January 28 US Paper Talk: Championship move on the cards for USMNT star

Red Bulls set to allow Aaron Long to leave on loan; Naomi Osaka invests in North Carolina Courage.

SOCCER: Aaron Long is set to follow USMNT teammate Jordan Morris to the Championship. The New York Red Bulls are expected to approve a loan move for the USA captain due to the ongoing suspension of MLS. The center back, who courted interest from West Ham last season, has been the subject of at least one approach from a Championship club. (Sky Sports)

SOCCER: Seattle Sounders are close to finalizing a deal for Seattle-born Spencer Richey. The 28-year-old has spent the last two seasons at FC Cincinnati. (Seattle Times)

SOCCER: Tennis star Naomi Osaka has joined the ownership group of the NWSL's North Carolina Courage. (The Athletic)

New North Carolina Courage co-owner Naomi Osaka
New North Carolina Courage co-owner Naomi Osaka

FOOTBALL: Eli Manning is in talks to return to the New York Giants in an ambassadorial role. (New York Daily News)

FOOTBALL: Seattle Seahawks have released offensive lineman Chad Wheeler after he was accused of beating his girlfriend and strangling her into unconsciousness. Wheeler has been charged with first-degree domestic violence assault, domestic violence unlawful imprisonment and resisting arrest. (Seattle Times)

FOOTBALL: Philadelphia Eagles are poised to hire Florida offensive coordinator Brian Johnson as their quarterbacks coach. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

FOOTBALL: Tight end Jason Witten will sign a one-day contract with Dallas to retire as a Cowboy when his contract with the Las Vegas Raiders expires. (Dallas Morning News)

FOOTBALL: An "incredibly strong" presentation helped Baltimore's David Culley secure the Houston Texans head coach role ahead of Buffalo Bills' assistant head coach and defensive coordinator Lesley Frazier. (Houston Chronicle)

BASKETBALL: Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid said LeBron James was fortunate not to have been assessed a flagrant foul 2 and ejected from Philadelphia's 107-106 home victory over Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night. Embiid was left feeling the effects after the foul he deemed "very dangerous". He said: "I guarantee you that if it was me, I would have probably been ejected." (ESPN)

BASEBALL: New York Mets have traded Steven Matz to Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for minor league prospects Sean Reid-Foley, Yennsy Diaz and Josh Winckowski. The payroll deduction - Matz is on $5.2million - is part of a bid to keep the team under the luxury-tax threshold of $210million as they pursue Trevor Bauer. (New York Post)

BASEBALL: San Francisco Giants are in talks with free agent Joc Pederson. The 28-year-old has spent his entire six-year MLB career with the Dodgers. (Various)

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