Press Association West Brom are still hopeful of luring forward Salomon Kalou to the Hawthorns. Despite that, Albion have not yet thrown in the towel on signing the 28-year-old Ivory Coast international. “We’ve stated an interest, we’ve had some negotiations and we’re hopeful he’ll come to West Brom,” said joint assistant manager Keith Downing. Speaking to the Birmingham Mail, Downing added: “We are still working to get players of his ilk to come to the club. “Discussions are going on. We know we have a good set of players, a good core and we have stated we are short in terms of numbers. “We’re aware of that but we know we need help. There is an importance now to get the two or three, maybe four, players in.” The former Chelsea star, now with Lille, has been linked with the Baggies and West Ham throughout the summer, with both clubs triggering a £2.6million release clause in his contract. Kalou, however, has made it clear he would prefer to remain at Lille, believing he can progress further with the Ligue 1 club.
He made his major tournament debut as an 18-year-old at Euro 2004, and his last international appearance was as captain in last November’s 3-0 victory over Scotland at Wembley.Rooney rejoined boyhood club Everton in the summer, and his announcement comes two days after he scored his 200th Premier League goal in a 1-1 draw at Manchester City.After that game, he said he was “focusing on Everton” rather than an international recall.“I’m sure I’ll speak to Gareth Southgate over the next few days,” he added. “We’ll see what happens.”Southgate is due today to name a squad for the World Cup qualifiers in Malta on September 1, and at home to Slovakia three days later.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram England’s all-time leading goalscorer Wayne Rooney has retired from international football after turning down the chance to be part of the squad for next month’s World Cup qualifiers.The Everton striker was asked by England boss Gareth Southgate to be involved against Malta and Slovakia.“Every time I was selected was a real privilege but I believe now is the time to bow out,” said the 31-year-old.The former Manchester United captain scored 53 times in 119 internationals.
The injuries are piling up, the losses are piling up, and the story gets older day by day. It’s a story that’s been told before. It’s a truth that’s been exacerbated over the last couple of weeks. The USC men’s basketball team is just not good. The team has struggled mightily this season.And whenever I think the season can’t get any worse, it does.USC’s big rivalry game against UCLA at the Galen Center ended in a 19-point drubbing at home in front of a season-high crowd of 8,474.The team has lost multiple players to injuries. First, it was redshirt sophomore forward Curtis Washington (shoulder) and senior guard Jio Fontan (knee) in the preseason. Then, redshirt sophomore forward Evan Smith (shoulder) in mid-December and now redshirt junior forward Aaron Fuller (shoulder). Fontan was the team’s leading scorer last year. Fuller ranks second on the team in scoring and leads the team in rebounding this season.Currently, the Trojans are mired in a nine-game losing streak, their worst losing streak in more than 20 years. They have lost 14 of their last 15 games. Their last home win came more than a month ago while many of us were enjoying winter break. Their last road win came more than three months ago during Thanksgiving break.It isn’t time to label this season an overall failure, though.For 19- and 20-year old young adults to play through these circumstances signifies unwavering strength. USC coach Kevin O’Neill’s ability to power through while critics hit him left and right is admirable. He’s working with the hand he was dealt, and the rest of his coaching staff has been faithfully at his side.Not many collegiate programs would be able to compete on a nightly basis if dealt the same situation. O’Neill and his staff have done what they can.No matter how hard it is to look past the glaring negatives, the season has elicited bright spots here and there. They might be few and far between, but they’re there.Defensively as a unit, USC has held its opponents to just 58 points per contest, good for 14th in the nation. The Trojans began the season holding their first 19 opponents to 66 points or less, which hadn’t happened since the 1948 season when that USC squad kept all its opponents under that mark.Offensively, it might be hard to tell, but the progress is there individually. Redshirt Sophomore forward Dewayne Dedmon notched a career-high 18 points last week in a narrow three-point loss at Oregon. Freshman guard Byron Wesley similarly recorded a career-high 15 points at Oregon State.I don’t care what shows up in the box score on a night-to-night basis, though, and I don’t care what the statistics say. Any lofty expectations should be forgotten. Fans, alumni and students should admire this team for who they are outside of the win and loss column.This season isn’t going to change drastically. The team isn’t going to suddenly get infinitely better overnight. To keep thinking of what could have been if this or that happened isn’t going to change anything, either.Sure, it’s been a trying season, but taking away nothing would be for naught. If anything, this team has taught us a valuable lesson, and it’s what embodies the Trojan spirit.As always — no matter the circumstances — Trojans fight on “In the Zone” runs every other Friday. To comment on this story, visit dailytrojan.com or email Trevor at [email protected]