Landon Donovan, back with the Los Angeles Galaxy after a sabbatical of nearly four months, said Thursday he wants to help the U.S. qualify for next year's...

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Donovan hopes to rejoin

U.S. national team

Landon Donovan, back with the Los Angeles Galaxy after a sabbatical of nearly four months, said Thursday he wants to help the U.S. qualify for next year’s World Cup.

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“I realize that I have a long way to go, both on the field and off the field, to work back into the national team, and that’s my goal,” Donovan said after a training session with the Galaxy in Washington, D.C. “I miss being a part of that. I want to represent my country again.”

The 31-year-old midfielder said he will not play in Los Angeles’ match Saturday in Toronto but could return as a substitute in upcoming games.

A member of three World Cup teams and the American career scoring leader, Donovan has been watching the national team from a distance. The U.S. is 1-1-1 in the final round of qualifying from North and Central America and the Caribbean after Tuesday’s 0-0 tie in Mexico. It was just the second time the U.S. secured a point in Mexico in World Cup qualifying.


Sharapova, Serena into final

Maria Sharapova keeps drawing a different opponent in the Key Biscayne, Fla., final, and has yet to find one she can beat.

Now she’ll give it a try against Serena Williams.

Sharapova, a four-time runner-up, earned another berth in the final by beating Jelena Jankovic of Serbia 6-2, 6-1 at the Sony Open. Eight hours later, five-time champion Williams advanced when she beat defending champion Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland 6-0, 6-3.

Sharapova has lost the Key Biscayne final to four different players — Kim Clijsters in 2005, Svetlana Kuznetsova in ’06, Victoria Azarenka in ’11 and Radwanska last year. The top-ranked Williams might be the toughest matchup for her yet.

Sharapova is 2-11 against Williams, with both of the wins way back in 2004. Williams has won their past 10 meetings and their past 13 sets.

Britain’s Andy Murray, the 2009 champion and runner-up last year, advanced to the semifinals by beating No. 9 Marin Cilic of Croatia 6-4, 6-3. Murray has yet to drop a set, and his path is made easier because Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer skipped the tournament, and Novak Djokovic lost in the fourth round.

Track and field

Pistorius allowed to leave South Africa with conditions

Oscar Pistorius can leave South Africa to compete in international track meets, a judge ruled as he upheld the Olympic athlete’s appeal against some of his bail restrictions.

Judge Bert Bam said Pistorius, who is charged with murder in the Valentine’s Day shooting death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, must travel under certain conditions. His passport will be held by a court while he is in South Africa, and he can only leave the country if he provides an itinerary of his travel plans at least a week before he is due to leave. Pistorius must also hand his travel documents back to the court within 24 hours of returning home.

Pistorius’ lawyers said he has no immediate plans to compete.


ESPN extends TV contract

The WNBA and ESPN announced they had added six years to their current broadcasting deal, which had four seasons remaining, and it now runs through the 2022 season. ESPN has been televising WNBA games since its inaugural season in 1997.

Up to 30 games will be aired yearly on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.


Guerrero arrested

Boxer Robert Guerrero was arrested at New York’s Kennedy Airport after police said he tried to bring a gun on a plane.

Guerrero, 30, was arraigned on charges including criminal possession of a firearm. He was released on his own recognizance and ordered to appear in court May 14.

He is scheduled to fight Floyd Mayweather Jr. on May 4 in Las Vegas. Representatives for Guerrero said he will continue to train for the fight.

Auto racing

Martin to replace Hamlin

Mark Martin will drive for Joe Gibbs Racing while Denny Hamlin recovers from a fractured vertebra in his lower back.

Martin’s first start in the No. 11 Toyota will be next week at Martinsville Speedway, where he wasn’t scheduled to race. Brian Vickers had already been tabbed to drive Martin’s car for Michael Waltrip Racing at Martinsville.

Hamlin is expected to miss at least five races while he heals. JGR didn’t specify how long Martin will be in the car.


• Colorado Rapids defender Drew Moor was suspended for an additional game by the MLS disciplinary committee after earning a red card Sunday against the L.A. Galaxy.

• The New York Red Bulls acquired former Harvard forward Andre Akpan from the Colorado Rapids for a conditional pick in the 2015 draft.

• Colorado Rapids defender Diego Calderon is expected to miss four to five months after undergoing microfracture surgery on his right knee.

• American midfielder Stuart Holden is temporarily switching between English second-tier clubs Bolton and Sheffield Wednesday to regain match fitness.

• Pittsburgh running back Rushel Shell is taking time off from football to deal with what coach Paul Chryst is calling “challenges” off the field.

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