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USWNT standout Julie Ertz signs 1-year contract with Angel City

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Julie Ertz’s Angel City era was far from unforgettable. The club acquired the rights to the two-time World Cup champion in December 2021 in a trade with the Chicago Red Stars, but Ertz never tried as much as on form, stepping away from the game to give birth to her first child, a boy. in August last year.

Meanwhile, the team’s rights to Ertz expired and the midfielder became a free agent.

Now she’s back, signing a one-year deal with Angel City, the club announced on Monday. Ertz is expected to join the team for practice this week, and their first matchup could take place on Sunday against the San Diego Wave.

“Expectations are extremely high in Angel City and I’m delighted to be in that environment,” said Ertz, who has kept in touch with Angel City during her absence. “They have created an incredible culture at the club and you can see it in the enjoyment of the players, managers and fans. It’s a place where every player wants to thrive.”

Ertz, 31, played in the bronze medal match at the Tokyo Olympics in the summer of 2021 but went 611 days before playing in another competitive match. Many speculated that she ended her career prior to her surprise call-up to the national team last month, which led to back-to-back matches against Ireland earlier this month. She has not played in a club game since she sprained her medial collateral ligament in the Red Star season opener in 2021.

Ertz, who has been training on her own, is returning to the NWSL to train for this summer’s World Championships in Australia/New Zealand. Ertz played all but 157 minutes of his last 14 World Cup matches with the national team, helping the US to two titles.

“She needed to join a professional team in order to get stable games and give us the opportunity to evaluate her before the World Cup. She wants to do it,” said Team USA coach Vlatko Andonovski.

“We know the quality of the player she [been]and that if she gets closer to her best performance, she will definitely help us win the World Cup, ”Andonowski added.

A two-time U.S. Footballer of the Year, Ertz made 118 caps, playing in two Olympics in addition to two World Cups. She was the third overall pick in the 2014 NWSL Draft and spent seven seasons in Chicago, playing 95 games.

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Boston Marathon: Live Scores, Photos & Elite Race Winners

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Last year, nearly a decade after the Boston Marathon bombing, Youssef Eddafali wrote a letter. It took years, and he agonized over every word, but the hardest part was understanding the greeting.

Eddafali, 29, was still unsure who he was writing to. Was it a friend he once considered a brother, whose path as a young Muslim immigrant seemed to mirror his own? Or the calculated killer who revealed himself on April 15, 2013, when he killed and maimed innocent people in the name of the faith they both shared?

In the end, Mr. Eddafali came to the conclusion that it was both, so he divided his message into two parts. The first he wrote to “old Jahar”, a boy he knew. The second letter was written to a stranger. He addressed it to “The Beast”.

“Your betrayal broke me,” Mr. Eddafali wrote to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, his former friend who was sentenced to death in 2015 for setting up a marathon finish bombing along with his older brother Tamerlane. Four days later, Tamerlan Tsarnaev died in a shootout with police; Dzhokhar Tsarnaev remains on death row.

Nail bombs with ball bearings made by the Tsarnaev brothers killed three people: Lingzi Lu, 23, a Chinese graduate student; Krystle Campbell, 29, restaurant manager from Medford, Massachusetts; and Martin Richard, an 8-year-old from Boston. Seventeen lost limbs and more than 250 were injured in the bombing, leading to a dramatic four-day manhunt that closed the city; the brothers also shot and killed a campus police officer. An unknown number of spectators, runners and emergency responders are still going through the emotional trauma of that day.

Another group of people, including Mr. Eddafali, were affected differently: they knew Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and considered him a friend. Many were young people in high school or college, on the verge of adulthood, when an explosion suddenly turned the world they knew into a frightening and unfamiliar place.

Ten years later, as the changed city pauses to honor the dead and reflect on the past, some who knew the Tsarnaev brothers are still trying to determine how the experience has changed them. A decade after they plunged into guilt, anger, betrayal and shame, they know one thing: not to reconcile them before and after, not to understand how and why.

It is the dissonance felt after every mass shooting by those who discover to their horror that they know the killer.

“Every time this happens, I watch people say they have no idea, and I recognize it because I was there too,” said Larry Aaronson, 82, who lived on the same street as and the Tsarnaev family, and taught history at the Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School, graduated from Mr. Eddafali and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, known as “Jahar.”

There are few studies examining the mental consequences for people who have been close to those who kill. The marginality of their position—close to the tragedy but connected to its source—can repel them, shackle them outward as their communities gather to heal, and make them feel insecure or insensitive when discussing their own confusing experiences. A dozen people who knew Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, even ten years later, refused to talk to a journalist or did not respond to interview requests.

“There is an element of guilt by association and a strange dichotomy because the person they knew no longer exists,” said Jacqueline Schildkraut, a researcher who has studied mass shootings and is executive director of the Regional Gun Violence Research Consortium at the Rockefeller Institute of Public management.

The experience is “like being in a parallel universe,” she added, “and you can’t go back.”

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2023 NHL Playoffs: Can anyone stop the record-breaking Boston Bruins team? | NHL

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The Bruins can’t be stopped?

On April 11, the Bruins earned their 64th win of the season and increased their regular season total to 133, the highest since the Montreal Canadiens scored 132 points in 1976-77.

The Bruins have passed the 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens for the most points in an NHL regular season with 133! 🐻 pic.twitter.com/GTuGgpNwZ2

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 12, 2023

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Without detracting from this impressive achievement, success in the regular season doesn’t necessarily carry over into the playoffs. In 2019, the Tampa Bay Lightning, backed by Vezin trophy winner Andrey Vasilevsky, won 62 regular season games and finished the year with 128 points, losing just 16 games all year—a record nearly as dominant as Boston’s. “. Expectations were high – and immediately justified. The Columbus Blue Jackets (47-31-4, 98 points) defeated the Lightning in the first round, thanks in large part to goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, who saved 109 of 117 shots for a .932 save percentage over four games.

Will Boston suffer a similar fate? The Bruins bring more depth, more points, and more experience to their first round than their rivals, the Florida Panthers. Even in goal, it’s hard to bet against the combination of Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swainman, who are ranked 1st and 4th respectively in the league in shooting percentage. Finishing the season 7-2-1 with the Panthers, Alex Lyon could get a playoff start. But technically, he’s Florida’s understudy. Instead, the Panthers could be the first team in the hope that he can repeat history. That one? Sergei Bobrovsky.

Any result other than a Cup victory for Boston, let alone a first-round exit, seems unlikely, but as Bobrovsky knows, the playoffs are full of surprises.

Edmonton is really

Not much needs to be said about Connor McDavid that hasn’t already been written this season, one of the most impressive for an NHL player in recent memory. But since McDavid, the Oilers have posed a real threat in the West, even to the reigning Stanley Cup champions, the Colorado Avalanche (who will be without captain Gabriel Landeskog in the postseason). First, the Oilers are good at scoring—a lot. Edmonton ranked first in regular season goals with 325 goals (a third of which came from McDavid and Leon Draisaitl). But while Edmonton relies on the likes of McDavid and Draisaitl (along with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Zach Hyman) to score goals, they too have not been easily beaten, especially lately with Stuart Skinner in goal. Skinner has only lost one game on the first team since early March, when he lost 6 against Toronto on March 11.

RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS HITS 100 POINTS FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HIS CAREER pic.twitter.com/vjTgIPZJM3

— Spittin' Chiclets (@spittinchiclets) April 6, 2023

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Edmonton has one more thing: seeding. The Oilers see a path to the Western Finals—first past the Los Angeles Kings, then past Vegas or Winnipeg, which they should theoretically be able to beat. Elsewhere in brackets, things are not necessarily so clear (see below). It will give Oilers fans hope, and for good reason. Don’t be surprised to see Edmonton in the final.

Edmonton’s Connor McDavid had one of the most impressive NHL seasons in recent history. Photographer: Michael Martin/NHLI/Getty Images

Maple Leafs got another chance

Is it finally time for the Leaves to exorcise their demons? Can they finally get past the two teams that gave them their recent playoff pain, and can they do it in back-to-back series? Toronto will face the Lightning again in the first round after being eliminated from the playoffs in seven games against Tampa Bay last year. If they manage to win, the Leafs will likely play Boston, the team that knocked them out of the playoffs in back-to-back seasons in 2018 and 2019. Nowhere is there more pressure to win in the first round. Success – even partial – could mean the Leafs retain their core staff both on and off the ice. Failure, especially in the first round, will likely mean new management, possibly a new coach, and possibly also the possible departure of Toronto’s biggest star, Auston Matthews, who will have his first opportunity to re-sign with the team on July 1. But without a playoff success in Toronto, would he want to?

By most measures, the Leafs don’t make it to the postseason. If they can be disciplined by issuing more penalties than they commit, they can make their second-highest-rated game in the majority work. They also hope not to go into overtime, where they lose too often. However, Ryan O’Reilly’s return from injury could help them find the necessary playoff tenacity that has been lacking in previous years, as have other last-season rookies like Luke Schenn and Jake McCabe. A safe bet that the Leafs will bow out early. But in Leafs Nation, hope is born forever.

The revival of the subway series.

It’s been just over a decade since the Rangers and Devils met in the postseason in 2012, when they were battling for Eastern Conference dominance. The Devils made the announcement only to lose the Cup Final to the then mighty Los Angeles Kings. The Devils had a prolific year, scoring 289 goals for the year, enough for fourth place in the league. And while the Devils couldn’t keep up with the Bruins in total wins, they showed they could beat just about anyone, scoring 52 for the year, putting Carolina in second place overall. But New Jersey has its flaws, including most. What could hurt them the most, however, is that they are largely untested in the postseason. On the other hand, the Rangers went far ahead last season, learning how to win the hard way, taking Pittsburgh and the Carolinas to seven games before finally losing to Tampa Bay in six. And while the Devils will rely on playoff rookie Vitek Vanechek, the Rangers are counting on Igor Shesterkin backed by Jaroslav Halak, both with extensive postseason experience.

However, the East is difficult to predict. The spring trading deadline set off a conference-wide arms race. While the Rangers picked up Patrick Kane and Vladimir Tarasenko, the Devils retaliated by grabbing Timo Meyer. But the general frenzy also means that other teams have gotten stronger too. If the Rangers or Devils take the lead, they will likely face the formidable Carolina Hurricanes, whose relatively early exit last year leaves them with something to prove.

Auston Matthews
Could another playoff failure spell the end of the Auston Matthews era in Toronto? Photographer: Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Seattle inside, Pittsburgh outside

It’s been 16 years since the Pittsburgh Penguins last missed the playoffs (rookie season Sidney Crosby), the 10th longest consecutive playoff run in NHL history (Bruins made the playoffs 29 consecutive years from 1967-68 to 1995-96). It was a good streak, including three Stanley Cup victories in four final games. By Friday, the pens had cleaned house in the executive’s office, firing president of hockey operations Brian Burke, general manager Ron Hextall and his assistant Chris Pryor. The coaching staff is still in place – for now. Also present are Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Chris Letang, the trio behind Pittsburgh’s so much success. With a few key changes, the Penguins could return next year.

Meanwhile, in Seattle, the Kraken only earned a playoff berth in their second NHL season – a huge turnaround from their first campaign in which they finished second in the West. The consistency in the net helped when Martin Jones arrived from Philadelphia to play 48 games, splitting the season with Philip Grubauer. The duo still conceded many goals (256), but thankfully the Kraken were able to score more (289), including 24 goals from forward Matty Beniers, who shone in his first full season in the NHL, and 40 from Jared McCann. which was a breakthrough. of the year for the eight-year NHL veteran. There are still questions about the Kraken’s ability to move forward – as well as their penalties and powerplay – but no one questions whether hockey has found a successful home in Seattle.

predictions

East

The Bruins are, by all accounts, the safest bet to move forward—at least past the Islanders and possibly past Tampa or Toronto. The Rangers and Hurricanes are likely to meet in the division finals, and New York, with its regular-season series advantage combined with playoff experience, could win the showdown (as they did when they met). last postseason). But none of them, when put to the test, can hardly compare to Boston.

West

It looks like there’s going to be a feud between the Avalanche and the Stars, and Dallas is likely to have a tougher road ahead against the Minnesota. Meanwhile, while Los Angeles beat Edmonton last year, the Oilers look stronger this time around (especially in net). Look for them to face the Golden Knights on their way to the Western Finals against Dallas, which the Oilers could win, though it could take a full seven games.

The final

The Oilers and Bruins have not met in the Stanley Cup Finals since 1990. The hockey gods can’t draw many parallels between this year and that year. Instead, we could turn to more recent history. From Feb. 1 until the end of the season, Boston has only lost five games — and only one team that is currently in the postseason. That team is the Oilers.

Let’s say Edmonton beats Boston in seven. Why not?

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Source says Jeff Bezos will not bid for Washington Commanders

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Jeff Bezos is not going to bet on the Washington Commanders, a source close to him said Wednesday, ending a pursuit that has struggled to gain momentum.

Bezos was interested in buying the franchise, and his presence hovered over the process, despite the fact that he never bid. He even hired Allen & Co. to study the offer.

In March, a source close to Bezos said that Commanders owners Dan and Tanya Snyder were blocking him from bidding, a claim denied by multiple sources close to the Snyders.

Bezos owns The Washington Post, which has published several investigative articles over the past three years that have caused problems for Snyder and the organization.

Puck News first reported that Bezos, whose net worth is $125 billion according to Forbes, “does not currently plan” to bet on the team.

Asked if Bezos was going to bet, a source close to Bezos told ESPN, “No, he’s not.”

Josh Harris, who owns the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and NHL’s New Jersey Devils, has submitted an official offer of about $6 billion to the commanders. Harris and one of his limited partners, Mitchell Rales, are both from Washington DC and have a combined net worth of over $11 billion. Their group includes NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson.

Canadian billionaire Steve Apostolopoulos has also reportedly applied. Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta was also interested. Three groups visited the Washington facilities – Harris, Apostolopoulos and an unnamed one.

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