Soccer

Watch Bournemouth's Steve Cook sent off for absurd handball at Norwich City

Watch Bournemouth's Steve Cook sent off for absurd handball at Norwich City

Desperate times call for desperate measures, or so the saying goes. But AFC Bournemouth defender Steve Cook pushed cliché to its extreme outer limit Saturday, potentially costing the Cherries in their Premier League relegation fight during a 1-0 loss to Norwich City. 

Canaries striker Teemu Pukki was in on goal in the 31st minute at Carrow Road, and Ondrej Duda attempted to score on the ensuing rebound. Bournemouth keeper Aaron Ramsdale was off his line, so Cook desperately stretched his left hand to push Duda's shot off the near post. 

Were it legal, it just might have been the save of the season. 

Of course, such a play is decidedly illegal, and Cook was sent off with a red card. His attempt to save a goal cost Bournemouth a player, and proved to be a moot point: Pukki buried the ensuing penalty. 

Bournemouth and Norwich, respectively sitting 19th and 20th in the Premier League table, both needed wins Saturday as they try to avoid relegation. Cook staying on wouldn't have guaranteed a Cherries comeback, but it did effectively guarantee his side would drop points against the Canaries.

A 1-0 deficit against the Premier League's leakiest defense would have been far more manageable for Bournemouth with 11 men on the pitch. But just as they will for the remainder of the season in hopes of staying up, the Cherries instead faced a difficult uphill climb.

Earthquakes' Thompson wants focus on coronavirus, not sports right now

Earthquakes' Thompson wants focus on coronavirus, not sports right now

Earthquakes right back Tommy Thompson had an early read on the coronavirus pandemic. But even seeing the entire 11-million population of Wuhan, China on complete lockdown, he didn’t know how or if it would translate to North America or beyond.

“We were all just confused by it,” Thompson told NBC Sports California of discussions with his teammates. “There wasn’t any real indication from the league or management that this would have the potential to cause our league to come to a standstill.”

The Quakes had completed a full training camp, and already played their first two matches when MLS suspended the season in mid-March.

“It’s been bizarre,” Thompson said. “My heart goes out to everyone affected by coronavirus, and at this point, everyone has been affected some way or another.”

Recently as two weeks ago, the MLS had targeted a return for May 10, which might already seem outdated, and distant from life priorities. Thompson says the best approach might be to avoid the highs and lows of over-speculating.

“It’s important for us to focus on the virus and fattening the curve,” Thompson said. “After that, sports will come. Life will return back to normal. It’s important to look forward to that time, but you can’t get too caught up in getting excited or disappointed.”             

In the mean time, the Sacramento native has been keeping busy with two new-found activities: Cooking, and launching his YouTube channel.

He recently uploaded more than 50 soccer trick and instructional videos, specifically aimed at keeping a young audience entertained and developing their skills.

[RELATED: Premier League extends coronavirus stoppage]

“I wanted to challenge kids of the United States to do different skills that I used to work on in the garage of my home,” Thompson said. “I thought now would be the perfect time to communicate that it’s still possible to practice.”

Thompson has seen rewarding growth, from literally zero, to tens of thousands of views in a week.

“It shows that kids need this right now,” Thompson said. “And it makes me excited to see that they’re staying productive by watching, and doing these drills at home.”

Premier League extends coronavirus pause, proposes 30 percent wage cut

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AP

Premier League extends coronavirus pause, proposes 30 percent wage cut

The Premier League is pushing back its restart date indefinitely amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it announced in a statement Friday.

After bringing together the league’s top officials on a video conference, it was decided that the original hopes to begin playing again at the beginning of May were premature.

“It was acknowledged that the Premier League will not resume at the beginning of May,” the statement read. “And that the 2019/20 season will only return when it is safe and appropriate to do so. The restart date is under constant review with all stakeholders, as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic develops and we work together through this very challenging time.

“The Premier League is working closely with the whole of professional football in this country, as well as with the Government, public agencies and other relevant stakeholders to ensure the game achieves a collaborative solution.”

[RELATED: Best PL storylines we would've watched if season continued]

Players also are facing a wage reduction of up to 30 percent as the league deals with the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

Until health officials declare that social distancing regulations can be lifted, don’t expect to see much in the way of live sports.