IN BRIEF

COLLEGES

Southern California QB eyes return for opener

Southern California quarterback Mark Sanchez, who dislocated his left kneecap and was carted off the practice field earlier this month, is feeling much better and said he hopes to be ready when the No. 3 Trojans open the season at Virginia on Aug. 30.

“I’m optimistic about it. We’re ahead of schedule,” Sanchez said after taking some drops, throwing some passes and doing a bit of light jogging Monday.

Sanchez, the projected starter for USC, was injured Aug. 8 after making a throw and landing awkwardly. He was taken for X-rays and an MRI, and team doctors said there is no ligament, cartilage or bone damage.

Also: Virginia Tech suspended receiver Zach Luckett indefinitely for a violation of team policy.

Coach Frank Beamer had no further comment beyond announcing the suspension of the redshirt sophomore, who played in all 14 games last season and was expected to start this season.

Also: Louisville wide receiver Scott Long, a junior, will be out indefinitely after breaking a bone in his foot.

Coach Steve Kragthorpe said Long will have surgery in the next couple of days.

Durango High School point guard Mia Bell committed to UNLV. She was second team all-state as a junior after averaging 15.3 points, 5.4 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 3.4 steals per game. Kansas State, New Mexico, Arizona and Arizona State also were recruiting her.

NCAA rules do not allow new UNLV women’s basketball coach Kathy Olivier to comment.

BASEBALL

Florida team advances in Little League Series

Facing elimination, the team from Tampa, Fla., put together a late rally to beat Shelton, Conn., 8-2 in seven innings to advance to the U.S. semifinals at the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa.

Tyler Tice’s single had given Connecticut a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth before Kevin Merrell tied it in the top of the sixth with a homer. Danny Lastra’s homer to open the seventh led to a six-run outburst that broke open the game.

In other games, Mill Creek, Wash., beat Hagerstown, Md., 15-5 on the strength of five home runs; Mexico hit four homers in a 10-0 shutout of Guam; Keelen Obadoza’s two-run homer in the fifth broke a tie to help Waipahu, Hawaii, beat Rapid City, S.D., 6-4; and Curacao smacked four homers in a 14-1 win over Italy.

MISCELLANEOUS

MLS’s Galaxy tabs Arena as new coach

Former U.S. national team coach Bruce Arena was hired as coach and general manager of David Beckham’s Los Angeles Galaxy, which hasn’t won a game in over two months.

Arena will make his debut Thursday night against the Chicago Fire — when Beckham and forward Landon Donovan will be missing because of national team duty.

Arena succeeds Ruud Gullit, who resigned last week. President and general manager Alexi Lalas was fired the same day.

Also: An exercise rider for trainer Steve Asmussen was placed in a medically induced coma after suffering a head injury in a riding accident at Saratoga Springs, N.Y.

Parker Buckley, 40, was in critical condition at Albany Medical Center after the training accident.

Wesley Bryan and Andrew Putnam each shot 3-under 67 to lead after the first round of stroke-play qualifying at the U.S. Amateur in Pinehurst, N.C.

Las Vegan Brady Exber had a solid first round, shooting 69 to tie for ninth. The top 64 players after today’s second round advance to match play.

Joe Sawaia, who fired a second-round 67, shot 75 in the third round but hung on to win the Nevada State Mid Amateur with a 215 total at Cascata Golf Club.

Frank Acker (72) was two shots back in second place.

A day after winning an Olympic gold medal in Beijing, Rafael Nadal officially unseated Roger Federer to become the world’s No. 1 tennis player in the ATP rankings.

Federer had been atop the rankings for 235 weeks.

Juan Martin del Potro, who has won four straight times on the ATP Tour, withdrew from this week’s Pilot Pen tournament for undisclosed reasons.

A continuance was issued in the Title IX case pitting the father of a Green Valley High School student against the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association, canceling a preliminary injunction hearing that had been scheduled for Friday.

Both Eric Johnson, the father of Green Valley soccer player Emma Johnson, and Eddie Bonine, NIAA executive director, declined comment.

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