Governor Jim Douglas announced yesterday that he would allow S88, An Act Relating to Health Care Financing and Universal Access to Health Care in Vermont, to become law without his signature.“Vermont is recognized as a national leader in health reform, we are the healthiest state in the nation and we are in the midst of implementing significant changes from the federal health care reform bill,” said Governor Douglas. “To spend time and money studying a new model that cannot be implemented until at least 2017 is counterproductive. Further, the drug sample reporting provision adds burdensome new regulations that are unnecessary and could make it difficult for low-income Vermonters to receive needed medications. These sections do not represent meaningful reform; rather they detract from the serious work ahead.”Although S. 88 includes these provisions, Governor Douglas decided to allow the bill to become law because it includes a critical expansion of the innovative Vermont Blueprint for Health. “The Blueprint is key to our efforts to control care costs over time by helping to improve the health of Vermonters. Expanding the Blueprint to more communities extends Vermont’s national leadership, and positions Vermont to take advantage of the federal health care reform law.”Governor Douglas said that he hopes future Legislature’s will revisit the drug sample provisions after evaluating the impact they have on our rural health system and patients.The Governor’s message is attached.
Looking to build on a season-high four-game winning streak, the USC women’s soccer team heads north this weekend to take on Pacific and No. 9 Santa Clara.The Women of Troy started off the season 1-3, but have rebounded in the last two weeks behind improved defensive play.Fresh legs · Freshman Kelly Morgan is one of the USC players thrust into the starting lineup because of the Women of Troy’s injuries. – Katelynn Whitaker | Daily TrojanThe absence of senior All-American defender Meagan Holmes and the season-ending knee injury sustained by her replacement junior Ashli Sandoval have forced the other young members of the backline to step up.USC has posted three shutouts in its last four games, including two on the road against Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.“The ladies are growing up,” coach Ali Khosroshahin said. “We still have areas where we need to improve but we’re definitely a lot better than we were in week 1.”The Women of Troy will be without starting sophomore leftback Chelsea Buehning for the match against Pacific, as she must sit out one match following the red card she received in USC’s last game.Starting in her place will most likely be freshman Kelly Morgan, who will line up alongside junior Karter Haug, sophomore Claire Schloemer and fellow freshman Stephanie Morgan.Pacific enters the 7 p.m. Friday match on a three game unbeaten run. The Tigers (5-2-2) lost to Pac-10 foe Cal 3-0 earlier this season in an exhibition.Pacific is led by Maricela Padilla and Angelica Figueroa, two young and talented midfielders. Padilla, a freshman, leads the team with six goals and also has two assists. Figueroa, a sophomore, has posted four goals and a team-leading six assists.USC will take on Santa Clara (7-2) on Sunday at 1 p.m., in what could be one of USC’s most challenging games this season.The Broncos have already knocked off two top-10 foes this season, beating at the time No. 5 Notre Dame and No. 7 Purdue.Santa Clara features a balanced scoring attack, with nine players having scored goals for the Broncos this season.USC defeated Santa Clara 2-1 a year ago at McAlister Field and leads the all-time series with the Broncos 4-1.The Women of Troy will rely heavily on the play of their senior goalkeeper Kristin Olsen this weekend, both for her shot-stopping and her organization skills.Olsen has helped lead the young backline and received the Pac-10 Player of the Week award for her two shutouts in the victories over Oklahoma and Oklahoma State last weekend.She said the biggest improvement the team has made since the beginning of the season has been greater composure and intelligence on the field.“We know all the answers to what we’re supposed to do and how to play good soccer,” Olsen said. “It’s just actually applying it in a game.”
On Sunday, Kotoko played one of their most tactically disciplined games the team has witnessed all season as they triumphed over Hearts in Accra. A brace from Dauda Mohammed sealed all three points for the Porcupine Warriors.Hearts’ shapeEddie Ansah decided to maintain consistency as he went with virtually the same side and shape that lost to New Edubiase last week. The key changes were in goal as Tetteh Luggard replaced Seidu Mutawakilu and the skillful Isaac Mensah replacing Thomas Abbey. This change meant Ansah was opting for more creativity in his team as opposed to hardwork. Sarbah Laryea and Emmanuel Hayford continued their pairing in the middle of the field while Foovi Aguidi and Kenneth Okoro played on top.Kotoko shape David Duncan’s starting lineup (pictured below) was more straightforward.In the absence of Ahmed Toure, Obed Owusu led the line with Dauda Mohammed playing behind him in a 4-4-1-1 while Michael Akuffo played ahead of Kwadwo Poku in the centre of the field. The backline remained intact from last week with Abeiku Ainooson and Ahmed Adams continuing their partnership in the heart of defence.Match summaryThe game started at a ferocious pace with some end to end action in the first 20 minutes, After Dauda Mohammed’s first goal, Kotoko sat deeper and caught Hearts on the break several times. The Porcupines should have killed off the game in the first half or the earlier parts of the second half before Hearts’ equalizer. But it became more chaotic after the equalizer and a poor clearance by Robin Gnagne ensured Dauda Mohammed and Kotoko carried all three points on the day. Kotoko tacticsDavid Duncan drilled his side very well on the day and had their 4-4-1-1 shape spot on. While defending, Frank Sarfo Gyamfi and Eric Donkor who played on the flanks for Kotoko dropped deep to join the Kotoko midfield ensuring Hearts had to break down Kotoko’s two lines of four. This move prevented Hearts wide men Eric Kumi and Isaac Mensah also had two men to beat which neutralized their strength on the day. Dauda Mohammed dropped deep into midfield as he served as the outlet for the Kotoko break. This system is reminiscent of Diego Simeone’s 4-4-1-1 which he has used in his spell at Atletico Madrid. Hearts struggle to penetrateKotoko’s shape meant Hearts had major difficulty in trying to penetrate the Kotoko defence. The Phobians had a lot of bodies infront of them as they struggled to break down a well drilled unit. Emmanuel Hayford suffered the most as a result of this as the Hearts front line had little or no movement to make forcing Hayford to hit long diagonals and hopeful balls. Hearts did not create any clear chance of note especially after the equalizer as they were restricted to long range shots. It came as no surprise their goal as a result of a set piece.Kotoko transitionKotoko’s transition from defence to attack was exceptional on the day. The Porcupines varied short passes with quick over the top balls as they hit the Phobians time and again. Kotoko always broke out in numbers. Obed Owusu’s speed was useful at the top as he alongside Dauda Mohammed were the outlets anytime Kotoko broke forward. Michael Akuffo in his deep lying playmaker role sprayed some lovely passes over the high line of the Hearts defence. Poor decision making cost the team in the attacking third of the field.Hearts defence Hearts defence played so high up the pitch throughout the game and should have been punished for it. The Phobians were exposed several times as a result of this high line with Frank Sarfo Gyamfi, Obed Owusu and Jackson Owusu exploiting the back line on many instances. Musah Inusah’s relatively lack of speed as compared to the Kotoko backline was exposed as he consistently failed to catch his markers when Kotoko were on the break.SubsBoth coaches exhausted all their three subs but none of these subs altered their shape. Hearts brought on Yamoah to replace Hayford in the centre of the park while Fiamenyo was brought on to partner Aguidi on top with Paul Acquah replacing Isaac Mensah on the wing. For Kotoko, Richard Oti was brought on for Atta Kusi which meant Amos Frimpong moved to right back with Donkor moving to left back and Oti playing on the wing.Akwasi Acheampong was also brought on to replace Abeiku Ainooson in a like for like change in the heart of defence. Kwadwo Poku was brought on to replace Obed Owusu but that was a purely time wasting substitution.ConclusionDavid Duncan’s tactical decisions were spot on in the game as Kotoko was solid in defence and fluid in attack. They managed to limit the influence of Hayford, Mensah and Kumi which proved to be the major difference on the day. Kotoko are deserved winners and should have won by more if not for awful finishing.–CLICK TO READ: Match report – Hearts 1-2 KotokoCLICK TO READ: Eddie Ansah bullish about Hearts survival chances–Follow Kweku on Twitter: @nana_odum. Get more updates on Facebook/Twitter with the #JoySports hashtag
Whatever power stars in the heavens have over hawks that roam about in the heavens will be determined on Sunday when Liberia’s Lone Star welcomes their Togolese counterparts in a crucial Nations Cup decider at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium.The Togolese national soccer team is known as Sparrow Hawks and of course the national team’s known as the Lone Star. This, in every sense, is a battle in the air; and whether a lone star can tame sparrow hawks, an expected grueling 90 minutes total soccer will have to reveal.National team head coach James Salinsa Debbah stands at a threshold of history: for as player he led his side against the Togolese and now as a coach he is leading his boys against another group of Togolese soccer players, with the incredible Emmanuel Adebayor in their midst.But who is afraid of Adebayor? We simply respect him for his exploits in Europe and coming face to face in a crucial decider that could determine the chances of both contenders as to who gains the upper hand for the Gabon 2017 African Nations Cup, puts the game on a contentious level.Liberia, struggling to give its national soccer a new day is at the hallmark of history, with Togo standing in their way, will accept nothing better than victory.And what about the Togolese? Clearly, while victory for Liberia on Sunday will frustrate their chances, since there is the likelihood of Tunisia sweeping by Togo (Tunisia has two outstanding games against Djibouti and Liberia at home), the Togolese are at a difficult crossroad.In their encounter, the Togolese came from 1-0 down to defeat Liberia 2-1, but that Liberia could take the lead in Lome is in a sense a great worry to Togolese Claude de Roy. Like his nature, the Frenchman will still insist that there is a chance for his boys and might have done his homework, with tactical fitness to complement his efforts, but I am sure that even Togolese nationals at home are hopefully convinced that their side can pull through.And because Coach Debbah is aware of the history that he is about to make, he would not allow things to pass him by.Though Sunday’s decider is reminiscent of the World Cup encounter with Togo’s neighbor, Ghana, in 2002, when the unfortunate 2-1 result against Liberia brought the downfall of Liberia’s football developmentl; the current corps of players cannot allow that to repeat.True, there is evidence that Coach James Debbah is set to make history and the Liberian people are behind him, but it would be a history that he would not win on a silver platter, judging from Togo’s readiness to make an attempt to prove that they are not mere pushovers.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)