August Dodgers Schedule Of Game Giveaways

175August 1-3 Chicago Cubs: The Dodgers start the month of August when they welcome in the popular Chicago Cubs for a three-game weekend series. The Cubs are struggling again this season, but have one of the most passionate fan bases in all of sports. The Cubs are led by Anthony Rizzo who leads the National League in home runs with 25. Those attending Friday night’s game will get the opportunity to watch the traditional Friday Night Firework. The must-see fireworks theme is “Vin Scully” through the ages as the Dodgers honor their long-time play-by-play announcer. Saturday’s game includes a Dodgers tote bag giveaway and a “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle” mask for all the kids in attendance. The Dodgers wrap up the series on Sunday afternoon with fans attending receiving a Dodgers backpack. Purchase Dodgers Vs Cubs Tickets today. Note:First 40,000 fans receive a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Leonardo mask.

August 4-5 Los Angeles Angels: This year’s freeway series begins at Dodgers Stadium when the Dodgers host the Angels for two games starting on August 4th. The Angels currently have the second best record in all of baseball behind the brilliance of Mike Trout and the ace pitching of Garrett Richards. Those attending the Monday night game will receive a Dodgers cap. Following the Monday and Tuesday night home games versus the Angels the Dodgers head down to Anaheim for two games versus the Angels to complete the four-game series. Note: First 20,000 fans will receive a Dodgers Baseball Cap. Dodgers Vs Angels Tickets available now.

Dodgers Kids Lunchbox giveawayAugust 15-17 Milwaukee Brewers: After two games in Anaheim followed by trips to Atlanta and Milwaukee the Los Angeles Dodgers return home for a return series with the Milwaukee Brewers. The surprising Brewers are currently in first place in the National League central, two games up on the St. Louis Cardinals. Offensively the Brewers have a balanced offense, led by Ryan Braun, Carlos Gomez and Jonathan Lucroy. Friday night’s game will include the traditional post-game fireworks, this time with a Star Wars theme. Saturday’s game will feature a post-game screening of the famous Robert Redford film, “The Natural”. The game will wrap up on Sunday with a kid’s lunch box giveaway. Note: First 15,000 ticketed kids 14 & under in attendance receive a Kids Lunch Box. Order Dodgers Vs Brewers Tickets now. Zack Greinke Bobblehead Giveaway

August 19-21 San Diego Padres: The Dodgers continue their home stand with a three-game series versus the San Diego Padres. After dealing Huston Street to the Angels and Chase Headley to the Yankees the Padres are once again in rebuilding mode. The Wednesday, August 20th, game will feature the giveaway of a Zack Greinke Bobblehead. NOTE: First 50,000 fans will receive a Zack Greinke Bobbleehad at the Stadium.Dodgers Vs Padres Tickets are on sale now.

Matt Kemp Bobblehead GiveawayAugust 22-24 New York Mets: Following the three-game series with the Padres the Dodgers wrap up their nine-game home stand with a three-game weekend series versus the New York Mets. The Mets are more competitive this season than in years past but are still in fourth place in the National League East. Offensively the Dodgers are led by veteran third baseman David Wright, second baseman Daniel Murphy and slugging first baseman Lucas Duda. Duda leads the Mets with 18 home runs and 56 runs batted in. Friday night’s game will include the traditional post-game fireworks while the Saturday promotion is the annual “puppies in the park” promotion. The series culminates on Saturday the 24th with the giveaway of a Matt Kemp figurine. Note: First 40,000 fans receive a Matt Kemp Figuring. You can purchase Dodgers Vs Mets Tickets today!

Dodgers Promotions & Giveaways are subject to change without notice. Barry’s Tickets suggests that you get to Dodger Stadium early in order to try and make sure you get the Dodgers Promotion or Giveaway for that game.

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Three Things To Watch For This 2014 Chargers Season

With training camp now open the San Diego Chargers enter the upcoming NFL season with big expectations after a surprising wild card berth and visit to the second round of the NFL’s playoffs. The Chargers have stayed consistent with the plan, bolstering the overall depth of the squad at several important positions, especially on the defense. Here are three key things to watch as the Chargers training camp progresses.

Chargers Pass Rush, “The Freeney Factor”: if healthy Dwight Freeney is the rare type of edge rusher that can have a major impact on a defense. The veteran pass-rusher made a return to contract drills as camp started, a good sign that the Chargers will have a healthy Freeney as the season starts. After tearing his quad Freeney made just four starts last season, registering just a half a sack. When healthy he’s one of the best pass rushers in football, but coming off of an injury and at the age of 34 it’s hard to project what the Chargers have in Freeney for the upcoming season. Freeney isn’t the only Charger coming off of a major injury. Melvin Ingram tore his ACL in training camp and missed the majority of the regular season, while Donald Butler missed a handful of games due to a groin injury. If all three players are healthy, as they are currently, the Chargers pass rush should be greatly improved.

 The “other” Wideout: The Chargers struck gold when they drafted Keenan Allen last season. The rookie quickly become the top rookie wideout in football and arguably should have been chosen the NFL’s rookie of the year over Eddie Lacy of the Green Bay Packers. Allen had 71 receptions for over one-thousand yards and 8 touchdowns last season, forming a tremendous partnership with Philip Rivers. The Chargers entered last season with major questions at wide receiver, until Allen stepped up. This year the Chargers again have major questions at wide receiver, beyond the presence of Allen. Malcolm Floyd, returning from injury, is the likely number two starter, with Eddie Royal the best option in the slot and as the third receiver. The nine-year veteran has been a consistent second and third option throughout his career. Royal started the season strong but fell off towards the second half. He’ll be challenged by Vincent Brown and potentially by 7th rounder Tevin Reese. With the presence of a legitimate number one receiver, the Chargers have to feel a lot more comfortable about the position. Like the pass rush though, the big question is whether Floyd and Royal can stay healthy.

 An Elite Group of Defensive Backs?: With acquisition of Brandon Flowers and the draft of Jas Verrett do the Chargers now have an elite group of defensive backs? Elite defenses in the NFL are punctuated by a strong pass rush and good cover cornerbacks. Last season the cornerback position was a weakness for the Chargers. This offseason San Diego greatly upgraded the position through a bit of luck and the drafting of Verrett. When the Kansas City Chiefs cut Brandon Flowers for salary cap reasons the Chargers quickly pounced on the veteran who was motivated to say in the same division as the Chiefs. Flowers has regularly been rated a top ten corner by Pro Football Focus. His veteran presence and confidence could have a domino effect that helps the overall Chargers defense, especially the defensive back group. With Flowers in the fold the Chargers can now play Verrett, a talented cover corner, as a fifth defensive back and slot corner. In a division that includes the Denver Broncos and enhanced secondary is crucial.

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Chris M.

Who To Pick For Your 2014 Fantasy Football Draft

FFThe NFL season is right around the corner and with that comes fantasy football. With many drafts fast approaching here’s a look at the top ten NFL fantasy draft targets for 2014. The annual running back versus quarterback debate is in full force once again. Although Peyton Manning put together the greatest passing season in NFL history, value in fantasy football is driven by running backs. Here’s a look at this year’s top draft targets:

1. Adrian Peterson: The best running back in the NFL is still the top overall running back and top overall fantasy pick. Although he didn’t replicate his extraordinary 2012 season, Peterson had nearly 1300 yards and ten touchdowns last season, with an outstanding 4.5 yards per carry. “All Day” has been Mr. Consistent during his NFL career, topping ten touchdowns in every NFL season and rushing for over 1200 yards in six of his seven NFL seasons. In an era of past-first offenses the Minnesota Vikings are a run-first organization. This season Peterson will get the opportunity to play for one of the top offensive coordinator minds in the NFL in former San Diego Chargers head coach Norv Turner. Look for Peterson to have another massive season in a deep NFC North.

ffdraft2. Jamaal Charles: The veteran Chief had a tremendous season in 2013 in his first season under new Kansas City Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid. Charles didn’t carry the ball as much as previous seasons, but had as many touches as in the past due to his receiving ability in Reid’s west coast offense. Charles had 19 total touchdowns, 12 on the ground and 7 through the air. With a new contract and the threat of a holdout no longer in the offering, Charles should have another outstanding season via the rush and the pass.

3. LeSean McCoy: McCoy had a massive season in 2013 in his first season under Chip Kelly and there’s no reason to think the NFL’s leading rusher last season won’t repeat this coming season. To go along with his 1607 rushing yards McCoy had 11 total touchdowns. Under the innovative Kelly the Eagles will continue to put up points and feature McCoy, although there has to be some concern whether or not Nick Foles can repeat his surprising season from a year ago at quarterback. If Foles somehow struggles it could affect McCoy.

beerr_top_0_04. Eddie Lacy: The second-year Alabama running back is one of the fastest risers in fantasy football. Lacy had a solid rookie season that included 1178 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns in a season where the Packers played nearly have the regular season without star quarterback Aaron Rodgers. With a healthy Rodgers back under center and the return of right tackle Bryan Bulaga and Randall Cobb from injury the Packers should once again have one of the top offenses in the NFL. Look for Lacy to have a massive season, topping both his 2013 totals in rushing yards and touchdowns. With 35 catches in 2013 Lacy also proved better than expected in the passing game and should have more receptions this coming season. If the Packers offense is as good as expected Lacy could be the top player in fantasy by the end of the upcoming season.

5. Peyton Manning: Conventional wisdom still makes drafting a running back the most sound fantasy draft decision due to the value of the position. From a sheer point scoring dominance though, Peyton Manning had one of the most remarkable fantasy seasons in history last year. Manning shredded the NFL record book with 55 passing touchdowns and should have another dominant season in 2014, even with the loss of wide receiver Eric Decker to the New York Jets. Manning will be hard pressed to match the 55 touchdowns he threw a year ago, but should lead the league in touchdown passes once again.

6. Aaron Rodgers: Rodgers had a frustrating 2013 season after going down with a broken collarbone and missing half the regular season. When healthy Rodgers is a proven fantasy performer whose led the NFl in fantasy points in the past. With a healthy Randall Cobb and the presence of Eddie Lacy the Packers offense should once again be one of the best in football. Look for Rodgers to have a big season throwing the football, with an outside chance for 40 touchdowns, as well as a two or three rushing touchdowns.

kcdo7. Matt Forte: The Chicago Bears standout has quietly been one of the best running backs in the NFL for the past several seasons. Last year, his first under head coach Marc Trestman, Forte has yet another outstanding season with nearly 2000 combined yards and 12 touchdowns. Forte is a true every-down back, with 74 receptions in 2013. With a healthy Jay Cutler the Bears offense should be dynamic once again, with Forte leading the way.

8. Calvin Johnson: Megatron is head and shoulder above the rest of the receiving crop in the NFL. In a year where he battled multiple injuries Johnson still managed nearly 1500 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns. Although he was just the third ranked fantasy receiver in 2013, Johnson had arguably the worst luck of any NFL fantasy player last season, getting stopped at the one-yard line on numerous occasions. The league’s most talented receiver should have another massive season.

9. Marshawn Lynch: While Adrian Peterson and LeSean McCoy get all the headlines, Lynch has been the most productive NFL running back over the past three seasons from a scoring standpoint, with 35 total touchdowns. The defending Super Bowl champs are loaded once again and should have a big season, with Lynch leading the way.

ffr10. Drew Brees: The New Orleans Saints are loaded once again and Drew Brees should put together yet another massive season in 2014. The future Hall of Famer passed for over five-thousand yards for the 3rd consecutive season, en route to 39 touchdown passes and (5) thirty-point fantasy games. The resurgent Saints have a favorable schedule this coming season so look for Brees to put together yet another massive season. BY:

Who Is Your First Pick Your Fantasy Football Draft?

Chris M.


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Predictions for the Los Angeles Clippers lineup next season

Clippers 2014-2015

CLIPPERS

The Los Angeles Clippers have done a few changes in their roster up to now but the core of the team remains the same as the 2013 – 2014 campaign. The Clips will enter the upcoming season as one of the strongest favorites for the title. So, which will be the starting lineup of the team? Let’s break down.

Point Guard

Chris Paul CP3

CP3

There’s no question about who the starting point guard of the Clips will be. Chris Paul will be the starter and as long as he stays healthy, he will be Lob City’s facilitator. Last season we saw the Clips using Darren Collison as their starting point guard during the time CP3 was down with an injury. However, after Paul’s return, Collison was switched back to the backup role.

Shooting guard
Another position in which Doc Rivers had to use a backup player as a starter is the shooting guard spot. Jamal Crawford took over for the Clips due to J.J. Redick’s injury. Nonetheless, Redick returned back healthy and he will be LA’s starter at the spot next season. With that said, Crawford will play the role he knows best, he will be the sixth man of the team.

Small forward
The small forward position is the least deadly in the Clippers’ starting lineup. Lob City has been trying to upgrade this spot since the free agency commenced but up to now, it has found no success. Paul Pierce was rumored to show interest in the Clippers and a few other names were thrown on the table. As it now seems, Matt Barnes will be the starting small forward for the Clippers once again. Barnes is a very effective player although he doesn’t put up huge numbers. He is also a terrific perimeter defender.

LA Clippers Blake Griffin deserves respect

Griffin

Power forward
Paul’s fellow superstar, Blake Griffin, will of course be a starter, too. Griffin recorded a terrific season in 2013 – 2014, taking advantage of CP3’s absence. This was the season Griffin saw an increase in almost any aspect of his game. Next season, he is projected to come back even stronger, better and more ready to lead his team to the top of the NBA. The truth is that Griffin has been criticized for his explosive character and his lack of focus when the game is on the line and especially in the playoffs. Nonetheless, in Year 1 of his cooperation with Doc Rivers, Griffin saw a significant improvement in that area, too. So, next season, he is expected to be even more mature and better poised.

Los Angeles Clippers

Chris Deandre Blake

Center
DeAndre Jordan was counted in as the third superstar of the Clips by Doc Rivers last season. And he will be LA’s starting center in 2014 – 2015. Jordan emerged as one of the top defending big men in the league last season and he also saw major improvement in many aspects of his game. Thankfully, the Clips will now have a quality big man on their bench, Spencer Hawes, who will be able to back up Jordan and Griffin, too.



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BY: Chris M.

Which NBA Rookie will be the most impressive this season?

The Las Vegas Summer league gave us a very first impression of the “new blood” which will be released in the veins of the teams around the league. We’ve already seen some great performances from the top prospects, the players who entered the league at the top spots of the 2014 NBA Draft. So, who will be the most impressive rookie next season? Let’s examine a few of those youngsters.

NOEL Rookie

NOEL


No.1: Nerlens Noel

Now, Noel is not actually a rookie. He was selected at the sixth overall spot of the 2013 draft after lots of rumors and mock drafts placed him at the top of the draft. Now, after missing the entire 2013 – 2014 season due to an injury, Noel has already shown some great signs during the Summer League. He is making his presence felt and he will definitely be one of the top candidates for Rookie of the Year award next season.

No.2: Andrew Wiggins

WIGGINS

WIGGINS

We still don’t know in which team Andrew Wiggins will be playing next season. We assume he will be playing in Cleveland, alongside – or behind – LeBron James, if he doesn’t end up getting traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Kevin Love. What we do know for sure is that Wiggins will be one of the top young players next season, if not the best one. In Las Vegas he has showcased just a few of his skills and of course his insane athleticism. At the moment Wiggins seems to be the most impactful player out of the 2014 rookie class.

No.3: Jabari Parker

PARKER

PARKER

Parker was considered as the most NBA-ready player to enter the NBA this summer. During the Summer League, he didn’t manage to prove that but of course, he put up great numbers. He will definitely have a unique chance to shine in Milwaukee, as the Bucks are in rebuilding mode and they will offer Parker plenty of minutes, most probably a starting job, too. Parker and Wiggins will have an opportunity to steal the show next season, with Joel Embiid sidelined, at least at the first part of the 2014 – 2015 season.

No.4: Dante Exum

EXUM

EXUM

Exum entered the league this summer being one of the biggest mysteries of the 2014 draft class. Although Exum didn’t really make that much of a difference during the Summer League, he will get much playing time with the Utah Jazz. So, we can expect a gradual improvement of his performance through the season and numbers even better than the ones he put up in Las Vegas.

Other prospects – underdogs

It will be a surprise to see the Rookie of the Year award to be handed to a player out of those top four prospects. However, there are some dark horses in this race. One of those is Los Angeles Lakers’ forward Julius Randle. The 6’9” youngster was projected to have a significant role in the Lakers’ rotation next season but the recent additions of Carlos Boozer and Ed Davis will make this a bit more difficult.

Elfrid Payton from the Orlando Magic is another prospect who is causing lots of pairs of eyes pointing towards his direction. He did record some notable performances during the Summer League and he will, too, have a great chance to shine next season in Orlando.

Google Trends for the last 90 days shows Andrew Wiggins leading in internet searches.

Chris M.

What can Boozer bring to the Lakers?

Lakers Tickets for all games

LAKERS

Finally, After several weeks of misery since the 2013 – 2014 season ended, the Los Angeles Lakers can see a positive turnaround in their offseason performance. The Lakers claimed the 32 – year old Carlos Boozer off waivers and he will now join Kobe in LA. Boozer was just recently waived by the Chicago Bulls, who brought in the former Laker Pau Gasol. The former All-Star was in the books for $16.8 million for the Bulls. But what can Lakers fans expect from Boozer next season? Will he manage to fill in for Gasol and even reach a star level?

First of all, Boozer was a starter a few years ago. In fact, when he signed with the Chicago Bulls in the summer of 2010, he was projected to be the next big thing in Chicago. His game did have some limitations but in overall, he was considered as one of the top power forwards in the league.

His performance gradually dipped in Chicago and last season, with no Derrick Rose around, he averaged 13.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 45.6 percent shooting from the floor. Those are no superstar numbers of course and considering the fact that Boozer even lost his main contributor role in Chicago’s frontcourt from Joakim Noah, it becomes obvious that he was a star in decline up to last season. Bulls’ head coach Tom Thibodeau ended up benching Boozer in favor of Taj Gibson, who gave more energy to the team when he stepped foot on the court.

Now, however, in LA, he will have a unique chance to revamp his career. Playing alongside Kobe Bryant and Jeremy Lin, in a team which desperately needs some star power, Boozer will be able to prove that he has some basketball left in his tank. He will instantly take over as a starter for the Lakers and he will most probably see much playing time.

The Los Angeles Lakers now already have three power forwards, Boozer, Ed Davis and the rookie Julius Randle. Jordan Hill was also re-signed and he will definitely eat up some minutes from the other big men. It will be interesting to see how the Lakers will handle the playing time of each player of their front lone, as they will have to balance the minutes of both the younger guys and the veterans.

In overall, Boozer’s addition is a great one for the Lakers. LA didn’t manage to land a superstar like LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony this summer. And with no trade chips to initiate a trade for Kevin Love, the Lakers had to turn their interest into other players and of course, take some risks. That’s what they did when they agreed to acquire Jeremy Lin from the Houston Rockets and that’s what they did now in the case of Boozer. The 32 – year forward will hopefully play better than the previous season and hopefully provide much help to the Lakers next season. The puzzle is gradually taking shape in LA. Chris M.

Which NBA teams will be the top powerhouses in the West next season?

Western Conference

NBA WEST

One thing is certain. The NBA will not be the same any more. The 2014 – 2015 season will be totally different than the previous one. The balances in the NBA have now changed. The dynasty of the Miami Heat is over, with LeBron moving to Cleveland. We’ve already seen many more changes during the first three weeks of the free agency. And some more are about to come. Let’s have a look at the Western Conference and try to predict which teams will be at the top next season.

Los Angeles Clippers

The Clips haven’t performed any radical changes up to now in the offseason but why should they after all? Lob City is already a powerful team and it needed just a few tweaks to make it to the next level. The Clips will enter the 2014 – 2015 campaign as one of the top contenders in the NBA and they will definitely be one of the elite teams in the West, too. The addition of Spencer Hawes is a significant one. If there was one point the Clippers bled last season that was the backup of their front line. Doc Rivers will now continue his work and try to lead the Clips to the top.

San Antonio Spurs

Despite their age, the San Antonio Spurs will be one of the top teams in the West for yet another season, in 2014 – 2015. With Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili back, the Spurs will continue to be one of the strongest powerhouses in the entire NBA and they are projected to enter the upcoming season as one of the top favorites for the NBA Championship, once again.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook didn’t manage to lift the OKC Thunder over the Spurs during the 2014 Western Conference Finals. Now, they will get one more chance. The Thunder will continue their efforts next season with almost the same formation they closed the 2013 – 2014 campaign. Will this be the season the Thunder manage to make it to the top?

Golden State Warriors

The Warriors recorded a breakaway season in 2013 – 2014. They established themselves as one of the top teams in the West and they even made their presence felt during the postseason. Now, with a new head coach, Steve Kerr and with all the necessary changes in their roster done, the Dubs are looking to seriously compete for the NBA Championship in 2014 – 2015. Their efforts to land Kevin Love have been unsuccessful up to now. Nevertheless, even if the Warriors move on with their current formation they will definitely be one of the powerhouses in the tough Western Conference.

Portland Trail Blazers

If the core of the Blazers is healthy next season, Rip City will be go deep into championship contention. The Blazers already added Chris Kaman, who will back up Robin Lopez. CJ McCollum will also be back healthy and the Blazers may add one or two more players during the summer. Rip City will definitely be one of the top teams in the West.



BY: Chris M.

Gasol Leaves For Greener Pastures

Pau Gasol

GASOL

The domino effect out of LeBron’s Decision 2.0 has already started and affected several teams around the NBA. The Los Angeles Lakers are one of those teams which saw their ambitions getting demolished, as both LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony turned down the possibility of joining forces with Kobe in the City of Angels. After the two superstars took their respective decisions, lots of other significant players were moved. Pau Gasol turned down two consecutive offers from the Lakers and decided to head to the Chicago Bulls. The Lakers took advantage of the Houston Rockets’ urgent need to trade away Jeremy Lin and received him along with his huge contract.

Gasol’s departure in combination with the acquisition of Lin and the fact that the Lakers failed to land a megastar this summer brings LA in a brand new era, a strange one. The Lakers will now have to depend mainly on Kobe Bryant, who will turn 36 before the start of the new season. On top of that, there will be no second star, no second pillar alongside him. With Gasol gone, there will be no pillar to support Kobe on the offensive end for the Lakers, unless Mitch Kupchak manages to make a surprising move this summer.

Pau Gasol Trade

GASOL


The Los Angeles Lakers were aiming to return to a championship contending course in 2014 – 2015. Apparently, this won’t happen. All the Lakers will be able to do now is to try and make the playoffs next season and hope they can chase another superstar, like Kevin Love, next summer. The certain fact is that the window is gradually closing for Kobe and if the Lakers really want to stand a chance to win another championship while he is still active, they will have to act smart and quickly.

This new era will be a very strange one for the Lakers. After years of success LA struggled over the last couple of seasons. It was made clear that Mike D’Antoni’s run and gun system just didn’t fit well with the philosophy of the Lakers, or at least the group of players the Lakers had on board. This new era will also find Kobe in a different situation than the ones he was used to up to now. Kobe had a capable, star big man on his side almost throughout the last decade and that’s how he managed to lead the Lakers to success. At first it was Shaquille O’Neal and then it was Pau Gasol, when the Spaniard center was in his prime. Now, Kobe will have to try and carry the team on his own.

Lakers fans may feel disappointed with the evolution’s of free agency up to now. The major change, the upgrade or the superstar addition everyone in LA expected did not come. Now, the Lakers will have to cook up a new plan for their near future.

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BY: Chris M.

LA Galaxy versus Manchester United

Rose Bowl Game

Rose Bowl

With United States soccer fans energized by this year’s world cup and the strong United States performance, passion for the world’s game is at an all-time high in the United States. While much of the country has taken years to build a passionate soccer fan base, Southern California has long been a hotbed for the “beautiful game”. Long-time soccer fans and those new to the will have a fantastic opportunity to see one of the most respected coaches in the world, and some of the most famous players in the world, compete at the Rose Bowl on July 23 when Manchester United takes on the LA Galaxy.

Purchase LA Galaxy Tickets Vs Manchester United Tickets

This week the Galaxy released new details on the long awaited event. Although Manchester United’s full travel roster has yet to be released, the majority of their superstars should be in attendance at the Rose Bowl. One of the most recognizable sports franchises in the world, Manchester United will bring a roster to Southern California that includes Wayne Rooney, David De Gea, Shinji Kagawa, Juan Mata, Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez and Antonio Valencia. In addition to the established superstars, newly signed Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw will also be part of the traveling squad.

UNITED

UNITED

Manchester United will also debut a new manager, current Dutch National Team manager Louis van Gaal. The veteran manager is one of the most respected managers in all of professional soccer, having just led Holland to a World Cup semifinal, where they lost on penalty kicks to Lionel Messi and Argentina. He’ll begin his tenure as Manchester United manager, replacing the sacked David Moyes, who managed United to a disappointing season in 2013-2014, failing to qualify for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in several years. Moyes replaced the legendary Alex Ferguson, considered one of the greatest managers in the history of the sport. Van Gaal will have big shoes to fill, as did Moyes, but he’ll have a motivated roster looking to regain United’s customary spot in the Premier League standings.

ROONEY

ROONEY

Leading the way will be Wayne Rooney, one of the most recognizable stars in world soccer. Rooney had a short spell in Brazil this summer as part of a disappointing English National Team that failed to make it out of the group stage of the World Cup. In ten years as a Manchester United player Rooney has scored 216 goals. Rooney will be joined in the lineup by high priced signee Ander Herrera, who United paid 28 million pounds for this summer, and young left back Luke Shaw, who United made the highest paid teenager in world football this summer for a fee rumored to be around 30 million pounds. Shaw has an attacking style and has been compared to former Tottenham and current Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale.

DONOVAN

DONOVAN

After a slow start the Galaxy are on a solid run of play, unbeaten in six consecutive MLS matches. When the Galaxy face off with United their lineup will feature two players familiar with many on the Manchester United Roster, Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan. Former United States National Team member Robbie Rogers and current National Team defender Omar Gonzalez will also take part in the big matchup. The Galaxy are coached by former National Team coach Bruce Arena. The game will kick off at 7:30 PM.

 

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Was the Kobe contract worth it?

Kobe Bryant Lakers

KOBE

Sports fans love to play the “what if” game. The latest “what if” in Los Angeles is what if the Lakers didn’t decide to extend Kobe Bryant for 2 years and $48 million? Or what if the Lakers superstar, like Tim Duncan, decided to assist the Lakers in their quest to attract another high paid superstar and took less money? With the big three in Miami opting out of their contracts and potentially taking less money to play together, like they did four years ago, Kobe Bryant now takes up a third of the Lakers salary cap. The massive contract that Jim Buss and the Lakers organization gave Bryant was based on what he’s accomplished as a Lakers player. As one of the greatest players off all time and a five-time NBA champion Bryant was certainly due loyalty from the Lakers organization. Whether that loyalty owed Bryant the biggest contract in the NBA is another argument. When Bryant signed the contract it was immediately questioned. Now, with the Lakers struggling to attract a top free agent, the massive contract is being questioned even more. With the Lakers unlikely to re-sign Pau Gasol, or sign Carmelo Anthony, the franchise is due for another difficult season. In the midst of another potential tough upcoming season is the fact that Bryant’s contract gives the team less flexibility. Which leads to the question: what if the Lakers didn’t re-sign Bryant?

Kobe Bryant Lakers

KOBE

Before they inked Kobe to the two year deal the Lakers had the option to amnesty their superstar. If the Lakers decided to part ways with Bryant they would have had just one contract on the books for this coming season, Steve Nash. With millions of dollars to spend the Lakers could have been major players for one or two top free agents, and a host of second tier players to fill out the roster. It would have been a grand experiment, but similar to what Pat Riley accomplished in Miami four off-seasons ago. The Lakers mystique could have made them a major player for Lebron and Carmelo, or both. With Julius Randle acquired in the draft, the Lakers had a real opportunity to attract top tier free agents.

Of course it’s an interesting “what if”, but the idea of letting Bryant go would have been an impossible decision to sell to the fan base. Bryant’s loyalty to the organization and incredible accomplishments made the idea of amnesty impossible. He deserves to play his entire career with one franchise, like Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.

Was Kobes contract worth it

KOBE

While using the amnesty clause on Bryant was a non-starter, signing him to such a massive deal is a questionable decision. Bryant has made a remarkable amount of money in salary and endorsements over his career. The decision to reward Bryant for his career accomplishments and keep him as the highest player in the league may be out of loyalty, but it’s arguably wasn’t necessary at this point in his career.

You can’t fault Bryant for taking the money, but the example of Duncan’s decision to accept a $10 million deal is interesting. In order to allow the San Antonio Spurs to keep their championship roster in tact Duncan took a pay cut, for the good of the team. If Bryant would have taken a similar deal the Lakers would have had the ability to sign two max free agents to team with Bryant.

Is the Kobe contract worth it

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Heading into next season the Lakers have no idea what Bryant they’ll have back. Since he entered the league at 18 Bryant has a tremendous amount of miles on his legs, not to mention a torn Achilles. If he struggles with injuries like he did last season the Lakers will likely struggle as well. With two years and $48 million on the contract he signed, the Lakers need a healthy Bryant.

Time will tell if the Bryant contract is an albatross. At the very worst it could set the teams re-build back a couple of seasons. If Bryant, who’s known for his incredible work ethic and competitiveness, can return and prove the doubters wrong the contract could turn out to be a positive.

It all depends on what roster the Lakers build around Bryant, starting with a head coach. If Carmelo Anthony decides to jump from New York and join Bryant the massive deal may turn out to be a positive. If not, the Lakers might be in for another tough season.

Kobe

LA LAKERS KOBE BRYANT “What I do, I do”

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