MLS Soccer

SOCCER: Galaxy to Beckham: No loan for you!

The Los Angeles Galaxy says David Beckham is expected back with the team next month rather than going on loan to another club during the Major League Soccer offseason.

The 35-year-old midfielder said after an awards ceremony that he hoped to play in Europe during the winter to boost his chances of being recalled to England’s national team.

Beckham spent the past two winters at AC Milan but the Galaxy is reluctant to send him out on loan again after he injured an Achilles’ tendon while playing in Italy in March.

ADDED TIME

Landon Donovan and Abby Wambach have been honored by the U.S. Soccer Federation as athletes of the year, each for the fourth time. … Tim Howard made a series of outstanding saves in the second half, helping Everton to a 2-1 upset win at Manchester City on Monday that prevented the hosts from taking what would have been their first league lead at Christmas since 1929. Manchester City (9-4-5) has 32 points, two behind Premier League leader Manchester United (9-0-7). … Goalkeeper Hope Solo and midfielder Tobin Heath are returning to the U.S. women’s team following injuries. Solo, who played at the University of Washington, had shoulder surgery in September. … Samuel Eto’o has been voted African player of the year for a record fourth time. The forward for Inter Milan and Cameroon finished ahead of Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan and Ivory Coast’s Didier Drogba.

ETC.

Rick Pitino is taking on another rebuilding project. The only men’s college basketball coach to lead three teams to the Final Four has agreed to coach the Puerto Rico national team next summer in the FIBA Tournament of the Americas with an eye toward qualifying for the 2012 Olympics. … The NHL will begin setting up the Winter Classic rink at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field within an hour after the Panthers-Steelers game ends Thursday night. The Penguins will play the Capitals in the New Year’s Day outdoor game. … Sean O’Hair, ranked No. 43, is the only American among 12 players not already exempt for the Masters who qualified through the world ranking. There are no tournaments the rest of the year. The final 2010 ranking became available Monday. Among other criteria, the Masters invites players in the top 50 at the end of the year. The ranking is mainly for players who are not PGA Tour members and have fewer avenues to qualify, such as winning a tour event or getting into the FedEx Cup finale. The other 11 qualifiers include brothers Francesco and Edoardo Molinari, Robert Karlsson, Charl Schwartzel and Ryo Ishikawa. Puyallup’s Ryan Moore has qualified.

McClatchy news services

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