Sports World: Martino to coach new MLS side Atlanta

Martino to coach new MLS side Atlanta

MIAMI • Former Argentina coach Gerardo Martino is heading to Major League Soccer (MLS) after agreeing a deal with new expansion side Atlanta United, the American club said on Tuesday.

Martino, who stepped down as Argentina coach after his team were beaten in the final of the Copa America Centenario in June, will oversee Atlanta's first season in the MLS in 2017.

"Gerardo's experience will be a valuable asset to our players and demonstrates the continuing growth of Major League Soccer," Atlanta United owner Arthur Blank said.

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Duncan to get official San Antonio role

LOS ANGELES • San Antonio Spurs coach Greg Popovich plans to tap into the experience of retired legend Tim Duncan for his coaching staff but is yet to nail down an exact role for the five-time National Basketball Association (NBA) champion.

Duncan, 40, called time on his glittering career with the Spurs in July after 19 seasons, but will continue his association with the team as Popovich builds a new-look side.

Popovich told reporters however that Duncan's role would evolve over time as he transitions from playing.

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Williams to play in Auckland Classic

WELLINGTON • Serena Williams will headline the Auckland Classic in January, the organisers said yesterday, hailing the tennis star's appearance as a major coup for the New Zealand tournament.

The 22-time Grand Slam winner has never played in the Jan 2-7 tournament before, preferring to warm up for the Australian Open at the Hopman Cup in Perth in recent years.

"We are obviously over the moon with this great news. Serena is one of the biggest sporting stars on the planet," tournament director Karl Budge said.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 29, 2016, with the headline 'Sports World'. Print Edition | Subscribe