weather icon Clear

Fenway Park friendly reminds Liverpool manager of Las Vegas

Updated August 3, 2019 - 5:35 pm

There was time to ask one more question of Liverpool soccer team manager Jurgen Klopp after the English side’s 2-1 loss to Sevilla of Spain in an international friendly at Fenway Park.

So Stacey Gualandi wanted to know how did he find America?

Klopp did not reply “Turn left at Greenland,” which is what another Liverpudlian of note, the Beatles’ John Lennon, famously said after returning to Merseyside following the lads’ iconic performance on the “Ed Sullivan Show.”

Gualandi, a former award-winning reporter at KTNV Channel 13, helped organize a Liverpool convention and UEFA Champions League viewing party in Las Vegas in June, and was credentialed to write a magazine piece on the Reds’ trip to America.

Klopp said the support Liverpool was receiving from American soccer fans seemed to have increased exponentially since the Champions League victory and the last time the popular English Premier League club made corner kicks on U.S. soil. He also gave a shout-out to Liverpool fans in the desert.

“Today it felt like we played in Las Vegas, as hot as it is there,” a smiling Klopp said.

Had there been time for a follow-up question, somebody in the American press might have asked the Liverpool manager if he planned to get a haircut while he was here.

Kid out of nowhere

When the New York Mets moved their top farm club from Las Vegas to Syracuse, Las Vegas baseball fans were denied the opportunity to see Tim Tebow hit a home run — which the former football player has done four times this season despite a .163 batting average in 239 at-bats.

But perhaps one day the locals will get a chance to see Nathan Patterson strike somebody out.

Last year, when the Oakland A’s Triple-A affiliate was in Nashville, Tennessee, Patterson came out of the stands during one of those radar gun challenges and hit 96 mph. He did it again in a similar session at Coors Field in Denver a couple of weeks ago.

The A’s, now making their Pacific Coast League home in Las Vegas, were impressed. They signed the 23-year-old former soccer player to a Class A contract.

If there’s anything to be learned from this, it’s not to underestimate the kid who laps the team mascot during a relay race run around the bases. He might become the next Herb Washington.

High Rollers

Although the Vegas Rollers did not qualify for the playoffs in their World Team Tennis debut, their lightning round of a season was considered a big success by local enthusiasts of forehand volleys and topspin lobs.

“It could not have gone better,” said Ryan Wolfington, president of the team’s advisory board and a longtime advocate of all things Las Vegas tennis. “We beat the record for the largest in-stadium audience in WTT history (with an announced crowd of 2,318 at Orleans Arena) and broke the record for the largest WTT television audience in history with half a million viewers.

“I found the format, entertainment and community response to be incredible.”

Around the horn

Freddy Adu, once billed as the savior of American soccer but a benchwarmer for last year’s Las Vegas Lights, is coaching youth soccer in south Baltimore, according to an ESPN story in which Lights coach Eric Wynalda said Adu’s shelf life has expired: “The reason that Freddy’s not here now, there are six or seven guys getting their first chance or their second chance,” Wynalda said. “He’s on his fourth or fifth. It’s their turn, not his.” … Jacob Walsh (Desert Oasis) and Irvin Weems III (Durango) are among 44 high school baseball prospects playing in this weekend’s Hank Aaron Invitational showcase at SunTrust Park in Atlanta . … Henderson’s Jason Reichert clinched the Pacific F2000 championship for aspiring IndyCar drivers by sweeping a doubleheader at historic Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, California.


According to the old TV show, Art Linkletter said it was kids who said the darnedest things. Race car drivers are a close second. Las Vegan Kurt Busch, after being eliminated by Ricky Stenhouse in a NASCAR crash at Pocono, Pennsylvania:

“After sleeping on it, I’ve decided to take the high road with the Stenhouse incident. Hopefully he won’t wreck me up there as well.”

Contact Ron Kantowski at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow @ronkantowski on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.