SOCCER

Jozy Altidore is back with the U.S. national team for the first time in 1 1/2 years.

The 31-year-old Toronto forward is among 12 players invited Tuesday to a training camp starting Jan. 9 in Bradenton, Florida, ahead of a contemplated exhibition against Serbia in late January at Orlando. At 115 international appearances, Altidore is the senior player on the roster ahead of Seattle forward Jordan Morris, second with 39.

Altidore is a veteran of the 2010 and 2014 World Cups. He has 42 international goals and last played for the U.S. at the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup

Morris and Seattle midfielder Cristian Roldan also are on the roster. They have not played for the national team since a 4-0 win over Cuba in the CONCACAF Nations League on Nov. 19, 2019, but were part of last January’s camp.

Tristan Blackmon, a 24-year-old Los Angeles defender, is the only player in the group selected by Coach Gregg Berhalter with no previous national team camp experience. New England goalkeeper Matt Turner has attended camp but not played in a national team match.

Toronto midfielder Michael Bradley, 33, and Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan, 36, were not selected.

PREMIER LEAGUE: The English Premier League says there were 40 positive cases of the coronavirus among players and club staff following two rounds of tests last week.

It is more than double the highest weekly figure of positive cases since testing began ahead of the return of league play last June. More people were tested than in previous weeks, however. Three league games were postponed last week following an increased number of positive tests at Manchester City and Fulham. The postponed games were Everton vs. Manchester City, Tottenham vs. Fulham, and Burnley vs. Fulham.

The league says it “continues to have confidence in its COVID-19 protocols, fully backed by the government, to enable fixtures to be played as scheduled.”

MLS: The LA Galaxy have hired MLS Cup winner Greg Vanney as their head coach.

The club announced the deal Tuesday with Vanney, who played seven seasons with the Galaxy in two stints before beginning his successful coaching career.

Vanney led Toronto FC to the MLS Cup championship and the domestic treble in 2017 during 6 1/2 seasons as the team’s head coach and technical director. He reached the postseason five times and made three MLS Cup finals, but he resigned Dec. 1 after Toronto was eliminated from the playoffs.

• Major League Soccer is proposing no more pay cuts to its players for the 2021 season but in exchange is asking for a two-year extension to the collective bargaining agreement.

MLS presented its revised labor agreement to the MLS Players Association on Tuesday, a week after the league invoked its force majeure clause that obligates the league and the MLSPA to negotiate modifications to the existing CBA in good faith for 30 days.

The league is proposing that players receive their full salaries after they agreed to a 5% pay reduction as part of a renegotiated CBA in June when the league returned with the MLS is Back tournament. As part of the new proposal, MLS wants the current CBA extended through 2027.

HOCKEY

WORLD JUNIORS: Arthur Kaliyev scored with 1:16 remaining and the United States advanced to the championship game of the world juniors, beating Finland 4-3 late Monday night in Edmonton, Alberta.

Alex Turcotte, John Farinacci and Matthew Boldy also scored for the U.S., which won gold four previous times including their last one in 2017.

Spencer Knight, one of eight returning players for a U.S., team that finished sixth last year following a quarterfinal loss against Finland, stopped 33 shots.

Kasper Simontaival had two goals and Roni Hirvonen also scored for Finland. Kari Piiroinen made 21 saves.

The United States will face Canada, which beat Russia 5-0 earlier Monday, in the gold medal game on Tuesday. Finland faces Russia for the bronze.

NHL: Colin Wilson, who played 11 seasons with the Colorado Rockies and Nashville Predators as part of a three-generation NHL family, announced his retirement.

The 31-year-old forward played nine games for Colorado last season before having double hip surgery.

Picked seventh overall by Nashville in the 2008 draft, Wilson helped Boston University win the 2009 NCAA championship.

• The league announced it had partnered with four major sponsors to rename the four divisions it has created for this season.

The all-Canada North division will be known — formally, if not to fans — as the Scotia NHL North Division, named after a prominent Canadian bank. The West, home to the Kings and the Ducks, will be the Honda NHL West Division. The Central division will be called the Discover Central Division, and the East will be known as the MassMutual East Division.

The name changes, like the realignment, are expected to be in effect for this season only, though it’s certainly possible some variation of the sponsorship agreement could return in future seasons.

The NHL previously approved the addition of sponsor stickers to players’ helmets for this season.

BASEBALL

MAJORS: Switch-hitting outfielder Robbie Grossman and the Detroit Tigers reached an agreement on a two-year, $10 million contract, sources confirmed to The Detroit News.

The Tigers have yet to announce the signing, presumably waiting for the results of medical examinations.

• Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda has returned home after being hospitalized in Southern California for nearly two months.

The Los Angeles Dodgers tweeted that their 93-year-old former manager left the hospital and returned to his Fullerton home. He had been hospitalized due to heart issues since Nov. 8, although the team didn’t make it public until a week later. He underwent several weeks of rehab in the hospital.

• The Los Angeles Dodgers re-signed pitcher Blake Treinen to a $17.5 million, two-year deal.

The team says the deal that runs through the 2022 season includes a team option for the 2023 season.

Treinen receives a $4 million signing bonus. He will earn $6 million in 2021 and 2022. The team option in 2023 is worth $8 million and includes a $1.5 million buyout.

The 32-year-old right-hander earned $3,703,704 during the abbreviated 60-game season last year prorated from a $10 million, one-year contract.

Treinen was 3-3 with a 3.86 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 27 games last year. He tied for the team lead in wins and appearances during the regular season. He appeared in a team-high 11 postseason games, going 1-1 with a 4.76 ERA, including a save in Game 5 of the World Series against Tampa Bay. He had five strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings while helping the Dodgers win their first championship since 1988.

A 2018 All-Star, Treinen had previous stints with Oakland and Washington.

TENNIS

WTA SCHEDULE: The WTA released a provisional 2021 women’s tennis schedule through the end of Wimbledon in July, largely sticking to a traditional calendar, including the Miami Open in March.

The lineup released Tuesday tacks on 20 weeks to the tour’s initial announcement covering the year’s first seven weeks, including the Abu Dhabi WTA Women’s Tennis Open that begins main-draw play Wednesday.

The Billie Jean King Cup finals and playoff series will start on April 12, the French Open on May 23, and Wimbledon – which was canceled last year for the first time since 1945 because of the coronavirus pandemic – on June 28.

After the Australian Open, which is slated for Feb. 8-21, there will be a WTA 500 event in Australia, followed by 500- or 1000-level events starting in Doha on March 1; Dubai on March 8; St. Petersburg, Russia, on March 15; Miami on March 22; Charleston, South Carolina, on April 5; Stuttgart, Germany, on April 19; Madrid on April 26; Rome on May 10; Berlin on June 14; and Eastbourne, England, on June 21.

The biggest event missing from the schedule is the joint WTA-ATP hard-court tournament in Indian Wells, California, which already had said it will be relinquishing its usual March dates because of the pandemic. The COVID-19 outbreak caused that event to be canceled in 2020.

SUMO WRESTLING

CORONAVIRUS: Top-ranked sumo wrestler Hakuho has the coronavirus. Hakuho took a COVID-19 test after losing his sense of smell, the Japan Sumo Association said on Tuesday.

The 35-year-old Mongolian-born rikishi was preparing for the New Year Grand Tournament starting on Sunday in Tokyo. The JSA did not elaborate on Hakuho’s condition, and did not say whether the tournament will be postponed.

Hakuho has won a record 44 championships, and is the longest serving yokozuna (grand champion), since he earned the promotion in 2007. He reportedly plans to retire after the Tokyo Olympics.

New virus cases have been surging in Japan for several weeks, and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has been asked to impose a state of emergency for Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures.

AUTO RACING

FORMULA ONE: Government officials in Australia are involved in “live and active” negotiations with Formula One organizers about the timing of the race that is scheduled to open the season on March 21 at Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit.

Media in Europe reported the Australian Grand Prix was likely to be postponed because of COVID-19 restrictions and staged later in the season.

“As far as I know, there has been no decision made to cancel, move or otherwise with the Australian Grand Prix,” Victoria state’s Emergency Services Minister Lisa Neville said Tuesday. “Those conversations are live and active, absolutely.”

The Victorian state government is a major backer of the Australian GP, which had to be canceled in 2020 just two days before the first race of the season was set to begin.

Drivers and teams were in Melbourne last March and were hours away from the first official practice session when organizers canceled the GP, with thousands of fans queuing outside the circuit, because of the coronavirus pandemic. A member of the McLaren crew tested positive for the coronavirus after arriving in Australia and other team staff were put into hotel quarantine.

F1 completed a shortened 17-race season, mostly in Europe and the Middle East, with Lewis Hamilton winning a seventh drivers’ title.

 


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