AP SPORTS BRIEFS: Pac-12 inks deal for daily virus testing

Storm welcomes back Sue Bird; Sounders tie on the road

Pac-12 inks deal for daily virus testing

SAN FRANCISCO — The Pac-12 has reached an agreement with a diagnostic testing company to implement up to daily COVID-19 testing for all close-contact sports across the conference.

The deal with Quidel Corporation announced Thursday is a major step toward safe resumption of Pac-12 sports, Commissioner Larry Scott said.

Tests and Quidel’s Sofia 2 testing machines are expected to be delivered to the conference’s schools by late September.

“The availability of a reliable test that can be administered daily, with almost immediate results, addresses one of the key concerns that was expressed by our medical advisory committee, as well as by student-athletes, coaches and others,” Scott said in a statement.

The Pac-12 announced last month it was pausing all sports until Jan. 1 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Pac-12 said it will review the testing breakthrough with its sport planning committees to evaluate the impact on a return to competition.

Bird returns

BRADENTON, Fla. — Breanna Stewart led league-leading Seattle with 16 points despite a poor shooting night, and the Storm welcomed back Sue Bird with a 71-64 victory over the Washington Mystics on Wednesday night.

Stewart, the Storm’s leading scorer at 19.8 points per game, was only 4-of-17 shooting while grabbing 14 rebounds. Natasha Howard and Jewell Loyd each shot over 50 percent in scoring 13 points each.

Bird, who finished with nine points in 24 minutes, was back in the starting lineup for Seattle after missing the last four games with knee issues that have been bothering her the entire season. She has sat out nine of the Storm’s 17 games.

Seattle (14-3) remains a game ahead of second-place Los Angeles (13-4).

Sounders tie on road

SANDY, Utah — Pablo Ruiz scored his first MLS goal, Justen Glad also scored and Real Salt Lake tied the Seattle Sounders 2-2 on Wednesday night.

Real Salt Lake played for the first time since owner Dell Loy Hansen decided to sell his soccer teams in the wake of reports that he made racist comments. Hansen’s Utah Soccer Holdings includes his MLS club, the Utah Royals of the National Women’s Soccer League and the United Soccer League’s Real Monarchs.

The 21-year-old Ruiz rifled a left-footer from nearly 30 yards out to cap the scoring in the 85th minute.

Seattle’s Nicolás Lodeiro converted a penalty kick in the 29th after RSL’s Aaron Herrera was called for a hand ball.

Glad tied it in the 50th minute, heading home a corner kick from Albert Rusnák. It was Glad’s first goal since Oct. 1, 2016.

Alex Roldan, near the right sideline, cut back to evade a defender and then played a high cross to the far post that Yeimar Gómez headed off the ground and high into the net to give the Sounders a 2-1 lead in the 69th. It was the first MLS goal for the 28-year old who signed with Seattle in February.

The Sounders (4-1-3) are in unbeaten in their last four games.

The Associated Press

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