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July 2019

Newest Flyers Prospects Shine in Development Camp Scrimmages

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

The wrap-up on Flyers development camp is a pair of scrimmages that allow players to get competitive and showcase their skills against an opponent. On Friday evening, there was a 3-on-3 tournament that split the prospects into four teams. On Saturday evening, in the final on-ice event of camp, there was a 5-on-5 scrimmage.

Continue reading "Newest Flyers Prospects Shine in Development Camp Scrimmages" »


Soul Overcome Empire, Clinch 8th Straight Postseason Berth

Prince
Philadelphia Soul WR Darius Prince snagging a first-half touchdown, helping the team clinch its eighth straight postseason berth with a win Saturday afternoon opposite the Arena Football League-best Albany Empire at the Wells Fargo Center (Mike Kruce/SportsTalkPhilly.com).

By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor

FINAL | Soul 54, Empire 43 | Attendance: 10,564 | Boxscore | Photo Gallery

For the eighth straight season, the Philadelphia Soul (6-4) are headed to the Arena Football League playoffs. On Saturday, the team, led by veteran head coach Clint Dolezel, topped the league-best Albany Empire (8-2), 54-43. In handing the Empire just their second loss this season, the Soul kept their chances of clinching the top seed alive, with two games and three weeks remaining in the regular season. After trailing 21-20 at the half, the Soul defense held the Empire scoreless in the third quarter, as the Soul would tally two scores to claim a lead they would not relinquish.

Wide receiver Darius Prince led the way for the Soul with 91 receiving yards and three touchdowns spanning seven catches. Rookie BJ Bunn also caught seven from quarterback Dan Raudabaugh, who completed 21 of his 32 passes totaling 231 yards, seven touchdowns and one interception.

Defensive lineman Sean Daniels became the first to sack Empire QB Tommy Grady this season, while DB James Romain recorded his league-leading seventh interception. DB Torez Jones also picked off Grady, who had just eight interceptions in the Empire's nine games entering the contest. Grady struggled after being sacked; he had completed 11 of 15 passes for three scores in the first half, but the 2018 AFL MVP went just 8-18 in the second. Despite top league wide receiver Malachi Jones catching 11 passes for 171 yards and three touchdowns, the Soul defense still prevailed, forcing the Empire offense to turn the ball over three times — the other being a turnover on downs.

With the win, Dolezel passed current Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden for the seventh-most wins in Arena Football League history (94).

Continue reading "Soul Overcome Empire, Clinch 8th Straight Postseason Berth" »


Free Agency Targets for the Flyers

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

At the start of the offseason, the Flyers had a lot of cap space and figured to be big players this weekend as free agency opened. There is still a chance that happens, but it looks likely that the Flyers will have to put a lot of the $15.1 million in remaining cap space on their restricted free agents.

Still, the Flyers enter the weekend without a third-line winger. That spot could be left to an open competition in training camp, but many teams like to fill out the roster and let players earn their spot by beating someone out. That means the Flyers could still be in play for a variety of free agent wingers on the market.

Here are a few targets to watch as July 1 arrives.

Continue reading "Free Agency Targets for the Flyers" »


Soul Look for Postseason Berth, 3rd Straight Win Opposite League-Best Empire

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By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor

Playing in their regular season home finale, the Philadelphia Soul (5-4) will look for revenge — as well as improve their respective playoff picture — opposite the AFL-best Albany Empire (8-1) Saturday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center.

To clinch their eighth straight postseason berth, the Soul either need to win just one of their last three games, or the Atlantic City Blackjacks need to lose at least one of their last three games.

After losing three straight games (May 11-26), the Soul have now won three of their last four games, outscoring opponents a combined 143-99 among the victories. The Soul last faced the Empire at home on May 11 (Week 3), and fell 57-48 to start their three-game skid stretch.

The Soul face a tough task on the defensive front opposite reigning league MVP QB Tommy Grady and his top target, WR Malachi Jones. Grady has completed 70 percent of his passes this season, while logging the most passing yards (2,390) and touchdowns (54). Jones has reigned in more than 300 receiving yards than any other receiver this season (1,074), having recorded seven 100-yard receiving games.

The Soul are giving free tickets for the home finale to children 14 and under, with the purchase of an adult ticket. Visit www.philadelphiasoul.com/kidsfree for more information; enter discount code KIDS at checkout.

Continue reading "Soul Look for Postseason Berth, 3rd Straight Win Opposite League-Best Empire" »


Connor Barwin Wants to Play For The Eagles in 2019

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By Paul Bowman, Sports Talk Philly Editor

Connor Barwin is a favorite of Eagles fans and it isn’t difficult to see why.

Barwin made his lone Pro Bowl with the team in 2014 when he recorded 14.5 sacks. At that point, he looked like he would be a key player on the defense for years to come.

Not only that, but Barwin is a player who gives back to the community, much like the now-retired Chris Long, and fits in well with the city’s ideals. He was even known to ride SEPTA or his bike to get around the city and make it to training camp.

In fact, Long has said that Barwin played a part in his choosing to sign with the Eagles and Barwin climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in the offseason with Long for The Water Boys Foundation.

Continue reading "Connor Barwin Wants to Play For The Eagles in 2019" »


Marlins 6, Phillies 2: Velasquez's Poor Outing, Hitting Fails to Show in Series Opener

By Matt Gregan, Sports Talk Philly Staff

The Philadelphia Phillies dropped the series opener 6-2 to the Miami Marlins on a hot Friday night in Miami. The bats were shut down, totaling only four hits and not really putting up a fight at any point during the game. It took until the fifth inning for the Phillies to get their first hit, a double by Maikel Franco

After sweeping the New York Mets in a four-game series, the Phillies looked like they had rebounded from their cold streak throughout the month of June. However, they played like they did not show up to Miami, which was disappointing to see from a team that looked like they had regained the confidence and swagger that they had earlier in the season. 

The Phillies now stand at 43-39. The Marlins are now 31-49.

Continue reading "Marlins 6, Phillies 2: Velasquez's Poor Outing, Hitting Fails to Show in Series Opener" »


Former Phillies 1B Greats Howard, Thome to Play in 2019 MLB Celebrity Softball Game

By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor

Get him to the plate, boys.

Exactly one week before the Philadelphia Phillies honor first baseman Ryan Howard with a special retirement ceremony, the 2008 World Series champion and fellow former club slugger Jim Thome will team up on Sunday, July 7, at the 2019 MLB Celebrity Softball Game at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio.

Thome played plenty of games at the venue from its 1994 opening to 2002. The next season, the eventual Hall of Famer signed his iconic deal with the Phillies; he would slug 96 home runs and 266 RBI over parts of three seasons and 361 games. Eventually Thome would be replaced by Howard, who had a similar "bat-pointing" batting stance as him, and the rest was history.

The Softball Game will be broken into Cleveland and The World teams. Former Cleveland Indians set to appear include Kenny Lofton — who was teammates with Thome in Cleveland and both Thome and Howard in Philadelphia (2005) — as well as Carlos Baerga, Mike Napoli and Travis Hafner

Celebrity participants to appear include, according to Cleveland.com: Johnny Bananas, MTV Challenge; Stephanie Beatriz, actress, "Brooklyn 99"; Simone Biles, Olympic gold medalist; Drew Carey, Comedian and talk-show host; Priah Ferguson, actress, "Stranger Things"; Jennie Finch, softball Olympian; Jamie Foxx, Academy Award-winning actor; Max Greenfield, actor, "New Girl"; Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs tight end and Cleveland Heights High School graduate; Machine Gun Kelly, Musician-actor; Allie LaForce, Turner Sports broadcaster; Jerry Lorenzo, fashion/sneaker designer; Anthony Mackie, actor, "Avengers"; Stipe Miocic, MMA fighter; Mike “The Miz” Mizanin, WWE star and reigning MLB Celebrity Softball MVP; Dascha Polanco, actress, "Orange is the New Black"; Dr. Oz, television host and Cleveland native; Quincy, actor, "Star"; Scott Rogowsky, comedian and host on video-streaming network DAZN; J.R. Smith, Cleveland Cavalier; Colton Underwood, former NFL player and television personality; and Daddy Yankee, Reggaeton recording artist.

RELATED | Former Phillies Manuel, Thome to Reunite on 2019 MLB All-Star Futures Game Coaching Staff

MLB Network “Intentional Talk" co-hosts Chris Rose and Kevin Millar will emcee the softball game, which will precede the All-Star Futures Game. Thome will manage a team and will be joined on his coaching staff by former Indians/Phillies coach/manager Charlie Manuel. Phillies third baseman prospect Alec Bohm will participate in the game, although it is not clear if he will be on Thome/Manuel's team.

Are you excited to see Howard, Thome and Manuel take part in baseball action once again?

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Phillies Set to Begin 2nd Half of Season Amid 4-Game Winning Streak

By Matt Rappa, Sports Talk Philly editor

After losing seven games in a row, the Philadelphia Phillies (43-38) have now won four straight, and will look to carry their momentum into Friday evening's three-game series opener opposite the National League-worst Miami Marlins (30-49) at Marlins Park. Right-hander Vince Velasquez will receive the starting nod opposite RHP Elieser Hernandez, as the Phillies kick off the second half of their 162-game schedule.

The Phillies are coming off of a four-game series sweep of the skidding New York Mets, their first such sweep of their rivals at home since 2007. In Thursday's thrilling 6-3 finale win, Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola tossed seven scoreless innings and allowed only one hit — to the opposing pitcher — and one walk while striking out 10 batters. According to Ryan Spaeder, Nola is the first Phillies pitcher in the live ball era to pitch at least seven one-hit innings, with the only hit allowed being to the opposing pitcher. The Phillies took a 1-0 lead into the ninth thanks to Bryce Harper's sixth inning home run to deep center. Hector Neris blew his second save by allowing three runs, but the Phillies responded with Maikel Franco's two-run home run and Jean Segura's three-run, walkoff home run. J.D. Hammer was credited with his first career win, while Phillies offseason target Edwin Diaz fell to 1-5 with four blown saves.

On Friday, it was announced that Phillies third base prospect Alec Bohm will represent the club at the All-Star Futures Game next month in Cleveland, Ohio. In 68 combined games this season with Lakewood, Clearwater and Reading, the 22-year-old is slashing .331/.406/.535 with 20 doubles, three triples, nine home runs, 42 RBI, 34 walks and 41 strikeouts.


Starting Pitching Matchup:

Philadelphia Phillies (43-38) Miami Marlins (30-49)
RHP Vince Velasquez RHP Elieser Hernández
(2-4, 4.40 ERA) (0-2, 4.34 ERA)

Continue reading "Phillies Set to Begin 2nd Half of Season Amid 4-Game Winning Streak" »


A Special Invite for Carson Briere at Flyers Development Camp

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

When development camp rolls around for the Flyers, you usually scan through the roster and look for the familiar names, top prospects like Morgan Frost and Joel Farabee. Newly-drafted prospects like Cam York and Bobby Brink also stand out.

There can be several undrafted and unsigned players who can join a team’s development camp as invites, many of them flying under the radar. One name among that group stood out on the Flyers camp roster. You know him best by his last name.

Carson Briere, whose father Danny Briere spent six of his 17 seasons in Orange and Black, essentially grew up at the Flyers practice facility in Voorhees. Carson was born in Arizona while his father played for the Phoenix Coyotes, but grew up in Haddonfield, NJ. His father welcomed Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier into their home as roommates, putting Carson around two of the top players the Flyers have on the roster at the moment in their earliest professional years.

Continue reading "A Special Invite for Carson Briere at Flyers Development Camp" »


Flyerdelphia Podcast: Draft Recap & Free Agency Preview

Flyerdelphia Podcast logo

On this week's Flyerdelphia Podcast, the guys review the NHL Draft and look ahead to free agency.

It was another busy week for Chuck Fletcher and the Philadelphia Flyers, as they selected seven players at the NHL Draft, including trading down in the first round from the 11th overall pick to the 14th overall pick and selecting defenseman Cam York. They also moved back into the second round, then moved up on Day 2 to the 34th overall pick to select Bobby Brink before selected five other players.

During the week, the Flyers re-signed defenseman Travis Sanheim and goalie Brian Elliott, traded forward Ryan Hartman to Dallas for forward Tyler Pitlick and extended qualifying offers to Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny and Scott Laughton.

The guys review the Flyers draft, analyze the Sanheim and Elliott deals and the Hartman trade, try to project what kind of deals Provorov, Konecny and Laughton could get and look at some possible free agent targets for the Flyers as free agency begins on July 1.

Join Kevin Durso, Matt Mastrogiovanni and Jeff Quake for more of the best Flyers talk.

Subscribe to the Flyerdelphia Podcast on iTunes, Google Play, SoundCloud, Stitcher and YouTube.