Wiping sweat from his forehead under a broiling sun even before warming up, Tim Howard said he understands the difficult position the United States faces going into Tuesday afternoon’s World Cup qualifier against Honduras.

After losing home games to Mexico in November and Costa Rica on Friday, the U.S. needs at least a tie against Honduras to stay on track for the region’s third and final automatic berth. A loss would mean that even with wins in their final two games next month, the Americans could wind up in a playoff against an Asian team or miss next year’s tournament entirely.

Howard, the 38-year-old goalkeeper who started in the last two World Cups, cautioned against an all-out attacking approach for a U.S. team that will be missing forward Jozy Altidore because of his one-game suspension.

“You also have to be careful of how much you push going forward and making it feel as if it’s doom and gloom,” Howard explained. “The more rah-rah you are sometimes in these situations, the more tense everybody gets.”

Marcus Rashford made amends after an expensive early mistake to fire England to a 2-1 win over Slovakia and within sight of the World Cup.

The 19-year-old striker caused England to fall behind in the third minute when he lost possession, leading to a goal by Stanislav Lobotka. But he set up England’s first goal, then unleashed a dipping, angled shot from 20 yards for the winner in the 59th minute.

England can clinch a World Cup berth with one win or two draws in its last two qualifiers.

Defending World Cup champion Germany also moved to the edge of qualification by routing Norway 6-0, and Northern Ireland secured at least second place in the group with a 2-0 win over the Czech Republic.


FOOTBALL: Defending champion James Madison received all 25 first-place votes in the Football Championship Subdivision coaches poll after its season-opening 34-14 win over East Carolina of the Football Bowl Subdivision.

New Hampshire moved up from 16th to 12th place after its 24-23 win over Maine.

Quarterback Jacob Eason will not play in No. 15 Georgia’s game at Notre Dame after spraining his left knee in Saturday’s win over Appalachian State.


SARATOGA: Sporting Chance won the $350,000 Hopeful Stakes, giving Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas a record eighth victory in the Grade 1 race, two days after his 82nd birthday.