Sports

Soccer star Alex Morgan announces knee injury, out remainder of 2019 season

Eric Lars Bakke / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) -- Orlando Pride star forward Alex Morgan will miss the rest of the NWSL season due to a knee injury and took to social media Monday to address the setback.

"This year has had the highest of highs but along with that comes challenges and sometimes even falling short of my goals I set for myself in 2019," she wrote alongside three photos on Instagram. "I’m disappointed I won’t be able to compete with the Pride for the remainder of 2019 due to a knee injury I’ve been managing since the World Cup, and that I can’t be there to help my teammates and my club have more success. Thank you fans, friends, teammates, and teams for all your support. I have already started physical therapy in LA and am eager to get back on the field doing what I love."

Morgan, who competed with the Pride in six National Women’s Soccer League matches before the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup and two matches after, sustained a patella stress reaction in her right knee, according to the Orlando Pride. Morgan was ruled out for the conclusion of the season and the team said it stemmed from a prior injury she sustained while playing with the U.S. women's national team, which Morgan also confirmed.

"It’s obviously difficult to lose a player of Alex’s caliber due to injury," Orlando Pride General Manager Erik Ustruck said. "However, after consulting with the Club’s medical team at Orlando Health and U.S. Soccer, we felt it was in the best interest of Alex’s long-term health to shut her down for the season to focus on the rehabilitation process and take the appropriate time to recover from the lingering knee injury.”

The 30-year-old California native has scored 18 of her 33 career goals with the Pride since joining them in 2016.

Shortly after the team's World Cup win, Morgan took home another trophy when she received the 2019 ESPY Award for Best Female Athlete.

As co-captain of the USWNT, Morgan tied a record, which stood from Michelle Akers when the World Cup tournament began in 1991, for most goals scored in a single women's soccer game with five in the win over Thailand.

The Orlando Pride will face Sky Blue football club in New Jersey on Sept. 29, the first of their final three games to be played without Morgan.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Report: Steelers acquiring Minkah Fitzpatrick from Dolphins

Allen Kee / ESPN Images(PITTSBURGH) -- The Pittsburgh Steelers have reportedly snatched Minkah Fitzpatrick from the Miami Dolphins.

Citing sources, ESPN reports the Steelers are getting the 22-year-old defensive back in exchange for a first-round pick in the 2020 NFL draft.

Fitzpatrick began his career with the Dolphins after the team drafted him in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft. However, sources tell ESPN he sought a trade from Miami because he was not pleased with having to play multiple positions.

Two weeks in to this NFL season, both the Dolphins and the Steelers have a record of 0-2.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Scoreboard roundup -- 9/16/19

iStock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Monday's sports events:

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Detroit 5, Baltimore 2
Minnesota 5, Chicago White Sox 3
Kansas City 6, Oakland, 5

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Milwaukee 5, San Diego 1
St. Louis 4, Washington 2
Chi Cubs 8, Cincinnati 2
Colorado 9, New York Mets 4
Arizona 7, Miami 5

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
Cleveland 23, New York Jets 3

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Olympian Nadia Comaneci helps young Indian duo with viral video score gymnastics scholarships

Twitter/@nadiacomaneci10(KOLKATA, India) -- Two children from India, have been promised gymnastics scholarships from the Sports Authority of India after a video of them doing cartwheels and flips on their way to school went viral on social media and was shared by five-time Olympic gold medalist Nadia Comaneci.

The video, which captured Jashika Khan, 11, and Mohammad Azajuddin, 12, was recorded by their dance coach, Shekhar Rao, founder of Eternities Dance Academy in Kolkata, India.

For the last five years, Rao has offered free dance training to children in the city who cannot afford to pay for lessons.

"This is awesome," Comaneci tweeted on Aug. 29 after seeing the video.

This is awesome pic.twitter.com/G3MxCo0TzG

— Nadia Comaneci (@nadiacomaneci10) August 29, 2019

A day later, Kiren Rijiju, the Indian minister of state for youth affairs and sports, shared Comaneci's post, saying that he wanted to be introduced to the kids.

Jashika told ABC News on Friday that she could not believe that Comaneci, her inspiration, had seen and shared the video on Twitter. Jashika said she was now looking forward to starting her gymnastics career.

The kids are currently in the enrollment process, submitting paperwork and medical records, according to Reshma Khatoon, Jashika's mother. If approved, they will be able to formally start training with the Sports Authority of India.

"I am a huge fan of Nadia Comeneci and I want to meet her and be like her," Jashika said. "I want to go to the Olympics one day and make my country proud."

In an interview with ABC News on Thursday, Comaneci said that she was surprised that her tweet went viral but said that she is happy the Sports Authority of India has stepped up to help the two children.

"I thought the video was so cool and spontaneous -- two kids going to school with their backpacks and then they throw in a couple of gymnastics skills," Comaneci said. "I just want to wish them good luck, enjoy what they do and be happy, and I hope I get to meet them at some point."

Rao, the children's dance coach, told ABC News on Thursday that he felt there was something special about Jashika and Mohammad from the moment he started giving them dance lessons four years ago.

"I knew from the beginning that these kids were very talented," Rao told ABC News. "Something that would take anyone else a week to learn, they could learn in an hour."

Khatoon told ABC News that her family has always struggled to put food on the table and that the family often was unable to buy school supplies for Jashika and her two siblings. But now, she said, she is happy that the viral video has given her daughter an opportunity to follow her dreams.

"From a young age, she would jump over walls whenever she saw one, but I never realized that it would lead to something like this," Khatoon said. "I can't put into words how proud I am of her. I hope her story inspires other children to follow their passions."

Rao said that he hopes the other students in his dance academy will also get more support as a result of Jashika and Mohammad's story going viral. Currently, the children practice on a hard surface and he wants to be able to provide mats for them in the future.

"I am very happy for these two kids, but there are lots of slum children who are talented but their stories are not heard," Rao said. "I hope more people will pay attention now."

Although social media did not exist when Comaneci started her gymnastics career in Romania, it was also her doing cartwheels in school that caught the attention of gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi.

"I was doing some cartwheels in kindergarten when Bela came to ask all the kids if they could do cartwheels," Comaneci said. "So it started with a cartwheel for me, too. You never know where a cartwheel can take you."

Comaneci told ABC News that she is glad she could make a difference for the kids by sharing the video on social media.

"I think that every kid should have an opportunity to play sports, and there are a lot of kids who don’t have those opportunities because they come from a difficult background or they cannot afford to do that," Comaneci said. "If I can change the life of someone, using sports or social media, I think that’s amazing."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Cancer survivor David Quessenberry gets first NFL touchdown catch

33ft/iStock(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) -- The Tennessee Titans pulled off an epic touchdown pass to offensive lineman David Quessenberry on Sunday, which made his fourth career NFL game extra special for the cancer survivor.

The 1-yard pass from quarterback Marcus Mariota notched the offensive tackle's first touchdown in the NFL.

"It was a simple route --- any of the offensive linemen on this team could have caught that ball," Quessenberry said after the game. "I just happened to be the guy who had his number called on that play and was able to come down with it. All I was thinking was, 'Don’t drop it.'"

But what made the moment even more memorable, Quessenberry was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in June 2014 while he was with the Houston Texans and battled back to make the final 53-man roster with the Titans this year.

"I have been through a lot, and it has been a long journey to get here," Quessenberry said. “Even with all of that, to go out there and score a touchdown, it is crazy. That was amazing. It was epic."

In February 2015, his cancer went into remission after radiation was completed and once he completed his full treatment in April 2017, he returned to practice with the team before moving to Tennessee last year.

Quessenberry's teammates rushed the end zone upon his TD catch at their home opener in Nissan Stadium on Sunday, but the team fell short to the Indianapolis Colts 19-17.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Report: Decision on Roethlisberger elbow surgery expected Monday

Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images(PITTSBURGH) -- The Pittsburgh Steelers will reportedly find out just how severe Ben Roethlisberger’s elbow injury is on Monday.

The 37-year-old quarterback had to leave Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks in the second quarter after hurting his elbow following an attempted pass. Mason Rudolph stepped in to fill for Roethlisberger but the Steelers couldn’t hold off the Seahawks and lost the game 28-26.

Citing league sources, ESPN reports a decision on whether Roethlisberger will require elbow surgery will likely be made Monday.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Scoreboard roundup -- 9/15/19

iStock(NEW YORK) -- Here are the scores from Sunday's sports events:

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

INTERLEAGUE

Boston 6, Philadelphia 3
 
AMERICAN LEAGUE
Toronto 6, NY Yankees 4
Cleveland 7, Minnesota 5
Baltimore 8, Detroit 2
Houston 12, Kansas City 3
Oakland 6, Texas 1
LA Angels 6, Tampa Bay 4
Seattle 11, Chi White Sox 10

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Washington 7, Atlanta 0
Milwaukee 7, St. Louis 6
Chi Cubs 16, Pittsburgh 6
Colorado 10, San Diego 5
San Francisco 2, Miami 1
Cincinnati 3, Arizona 1
LA Dodgers 3, NY Mets 2

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
Detroit 13, LA Chargers 10
Indianapolis 19, Tennessee 17
Dallas 31, Washington 21
Seattle 28, Pittsburgh 26
Green Bay 21, Minnesota 16
Buffalo 28, NY Giants 14
Houston 13, Jacksonville 12
Baltimore 23, Arizona 17
San Francisco 41, Cincinnati 17
New England 43, Miami 0
Kansas City 28, Oakland 10
Chicago 16, Denver 14
LA Rams 27, New Orleans 9
Atlanta 24, Philadelphia 20

WOMEN'S NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS
Los Angeles 92, Seattle 69
Las Vegas 93, Chicago 92

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
DC United 1, Portland 0
Toronto FC 3, Colorado 2
Minnesota 3, Real Salt Lake 1
Seattle 4, New York 2
LA Galaxy 7, Sporting Kansas City 2

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Antonio Brown accuser to meet with NFL, originally requested $10M settlement: Sources

zorandimzr/iStock(NEW YORK) --  Britney Taylor, who has accused NFL star Antonio Brown of three separate instances of sexual assault, is scheduled to meet with the NFL on Monday, sources confirm to ABC News.

The athletic trainer and former college gymnast filed a civil suit against the New England Patriots receiver on Tuesday after Brown declined to sign a settlement agreement, sources said. A source told ABC News that several offers and deadlines were given over the course of months of conversation between Brown and Taylor's representatives.

The initial request for a settlement from Taylor's lawyers was for over $10 million, according to a source.

The suit was filed two days after Brown declined to sign a $2 million settlement. It is not clear how much Taylor is asking for in damages from the lawsuit.

Taylor alleges in the lawsuit that Brown sexually assaulted her twice in June 2017 while she was working as his trainer, and a third time after a night out in Miami in May 2018.

Brown repeatedly exposed himself to Taylor and sent graphic text messages, according to the lawsuit, which includes texts allegedly from Brown. After the two were at a strip club in Miami last May, Taylor alleges in the lawsuit they went back to Brown's hotel room and he raped her despite crying and screaming for him to stop.

ABC News does not usually name alleged victims of sexual assault, but Taylor's lawyer gave permission and reiterated the lawsuit was not filed anonymously.

Brown has vigorously denied any of the instances took place and said the motivation on the accuser's part was solely about money.

"Mr. Brown denies each and every allegation in the lawsuit," Brown's lawyer, Darren Heitner, said in a statement after the suit was filed last week. "He will pursue all legal remedies to not only clear his name, but to also protect other professional athletes against false accusations."

Brown engaged in a very public battle with Oakland Raiders management during the offseason, and was eventually released just days before the season opener. He was traded to Oakland from Pittsburgh in March and immediately signed a three-year, $50 million extension. But when he was cut, after feuding with the NFL over the type of helmet he wanted to use and with Raiders general manager Mike Mayock over disciplinary fines, the team voided his contract.

He signed with the New England Patriots last week. He has not faced any disciplinary measures from the league, and made his season debut on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.

Brown finished with four catches for 56 yards and a touchdown. The Patriots blew out the lowly Dolphins, 43-0.

Both the Patriots and Raiders say they were unaware of Taylor's allegations before the lawsuit was filed.

Brown said the two had a consensual sexual relationship.

The meeting between Taylor and NFL investigators on Monday is part of an investigation into the allegations by the league. While Brown has not yet been placed on an exempt list, that decision could still be made pending investigation by the league.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


'I almost died': David Ortiz gives 1st interview after being shot

fstop123/iStock(BOSTON) -- Boston Red Sox legend and three-time World Series champion David Ortiz gave his first interview after being shot in the Dominican Republic earlier this year.

The retired slugger known as “Big Papi” was shot at the Dial Bar and Lounge in Santo Domingo on June 9. In the interview, he described the moment as surreal and said he wondered if he was going to see the next day.

“For the first five seconds, I thought I was having a nightmare … I was feeling something that I had never felt before in my life, and that was to try to stay alive," Ortiz told Univision in an exclusive interview Friday.

Ortiz was temporarily in a coma following complications from the shooting, and he remained in the hospital for nearly two months, undergoing three surgeries. His gunshot wounds caused damage to his liver and his small and large intestine.

Ortiz told Univision he’s still trying to process the shooting, and why he, as someone who always tried to get along with everyone, could get caught up in something like that.

“I am someone who likes to make friends, I like to be someone who is kind,” Ortiz said. “Someone that gets along with everyone - I am not [a] problematic person. I don't like problems."

Authorities said Ortiz's friend, Sixto David Fernandez, was the target -- and not Ortiz -- but the gunman allegedly told police he got the two confused. The cousin of Fernandez, Victor Hugo Gomez, was arrested on June 28 in the Dominican Republic as the mastermind of the shooting. Hugo Gomez reportedly denied any wrongdoing in July, after a video of him surfaced. Dominican National Police said the investigation is in the "secret phase," in June but have not provided any recent updates on the case against Huge Gomez.

Ortiz said he’s trying to get past the incident.

“The only thing that concerned me is that my country advances. That love that people have for you there. It is not a lie,” Ortiz told Univision.

Earlier this week Ortiz brought the home crowd at Fenway Park to its feet as he threw out the ceremonial first pitch against his long-time nemesis, the New York Yankees.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Stan Makita is 1st Hockey Hall of Famer found to have had CTE

iStock/artisteer(BOSTON) -- Hockey great Stan Makita is the latest professional athlete to join the list of Hall of Famers diagnosed with the degenerative brain disease CTE.

The announcement was made Friday by Dr. Ann McKee of Boston University’s CTE Center, one year after Makita died at the age of 78.

Makita, a star of the 1960s who was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983, is the first NHL Hall of Famer to have been diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

The list of football Hall of Famers who have been diagnosed with CTE includes NFL greats Mike Webster, Junior Seau, John Mackey and Lou Creekmur.

Other pro hockey players who have been posthumously diagnosed with CTE include NHLers Derek Boogaard, Bob Probert, Jeff Parker and Todd Ewen.

A postmortem analysis of Makita’s brain by Boston University’s CTE Center showed that the Chicago hockey great had stage 3 chronic traumatic encephalopathy; stage 4 is the most severe form.

CTE, which is associated with repeated blows to the head and is known to cause memory loss, violent moods and other cognitive difficulties, can only be diagnosed after death.

Makita was diagnosed with another degenerative brain condition, Lewy Body Disease, in the years prior to his death.

“Stan Mikita was diagnosed with two neurodegenerative diseases that our research has shown are associated with a long career in contact sports such as ice hockey: CTE and Lewy body disease,” said McKee in a statement released in conjunction with the announcement.

Originally a scrapper, the diminutive Mikita became a prolific scorer and went on to capture four NHL scoring titles in a long 22-year career with the Blackhawks.

He led Chicago to a Stanley Cup title in 1961, and in 2017 was named by the NHL as one of the 100 greatest players in league history.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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