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Wolves assistant ready for Sochi scouting job

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When Wolves skating and skills coach Kenny McCudden heads to Sochi, Russia, on Thursday for the Winter Olympics, it’ll be for a slightly different role than he’s used to. That doesn’t mean he’s not excited.

McCudden is heading to the Winter Games to be a scout for the U.S. women’s hockey team. He’ll watch other teams’ games and compile reports for the coaching staff. Because teams have only one-hour practices during the Games, he won’t be able to do skills coaching, which he does for the Wolves.

‘‘Scouting for the U.S. team is going to be really nice. I like it,’’ McCudden said Tuesday. ‘‘It’s something new.’’

If the United States is in a medal game Feb. 20, he’ll be returning home the next day.

‘‘I’m thrilled to be with this team,’’ he said.

Winner, winner

The Fire on Wednesday won a weighted lottery for U.S. youth international and former Santos Laguna midfielder Benji Joya, 20, who signed with Major League Soccer on a one-year loan and a transfer option.

The Seattle Sounders and Real Salt Lake reportedly were also in the lottery, which the Fire had a 68 percent chance to win.

The Fire is scheduled to resume preseason training Thursday in Bradenton, Fla. Mike Magee, the league MVP last season, is expected to be with the Fire after training with the U.S. men’s national team.

Magic hour

The fate of Naperville native Candace Parker’s Los Angeles Sparks had been in doubt after former owner Paula Madison bailed on the team in late December. On Wednesday, the WNBA announced that Magic Johnson is part of a group buying the team and keeping it in Los Angeles.

With the Sparks settled, the WNBA game and television schedule will be announced this week, the league announced.

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