Sports briefs: Columbus Crew fire coach Robert Warzycha
soccer • The Columbus Crew fired Robert Warzycha on Monday after five years as head coach. Technical Director and former Crew defender Brian Bliss will fill in as interim. Assistant coaches Ricardo Iribarren and Vojislav Stanisic were also let go and will be replaced soon.
The Crew are 8-13-5 (29 points) and in eighth place in Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference, eight points outside of the fifth and final playoff spot with eight games remaining in the regular season.
Warzycha, a former Crew player and assistant coach, was 70-59-41, tied with Tom Fitzgerald (1996-2001) for the most regular-season wins as head coach. Under Warzycha, the Crew won the 2009 Supporters' Shield, made back-to-back semifinal runs in the CONCACAF Champions League and reached the 2010 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final.
• Accustomed to seeing some of the world's top players join their ranks, tens of thousands of Real Madrid fans turned out at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium on Monday to catch the first glimpse of Gareth Bale, the latest "galactico" to join the Spanish giants. A person familiar with the deal said Sunday that the Spanish club paid a record $132 million transfer fee to England's Tottenham Hotspur to acquire the Welsh midfielder.
American Horner retakes Vuelta lead
cycling • Christopher Horner of the United States won the 10th stage of the Spanish Vuelta to take the overall lead for a second time. The 41-year-old RadioShack-Leopard rider also won the third stage. Organizers said he became the oldest rider to earn a stage victory in one of cycling's three grand tours. Horner broke away on the steep ascent to the Alto Hazallanas peak at the end of 116-mile ride from southern Andalucia. He won in 4 hours, 30 minutes, 22 seconds. Vincenzo Nibali pursued Horner but was unable to catch him. He finished 48 seconds behind in second, with Spain's Alejandro Valverde leading a small pack that was 62 seconds back.
From wire reports
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