Friday's Sports In Brief
HARRISON, N.J. (AP) The United States put its hopes of an eighth straight World Cup berth in peril, giving up a pair of goals to Marco Urena in a 2-0 defeat to Costa Rica on Friday night that brought the Americans' resurgence under coach Bruce Arena to a crashing thud.
Urena spun around defender Tim Ream, then caught Tim Howard leaning and beat the goalkeeper to the far post in the 31st minute. Urena, the lone forward in a 4-5-1 formation, doubled the lead in the 82nd with a shot from 18 yards after David Guzman intercepted a poor pass by Geoff Cameron.
The Americans have lost two home games in a World Cup cycle for the first time since 1957 and likely will need points on the road to reach next year's tournament in Russia.
It was just their third home loss in qualifying since 1985 - and came 16 years to the day the U.S. and Arena lost 3-2 to Honduras at Washington's RFK Stadium.
With three games left in the final round of the North and Central American and Caribbean region, the United States was clinging to third place - the last automatic berth - and results later Friday could drop the U.S. down the standings.
The Americans play at Honduras on Tuesday night, then close the hexagonal next month at home against Panama and at Trinidad and Tobago. American forward Jozy Altidore is suspended for Tuesday's game after an 80th minute yellow card for pushing Johan Venegas.
CLERMONT, Ind. (AP) - Matt Hagan broke both ends of the Funny Car track record Friday in the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway.
Hagan had a 3.799-second pass at 338.77 mph in a Dodge Charger R/T during the first of three qualifying days and first of five qualifying sessions.
''What a fun run to hang onto,'' Hagan said. ''The car was out there digging and it's floating and it's hunting around. I made a couple corrections but was trying to not do too many. It's fun to be able to do something like that. I'm just glad to be out there and to be able to do something like that. These cars are just awesome to drive. It's kind of a throw down right now in qualifying.''
Leah Pritchett led in Top Fuel, Tanner Gray in Pro Stock and Andrew Hines in Pro Stock Motorcycle in the 18th of 24 events on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.
Pritchett set the Top Fuel track elapsed-time record with a 3.667 at 329.50. Gray had a 6.566 at 209.88 in a Chevy Camaro, and Hines ran a 6.825 at 194.74 on a Harley-Davidson.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) - Thomas Vanek and the Vancouver Canucks agreed to a one-year, $2 million deal Friday.
The 33-year-old forward had 17 goals and 31 assists in 68 games last season with Florida and Detroit.
''Thomas has been a prolific scorer throughout his career and we're excited to add his offence and experience to help with the continued growth of our forwards,'' Canucks general manager Jim Benning said. ''His skill and ability to contribute on the scoresheet, combined with his lead-by-example style will help our team this year, and will benefit our younger players as they continue to develop their game.''
The former University of Minnesota star from Austria has 333 goals and 364 assists in 885 regular-season games with Buffalo, the New York Islanders, Montreal, Minnesota, Detroit and Florida.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Conor McGregor's improbable challenge of Floyd Mayweather Jr. was a hit at the box office and could end up the biggest pay-per-view ever, with an estimated 50 million people watching in the United States alone.
Preliminary figures released by Showtime PPV on Friday showed the fight was tracking in the ''mid to high'' 4 million range, threatening the 4.6 million record set by Mayweather's 2015 fight with Manny Pacquiao. Showtime's Stephen Espinoza said the number will likely rise some as more firm figures come in.
Estimates vary, but if an average of 10 people watched each pay-per-view the total audience for Saturday's fight in the US could reach 50 million people, or nearly one in six Americans.
At $99.95 a buy, the pay-per-view generated at least $450 million in revenue on domestic television alone, money from which each fighter gets an undisclosed percentage. Mayweather estimated after the fight he would make $300-350 million, while McGregor said his take would be around $100 million.
Though the fight suffered some at the box office because of extremely high ticket prices, it hit the kind of numbers on pay-per-view that promoters were hoping for. When added all together the fight could generate some $600 million in total revenue, which would be along the lines of the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight.