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Sports in brief

Soccer

Beckham faces mls finale in title match

CARSON, Calif. — David Beckham wraps up his six seasons with Los Angeles in today's MLS Cup (4:30, ESPN) at its Home Depot Center.

"I know I'm quite an emotional person. I'm just really excited about the game. … It's going to be special," said the former English Premier League and England star.

Los Angeles goes after its second straight MLS title in a rematch with Houston, which lost 1-0 last season.

This is a watershed game for the Los Angeles franchise and MLS, which is losing Beckham's magnetic appeal after a half-decade of impressive leaguewide growth. Beckham, 37, hasn't revealed where he'll play next.

Beckham could be joined in departure by U.S. star Landon Donovan, 30, who is thinking about walking away from the Galaxy, apparently burned out.

Alpine skiing

Vonn wins downhill by almost two seconds

Lindsey Vonn won the season-opening downhill for her 12th career World Cup victory at Lake Louise, Alberta. The four-time overall Cup winner finished in 1 minute, 52.61 seconds, to beat U.S. teammate Stacey Cook by 1.73 seconds in the race interrupted a few times because of fog and poor visibility. Vonn raced for the second time since returning from a stomach bug that landed her in the hospital last month. Last week in Aspen, Colo., she was 21st in the giant slalom, then skipped the slalom.

Et cetera

Golf: Graeme McDowell opened with three straight birdies and finished with 6-under 66 for a three-shot lead at 9-under 135 after the second round of Tiger Woods' World Challenge charity tournament at Thousand Oaks, Calif. Tied for second in the 18-player field were Bo Van Pelt (68), Jim Furyk (69) and Keegan Bradley (69). Woods (69) was four back.

Swimming: 2012 Olympic gold medalist Matt Grevers and Kevin Cordes set U.S. records at the Winter Nationals in Austin, Texas. Grevers won the 100-yard backstroke in 44.55 seconds, lowering Olympian and former Gator Ryan Lochte's mark of 44.60. Cordes won the 100 breaststroke in 51.10, bettering his 51.32. Five-time Olympic medalist Missy Franklin won the 200 free and the 100 back.

Badminton: The world federation decided to change the Olympic doubles rules but not the much-criticized group format in the wake of a match-throwing scandal at London this year. Four women's pairs, including the world champs from China, were disqualified for trying to deliberately lose group matches to rig easier paths through the knockout stages. In 2016, all teams finishing second in their groups will go through another draw to determine who they face in the knockout stage. The group winners will have fixed positions to begin the playoffs.

Tennis: Prosecutors in Los Angeles dropped the murder case against Lois Goodman, 70, the tennis referee arrested before a match at the U.S. Open in August, accused of bludgeoning her 80-year-old husband to death with a coffee cup. The case was dismissed after prosecutors said they were unable to proceed because of insufficient evidence.

Times wires

Sports in brief 11/30/12 [Last modified: Saturday, December 1, 2012 12:14am]

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