U.S. men rout Trinidad, get Mexico next
JACKSONVILLE — Jozy Altidore had two goals in three minutes in the second half at EverBank Field and Sacha Kljestan and Paul Arriola scored as the United States beat Trinidad and Tobago 4-0 Tuesday to reach the final round of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.
The Americans won Group C of the semifinal round in CONCACAF (the North and Central American and Caribbean region) and open the six-team, 10-game final round Nov. 11 against Group B winner Mexico.
Christian Pulisic made his first U.S. start after seven appearances as a substitute. Pulisic, 17, is the youngest American to start a World Cup qualifier. Landon Donovan was 18 when he played against Honduras in 2001.
Columbus, Ohio, the site of U.S.-Mexico qualifying meetings in each of the past four World Cup cycles — all 2-0 victories for the Americans, thus the popular Dos a cero chant among U.S. fans — will host the November meeting, si.com reported.
Solo suspension: U.S. women's national team coach Jill Ellis said Hope Solo's suspension stemmed from a "sum total of actions" and not just comments the goalkeeper made about Sweden after the Americans lost in the Olympic quarterfinals. Ellis told U.S. Soccer's website that Solo's six-month suspension, and termination of the keeper's contract, came because, "It's not simply a decision made about comments, it was based on the sum total of actions that have unfortunately shone a negative light on our program."
More World Cup qualifying: European champion Portugal, minus injured star Cristiano Ronaldo, lost 2-0 at Switzerland in the Group B opener for both teams. France, which failed to score in 120 minutes against Portugal in last month's European final, again went goalless in a 0-0 tie at unheralded Belarus.
Power cleared for IndyCar finale
Will Power was cleared to race for the IndyCar championship after a crash at Watkins Glen left him with concussion-like symptoms. Power trails Team Penske teammate Simon Pagenaud by 43 points with only the finale, Sept. 18 in Sonoma, Calif., remaining. Power, who missed the opener in St. Petersburg with concussion-like symptoms, wrecked on Lap 39 of Sunday's race after making contact with Charlie Kimball.
Hockey: Philipp Grubauer of the Capitals will replace injured goaltender Frederik Andersen and Anze Kopitar will serve as captain for Team Europe at the World Cup of Hockey. Andersen, of the Maple Leafs, suffered an upper-body injury playing for Denmark in Olympic qualifying over the weekend and will miss 3-4 weeks. Kings captain Kopitar will wear the "C" for the team, which has players from several countries. The tournament starts Sept. 17 in Toronto.
Paralympics: Organizers say ticket sales for the event, which starts with tonight's opening ceremony in Rio De Janeiro, have jumped from around 200,000 to 1.6 million. International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach will miss tonight's ceremony to attend a state event in Germany.