#SportsReport: US Soccer Fails To Qualify For World Cup

Oct 11, 2017

SOCCER-WORLD CUP QUALIFYING

Next year's World Cup won't include the United States.

The Americans were eliminated in their final qualifying match on Tuesday, dropping a 2-1 decision at Trinidad. The outcome ends a U.S. streak of seven straight appearances at soccer's showcase.

The 28th-ranked Americans needed merely a tie against 99th-ranked Trinidad, which lost its sixth straight qualifier last week. But the defeat, coupled with Honduras' come-from-behind 3-2 win over Mexico and Panama's 2-1 victory over Costa Rica, dropped the Americans from third place to fifth in the six-nation final round of the North and Central American and Caribbean region.

Meanwhile, Lionel Messi's hat trick led Brazil to a 3-1 win over Ecuador and a berth in the World Cup. Portugal and France also earned spots in next year's tournament at Russia.

MLB-NLDS-NATIONALS-CUBS

The Washington Nationals are still alive in the NL Division Series, but only after Tuesday's rainout at Wrigley Field.

Game 4 of the series has been rescheduled for Wednesday in Chicago as the Cubs try to gain a spot in the NLCS against the Dodgers.

The Cubs and Nationals took batting practice and the grounds crew got the field ready before bringing out the tarp. The rain started to fall about a half-hour after the game was supposed to start. Major League Baseball called off the game with more showers in the forecast.

The Game 4 starters will remain the same, with Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta taking the mound against Tanner Roark.

MLB-INDIANS-ENCARNACION

Indians slugger Edwin Encarnacion could be back in the lineup Wednesday for a winner-take-all Game 5 of the AL Division Series against the New York Yankees.

Encarnacion sprained his right ankle in Game 2 and missed the two contests in the Bronx, both of which were won by the Yankees. Indians manager Terry Francona was optimistic that Encarnacion could play after responding well to treatment and testing his ankle by jogging in the outfield Tuesday.

       

Encarnacion hit 38 homers and drove in 107 runs during the regular season.

TWINS-MOLITOR RETURNS

Minnesota Twins manager Paul Molitor has accepted a three-year contract extension through 2020 after the team's exceptional turnaround.

The Twins played in the AL wild-card game last week, just a year after losing 103 games in their second season under Molitor. He was in the final year of his contract as he led Minnesota to an 85-77 record this year.

NFL-CARDINALS-PETERSON

The Arizona Cardinals hope they have bolstered their running back depth by acquiring four-time All-Pro Adrian Peterson and releasing veteran Chris Johnson.

The Cardinals are sending a conditional 2018 draft pick for Peterson, who has rushed for 11,828 yards and 97 touchdowns in his 10-plus NFL seasons.

Peterson played sparingly with little success for the Saints this season, gaining just 81 yards on 27 carries.

NFL-VIKINGS-BRADFORD

Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford has received some good news concerning his ailing left knee after he was pulled from Monday night's 20-17 win over the Bears due to continued discomfort.

Bradford has undergone another MRI that revealed no additional ligament damage or bone bruising. Vikings trainer Eric Sugarman says Bradford was just bothered by aggravation of the wear and tear in the joint that has hampered him for the past four weeks.

ANTHEM PROTESTS-NFL

NFL owners will meet next week to consider changes to a game manual that says players "should" stand during the national anthem. The league had left the guideline to the discretion of players who kneeled in larger numbers after criticism from President Donald Trump.

Commissioner Roger Goodell told club executives Tuesday in a memo obtained by The Associated Press that the anthem issue is dividing the league from its fans.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump is suggesting the U.S. change its tax laws to punish organizations like the NFL if members are "disrespecting" the national anthem or flag. However, the league gave up its federal tax-exempt status a few years ago and now files tax returns as a taxable entity. So it's unlikely that Trump's proposal, tweeted in the early hours Tuesday, would change anything.

76ERS-EMBIID EXTENSION

The Philadelphia 76ers have given a long-term contract to one of their young stars.

A person familiar with the situation tells The Associated Press that Joel Embiid has signed a five-year, $148 million deal that will become more lucrative if he reaches certain incentives. He'll make $6.1 million this season in the final year of his rookie deal.

Embiid missed his first two NBA seasons due to injury and played just 31 games last season before undergoing minor knee surgery in March to repair a torn meniscus. He has displayed his potential when healthy, averaging 20 points and 7.8 rebounds for the Sixers.

NHL-SCHEDULE

The Vegas Golden Knights hosted their first-ever NHL regular-season home game on Tuesday, but the pregame festivities were tempered less than a mile from a makeshift memorial created for the 58 people killed in the Oct. 1 massacre.

The team and the league kept the tragedy in the forefront while attempting to provide their own modicum of momentary relief to a healing city.

Originally planned as a glamorous, Vegas-style debut, the Knights modified their plans and dedicated a quieter evening to the victims, the first responders and the survivors. After a stirring pregame video with stark images of Las Vegas and its heroes, the Golden Knights took the ice for pregame introductions, each accompanied by a member of the medical and law enforcement communities.

The arena illuminated the victims' names on the ice in gold while counting 58 seconds of painful silence.

After that, Knights fans had little excuse to remain quiet as Vegas took a 4-0 lead midway through the first period of a 5-2 win over Arizona. Tomas Nosek put the Golden Knights ahead 2:31 after the opening faceoff and James Neal scored twice to cap the four-goal eruption.

Oscar Lindberg also scored for Vegas, which became the first NHL expansion team to win its first three games.

Elsewhere on ice:

— The Blackhawks dealt the Canadiens their third straight loss as Alex DeBrincat notched his first NHL goal and had an assist in Chicago's 3-1 verdict over Montreal. Artem Anisimov and Brandon Saad also scored for the Hawks, who are 3-0-1 after bouncing back from Monday's overtime loss in Toronto.

— The Predators scored twice in the final 77 seconds of regulation to pull out a 6-5 win against the Flyers. Scott Hartnell tied it on a 5-on-3 power play before Filip Forsberg won it with his second goal of the night, beating Brian Elliott with 35.6 seconds remaining.

— The Blues are 4-0 after Carter Hutton made 16 of his 32 saves in the third period of a 3-1 victory over the Rangers in New York. Hutton protected a 2-1 lead after Carl Gunnarsson and Brayden Schenn scored first-period goals for St. Louis.

— Sonny Milano's second goal of the night came at 4:38 of overtime to give the Blue Jackets a 2-1 win over Carolina. Milano opened the scoring midway through the third period, but Columbus needed his breakaway tally in OT after Jeff Skinner tied it late in regulation.

— John Klingberg and Tyler Seguin scored in the first period and Mattias Janmark provided the eventual game-winner as the Stars earned their first win of the season, 4-2 versus Detroit. Ben Bishop made 23 saves for Dallas.

— Mark Stone scored in the fifth round of the shootout as the Senators picked up their first win of a season, 3-2 over the Canucks. Cody Ceci and Ryan Dzingel scored in regulation for Ottawa, which got 26 saves from Craig Anderson.

PENN STATE-ABUSE

Former Penn State athletic director Tim Curley is now serving the house-arrest portion of his prison sentence after completing a 2 ½-month jail term.

Curley pleaded guilty in March to child endangerment for not properly investigating a complaint by a Penn State assistant coach that former coach Jerry Sandusky abused a boy in a locker room shower. He had been sentenced to seven to 23 months in jail, but Pennlive.com reports he was released from the Centre County jail on Oct. 3.

Curley must now serve four months on house arrest followed by two years on probation.