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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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USA-Portugal match sets viewing record

The United States’ 2-2 World Cup draw with Portugal is almost certainly the most-viewed soccer match ever in the United States. The Nielsen company said Monday that the gripping game was seen by an average of 24.7 million viewers Sunday evening on ESPN and Univision. That matches it with the 24.7 million U.S. viewers who watched the 2010 World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands. ESPN said an additional 490,000 people streamed coverage of the game on their mobile devices through the company’s app. Streaming numbers for 2010 weren’t immediately available, but it’s very unlikely it reached that level. – AP

Portugal’s late goal ties U.S. at World Cup

Varela’s goal on a diving header off Cristiano Ronaldo’s cross on the game’s last play gave Portugal a 2-2 tie with the United States on Sunday on an exhausting night in the rainforest capital of Manaus, Brazil.

Ronaldo expected to play for Portugal against US

Cristiano Ronaldo will play, and Portugal needs to win. The world player of the year hasn’t been able to shake a lingering left knee injury since coming to Brazil, but he trained normally Saturday and is expected to start today when the Portuguese face the United States in a crucial Group G match at the World Cup.

US can clinch advancement with win over Portugal

MANAUS, Brazil – Moths and mosquitoes circled when the United States took the field for practice Saturday evening at Arena da Amazonia, a 40,000-seat stadium built in a remote area of the rainforest where the Rio Negro meets the Amazon. And as the Americans stretched in the heat and humidity in their final training session before today’s World Cup game against Portugal, a double rainbow shimmered – said by some to herald an occurrence with great meaning.

U.S. chases pair of firsts vs. Portugal

With a win over Portugal the U.S. would accomplish a pair of American firsts: reaching the knockout stage of consecutive World Cups and advancing with a game to spare.

World Cup notes: U.S. confident it can stop Cristiano Ronaldo on Sunday

Just after he was cut from the U.S. roster last month, Seattle Sounders right back Brad Evans posted this snarky tweet: “You got off easy this time @Cristiano.” The Americans are confident their defensive depth can stop the two-time world player of the year when they play Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal on Sunday night in the Amazon rain forest capital of Manaus.

U.S. to play Ghana, Portugal, Germany at World Cup

The United States drew a daunting task for next year’s FIFA World Cup: difficult opponents, tropical venues and a wearying 9,000-mile zigzag journey across Brazil. The Americans and coach Jurgen Klinsmann (pictured) wound up with the potentially punishing group they feared and will play Ghana, Portugal and Germany next June as they try to achieve a U.S. first: reaching the knockout phase twice in a row. While Ghana eliminated the Americans in 2006 and 2010, the Black Stars won’t do it again. The U.S. opens its seventh straight World Cup appearance against Ghana on June 16 at Natal. The U.S. meets Portugal and favorite for 2013 FIFA Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo six days later in the Amazon rain forest city Manaus. The Americans have just three off days to recover before closing Group G on June 26 in Recife against three-time champion Germany. – AP

Brazil 3-1 favorite, U.S. rises to 150-1 at World Cup

Brazil was made a 3-1 favorite to win the 2014 World Cup it will be hosting. The Brazilians remained at the same odds after Friday’s draw as they held going into it. Argentina was next at 9-2, followed by Germany at 5-1 and defending champion Spain at 7-1 according to professional oddsmakers. The odds for the United States, placed with Germany, Portugal (30-1) and Ghana (175-1) for the first round, rose from 60-1 to 150-1. “We’re excited,” U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard said. “We’re looking forward to the challenge and we think we’re a good team.” Midfielder Clint Dempsey added, “I don’t look at it like we’re the underdog … we can get out of the group.” – AP