wolfsburg blanks rowdies
ST. PETERSBURG — Robert Herrmann scored twice as German Bundesliga club Wolfsburg took a 2-0 victory against the Tampa Bay Rowdies on Sunday in the Florida Cup opener at Al Lang Stadium.
The Rowdies' starting lineup featured six signed players and five prospective players in its first preseason game. With its main squad training in Spain, Wolfsburg also played substitutes and fielded 14 players with youth national team experience.
Herrmann converted a free kick from just outside the box, beating tryout goalkeeper Kyle Morton to put Wolfsburg ahead 1-0 in the sixth minute. Herrmann scored again in the 41st minute.
"I think there's more positives than there were negatives," Rowdies coach Stuart Campbell said. "We're disappointed with the goals we gave up, but we created a few chances.
"For a team that's only been together for a week, I'm really happy. The guys haven't played together and it's not easy for them."
Also on Sunday, Bayer Leverkusen (Germany) beat Estudiantes (Argentina) in a penalty shootout after playing to a 1-1 draw.
The Florida Cup is an international competition of exhibition matches with six clubs representing three groups: Germany, Brazil and Argentina/United States. The Rowdies' next Cup match is against Athletico Miniero (Brazil) on Saturday at Al Lang Stadium.
FA CUP: Manager Juergen Klopp's decision to field Liverpool's youngest team ever backfired as the English Premier League title contender was held 0-0 at home by fourth-tier Plymouth in the third round of the FA Cup. Klopp selected a team with an average age of 21 years, 296 days. Ben Woodburn, 17, got his first start alongside 19-year-olds Ovie Ejaria and Sheyi Ojo in a three-man midfield. With the draw, Liverpool must travel to Plymouth later in the tournament. In other Cup matches, host Tottenham shut out second-tier Aston Villa 2-0, and Chelsea topped Peterborough 4-1 in London.
Rivals California Chrome, Arrogate begin workouts
California Chrome went for a jog at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, two days after arriving to prepare for the $12 million Pegasus World Cup on Jan. 28. On an unseasonably chilly 48 degrees in the morning, California Chrome began the first of many scheduled workouts. Gulfstream is the final track where he will run, then be retired to stud in Kentucky. The race is expected to be a rematch of the Breeders' Cup Classic where Arrogate won by a half-length to hand California Chrome his only loss in eight starts in 2016. Also on Sunday, Arrogate completed a 6-furlong workout at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif. Jockey Martin Garcia was aboard as Arrogate was timed at 1 minute, 11.94 seconds. In other races, Unique Bella won the $200,000 Santa Ynez Stakes for 3-year-old fillies by 7½ lengths at Santa Anita. Bella ($4) ran 7 furlongs in 1:22.21.
BASEBALL: Manny Ramirez agreed to terms with the Kochi Fighting Dogs in Japan, the team announced today. Ramirez, 44, retired from major-league baseball in 2011 during his brief stay with the Rays, pending a 100-game suspension for testing positive for a banned performance-enhancing drug.
TENNIS: Grigor Dimitrov ended a title drought that dated to 2014 by beating Kei Nishikori 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 in the Brisbane (Australia) International final.
SPEED SKATING: Joey Mantia won the 1,000 meters and the mass start race on the final day of the U.S. Speed Skating Championships, and Heather Bergsma swept the women's 1,000 and mass start events at Kearns, Utah.