Digest (Jan. 3): Laurel Park cancels racing on Friday because of cold

Extreme cold temperatures in the Mid-Atlantic region has caused the Maryland Jockey Club to cancel live racing Friday. Forecasts call for a high of 19 degrees Friday with lows in the single digits and winds gusting to 19 mph. Friday's nine-race card has been moved to Monday to be run as drawn. The program includes the $100,000 Thirty Eight Go Go for fillies and mares 4 and older in Race 7 and the $100,000 Dave's Friend for 4-year-olds and up in Race 8. M M G Stables' multiple Grade 3 winner El Areeb is entered to make his 4-year-old debut in the Dave's Friend with Trevor McCarthy named to ride for the first time in Maryland since being injured in a May 2016 spill at Monmouth Park. El Areeb is among 11 horses returning from the Dec. 30 race along with multiple stakes winners Recruiting Ready, unraced since early June, Never Gone South and Afleet Willy; graded-stakes winners Ready for Rye and Favorite Tale; Jacks or Better Farm homebreds Fellowship and multiple graded-stakes winner Awesome Banner, who have combined for 10 wins and nearly $1.5 million in purse earnings; Irish Colonel, Struth and Schivarelli.

ET CETERA

Vettori hired to coachTowson U. women's soccer

Katherine Vettori, a former coach at Loyola Maryland, has been named the women's soccer coach at Towson University. Vettori becomes the sixth head coach since the program was founded for the 1993 season. Since 2014, Vettori has served as the director for the Vettori Elite Soccer Academy in the Towson area. Vettori also was the director of coaching and player development with the Towson United Girls Soccer team. In a two-year span, the youth travel program has more than doubled from seven teams to 18. Vettori led Loyola to Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship game berths in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012. She also served as an assistant at Maryland from 1998 to 2001 and was a standout player at Duke from 1992 to 1995.

Men's college water polo: Former Navy water polo standout Luis Nicolao was named Navy's coach. Nicolao returns to Annapolis after 20 years as coach of Princeton's men's and women's teams. During his tenure with the Tigers, he had a combined 868-316 (.733) record. Nicolao was a three-time All-American and All-East selection for the Midshipmen, graduating as the school's all-time leader in points (377) and goals scored (282).

MAJOR LEAGUE soccer: D.C. United will play two home matches at alternative locations — most likely in Maryland — and about a dozen away games before Audi Field opens this summer. MLS is tentatively planning to announce the complete 2018 schedule today. Before the holidays, the league unveiled all 23 home openers, including United vs. Houston Dynamo on March 17 at a venue to be determined. The other D.C. home date this spring, league sources said, will be April 14 against the Columbus Crew. United are in the process of finalizing both venues, which are subject to the league's approval, and will announce them in the coming weeks. According to sources, Maryland SoccerPlex in Montgomery County (5,200 capacity) is the front-runner for the first home match and Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis (34,000) is the favorite for the second game.

— Steven Goff, The Washington Post

NATIONAL WOMEN'S soccer LEAGUE: Washington Spirit forward Mallory Pugh was named to Jill Ellis' 26-player roster for the United States women's national team's first training camp and friendly of 2018. The Team USA camp starts Saturday at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, Calif., and ends Jan. 21 with the 2018 curtain-raiser against Denmark at San Diego County Credit Union Stadium (7:30 p.m. on ESPN).

NBA: The Washington Wizards assigned forward Chris McCullough to the Wisconsin Herd of the G-League and waived forward Mike Young.

From Sun staff and news services

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