North America wins bid to host 2026 World Cup

• North America will host the 2026 World Cup after FIFA voters overwhelmingly opted Wednesday for the financial and logistical certainty of a United States-led bid over a risky Moroccan proposal for the first 48-team tournament.

The soccer showpiece will return to the U.S. for the first time since 1994 after gaining 134 votes, while Morocco got 65 at the FIFA Congress in Moscow, where the 2018 tournaments starts on Thursday.

FIFA will select host cities from 23 candidates proposed in the bid. Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan has begun lobbying for her city.

• With only two days to go before Spain’s opening match at the World Cup, Julen Lopetegui was fired as national team coach after accepting a job to lead Real Madrid next season. Spanish soccer federation president Luis Rubiales said Fernando Hierro would replace Lopetegui as coach in the match against Portugal in Sochi on Friday.

• Josef Martinez scored his MLS-leading 14th goal of the season, Hector Villalba added a goal in the 82nd minute and Atlanta United beat the host Columbus Crew 2-0.


Federer beats Zverev in first match in months

• Roger Federer rallied to beat home favorite Mischa Zverev 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 at the Stuttgart Open in his first match in nearly three months. The Swiss great converted four of his 10 break points to start his grass-court season with a win.

• French Open champion Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from next week’s Queen’s Club tournament in an attempt to be ready for Wimbledon, which begins July 2.


ESPY Best Coach Award to honor slain coaches

• The ESPYs are breaking tradition for this year’s Best Coach Award, awarding it posthumously to three Florida high school coaches who died shielding their students from gunfire.

Family members of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School heroes Aaron Feis, Scott Beigel and Chris Hixon will receive the honor during the award show on July 18 in Los Angeles, the ESPN network announced.

• Anne Donovan, the Basketball Hall of Famer who won a national championship at Old Dominion, two Olympic gold medals as a player and another as a coach, died Wednesday of heart failure. She was 56. Donovan’s family confirmed the death.

• Jordan McNair, a University of Maryland football player hospitalized after an organized team workout two weeks ago, has died, Maryland executive athletic director Damon Evans said. Evans was 19. The school would not disclose the cause of death.

• A Cincinnati-area high school whose teams have been called the Redskins for over 80 years will keep that mascot. A committee heard heated debate and decided against recommending any change of the mascot name at Anderson High School.

— ABJ/ wires