HUGE BANG DORTMUND, Germany (AP): Three explosions went off near the team bus of Borussia Dortmund, one of Germany’s top football clubs, as it set off for a Champions League quarter-final match yesterday, slightly injuring a player. Police said in a statement they were working on the assumption that the blasts ahead of the team’s match against Monaco were caused by “serious explosive devices”, which may have been hidden in a hedge near a car park. They didn’t elaborate on the possible nature of the devices or say who might have planted them ahead of the first-leg match between Borussia Dortmund and Monaco, which was subsequently called off and rescheduled for today. Police said that there were three explosions near the Dortmund team bus as they left their hotel on the outskirts of the western city of Dortmund for the stadium, around 10 kilometres away, around 7 p.m. local time. A window on the bus was damaged and Spanish defender Marc Bartra was injured. Dortmund said Bartra was taken to a hospital. Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke said Bartra was injured in the arm and hand “but nothing life-threatening”. Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Buerki said the team bus had just pulled out of the hotel driveway when an explosion a “huge bang” happened and sent glass flying. The Switzerland international told Swiss daily Blick that he was sitting in the last row of the bus, next to Bartra. Bartra was hit by shards from the broken back window, he added. Players ducked for cover, wondering whether there would be more explosions. “We’re all shocked nobody thought about a football match in the minutes after that,” he said. Inside the packed stadium, supporters of Monaco, who play in the French league, chanted “Dortmund, Dortmund” in sympathy for the German side. Dortmund residents, for their part, used social media to offer accommodation to stranded Monaco supporters ahead of their rescheduled match in Europe’s premier football club competition. “The team is totally shocked, that’s clear. It’s our task now to digest this somehow because it’s only 24 hours before we have to play. That’s our job,” Watzke said. He added that there was “no alternative” to rescheduling the match for today as Monaco also have to play at the weekend and the return Champions League match is scheduled for next week.
The announced crowd of 90,917 got its victory Saturday night, but it wanted a more emphatic performance. And it was not lost on the Trojans, who tried to explain why they didn’t earn many encores from their zealous followers. “All the jitters you get out in the first game is hard stuff,” linebacker Thomas Williams said. “Yeah, we practice against the best every day, but with the lights, the crowd cheering, the TV, it’s tough.” All-American offensive tackle Sam Baker said fans expected a more lopsided score because the opponent was Idaho, but needed to consider other factors. “A lot of people think we should win big, but we were really unsure what they would come out with defensively because they had a new coach,” Baker said. Maybe the uninspired result was attributed to the fact there did not seem to be the intensity of a normal game week around USC last week. COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Neither the fans nor the players are satisfied with a 38-10 victory over Idaho. By Scott Wolf STAFF WRITER Before USC even finished beating Idaho, 38-10, fans were restless inside the Coliseum. USC coach Pete Carroll praised certain aspects of the Trojans’ initial effort, but also found plenty of little errors to point out. “We didn’t shut down the run as well as we’d hoped,” Carroll said. “I was really disappointed that we turned the ball over three times. It’s a bad start for us in that regard.” Carroll also criticized the secondary. “It was like the guys were stretching to make things happen,” he said. And he acknowledged the defensive line did not pressure the quarterback enough, a recurring problem last season. “There were four or five times where we were just short of making something happen,” Carroll said. But enough about the defense. The offense was more than culpable. Quarterback John David Booty struggled and admitted, “we had times where we played like we expected, and times where we didn’t.” Even highly touted Joe McKnight did not enjoy a smashing debut, with a fumble and 26 yards rushing in six carries. Carroll blamed the pregame buildup involving the nation’s top tailback recruit. “I thought he got through it,” Carroll said. “He seemed tired to me.” McKnight and the rest of the Trojans get two weeks to massage their bruised egos. But USC should need a much better effort against Nebraska. “Nebraska runs the football, there’s a big emphasis on that,” Carroll said. He is curious to watch how Huskers quarterback Sam Keller, a transfer from Arizona State who nearly beat USC two years ago, is used in the offense. “We get to look at them two games to see how they use Sam,” Carroll said. ETC.: Tailback Broderick Green will undergo surgery Tuesday on a stress fracture that likely will sideline him for the season. … Cornerback Josh Pinkard underwent an MRI that detected a problem in his knee, but doctors are not sure what the problem is yet. Pinkard, who did not play against Idaho, will rest a few days to see if his knee continues to bother him. … Linebacker Brian Cushing sprained his ankle but said he believed it was a low-ankle sprain and would only sideline him a few days. email@example.comWant local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!