Seattle Lands an MLS Franchise for 2009 Season

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Major League Soccer has granted an expansion franchise to Seattle that will begin play in 2009 and will be primarily owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.

"I can confirm that Commissioner Don Garber is going to travel to Seattle for an announcement Tuesday of the expansion of Major League Soccer for the future into the Seattle market," Dan Courtemanche, MLS senior vice president for marketing and communications, said yesterday by phone from league headquarters in New York.

Gary Wright, a spokesman for First and Goal Inc., the subsidiary that operates Qwest Field for Allen's Vulcan Inc., said Allen will be the team's primary owner. He already owns the Seattle Seahawks of the NFL, who play at Qwest Field, and the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers. . . .

Wayne Rooney injured his ankle in training and will be sidelined for about four weeks, ruling him out of England's final European Championship qualifier.

¿ BASEBALL: Omar Vizquel, 40, got his wish to return to the San Francisco Giants.

The 11-time Gold Glove shortstop agreed yesterday to a one-year, $5.3 million contract, a deal that includes a club option that could make it worth $10.2 million over two seasons. . . .

Don Mattingly said he'll wear uniform No. 8 to honor Yogi Berra when he takes over as hitting coach with the Los Angeles Dodgers, rather than the 23 he wore with the New York Yankees.

Mattingly, 46, said in an interview with New York radio station WFAN that he wanted to "do something different" with his uniform number with the Dodgers. He picked No. 8, which was worn by Berra, the Yankees Hall of Fame catcher.

"He's my man," Mattingly said. "It's for good luck."

¿ COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Virginia senior center Tunji Soroye is expected to miss six to eight weeks after undergoing knee surgery Thursday, the school announced in a release.

Soroye, Virginia's best shot blocker and the leading contender to start at center, had the surgery to correct cartilage damage in his left knee.

¿ GOLF: Paula Creamer made a big move at Magnolia Grove in Mobile, Ala., to join Lorena Ochoa and Suzann Pettersen as the LPGA Tour's only multiple winners this year.

After birdieing the final seven holes Thursday for a share of the lead in the Tournament of Champions, Creamer shot a bogey-free, 7-under-par 65 on to open a five-stroke advantage at 12-under 132. . . .

In Shanghai, Phil Mickelson shot a 6-under 66 to move within one stroke of leader Kevin Stadler after the second round of the HSBC Champions.

¿ SPEEDSKATING: Jeremy Wotherspoon of Canada set the world record for 500 meters, and Erben Wennemars of the Netherlands tied the record for the 1,500 in the World Cup at the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns.

Skating against Shani Davis of the United States in the next-to-last pairing, Wennemars matched the mark of 1 minute 42.32 seconds Davis set in Calgary, Alberta, on March 4.

In the earlier 500, Wotherspoon was timed in 34.03 seconds and broke the mark of 34.25 set by South Korea's Kang Seok Lee during the 2007 World Single Distance Championships at the Utah oval on March 9.

¿ TENNIS: Nikolay Davydenko's wife and brother have been questioned by ATP investigators looking into irregular betting patterns surrounding one of the Russian player's matches.

The lawyer for the fourth-ranked Davydenko said he wasn't authorized to give details on what the wife and brother were asked during Monday's questioning by the former Scotland Yard investigators for men's tennis governing body.

-- From News Services and Staff Reports

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