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US MEN DEFEAT BELIZE 6-1 IN GOLD CUP PLAY

Wednesday, 10 July 2013 08:06 Published in Sports

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Chris Wondolowski's misspelled jersey was about the only thing that was amiss for the U.S. men's soccer team.

The national team jumped on Belize with Wondolowski's first-half hat trick and cruised to a 6-1 victory to open the CONCAF Gold Cup tournament Tuesday night.

Landon Donovan had a goal and two assists, becoming the first national team player with at least 50 career goals and 50 assists.

But Wondolowski, who just had his first international goal last weekend, stole the show, sporting an extra "W" - "Wondowlowski" - on his red and white jersey when he popped in his three goals against Belize.

Laughing about it afterward, he pondered whether he should wear it for the remainder of the tournament.

"I'm pretty superstitious, so we'll see what we can conjure up," he said.

Costa Rica defeated Cuba 3-0 in an earlier match at Jeld-Wen Field.

The 12-team Gold Cup is played every other year between national teams from North and Central America and the Caribbean. 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.

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.

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. Tuesday night's match was just his 11th with the national team.

"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 - who plays for Major League Soccer's San Jose Earthquakes - 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 Rimando.

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."

After the round-robin phase, the winners and runners up from each group, and the two top third-place finishers, advance to the knockout round. The Gold Cup 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.

WAINWRIGHT WINS 12TH IN CARDS' 9-5 WIN OVER ASTROS

Tuesday, 09 July 2013 22:37 Published in Sports

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Adam Wainwright picked up his National League-tying 12th win with seven scoreless innings and Matt Holliday hit his team-high 13th home run to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 9-5 win over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.

Matt Carpenter had three hits and drove in three runs for St. Louis, which has won four in a row and five of six.

Houston dropped its ninth in the last 11 and leads the majors with 58 losses.

Wainwright (12-5) improved to 13-1 in 15 career starts against Houston. His 1.56 ERA against the Astros is the lowest for any opponent. Wainwright allowed five hits, struck out nine and walked one. The right-hander, who will make his second All-Star appearance next week, has won seven successive starts against his former NL Central rival. His lone loss to the Astros was a 2-0 setback on Aug. 2, 2009.

Wainwright is tied with Washington's Jordan Zimmermann (12-3) for most wins in the NL.

St. Louis closer Edward Mujica struck out J.D. Martinez with two on and two out to pick up his 24th save in 25 opportunities.

The Cardinals, who jumped out to a 7-0 lead, battered former nemesis Bud Norris (6-8) for seven runs and 11 hits in five innings. Norris entered the game with an 8-5 mark and a 2.74 ERA against St. Louis.

Holliday slammed Norris' seventh pitch of the game over the left-field wall for a 2-0 lead. Carpenter highlighted a three-run rally in the fourth with a two-run double.

David Freese broke out of an 0-for-11 skid with three hits for St. Louis, which has won its last seven home games against Houston. Daniel Descalso chipped in with a pair of doubles.

Freese and Descalso started the fourth with hits. Carpenter pushed the lead to 5-0 with a double that just eluded a diving Carlos Pena at first. Carlos Beltran followed with an RBI single.

Allen Craig added run-scoring hits in the sixth and eighth. He is second in the NL with 71 RBIs.

St. Louis reliever Kevin Siegrist pitched a scoreless eighth inning. He has not allowed a run over the first 12 games of his career, a franchise record.

The Astros scored four times in the ninth. Jake Elmore and Jose Altuve had RBI singles.

NOTES: St. Louis right-hander Shelby Miller (9-6, 2.80) will face Jordan Lyles (4-3, 3.87) in the finale of the two-game series on Wednesday. ... The Astros are 8-8 in interleague play this season. ... Houston INF Ronny Cedeno left the game in the fifth inning after fouling a pitch off his left big toe. He is listed as day to day with a contusion. ... St. Louis C Yadier Molina returned to the lineup after missing the last two games with right knee inflammation. ... Molina and Houston catcher Jason Castro were each hit by pitches. Norris hit Molina in the fifth. Wainwright plunked Castro in the sixth, prompting home plate umpire Mark Wegner to warn both benches.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- It could mean no more having to check up on Mom or Dad every morning: Motion sensors on the wall and a monitor under the mattress one day might automatically alert you to early signs of trouble well before an elderly loved one gets sick or suffers a fall.

Research is growing with high-tech gadgets that promise new safety nets for seniors determined to live on their own for as long as possible.

"It's insurance in case something should happen," is how Bob Harrison, 85, describes the unobtrusive monitors being tested in his apartment at the TigerPlace retirement community in Columbia, Mo.

Living at home - specialists call it aging in place - is what most people want for their later years. Americans 40 and older are just as worried about losing their independence as they are about losing their memory, according to a recent survey by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Common-sense interventions like grab bars in bathrooms and taping down rugs to prevent tripping can make homes safer as seniors deal with chronic illnesses. Technology is the next frontier, and a far cry from those emergency-call buttons seniors sometimes wear to summon help.

Already, some companies are offering monitoring packages that place motion sensors on the front door, a favorite chair, even the refrigerator, and then send an alert to a family member if there's too little activity over a certain period of time. Other gadgets can make pill bottles buzz when it's time for a dose and text a caregiver if it's not taken, or promise to switch off a stove burner that's left on too long.

Researchers at the University of Missouri aim to go further: Their experiments show that certain automatic monitoring can spot changes - such as restlessness in bed or a drop in daytime activity - that occur 10 days to two weeks before a fall or a trip to the doctor or hospital.

"We were blown away that we could actually detect this," said nursing professor Marilyn Rantz, an aging-in-place specialist who is leading the research. She compares it to "a vital sign of my physical function."

Why would the gadgets work? That monitor under the mattress can measure pulse and respiratory patterns to see if heart failure is worsening before someone realizes he or she is becoming short of breath. More nighttime bathroom trips can indicate a brewing urinary tract infection.

A change in gait, such as starting to take shorter or slower steps, can signal increased risk for a fall. Basic motion sensors can't detect that. So Rantz's team adapted the Microsoft Kinect 3-D camera, developed for video games, to measure subtle changes in walking. (Yes, it can distinguish visitors.)

The researchers installed the sensor package in apartments at the university-affiliated TigerPlace community and in a Cedar Falls, Iowa, senior complex. On-site nurses received automatic emails about significant changes in residents' activity. One study found that after a year, residents who agreed to be monitored were functioning better than an unmonitored control group, presumably because nurses intervened sooner at signs of trouble, Rantz said.

The bigger question is whether simply alerting a loved one, not a nurse, might also help. Now, with a new grant from the National Institutes of Health, Rantz will begin expanding the research to see how this monitoring works in different senior housing - and this time, participants can decide if they'd like a family member or friend to get those alerts, in addition to a nurse.

Rantz says embedding sensors in the home is important because too many older adults forget or don't want to wear those older emergency-call buttons - including Rantz's own mother, who lay helpless on her floor for eight hours after tripping and badly breaking a shoulder. Rantz said her mother never fully recovered, and six months later died.

"When we started this team, I said we are not going to make anybody wear anything or push any buttons, because my mother refused and I don't think she's any different than a lot of other people in this world," Rantz said.

Monitoring raises important privacy questions, about just what is tracked and who has access to it, cautioned Jeff Makowka of AARP.

To work, the high-tech approach has to be "less about, `We're watching you, Grandma,' but `Hey, Grandma, how come you didn't make coffee this morning?'" he said.

Sensor prices are another hurdle, although Makowka said they're dropping. Various kinds already on the market can run from about $70 to several hundred, plus monthly service plans.

© 2013 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED. Learn more about our PRIVACY POLICY and TERMS OF USE.

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