Sunday, March 4, 2018

LA Galaxy 2, Portland Timbers 1 | 2018 MLS Match Recap

The Portland Timbers made them sweat right up until the very end. But the LA Galaxy held their nerve to claim a 2-1 win in both teams' 2018 season opener at StubHub Center on Sunday night, thanks to a flurry of two goals in three first-half minutes. 
Prized offseason acquisition Ola Kamara opened the scoring for LA, and Romain Alessandrini doubled the advantage mere moments later with a point-blank finish of his own rebound that was short on aesthetics but long on persistence. The Frenchman's strong outing was cut short by what appeared to be a hamstring injury, though, portending a spell on the sidelines for the influential Designated Player. 
After the break, the Galaxy struggled to maintain the tenacious pressing and tempo they established in the first 45 minutes and Portland's Sebastian Blanco eventually made them pay with an angled strike through the legs of goalkeeper David Bingham. The equalizer never materialized despite some sustained Timbers pressure, however, handing new coach Giovanni Savarese a loss in his MLS coaching debut.

Sporting Kansas City 0, New York City FC 2 | 2018 MLS Match Recap

Jesus Medina had a goal and an assist to lead New York City FC to a comprehensive 2-0 win over Sporting Kansas City in both team’s MLS opener at Children’s Mercy Park Sunday evening.
Maxi Moralez put the visitors in front in the 32nd minute when the diminutive — and unmarked — midfielder slid to tap in a cross by David Villa after the NYCFC captain found space in the box and cut to the outside of Ike Opera just outside the six.
Medina opened his account in the 53rd minute after Ben Sweat bombed up the sideline following a Yangel Herrera back heel. The left back played an inch-perfect cross to an unmarked Medina and the young Paraguayan took a touch to his left foot and scored on his MLS debut.
Maxime Chanot was sent off in the 88th minute on a straight red card for denying an obvious scoring opportunity to reduce NYCFC to 10 men, but the visitors bunkered down to get the clean sheet. 

Vancouver Whitecaps 2, Montreal Impact 1 | 2018 MLS Match Recap

Newcomer Kei Kamara bagged his first strike with his new club and Homegrown phenom Alphonso Davies racked up a goal and an assist as the Vancouver Whitecaps edged the Montreal Impact 2-1 at BC Place in a cross-Canadian clash on opening day of the 2018 MLS season. 
Featuring a range of new faces in their starting XIs, the two sides were evenly matched in a scoreless first half. Then the home side sparked to life with two goals in eight minutes shortly after the passage of the hour mark.
First Davies served in an inviting near-post service from the left wing for Kamara to finish with a snapped header off the woodwork, and then it was Davies' turn, as the teenager bagged his first goal in MLS play by bundling home a low cross from Cristian Techera. 
The Impact's veteran Italian striker Matteo Mancosu headed home a pinpoint delivery from Daniel Lovitz to cut the deficit and set up a tense finish, but the 'Caps held on for the win. 

Seattle Sounders FC 0, Los Angeles Football Club 1 | 2018 MLS Match Recap

Consider it a statement in Seattle as LAFC went to Century Link Field and defeated back-to-back MLS Cup finalists Seattle Sounders FC, 1-0, in their MLS debut. 
Moments after his cross was headed off the inside of the post by Latif Blessing, Diego Rossi scored the first goal in LAFC history in the 11th minute. Carlos Vela slipped a pass to Rossi and the Uruguayan clinically finished first time from 24 yards out to put the expansion side in front, 1-0.
It was the fastest goal scored by an expansion side, 33 seconds quicker than Fredy Montero’s strike in the Sounders inaugural match, a 3-0 win over the New York Red Bulls on March 19, 2009.
Two minutes later, Nouhou Tolo nearly leveled for Seattle when he lashed a first-time volley on frame, but former Sounders SC goalkeeper Tyler Miller dived to his left to parry away the attempt. Will Bruin thought he headed in the equalizer in the 65th minute, but the goal was called back for offsides. It came just after Handwalla Bwana put a deflected shot off the crossbar.

Harvick wins Las Vegas race in dominating fashion

 If you thought last Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Atlanta was an aberration on old asphalt, think again.
Kevin Harvick was every bit as dominant on the newer asphalt at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, racking up impressive numbers in winning Sunday’s Pennzoil 400, the third event of the season.
In winning his second straight race and his second at the 1.5-mile track, Harvick finished 2.906 seconds ahead of runner-up and Las Vegas native Kyle Busch. Third-place finisher Kyle Larson was more than 13 seconds back. Paul Menard in ninth-place was the last driver on the lead lap.
Harvick won for the 39th time in the Monster Energy Series and the 100th time over all three of NASCAR’s national touring series combined. He is tied with Tim Flock and Matt Kenseth for 19th on the all-time Cup victory list and third among active drivers.
The driver of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford also took the series lead by three points over second-place Joey Logano and four over third-place Ryan Blaney, who started from the pole on Sunday and led one lap—the first.
“As you look at the last two weeks and our 1.5-mile program in general, it has been really good since I started here at SHR,” said Harvick, a Bakersfield, California, native. “They put a lot of effort into everything we do from every standpoint to get these cars going like they are. It’s great to win on the West Coast for me.”
Harvick led 214 of 267 laps, most ever by a Las Vegas winner. His fastest lap was more than .4 seconds better than the quickest circuit posted by anyone else. Harvick won the first two stages of the race with relative ease, picking up two Playoff points in the process.
With all that, the outcome wasn’t a foregone conclusion after Harvick lost three spots on pit road under caution at the end of Stage 2. He restarted fourth on Lap 167, fell back to fifth and didn’t regain fourth-place until he passed Chase Elliott on Lap 172.
“We had some trouble getting through traffic there,” Harvick said. “That was our worst run, as far as where the car was. I don’t know if it was just the car, tire set, handling, whatever it was. We were just stuck in traffic and needed to come make an adjustment.”
After two more cautions — the first for Jamie McMurray’s brush with the backstretch wall on Lap 176, the second for a hard crash off Turn 4 that eliminated Kurt Busch and Elliotton Lap 183 — Harvick lined up beside eventual seventh-place finisher Logano for a restart on Lap 195 and rocketed into the lead through the first corner.
At that point, it was game over. Kyle Busch led laps 225-230 after Harvick made a green-flag pit stop on Lap 225, but that was Busch’s last glimpse of the lead. Harvick reclaimed first place after Busch came to pit road on Lap 230 and stayed there the rest of the way.
“There was no catching that 4,” Kyle Busch said. “They were on rails today… Certainly would have liked to have been able to run down the 4 or catch the 4 and put on a race, but they were just so far out there and so far the class of the field all day long, I don’t think anybody was really keeping up with them.” 

San Jose Earthquakes 3, Minnesota United 2 | 2018 MLS Match Recap

The San Jose Earthquakes' new era has begun successfully, but not without a scare.
The Earthquakes held off a late Minnesota United comeback effort to win, 3-2, at Avaya Stadium in their season opener on Saturday night. Kevin Molino attempted to spoil the party with goals in the 81st and 85th minutes, but San Jose held on to give new head coach Mikael Stahre a victory in his debut.
Danny Hoesen helped lead the way for the Earthquakes. He bagged a brace in the Western Conference affair, including the 59th-minute winner. Vako, who assisted on both of Hoesen's goals, had the club's other tally.

FC Dallas 1, Real Salt Lake 1 | 2018 MLS Match Recap

Real Salt Lake were on the way to a big road win in their 2018 season opener. Then disaster struck via one of their players.
A late own goal from Marcelo Silva saw RSL settle for a 1-1 draw with FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium on Saturday night. Silva's botched clearance came in the 86th minute after some good work down the right from Maximiliano Urruti, and it canceled out Joao Plata's first-half strike.
Plata found the opener and RSL's first goal of the season in the 25th minute, collecting a ball down the left and dribbling forward before cutting and slotting the ball home. It did not stand as the winner, however, as Silva failed to properly handle Urruti's low cross.


Luciano De Castro (Guzolandia, Brazil) won his first-ever PBR (Professional Bull Riders) event with a victory at the 25th PBR: Unleash The Beast, Bad Boy Mowdown at Verizon Arena in front of a record crowd in North Little Rock, Arkansas.
De Castro was the only rider to go 3-for-3 as he rode Shattered Dreams (Kevin Foreman Bucking Bulls) for 84.25 points in Round 2 and then covered Big Dutch (Jane Clark/Gene Owen) in the championship round for a massive 91.75 points. For the victory, he earned 545 world points and $37,002.86.
With the win, he jumped one spot in the world standings, rising from No. 3 to No. 2 and now trails No. 1 Ramon de Lima (São Paulo, Brazil) by 90 points.
A pair of fellow Brazilians, Emilio Resende (Santa Helena Do Goias, Brazil) and Eduardo Aparecido (Gouvelandia, Brazil) finished in second and third place, respectively.
Resende bucked off Wired Child (01 Cattle Co.) during Round 2 but earned 84.5 points when he went 8 seconds on Cut The Cord (Broken Arrow Bucking Bulls) in the championship round. He earned $19,702.86 and 360 points towards the PBR world standings.
Aparecido conquered Pick-It Construction’s Find Jesus (Ogden Ranch/Hart Cattle Co.) in the opening round of the night but unfortunately, hit the dirt early in the championship round. It’s the best finish for Aparecido this season as he earned 230 world points and $11,200.
Resende catapulted from 36th to 17th in the PBR World Standings and Aparecido moved from 17th to 10th.
Despite not being able to compete at all on Saturday due to suffering a knee injury in Round 1, Derek Kolbaba (Walla Walla, Washington) finished in fourth place, earning 165 points and $9,032.86.
Reigning World Champion Jess Lockwood (Volborg, Montana) finished in fifth place earning 159 points towards the world standings along with a paycheck of $5,602.86.
Lockwood rode Missouri Boat Ride (McConnell’s Bucking Cattle) in Round 2 and then confidently chose YETI World Champion Bull SweetPro’s Bruiser (D&H Cattle Co.) during the championship round but it was the bovine World Champion that won the matchup, dispatching Lockwood in 4.89 seconds.
The YETI “Built for the Wild” Bull of the Event was Bruiser who earned a bull score of 46.5 points. It’s the second time this year that Bruiser has been named the Bull of the Event.
The top bull riders in the world stay in the South with a trip to Duluth, Georgia next on the calendar. The Duluth Invitational will take place, March 10-11 at Infinite Energy Arena.
In other PBR action this weekend, Nathan Burtenshaw (Coonamble, NSW, AUS) won the PBR Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour (RVT) Hampton Classic Saturday night at Hampton Coliseum. 
Burtenshaw scored 85 points aboard Otis (Mike Miller Bucking Bulls) in Round 1 before riding to 80 points on Sam (Mike Miller Bucking Bulls) in the championship round. He earned 120 points toward the world standings and $8,125
Winners of each RVT event in 2018 will be guaranteed at least one opportunity to compete at a regular-season PBR 25th: Unleash The Beast event. Thanks to his victory in Hampton, Burtenshaw earned an invitation to the First Premier Bank Premier Bankcard Invitational in Sioux Falls, S.D. on April 6-8.
Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour 
Hampton Classic Results
Name, Round 1-Round 2-Aggr. Score-Total Points-Money Earned

1.  Nathan Burtenshaw, 85-80-165-120-$8,125
2.  Dustin Ratchford, 85.5-0-85.5-55-$3,850
     Fernando Henrique Novais, 85.5-0-85.5-55-$3,850
4.  Carlos Garcia, 85-0-85-15-$1,158
     Daniel Tinsman, 85-0-85-15-$1,158
     Thor Hoefer II, 85-0-85-15-$1,158
7.  Junio Quaresma, 83.5-0-83.5-5-$420
25th PBR Unleash The Beast
Badboy Mowdown
Verizon Arena, North Little Rock, Arkansas
Event Leaders (Round 1-Round 2-Round 3-Event Aggregate-Event Points)
1. Luciano De Castro, 85.25-84.25-91.75-261.25-545 Points.
2. Emilio Resende, 88.25-0-88.5-176.75-360 Points.
3. Eduardo Aparecido, 0-83.25-84.5-167.75-230 Points.
4. Derek Kolbaba, 89-0-0-89.00-165 Points.
5. Jess Lockwood, 87-74.5-0-161.50-150 Points.
6. Fabiano Vieira, 0-87.5-0-87.50-145 Points.
7. Keyshawn Whitehorse, 0-87.25-0-87.25-80 Points.
8. Valdiron de Oliveira, 0-86.75-0-86.75-60 Points.
(tie). Cody Campbell, 87-0-0-87.00-60 Points.
10. Cody Teel, 0-86.25-0-86.25-42.5 Points.
(tie). Chase Robbins, 0-86.25-0-86.25-42.5 Points.
12. Jose Vitor Leme, 84.5-0-0-84.50-20 Points.
13. Guilherme Marchi, 82.75-0-0-82.75-10 Points.
14. Tanner Byrne, 0-83.75-0-83.75-7.5 Points.
(tie). Joao Ricardo Vieira, 0-83.75-0-83.75-7.5 Points.
Ramon de Lima, 0-0-0-0.00
Dener Barbosa, 0-0-0-0.00
Claudio Montanha Jr., 0-0-0-0.00
Cooper Davis, 0-0-0-0.00
Stetson Lawrence, 0-0-0-0.00
Cody Nance, 0-0-0-0.00
Kaique Pacheco, 0-0-0-0.00
Marco Antonio Eguchi, 0-0-0-0.00
J.B. Mauney, 0-0-0-0.00
Dakota Buttar, 0-0-0-0.00
Brennon Eldred, 0-0-0-0.00
Alex Marcilio, 0-0-0-0.00
Brady Oleson, 0-0-0-0.00
Wallace Vieira de Oliveira, 0-0-0-0.00
Juan Carlos Contreras, 0-0-0-0.00
Tye Chandler, 0-0-0-0.00
Paulo Ferreira Lima, 0-0-0-0.00
Ueberson Duarte, 0-0-0-0.00
Silvano Alves, 0-0-0-0.00
Stormy Wing, 0-0-0-0.00
Jake Gowdy, 0-0-0-0.00

2018 Professional Bull Riders 25th PBR: Unleash the Beast World Standings
(Place, Rider, Events, Wins, Top 5's, Points, Total Winnings)
1. Ramon de Lima, 15, 2, 3, 1,675.00, $177,025.00
2. Luciano De Castro, 12, 1, 6, 1,585.00, $94,786.36
3. Dener Barbosa, 17, 1, 7, 1,465.00, $69,445.00
4. Claudio Montanha Jr., 16, 0, 5, 1,035.83, $60,741.67
5. Cooper Davis, 11, 1, 4, 890.00, $131,984.14
6. Ryan Dirteater, 6, 1, 1, 825.00, $55,490.00
7. Derek Kolbaba, 15, 0, 5, 810.00, $98,542.18
8. Guilherme Marchi, 11, 1, 1, 763.33, $60,356.19
9. Stetson Lawrence, 13, 0, 3, 715.00, $40,361.78
10. Eduardo Aparecido, 13, 0, 3, 700.83, $42,861.66
11. Gage Gay, 3, 1, 1, 700.00, $109,425.50
12. Valdiron de Oliveira, 15, 0, 4, 694.16, $31,281.67
13. Cody Teel, 14, 0, 4, 655.00, $80,970.95
14. Cody Nance, 11, 1, 1, 648.33, $89,337.27
15. Tanner Byrne, 12, 1, 1, 625.00, $48,960.50
16. Jess Lockwood, 11, 1, 3, 615.00, $126,107.86
17. Emilio Resende, 9, 0, 2, 545.00, $33,277.86
18. Keyshawn Whitehorse, 15, 1, 4, 543.33, $34,872.73
19. Jose Vitor Leme, 14, 1, 4, 527.50, $48,702.44
20. Kaique Pacheco, 14, 2, 2, 492.50, $51,311.66
21. Marco Antonio Eguchi, 10, 0, 1, 430.00, $23,300.00
22. Fabiano Vieira, 12, 0, 0, 397.50, $29,388.39
23. Joao Ricardo Vieira, 13, 0, 1, 387.50, $34,063.11
24. J.B. Mauney, 9, 1, 4, 365.00, $19,400.00
25. Dakota Buttar, 11, 0, 1, 362.50, $27,134.30
26. Brennon Eldred, 11, 0, 3, 357.50, $69,848.54
27. Fraser Babbington, 7, 2, 5, 330.00, $12,970.40
28. Alex Marcilio, 10, 0, 2, 305.00, $52,372.24
29. Chase Robbins, 14, 0, 4, 272.50, $32,690.94
30. Cody Campbell, 15, 1, 1, 258.33, $21,517.86
31. Aaron Kleier, 8, 2, 6, 250.00, $18,209.95
32. Brady Oleson, 13, 1, 5, 245.83, $23,977.29
33. Wallace Vieira de Oliveira, 16, 1, 1, 227.50, $29,766.07
34. Juan Carlos Contreras, 10, 1, 1, 225.00, $17,937.92
35. Tye Chandler, 17, 2, 4, 217.50, $19,391.09
36. Lindomar Lino, 11, 2, 3, 215.00, $15,787.20
37. Paulo Ferreira Lima, 11, 1, 4, 195.83, $22,495.81
38. Ueberson Duarte, 5, 1, 1, 182.50, $8,960.00
39. Lucas Divino, 4, 2, 2, 160.00, $10,325.81
40. Reese Cates, 12, 0, 3, 152.50, $13,200.00
41. Silvano Alves, 13, 0, 1, 150.00, $16,826.66
41. Rubens Barbosa, 15, 0, 3, 150.00, $23,629.61
43. Edgar Durazo, 8, 1, 1, 135.00, $15,325.87
44. Colten Jesse, 11, 1, 1, 125.00, $8,793.33
45. Ryan Miller, 7, 1, 1, 120.00, $7,900.00
45. Bryan Titman, 8, 1, 1, 120.00, $6,950.00


 Here are three things we learned from the Bad Boy Mowdown at Verizon Arena this weekend.
SweetPro’s Bruiser wins Battle of Champions
Jess Lockwood is getting sick and tired of making mistakes against reigning World Champion Bull SweetPro’s Bruiser.
For the third time, Bruiser owned Lockwood and sent the defending World Champion rider sailing in 4.89 seconds right when he turned back to the right, away from Lockwood’s hand.
Lockwood was extremely ticked at himself for letting an opportunity to win his first 25th PBR: Unleash The Beast event in 2018 pass him by in the championship round on Saturday night.
“He made me look stupid like he did the last two times,” Lockwood said. “He bucks hard and I am not cowboying up and getting him rode. He is just leaving me each time.”
Bruiser was marked a season-high 46.5 points and has now been scored 46-plus in two consecutive outs.
It was the first matchup between the two PBR champions from last season. It was also the first meeting between the two since Bruiser knocked out Lockwood in Springfield, Missouri, last September.
“You take a hit like I did last time, I was trying harder last time,” Lockwood said.
The two-time World Champion Bull edged out Old Fort Days (45.75 points for 4.16 seconds of work against Keyshawn Whitehorse) and Pearl Harbor(45.5 points for a 2.09-second buckoff of Cody Campbell) to be named the YETI Built for the Wild Bull of the Event.
Bruiser pushed his record to 3-2 this year and raised his average bull score to 45.45 points.
Lockwood wound up finishing fifth overall (2-for-3, 150 world points) and is ranked 16th in the world standings heading into next weekend’s Duluth Invitational in Duluth, Georgia. The 20-year-old rode Missouri Boat Ride for 74.5 points in Round 2, but turned down a re-ride option to face Lester Gillis.
Castro earns first career win to move to doorstep of world No. 1 ranking
Luciano de Castro knew SweetPro’s Bruiser could potentially give Lockwood the event win, but he also knew Big Dutch could be just as lethal with him on the back of the bovine athlete.
Castro was aware that Bruiser can be a tad bit tricky when he turns back, therefore he decided to take Big Dutch with the first pick of the championship-round draft.
The decision worked out just fine as Castro rode Big Dutch for a career-high 91.75 points and his first career Unleash The Beast event win.
“It is so big,” Castro said with the help of Paulo Crimber translating. “It is hard to explain how big this win is and how happy I am right now. I have been getting close to winning and I kept letting it slip away. I had that bull in my mind. Everybody asked why I picked this bull instead of Bruiser, but I had this bull in my mind for quite a time. I followed my heart. I knew I could ride that bull really good. Bruiser has that jump out of the spin and it is hard to make that. He is not an easy bull to ride. I knew I had a better chance to make a great ride on the bull I picked.
“I am happy and hope to continue like this for the next events to come.”
The ride was picturesque and capped off a flawless weekend for the 2015 PBR Brazil champion.
Castro, who had two runner-up finishes already this season, started Little Rock with 85.25 points on Reckless Red before riding Shattered Dreamsfor 84.25 points to move atop the leaderboard in Round 2.
He and Lockwood were the only two riders to cover both of their long-round bulls.
Castro, though, locked down the walk-off victory aboard Big Dutch and moved up to second in the world standings. He is a mere 90 points behind world leader Ramon de Lima, who went 0-for-2 inside Verizon Arena, after earning 525 world points in Little Rock.
The 21-year-old was happy to finish Little Rock with a victory after being pulled out of Iron Cowboy last weekend because of a concussion during his Round 1 winning ride.
“I was really sad because I couldn’t remember,” Castro said. “I knew I made a good ride when I saw the video in sports medicine. I trust PBR Sports Medicine. I knew this wasn’t the time and the time would come.
“That time came a week later. I won a big event.”
Resende says goodbye to the Unleash The Beast cutline
Emilio Resende put any talk of the Unleash The Beast cutline behind him by earning a season-high 360 world points in Little Rock.
Resende finished second overall (2-for-3, 260 world points) after riding Cut The Cord for 88.5 points in the championship round as he bounced back from being cut from the Unleash The Beast following Iron Cowboy last week.
“Well, I am very happy to come back and ride good,” Resende said. “There were good bulls in the draw. This is a pleasure to have a good championship round.”
It was a big sigh of relief for the 30-year-old.
Resende was the top alternate for Little Rock and replaced Rubens Barbosa (back) in the draw on Wednesday.
He didn’t waste any time regaining a full-time spot on tour by riding Little Texas for 88.25 points in Round 1. Resende then bounced back from a 5.87-second buckoff against Wired Child in Round 2 to cover Cut The Cord in the championship round.
Resende goes from being No. 36 in the world rankings to No. 17.
“I feel amazing to be back in the Top 35 now,” Resende said. “Thank you everyone.”
Rounding out the Top 5 behind Castro and Resende was Eduardo Aparecido (2-for-3, 230 world points), Derek Kolbaba (1-for-1, 165 world points) and Lockwood.
Injury Updates
There were only 13 riders in the championship round after Kolbaba (torn ACL/MCL) and Jose Vitor Leme (stiff neck & riding arm) were ruled out for the championship round by Dr. Tandy Freeman.
Kolbaba will get an MRI on Monday in Dallas to determine the severity of his knee injury.
Kolbaba wins Round 1, but needs to get MRI
Derek Kolbaba tried to stay positive as Rich Blyn of the PBR Sports Medicine team worked on the finishing touches of strapping Kolbaba’s right knee into a brace.
Kolbaba had won Round 1 with an 89-point ride on Bottom’s Up, but his immediate future is now in jeopardy after Bottom’s Up stepped on his right knee following the ride.
Dr. Tandy Freeman has initially diagnosed Kolbaba with a torn ACL/MCL, but he will need to see an MRI on Monday to get a clear picture of how severe the damage is and if surgery will be necessary.
“It was a really good bull and I felt really good,” Kolbaba said. “I thought I had a good get off and I thought he was kind of bucking straight for a second and that was my chance to step out and he decided to turn back and apparently my leg was underneath his and it tweaked my knee wrong.
“We will see what Tandy says after I get an MRI.”
Kolbaba earned 100 points toward the world standings via the round win, but he knew something was wrong when he heard a pop as he tried to crawl to safety.
The 21-year-old is up to eighth in the world standings, but Kolbaba knows the injury will likely have him headed to the sidelines.
“It is very frustrating, especially when you win a freaking round,” Kolbaba said. “You make a good ride and I thought I had a good get off. It sucks. What do you do? This is something that happens. Look at Gage Gay. He wins the first PBR Major of the year and is leading the world and gets took out. Shit like that happens in our sport.”
Kolbaba is the latest Top 10 rider to sustain a significant injury this year.
Gay was the No. 1 rider in the world when he tore his right ACL/MCL in Chicago and Ryan Dirteater was No. 3 when he fractured four ribs and bruised his lung in Anaheim, California.
Meanwhile, current No. 5 Cooper Davis is trying to ride through a partially torn ligament in the ring finger of his riding hand, No. 9 Stetson Lawrencehas a fractured ankle and defending World Champion Jess Lockwood has a torn MCL.
“A lot of it is how you come back from it,” Kolbaba said. “You can either let it suck you in and ruin you for a month, a year or the rest of your career, or you can just do what you have to do to get it right and come back that much better.”
Resende needs just one ride to earn back full-time draw spot
Emilio Resende was originally the first alternate and odd man out for this weekend’s 25th PBR: Unleash The Beast event.
Resende was told by the PBR competition department that he could probably get into the PBR Canada event taking place in Lethbridge, Alberta, but Resende said the flights were so expensive that he decided to roll the dice and hope a spot would open up in Little Rock.
Sure enough, Rubens Barbosa informed the PBR on Wednesday afternoon he would be unable to compete because of his on-going back injury. Therefore, a spot opened for Resende.
“I didn’t see my name Wednesday morning and I was scared,” Resende said. “They then asked me if I was ready to ride. I said I am ready. My house is only a six-hour drive.”
Resende, who was the only rider from last year’s Top 30 to have been cut from the premier series so far in 2018, didn’t waste any time in getting back on tour.
The 30-year-old finished second in Round 1 by riding Little Texas for 88.25 points and an extremely important 60 world points.
“I have seen this bull a couple of times,” Resende said. “I expected to ride good. I knew to ride better I had to make the first jump and get to the spin. I am very happy.”
Resende heads into his Round 2 matchup against Wired Child (23-7, PBR UTB) ranked 28th in the world.
“I am happy I am back to the Top 30 because I am from Brazil. If I want to stay comfortable in the USA, I need to stay in the Top 35,” Resende said. “There is a lot of points and money here.”
Resende wasn’t the only bubble rider to come up with a clutch ride in Little Rock.
Cody Campbell moved up four spots – going from 33rd to 29 – thanks to an 87-point ride on Clover Mountain Beau that put him tied for third in the round with Lockwood (87 points on Wild Onion) for 45 world points.
Campbell entered the event with only one qualified ride in his last 14 attempts and was flirting with being cut from the premier series.
“I didn’t know anything about that bull,” Campbell said. “This is a Classic, but I knew I had to show up, keep my head down and start moving forward. I tried to put a little more focus into it this week and get stuff going. Sometimes I rather be doing stuff with family instead of focusing on me. I just focused on getting it right for this weekend and getting things rolling.”
Campbell takes on Black Rose (4-4, PBR UTB) in Round 2.
Lockwood continues to roll
Injuries are continuing to mount at the top of the world standings, and that is creating an opening for riders outside of the Top 10 to slowly make up ground.
Reigning World Champion Jess Lockwood is trying to get himself back into the 2018 world title race and he built off his victory at The American by riding Wild Onion for 87 points on Friday night.
Lockwood finished tied with Campbell for third in Round 1 and picked up 45 world points to move to 16th in the world standings.
“I started terrible this season and it always takes that one break through. I feel good. I feel confident as ever and it showed in my riding tonight. I spurred on him a little. We are doing good now.”
Lockwood has drawn Missouri Boat Ride (4-10, PBR UTB) for Round 2 on Saturday night.
With Kolbaba out of the competition, Lockwood is one of only four riders in the Top 16 with a qualified ride heading into Round 2.
No. 3 Luciano de Castro rode Reckless Red for 85.25 points, No. 7 Guilherme Marchi made 8 seconds on Ellis 1413 for 82.75 points and No. 15 Jose Vitor Leme covered After Party Blues for 82.5 points to wrap up the seven total qualified rides in Round 1.
Alves now on World Champion provisional status
Some may be surprised when they see three-time World Champion Silvano Alves in the draw on Friday night for the Bad Boy Mowdown in North Little Rock, Arkansas.
Alves is currently tied for 40th in the world standings following the first eight events of the 2018 25th PBR: Unleash The Beast.
If Alves was not a World Champion, he would have been relegated to the Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour now that he has used up all eight of his guaranteed Unleash The Beast events for his 11th-place finish in the final 2017 world standings.
However, Alves notified the PBR two weeks ago with his intention of enacting rule 3.1.15 “World Champion Provisional Status,” if it was necessary.
The rule ( states, “A World Champion has a provisional status exemption for any 10 events in a season, and after the completion of those 10 events must qualify to remain as a seated rider under the eligibility for PBR 25th Tour Events. If the World Champion then qualifies for the next World Finals under applicable rules, his provisional status exemption continues for the next successive year. If the prior PBR World Champion fails to qualify for the World Finals in any year, his World Champion Provisional Status shall be revoked.”
Rule states a World Champion must notify the PBR no later than two weeks before an event to use the exemption. Therefore, even though Alves was not cut yet, he still made sure to inform PBR of his decision just in case.
The PBR competition department confirmed this week that the World Champion Provisional Status is in addition to the eight events a rider earns for finishing in the Top 30 of the final world standings from a previous season.
Alves said last weekend he was not concerned about having to use additional exemptions to crack the Top 35 of the world standings after being eliminated from the WinStar World Casino & Resort Iron Cowboy, powered by Kawasaki.
“If I get cut, I will go to the Velocity events and make my way back,” he said.
Alves is 9-for-21 (42.86 percent) with only one Top-5 finish, which was a fifth-place finish in Anaheim, California. Outside of the 135 world points he earned in Anaheim, Alves has picked up only 15 world points in the other seven premier series events.
He began the event with an 82.25-point ride on his re-ride, Chute Boss, to finish Round 1 in 10th place for 5 world points. Alves was then bucked off Sky Harbor in 2.44 seconds to Round 2 to be eliminated from the competition.
“It is hard for us because the judges have had trouble with us,” Alves said in Anaheim. “The (chute) clock. The scores. All I can do is try to ride my bulls. It is a long season. Right now, I want to ride my bulls.”
No. 8 Stetson Lawrence, No. 11 Derek Kolbaba, No. 16 Kaique Pachecoand No. 33 Cody Campbell are the only riders that have competed in all eight premier series events that are ranked higher than Alves who have nine or less qualified rides on the premier series.
There are other riders with less rides than Alves, but they have either competed in Real Time Pain Relief Velocity Tour events or have yet to compete in every event like Alves.
Alves has drawn Big Black (2-0, PBR UTB) for Round 1, and he can easily crack back into the Top 35 this weekend. The 30-year-old trails No. 35 Aaron Kleier, who is not competing in Little Rock as he remains in Australia, by 40 points.
There are only four riders ranked inside the Top 35 not competing this weekend – No. 6 Ryan Dirteater (fractured ribs), No. 9 Gage Gay(reconstructive knee surgery), No. 32 Lindomar Lino (fractured sternum) and No. 35 Kleier (personal decision).
The four spots have been filled by three exempt riders – No. 37 Ueberson Duarte (Youngstown, Ohio), No. 77 Stormy Wing (three exemptions remaining), unranked Jake Gowdy (final injury exemption) – and alternate No. 36 Emilio Resende.
Resende is a meager five points behind Kleier and has drawn Little Texas (1-1, PBR UTB).
Gowdy has zero world points after making his debut last weekend following two torn groin muscles (left and right) that cost him eight months last season. The 20-year-old is slated to face Detective Crockett (2-0, PBR UTB) in Round 1.
Ramon de Lima will begin his first defense of the world No. 1 ranking by taking on Mr. Majestic (5-1, PBR UTB) in the first round.

Orlando City SC 1, DC United 1 | 2018 MLS Match Recap

Orlando City looked like they were down and out in their 2018 MLS regular season opener, but a second-half stoppage-time equalizer gave them a 1-1 draw against D.C. United at Orlando City Stadium on Saturday.
The game was an end-to-end, fast-paced, physical affair for a season opener, and while D.C. looked like they would hold on for a vital three points, Stefano Pinho came off the bench and scored an equalizer in the 93rd minute to give the home side a point.
Video Review in the 18th minute led to a penalty call for D.C. United, following a handball in the box by Will Johnson. But Darren Mattocks' penalty attempt was saved by Joe Bendik.
But the visitors took the lead in the 32nd minute, when Yamil Asad's free kick from deep on the left flank flashed through traffic and beat Bendik. The situation got even rosier a few minutes before halftime, as Asad drew a foul from PC on a header, which after Video Review led to the Brazilian being sent off.
It looked as though D.C. would get out of Orlando with a win, even with the Lions putting them under pressure, but Pinho, making his MLS debut, notched the vital score in dramatic fashion. 

Philadelphia Union 2, New England Revolution 0 | 2018 MLS Match Recap

Homegrown Player signing Anthony Fontana scored in MLS debut, CJ Sapong added a goal to pick up where he left off last season, and the Philadelphia Union dispatched the nine-man New England Revolution 2-0 on Saturday night.
Sapong also got behind Anthony Milnar Delamea to get the Revs defender sent off in the 24th minute for denial of an obvious goal scoring opportunity. Fellow Revs center back Claude Dielna received his marching orders 62 minutes later for a second yellow card.
After playing for Philadelphia's Bethlehem Steel USL side last year, the 18-year-old Fontana started in the central midfield role expected to eventually be occupied by new Designated Player signing Borek Dockal.
But after the more experienced Sapong and David Accam both failed to put away promising chances early, Fontana finally gave Philadelphia the lead moments before the break when he hammered home the deflection of Alejandro Bedoya's.
Sapong, who had a career-best 16 league goals in 2017, would eventually get his first of the new campaign with a one-touch finish of substitute Cory Burke's cross. 

Kyle Larson vaults to first Las Vegas win in Xfinity Series

Kyle Larson pulled away from pole winner Christopher Bell after a restart with seven laps left and took the checkered flag in Saturday’s Boyd Gaming 300, winning for the first time at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
Larson beat Bell to the finish line by .881 seconds. The driver of the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet led 142 of the 200 laps and overcame a pit road snafu that dropped him to eighth for a restart on Lap 139 after a caution for Austin Cindric’s crash in Turn 2.
The victory was Larson’s first of the season and the ninth of his career.
“It was an awesome day,” Larson said in Victory Lane. “This car was so fast. It was really fast last year, but you really never know, and this was my first time racing with this new (composite) body, and it performed well.”
Nor did it take him long to recover after the slow pit stop on Lap 135 that set him back.
“Normally my guys are some of the best on pit road,” Larson said. “They said the left-rear (tire) just wouldn’t come out (of the wheel well). I had been fighting a tight issue all day and then finally we got our car to turn better.
“It allowed me to get to the lead fairly easily, and then I was saving fuel in case the race stayed green.”
Larson and Bell are frequent rivals in dirt-track racing, and Bell had the upper hand in last November’s Turkey Night Classic and January’s Chili Bowl, the marquee midget race of the season. Bell was happy to see the friendly rivalry extend to pavement.
“That was really cool, and there will be a lot more of that,” promised Bell, who outdueled Larson at the end of Stage 1 but fell short after the final restart. “We were close, running second to Kyle – if I’m going to run second to anyone, I guess I would rather it be him.
“Special day, we were able to win a stage and get a Playoff point. We need to keep racking those up and get some race wins here.”
Justin Allgaier ran third in the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet. Ryan Blaney was fourth, followed by Elliott Sadler.
But the show at the beginning and at the end was Larson vs. Bell.
“It’s always fun to get to race Bell,” Larson said. “He seems to beat me all the time in the dirt stuff, and he edged me out there in qualifying. We were pretty equal there… It was cool to race, though.
“That first stage kind of felt like we were dirt-track racing there, swapping lanes and stuff. I was trying to take the air off him, and he got by, and yeah, it was fun… Anytime I get to race in the Xfinity Series, I’m sure we’ll be up front, battling each other.”
Trying for a weekend sweep after winning Friday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event, Kyle Busch fought an ill-handling Toyota throughout the race and finished 14th after his fueler drew a penalty for handling a tire during a green-flag stop on Lap 166.
Daniel Hemric, Brandon Jones, Tyler Reddick, Cole Custer and Las Vegas native Spencer Gallagher completed the top 10. Reddick and Sadler leave Las Vegas tied for the series lead, 23 points ahead of Bell in third.

Houston Dynamo 4, Atlanta United 0 | 2018 MLS Match Recap

Alberth Elis set up two goals in an MVP-like performance, and four different Houston Dynamo players scored before halftime in a stunning 4-0 rout Saturday of an Atlanta United side many have tabbed as a top Eastern Conference contender.
Andrew Wenger, Philippe Senderos, Mauro Manotas and Darwin Ceren all scored in the opening 45 minutes at BBVA Compass Stadium, and Elis forced Brad Guzan into three saves before the half mercifully came to a close for the visitors. Any hopes of a miracle Atlanta comeback were put to bed when Miguel Almiron's penalty struck the woodwork early in the second half.
Darlington Nagbe went only 61 minutes in his Atlanta debut, and Five Stripes defender Leandro Gonzalez-Pirez departed in the 39th with an injury. Houston lost midfielder Juan David Cabezas to injury in the 15th minute.

Toronto FC 0, Columbus Crew SC 2 | 2018 MLS Match Recap

Columbus Crew SC strolled into BMO Field and upended the defending champs to open the 2018 MLS regular season, riding goals from Federico Higuain and Gyasi Zardes on either side of halftime to an impressive 2-0 win.
At the end of an evenly matched first half, Higuain scored the first goal of the 2018 campaign as Milton Valenzuela collected a long diagonal ball from Artur near the endline and pinged it across for the the Argentine veteran to slam home off the hands of Toronto 'keeper Alex Bono.
Zardes, fresh off an offseason trade from the LA Galaxy, made an instant impact for his new team less than a minute into the second half, sliding a first-time finish past Bono after a perfectly weighted through ball from Pedro Santos. Zardes' goal would prove one more than Columbus needed to secure the victory, though Toronto came agonizingly close twice in the second half, hitting the woodwork on a curling effort from Sebastian Giovinco in the 65th minute and a long-range effort from debutant Ager Aketxe in the 78th.