Sunday, January 21, 2018
Sports

Sports in brief

AUTOS

EDWARDS TO WALK AWAY

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In a stunning decision, NASCAR driver Carl Edwards is walking away from the final year of his contract with Joe Gibbs Racing less than two months after nearly winning his first Cup championship, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

Joe Gibbs Racing scheduled two news conferences today in which Edwards is expected to announce he will not drive the No. 19 Toyota next season. The second announcement is that reigning Xfinity Series champion Daniel Suarez will replace Edwards in the Cup Series.

Edwards, 37, informed team owner Joe Gibbs right before Christmas that he no longer wanted to compete.

"This is comparable to Barry Sanders' retirement back in 1999, shocking and with loads of ability and time left in a very successful career," Texas Motor Speedway president Eddie Gossage said. "I talked to Carl about a month ago and he didn't give any indication that he was considering this. It is a shock that just doesn't seem real."

SOCCER

FIFA approves bigger World Cup

The World Cup will grow from 32 to 48 teams in 2026 under a plan approved unanimously by FIFA's governing council, an enormous expansion of soccer's showpiece tournament that was hailed by supporters as a victory for inclusion but derided by critics as the latest money grab by an organization still emerging from a series of financial scandals.

ENGLAND: Host Manchester United closed in on the final of the English League Cup by beating injury-hit Hull 2-0 in the first leg of their semifinal.

ITALY: Manolo Gabbiadini scored for the third straight match as host Napoli beat Serie B side Spezia 3-1 to advance to the Italian Cup quarterfinals.

SPAIN: Antoine Griezmann scored a goal to help Atletico Madrid reach the quarterfinals of the Copa del Rey despite a 3-2 home loss to Las Palmas.

MLS: St. Louis alderwoman Christine Ingrassia dropped her proposal to ask voters to approve $80 million to fund a stadium, threatening the effort to lure an expansion team.

TENNIS

Sharapova return set for April

Maria Sharapova will return from her 15-month doping ban at a tournament in Germany in April. Sharapova, 29, will be a wild card in her first official competition since she tested positive for meldonium at last year's Australian Open.

SYDNEY INTERNATIONAL: Top-ranked Angelique Kerber lost her opening match 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 to Darya Kasatkina ahead of her Australian Open title defense next week.

PLAYER BANNED: Romanian Alexandru-Daniel Carpen was banned for life after admitting to a charge of match-fixing.

ET CETERA

DOPING: IAAF president Sebastian Coe was asked to appear for a second time before British legislators looking into corruption in athletics, following fresh evidence regarding his knowledge of a Russian doping scandal.

GYMNASTICS: Russian rhythmic gymnast Yana Kudryavtseva, who won 13 world championships from 2013-15, retired from competition at age 19.

HORSES: Trainer Ron Ellis was banned from entering any horses in the Breeders' Cup world championships this fall after being sanctioned by the event for a positive drug test involving his horse that finished second in last year's BC Sprint.

WINTER SPORTS: Frida Hansdotter of Sweden held on to a commanding first-run lead to win a women's World Cup night slalom in Flachau, Austria.

Times wires

Comments
What’s gone wrong with the Lightning?

What’s gone wrong with the Lightning?

It didn't take the sound of a door slamming in the dressing room Saturday night to sense this Lightning team is frustrated. Tampa Bay felt like it worked hard – at least, harder than Thursday's listless loss to Vegas – yet dropped anothe...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Lightning falls to Wild, its fifth loss in seven games

Lightning falls to Wild, its fifth loss in seven games

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Lightning said all the right things about needing to look in the mirror and do some soul-searching during its recent funk. Veterans said they had to lead the way. Coach Jon Cooper believed this eight-game trip would "show us wha...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Why free agency hasn’t turned out fun (yet) for ex-Rays pitcher Alex Cobb

Why free agency hasn’t turned out fun (yet) for ex-Rays pitcher Alex Cobb

RHP Alex Cobb never expected to be going into late January without knowing where he was going for spring training.The longtime Ray's first foray into free agency hasn't gone as planned, much like the 150-plus others waiting for something to give in a...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Wozniacki advances to quarterfinals

Wozniacki advances to quarterfinals

MELBOURNE, Australia — Second-seeded Caroline Wozniacki is through to the Australian Open quarterfinals and with a chance to regain the No. 1 ranking in women’s tennis. Wozniacki beat Magdalena Rybarikova 6-3, 6-0 today at Rod Laver Arena. Rybarikova...
Published: 01/20/18

Sports in brief

SPORTSNO AIR FORCE GAMES; NFL BROADCASTS ABROAD IN JEOPARDYThe federal government shutdown prompted the Air Force Academy on Saturday to call off sports events and upended plans for military outside the United States wanting to follow today’s NFL con...
Published: 01/20/18
Florida wins big SEC showdown with Kentucky

Florida wins big SEC showdown with Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Jalen Hudson came off the bench to score 17, and Chris Chiozza, Keith Stone and Kevarrius Hayes contributed clutch baskets down the stretch as Florida rallied to upset No. 18 Kentucky 66-64 Saturday night. "We were able to win it jus...
Published: 01/20/18

Avalanche climbs into playoff spot with ninth straight win

DENVER — The Avalanche has gone from pushover to powerhouse in less than a season, and its recent streak is evoking memories of past glory. Nathan MacKinnon, Erik Johnson and Mikko Rantanen had a goal and an assist each, Jonathan Bernier made 27 save...
Published: 01/20/18
After rout, LeBron scoffs at playoffs

After rout, LeBron scoffs at playoffs

CLEVELAND — LeBron James came up just short of 30,000 points. Oklahoma City nearly got there, too. Unable to stop Paul George, Russell Westbrook or Carmelo Anthony, the Cavaliers were embarrassed 148-124 Saturday by the Thunder, which not only rolled...
Published: 01/20/18
McIlroy shoots third-round 65, trails by 1 at Abu Dhabi

McIlroy shoots third-round 65, trails by 1 at Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Rory McIlroy fired 7-under 65 Saturday in the third round of the Abu Dhabi Championship to move one shot behind co-leaders Ross Fisher and Thomas Pieters. Fisher shot 65 and overnight leader Pieters added 67 to reach...
Published: 01/20/18

Sunday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballMiami at N.C. StatenoonCh. 44Rutgers at MichigannoonBig TenWomen: South Carolina at KentuckynoonESPNUWomen: Marquette at VillanovanoonFS1Women: George Washington at DaytonnoonCBSSNWomen: Virginia Tech at Virginia12:30 p.m.Fox S...
Published: 01/20/18