earn their bye will come from the AFC South & West, NFC East & North giving the other divisions in both conferences a game. Then Week 10 comes and those divisions that got their games in will earn the bye while the others re-start their seasons.

It’s the middle of the season and that’s when all NFL teams should get their bye weeks, sort of like an All-Star Break in a way, but not really an All-Star Break as each and every season will alternate who takes the Week 9 Bye & the Week 10 Bye.
To see certain teams take or given a bye week between Weeks 4 thru 7 is laughable and embarrassing, it also questions why a bye week should be given at those certain times, when it could’ve been used better to just play a game. I understand why the bye weeks are there and that’s not my problem, it’s when you play three games and then take a break I have been questioning and I believe I have the answer.
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Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Red Bulls hold on late to beat Sporting KC


After a decent performance that was plagued by bad communication between Luis Robles and Ibrahim Sekagya, Mike Petke decided to have a talk with his Captain and some of the players to get things straightened out.

From the start of the match it looked like everyone was on the same page and attacked Sporting KC’s backline with some success and in the 9th minute a fantastic ball from Thierry Henry allowed Bradley Wright-Phillips to attack the area and at the last moment Matt Besler trips him up in the area and the ref calls for the penalty.

After a lot of arguing from the Sporting KC players Wright-Phillips was finally allowed to take the spot kick in the 11th minute and buried it to the inside of the near post for the early one goal lead. For Wright-Phillips this was his 21st goal of the season and he is six away from tying the league record.

The Red Bulls had their way with the defenders all throughout the game and attacked well in the offensive half, in the 52nd minute they would double their advantage with another highlight reel goal from Thierry Henry. Peguy Luyindula attacks the area and gives Lloyd Sam the ball, but the shooting lane was closed down and he worked it to the middle till he finds Henry on the far side.

As Henry took a few steps to his right he rips the ball into the near side upper 90 and beats Andy Gruenebaum for his first career goal against Sporting KC and he enjoyed that touch on the ball. Even though Dom Dwyer pulled on back for Sporting KC two minutes later, this was a game that the Red Bulls needed to have and got it.

Since April 30th of 2011 the Red Bulls finally got a home win after a three game losing streak and looked strong do it. While KC is on a losing streak of their own, you can still see them fighting and playing hard to try and get back into the game, but at the end of the 90 minutes the Red Bulls earn their eighth win of the season.

Now their schedule gets brutal with six games within three weeks facing league opponents and two games on the road at Montreal & Club Deportivo F.A.S. of El Salvador in CONCACAF Champions League group play. Plenty of points on the line domestically and internationally as the juggling act begins for Head Coach Mike Petke, to put in the right players and getting the formula right to stay atop for a playoff position and top of the group.

Author: Daniel Feuerstein
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Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Jet Fans Favorite Podcast: Raiders at Jets




Check Out Sports Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with The Jets Beat on BlogTalkRadio




Join Daniel Feuerstein and Rick Laughland as they preview the New York Jets season opener as they play host to the Oakland Raiders at MetLife Stadium.
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Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Stephen Hill uses the NY Media as a Scapegoat


Just when you thought you felt bad for Stephen Hill and his issues with catching the football or staying healthy for a full season, the former Jet wideout had some harsh words for the beat reporters who covered him in New York. After getting signed with the Carolina Panthers practice squad Hill pointed the finger at the New York media for blowing his struggles out of proportion, which smells of a player who would rather direct the blame at others instead of himself.

He has said that the New York Football media blew it all out of proportion when he couldn’t hold on to the ball on the game field and they made him into a negative when he should’ve been considered a positive.

First things first on my end of things, I was hoping Hill was going to become a top notch wide receiver for the Jets and become a threat in the NFL. I felt bad for him when he and Jeremy Kerley were the only WR’s at the time two years ago as the only deep threats the Jets had when Veteran Santonio Holmes was injured with that Lisfranc injury.

Twice he couldn’t finish a season due to leg injuries that cut him short and yes he was either underthrown or overthrown to by both Mark Sanchez and Geno Smith, but once again when those passes were on the numbers most of the time he failed to hold on to the ball and that is all on him.

Sometimes superstars of the college game are slow learners or can’t catch up to the speed of the NFL game and maybe that’s why he had his issues and that’s fine to admit that, but sadly he decided to take the cowardly way out and blame the media who covers the team that told GM John Idzik to cut him after the pre-season. Idzik cut Hill because he can’t do it here and while he was signed to the practice squad of the Panthers, that should give Hill some more time to try and translate these catches at the training facility to the game field and if it doesn’t work, does he blame the Charlotte media when he gets cut from there?

Hill is a hard worker and there is no question he wanted to get over the hump, but when it’s your own issues and fault for not doing your job correctly and not holding on to the ball, the only direction the blame should be pointing at by you is at yourself, that’s why god created a thumb on your hand when you need to man up and accept the blame.


Author: Daniel Feuerstein
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Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Jets Injury Report

OAKLAND RAIDERS



NEW YORK JETS

Thursday (9/4)
Game Status
DB
Antonio Allen
Concussion

Full


LB
Nick Bellore
Calf

Limited


DB
Josh Bush
Quadricep
DNP



LB
Ikemefuna Enemkpali
Foot
DNP


DB
Dee Milliner
Ankle
DNP

Oakland Raiders

Thursday (9/4)*
Game Status
TE
David Ausberry
Knee
Full


CB
Chimdi Chekwa
Knee
DNP


K
Sebastian Janikowski
Rt. Quad
Full



CB
Taiwan Jones
Knee
Full



LB
Nick Roach
Concussion
Limited



QB
Matt Schaub
Rt. Elbow
Full


T
Menelik Watson
Hip
Full









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Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Jets with a CB Crisis on their hands

The Jets cornerback situation looked troubled at best heading into the preseason. The starting tandem featured inexperienced and unproven players Dee Milner and Dimitri Patterson. Now, as the regular season looms, Dee Milner has a high ankle sprain, while Dimitri Patterson went AWOL and was subsequently released this week.


With the top two corners down, Gang Green claimed journeyman corner Leon McFadden off waivers. While this move is for depth purposes, it shows the desperate nature of the Jets front office as it relates to the situation at corner. Rex Ryan’s defensive philosophy has been predicated on having outstanding corners with great coverage ability. However, the defensive approach of leaving corners alone in man coverage will almost certainly have to change with this current collection of corners.


Right now, especially with the aforementioned injury to Millner, the Jets consist of cornerbacks who have only typically been used in nickel and dime packages. Unless Antonio Allen or Kyle Wilson make remarkable improvements, the Jets will struggle mightily in pass coverage, especially if they use the typical man to man principles Rex Ryan has implemented in the past. Therefore, the Jets will need to rely heavily on zone coverage to thwart the likes of Peyton Manning, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers.


Simply put, it could get ugly. Taking a quarterback off his line by creating pressure via blitzes and exotic looks and forcing him to shift his feet in the pocket is the necessary strategy to fluster the top quarterbacks in the game. Time and time again, it has been shown that sitting back in zone coverage is ineffective against the best. However, due to the lack of skill at the cornerback situation, this is what the Jets will be resigned to playing more of this season.


As the saying goes, everything is good in moderation. Ryan will need to mind these words even more carefully this season, as his heavy/exotic blitz packages will need to be scaled down for more base coverage emphasizing help from the safeties. Calvin Pryor will need to make an immediate impact from his safety position, providing both over the top help to the corners while delivering hard hits on receivers coming across the middle.


For the first time in the Ryan era, the concerns are on defense. The Jets have cornerback crisis, and it’s the responsibility of everyone involved to hide the glaring weakness, or it will be a long season.





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Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

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