Zidane happy for Courtois after Champions League win

first_imgReal Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane expressed his happiness for Thibaut Courtois after he kept his first Champions League clean sheet of the season. The Belgian made three saves on Tuesday as Real saw off Galatasaray 1-0 at the Turk Telekom Stadium for their first group win. Zidane’s side had previously conceded five goals across their first two games, losing 3-0 to PSG before behind held to a 2-2 draw against Club Brugge.  Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career Courtois’ performances in goal have been cast under increasing scrutiny this season with the former Chelsea number one failing to convince fans he’s capable of stepping up at the Santiago Bernabeu.Zidane has however stuck with the Belgian in goal and was relieved to see him claim a much-needed clean sheet on Tuesday.  “I’m happy for Courtois, we all are,” Zidane said post-match. “He is our goalkeeper, he has been good today and we have won the game, which was important.”We know we have to improve. We had many chances to score, we didn’t and we struggled.”This is Madrid, we have to keep working. We have to congratulate the players because the people who saw the game has to be proud of them.”Despite questions being asked of Courtois between the sticks, the man himself has never lost faith in his own abilities. “I never doubted myself, I know what kind of goalkeeper I am and I’m only interested in the constructive criticism of my teammates and the coach,” Courtois told Movistar Plus. “I think it was an important game, we had to win to gain oxygen and continue in the Champions League. We were fine from the beginning although they had two chances that I stopped well.”While boasting less possession in Turkey, Real should have done better in front of goal as they unleashed 26 shots but only found the back of the net once via Toni Kroos in the 18th minute. Zidane handed young players Federico Valverde and Rodrygo starts against Galatasaray with the manager admitting both were gambles but ultimately justified themselves. “Valverde is playing well, he is a good kid and I’m happy for him,” Zidane said. “Rodrygo was a coach’s choice, we had to bet on him and we did.”last_img read more

All in the Family: Thrall brothers help transform Woodland soccer

first_imgAll in the Family: Thrall brothers help transform Woodland soccer Beavers building successful program For now, they will relish the opportunity to play together, garbed in green and white and sporting a big W on their chest.Said Aidan: “It’s been a dream come true.” Soccer is the Thrall family business. And business is booming.“Some people go to the beach. Some people take vacations. We play soccer,” Woodland freshman Treyson Thrall said.Treyson, Jesse (a sophomore) and Aidan (a junior) have transformed a once defunct Beavers’ boys soccer program into a perennial contender. After a state first-round exit last season, Woodland and the Thralls are thinking even bigger.“They got a bitter taste in their mouth against Highline last year,” coach Bryan Vogel said of the 3-1 season-ending loss in the first round of state. “They’re hungry for that.”It’s just in the Thralls’ nature to always want the best, and demand it from their teammates. Club players for years, the trio opted to play high school soccer, a decision elite soccer players often forego. The Thralls chose a history-making path, one that led the program to its first district title game last year. It’s on track to do the same this year. Many dream of reaching that stage. The Thralls may have a chance to do it. Aidan is intrigued by playing at San Francisco State and Jesse has his eyes on Oregon State. Treyson isn’t ready to set his sights on anything yet.“I don’t think I should set a peak,” Treyson said. “I can always get better; I can always work toward improving myself.”That mentality is true of all three brothers and a big reason Vogel — who coaches the Lower Columbia College women’s team and has seen what it takes to play at the next level — believes they can get there.“Guys that go pro, a lot of times it’s not necessarily being the best player on their club team but guys that have the drive, the guys that didn’t quit and wanted it no matter what,” Vogel said. “All three spend a ton of time working on their game. That competitive drive could get them who knows where.” Follow 3 Photos That drive to succeed used to be an issue for Jesse. It came out as more of a rage, and sometimes still does. But he also knows what it demonstrates.“There was one coach that told (my parents): ‘When he gets mad, it means he cares. It means he wants to do better,’ ” Jesse explained. “Since I was young, I’ve always had a really competitive mentality. Whenever I play anything, I want to win.”Maybe it’s that he’s always had to stack up to his older brother, Aidan, or the fact he’s the smallest of the trio. Either way, Woodland is reaping the rewards.“We’ve had some great players that were great practice players but come gameday, they disappeared,” Vogel said. “To have guys that play at a high level and want to do well and have that competitive drive, it’s been real leadership on and off the field.” By Joshua Hart, Columbian staff writer Published: April 29, 2019, 10:17pm joshua.hart@columbian.com Added Jesse: “You don’t feel as much pride playing club as you do playing for your school, playing for your community. … It feels really good to play here.”It’s also been a learning experience they wouldn’t have received at a different level. Heading into each of their freshman years, they thought they would dominate. Between the physicality of the high school game and the age gap between players, it hasn’t been quite that easy.“You have to think a bit more and use your knowledge of the game to break them down,” Vogel said. “It’s been a slight learning curve for all of them.”They’ve also had to learn to lead and perform in pressure situations. At a club level, they’re not the best players on the field at all times. For the eldest, that’s been a good opportunity to get a taste of leadership. Down 2-0 in a game against R.A. Long last season, Aidan scored three goals and led his team to a 4-3 win. Receive latest stories and local news in your email: It began with Aidan, the strong midfielder with a knack for winning 50-50 balls and distributing them to attacking teammates. Jesse followed suit, using his creative runs and passionate play to pressure defenses and generate opportunities on goal. Then came broad-shouldered Treyson, the biggest of the bunch at 5-foot-11 whose goalkeeping always keeps Woodland in games.Even grandma Janet sits just outside the field, snapping photos of her talented kin.“It means a lot,” Treyson said of the family atmosphere. “They’re always supporting me, and it feels good.”Competitive spiritJesse embodies the fiery family mindset the most. At times, it comes out as aggression and results in yellow and red cards. Other times, it’s channeled into brilliant shots and beautiful attacks.“I’ve seen a lot of players come through, but I’ve never seen a player with the same passion for the game as Jesse,” senior defender Owen Terhorst said. Follow The Columbian on Instagram From left to right: Jesse Thrall, Treyson Thrall and Aidan Thrall. (Joshua Hart/The Columbian) Photo Gallery “That experience and level of calm from just having played a ton of games and played at pretty high levels,” Vogel said. “It’s hard to teach that.”They all could choose to play for the Portland Timbers Academy at any time. Jesse and Aidan have both poked around at the idea. Vogel is glad they’ve stuck around and helped bring the rest of the team to their level.“The fact they’re willing to buy into what we’re doing here is huge,” Vogel said. “They want that camaraderie of playing with their high school teammates and playing under the lights. It’s not something you can replicate in the club environment.”Lofty aspirationsBeyond winning a state title in the next couple seasons, all three want to play elite collegiate soccer and eventually turn professional. Buying inBefore stepping foot onto the Beaver Stadium turf, the trio had a decision to make: play academy soccer year-round or turn out for the high school team. It’s not an easy choice for a young soccer player.“They could go find higher level teams where everyone around them can play at a similar level,” Vogel said.But they wanted to be part of something bigger, something the club experience doesn’t offer.“Just looking forward to bringing the level up and bringing the program along is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” Aidan said. Tags Woodland Beavers GO Share: Share: Joshua Hart Columbian staff writer By signing up you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.last_img read more

UN electoral needs assessment mission arrives in Haiti

The mission from the UN’s Electoral Assistance Division in the Department of Political Affairs will remain in Haiti for 10 days, according to spokesman Fred Eckhard. The Electoral Division provided technical assistance to Haiti from 1990 to 1991, 1994 to 1997, 1999 to September 2000. It said it was “unable to fulfil a request for technical assistance for the Presidential elections on 26 November 2000 due to the political situation in the country.”