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Sports briefs

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published October 20, 2002

L.A.'s Jones stays key to title

A decade after he first played for the U.S. national team, 32-year-old Cobi Jones is a key to Los Angeles' pursuit of the MLS title.

"Cobi's accomplished so much in his career, this is something that he wants," Los Angeles coach Sigi Schmid said. "He's really put forth a tremendous playoff series."

Jones is second to teammate and league MVP Carlos Ruiz in playoff scoring with one game left: 1:30 p.m. today against New England in the MLS Cup at Foxboro, Mass.

To win their first title after going 0-3 in MLS Cups, the Galaxy must beat Adin Brown, New England's goalkeeper who has four shutouts in six playoff games. New England's Taylor Twellman, scored 23 in the regular season, second to Ruiz's 24. Steve Ralston led the league with 19 assists.

* * *

MORE MLS: Former U.S. national team defender Alexi Lalas, Los Angeles' Ruiz, New York/New Jersey's Tim Howard, New England's Twellman and Ralston, Chicago's Carlos Bocanegra, San Jose's Wade Barrett, Colorado's Mark Chung, Dallas' Ronnie Ekelund and Oscar Pareja, and Columbus' Jeff Cunningham were named to the league's Best 11, the honorary all-star team. ... Tad Ramos, a retired New York/New Jersey player, received the Commissioner's Award, recognizing a person or organization for unselfish work and leadership.

CYCLING: Paolo Bettini won his first World Cup by finishing in the main group in the Tour of Lombardy in Bergamo, Italy, 27 seconds behind winner Michele Bartoli.

SKIING: World and Olympic moguls champion Jean-Luc Brassard, 30, retired.

COLLEGES: In women's soccer, South Florida tied host TCU at 3 and Florida State beat host N.C. State 5-1. ... In men's soccer, host South Florida beat Saint Louis 2-1. ... In cross country, Florida's Daniel Parker finished 37th in the men's 8K and Louise Moerch was 102nd in the women's 6K at the Pre-NCAA Invitational in Terre Haute, Ind. The men finished 22nd and the women were 30th. The South Florida women finished fifth at the Auburn Invitational in Alabama. Christa Benton, a graduate of Keswick Christian, finished third in the 5K. Virginia Tech won the women's title. The USF men finished ninth. The Tampa women finished first and the men second in the Sunshine State meet hosted by Eckerd. The Eckerd women were fourth. ... In women's golf, Amanda Dick was second and Jeanne Cho was in a three-way tie for third, as Florida tied for first with the Swedish Junior National team after the second day of the Collegiate Championship hosted by Tennessee. ... In volleyball, Florida State lost to host Duke 3-0, Tampa beat host Armstrong Atlantic State 3-1 and host USF beat Saint Louis 3-1.

BOXING: Undefeated heavyweight "Baby" Joe Mesi ran his record to 24-0 when he stopped David Izon nine seconds into the ninth round Friday in Buffalo, N.Y. ... Scott Harrison of Scotland won the WBO featherweight title with a unanimous decision over Juan Pablo Chacon of Argentina in Glascow, Scotland. ... George Foreman, Miguel Canto, Lupe Pinter and Mike McCallum, television analyst Larry Merchant, trainer Freddie Roach and publicist Bill Caplan were inducted into the World Hall of Fame.

TENNIS: Lleyton Hewitt accepted a wild-card entry for the Stockholm Open and plays Thomas Enqvist in the first round. ... Lindsay Davenport beat Justine Henin 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-5) to reach the Swisscom Challenge final in Zurich. Patty Schnyder beat Conchita Martinez 6-0, 6-3. ... Maja Matevzic upset Rita Grande 0-6, 6-2, 6-0 and Iveta Benesova upset No. 1-seed Nathalie Dechy 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 at the VUB Open in Bratislava, Slovakia. ... Andre Agassi beat Sebastien Grosjean 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 to reach the Madrid Masters final in Spain. Agassi faces Jiri Novak, who eliminated Fabrice Santoro 6-2, 6-4.

HORSES: Gander won the $250,000 Empire Stakes at Belmont Park. ... Band Is Passing breezed to a 4 1/4-length victory in the $100,000 Flying Pigeon Handicap at Calder. ... Storming Home won the $620,000 Champion Stakes at Newmarket, England. ... Bedanken edged Mariensky by a nose to win the $115,700 Valley View Stakes at Keeneland. ... Only The Best won the $96,600 Sunny Slope Stakes at Santa Anita. ... Beezie Madden and the Dutch-bred stallion Judgement survived an eight-barrier tiebreaker to win the $60,000 Grand Prix de Penn National in Harrisburg, Pa.

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