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Reuters U.S. Sports Schedule at 2 PM EDT on Friday, Sept. 27

Reuters

Sept. 27 (Reuters) - Reuters U.S. sports schedule at 2 PM ET on Friday:

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The duty editor is Steve Ginsburg, 202-898-8427

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NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE

Cassel draws start for Vikings in London

Fractured ribs put Christian Ponder on the bench for Sunday's game. The 0-3 Minnesota Vikings are turning to Matt Cassel against the Pittsburgh Steelers (0-3). (FBN-VIKINGS-NEWS/, moved, The Sports Xchange, 400 words)

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Freeman: Trade 'probably best'

Josh Freeman was benched, and now might be inactive Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. Freeman welcomes the fresh start a trade out of Tampa would bring. (FBN-BUCCANEERS-NEWS/, moved, The Sports Xchange, 300 words)

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Patriots doubting Gronk returns in Atlanta

Former All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski might be improving. That doesn't mean he'll suit up Sunday night at Atlanta. (FBN-PATRIOTS-NEWS/, expect by 2100 GMT/5 PM ET game, The Sports Xchange, 200 words)

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NFL notebook

The latest news and notes from around the league. (FBN-NOTEBOOK/, expect by 2300 GMT/7 PM ET, The Sports Xchange, 500 words)

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL

The NCAA rejects an appeal by USC to have its imposed penalties reduced. (FBC-SOUTHERNCAL-NEWS/, moved; will be led, The Sports Xchange, 400 words)

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JURISPRUDENCE

Hernandez fried indicted as accessory to murder

BOSTON - A friend of ex-NFL tight end Aaron Hernandez, who is charged with murdering the semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd, is indicted on a charge of accessory to murder after the fact. (PATRIOTS/HERNANDEZ, moved, 300 words)

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GOLF

Tiger named PGA Tour player of the Year

Tiger Woods is named the PGA Tour's Player of the Year for a record 11th time, while fellow American Jordan Spieth is voted rookie of the year. (GOLF/PGA (UPDATE 1), moved, 550 words)

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McIlroy goes it alone after splitting from management firm

LONDON - Rory McIlroy sets up his own company to run his business interests after terminating his contract with Dublin-based Horizon Sports Management. (GOLF-MCILROY/, moved, by Keith Weir, 325 words)

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MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

The Sports Xchange covers all MLB games, top matchups highlighted below

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Indians at Twins

MINNEAPOLIS - Cleveland, winners of seven straight, has a magic number of two. The Tribe can get one step closer - and possibly clinch with a win and a Texas Rangers' loss - to the second American League wild card tonight behind Corey Kluber (10-5, 3.61). (BBO-INDIANS-TWINS-NEWS-FIRSTLEDE/WRITETHRU, expect first copy ASAP after 0005 GMT/8:05 PM ET game, The Sports Xchange, by Joe Oberle, 400-word first lede, 700-word write-thru)

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Angels at Rangers

ARLINGTON, Texas - The Texas Rangers have won four straight games but remain one behind the Cleveland Indians entering tonight's matchup with the Los Angeles Angels. Alexi Ogando (7-4, 2.93) opposes former Rangers ace C.J. Wilson, who goes for his 18th victory of the season. (BBO-RANGERS-ANGELS-FIRSTLEDE / WRITETHRU (PIX), expect ASAP after 0005 GMT/8:05 PM ET game, The Sports Xchange, by Joe Oberle, 400-word first lede, 700-word writethru)

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Medlen likely to get Game 1 nod for Braves

ATLANTA - It's not official yet, but it looks like Kris Medlen will get the start for the Braves in the first game of the playoffs. (BBO-BRAVES-TEAMREPORT/, moved, The Sports Xchange, 325 words)

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Phillies 1B Howard confident 2014 will be rebound year

ATLANTA - Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard hasn't been healthy, but he's confident that will be the case for the first time in three years in 2014. (BBO-PHILLIES-TEAMREPORT/, moved, The Sports Xchange, 325 words)

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Dunn wants to know if he'll wear White Sox colors in '14

CHICAGO - Adam Dunn wants to return to the Chicago White Sox. If GM Rick Hahn has other ideas, Dunn would like to know sooner rather than later. (BBO-WHITESOX-TEAMREPORT/, moved, The Sports Xchange, 325 words)

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Around the Horn highlights

Major League Baseball gets set for a riveting finish to its regular season as teams battle for the four wild card berths to get into the postseason and a shot at the World Series. (BASEBALL-HIGHLIGHTS/, expect by 0430 GMT/12:30 AM ET, 300 words)

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MLB notebook

The latest news and notes from around the league. (BBO-NOTEBOOK/, expect by 2300 GMT/7 PM ET, The Sports Xchange, 500 words)

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NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

Big events have NHL seeing gold, silver and cash

We look ahead to the upcoming 2013-14 National Hockey League season with a five-part package consisting of an overall preview, profiles of the Eastern Conference teams, Western Conference teams, five teams to watch and five players to watch. (NHL (PREVIEW), moved, by Steve Keating, 900 words)

See also:

(NHL-PENPIX/EASTERN, moved, 1200 words) (NHL-PENPIX/WESTERN, moved, 1200 words) (NHL-TEAMS/, moved, 700 words) (NHL-PLAYERS/, moved, 500 words)

See also: The NHL's Board of Governors approved the sale of the Florida Panthers to Vincent Viola and Doug Cifu. (HKN-PANTHERS-NEWS/)

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AUTO RACING

Sprint Cup qualifying

DOVER, Del. - Qualifying coverage from Dover International Speedway Sunday for the AAA 400. (CAR-NEWS/, expect by 2200 GMT/6 PM ET, NASCAR wire service distributed by The Sports Xchange, 450 words)

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NASCAR Notebook

DOVER, Del. - News and notes from around the track at Dover International Speedway. (CAR-NOTEBOOK/, expect by 2315 GMT/7:15 PM ET, NASCAR wire service distributed by The Sports Xchange, 450 words)

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New Jersey on expanded 2014 F1 calendar

LONDON - New Jersey is one of three grands prix listed provisionally on a record 22-race Formula One calendar published by the governing FIA. (MOTOR RACING/CALENDAR (UPDATE 1), moved; by Alan Baldwin, 600 words)

See also: LONDON - Beijing, a city regularly shrouded in heavy industrial smog, is listed provisionally as host of the first race of a new Formula E electric racing series in September next year. (MOTOR RACING/ELECTRIC)

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TENNIS

Kvitova halts Venus's run

Venus Williams's strong run in the Pan Pacific Open comes to an end with a narrow semi-final defeat to seventh seed Petra Kvitova. (TENNIS-WOMEN/TOKYO (UPDATE 1), moved, 400 words)

See also: Serena Williams clinches the year-end women's world No. 1 ranking for the third time after winning two grand slam titles in 2013. (TENNIS-WOMEN/WILLIAMS)

Rafael Nadal's name should be mentioned in any debate on the greatest tennis player of all time, according to former world No. 1 Pete Sampras. (TENNIS-MEN/SAMPRAS)

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CUBA

Cuban athletes get pay raise, green light to work abroad

HAVANA - Cuban athletes will be allowed to work abroad and have been granted significant wage increases and larger bonuses for their performance, official media says, in hopes of stemming a decline in the country's performance in international competitions. (CUBA-REFORM/SPORTS (UPDATE 1), moved, by Nelson Acosta, 700 words)

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CYCLING

The Lance Armstrong aftermath

FLORENCE, Italy - Briton Brian Cookson is elected International Cycling Union president amid farcical scenes to bring an end to the lurching eight-year reign of Pat McQuaid. (CYCLING-UCI/CONGRESS (UPDATE 3), moved, by Julien Pretot, 700 words)

See also: FLORENCE, Italy - After a comical election process that further damaged the ICU's credibility, new president Brian Cookson faces a monumental challenge to restore trust in a sport crippled by scandals. (CYCLING-UCI/CHALLENGES)

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SAILING

For America's Cup, return to San Francisco no sure thing

SAN FRANCISCO - After a spectacular America's Cup regatta capped by home-team Oracle's sensational comeback victory, there should be little question about the event returning to San Francisco. (AMERICASCUP/SANFRANCISCO (PIX), expect by 2100 GMT/5 PM ET, by Ronnie Cohen, 900 words)

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NORTH AMERICAN SPORTS

Roundups of off-field developments in the major North American professional sports leagues. (expect by 0001 GMT/8 PM ET, by The Sports Xchange, 400 words)

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