Real Madrid veteran Marcelo was the only player on either side to miss as Roma won Sunday evening’s Mabel Green Cup on penalties following a 2-2 draw.
A very entertaining first half saw Madrid twice go ahead through Marcelo and Casemiro, but Diego Perotti and Edin Dzeko equalised each time. After Blancos coach Zinedine Zidane scrapped a three-man defence experiment at the break, the second half was less eventful.
Gareth Bale’s return to the set-up was the biggest talking point, with the Welshman whistling an added time 20 yarder just wide, and scoring in the shoot-out as all nine opening spot kicks were converted. But Marcelo’s effort hit the crossbar and bounced out, meaning the Italian side took the victory at their Estadio Olimpico.
The game will have given Zidane plenty of food for thought, with Madrid’s three centre-backs regularly caught out through the opening stages, although the formation did allow left-back Marcelo to raid forward. And the Brazilian opened the scoring when picked out by Luka Modric’s excellent pass, cutting inside and finding the far corner with his right foot.
Following the match, though, Zidane would not be drawn out on any of the club’s plans surrounding a possible move for Neymar or the futures of Bale and James Rodriguez.
He said: “We are here with the team we have, the players we have. We just think about that. Next week our league begins, and our minds are just thinking about Saturday.
“I will repeat the same. James is our player. He has not been called up these last two games. Until [the end of the window] anything can happen. But a coach will always count on the players he has available. You [journalists] can keep asking but I won’t tell you the things you want.”
Roma continued to make chance with Edin Dzeko’s rasper bringing a smart save from Thibaut Courtois, and Perotti’s equaliser just after the half-hour mark was no surprise. It was beautifully made by Nicolo Zaniolo who streaked away from Casemiro down the left wing, and timed his pass perfectly for the Argentine to finish.
Zidane’s side came again though and a short corner was worked to Marcelo, whose cross was met with a towering header by an apparently offside Casemiro. Roma equalised again almost directly from the kickoff, with Cengiz Under’s pass finding Dzeko who held off Eder Militao to smash to the net.
Zidane was clearly unhappy and sent on attackers Luka Jovic and Vinicius Junior at the break, while also switching to a back four which made his team look more solid.
As the substitutes kept coming on both sides, Madrid looked the most likely to win inside the 90 minutes. But Roma keeper Pau Lopez denied both Jovic and Vinicius. Bale — who entered on the hour mark – also came close with two long-range efforts, opening up the possibility that the previously unwanted winger could still play a part in Madrid’s 2019-20 campaign.
Former NFL running back Cedric Benson dies in motorcycle crash
Former NFL running back Cedric Benson, one of the most prolific rushers in NCAA and University of Texas history, died in a motorcycle accident Saturday night in Austin, Texas. According to CBS Austin, a woman in her 30s was also killed in the crash, which involved a motorcycle and minivan.
Benson, 36, was a key player in the Longhorns’ resurgence under coach Mack Brown, who said Sunday that Benson’s death has left him grief-stricken.
“He was as good as you’ll ever see as a football player and as tough as they come,” said Brown, who recently returned to coach North Carolina following a long run at Texas. “But what I’ll remember most is what a special, special person he was. We always enjoyed talking with him because he was such a bright and unique guy. There will never be another one like him, and he will be dearly missed by so many. It’s just heartbreaking, but we feel very fortunate to have had him in our lives.”
Benson was one of the top high school recruits out of the West Texas town of Midland. He played at Texas from 2001-2004 and his 5,540 yards ranks second at the university and ninth in NCAA history. He scored 64 career touchdowns with the Longhorns and won the Doak Walker award, given to the nation’s top running back, in 2004.
He was the only player in school history to rush for at least 1,000 yards in four seasons and was inducted into the university’s Hall of Honor in 2014.
Benson was drafted No. 4 overall by the Bears in 2005 and helped Chicago reach the playoffs the following season. He had his finest years with Cincinnati from 2008-11, taking over as the featured back on a team that made the playoffs twice but lost in the first round each time.
Benson ran for a career-high 1,251 yards while leading a playoff push in 2009, the first of three straight 1,000-yard seasons. He also led the Bengals to the playoffs in 2011, when Andy Dalton and A.J. Green arrived as rookies.
“Cedric was a fine football player for us,” Bengals President Mike Brown said. “He played a principal role for several years here, including a couple of playoff runs.”
“Once he bought into our system, he was like a flower. He just blossomed,” former Bengals running backs coach Jim Anderson said. “He gave us an element we didn’t have. We had complementary guys, but Cedric gave us a missing element. He was a good man. He was one of my guys and it hurts. Life is too short.”
Benson played one season with Green Bay, where he started the first five games in 2012 before suffering a season-ending Lisfranc fracture in Indianapolis on Oct. 17. He rushed for 248 yards and a touchdown on 71 carries, and caught 14 passes for 97 yards in five games with the Packers before the foot injury.
He finished his NFL career with 6,017 yards and 46 touchdowns.
Benson returned to Austin after his playing career and set up a foundation, NUFCED, to aid underprivileged children and families. Those efforts included helping repair damage at the home of the first victim killed in a series of bombings in Austin early 2018.
Formula E races aren’t just exciting, they’re driving EV tech into the future
Formula E rolled into New York City in 2017 with a great gimmick. Bringing electric race cars to the streets of a city notorious for its hostility to cars was a great way to get attention for electric vehicles. But Formula E had to evolve in order to continue its dual mission of providing a testbed for electric-car tech and be a sustainable alternative to traditional motor sports. The third New York City E-Prix proves Formula E is doing just that. Experience gained on track could make future electric cars better, but in the meantime Formula E is just plain good racing.
ALL CHARGED UP
Formula E is only in its third season, but it’s already seeing some big changes. You won’t see drivers switching cars halfway through a race; new “Gen 2” cars with bigger battery packs give drivers the range to go the entire 45-minute race (plus one lap, per the rules) without stopping.
“That was one aspect people criticized,” said Mitch Evans, a driver for Panasonic Jaguar Racing, adding that the mid-race car swaps were “kind of dangerous.” With range anxiety remaining one of the biggest concerns for potential electric-car buyers, the car swaps weren’t exactly helping make the case for electric power. The new cars have 54-kilowatt-hour battery packs that are about twice the size of the packs in the previous-generation cars, showing that the technology is advancing, and lessening the chance of people getting run over during races.
Eliminating the car swaps did mean drivers wouldn’t have to make pit stops, however, removing some of the drama from races. So organizers came up with Attack Mode, which gives drivers a temporary power boost. The catch is that drivers have to pass through a specific “activation zone” that’s off the ideal racing line, meaning they often lose time – or even places – trying to get Attack Mode. But drivers do get an extra 25 kilowatts (33.5 horsepower), which can make a big difference in a close race.
Oliver Turvey, a driver with the Nio team, told Digital Trends “It adds some strategy, gives us a chance to overtake.”
Attack Mode seems like something devised by video game developers, not racing stewards, but that’s typical of Formula E. It joins Fan Boost, which rewards a temporary power boost to the five most popular drivers, as determined by fans on social media. The top three drivers also take a selfie on the podium after each race. It can seem like a naked attempt to cash in on cultural trends, but at least Formula E is trying to attract new fans outside the traditional gearhead set. But what if you do care more about lap times than hashtags? Does Formula E have anything to offer diehard racing fans?
THE INEVITABLE COMPARISON
Formula E is not Formula One. It’s worth saying that explicitly because it’s easy to draw parallels between the two series. They both feature single-seat cars, and both claim to be at the cutting edge of automotive technology. They’re even organized by the same group (the FIA), and several current Formula E drivers previously raced in F1. But Formula E is a completely different animal to F1 – and not just because of its electric powertrains.
“You cannot compare. Formula One has a lot of downforce, big tires, different tracks, so many things,” Felipe Massa told us. He would know: he won 11 F1 grands prix over a career that spanned 15 years. The Brazilian just completed his first Formula E season with the French Venturi team. The Venturi VFE05 wasn’t the fastest car on the Formula E grid this year, but Massa still enjoyed going electric.
“I think it’s great. I think it shows that electric cars now have nothing to lose [compared to] combustion engines. I think it’s quite fun.”
On paper, though, Formula E cars do seem to lag behind their F1 cousins. The new Gen 2 cars are more powerful than their predecessors, but at 200 kW (270 hp) in race trim, they lag far behind F1 cars. Most of the automakers involved in Formula E make more powerful road cars you can buy today. A Formula E car’s zero-to-62 mph time of 2.8 seconds and top speed of 174 mph are more impressive compared to road cars, but still can’t match F1.
Another crucial difference is the tires. Instead of the series of bespoke racing tires used in F1, all Formula E teams use the same Michelin tire, which is designed to work in all conditions. The tire was designed for low rolling resistance to improve efficiency, and features tread like on a normal road-car tire. That means it offers substantially less grip than a traditional racing tire. It’s more relevant than exotic F1 tire tech, but it doesn’t do the drivers any favors.
“We’re always sliding. We’re constantly on the limit of the tire,” said Pascal Wehrlein, a driver for Mahindra Racing, and another F1 veteran. “In Formula One, you try to avoid sliding and drifting.”
So Formula E has slower cars that are harder for drivers to keep in a straight line. That is exactly as designed. It’s all about developing technology that will be relevant to electric road cars, and producing a good show. Formula E is succeeding on the latter count: in recent months it has produced much more exciting racing than Formula 1.
The current F1 season has really only been exciting for fans of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team which had won all but one of the nine races held at the time of publication. The team has won the past five drivers’ and constructors’ championships, and only has two serious rivals (Ferrari and Red Bull). Even a race win is more or less out of the question for the other teams. On the other hand, the 13-race Formula E season saw nine different winners from eight teams – including Jaguar’s first international racing victory in 27 years. Going into the New York City E-Prix, a double header that served as the season finale, the drivers’ and constructors’ championships were both wide open.
Going into the New York E-Prix, DS Techeetah’s Jean Eric Vergne was the favorite to win the drivers’ championship. His team, a Chinese outfit backed by French automaker Citroën’s DS sub-brand, was in the lead of the constructors’ championship. But a string of bad luck for Vergne, including a massive pileup, kept both championship contests alive. Nissan driver Sebastian Buemi won the first race, suddenly propelling him into championship contention and giving the Japanese automaker its first Formula E win. Vergne and DS Techeetah ultimately came back to win both championships in the second race, but everything came down to the wire.
The closeness of the competition is partly down to the design of the cars. Unlike F1, Formula E doesn’t emphasize aerodynamic downforce, in which air flowing over the car pushes it down onto the track to generate grip. This means cars can run very close together without losing grip due to turbulence disrupting airflow over the body – a major issue with current F1 cars. Because designers didn’t have to festoon the cars with aerodynamic aids, they could also focus on making the machines look cool.
Formula E also standardized the most expensive parts of the car, including the chassis and battery pack. Teams are allowed to develop their own powertrains, but the cars are kept largely the same to keep costs down. This prevents the wealthiest teams from gaining an advantage simply by spending more money.
“It’s a lot more competitive across the whole field because we all race the same cars, the same power, and the same batteries,” said Andre Lotterer, Vergne’s teammate at DS Techeetah. Lotterer’s resume includes a stint in F1 and three 24 Hours of Le Mans wins. With their low-grip tires and lack of downforce, Formula E cars “come alive” on the series’ street circuits, Lotterer gleefully told us.
The cars throw another challenge at the drivers. While the new Gen 2 cars can make it through an entire race, they can’t do it while going flat out. Drivers have to back off the throttle and coast if they want to make it to the end. Formula E has made range anxiety a part of the show. You’d think that would be a problem for racing drivers, but they don’t seem to mind.
“It’s part of the challenge,” said Lotterer. Jaguar driver Alex Lynn said he’s fine with emphasizing energy saving over outright lap times, as long as the rules allow cars to maintain a reasonable pace.
TECHNOLOGY TORTURE CHAMBER
It’s often said that racing serves as a testbed for road-car technologies, and that is supposed to be the case with Formula E. It’s why the series exists in the first place, and why major automakers like Audi, BMW, Jaguar, and Nissan are involved. Even though cars have to adhere to a pretty strict template, engineers are still learning simply by pushing electric-car tech to the limit in races.
“When you’re driving around downtown, or even on the freeway, you don’t actually push the car very hard,” noted Roger Griffiths, team principle of BMW i Andretti Motorsport. “How many times do you ever go full throttle on your road car? These guys go full throttle coming out of every single corner. We’re working this battery and the whole electric powertrain extremely hard.” That leads to issues electric cars wouldn’t normally encounter outside racing.
“Just like when you charge your iPhone, it gets hot. You’re generating heat by putting power back into the battery,” Griffiths said. One of the team’s cars had just come in after qualifying in pole position, meaning it will start from first place in that afternoon’s race. A mechanic was using dry ice to cool down the battery. “We can’t just come in off the racetrack with a hot battery, plug it into the charger, and expect it to charge at its peak rate. We have to be able to bring the battery temperature down,” Griffiths explained.
The average electric car owner probably isn’t shoveling dry ice onto their battery pack, nor are they using charging stations like the ones employed in Formula E. Built by Enel, they’re based on production charging stations, but were designed to be lightweight and portable without sacrificing power, Enel engineer Ilaria Vergantini said. With a charging rate of 80 kW, they can recharge a race car’s 54-kilowatt-hour battery pack in an hour. As with the cars themselves, lessons learned from developing racing-spec charging equipment could eventually be fed back into production charging stations.
“We are learning a lot of things here. We started from production units, and we customized them for motor sport,” Enel engineer Alberto Venanzoni said. “Basically, you start increasing the power and reducing the weight, then you experience some configuration that you never experienced in the streets.”
FORMULA FOR THE FUTURE?
It’s hard to say when, if ever, technology from Formula E will transition to ordinary road cars. As with other forms of racing, Formula E tech is highly specialized, and organizers may eventually restrict innovation in order to maintain the status quo. For now, Formula E is still doing something important. By offering a new and exciting form of racing, it’s showing that an all-electric automotive future doesn’t have to be boring.
Watch live: Women’s World Cup ticker-tape parade streams
The U.S. Women’s National Team are the 2019 World Cup champions, and New Yorkers ready to celebrate.
The city is honoring the team’s fourth Women’s World Cup victory with a ticker-tape parade along Canyon of Heroes. It stretches Broadwa, from the Battery to City Hall and stepped off at 9:30 a.m. Mayor Bill de Blasio is set to present the team with keys to the city during a ceremony at 10:30 a.m. at City Hall Plaza.
Tickets were made available to the public, but sold out fast. If you weren’t one of the lucky ones — or you can’t make it downtown on a weekday morning — consider tuning into a livestream of the parade instead.
Viewers in the city and surrounding areas can watch the parade on TV on CBS, with coverage set from 9:30 a.m. to noon. The special, airing live, is dubbed “Saluting the Champions.”
It’s also available for streaming on your computer or iPhone, through the CBS Live app and CBS.com/watch.
NBC 4 New York is also offering full coverage of the event, with a livestream at NBCNewYork.com/Live.
ABC’s coverage is available for streaming online at ABCNews.com/live, the ABC News mobile app, as well as on Roku, Hulu, Apple TV and Amazon Fire devices.
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