Editor’s Note

Due to an earlier deadline of 8 p.m. throughout the pandemic, some games might not make it into the print edition of your Valley Press. Please find the following full stories on our website at www.avpress.com: MLB National League Championship Series: Dodgers vs. Braves.

Ex-Angels employee indicted in Tyler Skaggs’ fatal overdose

FORT WORTH, Texas — A federal grand jury indicted a former Los Angeles Angels employee on drug charges for allegedly providing Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs with the drugs that caused his overdose death. 

Eric Prescott Kay was charged Thursday with drug distribution and drug conspiracy in Skaggs’ overdose death, according to the indictment in Fort Worth, Texas. The charges carry a maximum of a life sentence and 20 years in prison, respectively. 

Kay remained free on his own recognizance. A message seeking comment from Kay’s attorney, Reagan Wynn, was not immediately returned.

Skaggs, 27, was found dead in his suburban Dallas hotel room on July 1, 2019, before the start of what was supposed to be a four-game series against the Texas Rangers. The first game was postponed.

A coroner’s report said Skaggs had choked to death on his vomit with a toxic mix of alcohol and the drugs fentanyl and oxycodone in his system, which Kay was accused of providing.

Kay was the Angels’ director of communications, and he served as their public relations contact on many road trips. He was placed on leave shortly after Skaggs’ death, and he never returned to the team. 

Team officials said they had not been aware that Skaggs was an opioids user and didn’t know any employees were providing drugs to players.

Kings sign No. 2 overall pick Quinton Byfield to 3-year deal

EL SEGUNDO — The Los Angeles Kings have signed No. 2 overall draft pick Quinton Byfield to a three-year contract.

The Kings announced the entry-level deal Friday with Byfield, a powerful 6-foot-5 center from Ontario.

The 18-year-old Byfield is likely to play another year of junior hockey before he moves to the NHL, but the Kings haven’t ruled out anything with their top prospect before he attends his first training camp.

Byfield became the highest-drafted Black player in NHL history when Los Angeles chose him earlier this month. He had 32 goals and 50 assists in 45 games last season with the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves.

The Kings finished the coronavirus-shortened regular season with the NHL’s fourth-worst points total. They’ve missed the playoffs in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2009.

Kansas coach cleared of virus but skips West Virginia game

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas coach Les Miles has been cleared to return to the Jayhawks after his positive test for COVID-19, but out of caution is skipping the team’s trip to West Virginia for Saturday’s game.

The 66-year-old Miles announced last week that routine testing had returned a positive test. He experienced only mild symptoms while he was quarantining, and he was able to work remotely with the Jayhawks during their bye week.

Miles said he made the “difficult decision” after conferring with the school’s medical team, coaching staff and administration.

“While my 10-day window was completed this morning, there is too much still unknown about this virus for me to feel 100% confident that I won’t transmit it to someone who comes into close contact with me,” he said.

Also on Friday, Southern Mississippi at UTEP became the sixth game scheduled for Saturday to be postponed this week. 

Southern Miss announced an increase in positive COVID-19 test results in the program forced the postponement the schools and Conference USA would work to reschedule.

Earlier in the week C-USA announced it was pushing back the date of its conference championship game to Dec. 18. There have been 32 games involving FBS teams canceled or postponed since Aug. 26.

Schauffele goes on birdie run and leads at Shadow Creek

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Xander Schauffele began his second round by missing a 4-foot birdie putt. That was hardly a sign of what was to follow Friday in the CJ Cup at Shadow Creek.

Schauffele made putts as short as 3 feet and as long as 35 feet. He chipped in from 20 feet. He seemingly couldn’t miss during a two-hour stretch when he made seven birdies over eight holes, including six in a row, for a career-best 29 on the back nine.

His momentum slowed with the pace of play, and he settled an 8-under 64 for a three-shot lead over Tyrrell Hatton.

UCLA will still be outfitted by Under Armour despite lawsuit

LOS ANGELES — UCLA will still be outfitted by Under Armour this season even though the university is suing the apparel company for breach of contract. 

Athletic director Martin Jarmond has said there isn’t enough time to get a deal in place with a new outfitter. 

Under Armour announced in June that it is ending its contract with the school. The two sides were four years into a 15-year deal worth $280 million, which remains the highest in college athletics.

UCLA filed a lawsuit against Under Amour in August in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles for breach of contract, seeking damages in excess of $200 million.

Alabama’s Saban tests negative for COVID-19 in follow-up

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama coach Nick Saban has tested negative in a follow-up test for COVID-19, leaving open the possibility of a return to the sideline for the Georgia game.

Alabama head athletic trainer Jeff Allen said Saban’s test came back negative on Thursday. If he tests negative again Friday and Saturday, Saban would be allowed on the sidelines for the second-ranked Crimson Tide’s Southeastern Conference showdown with No. 3 Georgia Saturday night.

Allen said the PCR test Thursday was conducted by the SEC-appointed lab. He said Wednesday’s initial positive result came from an outside lab Alabama has “used to supplement the SEC mandated testing.”

The PCR test is considered the preferred method of testing for COVID-19 as identified by the NCAA’s Resocialization of College Sports Guidelines. 

NFL rushing leader Cook out for Vikings with groin injury

EAGAN, Minn. — NFL leading rusher Dalvin Cook will sit out Minnesota’s game on Sunday against Atlanta because of a groin injury, giving Alexander Mattison the opportunity for his first career start at running back.

The Vikings also announced Friday that right guard Dru Samia (wrist), cornerback Kris Boyd (hamstring) and wide receiver/kick returner K.J. Osborn (hamstring) were ruled out for the game. Cornerback Holton Hill (foot) was listed as doubtful to face the Falcons.

The Vikings have their bye scheduled for next week, so Cook’s absence was likely after getting hurt in the second half last week at Seattle. Mattison rushed for a career-high 112 yards in relief.

Samia has started the last four games for Pat Elflein, who is on injured reserve with a thumb injury. His absence will 

Heim wins ARCA race at Kansas as Holmes bags series title

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Bret Holmes couldn’t chase down Cory Heim as the sun set on the ARCA Series finale at Kansas Speedway.

It didn’t really matter.

The 23-year-old from Munford, Alabama, won the series championship over Michael Self by finishing second Friday night. Holmes began the race eight points clear of Michael Self, who had some mechanical issues that put him one lap down early, and only raced for the lead a couple of restarts but otherwise was content to stay out of trouble.

First round of PGA Tour Champions postponed by rain

RICHMOND, Va. — The first round of the Dominion Energy Charity Classic was postponed Friday because of rain.

The 54-hole tournament at the Country Club of Virginia was to be Phil Mickelson’s second start on the PGA Tour Champions. He won his debut on the over-50 tour at Ozarks National in August.

The tour planned to send players off from split tees Saturday morning and the second round was set to begin Saturday afternoon, with the goal of completing the tournament by Sunday evening.

University of New Mexico football on pause due to COVID-19

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Eight football players at the University of New Mexico and one assistant coach tested positive for the coronavirus.

The positive cases announced Wednesday led state officials to step in and shut down all team activities, the Albuquerque Journal reported.

University athletic director Eddie Nuñez said if the team is unable to practice for the next week, they will not be able to safely play their first scheduled game on Oct. 24 against Colorado State.

Md. allowing up to 10% capacity at NFL stadiums

Maryland will allow up to 10% capacity at the two stadiums in the state that are home to NFL teams, Gov. Larry Hogan said Friday, meaning several thousand fans could attend games.

The announcement affects M&T Bank Stadium, where the Baltimore Ravens play, and FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, where the Washington Football Team plays.

M&T Bank Stadium has a total capacity of 71,008 and FedEx Field has a capacity of 82,000.

Neither team plays at home this weekend. The next home game for the Ravens is Nov. 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The next home game for Washington is Oct. 25 against the Dallas Cowboys.

Face coverings and physical distancing will be required. Social gatherings such as tailgating will be prohibited.

Wimbledon plans return in 2021, with or without fans

WIMBLEDON, England — The Wimbledon tennis tournament is planning its comeback in 2021.

Wimbledon was the only Grand Slam tournament canceled this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, but the All England Club announced plans Friday for its return next year.

“Staging The Championships in 2021 is our number one priority and we are actively engaged in scenario planning in order to deliver on that priority,” All England Club chief executive Sally Bolton said.

The tournament, canceled this year for the first time since 1945, is scheduled to run next year from June 28-July 11. It could be held at full capacity, reduced capacity or without fans, the club said.

All of the options are dependent on the status of government and public health guidelines, the club said.

The U.S. Open and French Open were held this year but with strict protocols to reduce the possibility of spreading the virus. No fans were allowed at Flushing Meadows, while Roland Garros was limited to 1,000 fans per day.

Swiss organizers plan for World Cup ski season without fans

BERN, Switzerland — No fans, no race ceremonies and no promotional villages are planned at World Cup ski events in Switzerland this season.

The Swiss ski federation said Friday it is working with local organizers to have competitions without the public as coronavirus cases peak in the Alpine nation ahead of the winter sports season.

Crowds of about 30,000 typically attend Switzerland’s signature races on back-to-back Saturdays in January — the men’s giant slalom in Adelboden and the men’s downhill in Wengen.

The 2020-21 season also includes women’s race weekends in St. Moritz and Crans-Montana, the World Cup finals week for men and women in Lenzerheide, and a ski jumping event in Engelberg.

Swiss-Ski said no grandstands will be built at those venues, nor fan villages at the races and in resort centers. Some invited guests could attend in restricted zones separated from athletes, coaches and officials.

NCAA penalizes UMass for violations in basketball, tennis

The NCAA is stripping Massachusetts of victories in men’s basketball and women’s tennis for overpaying 12 athletes about $9,100 in financial aid over three years.

The NCAA announced Friday the Committee on Infractions had imposed a two-year probation on UMass that will end October 2022 in addition to vacating results involving athletes who received what were determined to be a total of 13 inappropriate payments.

The school will also pay a self-imposed fine of $5,000.

UMass plans to appeal the committee’s decision to vacate victories from 2014-17 that include 59 basketball wins and an Atlantic 10 Conference championship in women’s tennis.

Arizona to allow 1,200 fans for Seahawks-Cardinals game

The Arizona Department of Health Services is permitting the NFL’s Cardinals to host a crowd of up to 1,200 people for the team’s next home game against the Seahawks on Oct. 25.

The Cardinals had approximately 750 people in the stands for their game against the Lions on Sept. 27. That group was limited to staff, family members and friends and was a test for State Farm Stadium’s COVID-19 protocols.

Seats for the Seahawks game will be available to those with season tickets based on order of account seniority. Masks are mandatory. There will be 600 seats available on both the west and east sides of the stadium and spread out in pods of two.

World champion Springboks withdraw from Rugby Championship

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — World Cup champion South Africa has withdrawn from the Rugby Championship in Australia, leaving Argentina, Australia and New Zealand to contest a tournament much diminished by its absence.

The South Africans cited player welfare concerns because of the delayed start to their domestic competition and uncertainty over government travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic affecting players based in South Africa, Europe and Japan.

Yale raises virus alert level as outbreak hits hockey team

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Yale University has closed two museums on campus, raised its alert status for the coronavirus and canceled athletic activities for the week after an outbreak infected at least 18 members of the men’s ice hockey team.

The Yale University Art Gallery and Yale Center for British Art were closed on Friday, a day after the university moved from a green alert to a yellow alert, signaling low to moderate risk.

A COVID-19 coordinator for the Ivy League university, Dr. Stephanie Spangler, said in a memo to campus that the infected hockey players and others who worked with them had been instructed to quarantine. She instructed people not to bring visitors from outside Yale onto the campus.

Vermont Health Department probes hockey-related outbreak

The Vermont Department of Health is investigating an outbreak of COVID-19 cases related to youth and adult recreational hockey and broomball teams in central Vermont, officials said Friday.

The outbreak is linked to people who practiced or played at the Central Vermont Memorial Civic Center in Montpelier earlier this month, officials said. So far, the Health Department has identified 18 confirmed cases among players and several close contacts and most are in adults.

Jones returns to practice as Falcons prepare to face Vikings

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — Seven-time Pro Bowl receiver Julio Jones returned to practice as a limited participant and hopes to play Sunday when the Atlanta Falcons visit the Minnesota Vikings.

Jones has played just one half of the last three games because of a hamstring injury. Friday marked the first day he was able to get on the field in the last two weeks.

Other players listed as limited participants included receiver Russell Gage (shoulder), tight end Hayden Hurst (back), defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. (ankle), defensive tackle Grady Jarrett (back), safety Keanu Neal (hamstring) and linebacker Foye Oluokun (knee).

Jaguars could be without WR Chark for 2nd time in 4 games

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Jaguars could be without Pro Bowl receiver DJ Chark against Detroit on Sunday.

Coach Doug Marrone listed Chark as questionable for the game. If he can’t go, Chark would be sidelined for the second time in four weeks. Chark missed a Week 3 game against Miami with a chest/back injury. He sprained an ankle last week at Houston and was limited to three receptions for 16 yards.

He has 18 catches for 220 yards and three touchdowns this season.

Marrone also listed tight end Tyler Eifert (neck), defensive end Josh Allen (knee), linebacker Dakota Allen (foot) and defensive tackle Abry Jones (ankle/hamstring) as questionable for the game against the Lions.

Packers’ LaFleur expects DT Clark, WR Adams to play Sunday

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Green Bay Packers coach Matt LaFleur says wide receiver Davante Adams and defensive tackle Kenny Clark will be “ready to go” Sunday at Tampa Bay after both players missed multiple games with injuries.

Packers cornerback Kevin King’s status for the Buccaneers game is much less certain as he deals with a quadriceps injury. King was a limited participant in Friday’s practice after not practicing at all Wednesday or Thursday.

Wallace joins Otaegui for halfway lead in Scottish golf

ST ANDREWS, Scotland — English golfer Matt Wallace carded a 5-under 67 at Fairmont St Andrews to join Adrian Otaegui in the Scottish Championship lead on Friday.

Wallace took advantage of favorable morning conditions by making six birdies and a single bogey to reach 12 under par.

He went into the clubhouse with a two-shot lead, but overnight leader Otaegui fought hard in his afternoon round, improving his fortunes on his back nine. There, the Spaniard made four birdies and a bogey to follow up his opening round of 62 with a 70.

Aaron Rai, the winner of the Scottish Open two weeks ago, made two eagles in his first six holes and was one shot back.

Preds using grant for girls’ hockey, learn-to-skate programs

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Nashville Predators will use a half-million-dollar grant to develop girls’ hockey and learn-to-skate programs in Middle Tennessee during the next two years.

The girls’ hockey program will allow 350 girls to participate in a 15- to 20-week training program led by USA Hockey certified coaches at both Ford Ice Centers, the Predators said in a news release. In addition to a full season of hockey, the funds will be used to host two tournaments free of entry fee.

The Predators’ Go Skate program will also benefit from the grant. The entry-level ice-skating program is designed to help people learn how to skate and the different styles of skating. The funds will allow 600 young people to participate during the next two years.

The Predators and Ford Ice Centers in conjunction with the National Hockey League and the NHL Players’ Association will present the programs as part of the league’s Industry Growth Fund.

Maple Leafs sign 41-year-old Joe Thornton to a 1-year deal

TORONTO — The Toronto Maple Leafs signed 41-year-old forward Joe Thornton to a one-year, $700,000 contract Friday.

Thornton, a six-time all star and the winner of the Hart Memorial Trophy in 2006 as the NHL’s MVP, is the second Ontario-born veteran to sign a league-minimum deal with the Maple Leafs in free agency, joining Jason Spezza.

Selected first overall by Boston in the 1997 NHL draft, Thornton has 420 goals and 1,089 assists in the 1,636 regular-season games with the Bruins and San Jose Sharks and 31 goals and 102 assists in 179 playoff games. In 70 games last season for San Jose, he had seven goals and 24 assists.

Virus knocks out 3 tennis tournaments in Canada

Tennis Canada has postponed three Challenger pro events because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The organization announced Friday that the Calgary, Alberta, and Drummondville, Quebec, National Bank Challenger men’s events and the Fredericton, New Brunswick, women’s event are off the schedule.

The Calgary event was scheduled for February; Fredericton and Drummondville were slated for March.

Challenger events offer opportunities for pros who can’t get into tour-level events.

Kansas forward de Sousa opting out of upcoming season

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas forward Silvio de Sousa is opting out of the upcoming college basketball season, potentially ending what has been one of the most controversial tenures of any player to have joined coach Bill Self’s blueblood program.

Self said in a statement that de Sousa was opting out to “focus on matters in his personal life.” Self added that it became clear in recent workouts that de Sousa was distracted, and after the two of them talked recently, “it was clear this was the best decision for him and Kansas basketball to leave the program.”

Miller, Whillock among 4 Northwestern players opting out

EVANSTON, Ill. — Defensive end Samdup Miller, safety Travis Whillock, quarterback Aidan Smith and tight end Jason Whittaker have opted out of Northwestern’s pandemic-shortened season, the school announced Friday.

With Miller and Whillock deciding not to play, the defense is down two returning starters. 

Miller made eight starts as a junior last season before missing the final four games because of an injury. He had 29 tackles in 2019. Whillock was honorable mention All-Big Ten as a junior last year, with 78 tackles and two fumble recoveries.

Smith played in eight games and made six starts a year ago, passing for 760 yards and three touchdowns. Whittaker played in two games as a redshirt freshman.

Coach Pat Fitzgerald said Northwestern “completely” supports “the decision each young man made during the spring and summer as they evaluated their personal circumstances.”

Depleted PSG wins at Nimes 4-0, Rennes held at Dijon 1-1

PARIS — Star striker Kylian Mbappe scored twice as Paris Saint-Germain won at 10-man Nimes 4-0 on Friday to move to the top of the French league for the first time this season.

Mbappe netted late to give France a 2-1 win at Croatia two days ago in the Nations League. 

Nimes center half Loick Landre was sent off after 12 minutes for a chest-high high tackle on midfielder Rafinha.

The speedy Mbappe made a typical run behind the defense and beat goalkeeper Baptiste Reynet in the 32nd.

Right back Alessandro Florenzi’s header made it 2-0 in the 78th and Mbappe pounced five minutes later after being set up by winger Pablo Sarabia, who completed the rout.

PSG’s fifth straight win took it above Rennes on goal difference with both sides on 15 points after a below-strength Rennes drew at last-place Dijon 1-1 earlier Friday.

But PSG was even more depleted for the trip south.

Marquinhos, Layvin Kurzawa and Angel Di Maria were suspended, Marco Verratti and Julian Draxler came back injured from international duty, and Mauro Icardi injured his knee in training.

Also, with Manchester United coming to Paris in the Champions League next week, PSG coach Thomas Tuchel rested Neymar after he scored a hat trick for Brazil in Peru on Tuesday. 

Rublev, Shapovalov, Coric, Raonic reach St. Petersburg semis

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — Andrey Rublev eased into the semifinals of the St. Petersburg Open after defeating Britain’s Cameron Norrie 6-2, 6-1 on Friday.

The third-seeded Russian will play Denis Shapovalov for a place in Sunday’s final. Second-seeded Shapovalov defeated Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 7-5.

Hard-serving American Reilly Opelka, who beat defending champion Daniil Medvedev on Thursday, was beaten by the seventh-seeded Borna Coric 7-6 (3), 6-3 in their quarterfinal.

Coric next faces 2015 champion Milos Raonic, who overcame the fourth-seeded Karen Khachanov 6-1, 7-6 (1).

Petrović, Musetti reach first ATP semis at Sardegna Open

SANTA MARGHERITA DI PULA, Sardinia — Danilo Petrović of Serbia continued to make the most of his late entry into the Sardegna Open, beating Federico Delbonis 7-6 (1), 6-1 to reach the semifinals on Friday.

Petrović was playing as a lucky loser in place of top-seeded Fabio Fognini, who withdrew before his opening match after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Petrović’s first ATP semifinal will be against Marco Cecchinato after the Italian beat fourth-seeded Albert Ramos-Viñolas of Spain 4-6, 6-1, 6-1.

Italian teenager Lorenzo Musetti also reached his first ATP semifinal with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Yannick Hanfmann.

The 18-year-old Musetti made a splash at last month’s Italian Open where he beat former top-five players Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori in succession.

Musetti will face Serbia’s Laslo Djere, who eliminated Jiri Vesely 6-4, 6-4.

Zverev, Bautista Agut labor to reach Cologne semis

COLOGNE, Germany — Top-seeded Alexander Zverev advanced to the Cologne Indoors semifinals by beating Lloyd Harris of South Africa 6-4, 3-6, 6-0 on Friday.

Zverev was leading 6-4, 1-0 but dropped two of his four service games as Harris forced the third set. He rebounded as Harris struggled with a leg injury and he closed out the match in 1 hour, 46 minutes.

The seventh-ranked Zverev next faces Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. The Spaniard defeated Dennis Novak 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.

Zverev is looking for his first title of the year and his third in his native Germany following victories at the clay-court Munich tournament in 2017 and 2018. It’s his first appearance in Germany since playing in Hamburg last year.

The second-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut will meet Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime in the other semifinal.

Bautista Agut prevailed over 2 1/2 hours to beat Hubert Hurkacz 7-6 (4), 5-7, 6-0, and Auger-Aliassime had fewer difficulties against Radu Albot, winning 6-3, 6-0.

Ulissi sprints to win Giro Stage 13; Almeida still in pink

MONSELICE, Italy — Diego Ulissi sprinted to victory at the end of the 13th stage of the Giro d’Italia on Friday, and João Almeida held on to the pink jersey.

Ulissi, an Italian rider with UAE Team Emirates, launched his sprint with about 600 meters to go and edged Almeida and Patrick Konrad at the end of the mainly flat 192-kilometer (119-mile) leg from Cervia to Monselice.

There were two categorized climbs towards the end of the route. Two of the top sprinters, Peter Sagan and Arnaud Démare, were dropped on the final climb.

It was Ulissi’s second win in this Giro and eighth overall. He beat Sagan to win Stage 2.

More questions on human rights for Beijing Winter Olympics

Zumretay Arkin posed a question in a recent on-line meeting with Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr., the prominent International Olympic Committee member who oversees preparations for the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing.

“Why should China, a country running concentration camps with at least 1 million Muslim Uighurs being detained, be allowed to hold the Olympics?” she asked.

Arkin, a spokeswoman for the World Uyghur Congress, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that the response was disappointing.

“We gave the IOC representatives first-hand testimony about our personal experiences and how we are impacted by China’s repressive policies,” Arkin said. “We were hoping it would open the door to a more valuable exchange.”

Instead, the IOC repeated its stance: It’s not a political body and doesn’t take a position on human-rights issues. It simply organizes sports events.

The Uighur body and other human-rights groups sent an open letter a month ago to IOC President Thomas Bach, asking that the games be removed from China. In reply, the IOC arranged an on-line meeting last week that included groups representing Tibet, Hong Kong and others.

Joshua and Pulev reschedule title fight for December

LONDON — Anthony Joshua will defend his world heavyweight titles for the first time this year when it was confirmed he will face Kubrat Pulev on Dec. 12 in London.

Joshua was first scheduled to meet Pulev in October 2017 in Cardiff but the Bulgarian withdrew with an injured shoulder. Pulev won six straight fights to become a mandatory challenger, but their June 20 bout was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Joshua’s WBA, IBF, and WBO titles will be on the line in his first home fight in more than two years, his promotion company Matchroom announced on Friday.

No spectators have been allowed at boxing in England during the pandemic, but Matchroom said it will try to make a case for a limited live crowd at the O2 Arena.

ISU cancels 2021 Four Continents figure skating event

The Four Continents Championships in figure skating scheduled for February in Australia has been canceled by the International Skating Union because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 2023 Four Continents will be staged in Sydney instead.

Philadelphia’s Brenden Aaronson transferred to Salzburg

Philadelphia Union midfielder Brenden Aaronson will join FC Salzburg following the conclusion of the Major League Soccer season.

The Union announced Friday that the 19-year-old signed a contract through 2025 with the Bundesliga team. He will be able to play for the club when the international transfer window opens in January.

Montpellier says 10 of 12 positive virus cases are negative

MONTPELLIER, France — French soccer club Montpellier says 10 of the 12 positive cases for COVID-19 among its players and staff showed up as negative after a retest on Friday.

The two confirmed as positive were a player and a staff member, Montpellier said in a statement without naming them.

Earlier Friday, Montpellier said eight players and four staff members tested tested positive on Thursday and isolated themselves.

Fifth-place Montpellier is scheduled to play at sixth-place Monaco on Sunday in Ligue 1.

Spanish women’s soccer group starts online diversity academy

MADRID — A Spanish organization has launched a virtual academy to promote diversity in sports.

The platform Leadership Woman Football made the announcement during its annual congress on Thursday and Friday.

The academy will offer courses to promote the debate of issues including gender equality and racism. Courses on entrepreneurship and leadership in sports are also available.

The LWF congress was scheduled to take place at San Mamés Stadium in Bilbao earlier this year but was postponed and became a virtual event because of the coronavirus pandemic. The first edition was held at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid.

Czech soccer association HQ raided in match-fixing probe

PRAGUE — Czech police raided the country’s soccer association headquarters Friday as part of a corruption and match-fixing investigation targeting 20 people.

Sixteen people are suspected of accepting a bribe, three others are suspected of paying a bribe, and one person is suspected of embezzlement and both paying and accepting bribes, according to Prague prosecutor Daniela Bártíková.

Nineteen people were detained, authorities said.

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