Midfielder Sam Mewis has signed with Manchester City ahead of the Women’s Super League season. The Whitman-Hanson Regional product, who was on the US national team that won the World Cup last summer in France, comes to Manchester City from the North Carolina Courage of the National Women’s Soccer League. “This is an incredible opportunity for me to step outside my comfort zone and play overseas for a world-class club,” she said. Terms were not disclosed, but typically US women’s team players return within a year. The Courage will retain her NWSL rights. Manchester City is among a small number of European clubs willing and able to spend on high-end female players. It will open the Women’s Super League on Sept. 6 at Aston Villa and enter the UEFA Women’s Champions League in November. Mewis, 27, has made 67 appearances with the national team and has scored 18 goals. She has 14 goals and 11 assists since moving from the Western New York Flash to the Courage. The NWSL recently wrapped up its monthlong Challenge Cup tournament in Utah. The Courage, the two-time defending league champions, were eliminated in the quarterfinals by the Portland Thorns . . . Loudoun United, a second-division team owned by D.C. United, will play next week’s home opener in front of spectators, become the first area sports team to do so during the coronavirus pandemic. Phase three of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s reopening guidelines allow sports venues to operate at 50 percent occupancy or with 1,000 patrons, whichever figure is lower. Segra Field in Leesburg holds 5,000, so the state will allow up to 1,000 for next Wednesday’s USL Championship match against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, provided it meets mandatory state requirements.
Vikings LB Smith needs heart surgery
Minnesota Vikings second-year linebacker Cameron Smith will miss the 2020 season because of a heart condition that was discovered after he tested positive for COVID-19 upon reporting to training camp two weeks ago. The Vikings made the procedural move on Monday of waiving Smith with a non-football injury designation. Upon clearing waivers, he’ll revert to the reserve list for non-football injuries. Smith, who played mostly on special teams as a rookie, was a fifth-round draft pick out of USC in 2019. Smith announced on his Instagram account Saturday that he needs open heart surgery to fix a bicuspid aortic valve he was born with. “It is really a blessing that we found this as my heart is severely enlarged and wouldn’t have lasted much longer,” Smith said. “The Lord works in mysterious ways, but I could really feel him on this one!” He said the procedure won’t be career ending . . . If the Power Five conferences decide to cancel the college football season, the NFL will consider making significant changes to its schedule, including adding games on Saturdays, according to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio.
WNBA gets perfect score on tests
One month into the season and the WNBA bubble seems to be working. There have been no positive tests for coronavirus since the initial round of testing when the players arrived in Bradenton, Fla., at IMG Academy. Seven players had tested positive for COVID-19 in the days leading up to arriving, but there have been none in the bubble since. The players and staff are still tested daily, and while the results have been good for the league there have been at least two inconclusive positive tests that forced two players to miss games. Those players later tested negative keeping the COVID-19 cases at zero . . . Alyssa Thomas scored 21 points, Jasmine Thomas had 15 points and seven assists, and the Connecticut Sun beat Atlanta, 93-82, handing the Dream their fifth straight loss. The Dream lost rookie guard Chennedy Carter in the first quarter with an ankle injury.
Kuznetsova latest to skip US Open
Svetlana Kuznetsova, the 2004 US Open champion, added her name to the growing group of players withdrawing from the Grand Slam tournament because of the coronavirus pandemic. Kuznetsova wrote Monday on Instagram that she was pulling out of the US Open and the tournament preceding it at the same site in New York. The Western & Southern Open starts Aug. 22; the US Open starts Aug. 31. Also withdrawing from the US Open were No. 31 Barbora Strycova, a Wimbledon semifinalist in 2019, and No. 108 Wang Xiyu . . . Marie Bouzkova, playing in her first tournament in nearly six months, upset No. 3 seed Johonna Konta, 6-4, 6-4, on the first day of the inaugural Top Seed Open in Lexington, Ky. This week’s event is the WTA Tour’s first US competition since the shutdown. Added to the schedule in late July, the world’s top players such as Serena and Venus Williams, Victoria Azarenka, and Sloane Stephens aim to hone their hard-court skills for the US Open later this month. The Williams sisters are among those slated to start playing Tuesday. Other seeds advanced past Americans on Monday as No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus outlasted Madison Brengle, 6-1, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2; No. 6 Magda Linette of Poland ousted Lauren Davis, 6-2, 6-3; and No. 8 seed Ons Jabeur of Tunisia topped wild card Catherine McNally, 6-2, 6-4 . . . Former Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard won the first and only completed main draw match at the Prague Open on a rainy Monday. The second European tournament in the WTA’s restart amid the pandemic is following the same rules as the Palermo Open last week: No fans and media, players have to handle their own towels and are not allowed to shake hands. The players are isolated on one floor of a Prague hotel that was completely booked by tournament organizers. Bouchard eased past eighth-seeded Veronika Kudermetova, 6-0, 6-3, for her first win on clay since 2018 and her second victory in two matches against the Russian. Bouchard, ranked 330th, was given a wild-card entry. The Canadian missed all of February with a wrist injury before the tour was halted in March. She’s a former world No. 5 and the 2014 Wimbledon runner-up
Presidents Cup headed back to Montreal
Royal Montreal Golf Club, the oldest golf club in North America, will host the 2024 Presidents Cup. The club was founded in 1873 and held the Presidents Cup in 2007. The United States won that edition in which Canada’s Mike Weir beat Tiger Woods in a Sunday singles match. The Presidents Cup is held every other year and features a team of US players against players from the rest of the world minus Europe . . . Christopher Bell is returning to Joe Gibbs Racing and will drive the No. 20 Toyota in the Cup Series in 2021. Bell, 25, will replace Erik Jones, whose contract with JGR expires at the end of this season. Jones has two wins in 133 Cup Series starts . . . James Harris, a Mississippi-born sharecropper who gained international fame as “Kamala the Ugandan Giant,” a 6-foot-7-inch professional wrestler, died at 70, according to World Wrestling Entertainment. Kenny Casanova, who co-wrote Harris’s autobiography, wrote on social media that Harris died from COVID-19. In recent years, Harris had suffered from many health ailments, including having both legs amputated because of diabetes.