CHICAGO (AP) - The U.S. soccer team will be missing a key figure for the Gold Cup final against Panama on Sunday: their coach.
Jurgen Klinsmann was suspended for one game Friday by CONCACAF's disciplinary committee, the result of his ejection in the 87th minute of a 3-1 victory over Honduras in the semifinals Wednesday. FIFA rules call for anyone ejected from a match to be suspended for the following game, the disciplinary committee decided.
"I don't think it changes too much," U.S. captain DaMarcus Beasley said Friday. "It's always good to have him on the bench, but he'll give his wisdom before the game ... make sure we get off on the right foot. But it's not going to be the same not seeing his face on the sideline, giving us instructions when we need it and being the enthusiastic person that he is on the bench. Especially, when we score or he needs to tell us something if we need to change something."
Klinsmann was irate Wednesday after the referee failed to issue cards on a series of hard fouls against the Americans. He could be seen yelling and gesturing angrily in the direction of the referee, and was told to leave the field after he slammed a ball into the ground.
Klinsmann later apologized, saying he acted out of frustration.
"I was talking to the ref as well. There weren't any cards," Beasley said. "I got hit three, four times in somewhat the same sequence, and they didn't call anything but a foul. So I could understand his frustration. I was frustrated."
The Americans are seeking their fifth Gold Cup title. They also are looking to extend their record 10-game winning streak in all matches.
"This is what he lives and dies for," Eddie Johnson said. "This is the opportunity that American soccer has been wanting, to have a coach with such experience, who's played at the highest level and played on big teams and managed big players, to be in this position to help us get to where we're trying to go in American soccer."
ATLANTA (AP) - Mike Minor allowed only one run to give Atlanta's depleted rotation a lift, Jason Heyward homered, and the Braves beat Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals 4-1 in a matchup of division leaders on Friday night.
Minor (10-5) gave up four hits with no walks in seven innings. His sharp performance came two days after Tim Hudson was lost for the season with a broken right ankle.
The Atlanta rotation also is without left-hander Paul Maholm, who isn't on the disabled list but is expected to miss at least one start because of a bruised left wrist.
Wainwright (13-6), the NL leader in wins, took his first loss since a 2-1 decision to Texas on June 23.
Yadier Molina gave St. Louis a 1-0 lead with his eighth homer in the second inning. The Braves answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning.
Wainwright allowed four runs, three earned, on seven hits and one walk in seven innings.
Minor, who became the first Braves pitcher to reach 10 wins, lowered his ERA to 2.89. His strong start was especially important after Hudson's season ended when he was injured on Wednesday night against the Mets.
The Braves took a 2-1 lead with four hits off Wainwright in the second. Brian McCann doubled, moved to third on Dan Uggla's single and scored on Chris Johnson's single to left field. Minor added a single with two outs to drive in Uggla.
Heyward pushed the lead to 3-1 with his eighth homer, a one-out shot to left field, in the fifth.
With one out in the seventh and Johnson on first base following his second hit, Joey Terdoslavich pinch-hit for Minor and hit a grounder to shortstop Pete Kozma, who threw wild toward second base. Johnson scored on the error.
Jordan Walden pitched a perfect eighth inning before Craig Kimbrel recorded the final three outs for his 29th save.
Heyward, sprinting toward the infield from right field, made a diving catch to take a hit away from David Freese in the fifth inning. Heyward rolled and came up holding the ball as Minor slapped his glove in approval on the mound.
NOTES: Of Minor's 103 pitches, 70 were strikes. ... Attendance was 50,124, a sellout. ... Hudson had surgery to repair his broken right ankle. His wife, Kim, said on her Twitter account the procedure went well. ... RHP Brandon Beachy, recovering from right elbow ligament-replacement surgery in June 2012, will come off the DL to take Hudson's rotation spot Monday night against Colorado. ... Cardinals LHP John Gast had season-ending surgery on his left shoulder. He could return in eight to 12 months. Gast was 2-0 with a 5.11 ERA in three starts before he was placed on the disabled list on May 26 with a left shoulder strain. ... Atlanta's Julio Teheran will face Joe Kelly in a matchup of right-handers on Saturday. Kelly will make only his fourth start of the season.
In a letter dated July 23, the attorney general said the criminal charges Snowden faces do not carry the death penalty and that the U.S. will not seek the death penalty even if Snowden were charged with additional death penalty-eligible crimes.
Holder says his letter follows news reports that Snowden, who leaked information on largely secret electronic surveillance programs, has filed papers seeking temporary asylum in Russia on grounds that if he were returned to the United States, he would be tortured and would face the death penalty.
The attorney general's letter was sent to Alexander Vladimirovich Konovalov, the Russian minister of justice.
Holder's letter is part of an ongoing campaign by the U.S. government to get Snowden back.
The attorney general's letter may allay reported Russian concerns about how Snowden might be treated if he is deported to the U.S.
Some Russian politicians, including parliament speaker Sergei Naryshkin, have said Snowden should be granted asylum to protect him from the death penalty.
If Snowden were to go to a country that opposes the death penalty, providing assurances that the U.S. won't seek the death penalty may remove at least one obstacle to his return to the U.S.
"I can report that the United States is prepared to provide to the Russian government the following assurances regarding the treatment Mr. Snowden would face upon return to the United States," Holder wrote. "First, the United States would not seek the death penalty for Mr. Snowden should he return to the United States." In addition, "Mr. Snowden will not be tortured. Torture is unlawful in the United States," Holder's letter said.
The attorney general said that if Snowden returned to the U.S. he would promptly be brought before a civilian court and would receive "all the protections that United States law provides."
Holder also said that "we understand from press reports and prior conversations between our governments that Mr. Snowden believes that he is unable to travel out of Russia and must therefore take steps to legalize his status. That is not accurate; he is able to travel."
Despite the revocation of Snowden's passport on June 22, Snowden remains a U.S. citizen and is eligible for a limited validity passport good for direct return to the United States, said the attorney general.
A spokesman for President Vladimir Putin said Russia has not budged from its refusal to extradite Snowden.
Snowden, who is believed to have been staying at the Moscow airport transit zone since June 23, applied for temporary asylum in Russia last week. The United States wants him sent home to face prosecution for espionage.
Asked by a reporter whether the government's position had changed, Dmitry Peskov told Russian news agencies that "Russia has never extradited anyone and never will." There is no U.S.-Russia extradition treaty.
Peskov also said that Putin is not involved in reviewing Snowden's application or discussions of the ex-NSA contractor's future with the U.S., though the Russian Security Service, the FSB, had been in touch with the FBI.