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Sporting KC-Livestrong spat leads to new park name

Sporting KC-Livestrong spat leads to new park name

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) The home of Sporting Kansas City has a new name following a disagreement between the Major League Soccer team and the cancer charity founded by Lance Armstrong.

In a statement posted on the team website Tuesday, Sporting KC chief executive Robb Heineman accused Livestrong of ``utilizing aggressive tactics designed to force us into an unsatisfactory arrangement.'' He said the foundation's conduct was particularly surprising considering the organization is ``in the midst of a significant transitional phase.''

Heineman's statement comes one day after Armstrong admitted in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that he used performance-enhancing drugs during an extraordinary cycling career that included seven straight Tour de France victories. The interview is scheduled to air Thursday night.

``Our faith and trust in this partnership have been permanently damaged; therefore we are terminating our agreement with Livestrong, effectively immediately,'' Heineman said. ``As a result of this decision, our stadium will now be referred to as Sporting Park. While we are ending this relationship, our support of the fight against cancer will endure.''

According to ESPN, which was the first to report on the name change, Livestrong recently told Sporting KC it still owed $750,000 of the $1 million promised to the foundation in 2012.

Greg Lee, the chief financial officer for the charity, did not address any details in his emailed statement, but said part of his role is ``to ensure that the terms of the foundation's agreements are adhered to.''

``If a partner is struggling to meet the terms of an agreement, we do everything possible to reach a fair and reasonable compromise,'' he said. ``If no compromise can be reached, as good stewards of our brand, mission and donors' dollars, we have no choice but to bring that agreement to an end. That is the case here.''

Heineman said the $250,000 that the team paid Livestrong for 2012 fulfilled its contractual obligation to the charity.

Armstrong resigned from the board of directors for Livestrong in November, hoping to avoid further damage for the charity in the wake of a report by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that accused him of helping run ``the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen'' within his U.S. Postal Service and Discovery Channel teams.

Before this week's interview with Winfrey, Armstrong had long denied doping, and Sporting KC had said as late as last summer that it planned to leave the name of the stadium in place.

Sporting KC announced its partnership with Livestrong in March 2011, and the team's $200 million state-of-the-art soccer stadium opened that June.

The naming rights deal differed from traditional agreements in that Livestrong did not pay to have its name on the stadium. Instead, the club promised to donate $7.5 million in stadium revenues to the organization over six years.

Sporting Park is scheduled to host the MLS All-Star game on July 31.

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Tom Wilson puts on a show in his hometown to lead Capitals over Toronto

Tom Wilson puts on a show in his hometown to lead Capitals over Toronto

Tom Wilson's two-point night including the shorthanded game-winner as the Capitals held on for a 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs Thursday. The win was Washington's third on their six-game road trip, which concludes Saturday in Buffalo.

Here are four reasons Washington won.

1. Braden Holtby’s first period

After the first period, it looked like we were going to have a goalie duel. Frederik Andersen looked absolutely brilliant to start and the Caps needed Holtby to be equally brilliant to keep Washington in it. He was.

Holtby made 12 of his 40 saves in the opening frame, including an absolute beauty to rob Patrick Marleau. Andersen robbed Michal Kempny and Nicklas Backstrom on one end of the ice and Toronto picked up the puck off the rebound for a quick 2-on-1 counter. Kasperi Kapanen fed Marleau beautifully, but Holtby stretched out to make the spectacular save with the blocker. A few minutes later, Holtby made a quick pad save on a William Nylander backhand, then recovered just in time to deny Connor Brown on the rebound attempt.

Because of Holtby’s efforts, both teams went to the locker room locked in a 0-0 tie.

2. Alex Ovechkin draws a penalty, scores the power play goal

Morgan Rielly does not take many penalties. Heading into Thursday’s game, Rielly had taken only two minor penalties all season, which is pretty remarkable when you think about a top defenseman averaging 22:43 of ice time per game.

In the second period, however, Ovechkin managed to draw a hold on Rielly. When you get a team’s top defenseman in the box, you need to take advantage. The Caps did just that off a quick play off a faceoff.

T.J. Oshie won the draw back to John Carlson. As soon as the draw was taken, Ovechkin backed away towards the top of the opposite faceoff circle. Toronto was slow to setup the defense, so when Carlson fed Ovechkin for the one-timer, he had an open shooting lane on net. Ovechkin delivered a fadeaway one-timer from above the circle and beat Andersen glove side.

3. A key forecheck by Tom Wilson

Brett Connolly made a nice play in front of the net to deke around the stretched pad of Andersen and backhand the puck into the open goal. Wilson made that play happen, however, with a great forecheck.

Jake Gardiner went to recover the puck behind the goal line in the defensive zone, but Wilson came streaking in like a freight train and knocked Gardiner off the puck. Lars Eller pounced on the loose puck and fed Connolly in front of the net. He did the rest.

4. The Tom Wilson shorthanded exclamation point

Washington carried a 2-0 lead into the third period and looked to be the better team, but a goal form Andreas Johnsson put the Maple Leafs right back in it. The ice was definitely tilting in Toronto’s favor and less than 90 seconds after Johnsson scored, John Carlson took a hooking penalty.

With the game on the line, however, the penalty kill delivered.

Holtby made a kick-out save and two Leafs went after the rebound, but Brooks Orpik made a key stick lift on Mitch Marner and Eller beat Johnsson to the puck and had a lane for the breakout. Wilson turned on the jets and hustled out of the zone to try to catch up with Eller for the 2-on-1. He got there just in time and Eller delivered the pass to him just past the blue line. Wilson took aim and fired a wrister past Andersen to end any hopes for a comeback.

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Capitals fan finishes late wife's dream of watching DC at every NHL arena

Capitals fan finishes late wife's dream of watching DC at every NHL arena

To watch the entire video, click "play" in the video player above.

Capitals fan Greg Christian and his late wife, Dona, made a plan to watch their favorite team at every NHL arena. Greg finally achieved that goal.

Gred attended the Caps' tilt with the Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena on Jan. 23, taking with him a picture of Dona sporting a Hockey Fights Cancer jersey.

Greg and his wife were long-time Caps fans, and spent road trips talking about hockey and sports. They were soon inspired to follow the Caps on the road and make it to every possible venue to watch them play.

However, those plans would be interrupted in April 2017, when Dona was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. The two made it to 34 NHL venues together before she passed away in November, last taking in a Caps game at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, according to the Washington Post.

The two have now seen Washington play at 36 venues, including two past arenas and three stadiums. And once Seattle gets an NHL franchise, Greg told WUSA9 he plans to be in attendance.

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