When the U.S. men take the field Wednesday in Honduras for the start of the final round of World Cup soccer qualifying, Landon Donovan will be missing because he is taking time off.

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U.S. men to play Honduras

When the United States takes the field Wednesday in Honduras for the start of the final round of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, Landon Donovan will be missing.

The 30-year-old midfielder, a veteran of three World Cups and the U.S. career leader in goals and assists, is taking a break from the sport after the Los Angeles Galaxy’s second straight Major League Soccer title.

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“Landon felt like he needed some time to figure out what was next for him, how to go forward. We all support that, but at the same time, life goes on here,” U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley said.

The U.S. team, ranked 28th in the world, practiced in Florida on Monday before traveling to San Pedro Sula for the match against Honduras, ranked 59th.


Nadal returns to action

Spaniard Rafael Nadal wants to stop talking about the aching left knee that kept him away from the ATP Tour for more than seven months until his doubles victory with Juan Monaco at a little-known clay-court tournament in Vina del Mar, Chile.

Nadal, whose inflamed knee has lingered despite ongoing therapy, had not played since June 28, when he was upset in the second round of Wimbledon by Lukas Rosol.

Nadal and Monaco defeated the Czech duo of Frantisek Cermak and Lukas Dlouhy 6-3, 6-2 at the VTR Open. The former No. 1-ranked Nadal discussed his knee for several minutes and then said he wanted to drop the subject and concentrate on tennis.

“The knee — I said it when I got here, I would prefer not to keep talking about the topic,” Nadal said. “At the end of the day, the doctors have said it’s OK. There is no risk of making it worse.”

Nadal is to open his singles season Wednesday against Federico Delbonis.


Tamika Catchings will help Indiana try to defend its WNBA title.

Team officials said Catchings and starting guards Briann January — who is from Spokane — and Shavonte Zellous have signed multiyear contracts to stay with the Fever. Terms were not released.

Meanwhile, the WNBA Los Angeles Sparks signed guard Lindsey Harding, who averaged 12.3 points and 4.5 assists for Atlanta last season.

• In a matchup of NHL teams with the most points, Patrick Kane scored twice to help visiting Chicago beat San Jose 5-3. The Blackhawks (8-0-2) are the only team without a loss in regulation this season.

• Rugged forward Tom Sestito, who hadn’t scored an NHL goal since December 2010, connected twice as the host Philadelphia Flyers beat Tampa Bay 2-1. Both goals were on backhands.

“I only have one move,” Sestito said.

• Figure skater Oksana Baiul is suing NBC Universal and a TV skating-program producer.

The 1994 Olympic gold medalist contends Disson Skating LLC offered her a deal to perform in two shows that were to air on NBC. The lawsuit says Baiul declined, never receiving a contract or signing a promotional deal.

Nevertheless, Baiul said her name and likeness were used to advertise the show on two radio websites. She says she also was named in a news release.

The skater says her reputation was damaged because the incorrect publicity resulted in her being labeled a “no-show,” making it harder to get work. She is seeking $5 million in damages.

• U.S. short-track speedskater Katherine Reutter, who won two medals at the 2010 Vancouver Games, announced her retirement. The 24-year-old cited the toll training was taking on her oft-injured body.

Seattle Times news services