George Farmer’s 2013-14 season is over before it even began.The junior wide receiver suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament and a torn medial collateral ligament in practice Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles Times. Farmer, who was the top receiver prospect in the class of 2011, prepped with current Trojan star Marqise Lee and former star Robert Woods at Serra High School and was considered by many to be the best of the bunch. But the magic he found in high school hasn’t translated thus far at USC. Unfortunately, that won’t be changing in 2013.Add Farmer to the long list of injured Trojans this spring: Senior running back Silas Redd, junior tight end Xavier Grimble and junior linebacker/running back Tre Madden are all sidelined.It’s an all-star team of injured players, and right now, the Trojans are hurting. Big time. Without Redd, the total number of carries by Trojan runners from last year’s roster is at an underwhelming 72. Thirteen of those were from Lee, by the way. And without Grimble, returning tight ends caught just 14 passes.Things look rather bleak right now, but in the grand scheme of things, these injuries are going to help the Trojans. Now, I’m not implying that Farmer tearing his knee to shreds is good for the team; for all we know, Farmer could have been this season’s breakout star. But with proven players out this spring and for the foreseeable future, younger players now have the opportunity to step up and show that they deserve playing time when the season kicks off at Hawai’i. Look no further than freshman running back Justin Davis.Davis, who hails from Stockton, Calif., enrolled early at USC in an effort to get ahead of his freshmen counterparts. Not only is he above the competition in his class, but he is catching up with Redd and redshirt junior running back D.J. Morgan, with whom Davis is splitting the majority of the practice carries this spring. He’s looking great thus far and, with a solid spring game, could go for even more carries come fall camp.With Grimble out, it is a chance for fellow junior tight end Randall Telfer to step up and take the reins. Grimble caught 12 passes last season, but with players like Lee and Woods around him, he was almost forgotten in the mix. Another tight end, sophomore Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, also has a chance to step up his game after catching just two passes as a freshman; he’s now going to be depended on in double-tight sets for the last few practices of the spring. Is there any better time to show his skills? Probably not.As for the receiving corps, losing Farmer for the season definitely stings, especially in the wake of Woods leaving for the NFL. But in the “glass-half-full” department, it is a chance for sophomore Nelson Agholor to prove without a doubt that he is ready to be the No. 2 behind Lee. Though he was slated to be the starter anyway, with Farmer out and unproven depth behind him, Agholor will likely see a lot more passes thrown in his direction.And who will step up and be the No. 3 in Farmer’s place? It could be a lot of guys. Victor Blackwell. De’Von Flournoy. It could even be freshman Darreus Rogers, whose debut has long been anticipated since he was ruled academically ineligible last season. In the spring of last season, Flournoy was one of the stars in the spring. Though it didn’t parlay into a great deal of success (he caught one pass in 2012), who’s to say that someone like Rogers can’t have a big spring and turn it into a strong freshman campaign like Lee and Woods did before him?Nothing in football is guaranteed. Well, there is one thing: injuries. They are bound to happen to every team, regardless of how well trained and prepared its players are. Just because injuries happen doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world, though. Rather, it’s a chance for unproven players to turn themselves into role players and sometimes even stars.Back in 2009, a freshman named Matt Barkley was slated to be the No. 2 behind veteran Aaron Corp. Corp got hurt in fall practice, and Barkley got his chance. A conference-record 116 touchdown passes later, I’d say things turned out pretty well for the Trojans. Who’s to say that this season’s injuries can’t create more stars? “Goal Line Stand” runs Fridays. To comment on this story, email Michael Katz at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit dailytrojan.com.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has confirmed he will leave Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season.The striker, who was named France’s Player of the Year for a record third time on Sunday, is out of contract this summer.And in a message on his official Twitter account, Ibrahimovic said: “”My last game tomorrow [Saturday] at Parc des Princes. I came like a king, left like a legend.”In a statement on PSG’s website, he added: “I am very proud of the last four years. I loved every day I spent here. PSG has become a star club internationally and I played a key role moving it forward.”It is now the right time for me to take a different path. I would like to thank my team-mates, the technical staff and all the people in the club.”My heart is with the fans. They were amazing from the first day I came here. They are the best fans in France. It is not a farewell but only an au revoir. I came like a king, I leave like a legend, but I will be back.” The Sweden international will leave PSG having won four consecutive Ligue 1 titles, most recently this season, and as the club’s all-time record goalscorer with 152 goals.His last home match for PSG will be against Nantes on Saturday, but his final appearance is likely to be on May 21 when PSG face Marseille in the French Cup final at the Stade de France.Nasser Al-Khelaifi, PSG president and CEO, paid tribute to the departing striker, who will return to join the management of the club in a position of responsibility after his playing career ends.”I am extremely proud of having welcomed Ibra in Paris and I’m now looking forward to the prospect of working with him again when he finishes his career,” Al-Khelaifi said. “He will always be home at Paris Saint-Germain.” PSG boss Laurent Blanc had retained hope his talisman would stay put, but he will now become a free agent with a return to AC Milan or a move Stateside to join LA Galaxy possible options.In February he hinted at a Premier League switch when he said he is “in shape” for a move to England.A month later when asked about a possible move to the Premier League, he added: “Yes, there is interest. I can confirm that but we have to see where it leads.” Ibrahimovic started his career in his homeland with Malmo and went on to also win league titles in the Netherlands, Italy and Spain.—
Two weeks ago, just about the time we agreed to write about women in power and their role in coaching, mentoring and promoting other less privileged women, the Liberian Women in Business Empowerment Network –USA (LWBEN) approached me on highlighting the benefits I have received, both professionally and personally, from women supporting each other. “Great minds,” the popular saying goes, “think alike.” Two years ago, I wrote about the support I received from powerful women: from my mother, schoolteachers to professional mentors. Please find time to read our column, Women of Peace, on this important subject matter.Over the past weeks, dialogue among volunteer peace messengers has focused on women in power and how these women have used their positions to assist other women. The views and reviews have been mixed and opinions have differed. Some young women, even among volunteer peace messengers, are of the opinion that women in power are just in it for themselves, their families and friends. Most are engaged to serve themselves. Young women feel isolated, neglected and demotivated. They gave several examples, in work places, learning institutions and places of worship, of how some women in power are discourteous, selfish, self-serving, greedy and counterproductive.A few young women acknowledged and even recognized that women in power are knowledgeable and of substance. They argued that these women are generally kind, generous and proactive. They help other women to thrive without fear, favor or fraternity. In my opinion, I have come across the good and bad. I have benefited immensely from these encounters by learning from them. Women in power are life-giving arteries that support other women; it is our responsibility to know how to take full advantage of our encounters with women in power.The purpose of this article is to acknowledge the inherent merits in both opinions and to trigger a revolution for action. Every revolution needs the first spark, and African women are fortunate to have two sparks in President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Leymah Gbowee.We are convinced that women need to do more and as the LWBEN states, it is our hope that more Liberian women in power would step up and support each other. It is not enough to support one person and believe we have contributed our quota to humanity. Along the way, we would be disappointed by a younger generation of women, but this should not deter us. Our hard work and commitment to others should serve as inspiration to other women. It is socially and economically unacceptable to ignore our young women.As young women, we need to define our career paths and approach these paths with real meaning and purpose. There is a great need for young people to identify mechanisms to engage women in power and mobilize them to support our growth path. The opportunities for engagement, volunteerism, internship, exchange programs and resource linkages would have huge implications for women’s empowerment and addressing emerging human issues.Until next week when we come to you with Part Two of our series on women in power, let peace be your watch word – peace first, peace above all else. May peace prevail on earth!Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)