SKIING

Swiss skier Daniel Yule showed his surprising victory a year ago was no fluke by winning a World Cup night slalom again Wednesday at Madonna di Campiglio, Italy.

Protecting his first-run advantage, Yule won by 0.15 seconds ahead of Norwegian favorite Henrik Kristoffersen, also a two-time victor on the steep and icy Canalone Miramonti course.

Frenchman Clement Noel, the winner in Zagreb, Croatia, on Sunday, finished third, 0.25 behind, after posting the fastest second run to move up from eighth.

Yule, who hasn’t won anywhere else on tour, took the victory in last year’s race when first-run leaders Marcel Hirscher – who has since retired – and Kristoffersen straddled gates in the second leg.

HOCKEY

ECHL: The Maine Mariners added two forwards, signing Mikael Robidoux from the Shawinigan Cataractes of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and receiving Will Pelletier on assignment from the AHL’s Laval Rocket.

Robidoux, 20, has six goals and five assists in 23 games with Shawinigan. Pelletier, 27, has appeared in just four games this season for the Rocket and does not have a point.

SOCCER

SPANISH SUPER CUP: Helped by a clever goal by Toni Kroos directly from a corner kick, Real Madrid comfortably defeated Valencia 3-1  at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Francisco “Isco” Alarcon and Luka Modric also scored for Real Madrid as it advanced to Sunday’s final against either Barcelona or Atletico Madrid, who will play on Thursday.

ENGLISH LEAGUE CUP: Depleted by injuries and under almost constant pressure, Aston Villa came within 16 minutes of leaving Leicester with an unexpected advantage from the first leg of their semifinal on Wednesday. Instead, the teams tied, 1-1.

The two teams from central England meet in the second leg at Villa Park on Jan. 28.

Villa is a five-time winner of the League Cup, most recently in 1996. The last of Leicester’s three titles in the competition came in 2000.

The second leg of City-United is on Jan. 29, and the final will be staged at Wembley Stadium on March 1.

USL: Former U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard is taking a job with Memphis 901 FC, the United Soccer League team in which he already has a stake as a part owner.

Howard will work full time helping pick players, while also developing approaches for both the club and technical staff. Memphis has nine players returning from its inaugural season.

NWSL: The Portland Thorns traded away U.S. national team defender Emily Sonnett, Australian Caitlin Foord and forward Midge Purce in a pair of deals and landed the top pick in this year’s college draft.

The Thorns sent Sonnett and Foord’s rights, along with the seventh and 14th draft picks, to the Orlando Pride in exchange for the top pick in next week’s draft. Purce was sent to Sky Blue along with a 2021 first-round pick for the rights to midfielder Raquel Rodriguez.

MLS: Major League Soccer unveiled its plans to celebrate its 25th season, including a jersey reveal ahead of New York Fashion Week.

The 26-team league, including expansion teams in Miami and Nashville, kicks off its 2020 season on Feb. 29.

In the run-up to the season, Adidas and the league will reveal new jerseys on Feb. 5, a day before Fashion Week gets underway. Commissioner Don Garber, team owners, coaches and players will also hold a league-wide media event in New York later in the month to preview the season.

U.S. MEN UNDER-20: Anthony Hudson was hired as coach of the U.S. men’s under-20 soccer team to replace Tab Ramos, who quit in October to become coach of Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo.

ITALY: Lazio was fined 20,000 euros ($22,000) and at least temporarily avoided a stadium closure after its fans targeted Brescia striker Mario Balotelli with racist chants.

TENNIS

ATP CUP: Spain advanced to the quarterfinals even before Rafael Nadal stepped on to the court at the Perth Arena.

Spain, which won the Davis Cup in Madrid with a victory over Canada, stayed in the hunt for its second international team victory in seven weeks when Roberto Bautista Agut beat Go Soeda of Japan 6-2, 6-4.

Japan needed to beat Spain 3-0 in order for the Nadal-led team not to advance to the Final Eight in Sydney beginning Thursday. Nadal later had a 7-6 (4), 6-4 win over 72nd-ranked Yoshihito Nishioka.

JURISPRUDENCE: An appeals court in the Czech Republic upheld a lower court conviction of a man for knifing two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in her home and increased his sentence from eight to 11 years in prison.

The regional court in the city of Brno ruled in March that Radim Zondra caused Kvitova serious bodily harm in December 2016 when he attacked her in her apartment in Prostejov.

The state prosecutor requested 12 years in prison for Zondra, who pleaded not guilty and appealed.

Kvitova had surgery on injuries to her playing left hand. It took the tennis star more than five months to recover.

BASKETBALL

WNBA:  Walt Hopkins is the new coach of the New York Liberty.

The team held a news conference at Barclays Center – the Liberty’s new home for this season – to introduce Hopkins.

Hopkins had been an assistant for the Minnesota Lynx since 2017. Before that, he was the academic coach at Cal. He previously was director of basketball operations and player development for the Tulsa Shock.

Former coach Katie Smith’s contract wasn’t renewed after the season ended in September. The team has the first pick in the WNBA draft in April and most likely will select Oregon star guard Sabrina Ionescu.

CYCLING

RETURN: Bjarne Riis, the 1996 Tour de France champion who admitted to doping following his retirement from cycling, is back in the sport as team manager of NTT Pro Cycling on the World Tour.

It marks the return of Riis to top-level men’s cycling for the first time since he left his role as team manager of Tinkoff-Saxo in 2015. He has since been trying to establish Danish-based teams in the lower tiers of cycling.

SKATING

ACCIDENT: A female skater was severely injured after falling to the ice from about 16 feet during a rehearsal for the opening ceremony of the Youth Winter Olympics in Lausanne, Switzerland, police said.

The 35-year-old Russian woman’s life is in danger, police said.

Police said the woman was being hoisted by a cable attached to the ceiling of the main hockey stadium in Lausanne. The skater suddenly lost balance and fell.

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