Milan sacked coach Massimiliano Allegri earlier this month and appointed former midfielder Clarence Seedorf as his replacement. The Rossoneri, who were eliminated from the Coppa Italia last week, are still alive in the Champions League and will take on Atletico Madrid in the last 16 of the competition next month. Essien could make his Serie A debut in Sunday’s match against Torino at San Siro. Milan published a photograph of Essien posing with Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani on their official Twitter account, while Chelsea announced the deal on their official website. Manager Jose Mourinho told his club’s website: “To show Michael respect is to not stop him going. “We would have been happy had he stayed because he is fantastic player for the team, but he’s given everything for the club and a great chance arrived for his future. “I know he can continue to play at a high level and I wish him success and happiness in Italy and at the World Cup in Brazil.” Essien was in Milan to undergo a medical on Monday and put pen to paper on a contract that will see him remain with the Rossoneri until June 2015. A statement from AC Milan read: “AC Milan announce they have acquired Michael Essien from Chelsea. He has signed a contract until June 30, 2015.” Essien becomes Milan’s third reinforcement in the winter transfer window following the arrival of Japanese playmaker Keisuke Honda from CSKA Moscow and French defender Adil Rami from Valencia. The experienced midfielder joins a side that have struggled to make an impact this season and sit ninth in the Serie A table, 28 points behind league leaders Juventus. The 31-year-old joined the Blues from Lyon in 2005 and made 256 appearances for the club, also enjoying a season on loan with Real Madrid in 2012-13. His first-team opportunities at Stamford Bridge had been limited in the current campaign and he has therefore now opted to pursue a career in Serie A. Michael Essien’s eight-and-a-half-year spell at Chelsea is over after AC Milan signed the Ghanaian midfielder on undisclosed terms on Monday. Press Association
YANA PASKOVA/Herald photoThe 2005-06 Wisconsin basketball team has been quite the enigma this season. Night in and night out fans wonder which team will show up to play. Will it be the team that began the Big Ten season with a four game win streak, or will it be the team that proceeded to lose five of its next six games including a loss to unranked North Dakota State?Only time will tell, but with just two remaining games on the Big Ten schedule, it’s gut-check time for Bucky and the Badgers.Before they head to Iowa City for the season finale against the Hawkeyes, UW will take on rival Michigan State Thursday night.This will mark the second meeting of the season as the two teams hooked up in the Kohl Center in early January. On that day, the Badgers protected their home court and blew the Spartans right out of the gym by shooting 51 percent from the field, including75 percent in the second half.While such a shooting performance is not expected to be duplicated, UW guard Michael Flowers believes a similar effort will go a long way.”Most importantly, we got an early lead and just ran with it, and we need to do that on Thursday to give ourselves a good shot at getting the victory,” Flowers said. “We hit a lot of shots, and that’s made things easy, but we were moving the ball well and getting open looks, and those are the kinds of things we need to do again.”Currently, UW is third in the Big Ten with a conference record of 9-5, while Michigan State holds a 7-7 record, despite big wins against Ohio State and Iowa. Similar to the rest of the Big Ten, both Michigan State and Wisconsin have struggled to get victories on the road.”We haven’t done a good job of playing on the road, but I know we can go on the road and get some victories if we just play Wisconsin basketball,” UW guard Kammron Taylor said. “We need to stay focused for the whole 40 minutes, and that has been one our downfalls on the road. We stay focused on our game and block out the crowd.”The Badgers should have their hands full on the defensive end Thursday, as Michigan State brings strength and athleticism to the forefront.The Spartan offense is keyed by the high-flying guard play of Shannon Brown and Maurice Ager, who both average over 18 points per contest while dishing out just over four assists per game.”Those guys are fast and strong,” Flowers said. “It’s not easy to keep players like that in check, but if we stay committed on defense and contest their shots, we should be able to contain them.”The biggest matchup problem for the Badgers will be defending Paul Davis. The preseason All-American is in the top five in the Big Ten in points and rebounds and should present problems for the Badger forwards, who have struggled to defend the post this year.If the Badgers are to steal one on the road, they will have to receive contributions from some of the younger players who have made their presence felt on a depleted UW squad.Together, Alando Tucker and Taylor combine for 34 points, but in order to be successful in Michigan State, a third scorer will likely have to emerge. The Badgers received a needed spark Sunday against Minnesota, as Kevin Gullikson and Joe Krabbenhoft combined for 22 points in the game.”It’s real nice to see the young guys step up at a time like this, with the season winding down and the postseason coming up,” Taylor said. “We need them at this point because it relieves some pressure from the older guys like myself.”And it is no secret that UW head coach Bo Ryan isn’t afraid to use his youngsters.”I’m not afraid to have anybody out there,” Ryan said. “It’s no hocus pocus because if you do the right things, then you’ll play. Guys like Kevin [Gullikson] and Joe [Krabbenhoft] do things that make me think they’re right players for the time.”Regardless of the outcome, the Badgers will truly show what they are made of in these last two road games. Despite the rivalry and the troubles the Badgers have demonstrated on the road, Ryan believes Thursday night’s contest is just another game.”We’ve just got to play like we play at home and stay in sync,” Ryan said. “It seems that there are a lot more grinders on the road, but we’re just going to play ball because you can’t read too much into it. We can’t say do this or do that because of their crowd. We’re just going to play our game and not going to change anything.”
Published on August 11, 2020 at 3:30 pm Contact Adam: firstname.lastname@example.org | @_adamhillman “Talking to coaches, teammates, family and friends, I felt like I wanted to post something,” DeVito said. “I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted to do, so I took a couple days and got my thoughts together. I don’t want to say I (do or don’t) want to play because there’s guys on the team that do and don’t.”Defensive lineman Cooper Dawson has already decided to sit out the 2020 season, and head coach Dino Babers said Aug. 6 that other players are contemplating whether to opt-out. Elmore and DeVito have fully committed to playing in the upcoming season. Other players, even those who don’t plan to opt out, hold similar concerns. The team’s leadership council — which DeVito is a member of — presented Babers with a list of topics before the first day of training camp on Aug. 6. Players didn’t practice that day, instead holding team meetings, some of which included Director of Athletics John Wildhack. Elmore elaborated on the decision to not practice Aug. 6, citing concerns about playing against other schools that may not be testing as much as Syracuse. DeVito also confirmed that the decision was related to COVID-19.“We know what we’re doing on our end,” Elmore said. “Guys are worried about going down somewhere else, and their testing protocols might not be the same as ours. They might have a guy who might be on the field with (COVID-19) and we contract this somehow where we come back and now it’s on the team.” The decision to host Liberty as the Orange’s lone nonconference opponent was not a part of the discussion, Elmore said. Liberty is not requiring students to be tested for COVID-19 when returning to campus, according to a proposed operations plan submitted to the Virginia state government for approval in July. The school also stayed open in April, even after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam instituted a stay-at-home order. But for now, all the Orange are preparing as if they’ll travel to Chapel Hill in a month for their season-opener, even as other conferences around the country begin to cancel. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ The Daily Orange is a nonprofit newsroom that receives no funding from Syracuse University. Consider donating today to support our mission.The media won’t have access to Syracuse’s training camp practices this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, the football team is organizing regular Zoom interviews with head coach Dino Babers and select players while also providing film from the Ensley Athletic Center. With “Camp Notes,” The Daily Orange’s beat reporters bring the latest news, observations and analysis as the Orange gear up for an unprecedented 2020 season. Follow along here and on Twitter.Only a few months before the season, Chris Elmore was undecided about playing for Syracuse in 2020. The risks were obvious: the long-term effects of COVID-19 are unknown. Elmore could play, but he might become severely ill. He could opt out, but he wouldn’t have the opportunity for a strong season that reaches the radars of NFL scouts.“I was just like, ‘ah, is this something I really want to go through, especially my last year?’” Elmore, a senior defensive lineman and tight end, said during a virtual press conference Aug 11. “Just talking it over with my family, we’re all for it until I can’t play no more.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“(My decision) was really just thinking about what would I do. I would be going home. Right now, going home really isn’t an option for me.”For quarterback Tommy DeVito, the decision to play this season wasn’t as complicated. Despite an ESPN report that multiple Big Ten players who had previously tested positive for COVID-19 are now experiencing myocarditis — a rare heart condition — the redshirt junior confirmed that he’s “here to play,” and that nothing would change his mind. DeVito said Monday in a statement on Twitter that the Orange are “ready for whatever comes next” — whether that be a full season, postponement to the spring or cancellation entirely. He’s spoken with other players in the Atlantic Coast Conference, asking about their protocols and how their coaches were approaching practices, he said Tuesday.