Part 2 of the Earthquakes’ picks in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft

Photo credit: @SJEarthquakes

By: Ana Kieu

After a much-needed weekend, the MLS was ready to roll in the third and fourth rounds of the 2019 MLS SuperDraft in Chicago Monday.

It didn’t take long before the San Jose Earthquakes were on the board in day two of the SuperDraft. So, that being said, San Jose selected defender Nathan Aune out of Seattle University. Aune appeared in 17 matches and started in 16 matches on defense. Aune scored two goals and was a key part of the Redhawks’ defense that allowed just 24 goals in 20 meetings. Moreover, Aune was named to the All-WAC First Team and the United Soccer Coaches All-West Region Second Team.

Contrary to popular belief, San Jose passed on the 74th overall pick in the fourth round of the SuperDraft, so their second and final day in Chicago ended with only one brand-new pick. The Quakes needed all the help they could get, and hopefully, these prospects-turned-pros will carry out their respective duties.

Best of luck to the Quakes, whose season kicks off on March 2 at 7:00 pm PT.

Blackhawks enjoy home-away-from-home atmosphere in the desert

NHL WEST COMMENTARY

By DANIEL DULLUM

GLENDALE, Ariz. – The Phoenix Coyotes enjoyed their largest crowd of the season Saturday at Jobing.com Arena, with an announced standing-room sellout attendance of 17,321 to watch the Desert Dogs do battle with Chicago.

While good news for the franchise’s bottom line, the bad news was that at least 10,000 of those fans were donning Blackhawks gear, yelling, “Go Hawks, Go.” This scenario left the Coyotes with the odd and frustrating task of trying to take the crowd out of its own building.

“It’s crazy. It seems like it’s always like that when we’re here,” Chicago left wing Brandon Bollis said following the Hawks’ 5-2 win. “I honestly think we had more fans here than (the Coyotes) did.”

To compound matters for the Coyotes, early turnovers and a team penalty for too many men on the ice gave Chicago a 5-on-3 power play less than two minutes into the game. Patrick Kane cashed in on the two-man advantage for the first Blackhawks goal, and by the midway point of the opening period, Chicago had a 12-3 advantage in shots and a 3-0 lead.

Phoenix came back with a pair of goals in the second period, but the damage was done. Bollis’ goal at 10:49 of the third period provided the visitors with some breathing room. An empty-net tally by Marian Hossa in the final minute finished the job for the NHL’s best team (44 points, 20-4-4), as they finished a seven-game road trip 6-1-0.

“It’s frustrating. You feel that, when (Chicago) is at the end of a long road trip, this is a game you can win,” Coyotes Coach Dave Tippett said. “When you’re playing the top team in the league, you can’t come out like we did in the first period.

“This is a good lesson for our team,” Tippett added. “We just have to play better. It’s an attitude.”

Yes, there was some grumbling about Phoenix being a transient sports market and it usually comes up in games like this, or against Detroit, Minnesota, Vancouver and other teams whose fans travel well. The NFL Cardinals have had the same problem for years. But as long as the tickets are sold, there are no complaints from the Bidwell family.

As for the Coyotes, until they start winning more consistently, nights like this will be the norm. But 17,321 is a terrific night at the box office, especially when facing stiff competition from Arizona State vs. University of Arizona football.

Michelle Richardson on the NCAA

CFBMapIII

by Michelle Richardson

USC considers Lovie Smith: It’s good move that the USC Trojans would consider hiring ex Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith. I was really surprised before the Chiefs hired Andy Reid that he was able to get another professional job. Smith did a good job with the Bears he took them to a Super Bowl. He lost in the playoffs and ran into a string of bad luck with player injuries.

I never thought he did a bad job at Chicago and I was surprised when they let him go and a few times prior I thought they might let him go. It’s a good move if he gets on with USC. He can be as good as former SC coach Pete Carroll and Lovie was successful as a pro coach with the Bears coming out of that Tony Dungy camp.

So this is a good move the only thing is he’s really going to have to surround himself with good consistent coaches that go out and help him recruit because he doesn’t know anything about recruiting players so he’s going to have to find some coaches around him that can help him produce this school. Smith is from Southern California he’s at the University of Southern California he going to be able to go after some of the best and brightest players if hired.

Crimson Tide going into week 10 perfect: Alabama and Oregon are one and two in the BCS poll ratings the red headed step child of the SCC was brutalized by Missouri and came off a heartbreaking loss to South Carolina where South Carolina was able to get the win as much as Missouri lost the game. The holder didn’t turn the laces on the ball therefore Florida State people always think wide right and he meant wide left.

It was not a good day for the University of Tennessee but hopefully the new coach will turn things around in the next year or two because it’s a shame that Tennessee is really not in the hunt this year for anything when it come to college football after they play their last game at the end of November that it’s literally over for them that’s really a shame.

NCAA Basketball season opened this week: This going to be an interesting year even though Kentucky is predicted to be number one I don’t see any clear cut number one. Kentucky lost a whole squad and they got up there with a entirely new squad but their still freshman. I’m going to go for the team that’s been together for more than a year will be the winner.

Kentucky probably won’t do it like they did two years ago that was an anomaly of course everybody is looking for one man out of Kansas Andrew Williams if this year goes like it’s expected to do this young man is going to be one and done. I hear so much about him and how great he is can’t wait to really see him play on the big stage.

Don’t forget about the young man out of Duke forward Jabari Parker he’s been touted as the next Benji Watson and for any old schoolers who remember Watson out of Chicago the young man was tragically killed in his senior year and really never got to play on the whole next level but if your from Chicago or if your from the midwest and your of a certain age you’ll know about Benji Watson and know what he could have been.

Michelle Richardson does commentary on the NCAA each week