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A youthful US men’s soccer team routs Panama

Nicholas Gioacchini of the United States battles for the ball with Panama's Armando Cooper (left) and Michael Murillo (right)  during the international friendly soccer match between the US and Panama in Wiener Neustadt, Austria.
Nicholas Gioacchini of the United States battles for the ball with Panama's Armando Cooper (left) and Michael Murillo (right) during the international friendly soccer match between the US and Panama in Wiener Neustadt, Austria.Ronald Zak/Associated Press

Nicholas Gioacchini and Sebastian Soto both scored their first two international goals, Gio Reyna got his first and a young United States team routed Panama, 6-2, Monday night in an exhibition at Wiener Neustadt, Austria. Gioacchini and Reyna made their first appearances Thursday in a 0-0 draw at Wales, among six debuts as the Americans returned from a coronavirus break that had sidelined the team since February. Soto and Richy Ledezma were among two more debuts against the Panamanians. Sebastian Lletget, like Soto a second-half substitute, also scored late for the Americans. Ledezma assisted on the final goal. Preparing for the pandemic-delayed start of World Cup qualifying next September, the US started a lineup averaging 12 appearances and 22 years, 154 days, the second-youngest American lineup behind an average of 22 years, 71 days for an exhibition at Italy on Nov. 20, 2018. US coach Gregg Berhalter said the US may schedule another match next month, which presumably would be with players mostly from Major League Soccer.

EPL has 16 positive cases

Sixteen people tested positive for the coronavirus and placed in a 10-day quarantine in the latest round of checks on players and club staff in the English Premier League, in which tested 1,207 players and club staff were tested from Nov 9-15. It is the highest number of positive tests recorded in a single week since testing began ahead of the return of football in June after the sport’s suspension amid the pandemic . . . Luis Suárez and goalkeeper Rodrigo Muñoz tested positive for the coronavirus, the Uruguayan Football Association said. The two players along with a team staffer were infected and will miss Uruguay’s home match against Brazil on Tuesday in South American World Cup qualifying . . . Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney completed a $2.5 million takeover of the Welsh club Wexham, one of the world’s oldest soccer teams that plays in the fifth tier of the English game, and plan to document their first foray into the sport in a fly-on-the-wall TV show.

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Hockey

Lightning layoff 30 employees

Just months after winning the Stanley Cup, the Tampa Bay Lightning are eliminating 30 positions in a sign that even winning a championship does not spare a team from the effects of the coronavirus. Because the National Hockey League’s postseason was played in bubbles in Canada, the team did not earn any revenue from the playoffs. The Lightning lost money last season and is expected to do so again during the upcoming season, team officials said. The positions were across the company and effective immediately and represented less than 10 percent of the team’s workforce. “Rest assured, these decisions were not made lightly,” Lightning CEO Steve Griggs told the Tampa Bay Times. “But with the sports and entertainment industry being impacted like at no other time in modern history, this was a necessary step as we position ourselves for maximum recovery.” Every employee who was working full-time in late September when the Lightning defeated the Dallas Stars to win the Stanley Cup will receive a championship ring, the newspaper reported . . . The Buffalo Sabres signed their first-round draft pick, forward Jack Quinn, to a three-year entry-level contract. Quinn, 19, was selected with the No. 8 pick in the draft last month after ranking second in the Ontario Hockey League with 52 goals in 62 games.

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Miscellany

Medevev, Djokovic advance at ATP Finals

Daniil Medvedev pulled off an underhand serve as he outlasted Alexander Zverev and joined Novak Djokovic as a winner during the second day of the ATP Finals. Medvedev prevailed 6-3, 6-4, while Djokovic cruised past Finals debutant Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 6-2 in an empty O2 Arena in London. Djokovic and Medvedev will meet on Wednesday. Medvedev led 4-3, 30-30 in the second set when he surprised Zverev with a quick underhand serve. It brought the German to the net and he lost the point when his backhand block volley flew long . . . Chip Ganassi Racing will return to IMSA sports car competition next season with Cadillac in the Daytona Prototype international class. Ganassi is the only team owner to win three consecutive Rolex 24s at Daytona from 2006 to 2008.

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