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USWNT beats Canada 3-1 in final match of the year

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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) Julie Ertz, Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd scored and the U.S. national team closed out play this year with a 3-1 victory over Canada at Avaya Stadium on Sunday night.

The two teams also faced each other Thursday at BC Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, playing to a 1-1 draw. The tie snapped a six-game winning streak for the top-ranked Americans.

Canada, which won the bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics, is ranked fifth in the world and considered a team on the rise. But the Canadians have not defeated the United States since 2001.

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Ertz, who played in college at Santa Clara, scored her sixth goal of the year in the 11th minute on a header off a set piece. It was her 14th international goal and all of them have been the result of a set play.

Canadian captain Christine Sinclair came close to equalizing with a shot in the 32nd minute that was just wide of the far post. Sinclair, who plays for the NWSL’s Portland Thorns, was slow to get up after the shot.

Janine Beckie scored her first goal against the United States in the 50th minute off a well-placed pass from Nichelle Prince. Both are teammates on the Houston Dash.

Some seven minutes later Morgan put the United States back on top, slotting home a goal that got past Canadian goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe. She leads the Americans this year with seven goals.

Lloyd, who came in as a sub in the second half, added a final goal in the 80th minute. Lloyd needs just two more goals for 100 in her career.

“Obviously, end of the year we wanted to finish it off on a good note, and I thought tonight was well played,” U.S. coach Jill Ellis said.

Morgan scored for the United States and Adriana Leon had a goal for Canada in the first match of the series.

The two games were the last for the United States this year. Next year the Americans will prepare for qualifying to defend their World Cup title in 2019.

The United States was without midfielder Tobin Heath, who was called into training for the matches but didn’t play because of a nagging ankle injury. Mallory Pugh, Rose Lavelle and Morgan Brian didn’t train with the team for the final matches because of hamstring injuries.

FIFA to reveal all 2026 World Cup votes, aims for clean bids

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ZURICH (AP) FIFA has pledged to publish all votes by soccer officials in the 2026 World Cup bidding race after corruption claims tainted the 2018 and 2022 contests.

Publishing documents Tuesday to guide the process, FIFA explained how bidders must detail a strategy to respect human rights and labor standards in all construction projects linked to the expanded 48-team tournament.

[ MORE: Everton wants Simeone ]

The North American bid by the United States, Canada and Mexico is strongly favored to be picked on June 13 in Moscow. The other bidder is Morocco.

The 2026 contest is currently barred to European and Asian countries because Russia and Qatar will host the next two tournaments. Both won despite being the highest risk options.

FIFA’s documents outline exactly how to evaluate the 2026 bids.

Canadian striker Larin ready to leave MLS for Europe

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Cyle Larin wants to go to Europe, according to The Orlando Sentinel’s Alicia DelGallo.

The Canadian striker, 22, is coming off a rough season off-the-field but buried 12 goals in 28 games to give him 43 in his first three MLS seasons.

The former No. 1 SuperDraft pick was arrested for DUI this season, but has been linked to clubs like Leeds United in the last couple months.

[ MORE: Latest in Crew relocation saga ]

There’s a legitimate chance that Larin would break the outgoing MLS transfer record set by Jozy Altidore‘s $8 million move to Villarreal in 2008. Matt Miazga, Maurice Edu, Stern John, and Giancarlo Gonzalez round out the Top Five.

As for Larin, his thoughts are fairly clear-cut according to DelGallo:

“I think I’m at the right place to go play in Europe and it’s the right time,” Larin said in an exclusive interview with the Orlando Sentinel Wednesday. “I think I’ll benefit. I have personal goals and dreams and I want to go to Europe and play. I think it’s the right time.”

Larin says the timing is right, with his contract ending this season. His general manager at Orlando, Niki Budalic, says there’s been no offer since the transfer window closed in September, and that they’d sell if they received an acceptable offer.

One of those is certainly coming, according to Larin’s agent:

“The offers that came are offers that typically aren’t a regular occurrence in MLS,” Smyrniotis said. “That alone makes them something very interesting for all parties. At the time, it was more important for Orlando to keep Cyle, they were trying to make the playoffs.”

This one will happen, and it’ll be interesting to see how the 6-foot-2 striker fares overseas.

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Cleveland, New Orleans, Pittsburgh cut from World Cup bid

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CHICAGO (AP) Cleveland, New Orleans and Pittsburgh have been dropped as potential host cities for the 2026 World Cup.

The North American bid committee said Wednesday it also cut Indianapolis and San Antonio, along with Birmingham, Alabama; and Jacksonville, Florida. The Canadian cities of Ottawa and Regina, Saskatchawan, also were eliminated.

[ MORE: USMNT prospects on show at U-17 World Cup ]

Thirty-two areas remain in contention, including 25 from the United States, four from Canada and three from Mexico.

The bid committee said it expects its proposal, which will be sent to FIFA in March, to include up to 25 cities. At least 12 cities would ultimately be selected if the FIFA Congress picks the joint bid when it votes in June 2018.

The 2026 World Cup will be the first with a 48-nation field. Morocco said it also intends to bid.

The 32 remaining areas under consideration are:

UNITED STATES

Atlanta; Baltimore; Charlotte, North Carolina; Cincinnati; Chicago; Dallas and Arlington, Texas; Denver; Detroit; East Rutherford, New Jersey; Foxborough, Massachusetts; Glendale, Arizona; Houston; Kansas City, Missouri; Landover, Maryland; Las Vegas; Los Angeles and Inglewood and Pasadena, California; Miami; Minneapolis; Nashville, Tennessee; Orlando, Florida; Philadelphia; Salt Lake City; Santa Clara, California; Seattle; Tampa, Florida

CANADA

Edmonton, Alberta; Montreal; Toronto; Vancouver, British Columbia

MEXICO

Guadalajara; Mexico City; Monterrey

Liverpool 1-1 Burnley: Clarets frustrate Reds

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  • Liverpool earn 1000th PL point
  • Arfield scores from Wood
  • Can cues up Salah for fifth

Canadian national teamer Scott Arfield put Burnley ahead, and a Mohamed Salah goal was all Liverpool could muster in a disappointing 1-1 Saturday draw with the Clarets at Anfield.

Liverpool sits seventh with eight points, while Burnley is sixth with a one-goal advantage in goal differential.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Liverpool was lively early, and Philippe Coutinho didn’t look bothered by his long lay off.

Salah came close to winning an 18th minute penalty off James Tarkowski, but the whistle did not arrive at Anfield.

Yet it was Burnley who went ahead, with Arfield running onto a Chris Wood flicked cross and hammering his shot past Simon Mignolet in the 28th minute. The defending was again primarily responsible for an opposition goal, with the center backs sucked to Wood.

The Reds were level through Salah within three minutes, as Emre Can opened the lid on Burnley’s back line and the Egyptian took the ball to his left before firing a low shot across his body and past Clarets’ backstop Nick Pope.

Would there be history for Burnley? The Clarets had not taken a point from Liverpool since returning to the PL.

Joel Matip saved a late chance from Burnley, and Mignolet made another stop.

Pope made a terrific save on Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Dominic Solanke cranked one off the bar from in-tight moments later.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]