IFK Maryland has joined the Northeast-based American Soccer League for the 2016 season, the league announced. "It's simply a dream come true for me, I was one of those players coming out of high school and college that had to go overseas to further my development simply because the opportunity didn't exist in the Baltimore area," IFK president Chris Saul said. "Now, players will have that opportunity through us to pursue this dream and we will challenge ourselves to ensure we are developing these guys. My first goal is always going to be to develop these players so their careers take them to levels that only had dreamed of before." The ASL, which formed in 2014, also includes a team in Hyattsville, the Evergreen Diplomats.
Major Arena Soccer League: The Blast resigned defender Karou Forbess (Maryland) and forward Levi Houapeu (UMBC) and signed defender Eli Galbraith-Knapp, who played outdoors this summer for the Tulsa Roughnecks in the USL. Blast goalkeeper Phil Saunders (UMBC, Perry Hall) will be out indefinitely after offseason wrist surgery.
Baker, Gardenhire interested in Nats job; O's Matusz has surgery
Asked what traits he would look for in a future manager of the Washington Nationals, general manager Mike Rizzo listed several, including managerial experience. Matt WilliamsAnd of the pool of available candidates, Dusty Baker and Ron Gardenhire rank near the top in accomplishments. Baker was a three-time National League Manager of the Year — 1993, 1997 and 2000 with the San Francisco Giants — but hasn't managed since 2013 with the Cincinnati Reds. Gardenhire was the American League Manager of the Year in 2010 and won six AL Central titles before being fired in 2014 after 13 years at the helm of the Minnesota Twins. Both want to get back into managing again and have interest in the Nationals vacancy. It doesn't appear there is any reciprocal interest in either yet, or if there will be.
—James Wagner, The Washington Post
Orioles: Relief pitcher Brian Matusz had successful arthroscopic surgery on his right nonthrowing shoulder Monday and expects to have a normal offseason and be ready for spring training in 2016. Matusz's procedure, which was performed by Ravens team orthopedist Dr. Leigh Ann Curl in Baltimore, included the repair of the AC joint and cleaning out about a centimeter of arthritic bone. Matusz said recovery should take about a month, at which time he should be able to throw and prepare for the coming season as usual. Matusz timed the surgery for right after the season so it wouldn't interfere with his offseason routine.
For more of Eduardo A. Encina's blog post about Matusz, go to baltimoresun.com/oriolesinsider.
Panel on women in sports set for Tuesday at Maryland
The Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism will host a panel discussion, "Women in Sports, After the World Cup," from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday in the Eaton Theater of Knight Hall at Maryland. USA Today sports editor David Meeks, Maryland deputy athletics director and chief operating officer Kelly Mehrtens, Maryland women's basketball player Chloe Pavlech, D.C. United director of digital content and former Maryland women's soccer player Lindsay Simpson, and basketball commentator and former Maryland women's basketball player Christy Winters-Scott will discuss their thoughts and experiences on the subject. George Solomon, director of the Shirley Povich Center, will moderate.
NHL: Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom is expected to miss a handful of games at the start of the season as he works his way back from hip surgery. General manager Brian MacLellan said the team originally thought Backstrom, who led the league with 60 assists last season, could miss from zero to 10 games, but "now it seems to be four or five games." The Capitals open the season at home Saturday night against the New Jersey Devils.
NBA: Otto Porter scored 22 points, Bradley Beal had 19 and the host Washington Wizards took control in the second half to beat the visiting Philadelphia 76ers, 129-95, on Tuesday night in the preseason opener for both teams. Porter shot 8-for-10 and made all four 3-point attempts. Living up to offseason expectations of taking more shots from beyond the arc, Washington made 15 of 26. John Wall had 10 points and nine assists in 20 minutes for the Wizards. Rookie center Jahlil Okafor scored 12 points in his NBA debut for Philadelphia.
More basketball: The Harlem Globetrotters will play Dec. 26 at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. at Royal Farms Arena as part of their 90th Anniversary World Tour. Tickets start at $18 and are available at harlemglobetrotters.com, ticketmaster.com, the Royal Farms Arena box office, or by phone at 800-745-3000.
College wrestling: Maryland named Ganbayar Sanjaa as a volunteer assistant and Frank Goodwin, a 2015 Maryland graduate, as an administrative assistant.
College field hockey: Maryland senior Sarah Sprink was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week and freshman Linnea Gonzales (Patterson Mill) Freshman of the Week.