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U.S. soccer team still struggling

Tuesday, July 3, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 3:32 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

Looks as if the U.S. soccer team’s trip to Venezuela is going to be a short one.

Four days after being routed by a superior Argentina squad in their Copa America opener, the Americans were humbled even further Monday night in a 3-1 loss to Paraguay that put them on the brink of elimination.

The 13th-ranked United States (0-2) would have to rout No. 31 Colombia in the final group stage game and get lots of help from other teams. Paraguay, ranked 37th, joined Mexico in the quarterfinals. The United States and Mexico are invited guests.

Ricardo Clark’s first international goal in nine appearances was little consolation for the Americans, who lost their second straight after going 10-0-1 to start the year. It also was their first loss to Paraguay in five games and all but eliminated the U.S. team from South America’s championship.

After winning the Gold Cup with players like Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley and Carlos Bocanegra, U.S. coach Bob Bradley brought a largely young and untested squad to Copa America.

The inexperience showed. After falling apart against Argentina in the second half, the Americans were sloppy from the start against Paraguay.

The U.S. had a 14-12 advantage in shots, but Eddie Johnson, Justin Mapp, and Drew Moor all missed great chances in the last 15 minutes. Moor became the third player in the tournament to make his U.S. national team debut.

GLOBETROTTERS: The Harlem Globetrotters’ theme song of “Sweet Georgia Brown” would be a nice fit if Mario West makes the team. He comes to them by way of Georgia Tech.

West was one of five players taken by the Globetrotters in their first player draft, the team announced Monday. West will try out for the team in the fall.

The Harlem Globetrotters also drafted Anthony Atkinson of Barton College, 7-foot-9 Sun Ming Ming of China, Brent Petway of Michigan and Marcus Kennedy of Montevallo in Alabama. West, Georgia Tech’s captain last season, won the slam dunk competition at the Final Four, edging Petway in the final round.

West will attempt to join the Globetrotters in their 82nd season. The team has traveled to 118 nations since 1926.

NFL: The Oakland Raiders lost their case in California’s top court Monday after contending in a lawsuit that the NFL sabotaged the team’s effort to build a stadium at Hollywood Park in Los Angeles.

The case dates back more than 20 years when Raiders managing partner Al Davis accused the league of purposely not doing enough to help the team move from the antiquated Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to a new stadium complete with revenue-generating luxury suites.

The Raiders returned to Oakland in 1995 after spending 13 years in Los Angeles.

The NFL won a 9-3 verdict in 2001, but Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Richard Hubbell ordered a new trial amid accusations that one juror was biased against the team and Davis, and that another juror committed misconduct.

A state appeals court overturned that decision, and the California Supreme Court unanimously ruled Monday that the verdict against the Raiders stands.

The juror said he joked that he hated the Raiders because he had once wagered on the team and lost. The juror said he made the comment as a way to ease tensions during deliberations and that none of his colleagues took the joke seriously.


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