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USA's Wolff possible for Cup qualifier

Josh Wolff could return to the U.S. team today, but Clint Mathis will not play against Trinidad and Tobago in the Americans' final _ and meaningless _ World Cup qualifier.

The pair, who sparked the Americans earlier this year, have not played since spring but rejoined the national team at training camp last week in Fort Lauderdale.

Wolff broke his left foot May 30 in an MLS game, and Mathis tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee June 5 while practicing with the team for an exhibition against Ecuador.

The pair led the United States in wins against Mexico and Costa Rica earlier this year. Without them, the U.S. offense struggled to a 1-3-1 mark, jeopardizing its qualifying chances, before clinching a berth Oct. 7 with a 2-1 win over Jamaica.

"It has been a frustrating year," Wolff said. "Since the injury, it has been tough watching games. But the main thing is that we got a good result and we ended up qualifying for the World Cup, and that was the ultimate goal."

MORE SOCCER: Julie Murray, MVP of the first WUSA championship game, announced her retirement. Murray led the San Jose CyberRays with nine goals last season. In World Cup qualifying, Germany, Ireland, Slovenia, Belgium and Turkey won.

WINTER SPORTS: Russia's Maria Butyrskaya won the women's figure skating event at the Nations Cup Grand Prix in Gelsenkirchen, Gemany. Japan's Yoshie Onda was second, followed by American Angela Nikodinov. China's Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo won the pairs event. Americans Kyoko Ina and John Zimmerman were second. French skating couple Sarah Abitbol and Stephane Bernadis won the pairs event at the Zagreb Golden Spin in Croatia. Belarus' Sergei Davydov won the men's program. Germany's Anni Friesinger won the women's 3,000-meter speed-skating race at Berlin's World Cup event. American Jennifer Rodriguez was fourth. In the men's 1,500, Norwegian Petter Andersen and Dutchman Jakko Jan Leeuwangh tied for first.

POWERBOATS: Offshore racers Robert Morgan and Lorne Leibel piloted Big Thunder Marine to victory at the Key West World Championship.

WEIGHT LIFTING: Russia's Vladimir Smortchkov set a world record in the snatch with 435.6 pounds and won two gold medals at the World Championships in Antalya, Turkey. Teammate Albina Khomitch swept the women's over 165-pound competition, lifting a combined 621.5 pounds. The International Federation suspended the Nigerian team from competition for one year after a positive drug test.

BOXING: Steve Quinonez recovered from a third-round knockdown and earned an unanimous decision over Juan Valenzuela Friday in a 12-round junior welterweight bout at the Spa Casino in Palm Springs, Calif. Flyweight champion Irene Pacheco retained his title with a fourth-round technical knockout against Mike Trejo in San Antonio Friday.

HORSES: Queue won Aqueduct's Grade II $150,000 Long Island Handicap for fillies and mares 3 and older. August Storm won the Lulu's Ransom Stakes and Mountain Forum the Fabulous Frolic Stakes in the two $60,000 turf features at Miami's Calder Race Course. Watch won the $169,350 Cardinal Handicap for fillies and mares at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. A sister to two-time Breeders' Cup Classic winner Tiznow brought a top price of $950,000 at Keeneland's November Breeding Stock Sale in Lexington, Ky. Heads Will Roll won the $100,000 Matiara Stakes at Hollywood Park.

OBITUARIES: Ethel Jacobs, a prominent owner of thoroughbreds and widow of Hall of Fame trainer Hirsch Jacobs, died at age 91 of pneumonia in Miami Beach. Don H. Potts, a track and field author, historian and statistician, died at age 79 in Santa Barbara, Calif. Kim McDonald, who coached athletes such as middle-distance star Steve Ovett and Olympic 1,500-meter champion Noah Ngeny, died of a heart attack at age 45 in Australia.

_ Compiled from Times wires.

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