2013-07-10 07:33:00 by AP/MBaca/ESPN/CBS Sports
FORMER CHICO STATE PRODUCT CHRIS WONDLOWSKI NETS A HAT TRICK AS THE UNITED STATES ROLLS BELIZE 6-1
STORY COURTESY ESPN.COM
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Maybe next time they'll spell Chris Wondlowski's name correctly.
The striker scored a first-half hat trick in a 6-1 victory for the U.S. men's national team over Belize in the opening round of the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Tuesday night.
Wondolowski, who plays for Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes, sported an extra "W" on the back of his red and white jersey for the first international meeting between the two teams.
Landon Donovan added a goal and two assists, becoming the first player with at least 50 career goals and 50 assists for the U.S. national team.
Costa Rica defeated Cuba 3-0 in an earlier match Tuesday at Jeld-Wen Field. The 12-team Gold Cup, which includes national teams from North and Central America and the Caribbean, is played every two years.
Wondolowski is the third American to score three goals in a Gold Cup match, joining Donovan and Brian McBride. The United States has won four Gold Cups since the tournament's inception in 1991. Mexico has won the past two.
"It's just great to get the start, especially in front of some great fans, and they provide such an atmosphere that makes it exciting and it makes you want to go out there and play," Wondolowski said.
And as for his jersey?
"I heard there was a lot of W's in there," he laughed. Indeed, his jersey read "Wondowlowski."
The U.S. men were coming off a 6-0 rout of Guatemala in San Diego on Friday, an international friendly to warm up for the Gold Cup. Donovan scored twice, extending his American record to 51 international goals.
That was Donovan's first match after a five-month break from the national team. He was not included on rosters for the U.S. team's June World Cup qualifying matches.
Wondolowski scored his first international goal against Guatemala.
"I think Wondo realizes, 'Every time I'm on the field I have an opportunity, and I need to take advantage of it,'" U.S. coach Juergen Klinsmann said.
Belize was making its first Gold Cup appearance. The Jaguars, as they are known, qualified for the competition with a fourth-place finish in the UNCAF Copa Centroamericana.
The U.S. struck early when Wondolowski knocked in a rebound off Belize goalkeeper Shane Orio in the 12th minute.
The United States relentlessly peppered Orio with shots and he made a dramatic save when Joe Corona fired at him in the 27th minute. But Wondolowski was able to get another one past him in the 36th minute to make it 2-0.
Belize scored on a penalty kick two minutes later when Elroy Smith fed Ian Gaynair for the header to beat U.S. goalkeeper Nick Ramando.
But Belize, a team made up of a mix of amateur and professional players, lost steam after the goal, coach Andrew Mork said.
"It didn't last long enough," Mork said. "And that really turned the game around for us."
Wondolowski added a third goal in the 40th minute.
The United States took a 4-1 lead in the 58th minute when Stuart Holden scored with an assist from Donovan, giving him 50 for his career.
Donovan got another when he passed to Michael Orozco for a header in the 72nd minute to make it 5-0. He got a goal -- the 52nd of his career -- with a penalty kick in the 76th minute.
"The crowd was great, the energy was great, I thought we started really well," Donovan said. "A little disappointed to give up a goal, but I think it was a great night for us, a great night for the fans and a good start for the tournament."
The Group C teams next meet on Saturday in Salt Lake City, with the U.S. facing Cuba followed by Belize against Costa Rica at Rio Tinto Stadium. The winners and runners-up from each group, and the two top third-place finishers, advance to the knockout round. The tournament concludes July 28th at Soldier Field in Chicago.
It was the first visit to Portland for the U.S. men's team since 1998. Attendance was announced at 18,724.
STORY COURTESY OF CBSSPORTSLINE.COM
ALEX RODRIGUEZ AND RYAN BRAUN COULD BE FACING LONG SUSPENSIONS IN THE BIOGENESIS CASE
On the heels of a report that Major League Baseball is going to interview Alex Rodriguez on Friday about his alleged links to Biogenesis comes a bombshell.
Brewers star Ryan Braun refused to answer any questions in a June 29 interview with MLB about his alleged connection to Tony Bosch and the Miami clinic, according to ESPN's Outside the Lines.
And it gets bigger. From ESPN.COM
Commissioner Bud Selig's office is expected to suspend Braun and Rodriguez, along with as many as 20 players sometime after next week's All-Star break, several sources told Outside the Lines.
The report also says the commissioner's office is shooting for more than simply the "first offense" punishment of a 50-game suspension because it's possible multiple offenses have been committed by several of the players involved.
This kind of sweeping suspension spree would be unprecedented when it comes to any major professional sport and punishments for performance-enhancing drugs. MLB already has the most strict testing program, but this is far above any investigation that has been conducted thus far.
Bosch and his attorneys have been cooperating with MLB after initially giving some pushback. But now many documents have reportedly come into the hands of MLB officials from Bosch and his clinic.
The report indicates MLB is building a case it believes is legitimate enough to suspend nearly two dozen players within the next few weeks.
GIANTS LOSE AGAIN AS PEN FALTERS LATE
MARLON BYRD'S GRAND SLAM IN THE 8TH INNING SENT THE GIANTS TO THEIR 13TH LOSS IN THEIR LAST 15 GAMES
(AP) — Marlon Byrd's two-out grand slam capped a five-run eighth inning and the New York Mets beat the San Francisco Giants 10-6 on Tuesday for their third consecutive win.
A day after needing 16 innings to top the Giants in a game that ended at 12:42 a.m., the Mets squandered leads of 3-2 and 5-3 but held off the slumping World Series champs by scoring five times against the Giants bullpen.
Omar Quintanilla had three hits for the Mets while Byrd and David Wright added two apiece. Wright drew a two-out walk before Byrd's home run off San Francisco reliever Jake Dunning.
Marco Scutaro singled twice for the Giants but was thrown out at home trying to score from first base on Pablo Sandoval's double in the first.
THE A'S KNOCK OFF PIRATES AFTER MOSS AND STRAILY HEROICS
(AP) — Dan Straily pitched two-hit ball into the seventh inning, Brandon Moss hit a two-run homer and the Oakland Athletics beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1 on Tuesday night.
A's manager Bob Melvin says Straily had his good stuff....
Straily (6-2) struck out seven and walked three in 6 1-3 innings for his second straight strong outing. Grant Balfour worked the ninth to remain perfect in 24 save chances this season. The A's have won 10 of 13.
Gerrit Cole (4-2) lost his second consecutive decision despite working seven innings for the first time in his four-week major league career. Cole allowed five hits, struck out four and walked two.
Pedro Alvarez hit his 23rd home run but Pittsburgh matching a season high with its fourth straight loss.