U.S. men end year with defeat

Marc Janko scored in the 33rd minute Tuesday after lax defensive marking, and the United States' men's soccer team ended a record-setting year with a 1-0 loss to Austria at Vienna.

Hungarian referee Istan Vad failed to allow a goal for the United States when Geoff Cameron's header off Michael Bradley's corner kick deflected off an arm of Marko Arnautovic and appeared to cross the goal line in the 17th minute before it was swatted away by goalkeeper Robert Almer.

"It was a goal, or it was a handball and we should have got a penalty," U.S. Coach Juergen Klinsmann said. "It's a friendly game, so I don't want to make a big deal of it. But you have to ask why we are in 2013 and have no goal line technology. It's just a joke."

The U.S. finished the year with a team-record 16 victories and qualified for its seventh straight World Cup.


Cristiano Ronaldo scored a dazzling hat trick to lift Portugal into next year's World Cup at the expense of Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Sweden, and France came back in remarkable fashion to overtake Ukraine for a berth in the 32-nation field for next year's tournament.

Iceland failed to become the least populous nation to reach soccer's top tournament, losing to Croatia on a thrilling final night of European qualifying.

Greece, Ghana and Algeria also earned berths, and Mexico took a 5-1 lead into the second leg of its playoff against New Zealand on Wednesday.

The final berth will be determined Wednesday night, when Uruguay defends a 5-0 advantage against Jordan.


Rick Eckstein is Angels' newest coach

The Angels hired former Washington hitting coach Rick Eckstein as their major league player information coach, a newly created position that will combine elements of scouting, game-plan preparation and on-field coaching.

In a team-issued release, Manager Mike Scioscia said Eckstein, 40, "will integrate scouting reports and have input on the defensive side of our team, as well as pregame preparation."

Eckstein, the brother of former Angels shortstop David Eckstein, was fired in July when the underachieving Nationals were two games under .500 and had the second-lowest scoring offense in the major leagues.

But Eckstein, who spent almost five years in Washington, also guided a Nationals offense that hit a franchise-record 194 home runs and ranked near the top of the National League in several categories in 2012, the year they won the NL East.

The Angels added some organizational catching depth by signing Luis Martinez, 28, to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Martinez spent 2013 with Baltimore's triple-A and double-A teams, hitting .257 with one home run and 20 runs batted in.

—Mike DiGiovanna


A person with knowledge of the situation said reliever LaTroy Hawkins, who turns 41 in December, has agreed to a one-year, $2.5-million deal with the Colorado Rockies.


Brandon Oliver ran for two touchdowns and the defense added another on a fumble recovery as Buffalo routed winless Miami of Ohio, 44-7, at Oxford, Ohio. The Bulls (8-3, 6-1 Mid-American Conference) racked up 517 yards of offense and held the RedHawks (0-11, 0-7) to 200 yards.


Dri Archer had 138 yards and three touchdowns as Kent State dominated Ohio, 44-13, at Athens, Ohio.

The game was close in the first half as Kent State (4-8, 3-5 MAC) took a 17-13 lead into halftime. The Golden Flashes scored two touchdowns in the third quarter to take a 31-13 lead and held the Bobcats (6-5, 3-4) scoreless for the entire second half.


Thomas Welsh, a 7-foot senior center at Los Angeles Loyola, committed to UCLA. Welsh had also considered California and Stanford. He's a rapidly improving big man who will give a big boost to Coach Steve Alford.

—Eric Sondheimer

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World