In a strong sign that the America's Cup could return to San Francisco in 2017, Mayor Ed Lee has proposed to organizers that the main venue and team bases be centralized on the Embarcadero and that the schedule be more consistent and condensed.

Lee said in a letter to the America's Cup Event Authority that the city is making the proposal "with great enthusiasm, guided by the lessons learned and practical experience of the 34th America's Cup."

The city and the America's Cup Event Authority still must agree to a host city agreement for the 35th America's Cup, with that agreement needing the approval of the board of supervisors.

Oracle Team USA staged one of the greatest comebacks in sports in September on San Francisco Bay by winning eight straight races against Emirates Team New Zealand to retain the oldest trophy in international sports.

While it was the most successful regatta in the 162-year history of the America's Cup, the buildup was full of setbacks, including the death of a sailor during training, it generated less economic impact in the Bay Area than projected and cost city taxpayers more than $5 million.

Beach volleyball

The International Volleyball Federation has named Saratoga's Kerri Walsh Jennings beach player of the year for the second consecutive time. The mother of three teamed with new partner April Ross to win back-to-back tournaments in November. Walsh Jennings, who played at Stanford and Archbishop Mitty-San Jose, gave birth in April but was able to play part of the 2013 season. Walsh Jennings, 35, had different partners after winning a third consecutive gold medal at the London Games when former teammate Misty May-Treanor retired.

MLS

The Earthquakes have transferred midfielder Rafael Baca to Cruz Azul of Mexico's Liga MX, San Jose officials announced. The deal is awaiting final agreement with Cruz Azul, which introduced Baca in a news conference Saturday in Mexico City.

College

Cal defensive tackle Deandre Coleman has accepted an invitation to play in the Senior Bowl on Jan. 25 in Mobile, Ala.

  • Stanford defenders Stephanie Amack, Maddie Bauer and Lisa Liedle and goalkeeper Jane Campbell were named to the U.S. under-20 women's soccer roster for the 2014 CONCACAF championships, Jan. 9-16, in George Town, Cayman Islands.

    Staff writer Elliott Almond and wire services contributed to this report.