The New York Red Bulls announced on Wednesday that Mike Petke will not return as the clubs head coach in 2015 and then introduced former Montreal Impact head coach Jesse Marsch as his replacement. Petke compiled a record of 30-19-19 with the Red Bulls over two seasons in which the team made the playoffs. On behalf of the New York Red Bulls, I want to thank Mike for his service to the club these past two seasons as head coach, said Sporting Director Ali Curtis. Mike will always be an important member of the Red Bull family. After being an assistant with the U.S. Mens National Team program for three seasons, Marsch became head coach of the Impact in 2012, leading them to a record of 12-16-6. Currently, he is working with the leagues media department. On behalf of the New York Red Bulls, Id like to welcome Jesse aboard as our new head coach, said Sporting Director Ali Curtis. Were excited to bring someone on who has both MLS and US Mens National Team coaching experience and we strongly believe he is the right candidate to lead our team going forward. Im honored to be joining a franchise like the New York Red Bulls and I want to thank the organization for this opportunity, said Marsch. Im excited to get going with our players and sporting staff as we prepare for the 2015 season. EmpireofSoccer.com is reporting Petkes former assistant, Robin Fraser will be joining Toronto FCs coaching staff.
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. -- At the beginning of training camp, Andrew Bogut set a goal to play all 82 regular-season games and regain his place among the NBAs best centres.
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Morelli said the back judge threw a flag on Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens on a pass to Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew in Dallas 24-20 wild-card win Sunday. But the head linesman said there wasnt enough contact and that Hitchens was face-guarding, which isnt a penalty in the NFL.
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. The first baseman hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth inning to lead the Mets to a thrilling come-from-behind 3-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.With an overall record of 108-101, including 10-6 last week, TSN football analyst Chris Schultz is back with his Week 15 NFL selections in Risky Business. Arizona at St. Louis (-4) 76 to 0 is the combined score of the Rams last two games, dramatically impressive yes but you do have to consider it was against the Raiders and the Redskins. Still, back-to-back shutouts rarely if ever happen in NFL football. Bruce Arians will go into this game without maybe three starters on offence and maybe as many as five on defence. Pass rush versus pass blocking is a critical aspect of this game to watch for both teams. Whichever team protects its quarterback better over the course of the game wins. Rams cover. Pittsburgh (-2.5) at Atlanta Both teams have strength on offence and weakness on defence. The Steelers did a great job of beating a divisional team in Cincinnati on the road after losing to New Orleans at home. Now they are only a half game back of the Bengals for the AFC North title and play the Bengals at home in Week 17. The Falcons at one point were down 31-7 to Green Bay but ended up losing 43-37, a dominant second half by Atlanta. The NFC South is wide open for the taking. Both New Orleans and Atlanta are 5-8 with Atlanta holding the tiebreaker by beating the Saints 37-34 in overtime in Week 1. The logical pick is Pittsburgh in this game but I think Atlanta gained confidence in the Packer loss and may surprise. LaVeon Bell has 1,231 yards rushing, Antonio Brown has 105 receptions, Pittsburgh should win. But Ill take the Falcons by 3, Atlanta. Washington (-6.5) at NY Giants Tough one because the Redskins are due for a bounce-back game and this one is NFC divisional. The Giants did win the first one easy in Washington 45-14 and that will be a great game to study for confidence. And I am not sure that Washington has improved since that Week 4 contest. Odell Beckham Jr. is such a deep ball one-on-one threat it opens up running success for the Giants because you must keep your safeties deep and off the line of scrimmage. Not sure who is at quarterback in Washington. Not sure if DeSean Jackson is playing. I do think the Redskins are imploding and on the road may implode again. Beckham brings new hope and confidence to Eli Manning. Giants cover. Oakland at Kansas City (-10.5) The best kept secret of performance is Derek Carr for the Oakland Raiders. Last week against San Francisco Carr was 22 of 28 for 254 yards and three touchdowns. You have not been able to say the future is bright in Oakland regarding quarterbacks but this may be the best one since Rich Gannon of early 2000s. For the Chiefs its a very important game to help them achieve a 10-win season. After three straight losses they have three games left against Oakland at home, in Pittsburgh and to close out the season against San Diego. They need to win all of them. Last time Oakland was on the road they lost to St. Louis 52-0, and that will be an issue to be highlighted going into this road game. Chiefs win but it will not be easy. Oakland on points. Houston at Indianapolis (-6.5) Andrew Luck did not play well last week in Cleveland. He gave up a safety for a touchdown and threw an interception to rookie Justin Gilbert for another touchdown. When Luck does not play well one week he comes back and plays exceptional the next. Key for the Colts is to limit Arian Foster as in his six games against the Colts he averages 123 yards, an average of 6.4 per rush. Also make a plan for J.J. Watt. Both Gosder Cherilus and Anthony Castonzo are good tackles but there is major youth at centre and that could be a Texan advantage going the shortest distance to Luck through the A gaps. Key fact of relevant reality is the Texans have never won in Indianapolis, going 0 for 12 with an average margin of victory by the Colts of 14. Colts cover. Miami at New England (-7.5) Divisional game so could be closer than you think. Patriots coming off very long work week. The 26-21 loss to Green Bay, then staying in San Diego and beating the Chargers 23-14. For Miami they definitely have pass protection problems enhanced due to the absence of Brandon Albert at left tackle. But of bigger concern is that Baltimore ran for 183 yards on the Dolphin defence. The Patriots are going from Aaron Rodgers to Philip Rivers and now Ryan Tannehill at home. The last quarterback is not equal to the other two at this point in the season. In Week 1, the final score was Miami 33, New England 20. It may be the other way around here in Week 15. Patriots cover. Cleveland at Cincinnati (Pickem) The last time these two teams played the Bengals lost both sides of the line of scrimmage and the Browns won easy 24-3 and that was in Cincinnati. That game will be a point of emphasis all week long for the Bengals. How do you defend Johnny Manziel? Simple, play zones, keep your eye on him and force him to make many plays as opposed to one play in man-to-man coverage. Dont give him a chance to improvise, force him to respond to pre-snap structure and defensive discipline. This game will show a lot about the Cincinnati Bengals. They were embarrassed back in Week 10 and are playing a first time starting NFL quarterback in Manziel. Dalton over Manziel, Bengals over Browns. Cincinnati. Jacksonville at Baltimore (-13.5) A bit of a trap game for the Ravens as it is Week 15 and they are playing a 2-11 Jacksonville Jaguar team that is in the running with the Buccaneers, Jets and Titans for first pick in the 2015 Draft to be held in Chicago. The Ravens have to have this one as they already lost twice to division leader Cincinnati, split with Pittsburgh and have a win over Cleveland with one more to play in Week 17. The line at 13.5 is a lot of points but the Ravens rank first in run defence and could make Jaccksonville one dimensional fast.dddddddddddd Then theres Blake Bortles, learning on the go, who has 10 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. I sense Joe Flacco is coming on here in December and the Ravens are a team no one wants to play in week one of the NFL playoffs. Ravens. Green Bay (-5) at Buffalo Last home game of the year for the Buffalo Bills as after this one they are at Oakland and New England to close out the season. The Bills defence did hold Denver to 24 but I think Green Bay is more explosive. The Bills on offence did score 17 on Denver but one score was meaningless with no time left. Defensively the Bills can compete after holding Manning to his lowest passer rating in six years. But if the Packers get up early can the Bills respond the way Matt Ryan and Julio Jones did last week in Green Bay? The Packers at 10-3 need this game to take another step forward to home field throughout the NFC playoffs, Arizona, Seattle, Detroit, Dallas and Philadelphia are still threats. Green Bay beat Philadelphia, but Detroit and Seattle have beaten Green Bay. Too much on the line for Packers to relax in any way. Packers by 7, Packers cover. Tampa Bay at Carolina (-3) It is unlikely Cam Newton will play against the Buccaneers this week. Back in Week 1 Carolina had to start the season without Newton and used Derek Anderson and won 20-14. So now Anderson gets another start against a team he has already faced which is a comfort zone for the quarterback. Remembering too Anderson will get all the practice reps dependent on the health of Newton which in most recent information is not good. Great set of young and up-and-coming receivers in this game. Mike Evans, 57 catches, Kelvin Benjamin, 59 catches. Carolina to cover the field goal. NY Jets (-1.5) at Tennessee Both teams are at a major low point of the season. The Jets at 2-11 lost in overtime to Minnesota and the Titans also at 2-11 were completely dominated by the Giants. New York rolled up 402 yards of offence against them. The Titans can stop a good running game and the Jets have proven they have one. And even though they have only two wins the Jets do have a solid front 7 against the run. Jake Locker will probably be back at quarterback but in a game that may not have big plays, I will take the Jets to make the little plays, running and stopping the run. Jets by 3, Jets. Denver (-3.5) at San Diego If the Broncos win, they clinch the AFC West. In what is a mild oddity, Peyton Manning is not the reason for the Broncos offensive success. He had only 179 passing yards against the Chiefs two weeks ago and only 173 against the Bills last week. Denver has evolved in recent history into a power running team. Whether it is C.J. Anderson or Juwan Thompson - who was unknown in ability until recently - Denver pounds you into submission more than runs by you for spectacular downfield moments of exhilaration. Third down football is everything and Philip Rivers knows it as he 4 for 13 against New England overall but more specifically 1 for 7 in the second half. The season is on the line in terms of playoff opportunity in San Diego. Now or never. Chargers. Minnesota at Detroit (-7.5) Detroit is coming off two of their better games this season, scoring 34 points against each the Bears and Buccaneers. Matthew Stafford is flourishing with Calvin Johnson on one side and Golden Tate on the other. Due to Johnsons injury troubles this season, Tates 84 catches are 27 more than Megatron. For Minnesota, Teddy Bridgewater produced his fourth fourth-quarter comeback win against the Jets last week; significant in that it ties a franchise record and Bridgewaters just a rookie. Yet, if the Jets can score 24 points against the Vikings in Minnesota, then Lions can score 30. I predict a 30-20 win for the Lions to cover. Seattle (-10) at San Francisco Back in Week 13, Seattle played one of their best games of the year and beat the 49ers 19-3. It was the game that sent these teams in opposite directions. The 49ers moved on to lose in Oakland 24-13, proof of a dramatically regressing team. Seattle, meanwhile, had a completely opposite result. In Philadelphia, the Seahawks picked a 24-14 win and - if not for this blocked punt - it could have been 24-7. When you consider St. Louis scored 52 points on the Raiders and the 49ers could only score 13 last week, something is definitely wrong in San Francisco. Colin Kaepernick used to be one of the best running quarterbacks in football, this year, only 379 yards. Russell Wilson has 727 yards on the ground this season. The Seahawks simply have too much teams speed on defence for the 49ers to beat. Seahawks cover. Dallas at Philadelphia (-3.5) Seattle beat Philadelphia and a big reason is that is having 10 days to prepare for the fast paced Eagles offense coming off Thursday football on Thanksgiving Day. Now, Dallas has 10 days as they come off Thursday Night Football and an easy win at Chicago, giving them time to prepare for the Chip Kellys team. When the Cowboys lost to Philadelphia 33-10 on Thanksgiving, they had three days of rest and had traveled all night coming back from a win against the Giants in New York. Expect a different Cowboy team the second time around. Dallas. New Orleans (-3) at Chicago Yes, the Bears at home are a Monday night underdog after getting 11 days to get ready following a brutal 41-28 loss to Dallas. Only six quarterbacks this year have completed 70 per cent or more of their passes against the Bea