Victory puts U.S. squad in CONCACAF final

First the big boys in South Africa, now the JV at home. No matter who the United States puts on the field these days, they’re finding a way to win.

Clarence Goodson scored at the end of the first half and Kenny Cooper at the end of the second to give a young American team a 2-0 victory over Honduras on Thursday in Chicago and a spot in its third straight CONCACAF Gold Cup final. The Americans, winners of the last two Gold Cup titles, will play Mexico in Sunday’s final at the Meadowlands in New Jersey.

“It’s a big opportunity for all of us, and we’re all trying to take advantage of that,” said Goodson, who got his first goal in his fifth appearance with the U.S. team.

Honduras had a chance to tie with five minutes left, but goalkeeper Troy Perkins and defender Jay Heaps made big stops. Perkins made an excellent save on a shot by Carlo Costly, then Heaps made a sliding block to clear the rebound and end the threat.

Also: David Beckham offered no explanations or apologies for the way he confronted an angry group of Los Angeles Galaxy fans last weekend.

“It’s not a setback for myself. It’s other people that have to change,” Beckham said Thursday after practice. “It’s not about whether I can move on. I wasn’t the one booing.”

Beckham confronted Galaxy fans in a group called the L.A. Riot Squad during Sunday’s 2-2 exhibition tie with AC Milan.

Members of the Riot Squad booed and jeered him during the game and displayed banners saying, “Go Home Fraud” and “Is Evil Something You Are or Something You Do?”

“Of course, I don’t like my son seeing that and hearing that,” Beckham said. “From an organized group of fans, I think it was disrespectful.”


McEnroe’s WTT club issued fine by league

John McEnroe’s World TeamTennis club has been fined for what the league called “unprofessional conduct” by him and other players at a match last week.

During a men’s doubles match between McEnroe’s New York Sportimes and the Washington Kastles on July 16, a shot by Washington’s Leander Paes hit New York’s Robert Kendrick. McEnroe and Sportimes coach Chuck Adams went over to Paes’ side of the court and yelled at him.

Four points later, Kendrick hit Paes with a serve, prompting more screaming and confrontations.

Also: Nicolas Almagro ended his two-match losing streak against Robin Soderling by beating the third-seeded French Open runner-up 7-5, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals of the German Open in Hamburg.

Qualifier Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay upset eighth-seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 6-4, 7-6 (8), and second-seeded Nikolay Davydenko ended Jeremy Chardy’s bid for a second title in two weeks by beating the Frenchman, 6-3, 6-3.


New York Post defends using Andrews photos

The New York Post defended its publication of photos from an illicitly filmed Internet video showing ESPN reporter Erin Andrews naked in a hotel room by accusing the sports network of having outed her.

ESPN on Wednesday said it was banning Post reporters from appearing on the company’s programs because the newspaper published three photos from the video.

A newspaper spokeswoman declined to comment on the ban. She referred The Associated Press to an item on the Post’s gossip page published Thursday that takes ESPN to task for allegedly outing Andrews.

“No one would have known that a sick voyeur had secretly videotaped ESPN reporter Erin Andrews nude in her hotel room, if the Mickey Mouse sports network hadn’t sent a letter to an obscure Web site demanding that it take down its link to a fuzzy video of an unidentified blonde,” the Post said in its popular “Page 6” column.

The Post quoted ESPN spokesman Chris LaPlaca as saying the network is acting “in concert with Erin and her team.” A spokesman for the Bristol, Conn.-based company, which is owned by the Walt Disney Co., declined further comment.

Also: Tired of waiting for Vitali Klitschko, Nikolai Valuev will defend his WBA heavyweight title against David Haye in November.

The fight is likely to be in Germany on Nov. 7 with Haye, a brash former cruiserweight world champion now trying to make his name as a heavyweight, promising to be the first fighter to knock out the 7-foot Russian.

“It is not the first time that my opponents have said things like that,” Valuev said. “Haye is a young man with a big mouth. Let him talk. It will be different in the ring. He will certainly not get my belt.”

Jockey Rafael Bejarano has undergone surgery and is doing well in a hospital a day after he sustained serious facial injuries in a spill at Del Mar.

His agent, Joe Ferrer, said Bejarano is beginning to heal and is expected to leave the hospital today.

Ferrer said the jockey underwent surgery for multiple facial fractures, including a broken jaw, cheek and nose. Bejarano’s jaw didn’t need to be wired shut.

The Chicago Blackhawks said recently signed right wing Marian Hossa will undergo surgery today on his right shoulder to repair a small tear in his rotator cuff.

Team physician Dr. Michael Terry said in a statement the recovery usually takes about four months, meaning Hossa probably won’t be ready for the opener against the Florida Panthers on Oct. 2.

The Minnesota Wild signed center Kyle Brodziak to a three-year deal to avoid arbitration.

The Wild acquired Brodziak from the Edmonton Oilers on draft night.

The Carolina Hurricanes have locked up Tuomo Ruutu for three seasons.

The Hurricanes said they avoided arbitration with the physical forward by signing him to a deal worth $11.4 million.

Illinois football coach Ron Zook has received a one-year contract extension, which will keep him at the school through January 2014.

College baseball is getting ready to crack down on composite-barrel bats.

The NCAA Baseball Rules Committee has proposed an indefinite moratorium on the bats after anecdotal evidence and research conducted at the Division I national tournament indicated many of the bats didn’t comply with NCAA standards.

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