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Soccer

Thursday, May 25, 2006 - Page updated at 01:55 PM

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U.S. Midfielder Reyna's MRI exam negative

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Claudio Reyna was smiling as he walked through the lobby of the U.S. team hotel Wednesday.

An MRI exam showed that the strained right hamstring he suffered during a 1-0 loss to Morocco the previous night was minor and there was no muscle damage. While the U.S. captain won't play in the Americans' two remaining exhibition games before the World Cup, he should be ready for the opener against the Czech Republic on June 12.

"Good news, definitely," he said. "I'm happy, more relieved today."

Reyna was injured about 11 minutes in Wednesday night when he tried to intercept a pass. The 32-year-old midfielder missed the 1994 World Cup because of a hamstring injury and the 2002 opening win over Portugal because of a strained right quadriceps.

He was playing with the U.S. team for the first time this year after a season with Manchester City interrupted by ankle and shoulder injuries that limited him to 23 of 44 games. His U.S. teammates count on him to control the tempo and settle them when opponents put on pressure.

"It's great news," forward Brian McBride said. "We need Claud."

U.S. assistant coach Glenn Myernick said the staff wasn't overly concerned.

"There's no alarm bells going off that he's going to be out for a long time," he said.

After training, the U.S. team headed to Cleveland for Friday night's game against Venezuela.

MLS

Major League Soccer and the Oakland Athletics announced a deal Wednesday to bring a soccer team back to the Bay Area if the team's owners can develop a stadium plan.

The team would replace the San Jose Earthquakes, who moved to Houston following last season after public financing for a new facility in San Jose fell through

Lew Wolff and John Fisher, the A's principal owners, will have three years to buy a team and develop a stadium solely for soccer.

The location of the new stadium has not been determined but the new offices will be located in downtown San Jose. The price of the contract was not disclosed.

Wednesday's game

FC Dallas 2, at New York 1

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Carlos Ruiz scored with four minutes remaining in regulation to give FC Dallas a 2-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls.

Notes

• Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon left Italy's World Cup squad to face questioning in the country's wide-ranging soccer scandal.

Buffon was questioned for a little more than 1 hours at Parma's courthouse by prosecutors investigating alleged illegal betting.

• Czech Republic midfielder Vladimir Smicer is questionable for the World Cup after straining a thigh muscle.

Smicer was taken to a hospital in Innsbruck, Austria, on Tuesday to undergo tests.

Ronaldo practiced separately from the rest of Brazil's squad in the defending champion's first practice for the World Cup.

Ronaldo, who had various injuries at the start of the year, ran by himself for 40 minutes while the other players underwent a series of physical drills.

• Germany will beef up police patrols during the World Cup, the government said, a move aimed at reassuring visitors amid concern over racist violence and hooliganism. The decision comes as several racially motivated attacks have revived worries about the risk of racism and hate crimes. The World Cup opens June 9.

Queen Elizabeth II has set aside July 10 to welcome England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson and his players for an open-top bus World Cup victory celebration to Trafalgar Square. Wishful thinking? After all, the World Cup doesn't kick off until June 9.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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