Top News America
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Quick read: World Cup draw set
CAPE TOWN, South Africa — The United States will face England at the World Cup for the first time since a famous upset 60 years ago, then play Slovenia and Algeria in the first round of the 2010 soccer tournament.
The U.S. opens against England in Rustenburg on June 12, the teams’ first World Cup matchup since the Americans’ 1-0 victory at the 1950 tournament in Brazil. The U.S. then meets Slovenia at Johannesburg’s Ellis Park on June 18 and completes the first round on June 23 against Algeria in Pretoria. The U.S. has never played either nation.
“This is the best draw we’ve ever had in any World Cup,” said former U.S. forward Eric Wynalda, now an analyst for the FOX Soccer Channel. “No disrespect to England, but this is an ideal group for us.”
Flyers fire coach
PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia Flyers replaced coach John Stevens with Peter Laviolette on Friday after the NHL team was shut out in consecutive games. Laviolette led the Carolina Hurricanes to their only Stanley Cup title in 2006. He was fired in December 2008 and was still under contract.
Laviolette, who also coached the New York Islanders for two seasons, was 167-130-30 in his four-plus seasons with Carolina.
Stevens got the job early in the 2006 season after Ken Hitchcock was fired and led the Flyers to the Eastern Conference finals the following season. Stevens went 120-109-34. He had two 10-game losing streaks with the Flyers.
Bucks coach suspended
NEW YORK — The NBA suspended Milwaukee Bucks coach Scott Skiles one game without pay Friday for his actions toward an official, becoming the first coach to receive such a penalty in nearly seven years. He served the suspension on Friday night. The last NBA coach to be suspended for an interaction with a referee was Utah’s Jerry Sloan, who was banned seven games in January 2003 for making contact with an official.
Jets QB sprains knee
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez might be able to play in New York’s next game after spraining the posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. Coach Rex Ryan said an MRI exam on Friday revealed the severity of the injury, suffered in the Jets’ 19-13 win over Buffalo on Thursday night.
# New York Jets safety Kerry Rhodes has been fined $5,000 by the NFL for throwing a ball into the stands following an interception against Carolina.
No bowl for Irish
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The Notre Dame football season is officially over. Athletic director Jack Swarbrick announced Friday that the school has decided against going to a bowl game with a 6-6 record, citing “unique circumstances” surrounding the program. Swarbrick earlier this week fired Charlie Weis as coach after five seasons. The search for a replacement is under way.
# A campus fight involving Michigan State football players and fraternity members could affect the Spartans’ bowl destination. Alamo Bowl officials said Friday they are monitoring fallout from the Nov. 22 incident that has led to the suspension of 10 Michigan State players for a violation of team rules.
Alamo Bowl selections will be announced Sunday, and the Alamo Bowl could be looking at either Michigan State or Minnesota — both 6-6 — as its Big Ten representative. The other team in the Jan. 2 Alamo Bowl in San Antonio will come from the Big 12. The Insight Bowl in Tempe, Ariz., selects a Big Ten team after the Alamo Bowl has made a selection.