EDU : MY PAIN AT GERS HELL

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EXCLUSIVE FROM STEVE BRENNER IN NEW YORK

MAURICE EDU lives over 3,000 miles from Glasgow – but his heart remains at Ibrox.

The former Gers enforcer now plies his trade for the Philadelphia Union in America’s Major League Soccer and is loving being back in his homeland.

He spoke to SunSport just moments after a typically gritty display helped his side bag a deserved point in New York against Manchester City’s MLS team NYCFC.

Yet his Yankee Stadium delight soon turned sour as he began talking about watching Rangers fall into a financial abyss which threatened to destroy them once and for all.

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NHL FIGHT CLUB CONTINUES TO PACK A PUNCH

Vancouver-Canucks-vs-Calgary-Flames-featured-640x426BY STEVE BRENNER

There were huge sporting clashes exploding all over the world this week.

Champions League quarter-final drama in Madrid was intertwined by the NBA playoffs getting into full swing. Cristiano Ronaldo and company are on the march as are LeBron James and Stephen Curry who both put on stellar shows.

Intense, passionate sporting affairs of the highest order, even if many Real stars spent as much time on the floor as off it.

Yet, for those after pure blood, sweat, and tears must look no further than the Stanley Cup playoffs between the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks, a series so bitter and twisted that coaches are being hit in the pocket while the sin bin’s revolving door is in danger of flying off its hinges.

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THE GRIM DEMISE OF AARON HERNANDEZ

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BY STEVE BRENNER

 

Once the feeling of shock dissipated, a sense of sadness hung over what is arguably the greatest fall from grace in American sporting history.

As former New England Patriots’ tight-end Aaron Hernandez begins life in jail without parole — just a mile from the home of the Super Bowl champions — after being found guilty of murdering alleged friend Odin Lloyd, the NFL questions how things ended up here.

He was an outstanding athlete, a college phenom, who was on the receiving end of a $40 million deal. Hernandez had the world at his feet.

Yet, delving into the 25 year-old’s brutal background reveals a life tumbling inexorably out of control to the point of no return.

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CITY STRUGGLES CONTINUE

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FROM STEVE BRENNER IN NEW YORK

Manchester City’s problems are not confined to the Barclays Premier League.

Over the pond, NYCFC manager Jason Kreis is finding life increasingly difficult following a patchy start to the season which continued here last night as Philadelphia Union snatched a late draw in a match which had been bossed for long periods by the men in sky blue.

The pressure hasn’t reached Manuel Pellegrini proportions . It’s too early for that.
Yet Kreis and NYCFC will be under no illusions about the task in hand.
Things need to improve. And fast.

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ANDY LEE LEAVES NYC ON A HIGH

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BY STEVE BRENNER IN NEW YORK

ANDY LEE will leave New York today with his head held high and a burgeoning reputation firmly intact.

A dramatic, frenetic 12 rounds here saw the Irishman sent sprawling in the very first against the dangerous Peter Quillin, the man who vacated the WBO middleweight title Lee won so gloriously in Las Vegas last December before the result was deemed a draw.
It was the first time the reigning champion had gone the distance.
No mean feat considering he fought for a lengthy period with a strained bicep muscle in his left arm.

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LEE WEIGHS IN A WINNER

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FROM STEVE BRENNER IN NEW YORK

ANDY LEE simply cannot lose.

The 30 year-old arrived in New York in the shape of his life and ready to mount a solid first defence of the title won so brilliantly in Las Vegas before Christmas.

And the Limerick warrior had a an unexpected spring in his step last night after Peter Quillin failed to make 160 pound weight forcing WBO officials to deem the bout a non-title fight.

Quillin, who had been  out for a year, initially hit the scales at 161.9 and even though a rapier fast session on the treadmill saw him register 160.6 , it was not enough.

It was a bitter blow for the American yet what a boost for Lee.

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MLS PLAYERS FIGHT FOR THEIR RIGHTS

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BY STEVE BRENNER

There was a point last week when Major League Soccer’s celebratory 20th season was in serious danger of becoming one of the worst parties of all time.

Instead of everyone looking forward to what promises to be, and is being billed as, the biggest campaign since the League’s inception in 1994, the players and top brass were locked in discussions which lurched from fraught to edgy in a blink of an eye.

On Tuesday, the MLSPU (Major League Soccer Players Union) voted 18-1 to strike. Disaster loomed. Differences were ultimately ironed out, thanks in no part to a Federal mediator.

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WHY THE FANFARE FOR GREG HARDY SOUNDED A SERIOUS BUM NOTE

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BY STEVE BRENNER

There was so much hot air billowing out of Dallas last week it could have fuelled two round the world balloon trips.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, never one to go backwards in coming forward, was trying to sugarcoat the multi-million contract awarded to former Carolina Panthers star Greg Hardy.

The deal is heavily incentivized, paying him on a week to week basis. It won’t reach the reported $13 million unless he’s up near the top of the sackers list next season.

No matter. His salary was not in question. Neither was the 26 year-old defensive end’s talents.

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