Cubs

Beckham, Donovan not making trip to Chicago

Beckham, Donovan not making trip to Chicago

Friday, April 15, 2011Posted: 7:38 p.m.

The Associated Press

The Los Angeles Galaxy have struggled to find their scoring touch, and Landon Donovan's knee injury hasn't helped.

Those offensive woes could continue Sunday with Donovan's status unknown and David Beckham, Juninho and Jovan Kirovski serving suspensions during a matchup with the Chicago Fire.

Los Angeles (2-1-3) is one of only five teams to have fewer goals (five) than games played, scoring one during Donovan's two-game absence. The forward has inflammation in his right knee, believed to have been developed during a stretch of three games - two with the U.S. national team and a 1-0 victory over Philadelphia on April 2.

With their captain back home, the Galaxy played to a 1-all draw at D.C. last Saturday and a scoreless tie at Toronto on Wednesday.

That game in Toronto might have proved costly for this week's matchup as Beckham was given his fifth yellow card of the season, drawing an automatic one-game suspension.

Juninho, who has a team-best two goals, also received a one-match ban for getting a red card during stoppage time.

The MLS suspended Kirovski on Friday for one more game after he sat out Wednesday's draw because of a red card. The midfielder was fined an additional 750 for verbal abuse of an official during the match with United.

"There are bad calls, and we've had the majority of bad calls over the last few games," Beckham told the league's official website. "It's ruining our preparation for games ... We want that consistency to be there (from the referees), and we want to keep our players on the field."

With those suspensions and Donovan potentially missing a third consecutive game, the Galaxy may need scoring help from Juan Pablo Angel or Mike Magee.

Angel has 58 goals in his previous four MLS seasons and one in five contests this season. Magee scored the lone goal against D.C. while taking Donovan's spot on the field.

Despite being extremely short-handed, Los Angeles might have some hope against a Chicago defense that has given up eight goals in the past three games. Chicago (1-2-1) suffered its second straight defeat Thursday, 4-2 in expansion Portland's first home match.

The Fire fell behind 3-0 early in the second half, but an own goal and Marco Pappa's second of the season cut the deficit to one. Chicago, though, couldn't find the equalizer and Fire defender Dasan Robinson sent a ball into his own net off a Timbers corner kick.

"It's a shame because our players made a great effort. We played much better in the second half and we need to learn off of this," coach Carlos de los Cobos said.

When Los Angeles visited Chicago last season, the Fire broke a scoreless tie in the 88th minute only to give up Omar Gonzalez's goal in stoppage time and settle for a 1-all draw.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Addison Russell is so over 2017: 'That's last year, don't want to talk about that'

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USA TODAY

Addison Russell is so over 2017: 'That's last year, don't want to talk about that'

MESA, Ariz. — “That’s last year, don’t want to talk about that.”

In other words, Addison Russell is so over 2017.

The Cubs shortstop went through a lot last year. He dealt with injuries that affected his foot and shoulder. He had a well-documented off-the-field issue involving an accusation of domestic abuse, which sparked an investigation by Major League Baseball. And then came the trade speculation.

The hot stove season rarely leaves any player completely out of online trade discussion. But after Theo Epstein admitted there was a possibility the Cubs could trade away one or more young position players to bolster the starting rotation, well, Russell’s name came up.

And he saw it.

“There was a lot of trade talk,” Russell said Saturday. “My initial thoughts were, I hope it doesn’t happen, but wherever I go, I’m going to try to bring what I bring to the table here. It’s a good thing that it doesn’t have to be that way. I’m happy being in a Cubs uniform, I want to be in a Cubs uniform, for sure. But there was some talk out there. If I got traded, then I got traded, but that’s not the case.”

No, it’s not, as the Cubs solved those pitching questions with free-agent spending, bringing in Yu Darvish and Tyler Chatwood to replace the departed Jake Arrieta and John Lackey. It means Russell, along with oft-discussed names like Kyle Schwarber, Ian Happ and Javy Baez, are all still Cubs.

While the outside world might have expected one of those guys to be moved in some sort of blockbuster trade for Chris Archer or some other All-Star arm, the Cubs’ young core remains intact, another reason why they’re as much a favorite to win the World Series as any team out there.

“I’m really not surprised. The core is still here. Who would want to break that up? It’s a beautiful thing,” Russell said. “Javy and I in the middle. Schwarber, sometimes playing catcher but mainly outfield. And then (Kris Bryant) over there in the hot corner, and of course (Anthony) Rizzo at first. You’ve got a Gold Glover in right field (Jason Heyward). It’s really hard to break that up.

“When you do break that down on paper, we’ve got a lineup that could stack up with the best.”

This winter has been about moving on for Russell, who said he’s spent months working to strengthen his foot and shoulder after they limited him to 110 games last season, the fewest he played in his first three big league campaigns.

And so for Russell, the formula for returning to his 2016 levels of offensive aptitude isn’t a difficult one: stay on the field.

“Especially with the injuries, I definitely wanted to showcase some more of my talent last year than I displayed,” Russell said. “So going into this year, it’s mainly just keeping a good mental — just staying level headed. And also staying healthy and producing and being out there on the field.

“Next step for me, really just staying out there on the field. I really want to see what I can do as far as helping the team if I can stay healthy for a full season. I think if I just stay out there on the field, I’m going to produce.”

While the decrease in being on the field meant lower numbers from a “counting” standpoint — the drop from 21 homers in 2016 to 12 last year, the drop from 95 RBIs to 43 can in part be attributed to the lower number of games — certain rate stats looked different, too. His on-base percentage dropped from .321 in 2016 to .304 last year.

Russell also struggled during the postseason, picking up just six hits in 36 plate appearances in series against the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers. He struck out 13 times in 10 postseason games.

Of course, he wasn’t alone. That World Series hangover was team-wide throughout the first half of the season. And even though the Cubs scored 824 runs during the regular season, the second most in the National League and the fourth most in baseball, plenty of guys had their offensive struggles: Schwarber, Heyward and Ben Zobrist, to name a few.

“You can’t take anything for granted. So whenever you win a World Series or you do something good, you just have to live in the moment,” Russell said. “It was a tough season last year because we were coming off winning the World Series and the World Series hangover and all that. This year, we had a couple months off, a couple extra weeks off, and I think a lot of guys took advantage of that. I know I did. And now that we’re here in spring training, we’re going to get back at it.”

Five top-25 matchups highlight loaded episode of High School Lites

Five top-25 matchups highlight loaded episode of High School Lites

High School Lites had five matchups between top-25 teams on Friday night as the Public League Playoff semifinals and big matchups in the CSL South, Catholic League Blue and SouthWest Suburban Blue took shape.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @NBCSPreps for the latest news and scores for IHSA basketball.

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Palatine's Eduardo Orozco

Saint Xavier Team of the Week: Maine West girls basketball

Highlights

No. 1 Simeon holds off No. 4 Whitney Young

No. 2 Orr gets revenge on No. 3 Curie

No. 9 New Trier takes down No. 6 Evanston

No. 8 Fenwick handles No. 10 Loyola Academy

No. 23 Homewood-Flossmoor rallies past No. 18 Bolingbrook

Oswego East upsets No. 20 Joliet Central

Andrew shuts down Thornridge

Sandburg tops Lockport in OT

Richards runs by Shepard

Maine West captures second straight girls basketball regional title