U.S. Does Just Enough to Drop Honduras
Sandy, Utah — Jozy Altidore scored a goal in his fourth consecutive international match, enough for the United States to edge Honduras 1-0 in a World Cup qualifying game last night.
Before 20,250 fans at Rio Tinto Stadium, the Americans remained atop the six-team CONCACAF group. The United States (4-1-1) won three straight games this month, all since a 0-0 draw at Mexico gave it a boost toward the top.
It has also shut out its last two opponents, Panama and Honduras.
Australia, South Korea, Iran
Qualify for World Cup
Australia, Iran and South Korea won spots at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil on a dramatic final day of Asian qualifying.
Australia beat Iraq 1-0 in Sydney before a crowd of 80,532, with Josh Kennedy scoring on a header in the 83rd minute. The Aussies began the game knowing a win over Iraq would put them through to a third straight World Cup appearance.
Iran won 1-0 on a goal by Reza Ghoochannejad in the 60th minute at Ulsan, South Korea. Iran finished first in its group and reached the World Cup for the fourth time.
South Korea secured second place on goal difference after finishing even on points with Uzbekistan, which won 5-1 at home against Qatar. South Korea is going to its eighth straight World Cup.
Gronk Gets Back Fixed
Foxborough, Mass. — New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski underwent back surgery yesterday, his fourth operation this year.
The latest surgery was performed by Dr. Robert Watkins and was successful, said Drew Rosenhaus, Gronkowski’s agent.
On May 20, the Patriots star had the most recent operation on the left forearm that he broke on Nov. 18 while blocking for an extra point in a 59-24 win over the Indianapolis Colts. He had an operation soon after, the first of four on his forearm.
UNC 4, LSU 2
Omaha, Neb. — Brian Holberton homered, Trent Thornton pitched a strong seven innings and No. 1 national seed North Carolina extended its stay at the College World Series with a victory over LSU yesterday.
The Tar Heels (58-11) play North Carolina State or UCLA in an elimination game tomorrow. The No. 4-seeded Tigers (57-11) went 0-2 in their first CWS appearance since winning the 2009 national title.
Wings Extend Datsyuk
Detroit — Pavel Datsyuk and the Detroit Red Wings have an agreement on a three-year contract.
The Red Wings said yesterday they had agreed to terms on a deal to keep Datsyuk through the 2016-17 season. He can’t sign the contract until July 5 because he was entering the last year of his current deal.
The Russian superstar has said he wanted to stay with the Red Wings instead of returning home to play following the 2013-14 season.
Flyers, Streit Agree
Philadelphia — Defenseman Mark Streit is staying in Philadelphia.
Less than a week after Streit was acquired by the Flyers in a trade with the New York Islanders, the 35-year-old defenseman agreed to a four-year $21 million contract, according to a person familiar with deal.
The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Flyers had not announced the move on Tuesday, a day after Canada’s TSN first reported the deal had been reached.
The deal prevents Streit from entering free agency on July 5. And it proved to be a calculated gamble that paid off for the Flyers in making the trade to acquire the rights to the Islanders captain.
In exchange, Philadelphia gave up minor-league forward Shane Harper and a fourth-round pick in the 2014 draft.
Streit has 65 goals and 288 points in 491 career games. And he’s coming off a solid season, in which he had six goals and 27 points to lead Islanders defensemen. He also had three goals and five points in a six-game, first-round loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Following the trade to Philadelphia, Streit had expressed confidence about his chances of securing a deal with his new team.
“Maybe they need a few days or weeks, but I’m pretty positive,” said Streit, who made $4.1 million last season. “It’d be awesome to play for the Flyers. The future is bright. They were in the (Stanley) Cup finals three years ago and there is so much skill and a great mix between veteran players and young players.”
His addition leads to further questions regarding what the Flyers will need to do to free up salary-cap space. They had one of the NHL’s most expensive payrolls last season, and were already set to have eight players scheduled to make more than $4.5 million this season.
It’s a group that includes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, who is scheduled to make $8 million.
After spending much of his career playing in his native Switzerland, Streit broke into the NHL in 2005-06 with the Montreal Canadiens. He then joined the Islanders as a free agent in 2008, when he led the team with 56 points and was named an All-Star.
L.A. Secures Voynov
Los Angeles — Defenseman Slava Voynov agreed to a new six-year, $25 million contract Tuesday with the Los Angeles Kings, who signed yet another young cornerstone to a long-term deal.
The 23-year-old Siberian would have been a restricted free agent this summer after his breakout playoff performance for the Kings, whose Stanley Cup title defense ended in the Western Conference finals against Chicago.
Voynov cemented his reputation as one of the NHL’s top young puck-moving defensemen with 13 points during the postseason, tying for the club scoring lead. He set single-season franchise records with six playoff goals by a defenseman and four game-winning goals.
Voynov also set career highs with 19 assists and 25 points during the lockout-shortened regular season, his first full NHL campaign. Last summer, the former second-round pick played in every postseason game during the Kings’ run to their first NHL title after bouncing between the AHL and Los Angeles during the regular season.
Voynov becomes the latest part of the core of young players already signed to long-term deals by general manager Dean Lombardi while growing into significant roles with the Kings.
Drew Doughty, the Kings’ 23-year-old defenseman and former Norris Trophy finalist, is signed through the 2018-19 season. Goalie Jonathan Quick’s 10-year, $58 million contract extension kicks in this fall, while forwards Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter are under lengthy multiyear contracts.
Lombardi also signed veteran defenseman Robyn Regehr to a two-year deal during the postseason, solidifying his defense in case unrestricted free agent Rob Scuderi leaves this summer.
Defenseman Jake Muzzin, who won a regular NHL job this season, is among the Kings’ remaining restricted free agents. The group also includes defensemen Alec Martinez and Keaton Ellerby; forwards Kyle Clifford, Trevor Lewis and Jordan Nolan; and backup goalie Jonathan Bernier.