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: College Football: USC vs. Utah.

Rams activate Gay but McVay won’t name starting kicker yet

THOUSAND OAKS — Thanks to an effective sports medicine program and a little bit of luck, Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay has plenty of cohesion with his roster.

Kicker was the one position with uncertainty this week, but it now seems to be settled, even if McVay isn’t announcing the outcome. 

The Rams will use their third kicker in four weeks when they visit Tampa Bay on Monday night, and former Buccaneers kicker Matt Gay appears to be the choice. Although McVay declined to publicly confirm his choice between Gay and practice squad member Austin MacGinnis, the team added Gay to the active roster Saturday ahead of its final practice before traveling to Florida. 

“We do have some pretty good clarity, but we’ll not share that with you guys right now,” McVay said.

The Rams (6-3) have been unsettled at kicker since choosing not to re-sign Greg Zuerlein in the offseason. Gay will replace Kai Forbath, who injured his ankle against Seattle last Sunday and is on injured reserve. Forbath had been brought in to replace rookie Samuel Sloman, who missed three field goals and three extra points in seven games before being cut.

Gay was signed off the Indianapolis practice squad on Wednesday but had to clear COVID-19 protocols before participating in team activities. McVay said Gay got to “showcase his stuff” in practice Saturday after watching MacGinnis earlier in the week.

“So the good news is that with either one of these players, we feel really good about our situation, very confident,” McVay said. “It’ll be a good thing for us on Monday.” 

Gay, a fifth-round pick by Tampa Bay in the 2019 draft, made 27 of 35 field goals and 43 of 48 extra points as a rookie. Struggles on kicks longer than 40 yards, where he made 16 of 22 attempts (72.7%), led to a training camp competition with Ryan Succop.

USC guard Drew Peterson eligible this season after transfer

LOS ANGELES — Drew Peterson will be eligible immediately to play for Southern California this season.

Coach Andy Enfield said Friday that the junior guard from Libertyville, Illinois, was granted a legislative relief waiver by the NCAA.

Peterson transferred to USC after two years at Rice, where he averaged 11.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists last season. The 6-foot-8, 185-pounder started 31 games last season, leading the team in rebounds (209), assists (112) and steals (33). 

USC opens the season at home next Wednesday against California Baptist.

Virus forces Washington to cancel hoops event

Washington’s multi-team basketball event for next week has been canceled due to COVID-19 cases with other programs scheduled to participate.

Washington announced the decision on Saturday after both San Diego and Cal State Fullerton paused basketball activities due to positive cases. Additionally, there was uncertainty about Portland State’s ability to participate.

As of now, Washington’s first game won’t be until Dec. 3 at Utah.

“We’re going to keep looking to get games on the schedule, but the health and safety of our student-athletes is the most important thing right now,” Washington coach Mike Hopkins said.

Orlando City tops NYCFC in wild MLS shootout to advance

ORLANDO, Fla. — Benji Michel’s goal in a second penalty shootout and a late save by a reserve defender summoned to play goalie helped send Orlando City into the MLS Eastern Conference semifinals with a wild 1-1 (6-5) victory over NYCFC on Saturday.

No. 4 seed Orlando next plays Nov. 29 against top-seeded Philadelphia or No. 8 New England.

Orlando thought it had won at the end of the first penalty shootout when goalkeeper Pedro Gallese turned away NYCFC’s fifth penalty kick. But during the team’s brief celebration, officials ruled Gallese left his line early, drawing his second yellow card. Gallese then drew a red card when he disputed the call.

Columbus beats New York 3-2 to reach Eastern semifinals

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Pedros Santos, Darlington Nagbe and Gyasi Zardes scored and the Columbus Crew beat the New York Red Bulls 3-2 on Saturday to advance to the MLS Eastern Conference semifinals.

Third-seeded Columbus will play Nov. 29 against the winner of the Tuesday night match between second-seeded Toronto FC and No. 7 Nashville.

Seventeen-year-old Caden Clark gave the Red Bulls the lead in the 23rd minute. Santos tied it on a penalty kick in the 26th, Nagbe put the Crew ahead in the 46th and Zardes made it 3-1 in the 68th.

Leal, Mukhtar, McCarty score; Nashville wins playoff debut

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Randall Leal and Hany Mukhtar scored 10 minutes apart in the first half and Nashville beat Inter Miami 3-0 on Friday night in an all-expansion play-in round game.

Nashville advanced to face Toronto FC, last year’s runner-up, on Tuesday night in East Hartford, Connecticut.

Leal scored the club’s first playoff goal in the 14th minute with a shot from distance. Mukhtar sent Miami goalkeeper John McCarthy diving the wrong way on a penalty kick in the 24th.

Dax McCarty, who played in his 24 MLS playoff games, made it 3-0 in the 57th by dribbling it from midfield to the top of the 18-yard box and curling a shot inside the post. Goalkeeper Joe Willis made three saves.

There was an announced crowd of 3,240 at Nissan Stadium, home of the Tennessee Titans.

Bou scores in 95th minute, Revs advance in MLS playoffs

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Gustavo Bou scored on a long shot in the 95th minute to give the New England Revolution a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Impact on Friday night in the play-in round of the MLS Cup playoffs.

New England advanced in the playoffs for the first time in six seasons. It will face the top-seeded Philadelphia Union on the road Tuesday night in the first round.

Carles Gil volleyed home his first goal of the season in the 38th minute to open the scoring for New England. Gil, the MLS newcomer of the year last season, had surgery on his left Achilles tendon in August.

Streb leads at Sea Island as Zach Johnson closes the gap

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — Robert Streb kept his game from coming undone over the first hour Saturday, and then pieced together enough birdies for a 3-under 67 to build a three-shot lead going into the final round of the RSM Classic.

Streb came from five shots behind when he won at Sea Island six years ago, his only PGA Tour title. This time, he has a lead over Zach Johnson (65) and Bronson Burgoon (67).

Streb was at 17-under 195.

Camilo Villegas pulled within one shot on the lead going to the back nine of the Seaside course until a two-shot swing at the 10th that cost him momentum. Streb hit his approach to 8 feet for birdie. Villegas was just on the fringe 15 feet away, ran it by 5 feet and missed that to fall three shots back.

Villegas added a bogey on the 13th, didn’t make a birdie on the back nine and had to settle for a 70. He was five shots behind as he tries to win for the first time since five years, and following a summer in which his 2-year-old daughter died of tumors on her brain and spine.

Sei Young Kim answers Ally McDonald’s ace with birdie run

BELLEAIR, Fla. — Sei Young Kim answered Ally McDonald’s ace with a late birdie run to open a five-stroke lead Saturday in the Pelican Women’s Championship, the South Korean’s first event since winning the KPMG Women’s PGA a month and half ago.

The second-ranked Kim shot a 6-under 64, birdieing Nos. 14-17, to get to 14-under 196 at Pelican Golf Club. 

“She made a hole-in-one, we almost one-shot lead,” Kim said. “I got a little bit pressure, but I try to focus on my game.”

McDonald shot 68. She had the hole-in-one on the par-3 12th and birdied the par-5 14th to get close to Kim. The American dropped a stroke on the par-4 16th.

‘Proud’ Shiffrin comes runner-up to Vlhova in comeback race

LEVI, Finland — Mikaela Shiffrin, racing for the first time since January, settled for second place behind Petra Vlhova in a World Cup slalom on Saturday but still “felt a lot of happiness” to finally get back in the start gate.

“I enjoy a second place more than I did ever before,” said Shiffrin, a winner of 66 World Cup races, “because I felt I was pushing and having some good skiing. It was the best I could today. I feel I can be more proud of that than I used to be.”

Vlhova, the World Cup slalom champion from Slovakia, posted the fastest times in both runs to beat the American by 0.18 seconds in Finnish Lapland, north of the Arctic Circle.

But for Shiffrin, the result wasn’t her biggest concern.

“It’s been really hard to imagine being here again and racing. And being on the podium, that’s just something I almost didn’t dare to really imagine, because you don’t want to be disappointed again,” the double Olympic and three-time overall champion said.

Shiffrin’s previous season ended prematurely after the death of her father, Jeff Shiffrin. That was followed by the cancellation of the season-ending races amid the coronavirus outbreak, and then she sat out the first race of the new season in Austria in October with a back injury.

John Daly, Megan Henry lead US skeleton national team

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — John Daly is a step closer to another Olympic berth.

The two-time Olympian is back on the USA Skeleton national team, after finishing off a sweep of the team selection races Saturday at Mount Van Hoevenberg. Daly and Austin Florian were picked as the qualifiers for World Cup spots on the men’s national team, though it remains unclear if the U.S. will slide internationally this winter because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Chicago’s Wrigley Field granted top historic landmark status

CHICAGO — Wrigley Field, the 106-year-old baseball shrine that’s the Chicago Cubs’ home, has been designated a National Historic Landmark.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt announced the designation Thursday, saying the ballpark has played a significant role in Chicago’s history and the history of professional sports.

Titans place Clowney on IR, rule Vaccaro out for Sunday

NASHVILLE, Tenn.  — Tennessee Titans outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney has gone on injured reserve as he deals with a knee issue.

The Titans said Friday that Clowney wouldn’t play in Sunday’s game at Baltimore. They placed him on injured reserve Saturday, meaning he must miss at least three games.

The knee injury had caused Clowney to miss a 24-17 victory over the Chicago Bears on Nov. 8, though he returned to action four nights later in a 34-17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

Browns activate Conklin, Parkey from COVID list to play

CLEVELAND — The Browns will have starting right tackle Jack Conklin and kicker Cody Parkey on Sunday against Philadelphia after both were activated from the COVID-19 list.

The team made the moves on Saturday, capping a rough few days as the Browns (6-3) navigated around positive tests and protocols.

While it will be good to have Conklin and Parkey to play the NFC East-leading Eagles (3-5-1), the Browns won’t have star defensive end Myles Garrett. He tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday and will miss Sunday’s game, and it’s possible he’ll sit out next week’s game at Jacksonville as well.

Tottenham top after beating Man City, Villa fades in EPL

LONDON — With his team top of the English Premier League, Jose Mourinho enjoyed bragging rights over Pep Guardiola in their longstanding rivalry as Tottenham beat Manchester City 2-0 on Saturday.

Chelsea moved up to second while Aston Villa’s strong early form continued to fade.

A typical Guardiola vs. Mourinho game saw City enjoy the lion’s share of possession, only to be frustrated by Tottenham’s compact defense and sliced apart on counter-attacks. 

“Everyone worked their socks off,” Tottenham forward Harry Kane told Sky Sports. “We knew in the second half that chances would be available and thankfully we took some in the end.”

Kane has either scored or assisted at least one goal in each of his last eight league games. Mourinho was marking a year in charge at Tottenham, while Guardiola acknowledged he had work to do to turn City’s season around after signing a two-year contract extension.

Son Heung-min gave Tottenham the lead in the fifth minute when Kane pulled both City center-backs out of position, leaving the way clear for the South Korean to latch onto Tanguy Ndombele’s pass and score. With a one-goal advantage, Tottenham was happy to sit back and deflect City’s attacks.

Player-coach Wayne Rooney starts with Derby defeat

BRISTOL, England — Wayne Rooney’s first game in joint charge of English second-tier club Derby ended in a 1-0 loss to Bristol City on Saturday.

The record scorer for England was one of four members of the Derby coaching staff given control on an interim basis. The others are Shay Given, Liam Rosenior and Justin Walker.

Player-coach Rooney was on the field for the full game against City.

Haaland gets 4 for Dortmund, 16-year-old Moukoko sets record

BERLIN — Erling Haaland scored four goals and Youssoufa Moukoko became the youngest player in Bundesliga history as Borussia Dortmund beat Hertha Berlin 5-2 to move second on Saturday.

The buildup had been all about Moukoko, who was eligible for his debut after turning 16 on Friday. But Haaland stole the show on a cold night in Berlin before making way for the youngster’s debut in the 85th minute.

“I think he’s the biggest talent in the world right now. 16 years and one day, that’s quite amazing. He has a big career ahead of him,” Haaland said about Moukoko to ESPN. “I’m over 20 years, I’m getting old now. That’s how it is.”

The first half was a hard-fought contest between two teams determined to close down the other’s space. Dortmund dominated possession but struggled to find gaps in Hertha’s committed defense.

In contrast, Hertha’s Dodi Lukebakio was allowed too much room when he surged forward in the 33rd minute and Matheus Cunha let fly from outside the penalty area to break the deadlock.

Atlético in pole position after beating Barça, Madrid slip

BARCELONA, Spain — Atlético Madrid strengthened its status as the early front-runner in the Spanish league title race on Saturday after beating Barcelona and watching Real Madrid fall further behind. 

Under coach Diego Simeone, Atlético knew what it was like to beat Barcelona in the Champions League and Copa del Rey, but it had been denied a victory over Lionel Messi’s side in the domestic league in 20 consecutive attempts. 

Its first win over Barcelona in the competition since 2010 left it level on points with league leader Real Sociedad before the Basque Country club visits Cádiz on Sunday.

Ronald Koeman’s Barcelona was left languishing in 10th place at nine points back. Both Atlético and Barcelona have games in hand due to their late start to the season after playing in the Champions League quarterfinals in August. 

Saint-Etienne loses 4-1 at Brest for 7th straight defeat

PARIS — Struggling Saint-Etienne lost 4-1 at Brest on Saturday for a seventh straight French league defeat under coach Claude Puel.

After notching 10 points from the first four games, Saint-Etienne is now hovering just above the relegation zone in 15th place ahead of Sunday’s games.

With Marseille’s home game against Nice called off because of an outbreak of coronavirus cases in the visitors’ squad, Saturday’s only game saw all the goals come in the first half.

Midfielder Franck Honorat, center back Jean-Kevin Duverne, and strikers Irvin Cardona and Steve Mounie scored for the home side, while right back Mahdi Camara replied for the visitors.

Lille needs only a draw at home to struggling Lorient on Sunday to overtake Monaco and reclaim second place. A win would move Lille only two points behind league leader Paris Saint-Germain.

Ronaldo scoring streak continues as Juventus beats Cagliari

MILAN — Cristiano Ronaldo continued his scoring streak with another two goals as Juventus won 2-0 against Cagliari to move second in Serie A on Saturday.

Ronaldo has now scored eight goals in his last five matches.

“When you have a champion like Ronaldo you can achieve any result, he is an example for everyone and he only has to continue like this,” Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo said. 

Juventus moved a point below league leader AC Milan, which visits Napoli on Sunday. Third-place Sassuolo is a point further back ahead of its match against Hellas Verona.

“It was important for our growth to have a match like this,” Pirlo said. “We played well from the first minute and dominated the match.”

Atalanta and Lazio are among four clubs on 14 points, three fewer than Milan. Lazio won 2-0 at Crotone earlier Saturday and Atalanta was surprisingly held 0-0 at Spezia

Zanardi transferred to Padua hospital 5 months after crash

MILAN — Italian auto racing champion-turned-Paralympic gold medalist Alex Zanardi was transferred to a hospital in Padua on Saturday to continue his recovery, more than five months after he was seriously injured in a handbike crash.

Zanardi underwent several surgeries at hospitals in Siena and later in Milan to stabilize him and reconstruct his severely damaged face after crashing into an oncoming truck during a relay event near the Tuscan town of Pienza on June 19.

“The patient has reached a generally stable physical and neurological condition that permitted his transfer to another hospital equipped with all the necessary clinical specialties and closer to the family home,” the San Raffaele hospital in Milan said in a statement.

The 54-year-old Zanardi suffered serious facial and cranial trauma in the crash and was put in a medically induced coma. Doctors have warned of possible brain damage.

Tuktamysheva wins at Rostelecom Cup figure skating

MOSCOW — Experienced figure skaters Elizaveta Tuktamysheva and Mikhail Kolyada held off challenges from younger rivals to win their events at the Rostelecom Cup on Saturday.

Tuktamysheva landed six triple jumps in her free skate to win with a total of 223.39 points for her first Grand Prix title since Skate Canada in 2018, and only her second since her world championship-winning season in 2014-15.

European champion Alena Kostornaia led after Friday’s short program but finished second on 220.78 after some awkward landings in the free skate. Anastasiia Guliakova was third on 199.03, narrowly ahead of Alexandra Trusova, who attempted four quadruple jumps but didn’t land any of them cleanly and fell three times in her program.

Kolyada won his first Grand Prix event for three years after overtaking short-program leader Morisi Kvitelashvili in the men’s free skate.

Kolyada landed two quadruple toeloops on his way to a total score of 281.89. Georgian skater Kvitelashvili saw his six-point advantage over Kolyada from the short program evaporate after he fell on a quad toeloop and placed second on 275.80. Petr Gumennik was third on 268.47, with European champion Dmitri Aliev fifth.

European champion Aleksandra Boikova and Dmitrii Kozlovskii won the pairs competition with a score of 232.56, and another European champion duo, Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov, won the ice dance with 217.51.

Swimmer Caeleb Dressel sets 2 world records in Hungary

BUDAPEST, Hungary — Caeleb Dressel set a pair of short-course world records Saturday at the International Swimming League final in Budapest, Hungary.

Expected to be one of the top stars at next summer’s Tokyo Olympics, Dressel became the first swimmer to eclipse 48 seconds in the 100-meter butterfly, touching with a time of 47.78.

About 40 minutes later, Dressel took won the 50 freestyle in 20.16, eclipsing his own short-course record by 0.08.

In the 100 fly, the 24-year-old Florida native broke the mark of 48.08 set by South Africa’s Chad Le Clos at 2016 Short Course World Championships.

Le Clos finished second in Saturday’s race at Duna Arena in 48.45.

Bulgarian tennis player gets lifetime ban for match-fixing

LONDON — The Tennis Integrity Unit has banned Bulgarian player Aleksandrina Naydenova for life and fined her $150,000 for match-fixing offenses.

Naydenova “had partaken in match-fixing activity multiple times between 2015 and 2019,” the anti-corruption body said in a statement Friday.

The 28-year-old Naydenova, whose highest WTA singles ranking was 218, had been provisionally suspended Dec. 27 last year prior to a disciplinary hearing.

The TIU said Naydenova committed 13 breaches of the Tennis Anti-corruption Program with 12 of them relating to match-fixing and one relating to “several incidents of non-cooperation” with the investigation.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.