U.S. plays 0-0 tie in World Cup tuneup

The United States prepped for its opening game in the final round of World Cup qualifying with a dull 0-0 tie against Canada on Tuesday night in Houston as Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez returned to the American national team lineup after a two-year absence.

U.S. Coach Juergen Klinsmann changed all 11 starters from November's 2-2 tie at Russia and is likely to change the entire lineup again for the Feb. 6 qualifier against Honduras at San Pedro Sula.

With Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore and the other regulars remaining with their clubs in Europe for weekend matches, the U.S. started an all-Major League Soccer lineup for the first time since January 2007 against Denmark.

Dutch football fans hurled a barrage of racist abuse at AZ Alkmaar and U.S. striker Altidore during a Dutch Cup quarterfinal against second-tier FC Den Bosch at The Hague. The racism was all the more shocking as it came just weeks after Dutch football authorities pleaded for more respect at all levels of the game following the death of a linesman after he was attacked by players after a match between two youth teams near Amsterdam in December.


English Premier League club Stoke says it has reached an agreement to acquire midfielder Brek Shea from FC Dallas of MLS.


Murphy, Mets avoid arbitration

Second baseman Daniel Murphy and the New York Mets have agreed to a one-year contract worth $2,925,000, avoiding salary arbitration. The 27-year-old Murphy hit .291 with six homers and 65 RBIs last year, when he made $512,196.


Executive director Billy Hunter has fired his daughter and daughter-in-law from the NBA players' association, less than two weeks after a review criticized his hiring practices. Hunter also said that the union will no longer work with the banking firm that employs Hunter's son.


The World Anti-Doping Agency called the UCI "deceitful" for shutting down its independent doping panel and said it won't participate in an amnesty commission set up by the cycling governing body. WADA said the UCI has "again chosen to ignore its responsibility to the sport" by disbanding the panel looking into claims that cycling leaders helped cover up Lance Armstrong's suspicious doping tests and accepted $125,000 in donations from him.


The St. Louis Rams have decided not to hire former Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Rob Ryan for their opening and stepped in a new direction by hiring Frank Bush as linebackers coach. ... The Buffalo Bills will continue to play one regular-season game at the Rogers Centre in Toronto for the next five years, and the new contract also includes one preseason game in 2015. ... Jim Anderson has retired after spending the last 29 years as Cincinnati's running backs coach, the longest tenure of any Bengals coach.


Austria's Marcel Hirscher and Germany's Lena Duerr won World Cup parallel slaloms on a giant ramp in downtown Moscow. Hirscher, the World Cup overall and slalom leader, edged Andre Myhrer of Sweden by 0.16 seconds in the final men's run for his fifth victory this season. Duerr beat Veronica Velez Zuzulova for her first victory this season. Third place went to World Cup slalom leader Mikaela Shiffrin of the U.S.


Gymnast Alicia Sacramone is retiring after setting a U.S. record with 10 medals at the world championships.

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