Zukuani, Porter back together in Portland
• The Portland Timbers selected midfielder Steve Zukuani in the first stage of the MLS re-entry draft after trading up for the No. 2 pick.
The transaction reunites the former University of Akron star with former Zips coach Caleb Porter, now the coach of the Timbers. Zakuani led the nation in scoring with 20 goals and 47 points as a sophomore.
Portland sent the No. 17 selection and defender Andrew Jean-Baptiste to Chivas USA on Thursday for the No. 2 pick and midfielder/defender Jorge Villafana.
Zakuani has played for the rival Seattle Sounders since he was the top pick in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft. He has appeared in 80 regular-season matches, with 17 goals and 14 assists.
• The New York Red Bulls re-signed forward Andre Akpan. Akpan played in seven games last season and had two assists. He was acquired from the Colorado Rapids in March for a conditional 2015 MLS Draft pick.
• The Seattle Sounders acquired defender Chad Marshall from the Columbus Crew in exchange for a 2015 third-round pick and allocation money. Marshall has spent the past 10 seasons with Columbus and was MLS defender of the year in 2008 and 2009.
• Jurgen Klinsmann is staying with the U.S. soccer team for the 2018 World Cup. Six months before leading the Americans at the 2014 tournament in Brazil, Klinsmann agreed to a four-year contract extension through 2018.
Weber State hires Utah aide as coach
• Weber State named Utah assistant Jay Hill as its new coach. Hill was introduced Thursday in Ogden as the 11th coach in the school’s history. He replaces Jody Sears, who was fired after going just 4-19 in his two seasons. Hill has been at Utah for the past 13 years. He spent the first four years as a graduate and administrative assistant under Urban Meyer and Ron McBride. He was a full-time assistant the last nine years, working as the special teams coordinator.
• Elon hired Ball State assistant Rich Skrosky as its coach. Skrosky was on Pete Lembo’s staff at Elon from 2006-10 before following him to Ball State, where he spent the past three seasons as the Cardinals’ offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Ball State (10-2) averaged 486 yards and 40 points this season, beat Virginia by three touchdowns and earned a berth in the GoDaddy Bowl. Skrosky says he is “returning to a place that is very special” to him. He replaces Jason Swepson.
Alex Cejka shoots 64 to top Thailand Open
• Four-time European Tour champion Alex Cejka of Germany upstaged a star-filled field with an 8-under 64 to take a 1-shot lead after the first round of the Thailand Golf Championship in Chon Buri, Thailand. The 43-year-old Cejka rolled in his eighth birdie of the day on the 17th hole to take the sole lead from Justin Rose, who was already in the clubhouse after a bogey-free round.
• A 19-year-old former Olympian from Suriname has been accused of illegally using credit cards owned by a teammate on the University of Connecticut swim team and faces larceny and other charges. Diguan Denzel Pigot competed in the 100-meter breast stroke for Suriname at the 2012 London Olympics. He was arraigned Wednesday in Rockville Superior Court.
• NASCAR selected 28-year-old “rising star” Jimmy Small as the president of its newest acquisition, the Iowa Speedway. The appointment of Small, a senior marketing manager for NASCAR, was announced Thursday at a press conference in Des Moines.
• Jay Feaster was fired as general manager of the Calgary Flames, with the team in next-to-last place in the Western Conference. Assistant GM John Weisbrod also was let go. Brian Burke, the team’s president of hockey operations, will serve as acting general manager.
— From wire reports