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The Sports Report: SoFi Stadium will host some 2026 World Cup matches

SoFi Stadium
(Jeff Miller / Los Angeles Times)
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Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

From Kevin Baxter: The World Cup is coming back to Southern California.

When it will get here, who will be playing and how many games will be held are still to be determined. But where those games will be played was revealed Thursday when FIFA chose Inglewood’s SoFi Stadium as one of 16 venues for the 2026 tournament.

“This is huge for the city of L.A.,” said Galaxy President Chris Klein, a co-chair of the Los Angeles World Cup host committee. “We’re proud of our city and the multicultural nature of our city. But we’re also proud that it’s a soccer city.

“We’re excited to be chosen.”

The 2026 World Cup, the first ever to be hosted by three countries, will be the of the largest and most complex sporting events ever held, with a record 48 teams playing 80 games in the U.S., Mexico and Canada. Sixty of those games will spread over 11 U.S. cities, meaning SoFi will likely play host to multiple matches. Exactly how many won’t be announced for some time.

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And while the nine-hour time difference between Los Angeles and Europe makes venues in the Eastern time zone more logical choices to host the final, the 1994 championship game was played in Pasadena without complaint. Klein said Southern California should again be considered for some of the tournament’s marquee games.

“Our hope is to get some of the biggest matches,” he said. “We feel we have a compelling story. In our opinion, the world’s best venue in the world’s greatest city. So we’re excited to dig in.”

Ten games will be played in Mexico, split among Estadio BBVA in Monterrey, Guadalajara’s Estadio Akron and Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, which will become the first venue to play host to matches in three different World Cups. Ten games will also be played in Canada, at Vancouver’s BC Place, site of the 2015 Women’s World Cup final, and in Toronto’s BMO Field, the smallest stadium chosen with a current capacity of 45,500.

The other 10 U.S. stadiums are Seattle’s Lumen Field, Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., AT&T Stadium in suburban Dallas, NRG Stadium in Houston, Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla., Atlanta’s Mercedes Benz Stadium, Gillette Stadium in suburban Boston, MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. and Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field.

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ANGELS

Mike Trout continued to torment Seattle with his 48th and 49th career home runs against his division foe, Shohei Ohtani tossed six innings of three-hit ball and the Angels beat the Mariners 4-1 on Thursday night in Seattle.

Trout has feasted on Mariners pitching throughout his career and this season appears to be no different. In the first meeting this year between the teams, Trout hit a pair of two-run homers to account for all of the Angels’ offense.

Trout’s first homer came off Seattle starter George Kirby in the third inning. His second came in the seventh against reliever Sergio Romo. Both times, Seattle had two out in the inning but each time Taylor Ward singled to bring Trout to the plate.

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Trout has 30 homers in his career in Seattle, the most of any visiting player at T-Mobile Park. The 49 homers against the Mariners is second-most all-time, trailing only Rafael Palmeiro, who had 52 against Seattle.

It was also his 24th career multi-homer game, seven against Seattle.

DODGERS

From Bill Shaikin: For the first time since 1980, the All-Star game is headed to Dodger Stadium.

And with the Dodgers as the perennial league leaders in attendance, season-ticket holders already have spoken for many of the seats at Dodger Stadium.

That combination of supply and demand — limited supply and pent-up demand — is reflected in the price of available tickets for the July 19 game.

When the Dodgers emailed fans Thursday to let them know tickets were on sale, a click revealed these prices: $622 to $722 for seats primarily on the reserve level or in the outfield pavilions.

————

Hernández: Hail Dave Roberts for letting Tyler Anderson pursue no-hitter despite high pitch count

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GOLF

Adam Hadwin can be excused for the opening round of the U.S. Open — the so-called toughest test in golf — giving him a chance to exhale.

Hadwin was home in Canada last week for his own national open, an even bigger deal because the pandemic had canceled the Canadian Open the previous two years and the golf-mad fans brought enormous energy.

Plus, he has been immune from the endless chatter and speculation of the Saudi-backed rival league that consumed attention all week at The Country Club.

Small wonder he walked off Thursday with a 4-under 66 for this best score in 63 rounds at major championships and a one-shot lead over Rory McIlroy and four others.

“Nice to get down here and a couple of days’ rest and get going for this week,” Hadwin said. “Not that the golf course gets any easier. But yeah, in certain instances it definitely felt a little more relaxed than last week.”

WNBA

Seattle Storm star and five-time Olympic gold medalist Sue Bird announced Thursday that the 2022 season will be her last playing in the WNBA.

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The announcement by Bird, 41, ended any speculation about her future; she had acknowledged in February when she re-signed with Seattle that this would likely be her final season. She strongly considered retirement after last season before choosing to return for a 19th season as a player.

“As the season has gone, like I said, I pretty much knew, and then once I saw the schedule, and then once I started packing for this trip a little bit, I was like, ‘Oh, this is gonna be my last time playing in New York. My last time playing in front of my family and friends.’ And so that’s why the timing of this is what it is,” Bird said in a video posted by the Storm on social media.

OUR OTHER SPORTS NEWSLETTERS

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Prep Rally: Get all your high school sports news and scores delivered to your inbox. Written by Eric Sondheimer. Click here to subscribe.

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Soccer!: Get local and international soccer news once a week in your inbox. Written by Kevin Baxter. Click here to subscribe.

NHL PLAYOFFS

From Helene Elliott: The Kings should be glad Colorado and Tampa Bay are in the Stanley Cup Final.

Of course, they’d rather be representing instead of the West champion Avalanche, who pushed back the Lightning’s Cup three-peat attempt by winning the opener in overtime on Wednesday on Andre Burakovsky’s slick one-timer.

But the way the Avalanche and East champion Tampa Bay constructed their rosters is similar enough to the Kings’ rebuilding strategy to encourage them they’re on the right path back to contending for the Cup again in a few years.

Colorado and Tampa Bay are built around prime draft picks they earned through years of being terrible; the Kings are trying to do the same after missing the playoffs in five of seven seasons before their seven-game loss to Edmonton last month.

STANLEY CUP FINALS
All times Pacific
All games on ABC

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Colorado vs. Tampa Bay
Colorado 4, Tampa Bay 3 (OT)
Saturday at Colorado, 5 p.m.
Monday at Tampa Bay, 5 p.m.
Wednesday at Tampa Bay, 5 p.m.
*Friday, June 24 at Colorado, 5 p.m.
*Sunday, June 26 at Tampa Bay, 5 p.m.
*Tuesday, June 28 at Colorado, 5 p.m.

*-if necessary

NBA PLAYOFFS

From Dan Woike: The ball hit the court just outside of the paint when Stephen Curry darted to it, beating Jayson Tatum to the rebound.

The Warriors 34-year-old star flew up court, zig-zagging to the basket before dumping it to Gary Payton II. Curry, never stopping, then jetted to the far corner where he got the ball back from Payton.

And then for the 3,672nd time in his NBA career, he flicked his wrist and lobbed a shot through the hoop – Curry at his Curry-est for the Warriors first lead in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

By the time the Warriors finished off the Celtics to win their fourth championship since 2015, Curry had demoralized and dominated the Celtics in the kind of way only one of the best to ever do it could.

Taking advantage every time the Celtics’ NBA-best defense blinked, Curry announced he had finished Boston off midway through the third quarter, pointing to his ring finger after a 29-foot three-pointer went through the rim and barely moved the net.

Golden State reclaimed their throne at the top of the NBA, winning 103-90 while becoming just the second team ever to clinch a title in Boston. The 1985 Lakers were the first.

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Schedule and results
NBA FINALS
All times Pacific
All games on ABC

Boston vs. Golden State

Boston 120, Golden State 108
Golden State 107, Boston 88
Boston 116, Golden State 100
Golden State 107, Boston 97
Golden State 104, Boston 94
Golden State 103, Boston 90

THIS DATE IN SPORTS

1954 — Rocky Marciano scores a 15-round unanimous decision over Ezzard Charles at New York to retain the world heavyweight title.

1961 — Gene Littler shoots a 68 in the final round to edge Doug Sanders and Bob Goalby in the U.S. Open.

1962 — Jack Nicklaus beats Arnold Palmer by three strokes in a playoff to win the U.S. Open.

1962 — Brazil beats Czechoslovakia 3-1 in Santiago, Chile to win its second straight FIFA World Cup title. Czechoslovakia scored first on a goal by Josef Masopust at 15 minutes. Two minutes later Amarildo tied the game. In the second half, Zito and Vavá scored goals to give Brazil the victory.

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1973 — Johnny Miller shoots a 63 in the final round to win the U.S. Open by one stroke over John Schlee at Oakmont, Pa. Miller’s 8-under 63 is the first ever carded in a major championship.

1976 — The 18-team NBA absorbs four of the six remaining ABA teams: the New York Nets, Indiana Pacers, San Antonio Spurs and Denver Nuggets.

1979 — Hale Irwin wins the U.S. Open by two strokes over Gary Player and Jerry Pate.

1989 — The Quebec Nordiques select Swedish center Mats Sundin with the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft. He’s the first European player to be taken with the first pick.

1990 — Fifty-year-old Harry Gant becomes the oldest driver to win a NASCAR race as he posts a 2.4-second victory over Rusty Wallace in the Miller 500 at Pocono International Raceway.

1991 — Payne Stewart escapes with a two-stroke victory over Scott Simpson in the highest-scoring U.S. Open playoff in 64 years.

1995 — Claude Lemieux snaps a tie at 3:17 of the third period as the New Jersey Devils open the Stanley Cup finals with a 2-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings. The victory, the ninth on the road, breaks the NHL playoff record for road wins.

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2007 — Angel Cabrera holds off Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk by a stroke to capture the U.S. Open. Cabrera shoots a 1-under-par 69 in the final round at brutal Oakmont (Pa.) Country Club.

2007 — Kate Ziegler breaks swimming’s oldest world record, shattering the 1,500-meter freestyle mark by 9 1/2 seconds at the TYR Meet of Champions Mission Viejo, Calif. Ziegler wins the 30-lap race in 15:42.54, easily erasing Janet Evans’ 1988 mark of 15:52.10 set in Orlando, Fla. At the time, Evans was the first woman to break 16 minutes.

2008 — The Boston Celtics win their 17th NBA title with a stunning 131-92 blowout over the Lakers in Game 6. Kevin Garnett scores 26 points with 14 rebounds, Ray Allen scores 26 and Paul Pierce, the finals MVP, adds 17.

2010 — The Lakers beat Boston for the first time in a Game 7 to repeat as NBA champions. The Lakers win their 16th NBA championship, dramatically rallying from a fourth-quarter 13-point deficit to beat the Celtics 83-79.

2011 — Rory McIlroy becomes the first player in the 111-year history of the U.S. Open to reach 13-under par, and despite a double bogey into the water on the final hole, his 5-under 66 is enough set the 36-hole scoring record at 131.

2012 — Webb Simpson wins the U.S. Open outlasting former U.S. Open champions Jim Furyk and Graeme McDowell.

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2018 — Brooks Koepka wins a second consecutive U.S. Open, the first player to do so since Curtis Strange in 1989.

Compiled by the Associated Press

And finally

The Lakers win the 2010 NBA title. Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

That concludes today’s newsletter. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.

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