Compiled from wire reports
Spain, Brazil are set to battle for title
•?The Confederations Cup has the final many wanted: a long-awaited matchup between world champion Spain and host Brazil.
The most dominant national team in recent years and the most successful team ever in international play will meet today at Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro for the title of the eight-nation warmup tournament for next year’s World Cup.
It will be the first meeting between the nations since 1999 and their first competitive match since Brazil’s 1-0 win on Socrates’ goal in the first round of the 1986 World Cup in Mexico.
“It’s the match everyone wanted to happen,” said 21-year-old Brazilian forward Neymar, the star of the five-time world champions. “The entire world wanted it and everybody will be watching.”
With more than 70,000 Brazilian fans packing the iconic venue, Brazil will be seeking its third consecutive Confederations Cup title. Spain enters unbeaten in a world-record 29 competitive matches over three years since losing its 2010 World Cup opener to Switzerland.
“For us it’s a dream game,” Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque told FIFA.
Spain hasn’t lost in 26 matches overall since a 1-0 defeat against England at Wembley in 2011. Brazil struggled after coach Luiz Felipe Scolari replaced Mano Menezes in November, winning only one of its first six matches. Scolari, who coach Brazil to the 2002 World Cup title, enters the final with a five-game winning streak.
•?American defender Carlos Bocanegra has left Glasgow Rangers. The 34-year-old former captain of the U.S. national team spent the past season on loan to Racing Santander after the Rangers were demoted to the fourth tier of Scottish soccer because of financial problems.
•?Yordany Alvarez scored just before halftime and Real Salt Lake beat host Toronto FC 1-0. Javier Morales knocked the ball back out of the area to Alvarez on the right side, and he unleashed a venomous right-footed shot that left Toronto goalkeeper Joe Bendik stuck to the line.
Calder winner tops ?All-Rookie team
•?Calder Trophy winner Jonathan Huberdeau of the Florida Panthers and fellow finalists Brendan Gallagher of the Montreal Canadiens and Brandon Saad of the Chicago Blackhawks are among those chosen for the NHL’s All-Rookie team. Joining the three forwards were St. Louis Blues goalie Jake Allen, and defensemen Jonas Brodin of the Minnesota Wild and Justin Schultz of the Edmonton Oilers. Voting was conducted by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association. Huberdeau took top rookie honors by posting 14 goals and 17 assists while playing in Florida’s 48 games this season.
•?The Detroit Red Wings and defenseman Jakub Kindl agreed to terms of a four-year contract. The 26-year-old Kindl was a restricted free agent. He’ll make $2.4 million a year under the new contract. Kindl was drafted by the Red Wings in 2005 and made his NHL debut in 2009. The Sumperk, Czech Republic, native scored a career-high four goals for the Red Wings in the 2012-13 season and tied his career high of 13 points.
Vanderbilt removes four football players
•?Vanderbilt dismissed four football players from the team and kicked them off campus while Nashville police investigate whether a sex crime occurred in a campus dormitory. The school’s public affairs department announced that four players — none of whom it named — were suspended from the team. The university issued another release Saturday morning indicating they’re removed from the team and on interim suspension from the university “effective immediately, pending further investigation and/or a hearing.” School officials say the players can’t return to campus “without explicit permission” from the school’s office of student conduct and academic integrity. Nashville Police Department spokesman Don Aaron said Friday that the university’s decision was related to the police investigation. “This is an open and very much active investigation,” Aaron said. Vanderbilt went 9-4 and beat North Carolina State in the Music City Bowl last year for its best season since 1915.
•?Six-time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi won his first race since 2010, finishing first at the Assen TT ahead of Marc Marquez and Cal Crutchlow in Assen, Netherlands. Rossi’s Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo, the defending MotoGP champion, finished fifth despite racing with a broken left collarbone sustained just two days ago.
— From wire reports