The Maine Mammoths will play eight indoor football games at Cross Insurance Arena in 2018 as part of their first season in the National Arena League.

The NAL comprises six teams, only three of them holdovers from the league’s inaugural season in 2017. Expected teams in Trenton, New Jersey, and Monterrey, Mexico, failed to meet “the league’s minimum obligations” according to a league statement.

An 18-week regular season runs from April to August with playoffs to follow. The Mammoths open on the road at the Massachusetts (Worcester) Pirates on April 7 and host the Carolina Cobras April 14. Both are fellow expansion teams.

The Mammoths also play in Portland May 5 (Jacksonville), June 2 (Massachusetts), June 16 (Lehigh Valley), June 30 (Carolina), July 14 (Columbus), July 21 (Lehigh Valley) and Aug. 4 (Jacksonville). All games begin at 7 p.m.

Maine has bye weeks in April, May and July.


PREMIER LEAGUE: Manchester United’s League Cup defense was ended by second-tier side Bristol City when the holders conceded in the third minute of stoppage time to go out in the quarterfinals.

The game was heading to extra time until Korey Smith stunned Jose Mourinho’s side to grab a 2-1 win.

United had earlier fought back, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic canceling out Joe Bryan’s opener for City, which is third in the second-tier League Championship.

There was also a goal in stoppage time and another 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge, but Alvaro Morata struck for Chelsea to eliminate Bournemouth.

Willian tapped in the opener in the 13th minute, and extra time was looming after Dan Gosling curled in a 90th-minute leveler. But Eden Hazard’s backheel set up Morata for the winner at Stamford Bridge. The striker was booked for celebrating.

The semifinal draw, which also includes Arsenal and Manchester City, was late Wednesday.

n Swansea fired its fourth manager in two years, dismissing Paul Clement just before he completed a year with the Premier League club.

Clement’s departure comes with the South Wales team at the bottom of the standings.

MLS: Nashville has been granted the first of two Major League Soccer expansion franchises. Nashville and Sacramento, California, had been viewed as the favorites for the league’s newest teams, with Cincinnati and Detroit the other finalists. A decision on the second area picked is expected within a few weeks


2018 GAMES: The International Paralympic Committee says it will decide next month whether to ban Russia from the upcoming Pyeongchang Games.

IPC president Andrew Parsons said, “much to our growing disappointment and frustration, there is a lack of progress” from Russian authorities on the IPC’s demand that they either accept or disprove evidence they ran a doping program.

The IPC says a final decision will be made “in late January.”

Russia was barred from the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro because of doping.


WORLD CUP: Mikaela Shiffrin beat Petra Vlhova of Slovakia in the final to win a World Cup parallel slalom race at Courchevel, France, for the 35th win of her career.

The defending World Cup champion followed up her victory in Tuesday’s giant slalom on the same course to extend her overall lead this season.

– Staff and news service report