Jerry Bengston took advantage of a defensive mix-up to score the go-ahead goal in the 79th minute, and Honduras rallied to beat the United States 2-1 Wednesday in the opener of the final qualifying round for next year’s World Cup.
Clint Dempsey put the U.S. ahead in the 36th minute, but the Americans, using a new-look defense that featured Omar Gonzalez and Timmy Chandler, gave up the lead when Juan Carlos Garcia tied the score with a bicycle kick in the 40th at San Pedro Sula.
The U.S., which had been 12-3-3 against Honduras, lost its final-round opener for the first time in five games since the hexagonal format was adopted in qualifying for the 1998 tournament. The Americans are seeking their seventh straight trip to soccer’s showcase.
Cincinnati agreed to a $3.06 million, one-year deal with right-hander Mike Leake, avoiding salary arbitration with their fifth starter. The deal leaves three Reds still facing arbitration: starters Mat Latos and Homer Bailey and outfielder Shin-Soo Choo.
Five-time All-Star Todd Helton has been arrested on a charge of driving under the influence. The Colorado first baseman was arrested at about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday in the Denver suburb of Thornton. Third baseman Albert Callaspo and the Angels have finalized a two-year contract worth $8,975,000.
Around the NBA
Commissioner David Stern says he thinks the NBA is on track to begin testing its players for human growth hormone, perhaps as early as next season. Stern says the league is watching developments in the NFL and Major League Baseball as those two leagues try to address testing for HGH. He says if both leagues get approval to test players, as he expects them to, the NBA will be right behind them.
Pau Gasol has been diagnosed with a tear of the plantar fascia of his right foot a day after he said he felt a pop in the foot during the Lakers’ victory over Brooklyn. The team said the results will be sent to team doctors in Los Angeles for analysis. They gave no timetable for his return.
NCAA will learn of Miami probe
The NCAA says it expects to receive the results of an independent review of inappropriate actions by members of its enforcement staff who have been investigating the Miami football program by the end of next week. NCAA President Mark Emmert ordered the review after it was learned the enforcement staff had improperly conducted at least two depositions while working with an attorney for booster Nevin Shapiro. Miami has been under investigation since the convicted Ponzi scheme mastermind said he had provided improper benefits to Hurricanes recruits.
Around the NFL
Wide receiver Donald Driver officially retired after 14 seasons – all with Green Bay. The franchise’s all-time leading receiver celebrated his career during an unprecedented event inside the Lambeau Field atrium with 1,500 fans, his family, Packers coaches and teammates and local elected officials.
The New York Giants continued their roster purge after missing the playoffs, cutting a pair of veterans in leading rusher Ahmad Bradshaw and defensive tackle Chris Canty.
Group pushes for bill of rights
A coalition of more than 100 groups is recommending that student athletes have access to health care professionals, better-trained coaches and up-to-date equipment. The Youth Sports Safety Alliance says health professionals such as athletic trainers or doctors should be available at every school.
Around the NHL
Linemates Tyler Seguin and David Krejci scored in the opening 2:05 of the third period, lifting the Boston Bruins (7-1-1) to a 2-1 victory against the Canadiens in Montreal.
Columbus forward Brandon Dubinsky was fined $10,000, the maximum allowed under the new NHL collective bargaining agreement, for boarding Los Angeles defenseman Rob Scuderi in Columbus’ 4-2 loss to the Kings on Tuesday. He will not be suspended.