Jozy Altidore leads Toronto to first MLS Cup championship

Toronto FC forward Jozy Altidore, left, celebrates his goal against the Seattle Sounders during second-half MLS Cup final soccer action in Toronto, Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)
Toronto FC forward Jozy Altidore (left) celebrates his goal against the Seattle Sounders during the second half of the MLS Cup soccer final.

Jozy Altidore opened the scoring in the 67th minute and Toronto FC beat the visiting Seattle Sounders, 2-0, on Saturday in the MLS Cup soccer final to become the first Canadian champion in league history. Toronto avenged a penalty-shootout loss to Seattle last year in the title game. In the 67th minute, Sebastian Giovinco’s pass from just inside the Seattle half helped Altidore split a pair of defenders. Altidore took a few steps to his left and fired the ball over goalkeeper Stefan Frei, setting off a wild celebration among the 30,584 fans that left BMO Field shaking . . . Outgoing US Soccer Federation president Sunil Gulati proclaimed a 2026 World Cup hosted by Canada, Mexico, and the US would financially be “by far the most successful” in tournament history. He said that North America’s existing stadium infrastructure and sponsorship potential could break revenue records. FIFA members will vote for the 2026 host at the 2018 World Cup in Russia in June . . . Chelsea’s hopes of retaining its English Premier League title are over, according to manager Antonio Conte. A 1-0 loss at West Ham in London saw Chelsea fail to close an 11-point gap on leader Manchester City, which could be extended even more when City faces second-place Manchester United on Sunday.


Angels officially welcome Ohtani

Shohei Ohtani was formally introduced by the Los Angeles Angels after they won the fierce baseball-wide competition for the services of the two-way Japanese star. General manager Billy Eppler confirmed that the Angels intend to allow Ohtani to become the majors’ most significant two-way player in several decades. He will be the Angels’ designated hitter on many days when he isn’t serving as a starting pitcher, said manager Mike Scioscia . . . The Texas Rangers signed free agent shortstop Yenci Pena, one of the players taken from the Atlanta Braves as punishment for circumventing international signing rules, a person with knowledge of the deal told the Associated Press. The agreement came after the Rangers missed out on Ohtani.

Winter sports

Skier Vonn treated for back problems

Skier Lindsey Vonn finished a World Cup super-G in extreme pain and was treated by race doctors for a back injury in St. Moritz, Switzerland. Vonn crossed the finish line in obvious distress, almost one second behind the then-leader, and slumped to the snow. Her tentative run after jarring her back early on placed her 24th, trailing 1.56 seconds behind the surprise winner, Switzerland’s Jasmine Flury. The race was shortened due to strong winds higher up the mountain. Vonn stayed in the finish house to be treated, and one hour later limped slowly into a waiting car to be driven from the course. Minutes earlier, her father Alan Kildow told the Associated Press his daughter was ‘‘OK.’’ Vonn’s name remained on the Sunday start list with bib No. 14 for another super-G . . . Russia’s Denis Yuskov broke the men’s 1,500-meter world record in the World Cup speedskating event at the Utah Olympic Oval. Yuskov finished in 1 minute, 41.02 seconds to break the mark of 1:41.04 set by American Shani Davis on the same ice in a World Cup race on Dec 11, 2009. Dutchman Koen Verweij was second, and countryman Thomas Krol third. American Joey Mantia was fourth, Davis 13th, and Brian Hansen 16th . . . Two-time Olympic snowboard medalist Benjamin Karl could miss the PyeongChang Games after breaking a bone and tearing two ligaments in his right ankle in a training crash in Vienna. The Austrian ski federation said it is doubtful whether Karl will return to the World Cup circuit before the end of the Olympic qualifying period on Jan. 21 . . . Germany’s Stephanie Schneider defeated world champion Elana Meyers Taylor of the US to win her first bobsled World Cup in Winterberg, Germany, while Switzerland’s Clemens Bracher won on his debut in two-man bobsled . . . Alina Zagitova performed a near-flawless free skate to win the figure skating Grand Prix Final in Nagoya, Japan. The 15-year-old world junior champion from Russia landed seven triple jumps while receiving level-fours on her spins and step sequence.


Season is finished for Bengals’ Jones


The Cincinnati Bengals put cornerback Adam ‘‘Pacman’’ Jones on injured reserve, ending his season with a groin injury. Jones is one of at least six starters who isn’t expected to play Sunday against the visiting Bears . . . The Dallas Cowboys will be without defensive lineman David Irving, cornerback Orlando Scandrick, and linebacker Justin Durant because of injuries when they visit the New York Giants on Sunday.


Leonard may play against Mavericks

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Spurs star Kawhi Leonard could make his season debut on Tuesday in Dallas against the Mavericks, according to a report by the San Antonio Express-News. Coach Gregg Popovich would not confirm the report, saying he expected Leonard to return “sooner rather than later.” Leonard sat out the preseason and the team’s first 26 games with a right quadriceps tendinopathy, a weakening of the tendon . . . A team of top players in the NBA G-League will play the Mexican national team in the G-League International Challenge Feb. 18 at the NBA All-Star Game in Los Angeles . . . The Basketball World Cup in 2023 will be hosted by the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia. The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) said its central board picked the Asian co-hosting bid over the Argentina-Uruguay joint candidacy . . . Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry shot an 8-under-par 64 in modified alternate shot and shared the lead with Steve Stricker and Sean O'Hair going into the final round of the QBE Shootout golf tournament in Naples, Fla. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau were only three shots behind.