Women’s and men’s head water polo coach Jovan Vavic has announced that long-time assistant Marko Pintaric will join him at the helm of the men’s program as co-head coach. Pintaric was previously the associate head coach for the men’s program as well as scouting director for the women’s side of the program. He will retain his position for the Women of Troy while moving up for the men. Pintaric has been a coach for USC for 15 years, all serving under his former coach, Vavic. “Pinta has been an integral part of our program as a player and now as a coach,” Vavic said in a press release. “He has developed some of the best goalies in NCAA history, and his energy, knowledge and innovative mind has brought a great deal of excitement to our team.” As a coach, Pintaric has been a part of eight men’s national championships as well as three national championships on the women’s side. Pintaric has specialized in goalie development, having coached four Trojans who represented their respective nations in goals during the 2012 Olympics. As a player, he was a two-year starter in 1997 and 1998. Pintaric was a pivotal player during the 1998 national championship run, scoring 44 goals that season. That year, Pintaric was also awarded National Player of the Year and was a first team All-American. Outside of USC, Pintaric has also joined Vavic as an interim coach for the men’s national team, leading the team to World Championship qualification at the 2013 World Aquatic Championship Qualification Tournament. The Croatian native graduated with a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in communications at USC. “Pinta is loyal, committed, hard-working and an unselfish young coach,” Vavic said. ”USC water polo would never be what it is today without Pinta’s great contributions. I am thrilled that he has accepted this new position and am looking forward to many more great years together.” The Men of Troy are coming off a season in which they fell to UCLA in the NCAA Championship game.
Galatasaray striker Didier Drogba is a shock omission from the Ivory Coast 28-man squad that will face Gambia in a 2014 World Cup qualifier next Saturday which could spell an end to his international career.The former Chelsea star was part of the Galatasaray side that qualified for the last eight of the Champions League this week after defeating Schalke 4-3 on aggregate and the Cote d’Ivoire team captain was expected to be included for the match.Drogba, who has won 95 caps for his country, has previously had frosty relations with the current Elephants coach Sabri Lamouchi and was even dropped for a match during their recent Africa Cup of Nations failure.The Ivorian FA are yet to give a reason behind the 35-year-old’s absence but it is thought that they were worried about his levels of fitness after his unsuccessful stint in China with Shanghai Shenhua and he is also paying for his disappointing form in the recent South African tournament.The legendary Stamford Bridge striker is not the only one who has missed out on selection in the squad announced tonight with fellow Galatasaray defender Emmanuel Eboue also out of the qualifier in Abidjan.The Ivorians currently lead World Cup Group C with four points from their two games and Drogba has vowed to lead his country to the 2014 World Cup in what will be his last international assignment.
Andre Ayew and his Swansea teammate Bafetimbi Gomis and manager Garry Monk have been rewarded for the side’s unbeaten start to the season by being nominated for Barclays Premier League awards.Ayew has made an immediate impression after signing on a free transfer from Marseille during the summer.His three goals include the winner in the 2-1 victory against Manchester United.Ayew and Gomis have been responsible for all of their side’s seven goals this season, with the Frenchman leading the way with four, scoring in every match.The Swans pair will contest the award with Manchester City pair David Silva and Aleksander Kolarov, Riyad Mahrez of Leicester and Manchester United’s Chris Smalling.Monk is up for the August manager of the month. The Swans chief, who has overseen wins over Manchester United and Newcastle and draws against Sunderland and champions Chelsea, last won the award 12 months ago after his side made an equally impressive start to the 2014/15 campaign.This time around, Monk faces competition from Manuel Pellegrini, of Manchester City, Leicester’s Claudio Ranieri and Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew.Pellegrini’s side have recorded four straight wins without conceding a goal in August, while Ranieri’s Foxes are also unbeaten and Palace have notched up three wins, including a 2-1 victory against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, only Jose Mourinho’s second home defeat in 100 league games.The winners will be announced on Friday.– Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySports