VANCOUVER - Around this time last year, the Vancouver Whitecaps displayed considerable bravado as they aspired to place among the top teams in MLS.
But in 2014, the Whitecaps will have a new coach, a new look and less attitude, starting with Saturday's season-opener against the powerhouse New York Red Bulls at B.C. Place Stadium.
"We're all looking ahead with a cautious optimism," Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi said before the team held its final pre-season practice Friday.
It has been 10 years since Steve Moore's NHL career ended with an attack by former Vancouver Canucks forward Todd Bertuzzi.
The 35-year-old Moore says he still suffers from headaches and low energy, even if he feels better overall and wants to get on with his life.
But there has been no closure for the former Colorado Avalanche centre, whose $38-million dollar lawsuit against Bertuzzi and the Canucks is still in the courts after numerous delays.
A trial date has been set for Sept. 8.
Angus Reid is at peace with the most difficult football decision he's ever had to make.
The B.C. Lions veteran centre announced his retirement Friday, ending a 13-year CFL career.
"As an athlete you know this day will always come but you never want to think about it and never want to know it's real so you're forced with facing that reality," Reid said. "But I'm good with it because it was my decision and most athletes don't get that opportunity, their careers end because of various factors out of their control.
CALGARY - Joe Nieuwendyk's fond memories of his time with the Calgary Flames came flooding back on Friday.
The three-time Stanley Cup champion, who started his NHL career with the team back in 1986-'87, was to be honoured by the club later in the evening at Scotiabank Saddledome. He'll have a banner with his likeness and number (25) hanging in the rafters alongside fellow Forever a Flame honouree Al MacInnis.
"It's just a classy organization that's rolling out the red carpet and it's a little overwhelming," Nieuwendyk said.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Dr. Frank Jobe, a pioneering orthopedic surgeon who was the first to perform an elbow procedure that became known as Tommy John surgery and saved the careers of countless major league pitchers, died Thursday. He was 88.
Jobe died in Santa Monica after being hospitalized recently with an undisclosed illness, according to a spokesman for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
LARNACA, Cyprus - Diane Matheson, Adriana Leon and Kaylyn Kyle scored for Canada in a 3-1 victory over Italy at the Cyprus Cup on Friday.
Canada improved to 2-0 with the win after shutting out Finland 3-0 in the tournament opener two days earlier.
Matheson opened the scoring against the Italians by converting a cross in the 33rd minute. She then fed Adriana Leon for a tap-in goal 10 minutes later.
Early in the second half, Rhian Wilkinson crossed the ball to Kyle who scored from close range to make it a three-goal game.
TORONTO - As other MLS teams race into action this weekend, Toronto FC remains in the garage with Ryan Nelsen peering under the hood of his newly retooled team.
The longtime league doormat has a bye, which comes as somewhat of a blessing in disguise after an injury-filled pre-season.
And with England star striker Jermain Defoe yet to join the team, it may take a while for Toronto to fire on all cylinders.
SAO PAULO - Fans yelled racist insults at a Brazilian soccer player interviewed by reporters after a match, the latest case of racism in the country that will host the World Cup in a few months.
Santos midfielder Arouca, who played for Brazil's national team last year, was on the field talking to reporters after a 5-2 win in the Sao Paulo state championship on Thursday when some fans in the stands reportedly called him "monkey."
NEW YORK, N.Y. - Vancouver Canucks forward Zack Kassian has been suspended for three games for a hit on Brenden Dillon of the Dallas Stars.
Kassian received a major penalty for boarding and a game misconduct for the hit in the first period of Thursday's game in Dallas.
Dillon was attempting to dump the puck into the Canucks zone before going to the Stars bench when Kassian approached him from behind and drove him hard into the boards.
ARE, Sweden - Anna Fenninger seized the lead in the overall Alpine World Cup standings on Friday by winning a giant slalom for the second straight day.
The 24-year-old Austrian extended her first-leg lead to beat Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany by 0.61 seconds.
"It's just amazing. It was a fight in the second run," said Fenninger, the Olympic silver medallist in giant slalom, who had to contend with cross winds, rain and a rutted snow surface.