The sports forum will have lots of good advice and examples.
On the 70-200mm, turn off the VR. The shutter speeds you need don't need VR, and VR introduces a lag in the system since you need to wait for it to settle before releasing the shutter.
AF-C since your subjects are moving. 9-points would be my first choice, then 21 if you need it. Try setting the focus tracking (a3) to short or off if much of your shots have the players moving toward you.
Remember that continuous focus works in two phases: lock-on and tracking. First you need to give the camera time to get the lock-on so the camera and you agree on the subject. Once the lock-on is established, the tracking will do its job while you keep the button pressed as long as you do your job of keeping the focus point on the subject. Lots of folks prefer the af-on button (a4) for this purpose.
---------+---------+---------+---------+ Joseph K Seattle, WA, USA