Howard stepping away from U.S. team for a year
World Cup star Tim Howard is taking a break from international soccer and will not be considered for selection to the national team until September 2015, the U.S. Soccer Federation announced Thursday.
“Having played overseas for the last 12 years and missing out on spending time with my family, making this commitment to my family is very important at this time,” said Howard, who discussed the break with U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann and Roberto Martinez, his coach at Everton of the English Premier League.
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Howard, 35, emphasized he was not retiring from the national team. He has been the starting goalkeeper for the U.S. for seven years and is U.S. Soccer’s all-time leader with 104 caps and 55 victories. Last week he began his ninth season as the first-choice keeper for Everton.
But, as with Landon Donovan, who took a four-month vacation from soccer at the beginning of World Cup qualifying in 2013, Klinsmann said Howard will have to prove he deserves to be taken back when he returns next year.
Howard could miss as many as eight U.S. friendlies during his break as well as the 2015 Gold Cup. In his place, World Cup backups Brad Guzan and Nick Rimando are expected to compete for the starting job for the U.S.
The Vancouver Whitecaps traded Nigel Reo-Coker to Chivas USA for fellow midfielder Mauro Rosales.
Rosales, a former Sounder, has started 16 of his 21 games for Chivas this season and is third in the league with eight assists. The 33-year-old Argentine had 12 goals and 34 assists in three seasons with Seattle before joining Chivas this year. Reo-Coker is a former English Premier League player.
Luis Suarez was left off a preliminary list of players for Uruguay’s international friendly matches next month against Japan and South Korea, even though he was eligible to play after his four-month biting ban was softened.
The Minnesota Timberwolves’ three-team trade of Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers is expected to happen this weekend. One new name joining the deal: Philadelphia 76ers veteran forward Thaddeus Young will be going to Minnesota, several media outlets reported.
Gamecocks back injured
South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said 1,000-yard rusher Mike Davis hasn’t practiced this week and might not be ready when the ninth-ranked Gamecocks open the season against No. 21 Texas A&M next Thursday.
Brad Keselowski earned his first NASCAR Truck Series victory, becoming the first father-son duo to do so.
Keselowski passed defending champion Kyle Busch with 75 laps to go and held off Busch’s teammate Darrell Wallace Jr. in the UNOH 200 at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
Bob Keselowski won a Truck Series race at Richmond, Va., in 1997.
Ledecky wins two golds
Katie Ledecky grinned and nodded her head, very slightly, in a show of approval as she surveyed the times on the scoreboard for the 800-meter freestyle.
After starting her opening night program with a gold medal in the 200 free at the Pan Pacific championships in Gold Coast, Australia — her first at that distance in a major international meet — the 17-year-old American finished it off by narrowly missing her own world record in the 800.
It was widely expected that an American woman would win two titles Thursday. But it was Missy Franklin, a six-time winner at last year’s world championships, who had seemed most likely to do that until she hurt her back in practice.
• Simone Biles sprinted to the lead at the U.S. women’s gymnastics championships in Pittsburgh, putting on an impressive display as she closes in on a second straight national title. Biles posted a combined score of 61.60 through four nearly flawless events, well ahead of second-place Maggie Nichols.
• Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome will return to racing Sept. 20 when the colt is set to run in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby.
• Goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere announced his retirement after 16 NHL seasons in which he won 262 games, a Conn Smythe Trophy and a Stanley Cup championship.
• Nesta Carter (9.96) of Jamaica was the only sprinter to dip below 10 seconds as he won the men’s 100 meters at the DN Galan Diamond League meet in Stockholm. Olympic champion Allyson Felix beat U.S. teammates Tori Bowie and Joanna Atkins to win the women’s 200 in 22.85 seconds.
Seattle Times news services