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Can The Midfield Carry The US Womens National Team Past France

Rose LavelleUSA5.703.42 The U.S. has solidified the middle of the fieldInternational players* who averaged three or more progressive passes and tackles per 90 minutes, 2017-19 The story of the U.S. women’s national team has almost always been its goal-scorers. In the past, the team could count on an Abby Wambach or an Alex Morgan, and when a midfielder like Carli Lloyd stepped up to support, it was her goal-scoring, again, that made the difference. The problems for the U.S. typically lie a little further back down the pitch. At the World Cup in Canada in 2015, the team needed the last-minute addition of Morgan Brian to balance its midfield and get past Germany en route to the final.This year, the situation is reversed. Going into a match against France that could easily decide the World Cup winner, the Americans have reason to be confident in its midfield but increasingly concerned about a suddenly shaky forward line.Manager Jill Ellis has preached an aggressive possession approach, seeking to control the ball but use that control for penetration into the attacking third. That is not an easy balance to strike, at least not without leaving the defense exposed to counterattacks, but it’s possible if your players are good enough.Lindsey Horan came into the World Cup recognized as probably the top central midfielder in the world, and if anything, she has been outshone by her midfield mates Sam Mewis and Rose Lavelle in this tournament. With this squad, Ellis has preferred a 4-3-3 formation to the team’s previous 4-4-2, effectively trading a central striker out for a central midfielder. The three-woman midfield features one deeper-lying holding midfielder and two more advanced in front of her. The team was prepared to play Julie Ertz at the base of midfield and push Horan further up the pitch, but in the final group match against Sweden, Ellis went with the Horan-Mewis-Lavelle trio.These three were the team’s statistical standouts coming into the World Cup. Among players with at least 1,000 minutes played in international matches tracked by Opta since 2017, few midfielders can match the U.S. trio for all-around production. The three are among the very best in the world at the combination of ball-winning and ball-progression, among players with at least three tackles and interceptions won per 90 minutes as well as three progressive passes and runs per 90.1Progressive passes are defined as passes which advance the ball 10 to 15 yards beyond its furthest progression in the move or into the penalty area. Ertz misses the chart because while she has the excellent ball-winning numbers (4.8 tackles and interceptions per 90) you would expect from a defensive midfielder, her 1.8 progressive passes per 90 reflect her lesser skill at advancing the ball.When both Lavelle and Mewis join Horan, the U.S. is basically impossible to match up with in midfield. Each player is capable of making a defense-splitting pass or run, as well as cleaning up defensively behind whoever takes a turn attacking.This kind of midfield production was expected from Mewis and Horan, but Lavelle has been a surprise. Despite her excellent ball-winning numbers for the national team, the smaller Lavelle has been cast typically as a “number 10,” an attacking midfielder. Playing in a 4-3-3 at the World Cup, however, Lavelle has continued to show her strength in the press, with five tackles and four interceptions in a little over 200 minutes.In the round of 16 against Spain, Ertz got the call while Horan rested to avoid a yellow card suspension. One might suggest that Ertz’s less aggressive approach might have been responsible for the U.S.’s rather blah performance, but the statistics suggest the problem lies elsewhere. The U.S. successfully moved the ball into the final third in open play 38 times, but created only three shots from these moves. This rate — of shots created among balls in the final third — is under 8 percent, the second-lowest of any team that played in the knockouts. Seventeen of those final third entries came from direct attacking moves,2Direct attacking moves are defined as sustained possession actions in which at least 50 percent of the ball movement is toward goal. the fourth-best total among the 16 teams in the knockouts, but only one generated a shot attempt in the move. That 6 percent success rate was the worst among the teams in the round.Against Spain, the U.S. forwards struggled to turn dangerous possessions into scoring chances. After winning an early penalty, Tobin Heath was not effective. Heath — usually the key outlet for the U.S. in attack and a skilled dribbler — couldn’t get on the ball, playing only 16 passes (fewest of the starters) and losing two of her three take-on attempts. The most worrying number for the U.S., however, was zero. That’s the number of shots Morgan attempted against Spain. Morgan was subbed out against Sweden after taking a knock and though she returned to start against Spain, the bruising Spanish defense kept her from finding space in the penalty area or on the break.Fortunately for the Americans, if Morgan is hurting or the wide forwards are slumping, the team’s attacking power runs deep. Carli Lloyd, Christen Press and Mallory Pugh are three of the top goal creators in the women’s game over the last few years. PlayerCountryGoalsAssistsGoals and assists Sam MewisUSA3.293.67 Per 90 Minutes The biggest worry for the U.S. has to be Morgan. If the Orlando Pride striker is not fully fit, she is likely to struggle again against France.Ellis, then, faces two high-stakes decisions before the quarterfinal. First, will she roll with the more aggressive Horan-Mewis-Lavelle midfield, or will she go more conservative by deploying Ertz at defensive midfielder? The defensive strength that Horan, Mewis and Lavelle have shown in this tournament is an argument for including them and, thus, maximizing ball movement in the center of the pitch. Second, and more importantly, which forwards are ready to take on the great French defense? Heath, who probably just had an ill-timed off match, should be favored to bounce back. Morgan’s fitness is more of a worry. But however Ellis assesses her starting forwards, the options to replace one are rich and varied. Press and Lloyd would offer two different looks at striker. Pugh could spell either winger or give the team an interchanging, hard-to-mark front three.The midfield, especially with the three best passers on the pitch, should be good enough to carry the team. But if the front line doesn’t show up, the U.S. once again risks wasting the good ball progression from midfield. Amandine HenryFrance3.693.12 Tobin HeathUSA0.560.320.89 Jackie GroenenNetherlands4.483.09 Carli LloydUSA0.560.220.78 * Minimum of 1,000 minutes in matches tracked by OptaSource: Opta Caroline SegerSweden3.973.06 Valérie GauvinFrance0.710.160.87 Lina MagullGermany3.193.54 Christen PressUSA0.280.500.78 Vivianne MiedemaNetherlands1.130.311.44 Caitlin FoordAustralia0.620.441.06 Lindsey HoranUSA4.813.28 The U.S. is deep in goal creatorsInternational players* with the most open-play goals and assists per 90 minutes, 2017-2019 Alex MorganUSA0.680.170.85 * Minimum of 1,000 minutes in matches tracked by OptaSource: Opta Sports PlayerteamTackles and interceptionsProgressive passes Samantha KerrAustralia1.090.361.45 Check out our latest Women’s World Cup predictions. Emily van EgmondAustralia3.273.27 Ellen WhiteEngland0.680.230.91 Mallory PughUSA0.490.270.76 read more

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Bored With Balance In Baseball 2016 Could Be Your Year

The arrival of spring training brings with it a number of treats. If you’re a fan, it’s the hope that this might be the year your team wins the World Series. If you’re Yoenis Cespedes, it’s a cavalcade of rides that would make Birdman jealous. And for number crunchers, it’s a fresh batch of projections, ripe for statistical exploration.Those projections — generated by algorithms such as Baseball Prospectus’s PECOTA1Which, I’m obliged to say, was originally developed by FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver. — endeavor to predict the performance of each major league player and team in the coming season. That’s a tough job, and often a thankless one; if a projection system makes headlines at all, it’s usually for drawing the ire of a scorned team or fan base. (Never underestimate how quickly World Series joy can turn into anger when the computer calls for a sub-.500 record!) But projections are also invaluable because they provide a statistical snapshot, frozen in time, from which we can learn to become more accurate in the future, and suss out potential trends in the game.And this year, PECOTA’s projections spat out something that may prove even more noteworthy than, say, the last-place finish they predict for the defending champion Kansas City Royals. The numbers suggest that MLB’s brief era of balance may soon be over. For the last decade or so, the spread of wins in PECOTA’s projection2As measured by the standard deviation. has been trending downward. That meant the algorithm was forecasting win totals with less variability and more parity. With most teams clustered around 81 wins — a .500 record — it was becoming more difficult to make precise predictions about each team’s finish. Partly for this reason, team-level projections had their most inaccurate season since (at least) 1996.31996 is the earliest year for which we have archival projection numbers. Factors like health and midseason trades, neither of which PECOTA can reliably predict, dominated any differences in talent among teams when it came to determining the outcome of the season.This year, however, PECOTA is projecting a much larger spread in talent. The standard deviation of its forecast win totals is the highest it’s been since 2013, when (perhaps not coincidentally) its predictions were much more accurate. Since a wider spread in team records implies greater confidence about which teams will be good or bad, it’s fair to wonder what’s driving this newfound certitude after such a bad year for the stats.Part of PECOTA’s confidence is based on improvements to the algorithm. For the first time, it’s incorporating the effect of pitch framing, or the ability of individual catchers to quietly improve the odds of a called strike through their receiving skills. A pitching staff’s projected earned run average can go up or down depending on the sleight of a catcher’s glove. So teams with good framers, such as Yasmani Grandal of the Los Angeles Dodgers, will see their projected ERA drop, while those with poor receivers, like the Philadelphia Phillies’ Carlos Ruiz, will allow higher ERAs.But the wider distribution of predicted wins hasn’t been driven completely by tweaks in the algorithms. Las Vegas’s over/under lines tell a story similar to PECOTA’s, forecasting their widest spread in win totals since 2013. Savvy bettors have known about pitch framing for years, so clearly some other factor is driving the change. And the reason may be as simple as a few great teams coming out of rebuilding mode — and several bad ones entering it — at the same time.Fully five teams project to win 90 or more games this season, compared with only three last year and two the year before. Some are to be expected, like the always-dominant-in-the-preseason Dodgers, and others have risen on the basis of defense (Tampa Bay) or pitching (Cleveland). But some, like the Chicago Cubs and New York Mets, simply represent the recent maturation of prospect-heavy farm systems.For instance, PECOTA thinks the defending NL champion Mets will win 90 games, largely on the strength of a young, flamethrowing rotation projected to add about 13 wins above replacement.4With assistance from the good framing of catcher Travis d’Arnaud, of course. And the Cubs figure to win oodles of games no matter which source you use for your projections: PECOTA has them down for 94 wins, while FanGraphs’ projections are even more rosy, calling for 97 victories. Only two other teams in the last four years were projected by PECOTA to win 95 or more games: the 2014 and 2015 Dodgers.5In reality, those L.A. teams won 94 and 92 games, respectively. (By comparison, there were six such teams in the four years before 2014.) Chicago has overwhelmed the projection systems’ conservative streak by following their breakout 97-win season with the best offseason of any MLB team, plus enough reserves of youth, depth and prospect firepower to procure extra wins at the trade deadline if necessary.The common thread is the transition from “building” to “built.” Graduating many of their most promising players to the majors in the last year or so, the Cubs and Mets are now seeing them play some of the best ball in decades. The concentration of so much young talent on so few teams, during an era where young players are more valuable than they’ve been in many years, has clearly played a role in the widening of win projections this season.And at the other end of the spectrum, two teams are predicted to win fewer than 69 games: the Phillies and the Atlanta Braves. After failing to reach .500 these past few seasons, both teams have recently hired new general managers with long-term mandates. The new GMs (Matt Klentak in Philadelphia and John Coppolella in Atlanta) have embraced rebuilding as the new way of things, trading skilled veterans such as Andrelton Simmons to restock their minor league systems with prospects. In particular, the Phillies appear to be in for a rough year, with the worst win total projection of any MLB team since the Houston Astros in 2013. Like the Cubs and Mets at the top of the scale, these rebuilding teams are widening the spread of records at the bottom.Any time teams deliberately move away from .500, in either direction, we should see a more variable league. Projections like PECOTA may be getting more accurate thanks to additions like catcher framing, but a lot of the spread in predicted wins comes down to the old-fashioned distribution of talent across the major leagues. And in a welcome change from recent seasons, this year should give us a handful of great teams battling for playoff spots, instead of a mass of mediocrity. read more

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Ohio State semester switch could benefit Buckeyes athletes

With the switch to semesters approaching, most students have been gearing up for the change by deciding what to pack into their 72-day summer, and planning for the effects of the shorter break. For Ohio State student-athletes, the shorter summer and semester switch bring different adjustments and challenges, but also several advantages and opportunities. Starting Aug. 22, student-athletes in winter and spring sports will be able to begin out-of-season skill and instruction work. Previously, winter and spring athletes had to wait until the quarter started in late September to begin this work. The NCAA will still govern the football team’s and all fall sports’ practice start dates in accordance with NCAA rules. “Under the quarter system, OSU student-athletes in the winter and spring sports could not begin this instruction until the quarter began, leaving them at a considerable disadvantage to other schools, whose student-athletes in those sports were able to start the first day of their fall semesters,” OSU athletics spokesman Jerry Emig said in an email. Beginning in 2013, the end of Spring Semester will be followed by a four-week May class session. Following this accelerated session, which some refer to as a “Maymester,” there will be a one-week break, and then the regular seven-week summer session will begin, Emig said. There is no May session in 2012. Emig said the “Maymester” period will give many student-athletes an opportunity to participate in several learning opportunities, such as internships, study abroad programs and research efforts that were difficult to fit into their schedules during the quarter system. Steven Fink, the associate executive dean for curriculum and instruction in the College of Arts and Sciences and co-chair of the Semester Conversion Coordinating Committee, said each university department will handle the four-week May session differently, creating several different opportunities for students. “The curriculum is still being developed since it is not beginning until next summer, but we have a number of departments who are already designing courses for it,” Fink said. “I think it’s particularly well-suited for certain kinds of special topics or intensive experiences. A lot of programs are using it for study abroad, service learning, internship experiences or co-ops. Every department is going to decide on its own how it wants to handle that instructional period.” Although the teams will not have any additional or any fewer actual practice days or hours because of the switch, student-athletes may feel the effects of the change most in their free time. This year, fall athletes will begin classes about two weeks after they begin fall camp, as opposed to under the quarter system, where athletes did not start classes until about six weeks after the start of camp. Each OSU sports team has a different schedule and practice routine over the summer break, which bring varying changes depending on each athletic team’s agenda. Grayson Overman, a junior middle blocker on OSU’s volleyball team, said not much will change for him personally, but he’s excited for the switch. “I’m pretty stoked for (the change),” Overman said. “It’s going to be a lot slower pace which will be a break and might make volleyball more exciting.” OSU women’s golf coach, Therese Hession said that although there are no team-oriented events in college golf during the summer, the players are on their own schedule qualifying for tournaments. With the semester switch, the student-athletes will not get much of a rest. “We will just get started a little bit earlier than we normally do,” Hession said. “They’ll be coming right back and jumping into school.” Summer classes begin on June 18 and conclude Aug. 3. Exams will take place Aug. 6 through Aug. 8. read more

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Over 4700 SDGE customers lose power in Chula Vista

first_imgOver 4,700 SDG&E customers lose power in Chula Vista Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter Updated: 9:40 PM , CHULA VISTA (KUSI) — Over 4,700 San Diego Gas & Electric customers were without power in Chula Vista Saturday evening.The unplanned outage occurred just after 7:30 p.m., and affected 4,763 in Chula Vista, Castle Park and Otay, the SDG&E outage map said.The exact cause of the outage is still being investigated, SDG&E said.The power is estimated to be restored by 10:30 p.m.SDG&E Outage Map Posted: October 6, 2018 October 6, 2018last_img read more

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KMC to crack down on packaged milk adulteration

first_imgKolkata: The food safety wing of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will start drive against packaged milk soon after the Pujas. The decision of the civic body comes in the wake of complaints over the quality of packaged milk of a few reputed brands.”We have been receiving complaints regarding a few brands. We will be picking formal samples from shops and conduct test in our food safety laboratory. If we find any irregularity, action will be taken as per laws of violation of Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) Act,” a senior official of the food safety wing said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeSources in the food safety wing informed that Member Mayor-in-Council (Health) Atin Ghosh has instructed his officers to pick up samples along with bills from various outlets so that it is easy to locate the supply point. It may be mentioned that in the recent past there have been reports of adulteration of milk from some parts of the country, particularly from north India. The adulterants include caustic soda, detergent, glucose and refined oil among others. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedDetergent and other contaminants like urea, starch, glucose and formalin are also being used as adulterants as they provide thickness and preserve the milk for longer periods.A recent report by the Animal Welfare Board has revealed that 68.4 percent of milk production in the country along with milk by-products were found to have polluting ingredients.”Milk is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, particularly calcium and is consumed from the young to the old because of its nutrient value on a regular basis. More than six billion people consume milk and milk products across the world. It is our duty to ensure that milk quality is not compromised with,” the official added.The World Health Organisation (WHO) had recently issued an advisory to the Government of India stating that if adulteration of milk and milk products is not checked immediately, 87 percent of citizens would be suffering from serious diseases like cancer by the year 2025.last_img read more

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10 Artificial Intelligence Trends to Watch in 2018

first_img Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. 7 min read Artificial intelligence (AI) is the new technological frontier over which companies and countries are vying for control. According to a recent report from McKinsey, Alphabet invested roughly $30 billion in developing AI technologies. Baidu, which is the Chinese equivalent of Alphabet, invested $20 billion in AI last year.Companies aren’t the only ones investing time, money and energy into advancing AI technology — a recent article in The New Yorker reported that the Chinese government has been pursuing AI technology aggressively in an attempt to control a future cornerstone innovation.Considering that some of the largest entities in the world are focused on advancing AI tech, it is all but certain that 2018 will see significant advancements in the space. The following are ten AI trends to look out for this year.Related: 5 Reasons Machine Learning Is the Future of Marketing1. AI will become a political talking point.While AI may help create jobs, it will also cause some individuals to lose work. For example, Goldman Sachs expects self-driving vehicles will cause 25,000 truckers to lose their jobs each month, as reported by CNBC.Likewise, if large warehouses can operate with just a few dozen people, many of the 1 million pickers and packers currently working in U.S. warehouses could be out of a job.During the 2016 election, President Trump focused on globalization and immigration as causes of American job-loss, but during the 2018 midterm elections, the narrative could be about automation and artificial intelligence, as more working-class Americans struggle to adjust to the new landscape.2. Logistics will become increasingly efficient.We are entering a world in which it will be possible to run a 20,000-square-foot distribution center with a skeleton crew. Companies like Kiva Systems — now Amazon Robotics — use a combination of artificial intelligence and advanced robotics to provide big box retailers with unprecedented logistics solutions.Warehouses of the future will look nothing like they do today — rather than being designed to accommodate human packers, they will be built for highly capable robots that can work 24/7 and don’t require lighting to see what they are doing.Kiva Systems, which was purchased by Amazon for $775 million in 2012, creates learning robots that can efficiently find and transport items in Amazon’s warehouses. The technology is already being used today and is expected to play an increasingly prominent role in the company’s quest for faster, less expensive deliveries.Related: Want to Be More Like Amazon? Start By Making Your Startup More Data-Driven.3. Mainstream auto manufacturers will launch self-driving cars.Tesla was one of the first auto makers to launch a self-driving vehicle. In their effort to keep pace with Tesla, traditional automakers like Audi are poised to release their own self-driving cars in 2018.The Audi A8 will feature self-driving technology capable of safely shuttling humans without driver input. Cadillac and Volvo are also developing advanced self-driving technology, which will become increasingly visible in 2018.4. DARPA will develop advanced robo-warriors in plain sight.The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) has pioneered a number of technological breakthroughs that have impacted our daily lives. The organization, which is responsible for developing new technologies to be used by the American military, was instrumental in developing the internet and GPS navigation — they are no stranger to innovation.Today, DARPA is working with Boston Dynamics to develop a series of robots designed for “disaster relief,” though the technology could be used in a combat role as well. The Atlas robot, which received internet fame for performing backflips, is one of the AI-powered technologies in development.Related: Top 10 Best Chatbot Platform Tools to Build Chatbots for Your Business5. Machine learning will aid knowledge workers.While some are rightfully concerned that AI will put people out of work, AI technology also has the ability to aid employees, especially those in knowledge work.Today, tools like Gong, Chorus and Jog are able to record calls made by sales and customer service representatives. “This technology can coach customer-facing service workers to speak more effectively, thanks to machine-learning algorithms. Expect AI to increasingly support white-collar workers in 2018 and beyond,” explains Carrie Christensen, Operations VP of Mint Solar.6. Content will be created using AI.Brands like USA Today, CBS and Hearst are already using AI technology to generate content. For example, Wibbitz offers a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that allows publishers to turn written content into video content through AI video production.Publishers used to spend hours, if not days, creating content for their websites or for social media. Tools like Wibbitz are now helping publishers create compelling videos in minutes.Similar to Wibbitz, the Associated Press is using a tool called Wordsmith, created by Automated Insights, to apply natural-language generation in order to create news stories based on earnings data. In 2018, readers can expect to see more media companies adopt natural-language and video-generation technologies.Related: Artificial Intelligence Is Likely to Make a Career in Finance, Medicine or Law a Lot Less Lucrative7. Peer-to-peer networks will create transparency.Machine learning is a form of artificial intelligence, and companies like Facebook are already using statistical modeling to help machines make informed decisions about what content to show you next. In order for the models to work properly, they require massive amounts of data and significant computing power.With the rise of peer-to-peer networks — like the ones used by cryptocurrencies — even small organizations will have the ability to run advanced AI programs by harnessing the collective power of networked personal computers.Presearch is one company that aims to use peer-to-peer networking and artificial intelligence to bring transparency to the world of search engines. Google controls nearly 80 percent of the search market, yet few people fully understand how Google determines what content is shown to a particular consumer.Presearch plans to use cryptocurrency to incentivize participants to lend them the computing power of their personal computers. In return, the company promises to build a more transparent search engine platform. The startup has already raised $5 million in funding, and it is likely that they — and other organizations — will use AI and peer-to-peer networking to challenge large organizations.8. Consumers will become accustomed to talking with technology.It’s estimated that over 20 million Amazon smart speakers were sold last year, and if you add sales of other smart devices like Google Home and Apple Airpod, you realize that tens of millions of Americans are getting used to interacting with technology through voice commands.In 2018, consumers will become even more comfortable with voice-based interfaces, as smart assistants become integrated into computers, smartphones and even televisions.As someone who finally caved in and purchased an Amazon Echo, I can tell you first-hand that these devices are going to get even more useful as the technology advances.Related: A Humanoid Robot Called Sophia Mocked Elon Musk After Being Asked About the Dangers of AI9. Demand for data scientists will surpass demand for engineers.According to IBM, demand for data scientists will increase to 2.7 million by 2020.Why? Machine-learning AI uses probability to determine what the proper answer or decision is for any given problem. With more data provided to machine-learning platforms, the platforms will become better at making predictions.As companies of all sizes strive to collect and effectively analyze data, there will inevitably be an increased need for talented data scientists capable of handling large data sets to aid AI platforms.10. AI will fight challenging diseases.”We are entering a time where a peer-to-peer network of computers could have the capability of solving some of the world’s most challenging health problems by collecting and analyzing human molecular data,” explains Ben Hortman, CEO of Bet Capital LLC. Now, what if those computers were powered by chips smaller than the head of a pin with secure, built-in AI and cryptocurrency technology? What sounds like something out of a science fiction novel, is now a reality thanks to Nano Vision.The technology was inspired by two tech trends — blockchain and AI. Users are rewarded for participating in the program through a special Nano cryptocurrency, while machine-learning technology seeks to identify and analyze illnesses to enable new drugs, treatments and cures at a fraction of the time and cost. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global January 18, 2018 Register Now »last_img read more

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