Last year’s University of Wisconsin men’s soccer team had among the best seasons in the program’s history. The team hadn’t won a Big Ten Championship or advanced this far in the NCAA Tournament since Jim Launder won both the conference and NCAA titles in 1995.After the season the MLS took notice of the talent on Wisconsin’s roster. Chris Mueller, Mark Segbers, Tom Barlow and Mike Catalano were all taken within the first three rounds of the MLS SuperDraft in January. Mueller was taken by Orlando City, Segbers by New England, Barlow by New York and Catalano by Philadelphia.The Badger Herald sat down with each of the former Badgers to see how their professional careers have been progressing after Wisconsin:Chris MuellerSelected No. 6 overall by Orlando City SC, Mueller is the only one of the four Badgers drafted to get MLS playing time yet, while his former teammates have had to begin their careers with USL affiliates. This is out of the ordinary for first-year players as only about half of this year’s first-round picks have gotten MLS experience.“I think that I’ve made my own luck just by doing the right things most of the time,” Mueller said. “In that sense, it’s really valuable being on the field but being the competitive sort of guy that I am it never seems like enough.”Football: Wisconsin survives Iowa 28-17, salvages hope for Playoff seasonMost games following a season-altering loss are automatically labeled as a chance at redemption, a chance to reassert the program’s Read…Mueller started off the year hot with three goals in his first seven games, placing the forward squarely in the rookie of the year conversation.Since then his scoring production has leveled off but Mueller does not feel that this completely shows how his season has progressed. Though he has not scored since the first week, the forward has six assists on the year and notes that there are probably a few more that he should have been credited for.“I’m just trying to focus individually every day on getting better and trusting the process,” Mueller said. “Going through every training with the mentality that I’m going to do something every day and get myself a little better than I was yesterday.”This is not to say Mueller hasn’t had his share of challenges since he’s arrived on the professional scene.After a slew of free agent signings, Orlando City was expected to emerge as a solid team this year. Unfortunately, as the early season losses piled up, those expectations eroded, and the team had to replace their head coach.“When you’re winning things are great, when you’re losing things are tough,” said Mueller. “It’s definitely been a little bit more challenging just because of how the recent string of results has turned out.”Football: Badgers open up Big Ten play, hope to bounce back against HawkeyesThe bad news is the University of Wisconsin football team lost to an unremarkable team, Brigham Young University, last week. Read…But the forward hasn’t forgotten where he came from and credited many of the nutritional and exercise habits he learned back in college for his professional opportunities.Mueller still follows the Wisconsin soccer team back home and even got to visit Madison and the team in August, where he received a warm welcome. He also views last year’s success as a strong foundation for players to know the work ethic needed to win in college soccer.“I got a really good reception which I wasn’t expecting,” Mueller said. “But it was really cool to see and go back to your roots and it’s always a good reminder to get back there. They’re off to a better start than we were off to [coming in as freshmen]. Something that changed that was really important for us as a group was to change the culture of the program and how everyone approached what a winning program should be like.”Mark SegbersAlso a high pick at No. 9 to the New England Revolution, Segbers has taken a different path than his teammate Mueller. After getting drafted by the Revolution, Segbers was put on loan to the USL team Orange County FC in part because of New England’s logjam up front.Though he has yet to play in the MLS Segbers sees his time with Orange County as a strong asset in his development.“Getting on the score sheet, getting goals, getting assists boosts your confidence,” Segbers said. “Definitely after being in the USL for a good stint you want to see how you stack up against guys on the next level and see if you’ve progressed like you’ve been planning to. It’s definitely been a positive experience so far.”Volleyball: Badgers open up Big Ten play with Buckeye sweepThe No. 6 Wisconsin volleyball team opened up their Big Ten season with a return to the University of Wisconsin Read…In the MLS Combine, Coach John Trask made it a point to highlight Segbers’ defensive potential, but the athlete has spent most of his time at attacking positions with Orange County.Segbers isn’t sure what position he’ll be at the next level but is willing to play wherever suits the needs of the team.“I played wing mid coming up through college these last few years and [coming out of the draft] I was more than ready to transition into a wing back,” Segbers said. “But now that I’m with the Revs it’s wherever they need me and wherever I can help the team get better.”Despite spending much of his time on the west coast Segbers still makes time to follow his old teammates at Wisconsin.Men’s Soccer: Badgers look to end road woes in matchup against MarylandThe University of Wisconsin men’s soccer team (2-4-1, 0-1-0 Big Ten) looks to put an end to their road woes Read…Segbers noted that despite a mixed start to Wisconsin’s season, the team is young and on the right track for future success.“You learn from all the losses and turn them into positives,” Segbers said. “That’s how [in 2017] we ended up with a pretty damn good team by the end of our senior year.”Tom BarlowA later selection in the draft, Barlow went No. 39 in the second round to the New York Red Bulls. After his selection, Barlow was designated to play with the team’s USL affiliate the New York Red Bulls II.Barlow has racked up an impressive season in the USL thus far, scoring six goals and two assists in his 19 games with the Red Bulls II. During what was probably his most impressive game this year, Barlow closed a three-goal deficit by himself with a phenomenal second-half hat-trick. The performance earned the striker USL Player of the Week honors for the week of August 20.But Barlow is happier with the team’s success of late rather than his individual accolades.“[The awards] remind me to keep working hard and good things will happen,” Barlow said. “We’re still right on the line for playoffs right now so that’s the most important thing.”Women’s soccer: Dani Rhodes is Big Ten Player of the Week after impressive weekendThe No. 17 University of Wisconsin women’s soccer team (7–1–1, 1–0–1 Big Ten) tied Northwestern(6–1–2, 0–1–1 Big Ten) 1–1 Friday Read…For Barlow, the vertical integration of the Red Bulls and their affiliate Red Bulls II has been an enormous help in his transition.With both teams practicing in Florham Park, New Jersey, Barlow has access to a lot more facilities and resources than players on clubs with more distant affiliates would.“You get to train with [the MLS team] sometimes. The facilities are fantastic, the fields are great,” Barlow said. “It’s been a huge help seeing some of the first team guys and how they go about their business.”Despite the distance from Madison, Barlow is still grateful for the opportunities he received building up the Wisconsin men’s soccer program and still regularly follows the team.Barlow also mentioned his excitement to play former teammate Mike Catalano whenever the Red Bulls II matchup with the Bethlehem Steel.“We’ve seen [Catalano] a few times, [the Steel] are pretty close to us,” Barlow said. “It was kind of weird being on a different team, but it was good, it was fun.”Catalano has likewise enjoyed the games he’s played versus former teammate Tom Barlow but still tries to keep a competitive mindset in their matchups.Mike CatalanoA third-round selection by the Philadelphia Union at No. 54, Catalano has begun his career with the nearby affiliate Bethlehem Steel.Catalano credits his former coach Trask as well as the Wisconsin program for helping him learn to be a professional.“Coach Trask and the coaches are the biggest part of that,” Catalano said. “They never let you be content, never let you be settled. They just prepare you to be a pro from the day you walked in as a freshman.”For Catalano, who led Wisconsin with 10 goals in 2017, the adjustment has been admittedly difficult as he has yet to score this season on just three shot attempts.Football: Meet Wisconsin’s newest defensive star, Scott NelsonAfter a demoralizing loss to the BYU Cougars, it’s easy to forget the University of Wisconsin football team still has Read…But the attacking midfielder has been adjusting his game and is looking to get on the field more by playing a multitude of positions.“They’ve kind of thrown me at all positions. Center back, right back, right winger, obviously central midfielder. I’ve told the coaching staff I want to get on the field,” Catalano said. “That’s something I can bring to the table is that versatility.”Catalano looks back with pride at his time with the Badgers and views the team’s success as a culmination of four years of hard work.The midfielder also concurs with his former teammates that Wisconsin’s early season losses are growing pains for a group that has similar potential to what the 2017 team accomplished.“It means a lot to us what we did there,” Catalano said. “It wasn’t easy, but now we have respect for Wisconsin soccer. It’s up to the coming classes to maintain that respect, so hopefully, they can do that.”While the transition into the pros has differed so far for each of these former Badgers, we hope their experiences in Madison will set them up for success in the coming years and beyond.
On one hand, it should come as no surprise that the 49ers advanced to Super Bowl 54 on the strength of 285 rushing yards on 42 attempts against the Packers in the NFC championship game, with San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo having little impact on the result.On the other hand, in a season when leaguewide numbers for passer rating, completion percentage, total completions and touchdown passes all ranked in the top five for highest in a single season in NFL history, it’s absurd that the 49ers were able to deliver a blowout in the title game while their QB completed just six passes. SUPER BOWL ODDS:Chiefs open as slight favorites over 49ersThe box score attached to San Francisco’s 37-20 win on Sunday says Garoppolo went 6-of-8 passing for 77 yards, an average of 9.6 yards per attempt and a passer rating of 104.7. He technically attempted 11 passes, but three were negated by defensive penalties.”I think I threw more (in warmups),” Garoppolo joked after the game.The 49ers are now one of just three teams that have finished a playoff game with 10 pass attempts or fewer in the Super Bowl era — although the 1971 and 1973 Dolphins are hardly representatives of the passing era in which these 49ers play.Fewest pass attempts in a playoff victory – Super Bowl EraBob Griese (MIA): 1973 AFC Champ vs OAK 6Bob Griese (MIA): Super Bowl VIII vs WASH: 7Bob Griese (MIA): 1971 AFC Champ vs Colts: 8Jimmy Garoppolo (SF): 2019 NFC Champ vs GB 8— Sportsnet Stats (@SNstats) January 20, 2020Including Sunday’s total, Garoppolo has thrown for 208 yards in two playoff games this year. Contrast that with his QB counterpart in Super Bowl 54; Patrick Mahomes has thrown for more yards in the second quarter alone in the Chiefs’ wins over the Texans and Titans.Below are all 11 throws Garoppolo made Sunday against the Packers, including the three that were negated by penalties.They illustrate just how easily the QB cruised to the Super Bowl while running back Raheem Mostert and San Francisco’s rushing attack terrorized Green Bay’s overwhelmed defense all night.Throw 1First-and-10 at the 49ers’ 11-yard line; 16-yard completion to Deebo SamuelThrow 2Second-and-5 at the 49ers’ 32; 30-yard completion to SamuelThrow 3Second-and-4 at the Packers’ 32; 4-yard loss on a completion to Raheem MostertThrow 4Second-and-6 at the Packers’ 47; incomplete pass(Play negated by roughing the passer penalty)Throw 5Second-and-6 at the Packers’ 28; incomplete passThrow 6First-and-10 at the 49ers’ 25; incomplete pass(Play negated by defensive pass interference penalty)Throw 7Second-and-8 at the Packers’ 15; incomplete passThrow 8Third-and-8 at the Packers’ 15; 6-yard completion to Kendrick BourneThrow 9First-and-10 at the 49ers’ 27; 19-yard completion to George KittleThrow 10Third-and-3 at the Packers’ 47; incomplete pass(Play negated by defensive pass interference penalty)Throw 11Second-and-11 at the Packers’ 43; 10-yard completion to MostertSome notable nuggets related to Garoppolo’s passing performance:— He didn’t attempt a pass in the entire third quarter (though the 49ers had only one possession in the third) and attempted just three passes in the fourth quarter. Two were completed; the lone incompletion was negated by defensive pass interference.— Between the end of the second quarter and the beginning of the fourth, he went 24 game minutes without attempting a pass. “If it’s working, you stay with it,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said of the run-heavy approach Sunday. “Our guys were running so hard. Our line coming [off] the ball, our backs. All 11 of our guys how they’ve been all year. The guys fought hard as heck. We’re going to put it all in their hands.”Chances are, San Francisco will need more from Garoppolo in the Super Bowl, especially if Mahomes continues his hot streak. The Kansas City QB just tied Pro Football Hall of Famer Kurt Warner (11) for the most TD passes through a player’s first four career playoff games in NFL history. He did that a week after becoming the first player with at least 300 passing yards, five touchdown passes and 50 rushing yards in a single NFL postseason game.Of course, the 49ers could not care less how many passes Garoppolo attempts or completes. They’re 19-5 in his 24 starts since 2017, not including what’s now a 2-0 record in the playoffs.
Rooney was given a warm welcome at Old Trafford on his return to former club Manchester United on Sunday but it ended in disappointment with a 4-0 defeat for Everton.Everton manager Ronald Koeman said earlier this month the matter would be dealt with “internally”.Rooney made a successful start to his second Everton spell following his return to the club from United, scoring on his first two Premier League appearances.His form moved England manager Gareth Southgate to offer him an international recall, but he decided to call time on his England career.Share on: WhatsApp London, United Kingdom | AFP | Former England captain Wayne Rooney arrived at court on Monday to face a drink-driving charge.The Everton striker, 31, made no comment as he was confronted by a media scrum outside Stockport Magistrates’ Court in the northwest of England.Wearing a blue suit with his hands in his pockets, he walked into the court building accompanied by a small entourage.Rooney was charged after being stopped by police while driving a black Volkswagen Beetle at 2:00 am on September 1. The car belonged to a woman he had met in a bar.He has been married to his high-school sweetheart Coleen since 2008 and they have three children together. The couple are expecting their fourth child.