Browns owners to buy MLS team, keep it in Ohio
With their NFL franchise in better shape, Cleveland Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam have agreed to take over the Columbus Crew, guaranteeing the Major League Soccer team will not relocate.
Since October, the Haslams have been working with a group headed by former team doctor Peter Edwards to keep the Crew in Ohio while exploring the possibility of buying the team. On Friday, the sides announced an agreement, ending speculation about the team’s uncertain future.
Before the Haslams became involved, there was a strong chance the Crew, one of the MLS’ founding franchises, was moving to Austin, Texas. The MLS is expected to put an expansion team in Austin.
England coach Gareth ●
Southgate and his captain Harry Kane have been rewarded in Queen Elizabeth II’s New Year honors list on the back of the team’s surprise run to the World Cup semifinals. Southgate received an OBE, or Officer of the Order of the British Empire, and Kane an MBE, or Member of the Order of the British Empire.
Mixed martial arts
Jones returns in UFC 232: Dana White knew the UFC would take some pretty big hits, both financial and otherwise, when he moved its traditional end-of-the-year show from Las Vegas to Los Angeles on six days’ notice to keep Jon Jones on the card despite his latest positive drug test. Despite the move, UFC 232 is going to sell out the famous Forum on Saturday, even though tickets only went on sale Wednesday, White said.
UFC 232 is headlined by Jones’ return to the sport in a rematch with Alexander Gustafsson for the light heavyweight title. The penultimate bout is featherweight champion Cris “Cyborg” Justino’s superfight with bantamweight champ Amanda Nunes in perhaps the best matchup in women’s MMA history.
Jones (22-1) tested positive for very low levels of an anabolic steroid earlier this year. The result isn’t considered a failed doping test by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, but the Nevada Athletic Commission wanted a hearing on the matter in January. Its California counterpart had no such qualms, prompting the UFC’s extraordinary move.
Shiffrin falls to fifth: Petra Vlhova became the first Slovakian winner of a women’s World Cup giant slalom, benefiting from first-run leader Mikaela Shiffrin’s uncharacteristic second run which saw the Olympic champion drop to fifth. Shiffrin led the race in Semmering, Austria, after a tight opening run with only six hundredths of a second separating the top four racers.
SafeSport CEO quits: Shellie Pfohl is stepping down as CEO of the U.S. Center for SafeSport after helping the organization gain footing over a twoyear period of slow-butsteady progress. Pfohl started in November 2016, and the center opened in March 2017 to become the clearinghouse for all reports of sex abuse in Olympic sports. The center has received more than 1,800 reports and declared nearly 300 individuals permanently ineligible.