Landon Donovan will not play for the U.S. national team in a two upcoming World Cup soccer qualifying matches because of an injured left knee.

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Injury will force Donovan

to miss 2 matches for U.S.

Landon Donovan will not play for the United States in two upcoming World Cup qualifying matches because of an injured left knee, adding to what might be a pressure-filled few days for the national team.

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Donovan — the career leader in goals, assists and starts for the U.S. team — will likely not be replaced on what was a 24-man roster for the upcoming qualifiers, Friday on the road against Antigua & Barbuda and Tuesday against Guatemala in Kansas City, Kan.

Donovan was injured Saturday while playing for the Los Angeles Galaxy in a 2-1 Major League Soccer loss to Real Salt Lake. Donovan had scrapped plans for an MRI in Los Angeles on Monday because he thought his knee had improved.

“Landon was very optimistic over the weekend when his knee was feeling much better, but now he needs time to recover,” U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said.

Hours before the Donovan decision was announced, Klinsmann said the Americans were “very, very positive” about his status.

“You want your leaders on the team there,” Klinsmann said.

The U.S. team might need at least a victory and a draw from its next two Group A matches to advance to next year’s regional finals. The United States, Guatemala and Jamaica have seven points each after the first four matches in this round of qualifying.


Wade announces shoe deal

Guard Dwyane Wade, who has won two league championships with the Miami Heat, is signing with Chinese sportswear provider Li-Ning, which is giving Wade his own shoe brand within the company, along with creative and strategic input.

Former Pistons coach dies

Donnie Butcher, who played five seasons in the league and later coached the Detroit Pistons, has died. He was 76.

Butcher became Detroit’s coach late in the 1966-67 season, replacing player-coach Dave DeBusschere, and had a 52-60 record.


McIlroy, Woods lose openers

The anticipated matchup between Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and American Tiger Woods on Wednesday might not count for much after both lost their opening matches at the eight-player World Golf Finals, a $5.2 million event in Antalya, Turkey.

McIlroy lost to American Matt Kuchar by six shots and Woods fell to South African Charl Schwartzel by one shot.

In the other group of the medal match-play format, Lee Westwood of England beat American Webb Simpson by one shot and Justin Rose of England defeated American Hunter Mahan by four strokes.

McIlroy and Woods — ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the world — face each other Wednesday in the last of their three group matches, but it is possible both could be eliminated by that point. The top two in each group advance to the semifinals.


• Girding for the expected release later this week of documents detailing Lance Armstrong‘s alleged use of performance-enhancing substances, a lawyer for the retired cyclist sent a sharply worded five-page letter to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency castigating the motives and methods of what he called a “taxpayer-funded witch hunt” against his client.

The letter, written by Timothy J. Herman of Austin, Texas, accuses USADA of waging a vendetta against Armstrong and basing its case on testimony that has been pressured and coerced from witnesses.

• Australia has granted Mike Tyson a visa, one week after the former heavyweight boxing champion was barred from entering New Zealand because of his 1992 rape conviction in the United States.

Tyson, 46, was to visit both countries on a “Day of the Champions” tour.

• The Nevada State Athletic Commission has temporarily suspended boxer Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., 26, after the former middleweight champion tested positive for marijuana last month.

• Swimming as part of his rehabilitation from a left-knee injury, tennis ace Rafael Nadal of Spain said he hopes to resume practice soon. The 26-year-old hasn’t played since losing in the second round of Wimbledon in June.

Budd Lynch, a radio broadcaster who spent 63 years working for the Detroit Red Wings and was the NHL team’s public-address announcer since 1985, died. He was 95.

• The Western Athletic Conference is adding Cal State-Bakersfield and Utah Valley next year as it punts away football after 50 years.

The new schools join Seattle U., Denver, New Mexico State and Idaho.

• The NCAA banned the Texas Southern football and men’s basketball teams from postseason play, saying it came close to levying the so-called “death penalty” against the school for repeated rules violations and for lying about imposing sanctions on its own.

NCAA penalties include five years’ probation and postseason bans for the 2013 and 2014 football seasons and the 2012-13 men’s basketball season.

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