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U.S. Tops Mexico 2-0 to Reach World Cup (AP)
USA goalkeeper Kasey Keller (18)  celebrates his 2-0 shutout of Mexico after their World Cup qualifying game in Columbus, Ohio, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2005. Celebrating shirtless with Keller is Frankie Hejduk. (AP Photo/Will Shilling)AP - Qualifying for the World Cup is sweet. Doing it against your archrival is nirvana. The United States is headed to next year's soccer championship in Germany after beating Mexico 2-0 Saturday night thanks to goals by Steve Ralston and DaMarcus Beasley five minutes apart in the second half.


No. 1 Southern Cal Clobbers Hawaii 63-17 (AP)
Two-time national champion Southern California's quarterback  Matt Leinart hands off the ball to tailback LenDale White (21) as  Reggie Bush (5) during the first quarter of their season-opener against Hawaii  Saturday, Sept. 3, 2005, at Aloha stadium in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)AP - Matt Leinart and Southern California played as though the Orange Bowl never ended. The Heisman Trophy winner threw for 332 yards and three touchdowns, and top-ranked USC started its quest for a third straight national championship with a 63-17 victory over Hawaii on Saturday.


No. 2 Texas Routs Louisiana-Lafayette 60-3 (AP)
Texas running tail back Selvin Young (22), left, is stripped of the ball by Louisiana-Lafayette strong safety Lamar Morgan (8), center, and causes a turnover in the first half at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2005, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Thomas Terry)AP - Vince Young threw for three touchdowns, ran for another and No. 2 Texas opened the season with a 60-3 romp over Louisiana-Lafayette on Saturday night.


Marlins Rally to Catch Mets 5-4 (AP)
Florida Marlins' Carlos Delgado (25) is congratulated by Miguel Cabrera after Delgado hit a two-out, two-run home run scoring Cabrera in the fourth inning against the New York Mets Saturday, Sept. 3, 2005, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)AP - Miguel Cabrera hit a three-run double with two outs in the seventh inning Saturday night to cap a comeback by the Florida Marlins, who beat the New York Mets 5-4 to give manager Jack McKeon his 1,000th major league win.


Carpenter Wins 20th Game for Cardinals (AP)
St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter delivers against the Houston Astros in the first inning, Saturday, Sept. 3, 2005, in Houston.  (AP Photo/Tim Johnson)AP - Chris Carpenter became baseball's first 20-game winner this season, and the St. Louis Cardinals took advantage of Roger Clemens' injury to beat the Houston Astros 4-2 Saturday night.


NFL Suspends Three on Teams' Cutdown Day (AP)
Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Tice ,center, talks to his two quarterbacks Shaun Hill ,left, and Brad Johnson, right, in their game against the Seattle Seahawks during the fourth quarter Friday, Sept. 2, 2005, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Jim Bryant)AP - It was cutdown day Saturday in the NFL. It was also suspension day. While veterans Hugh Douglas, Jon Ritchie and Sean Landeta were released by Philadelphia and former first-round pick David Terrell was let go by New England, three players were suspended for four games by the NFL — Kansas City offensive lineman John Welbourn, Cincinnati defensive end Duane Clemons, and Cleveland defensive back Michael Jameson.


Nashville Offers NHL Arena to Hornets (AP)
AP - The Nashville Predators are offering the displaced New Orleans Hornets a chance to play 12 games this season in the NHL team's arena.

Small comes up big as Yankees blank the A's (Reuters)
New York Yankees Jason Giambi hits a three-run home run off Oakland Athletics' relief pitcher Justin Duchscherer in the seventh inning of their game in Oakland, California September 3, 2005. (Lou Dematteis/Reuters)Reuters - Aaron Small pitched a five-hit shutout, the first shutout of his major league career, as the New York Yankees blanked the Oakland Athletics 7-0 in American League play Saturday in Oakland.


Crew Clips Chivas USA 3-0 (AP)
Columbus Crew's John Wolyniec, left, scores a goal past Chivas USA goalie Sergio Garcia during the second half in Carson, Calif., on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2005. Wolyniec had two goals on the night as the Crew won 3-0. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)AP - John Wolyniec scored twice in a 9-minute span to lead the Columbus Crew past Chivas USA 3-0 Saturday night.


Canada, U.S. Reach Four Nations Final (AP)
AP - Jenny Potter scored twice to lead the United States past Sweden 2-0 Saturday, sending the Americans to the final of the women's Four Nations Cup against Canada for the fourth straight year.

A helping hand
Peyton Manning has engineered his most important drive … to assist the relief effort in his native Louisiana.

Saints WR Joe Horn visits refugees (AP)
Three-year-old Aaron Carter timidly hoisted a small football skyward to Saints receiver Joe Horn, who reached down and gave the boy a hug before signing. The boy's grandmother, Jeanne Carter, says seeing Aaron happy made her smile for the first time all week. For thousands of Hurricane Katrina refugees inside the Astrodome on Saturday, meeting Horn was a much-needed morale boost.

Eagles sign WR McCants, cut DE Douglas (AP)
The Philadelphia Eagles bolstered their depleted receiving corps, signing wideout Darnerien McCants to a one-year contract on Saturday. The NFC champions also released popular defensive end Hugh Douglas, former starting fullback Jon Ritchie and veteran punter Sean Landeta to reach the roster limit of 53 players.

Chiefs' Welbourn suspended for steroids (AP)
Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman John Welbourn has been suspended for four games for violation of the league's steroid policy. ``John has been suspended,'' coach Dick Vermeil told The Associated Press on Saturday. ``We are moving forward. I really can't say any more than that right now.'' Welbourn, a reserve guard acquired from Philadelphia in 2004, played in Friday night's exhibition loss to...

Cowboys sign WR Price to one-year deal (AP)
Receiver Peerless Price decided Saturday to join the Dallas Cowboys, primarily because of the chance to be reunited with quarterback Drew Bledsoe. Price accepted a one-year deal, agent Tim McGee said, giving him a chance to become a free agent again next season when he'll have more time to look around.

Lions unsure how bad Garcia is hurt (AP)
The Detroit Lions need more time to know how long Jeff Garcia's broken leg and injured ankle will keep him out. Detroit's backup quarterback was hurt in their preseason finale. ``He had an MRI, but it was not definitive,'' team president Matt Millen said Saturday. ``We need more information, so we're going to have him take more tests.

Broncos cut RB Quentin Griffin (AP)
Tailback Quentin Griffin, the opening-day starter for Denver last season, was the most surprising of the 19 cuts the Broncos made Saturday. The fourth-round draft pick in 2003 was released, along with receiver Triandos Luke, quarterback Matt Mauck and defensive linemen Dorsett Davis and Mario Fatafehi.

Belichick expects Bruschi back in 2006 (AP)
With his focus on the season opener Thursday night, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick still can look forward to something good in 2006 -- the return of linebacker Tedy Bruschi. Belichick said Friday discussions he's had with Bruschi, who suffered a mild stroke in February, are similar to the player's comments in a published interview that he would play in 2006 after skipping the 2005...

Browns DB Jameson suspended by NFL (AP)
Cleveland rookie coach Romeo Crennel released 14 players and placed six on various injury lists. The NFL sidelined another for him. Offensive guard Enoch DeMar, who started 11 games last season, was the most notable player cut Saturday as Crennel reduced the Browns' roster to the league limit of 53 one week before the season opener against Cincinnati.

Manning sits as Bengals rout Colts 38-0 (AP)
Peyton Manning warmed up, then headed to midfield for the pregame coin toss, politely shaking the hands of five Cincinnati Bengals along the way. Coach Tony Dungy made sure the Bengals wouldn't touch him again. The winless Colts rested their entire starting offense and all but two players on defense Friday night, playing it safe instead of playing for real.

Predators offer arena to Hornets (AP)
The Nashville Predators are offering the displaced New Orleans Hornets a chance to play 12 games this season in the NHL team's arena. Hugh Lombardi, general manager of the Gaylord Entertainment Center, said he has contacted the NBA about the offer. The New Orleans Arena is next to the Superdome, and the NBA has informed teams the Hornets may relocate.

Lakers tab Abdul-Jabbar as special asst. (AP)
Former Los Angeles Lakers star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a six-time NBA MVP and the leading career scorer in league history, has been hired by the team as a special assistant coach. The 58-year-old Abdul-Jabbar played in the NBA for 20 seasons -- six with the Milwaukee Bucks and 14 with the Lakers. He scored 38,387 points before retiring in 1989.

Finley officially signs with Spurs (AP)
Prized free agent Michael Finley officially signed with the defending NBA champion San Antonio Spurs on Friday. ``We are extremely pleased to have a player of Michael's caliber joining our franchise,'' coach Gregg Popovich said. ``He brings an All-Star level of talent to the floor and a high degree of character to the locker room.'' The 32-year-old swingman had been courted by several rising powers...

Pistons ink Maurice Evans to 3-year deal (AP)
Maurice Evans signed with the Detroit Pistons and is expected to provide depth behind starting small forward Tayshaun Prince and shooting guard Richard Hamilton. ``Maurice is the kind of player we think is going to fit in with our team and our culture,'' president of basketball operations Joe Dumars said Saturday.

Raptors waive F Lamond Murray (AP)
The Toronto Raptors waived small forward Lamond Murray on Friday. Murray barely played during his three seasons in Toronto, averaging 6.0 points, 2.7 rebounds in 95 games. The 11-year veteran had one-year and $5.25 million left on his contract. Toronto general manager Rob Babcock wanted to clear a roster spot and allow Murray to sign with another team.

Yao signs $75M extension with Rockets (AP)
Yao Ming signed a five-year contract worth more than $75 million Thursday, keeping the 7-foot-6 center with the Houston Rockets through the 2010-11 season. The extension, the maximum allowed under the NBA's new labor deal, ended days of speculation about Yao's future. Owner Leslie Alexander called the agreement ``as important as anything I've done as an owner.'' ``I think he could become one of...

Cavs F Varejao to miss start of season (AP)
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Anderson Varejao had arthroscopic surgery Friday to repair his dislocated right shoulder and is expected to miss the start of the season. The 6-foot-11 Varejao, a key contributor off Cleveland's bench as a rookie last season, was injured last month while playing for his native Brazil in a World Championship qualifying game in the Dominican Republic.

Canadiens sign G Theodore to 3-year deal (AP)
The Canadiens re-signed goaltender Jose Theodore to a three-year, $16 million contract on Friday. Theodore, who will turn 29 on Sept. 13, is entering his ninth season with the Canadiens. Montreal's second choice, the 44th overall, in the 1994 entry draft, he played in a career-high 67 games with the Canadiens in 2003-04 and had a career-best 33 wins with a 2.27 goals-against average.

Wings not close on Datsyuk, Zetterberg (AP)
As the NHL moves toward resuming play, the Detroit Red Wings are not close to re-signing restricted free agents Pavel Datsyuk or Henrik Zetterberg. ``We're nowhere near a deal with either player,'' Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said Thursday. ``We've made a number of offers and they've made offers, but we still have a long way to go to reach deals.'' It's a priority for the Red Wings to...

Thrashers sign goalie Mike Dunham (AP)
The Atlanta Thrashers added some insurance in net Friday, signing veteran goalie Mike Dunham. Starting goalie Kari Lehtonen is only 21 and backup Pasi Nurminen was lost for the season with a career-threatening knee injury, leaving the team without adequate depth and experience at the position. The 33-year-old Dunham has played 358 NHL games over eight seasons with New Jersey, Nashville and the New...

Devs assistant Carpenter to miss season (AP)
New Jersey Devils assistant coach Bobby Carpenter said Thursday he will not coach with the team this season, citing personal reasons. Carpenter said several factors influenced his decision, including his father suffering a stroke in June and the need to undergo several operations. ``There are some things I have to get done that would affect the way I do my job,'' Carpenter said.

Penguins sign D Lyle Odelein (AP)
Lyle Odelein signed Friday with the Pittsburgh Penguins, who have been looking for a steady and physical defender to complement a group of mostly offense-minded defensemen. Odelein, 37, has played for four teams since being chosen as the Columbus Blue Jackets' first team captain in 2000, also playing for the Blackhawks, Dallas Stars and Florida Panthers.

Canucks re-sign F Jarkko Ruutu (AP)
The Vancouver Canucks re-signed winger Jarkko Ruutu on Thursday to a one-year contract worth $600,000. In three seasons with the Canucks, the Finn had 13 goals and 21 assists in 185 games. Ruutu spent the 2004-05 season with HIFK Helsinki of the Finnish league, where he had 10 goals and 18 assists. ``We are very excited to once again have Jarkko Ruutu in our lineup,'' Canucks general manager Dave...

Ovechkin comes to D.C., signs with Caps (AP)
Alexander Ovechkin, the No. 1 pick in last year's NHL draft, arrived in the nation's capital Wednesday and signed his three-year contract with the Washington Capitals. The Capitals also signed defenseman Jeff Schultz, another first-round in the 2004 draft. Ovechkin, 19, agreed to terms Aug. 5, and is scheduled to be formally introduced at a news conference Thursday.

Gordon's goals
FONTANA, Calif. – Jeff Gordon has charged back into the top 10, but his work isn't done yet.

Carl Edwards wins Busch Series Ameriquest 300 (SportsTicker)

Edwards races to Busch win (AP)
Carl Edwards took control late in the race and drove away to an easy victory Saturday night in the NASCAR Busch Series race at California Speedway.

Edwards wins pole for NASCAR Sony HD 500 (SportsTicker)

Edwards wins first Cup pole; leads Roush sweep of top four (AP)
Carl Edwards led a Roush Racing sweep of the top four spots in Saturday's qualifying for the NASCAR Nextel Cup race at California Speedway.

Championship contenders vulnerable (AP)
Last week at Bristol, Dale Jarrett got mad and probably cost himself any chance of making NASCAR's Chase for the Nextel Cup championship.

Gordon has tenuous hold on position in Chase (AP)
Jeff Gordon has dealt with the pressure of championship races.

NASCAR joins in Hurricane Katrina relief effort (SportsTicker)
By Bruce Martin SportsTicker Contributing Editor

Gordon leads opening California practice (AP)
Three-time California Speedway winner Jeff Gordon led the opening NASCAR Nextel Cup practice session Friday night on the 2-mile oval.

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