The Latest: Ukraine’s soccer league set to resume Saturday

first_img Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___The top men’s soccer league in Ukraine will resume Saturday in empty stadiums after a suspension because of the coronavirus pandemic. Associated Press All tennis events sanctioned by the ATP, WTA and International Tennis Federation are on hold at least until late July because of the coronavirus pandemic.But the WTT is not affiliated with those tours and does not need to abide by their decisions about when it is OK to compete. No ATP or WTA ranking points are available for its matches.The WTT says it is increasing its prize money to $5 million. That is $1.5 million more than for its 2019 season.The league is bringing all nine of its teams to one site at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, because of the pandemic instead of having matches around the United States.___ The Giants echoed those sentiments and said: “With today’s announcement by the governor, we are finalizing our plans to reopen the Quest Diagnostics Training Center. We will continue to have as many employees as possible working remotely. For employees who need to return to work at our facility, we expect to begin that process next week, and we will do so in a systematic and safe way that adheres to the state’s guidelines and NFL protocols.”___Formula One carmaker McLaren says 1,200 jobs will be lost across its entire group’s operations because of the coronavirus outbreak.It was not immediately clear how the cuts would affect the group’s F1 operation. The sport has yet to start its 2020 season amid the pandemic.The McLaren Group says “the cancellation of motorsport events, the suspension of manufacturing and retail activities around the world and reduced demand for technology solutions have all led to a sudden impact” on its revenue-generating activities. The event was scheduled for Aug. 26-29 in Richmond, British Columbia. It is the second competition of the seven-part series that has been canceled, with the Slovakia event the following week also not taking place.“Skate Canada has closely monitored the provincial and federal health authorities position on the COVID-19 pandemic and is committed to the health and safety of the athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers and spectators,” the organization said Tuesday. “Due to the provincial quarantine guidelines for all travelers and social distancing requirements in effect at this time, Skate Canada regretfully made the decision to cancel the event.”No decisions have been made on the other competitions, nor on the senior Grand Prix events.___ The Ukrainian Premier League says it has received approval from the country’s health ministry to restart. No games have been played since March 15.The schedule foresees league games finishing July 19 with a European qualification playoff ending 10 days later.According to UEFA rankings, Ukraine will be the second strongest league in Europe playing, behind only Germany.___The leadoff event to the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating has been canceled by Skate Canada because of the coronavirus pandemic. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman is expected to announce the league’s return to play format this afternoon.Bettman is set to make a televised address at 4:30 p.m. EDT about what hockey will look like if the NHL can resume the season this summer. That means a 24-team straight-to-playoffs format with the league’s other seven teams having their seasons ended.The Players’ Association voted last week to approve the 24-team format proposed by the Return to Play committee. It involves the top four teams in each conference playing a mini-tournament for seeding, while the other 16 face off in best-of-five series to set the field.There is still no timetable for the resumption of game action or when players can return to team facilities for voluntary workouts. This announcement does come on the heels of the league and NHLPA unveiling protocols for those workouts, including a limit of six players on the ice at a time.___ May 26, 2020 The Latest: Ukraine’s soccer league set to resume Saturday Conferences and television networks have agreed to an extension to next week’s deadline for determining the broadcast schedule for college football’s early season games.The Football Bowl Subdivision conferences issued a joint statement Tuesday along with ESPN, CBS Sports, Fox Sports and their affiliated networks. The statement said only that the game times would be set “at a later date as we all continue to prepare for the college football season.” The deadline typically falls on June 1, which is Monday.___ Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted Tuesday that as long as the NFL’s Giants and Jets and the NHL’s Devils follow health and medical protocols, they could open training camps or even hold competition. The NFL’s preseason and training camps wouldn’t begin until midsummer — teams are doing virtual workouts in place of the usual on-field activities because of the coronavirus pandemic. But the NHL is planning ways to complete the 2019-20 season. Should those plans include the Devils, they now can reopen their training facilities.“Professional sports teams in NJ may return to training and even competition — if their leagues choose to move in that direction,” Murphy wrote on Twitter. “We have been in constant discussions with teams about necessary protocols to protect the health and safety of players, coaches, and personnel.”A Jets spokesman said: “We are working closely with Gov. Murphy’s office, the league and our medical staff to establish prudent, health and safety measures for our staff and players. Based on those guidelines, we will begin to open our facility using a phased approach at a time that is the most practical for our operations.” McLaren says the reduced budget-cap level for F1 teams also led to the job losses.The cuts represent about a quarter of the group’s workforce.McLaren executive chairman Paul Walsh says “we plan to emerge as an efficient, sustainable business with a clear course for returning to growth.”___World TeamTennis says it is planning to allow up to 500 spectators at outdoor matches during its three-week season from July 12 to Aug. 2 at a resort in West Virginia. More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6last_img read more

Heisler: Lakers won’t win title next season – but then their fun will start

first_imgSee if you can guess how it turned out.• Lakers fans don’t get to hear from LeBron, either, except on his social media feeds.He’s definitely a Laker, having signed his new four-year deal, but he was in the air, bound for Italy with the family before the news of the agreement broke on July 1.He’s not expected to make his first public comments until the July 30 opening of the “I Promise” public school he built in Akron, his hometown, for students at risk of falling behind.Lakers officials say he might not talk to the local press until training camp. This would be a diva move, but James’ relationship with the press, especially those who deal with him most, has been excellent.He’s now beyond the normal give-and-take with his legacy secure despite all the comparisons to Michael Jordan. If MJ is still the consensus best ever (for me too), James has a niche all his own among modern players as an all-time great with vast charitable endeavors and fearless political engagement.He can be LeBron whenever he feels like it, or knock off for a while as he’s doing now.• The Lakers didn’t really have to recruit James.Subsequent reports from insiders confirm signals that whatever heavy lifting Magic Johnson had to do had already been done.LeBron had done his homework and was theirs to lose all along.“All due respect to the Lakers, who handled everything well but as these things go, LeBron was not a tough free-agent signing,” Jerry West told Sports Illustrated’s Jack McCallum.“LeBron wanted to come to L.A. and he wanted to come to the Lakers. Period.“He has a family he’s thinking about. He has a home here. He has a son whom he wants to keep in one school in Los Angeles.“He will be a celebrity out here, sure, but it’s a place where once in a while he can get lost, be himself. You can’t do that everywhere.”• The Lakers’ next season is about transition, not contention.I’m talking about “contention” in the Lakers tradition, which means contending on equal terms, not clinging to a hope – shared by all other teams – of shocking the world.“Transition” in the Lakers’ case means something more realistic, and farther-reaching: the process already in motion with a maximum salary slot saved for a premier free agent in the 2019 class headed by Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson and Jimmy Butler.So why are the Lakers talking about their new defensive approach to knocking off the Warriors?• Hey, it’s summer.Nobody sets out to throw away a season, not even teams that will tank or the few, like the Lakers, with better times awaiting farther out.Lakers GM Rob Pelinka spelled it out last week, confirming reports that the surprising moves for Lance Stephenson and Rajon Rondo were Johnson’s choices, not LeBron’s.“Earvin and I had a conversation and LeBron echoed this sentiment,” Pelinka said. “I think to try to play the Warriors at their own game is a trap.“No one is going to beat them at their own game so that’s why we wanted to add these elements of defense and toughness and depth and try to look at areas where we will have an advantage.”• It won’t work.If the Lakers just came up with a counter-revolutionary adjustment that contains the shining emblem of an offensive revolution that was years of changing schemes and rules in the making, it will make all else in their storied history look like a bunt.The defense that Stephenson plays is the physical, Old School approach of taking something away, be it the offensive players’ strong hand, or sending him to help, or double-teaming him near the basket.The closer to the basket and the more people around you, the more you can get away with.The farther from the hoop, the more exposed and visible you are, the harder it gets.Hardest of all, or impossible, is taking away the outside shot of someone as transcendent as Steph Curry with his great handle and range out to 40 feet, since he can merely retreat further, or whoosh past you.And that’s just Steph who’s out there with another transcendent player, Durant, and a perfect complementary shooter, Klay Thompson.The above paragraph would have been the same word for word if 6-foot-8 Jordan Bell started at center but now it will be DeMarcus Cousins.So, good luck Lakers!That’s only for next season. Beyond that, they’ve already gone a long way toward creating their own luck. Day 14 of the LABron Era and confusion reigns.If it’s clear that nothing is as it was – a positive development after eight lean years following decades of fat ones in Lakerdom – no one knows what to expect from LeBron James’ arrival with the Lakers.Happily, I can clear up a few things:• No, he hasn’t changed his name. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersI don’t know where “LABron” came from, although dozens of internet guys rewriting the few real reporters asking questions of the real principals will soon claim a scoop on it.But, hey, it’s cute!• No, Laker fans don’t all get to hang out with LABron.A James tweet – “Culver City?” with the emojis for thinking face, eyes and slice of pizza – was taken as a hint that he would show up at his Blaze Pizza location there.With talk radio hyping it, fans lined up for blocks.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more