Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Sports

Sports in brief

Soccer

hollywood ending set for Leicester

LONDON — England's Premier League trophy arrived in Leicester on Friday for a promotional tour. It will surely be back next month with Leicester City etched into the solid silver for the first time.

The leaders can wrap up their improbable pursuit of the biggest prize in English football Sunday with a victory at Manchester United.

Delivering the 132-year-old club's first title at the home of the record 20-time English champions would be the Hollywood ending craved by manager Claudio Ranieri.

"It's unbelievable, it's history and we know this," Ranieri said. "It is important to finish the story like an American movie. Always in the final it is okay, a happy ending.

"It's a good opportunity, but for this reason we have to be focused. Let me be calm, wait, we have time."

The trip to Old Trafford is the first of three opportunities to claim the required victory as Leicester has a seven-point lead over Tottenham. Even if Leicester fails to beat fifth-place United — owned by the Glazer family, which owns the Bucs — the title can be clinched by Monday in these scenarios:

• If Leicester loses at United, it needs Tottenham to also lose at Chelsea

• If Leicester draws at United, Tottenham has to win at Chelsea to keep the title race going.

Leicester, which is unbeaten in the league since February, will again be missing 22-goal top scorer Jamie Vardy as the striker serves the second match of a suspension for improper conduct in relation to being ejected from a game against West Ham United last week. But the Foxes more than adequately coped without Vardy last weekend as Stoke was routed 4-0.

Spain: Real Madrid forwards Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema will miss today's league match as they try to recover from injuries in time to face Manchester City in the return leg of their Champions League semifinal Wednesday. Coach Zinedine Zidane said that neither of his top two scorers was fit for the trip to Real Sociedad, where Madrid needs a win to realistically remain in the league title race. Madrid trails leader Barcelona and second-place Atletico Madrid by one point with three matches to go. Madrid hosts City after the sides drew 0-0 in the first leg, in which Madrid clearly missed Ronaldo's spark in attack and Benzema played only the first half.

et cetera

Horses: Trainer Doug O'Neill says it is difficult to be around his unbeaten Nyquist "and not smile." Grins broke out across the board in the Team O'Neill shedrow as the Kentucky Derby favorite put in his final workout in advance of the May 7 race, drilling one mile in 1:41 at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky.

Tennis: Serena Williams will miss the Madrid Open because of illness. Agnieszka Radwanska will take William's place as the top-seeded player.

Times wires

Comments
Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier returns, with energy to spare

Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier returns, with energy to spare

HOUSTON — Energy.That's what Kevin Kiermaier said he felt he'd bring most in rejoining the Rays Tuesday against the Astros after missing two-plus months recovering from thumb surgery."I like to think I bring energy on both sides of the ball, wh...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
Norris Trophy could be good consolation for Lightning’s Victor Hedman

Norris Trophy could be good consolation for Lightning’s Victor Hedman

Victor Hedman is talking from a hotel room in Las Vegas and admits he's a little jet-lagged."Actually, very jet-lagged," Hedman says.That's what happens when you take a flight from Sweden to the party capital of the world.But he knows exactly what he...
Updated: 1 hour ago
For starters: Rays at Astros, with Kiermaier back and an ace-high matchup

For starters: Rays at Astros, with Kiermaier back and an ace-high matchup

UPDATE, 6:45: Cash said Smith will continue to play a lot, getting time in LF and RF, meaning something of a rotation system for rookie Johnny Field and veteran Carlos Gomez.UPDATE, 4:49: Kiermaier is batting leadoff and playing center as expected, w...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Zero Bucs players on NFL top 100 list for 2018

Zero Bucs players on NFL top 100 list for 2018

Just to preface this, the NFL Network's annual countdown of the league's top 100 players is a made-for-TV deal, good for summer offseason conversation but not carrying any huge amount of real significance.Having said that, it's worth noting that for ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Big Ten reaps recruiting bounty in Tampa Bay

Big Ten reaps recruiting bounty in Tampa Bay

Largo High defensive back Solomon Brown had plenty of college options with offers from 20 Division I-A schools. Still, the three-star recruit did not need to go through a prolonged process to figure out where he wanted to go.Two weeks ago, Brown comm...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Skyway 10K returning in March 2019, renewed for 5 more years

Skyway 10K returning in March 2019, renewed for 5 more years

ST. PETERSBURG — After raising $560,000 for its inaugural run on March 4, St Petersburg’s Skyway 10K will be returning in 2019 and will have the support of governmental agencies for years to come, run organizers said Tuesday.The run, which had around...
Updated: 9 hours ago
So, how exactly did the Rays end up losing Monday?

So, how exactly did the Rays end up losing Monday?

The Rays lost Monday's game when Sergio Romo failed them in the ninth inning.Called on to protect what was whittled to a one-run lead from 4-0, Romo got off to a bad start, walking the first batter on four pitches and then allowing a single to the se...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Mike Hoffman traded twice in wake of harassment, cyberbullying claims

Mike Hoffman traded twice in wake of harassment, cyberbullying claims

The Ottawa Senators traded winger Mike Hoffman on Tuesday, hoping to solve an ugly off-ice issue involving star defenseman Erik Karlsson and his wife. The Senators sent Hoffman to the San Jose Sharks, who then dealt him to the Florida Panthers. All t...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Salary-cap increase makes for ‘more fun’ NHL offseason

Salary-cap increase makes for ‘more fun’ NHL offseason

Thanks, Vegas. That’s what NHL general managers are saying this offseason after the Stanley Cup Final run of the expansion Golden Knights contributed to what’s expected to be a healthy increase for the salary cap. With elite center John Tavares, No. ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Tampa Bay Times’ all-Tampa Bay boys soccer players of the year

Tampa Bay Times’ all-Tampa Bay boys soccer players of the year

Hillsborough player of the year: F Eric Ugarte, Sr., Plant CityThe numbers: Ugarte scored 21 goals and added 11 assists to lead the Raiders to their first state title in soccer. He scored 71 goals in his career.Something about Eric: The skilled ...
Updated: 12 hours ago