Jamaican defender Chantelle Swaby said she was very excited to be drafted by the Sky Blue FC during Thursday’s National Women Soccer League College Draft.

 Jamaica had a creditable showing at the Men’s World Team Squash Championships finishing 18th out of 23 as the tournament concluded over the weekend in Washington DC in the United States.

Competing against the best players on the planet, the Jamaican Team, which included 9-time national and regional champion, Chris Binnie, Lewis Walters, Bruce Burrowes and Tahjia Lumley, improved on the country’s performance in the previous championships in 2017 when the team finished 21st.

The week-long campaign got off to a challenging start with 3-0 losses to Hong Kong, the number 6th ranked team and Australia, who were seeded at 7; as well as a 2-1 defeat at the hands of rising global stars, Kuwait.  The results landed Jamaica in the playoff for places 13 to 23.

The playoff round brought brighter moments with the highlights being a surprise 2-0 win over South American stalwarts, Colombia and a 2-1 victory against Singapore.  However, a 3-0 defeat at the hands of the US and a 2-0 loss to Ireland landed Jamaica in 18th place overall.

“We are extremely proud of our performance at the World Team Championships, we improved on our position from the last tournament, two years ago, we finished ahead of higher-ranked teams like South Africa and a powerhouse like Colombia who we actually beat in the playoffs,” said the Jamaica Squash Association’s President, Chris Hind.

“We are extremely proud of our performance at the World Team Championships, we improved on our position from the last tournament, two years ago, we finished ahead of higher-ranked teams like South Africa and a powerhouse like Colombia who we actually beat in the playoffs.

“There were great wins along the way from our number one and two players; Chris Binnie and Lewis Walters and there was a hard fight from our other players Bruce Burrowes and Tahjia Lumley and it’s onwards and upwards for Jamaican squash in 2020.”

Jamaica celebrated their first win at the 2019WSF Men’s World Team Championships in Washington in the United States on Wednesday.

Toni-Ann Williams, the first female gymnast to represent Jamaica at the Olympic Games, is now a coach.

Chelsea star Christian Pulisic has withdrawn from the United States' squad due to a hip injury.

The winger was part of the initial selection for the CONCACAF Nations League fixtures with Canada and Cuba this month.

However, head coach Gregg Berhalter confirmed a joint decision had been made to not risk Pulisic's fitness.

"Christian is officially at this stage ruled out. We just got that information. This was a collaborative decision with the club, looking after the best interest of the player," he said.

"These decisions are always difficult because this group and the coaching staff want nothing more than to have Christian here, but it was a risk we weren't willing to take at this time."

Pulisic has been in great form for a Chelsea side that sit third in the Premier League, scoring five goals in nine top-flight outings during his debut campaign at Stamford Bridge.

Ajax full-back Sergino Dest is in line to make his competitive debut for the United States after being included in their squad for the first time since rejecting the Netherlands.

Dest earned his first senior caps for USA in a pair of September friendlies but was not called up for last month's CONCACAF Nations League games against Cuba and Canada.

The 18-year-old has featured heavily for Ajax this term and had been tipped to switch allegiance to his native Netherlands, with boss Ronald Koeman showing an interest.

However, Dest confirmed last week he intends to continue representing USA - whom he qualifies for through his father - and has now been included for this month's competitive fixtures with Canada and Cuba.

Should he feature in either match, Dest will be officially tied to USA, ruling out the prospect of ever switching to the Netherlands.

Chelsea's in-form forward Christian Pulisic has also been included in the initial 24-man squad, with the full roster not being announced until after the MLS Cup on Sunday.

Rugby World Cup finalists South Africa and England are represented in nominations for World Rugby's Player of the Year award.

With the shortlists for the Coach of the Year and Team of the Year awards having been announced on Thursday, World Rugby revealed the six nominees for the individual men's award on Friday.

South Africa's Pieter-Steph du Toit and Cheslin Kolbe – who has overcome an injury to feature in Rassie Erasmus' line-up for Saturday's final – are the two Springboks up for the accolade.

Tom Curry is England's sole representative, with the 21-year-old having started in 13 of 14 Tests for Eddie Jones' side this year.

Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones – his country's most-capped player – is also included, as is New Zealand star Ardie Savea.

The final spot is taken by Joe Taufete'e of the United States, who became the most prolific try scorer in front-row history when he went over for a hat-trick against Uruguay.

Ireland's Johnny Sexton won the 2018 award, having ended Beauden Barrett's two-year spell as the world's best player.

Like the Coach and Team of the Year awards, the winner of the Player of the Year accolade will be confirmed on Sunday in Tokyo.

Ajax full-back Sergino Dest has committed his international future to the United States over the Netherlands.

The 18-year-old was born and raised in the Dutch city of Almere but has represented USA from Under-17s level up.

He earned his first two senior caps for USA in a pair of friendlies in September but was not included in their squad for CONCACAF Nations League games against Cuba and Canada earlier this month.

Dest explained at the start of October that he needed time to consider whether to switch allegiance to his native Netherlands or continue representing USA, whom he qualifies for through his Surinamese-American father.

In an interview with Ajax's official website on Monday, Dest confirmed he will stick with USA going forward, ending the tug-of-war for his services.

"I have chosen to play for Team USA going forward," he said. "I have based this decision on my feeling; however, it was a tough one.

"Of course, it was a tough decision for me when the Dutch Men's National Team showed their interest, but I have built up a very good feeling with team USA over the last couple of years and I strongly believe in the plans and potential of U.S. Soccer.

"I am therefore dedicated to making the next 10-15 years a big success and will do my utmost to help the team play for titles."

Dest, who has featured 16 times for Ajax in all competitions this season, revealed he has already discussed his decision with Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman.

"I have personally informed the national team coach Ronald Koeman because I respect him greatly and didn't want him to learn from the press," he said.

"He told me he was disappointed. However, he respected my choice, as in the end it's my life and I have to live with the choices I make, good or bad."

The first opportunity for Dest to officially be tied to USA will come next month when Gregg Berhalter's side face Canada in a must-win CONCACAF Nations League group-stage match.

Birthday boy Siale Piutau dedicated a fitting Tonga swansong to his late sister after the Pacific Islanders beat the United States 31-19 in their final match of the Rugby World Cup.

The Tonga captain celebrated turning 34 on Sunday by scoring a try and slotting over the first conversion he has ever taken in a man-of-the-match performance at Hanazono Rugby Stadium.

A first win of the tournament ensured it was the USA rather than Tonga who finished bottom of Pool C.

Piutau was carried off the field by his team-mates after the game before paying tribute to his sister Ema, who lost her battle with stomach cancer in April.

"It’s been a tough journey, but all this has been done in her memory." said Piutau.

The centre added: "The boys have given me the best birthday possible. It's been a great honour to represent this jersey."

Piutau was relieved to hit the target after Telusa Veainu's bonus-point score as he was concerned that his final international appearance would be remembered for a different reason.

"I didn't want to take it [the conversion], but they insisted, and I certainly didn't want to miss it because I would have become an online meme." said Piutau.

The USA finished a second successive World Cup without picking up a point, having been 12-7 up at half-time.

Coach Gary Gold said: "It's pretty raw right now, but if it shows anything it's just how bloody difficult it is to win a game at the Rugby World Cup.

"The margin is very small between being competitive and getting a result."

 

 

Mario Ledesma was left with an overall feeling of dissatisfaction despite seeing already-eliminated Argentina round off their disappointing Rugby World Cup campaign with a 47-17 win over the United States.

France's win over Tonga on Sunday meant Argentina, who lost to Les Bleus and England either side of beating the Tongans, knew the contest against USA was merely a dead rubber.

The Pumas at least restored a modicum of pride by running in seven tries, Joaquin Tuculet and Juan Cruz Mallia both scoring braces, while Nicolas Sanchez, Jeronimo De La Fuente and Gonzalo Bertranou also went in.

Though he was pleased with what he saw in Kumagaya, Ledesma was also frustrated it was Argentina's final game.

"Today was very good in lots of areas but ultimately how I feel about this World Cup is that I'm not satisfied," he told a news conference.

"We came here fighting to make the quarters and have been working very hard but we were never able to find the perfect game we were looking for.

"We really wanted to make it through and everyone is disappointed that we couldn't, but the motivation was still there today but it was from inside, from the heart."

While Stade Francais fly-half Sanchez, 30, caught the eye, Mallia, 23, made 164 metres and was one of several younger players to give Ledesma encouragement for the country's direction moving forward.

"Argentine rugby has a bright future - the youngsters were incredible today," he added.

"The way we played today was actually similar to how it was in 2015 [when Argentina reached the semi-finals] and we have been working hard to mix things up.

"We've scored several tries from driving mauls in this World Cup, the scrum was pretty consistent here, so I think it's a case of trying to use the pack to get forward and a consistent set-piece and then we have exciting backs who can deliver as we saw today.

"We were able to score some really good tries in the match and the players played with real joy."

USA are still without a win from their three games in the tournament but still have one contest remaining against Tonga on Sunday.

"We did some good things with the ball but we also missed some opportunities," said captain Blaine Scully.

"Unfortunately, in a World Cup, you have to take every chance you get because they don't come around too often. Credit to Argentina, they showed what a dangerous team they are."

Argentina cruised past the United States 47-17 in their final appearance at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Joaquin Tuculet scored a first-half double to set Los Pumas on their way before Juan Cruz Mallia added a double of his own in the second half to give Argentina a comfortable win.

The USA held Argentina scoreless for almost 20 minutes before Nicolas Sanchez exchanged passes with Mallia, scored the opening try and then converted his own score.

Sanchez was excellent in the first half as he laid on the next dot-down for Tuculet, before full-back Tuculet added a third Argentina try leading into half-time.

Blaine Scully reduced the arrears a minute before the break, but two scores from Mallia early in the second period put paid to American hopes.

Jeronimo De La Fuente and Gonzalo Bertranou added further tries in the second half to extend the Pumas' lead, with Scully and Paul Lasike weighing in with consolations for the Eagles.

Argentina finish their Pool C campaign with 11 points, having suffered defeats to England and France, while the USA will hope to avoid bottom place with a win over Tonga on Sunday.

For Argentina, Wednesday's match marked the end of an era, with veteran back-rower Juan Manuel Leguizamon signing off from international rugby after winning an 87th cap.

Sanchez shines for the Pumas

Stade Francais fly-half Nicolas Sanchez put on a tremendous showing in the first half as he broke the line early to link up with Mallia for the deadlock-breaker, before returning the favour after a spirited United States start.

A disappointing campaign ends with farewell to stalwart Leguizamon

Argentina's hopes of making the quarter-finals were dashed after defeats to France and England, but they mustered enough emotional energy to give a lively farewell to retiring hero Leguizamon. The 36-year-old has been a model of consistency for Los Pumas when called upon across four Rugby World Cups and his experience will be sorely missed.

USA need to cut down on cheap turnovers

The United States face Tonga in arguably their most winnable game of the pool stage on Saturday, but they need to improve their defensive effort and retain possession better if they are to defeat Tonga.

What's next?

The USA will hope to get their first win of this Rugby World Cup in their final pool game with Tonga on Saturday, while Argentina's campaign has come to an end.

France star Bernard Le Roux admitted they expected an easier match against the United States after battling to a 33-9 victory on Wednesday.

Three tries in the final 13 minutes secured a bonus-point win in Fukuoka that moves Jacques Brunel's side to within a point of Rugby World Cup Pool C leaders England.

The scoreline flattered Les Bleus, though, who led 12-6 at the break after a careless first-half performance and were pegged back to 12-9 before late scores from Gael Fickou, Baptiste Serin and Jefferson Poirot.

"I think we got a big surprise in the first half," Le Roux said after the match. "I think we thought it was going to be a bit easier but they stuck in there, they gave us a real hard time at the breakdown, we didn't get clean ball... it was really tough.

"We just didn't get fast ball. They were really contesting a lot of balls in the ruck, the phases didn't go well in the scrums, so yeah, they stuck in there and gave us a big surprise."

France's whole front row was changed within four minutes of the second half and Le Roux felt that helped his side regain some control.

"[The changes] made a big difference," he said. "We got some to go forward from the set plays and that opened up some space on the outside."

USA's Blaine Scully thinks the scoreline was an unfair reflection of their performance but is taking heart from the way they provided such a scare to a side ranked seven places above them in the world.

"We were in the game pretty much the whole way," he said. "The score got a little bit away from us at the end but I don't think that's necessarily indicative of the game out there.

"We were 100 per cent in this game and we wanted to put ourselves in a position to be there at the end. Unfortunately, [there were] a few too many turnovers our side, France are very dangerous from there and they punished us in those areas.

"It's where we want to be. We want to be testing ourselves in the best competition against the best teams in the world. We're asking no quarter and we don't expect them to give it to us."

France moved above Argentina into second place in Rugby World Cup Pool C with an unconvincing 33-9 bonus-point win over the United States.

A much-changed Les Bleus side made hard work of claiming maximum points in Fukuoka on Wednesday, scoring three tries in the final 13 minutes.

Jacques Brunel's side made far too many errors, but scores from Yoann Huget, Alivereti Raka, Gael Fickou, Baptiste Serin and Jefferson Poirot put them a point behind leaders England.

Fickou crossed 13 minutes from time and Serin claimed the bonus point soon after as France got away with a lacklustre display, with the hope given to the USA from three AJ MacGinty penalties ending late on.

Camille Lopez caught the USA napping just six minutes in, booting over the top for the onrushing Huget to scoop up and go under the posts for a score which Thomas Ramos converted.

The Eagles took that early blow on the chin, getting on the board when MacGinty was on target with a penalty as the France defence came under increasing pressure.

Les Bleus - captained by Louis Picamoles for the first time - continued to rack up the penalties, but a pinpoint cross-field kick from the quick-thinking Lopez set up World Cup debutant Raka for a simple finish in the right corner. 

A second MacGinty strike from the tee nine minutes before the break cut France's lead to 12-6 at the end of a first half in which they were disjointed.

Raka was denied a double due to a forward pass from Sofiane Guitoune and French nerves were jangling when MacGinty's third successful strike put them just three points behind.

Fickou gave France breathing space with his second try in as many matches in his 50th Test as Les Bleus stepped it up a gear and Serin burst through to seal the bonus point.

Poirot dived over to add further gloss right at the end when the USA failed to stop a rolling maul, with Lopez converting for a third time as France made it two wins out of two following their success over the Pumas.

 

Flat France falter after strong start

It appeared the USA may be in a for tough day at the office when Huget touched down early on, but France appeared to lack a plan and conceded eight penalties in a poor first half display.

Strong finish gets the job done

With the USA tiring after putting so much into a performance they could be proud of, France pushed on to avoid a scare and take a step towards the quarter-finals - cutting down the errors and finishing with a flourish to move above Argentina.

What's next?

France face Tonga on Sunday before a blockbuster clash with England, while the USA will look to ruffle Argentina's feathers next Wednesday.

Teenage Ajax full-back Sergino Dest has been included in the United States' 26-man squad for friendlies with Mexico and Uruguay in September.

The Netherlands-born 18-year-old was part of the USA team that reached the quarter-finals of the Under-20 World Cup in June and has made his first-team breakthrough at Ajax this season.

Dest is comfortable playing on either side of defence and is the third player born this millennium to be called up by his national side, following Josh Sargent and Tim Weah.

"I've been really intrigued with how he's been playing in Ajax," head coach Gregg Berhalter said at a news conference on Wednesday. 

"I really like how he interprets it. In terms of will he play on the right or the left, it's something that we're going to work through in camp. But we're open to him playing on either side."

Fellow youngster Paxton Pomykal, 19, is also part of Berhalter's squad after featuring regularly for Dallas in MLS this year.

USA included 10 players from side that lost to Mexico in the 2019 Gold Cup final, with Christian Pulisic and Zack Steffen among those to retain their places.

There is a recall for Atlanta United goalkeeper Brad Guzan, meanwhile, returning to fold after a near year-long absence.


USA squad:

Jesse Gonzalez (Dallas), Brad Guzan (Atlanta United), Sean Johnson (New York City), Zack Steffen (Fortuna Dusseldorf); John Brooks (Wolfsburg), Reggie Cannon (Dallas), Sergino Dest (Ajax), Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Daniel Lovitz (Montreal Impact), Tim Ream (Fulham), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United), Walker Zimmerman (Los Angeles FC); Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy), Weston McKennie (Schalke), Alfredo Morales (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Paxton Pomykal (Dallas), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes); Corey Baird (Real Salt Lake), Tyler Boyd (Besiktas), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew).

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