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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Soccer has now been caught up in the growing legal debate over head injuries.

     A group of soccer parents and players filed a lawsuit seeking new safety rules aimed at preventing concussions in the sport.

     The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in San Francisco federal court and seeks class action status on behalf of current and former soccer players who competed for teams governed by FIFA and several U.S.-based soccer organizations.

     The NFL, NHL and NCAA have all faced similar lawsuits.

     In a proposed legal settlement in another case, the NCAA last month said it will toughen return-to-play rules for players who receive head blows. It also agreed to create a $70 million fund to pay for thousands of current and former athletes to undergo testing to determine whether they suffered brain trauma.


Royals rally to pad lead

UNDATED (AP) - The Kansas City Royals continue to pad their division, even while local fans continue to stay away from Kauffman Stadium.

     Fewer than 18,000 fans showed up on Wednesday to watch the Royals erupt for six runs in the eighth inning of a 6-1 comeback victory against Minnesota. Jarrod Dyson tied the game with a bunt single before Nori Aoki lined an RBI single to put the Royals in front. Billy Buttler added a two-run single and scoring on a two-run triple by Salvador Perez. 

     Wade Davis picked up the victory for the second straight night after Liam Hendricks held the Twins to a run and four hits in seven innings.

     The win puts the Royals 2  1/2 games ahead of second-place Detroit in the AL Central. Meanwhile, manager Ned Yost is imploring fans to show up for their remaining home games. Kansas City entered the game with the fifth-worst average attendance in the league. 

     The New York Yankees dropped the Tigers another game behind the Royals while pulling within six games of AL East-leading Baltimore.

     The Yanks chased David Price with nine straight hits in an eight-run third inning that led to an 8-4 romp in Detroit. Derek Jeter doubled home the Yankees' first run and capped the outburst with a sacrifice fly. 

     Shawn Greene gave up just two runs and five hits while striking out eighth in seven innings.

     Drew Smyly helped the Yankees by limiting the Orioles to two hits in seven innings of Tampa Bay's 3-1 win at Baltimore. He and the Rays' bullpen blanked the O's after Chris Davis homered in the second inning.

     Elsewhere in the majors:

     - Gordon Beckham and Mike Trout each hit solo homers and drove in two runs as the Los Angeles Angels beat Miami 6-1 to keep their one-game lead over Oakland in the AL West. Hector Santiago was effective over 5 2/3 innings, yielding just one run and three hits while striking out six.

     - Sam Fuld hit a tiebreaking, two-run homer while the A's put together a three-run ninth to beat the Astros 5-4 in Houston. Fuld had three hits and Eric Sogard singled home the tying run in the ninth.

     - Clayton Kershaw is the majors' first 16-game winner after allowing no earned runs and six hits while striking out 10 in eight innings of the Dodgers' 3-1 triumph at Arizona. Matt Kemp hit a two-run double and Scott Van Slyke added a solo homer to help Kershaw improve to 16-3.

     - The Dodgers continue to pace the NL West by five games over San Francisco. Buster Posey ripped a two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th to complete the Giants' 4-2 win over Colorado. Posey had three hits and three RBIs for the Giants, who still own a 1  1/2-game lead over Pittsburgh and Atlanta for the final NL wild-card berth.

     - Milwaukee still leads the NL Central by 1 1/2 games over St. Louis after the Brewers blew a 2-1 lead in the ninth inning of a 3-2, 10-inning loss at San Diego. Rene Rivera led the Padres to victory by leading off the ninth with a homer before delivering a walkoff single.

     - Ike Davis hit a big homer for the second straight game, a two-run blast in the second inning of Pittsburgh's 3-1 win over the Cardinals. Jeff Locke gave up a run and six hits in 7 1/3 innings to outpitch Adam Wainwright, who was trying to become the majors' first 16-game winner of the season.

     - Washington's lead in the NL East is down to 6  1/2 games over Atlanta after Marlon Byrd and pinch-hitter Grady Sizemore belted two-run homers and Jimmy Rollins added a solo shot in the Phillies' 8-4 triumph over the Nationals. The Nationals had won 12 of 13 before they absorbed a three-game sweep in Philadelphia.

     - Jason Heyward hit a leadoff homer and Julio Teheran allowed a run and three hits in 6 1/3 innings of the Braves' 3-2 triumph over the New York Mets. Zack Wheeler lost for the first time in 11 starts despite allowing just two earned runs and four hits in seven innings.

     - Mat Latos struck out 10 over seven-plus innings as Cincinnati downed the Chicago Cubs 7-5. Cubs outfield prospect Jorge Soler homered in his first major league at-bat.

     - In Seattle, Rougned Odor hit a third-inning grand slam and Colby Lewis tossed a seven-hitter as Texas clobbered the Mariners 12-4. Leonys Martin smacked a two-run homer and had three RBIs, while Tomas Telis added a three-run double as part of the Rangers' 11-hit attack.

     - The White Sox had dropped seven straight before Jose Abreu's second RBI single of the night put Chicago ahead to stay in a 3-2 victory against Cleveland. Winning pitcher Hector Noesi gave up two runs and six hits in seven innings as the Pale Hose ended the Indians' three-game winning streak.

     - Pinch-hitter Danny Valencia smacked a go-ahead, three-run homer in the seventh inning to lift Toronto over Boston 5-2. Jose Bautista also homered to back Marcus Stroman, who allowed one earned run and five hits in 7 2/3 innings.


LOS ANGELES (AP) - Steve Sarkisian hasn't coached a game for Southern California, but he's already dealt with his first firestorm since leaving Washington after last season.

     Trojans cornerback Josh Shaw has been indefinitely suspended by the team after admitting he lied to school officials about how he sprained his ankles last weekend, retracting his story about jumping off a balcony to save his drowning nephew. Sarkisian said that honesty and integrity must be at the center of his football program, and he believes Shaw will learn from this. 

     The school didn't explain in its statement how Shaw actually was injured, but USC officials say they regret posting a story lauding Shaw's tale on their website Monday. Shaw is a fifth-year senior, a team captain and a key starter in USC's defensive secondary.


UNDATED (AP) - Cleveland receiver Josh Gordon has been suspended indefinitely by the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy again. He missed two games last season due to another violation of the policy but still let the team with 1,646 yards in receptions.

     Gordon will have to apply for reinstatement following the season.

     The 23-year-old had appealed his yearlong suspension for marijuana use and met with a league arbitrator in New York on Aug. 4. Arbitrator Harold Henderson upheld the suspension.



     Newton says he'll be ready to go

     CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Carolina quarterback Cam Newton says he feels great and "there's no doubt" in his mind he'll be ready to play in the Panthers season opener Sept. 7 against Tampa Bay. The fourth-year quarterback is recovering from a hairline fracture to multiple ribs and says he's improving with each day.

     Newton has never missed a start in three seasons of pro ball.



     Burfict gets extension

     UNDATED (AP) - Bengals Pro Bowl linebacker Vontaze Burfict has signed a three-year extension on that runs through the 2017 season and will pay him a maximum of $20.05 million. Burfict is entering the final year on his original deal that will pay him a salary of $570,000. Under his extension, he'll make $10 million through next summer in salary and bonuses.

     Burfict is the leader of a defense that finished third in the NFL last season in yards allowed.

     Elsewhere;

     - Tennessee has agreed to a multi-year contract extension with defensive lineman Jurrell Casey. Multiple media outlets say it's for $36 million over four years, with $20.5 million guaranteed. Casey is coming off a career year with 10.5 sacks, 90 tackles and 10 quarterback pressures. 

     - Arizona has signed defensive tackle Tommy Kelly, two days after he was cut by the New England Patriots. The 33-year-old is coming off surgery to repair a torn ACL but was playing with the Patriots' first-team defense this preseason before he was cut.


Third day of play

NEW YORK (AP) - Fifth seed Maria Sharapova was able to advance to the third round of the U.S. Open despite dropping her opening set on Wednesday. Fourth-seed Agnieszka Radwanska wasn't as fortunate.

     Radwanska was ousted by China's Peng Shuai, 6-3, 6-4 to join Sloane Stephens on the sidelines. Stephens has been knocked out in a second round by 96th-ranked Johanna Larsson of Sweden, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2. 

     Sharapova overcame nine double-faults and 46 unforced errors to knock off 95th-ranked Alexandra Dulgheru 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

     Two-time U.S. Open champion Venus Williams won in straight sets to reach the tournament's third round for the first time since 2010.

     Others advancing to Round 3 were second seed Simona Halep (HAL'-ehp), sixth seed Angelique Kerber, No. 9 Jelena Jankovic and No. 10 Carolina Wozniacki.

     Over to the men's bracket, where third seed Stan Wawrinka moved into the third round with a 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 win over Thomaz Bellucci after sixth seed Thomas Berdych, No. 7 Grigor Dimitrov and No. 11 Ernests Gulbis won their first-round matches.  Berdych ousted Lleyton Hewitt in straight sets and Dimitrov bounced American Ryan Harrison from the tournament.





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