East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, December 21, 2017, Page Page 3B, Image 11

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Thursday, December 21, 2017
East Oregonian
Page 3B
Pro Soccer
Nashville wins expansion bid, becomes MLS’ 24th franchise
Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Major
League Soccer is continuing its
expansion into the southeast,
awarding Nashville the fi rst of its
newest expansion franchises as
MLS’ 24th team .
Commissioner Don Garber made
the announcement Wednesday at a
news conference with Tennessee
Gov. Bill Haslam, Nashville Mayor
Megan Barry and John R. Ingram,
head of the group now bringing an
MLS team to Nashville.
“Nashville is a rising city with a
passionate soccer fan base, a dedi-
cated ownership group and civic
leaders that truly believe in this
sport,” Garber said in a statement.
“Nashville continues its ascent as
one of America’s most dynamic
communities, with its incredible
energy and creativity. For us, that
makes it a perfect place for MLS
Nashville and Sacramento,
California, had been viewed as the
favorites for the league’s newest
teams, with Cincinnati and Detroit
AP Photo/Mark Humphrey
Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber, left, presents a
scarf to John Ingram, chairman of Ingram Industries Inc., as Gar-
ber announces that Nashville, Tenn. has been awarded a Major
League Soccer franchise Wednesday in Nashville, Tenn. Ingram is
the head of the group seeking to bring the team to Nashville.
the other fi nalists. A decision on
the second area picked is expected
within a few weeks. Atlanta United
joined Minnesota United this year
as MLS’ latest expansion teams.
Nashville Soccer Holdings,
LLC includes Ingram, chairman
of Ingram Industries Inc., and the
Wilf family, owner of the NFL’s
Minnesota Vikings. Ingram said
it was a landmark day both for
Nashville and the area’s loyal
soccer fans who made a strong case
for why the league needs to be in
Music City.
“We will have a team that
everyone can be proud of, and
we will take a leadership role in
enhancing the growth of the sport
in a region that already has a
passionate soccer culture,” Ingram
said. “Nashville is going to be a
very worthy addition to MLS.”
The Metro Nashville City
Council on Nov. 7 approved
$225 million in revenue bonds
to construct a 27,500-seat soccer
stadium and an additional $50
million in bonds for renovations
and improvements around the site
at the current fairgrounds.
This announcement brings
another league into Tennessee.
Nashville has an NFL franchise
in the Tennessee Titans, which
arrived from Houston in 1997. The
Predators began play in 1998 as an
NHL expansion franchise and lost
to Pittsburgh in this year’s Stanley
Cup Final.
Music City has been hosting
soccer at the Titans’ Nissan
Men’s College Basketball
Gonzaga gets big boost from younger players
Associated Press
SPOKANE, Wash. —
When No. 12 Gonzaga lost
four key players from a team
that fi nished as the national
runner up last season, many
wondered if the Bulldogs
would play up to their usual
standard this year.
Wonder no more.
Three freshmen and two
sophomores have helped
the Zags (10-2) pick up
right where they left off.
Corey Kispert became
the fi rst true freshman
to start his fi rst Gonzaga
game since Elias Harris in
2009. Redshirt freshmen
Zach Norvell Jr. is a
scoring machine, while
freshman Jacob Larsen is
contributing in the post.
Sophomores Killian Tillie
and Rui Hachimura are also
bringing solid production in
the front court.
“We’re a lot better than I
thought we were, initially,”
junior guard Josh Perkins
said. “We haven’t peaked
Kispert played well
in starting the fi rst seven
games but hurt his ankle
against Incarnate Word
and has been slowed the
past few games. Norvell
replaced him in the starting
lineup and is scoring nearly
18 points per game over his
past six games.
“He’s a young guy who
is getting more confi dent
and more comfortable,”
Perkins said. “It’s scary.”
Norvell is the fi rst Zag
to record 20-point games in
his fi rst two starts since Josh
Heytvelt in 2006.
“He plays with big,
tough Chicago swagger,”
said Kispert, who expects
to be fully recovered by the
time conference play begins
next week.
Norvell said he is “just
Stadium in recent years and
impressed Garber this summer
when the U.S. played Panama in
its CONCACAF Gold Cup opener.
The July 8 game drew 42,622 fans
to Nissan Stadium, and 56,232
attended a preseason exhibition on
July 29 between Manchester City
and Tottenham. A U.S. women’s
national team match against France
in March 2016 was attended by
Nashville’s stadium proposal
also includes private development
of 10 acres around the stadium
and renovation of the fairgrounds.
The stadium could open by March
2021 with bonds approved on the
condition Nashville receive an
expansion franchise from MLS.
Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle on
Monday dismissed a lawsuit fi led
in Tennessee Chancery Court’s
20th Judicial District by a group
called Save Our Fairgrounds and 11
individuals. They were attempting
to obtain court orders blocking a
stadium to preserve the site for the
state fair, auto racing and regular
fl ea markets.
(AP Photo/Young Kwak
Gonzaga guard Zach Norvell Jr. (23) shoots against
IUPUI during a game on Dec.18 in Spokane, Wash.
staying confi dent and
sticking with it.”
“The guys always
having confi dence in me is
really big,” Norvell said. “I
keep taking my shots and
have confi dence they’re
going in.”
Coach Mark Few is
seeking more from Norvell.
“I’ve been looking for
growth on the defensive end
and growth in shot selection
and kind of understanding
what’s good and what isn’t
so good,” Few said.
Asked if Norvell would
remain in the starting fi ve
after Kispert is healthy, Few
gave a stock answer.
“We’ll see how it all
plays out,” Few said. “I
never have been really
concerned with starting. I
know my kids are, other
people are. It’s not that big
a deal to me.”
Among the other young
Zags, Tillie is averaging
nearly 12 points and
6.5 rebounds per game.
Hachimura, who is from
Japan, is averaging almost
10 per game. Larsen, a
6-foot-11 center, scored
10 points and grabbed fi ve
rebounds against No. 1
The young Zags are
augmented by seniors Silas
Melson and Johnathan
Williams and Perkins.
“We’ve got a lot of new
faces here,” Melson said.
“We’ve handled it well.”
Through 12 games, the
young Zags have led the
team in scoring seven times
and in rebounding nine
Tillie led them in both
categories when he scored
27 points and grabbed 10
rebounds against IUPUI on
Kispert said the young
Zags are seeing more
playing time because of the
early departures after last
season of Nigel Williams-
Goss and Zack Collins, who
helped lead Gonzaga to the
national title game, where
the Bulldogs fell to North
“It was kind of out of
necessity that we fi lled in
and stepped in,” Kispert
said. “We feel like we were
Few noted that young
players making big contri-
butions are nothing new
for the Zags. Collins was a
freshman who came off the
bench last season and was
still an NBA lottery pick.
“That’s the nature of the
beast right now in college
basketball,” Few said.
“Guys have got to come
in and they’ve got to be
At Gonzaga, the expec-
tations come even earlier
than at other perennial Top
25 programs.
That’s because the Bull-
dogs typically play a brutal
non-conference schedule to
make up for the fact that the
West Coast Conference is
lightly regarded.
This season, Gonzaga
has already played Ohio
State, Florida and Texas
in the PK80 Invitational in
Portland, Oregon, followed
by games against No. 25
Creighton at home, against
No. 1 Villanova in New
York City and at Wash-
“In those games we are
playing against the top of
the heap as far as athleti-
cism and talent,” Few said.
“That’s why we schedule
those games.”
“It’s like an early March
Madness for us,” Perkins
Wofford stuns No. 5
North Carolina at in
Chapel Hill
(AP) — Fletcher Magee scored
27 points to help Wofford stun
No. 5 North Carolina 79-75 on
Wednesday night, snapping the
reigning national champion’s
23-game home winning streak.
The Terriers (8-4) led the
entire second half and by as
many as 14 points before
holding off UNC’s late-game
run for a huge road win and
their fi rst win over a ranked
team in 24 games.
The Tar Heels (10-2) got
within a point twice and missed
four 3-pointers for the tie in the
fi nal 6 minutes. But they never
could overtake the Terriers,
who played confi dently and
kept counter-punching every
time UNC made a run.
The Terriers closed it out
with four straight free throws
in the fi nal 15.2 seconds to seal
it, then mobbed each other at
midcourt as the horn sounded
and the Tar Heels headed to the
locker room.
Joel Berry II scored 23
points to lead UNC, which
suffered its fi rst loss to an
unranked team while ranked
in the top fi ve since falling
to Boston College in January
UNC: This wasn’t the way
the Tar Heels wanted to follow
a tough weekend road win
at No. 21 Tennessee. They
were often sloppy with the
ball, spent much of the game
missing shots and struggling to
get consistent defensive stops.
UNC: The Tar Heels face
Ohio State on Saturday in
New Orleans for the CBS
Sports Classic.
Rays trade 3B Evan
Longoria to Giants
— The San Francisco Giants
found the offense-producing
third baseman they sought
this offseason, acquiring
Evan Longoria and cash
from the Tampa Bay Rays
on Wednesday for outfi elder
Denard Span, infi elder
Christian Arroyo and two
minor league pitchers.
The 32-year-old Longoria
leaves Tampa Bay as the
longest-tenured player
in franchise history, after
spending nearly 10 seasons
in a Rays uniform. He is the
club’s all-time leader with
1,435 games played, 261 home
runs and 892 RBIs. Of the
30 postseason games in Rays
history, all 30 have featured
Longoria starting at third base.
Longoria batted .261 with
20 homers and 86 RBIs last
season. He is expected to
fi ll a signifi cant void for San
Francisco at third, where the
Giants mixed and matched
during a surprising last-place
season in 2017. Longoria has
played at least 156 games in
each of the past fi ve seasons.
He was the AL Rookie of the
Year in 2008 and won three
Gold Gloves.
In November 2012,
Longoria received a $136.6
million, 10-year contract
with Tampa Bay that added
six guaranteed seasons and
$100 million to his previous
deal. It includes a team option
for 2023 that could make
the agreement worth $144.6
million over 11 years.
The 33-year-old Span has
hit .283 with 60 homers and
432 RBIs over 10 years in the
majors, but San Francisco was
looking for more athleticism
and steady defense in the
outfi eld.
Arroyo, a fi rst-round draft
pick out of high school in
2013, was one of the Giants’
top prospects but didn’t play
in the majors after June 2
because of a broken left hand.
He batted .192 with three
homers and 14 RBIs in 34
games. The Giants also are
sending right-hander Stephen
Woods and left-hander Matt
Krook to the Rays.
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104 Special Notices
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Closed Saturday
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Milton Freewater, Oregon
Closing for the season
December 22.
to place your classified ad!
502 Real Estate
Attention Sellers, Winter can be
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