BASEBALL

SEA DOGS: The Portland Sea Dogs had another game canceled Thursday, as a game against the Binghamton Rumble Ponies was rained out.

It was the sixth straight cancellation for the Sea Dogs, who haven’t played since Saturday. Portland now has three home games remaining, Friday through Sunday against Binghamton, before ending its regular season with a six-game trip to Hartford.

The Sea Dogs are two games behind Somerset and 2 1/2 games behind Bowie for the second playoff spot in Double-A Northeast.

COLLEGES

MEN’S SOCCER: New England College (3-1) got goals from Logan Cassin and Santiago Duarte and two assists from Panagiotis Galatas in a 2-0 win over Southern Maine (2-1-1) in Henniker, New Hampshire.

USM keeper Hayes Estrella made seven saves.

GOLF

EUROPEAN TOUR: Justin Rose needs to win the BMW PGA Championship to qualify automatically for a fifth straight appearance at the Ryder Cup. The Englishman is off to a strong start in that quest.

Rose shot a bogey-free, 5-under 67 and was three shots off the first-round lead shared by Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat and South Africa’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout, two players for whom the specter of Ryder Cup qualification does not matter this week.

The European Tour’s flagship event at its headquarters at Wentworth, southwest of London, marks the final chance for Ryder Cup hopefuls to earn points to get into the final places on offer for the match against United States at Whistling Straits this month. Rose, ranked No. 45, is most likely relying on a captain’s pick by Padraig Harrington and he did his cause no harm by making three birdies in his first six holes and also picking up a shot on the par-5 18th. He was tied for fourth place.

BASKETBALL

NBA: Center DeAndre Jordan signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, adding another seasoned veteran to their experienced roster.

SOCCER

WORLD CUP: FIFA detailed its plan for reshaping international soccer around playing the men’s World Cup every two years despite European opposition that could lead to a boycott.

Joined by retired greats, FIFA unveiled the proposal Thursday, but the pushback from Europe was immediate as UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin confirmed it could launch a boycott by its teams which have dominated soccer’s marquee event since Brazil won in 2002.

“We can decide not to play in it,” Ceferin said in an interview with British daily The Times.

About 80 former internationals including World Cup winners went to Qatar for two days of FIFA-hosted talks and emerged with consensus for playing the tournament twice as often.

“We all agreed with the new proposal of the calendar,” said Brazil great Ronaldo, who went to four World Cups and won twice. He described FIFA’s proposal as “just amazing.”

Still, European soccer leader Ceferin said “as far as I know, the South Americans are on the same page” with resisting FIFA’s plan. “So good luck with a World Cup like that,” Ceferin told The Times in the latest UEFA vs. FIFA fight since 2016 when he and Gianni Infantino were elected to the respective presidencies.

Infantino and his allies have since 2018 floated the idea of a biennial World Cup which European soccer has viewed as a commercial and competitive threat to its club and national team events. Arsene Wenger has led the project since FIFA hired the former Arsenal coach last year to be its director of global development.

GREECE: The country’s top soccer official has resigned after just five months in the job, citing a “toxic atmosphere” created by the country’s leading clubs. Theodoros Zagorakis, who captained Greece to victory at the 2004 European Championship and made more than 100 appearances for his country, stepped down from his role as president of the Greek Football Federation.

Greek soccer has been dogged for decades by fan violence and allegations of corruption, with previous top sports administrators also publicly blaming powerful club owners for the lack of reform.

“As long as some people consciously devalue Greek football, maintaining a toxic atmosphere, without reason and cause … the sport will shrink in the eyes of Greek fans. The only victim is football itself. Nothing else,” Zagorakis said in a statement.

ROAD RACING

OKLAHOMA CITY MARATHON: The Oklahoma City Marathon will require proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the race in order to participate in the annual race. The race will also be capped at 12,000 runners, half the number for the last live race in 2019, and will start in waves to allow for social distancing.

“This Marathon stands for the same resilience of our community we saw (following the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing), and we can see now,” Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum Director Kari Watkins said Wednesday. “We believe we can honor those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever by running this race and honoring so many who have bravely battled this world-wide pandemic.”

Like last year’s race, which was run virtually because of the pandemic, the 2021 race has been rescheduled for October from the traditional date in April to coincide with the anniversary of the bombing.


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