SPORTS

Carnahan Coverage: Estrela & Rafael Ramos making most of time with Orlando City Soccer Club

When Estrela and Rafael Ramos each earned Major League Soccer contracts with the Orlando City Soccer Club in August the move from Portugal to Florida was made easier because of their existing friendship, forged under the youth soccer system of Benfica.

The 19-year olds played out the final month of the USL PRO season with the Lions this year and joined Portugal’s U-20 national team this month in what’s proved to be a busy stretch away from family and friends.

In just a matter of months they’ll continue the journey when they make their professional debuts with Orlando City as members of MLS in March.

( – Click here to read J.C.’s feature on Estrela & Rafael Ramos for MLSSoccer.com – )

Melvin Gordon sets new FBS record with 408 yards rushing in one game

The rush toward the Heisman Trophy took a new and intriguing turn in favor of Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon over the weekend.

On Saturday Gordon set a new Football Bowl Subdivision record by rushing for 408 yards on 25 carries – in just three quarters of work – in a 59-24 win over No. 16 Nebraska. The previous mark of 406 yards was set by TCU’s LaDainian Tomlinson against UTEP on Nov. 20, 1999.

Gordon also scored four touchdowns, the last of which broke the rushing record and made the two fumbles he lost earlier in the game seem like a distant memory. Of his 25 carries, five went for at least 40 yards.

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Carnahan Coverage: Turnovers costly for Bloomingdale in playoff loss to Dr. Phillips

Junior quarterback Isaiah McIntyre could not hold back tears as he wandered aimlessly along the sideline following Bloomingdale’s 24-21 loss to Orlando Dr. Phillips in the opening round of the Class 8A region quarterfinals on Friday.

Bloomingdale was in the midst of a four-minute drive when McIntyre fumbled the football while pulling his right arm back to pass just 24 yards from the end zone with 57 seconds remaining. It was his second lost fumble of the half, each recovered by junior Tashaun Lindquist.

“On the final drive the ball just slipped out of my hands,” McIntyre said afterwards. “I wish we would’ve won this game because of our seniors. They really wanted it, but the ball slipped out of my hand.”

( – Click here to read J.C.’s recap of Bloomingdale at Dr. Phillips for Tampa Bay Times – )

For the all the great things McIntyre did for the Bulls on Friday, and throughout the season, he’ll likely have a hard time forgetting what went wrong in the final two quarters after leading his team to a 14-3 advantage at halftime.

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Carnahan Chronicles Radio: Interview with Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders

Basketball Insiders senior NBA editor Alex Kennedy joined the show Saturday to discuss a number of topics from around the NBA.

Kennedy gave his thoughts on the Orlando Magic rebuilding process and offered his opinion on the standout teams so far through the first few weeks of the season. He also talked about the current state of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the tanking currently taking place by the winless Philadelphia 76ers.

( – Click here to listen to J.C. interview Alex Kennedy of BasketballInsiders.com – )

Carnahan Chronicles Radio: Interview with Danny Morales, local sports update, college and pro football talk

A friend from back home succumbed to a long illness earlier this week and I felt it was only right to dedicate this week’s edition of Carnahan Chronicles radio to his memory. See you when we get there, Jason Vann.

This week the show got underway with talk about the opening round of the high school football playoffs in Florida and the lone remaining girls volleyball team from the area still playing for a state title. I also gave mention to the UCF women’s soccer team hosting a match this weekend in the first round of the NCAA postseason and interviewed Valencia Voice editor-in-chief Danny Morales about UCF football’s win Friday over Tulsa.

( – Click here to listen to J.C. dedicate show, talk local sports, and interview Danny Morales – )

Producer Chris Vazquez joined me to talk about the biggest college and pro football games of the weekend, but the conversation took a bit of a turn each segment as we zeroed in on a couple topics that’ve created debate in our respective circles.

The first was whether the Florida State-Miami game is an even bigger rivalry for fans of the Seminoles than Florida State-Florida. The other was whether the Cleveland Browns should invest in Brian Hoyer or Johnny Manziel as the franchise’s quarterback of the future. Not sure we came to a clear conclusion, but talking it out is a good step in the right direction.

( – Click here to listen to J.C. and Chris talk FSU-Miami and college football this week – )

( – Click here to listen to J.C. and Chris talk Cleveland Browns QBs & NFL games this week – )

Carnahan Chronicles College Football Rankings (Week 11)

Did you see the College Football Playoff rankings that were released Tuesday? Looks like there’ll be plenty to complain about by the time this whole thing concludes at the end of the regular season. Quick question: Will Nebraska (8-1) or Duke (8-1) ever crack the Top 10? They’ll likely need to win their conferences for that to happen. Here’s the updated Carnahan Chronicles College Football Rankings…

#1 (1) Florida State (9-0) – Won 34-20 vs Virginia
#2 (2) Mississippi State (9-0) – Won 45-16 vs Tennessee-Martin
#3 (4) Oregon (9-1) – Won 51-27 at No. 17 Utah
#4 (5) Alabama (8-1) – Won 20-13 at No. 16 LSU
#5 (10) Baylor (8-1) – Won 48-14 at No. 15 Oklahoma
#6 (6) TCU (8-1) – Won 41-20 vs No. 7 Kansas State
#7 (–) Arizona State (8-1) – Won 55-31 vs No. 10 Notre Dame
#8 (–) Ohio State (8-1) – Won 49-37 at No. 8 Michigan State
#9 (3) Auburn (7-2) – Lost 41-38 vs Texas A&M
#10 (–) UCLA (8-2) – Won 44-30 at Washington

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Carnahan Coverage: Orlando City Soccer Club trades for Houston Dynamo goalie Tally Hall

The Orlando City Soccer Club is a long way away from being ready for the start of the 2015 Major League Soccer season. Finding MLS experience to fill out the roster is a top priority this offseason as the Lions make a move from the minor leagues to the top division in North America.

Last week I caught up with OCSC general manager Paul McDonough and president Phil Rawlins about the pending acquisition of Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall, who started in back-to-back MLS Cup matches in 2011 and 2012.

(– Click here to read J.C.’s story on Tally Hall coming to Orlando for MLSSoccer.com –)

Carnahan Chronicles College Football Rankings (Week 10)

The top four teams this week in the College Football Playoff, in order, are Mississippi State, Florida State, Auburn and Oregon, just as the top four teams in this week’s version of the Carnahan Chronicles College Football Rankings.

#1 (1) Florida State (8-0) – Won 42-31 at Louisville
#2 (2) Mississippi State (8-0) – Won 17-10 vs Arkansas
#3 (4) Auburn (7-1) – Won 35-31 at No. 4 Mississippi
#4 (3) Oregon (8-1) – Won 45-16 vs Stanford
#5 (6) Alabama (7-1) – Did not play
#6 (8) TCU (7-1) – Won 31-30 at No. 20 West Virginia
#7 (7) Notre Dame (7-1) – Won 49-39 at Navy
#8 (9) Michigan State (7-1) – Did not play
#9 (10) Kansas State (7-1) – Won 48-14 vs Oklahoma State
#10 (–) Baylor (7-1) – Won 60-14 vs Kansas

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Carnahan Coverage: Orlando City Soccer Club embraces past with new Major League Soccer look

The Orlando City Soccer Club unveiled a new kit for the 2015 Major League Soccer season Wednesday. The club left no stone unturned when designing the new look, which honors its four minor league seasons with several different features. Check out the details in the photo below and marvel at its uniqueness, in all its purple glory.

( – Click here to read J.C.’s story for Major League Soccer about new look and season tickets – )

Jersey_Breakdown

Carnahan Chronicles College Football Rankings (Week 9)

The first version of the official College Football Playoff rankings rolled out Tuesday. There will be plenty of changes to that list throughout the remainder of the season and it’ll be fun to see how the committee weighs each team as it decides upon the four programs most deserving of playing for a national title. This week the top four teams according to the College Football Playoff consist of Mississippi State, Florida State, Auburn and Mississippi – in that order. Here’s how the Carnahan Chronicles College Football Rankings shape up this week:

#1 (1) Florida State (7-0) – Did not play
#2 (2) Mississippi State (7-0) – Won 45-31 at Kentucky
#3 (4) Oregon (7-1) – Won 59-41 at California
#4 (6) Auburn (6-1) – Won 42-35 vs South Carolina
#5 (3) Mississippi (7-1) – Lost 10-7 at No. 24 LSU
#6 (7) Alabama (7-1) – Won 34-20 at Tennessee
#7 (5) Notre Dame (6-1) – Did not play
#8 (9) TCU (6-1) – Won 82-27 vs Texas Tech
#9 (8) Michigan State (7-1) – Won 35-11 vs Michigan
#10 (10) Kansas State (6-1) – Won 23-0 vs Texas

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Carnahan Coverage: Orlando City Soccer Club preps for Major League Soccer Expansion Draft

There’s so much to be done before the Orlando City Soccer Club even steps foot on the pitch as a Major League Soccer participant at the start of the 2015 season. Among the many obstacles to navigate is the MLS Expansion Draft on Dec. 10 as Orlando City joins New York City FC in each selecting 10 players from those made available by current clubs.

( – Click here to read J.C.s story for MLSSoccer.com about OCSC preparing for Expansion Draft – )

Orlando City currently has just 10 players under contract for 2015 after defender Luke Boden and midfielder Harrison Heath finalized contracts with the club on Monday. Boden has spent the past four seasons with the Lions while Heath joined Orlando City near the end of the 2014 USL PRO season.

( – Click here to read J.C.’s story for MLSSoccer.com about Boden and Heath signing contracts – )

Carnahan Coverage: Temple becomes latest foe to fall at hands of UCF

The UCF Knights have yet to drop an American Athletic Conference game in the second year of the league’s existence. Despite a close outcome a season ago, Temple showed little fight on Saturday as the Owls were turned away 34-14 at Bright House Networks Stadium.

Two different quarterbacks combined for three interceptions for Temple as both P.J. Walker and Connor Reilly were largely ineffective. The Owls also lost a fumble and surrendered four sacks.

UCF outgained Temple 466-182 in total yards and held them to just 3 of 13 conversions on third down, in what was just another day at the office for a defense that improved the Knights to 5-2 overall and 3-0 in AAC play.

( – Click here to read J.C.’s story on Temple at UCF for the Philadelphia Inquirer – )

Carnahan Chronicles College Football Rankings (Week 8)

There’s still plenty to be decided as we get closer to figuring out which four teams will be the last program’s standing to take part in the new college football playoff. Although nine of the 10 teams listed below are the same names tabbed in the top spots of the Associated Press Top 25, these rankings vary quite a bit. Here’s this week’s Carnahan Chronicles College Football Rankings:

#1 (1) Florida State (7-0) – Won 31-27 vs No. 5 Notre Dame
#2 (2) Mississippi State (6-0) – Did not play
#3 (3) Mississippi (7-0) – Won 34-3 vs Tennessee
#4 (6) Oregon (6-1) – Won 45-20 vs Washington
#5 (5) Notre Dame (6-1) – Lost 31-27 at No. 2 Florida State
#6 (7) Auburn (5-1) – Did not play
#7 (10) Alabama (6-1) – Won 59-0 vs No. 21 Texas A&M
#8 (9) Michigan State (6-1) – Won 56-17 at Indiana
#9 (8) TCU (5-1) – Won 42-9 vs No. 15 Oklahoma State
#10 (–) Kansas State (5-1) – Won 31-30 at No. 11 Oklahoma

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Carnahan Coverage: Quarterback Nick Montana not good enough for Tulane on road at UCF

Backup quarterback Nick Montana had a chance to make his mark under center for Tulane while in Orlando as his hall of fame dad watched from the stands against UCF.

Joe Montana is known for taking part in thrilling finishes as a quarterback in college at Notre Dame and in the NFL while with the San Francisco 49ers. Nick is more likely to be remembered for his mishaps on Saturday, which included errant passes and spiking the ball on fourth down with seconds remaining before halftime of the Green Wave’s 20-13 loss to the Knights.

Montana finished 18 of 42 passing for 147 yards and two interceptions. Many of his passes fell out of the reach of his intended receivers or failed to travel far enough to move the chains. Twice in the fourth quarter Tulane took possession with the chance to tie the game, only to fall short despite the Green Wave defense forcing four turnovers in the loss.

“We just didn’t take advantage of some of the turnovers our defense gave us,” Tulane coach Curtis Johnson said. “We’ve got to get to the point where, offensively, we can make touchdowns or field goals or something when they give us the ball way down there.”

The Green Wave defense has recorded at least one takeaway in 16-straight games and in 31 of their last 32 outings.

It was the second-straight backup quarterback to enter Bright House Networks Stadium. The result was no different for the Knights the last time around.

( – Click here for J.C.’s story on Tulane’s 20-13 loss at UCF for The Times-Picayune – )

Carnahan Coverage: Orlando City Soccer Club breaks ground at site of new soccer stadium

The Orlando City Soccer Club and its supporters continue to ride the momentum of minor league championships toward Major League Soccer, right into the heart of one of the poorest neighborhoods in town.

On Thursday thousands of fans gathered in downtown Orlando and marched down Church Street to the site of the new soccer-specific stadium in Parramore for a ceremonial groundbreaking. The club pulled out every bell and whistle to ensure the occasion went off in a larger-than-life manner, and it worked with what appeared to be ease.

Orlando City is slated to open its new stadium in 2016. They’ll open their first season in MLS at the Florida Citrus Bowl in March 2015.

( – Click here to read J.C.’s story on the groundbreaking for Major League Soccer – )

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