• Nine countries have already joined host nation Brazil in next year's World Cup and more will secure their places when qualifying resumes across the globe from Friday.

    In this photo taken Monday, Jan. 21 2013, Ethiopian supporters celebrate a goal during a game against Zambia, during their African Cup of Nations tournament in Nelspruit, South Africa. After falling off the football map for thre decades Ethiopia is now just two games away from qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
    LAST UPDATE : Oct 10, 2013, 1:25 PM EDT
  • Texas Rangers' Yu Darvish delivers a pitch against the Houston Astros in the ninth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, April 2, 2013, in Houston. Darvish pitched eight and two-thirds perfect innings before giving up a hit to Astros' Marwin Gonzalez in the Rangers' 7-0 win.

    Yu Darvish was one out from a perfect game when Marwin Gonzalez grounded a clean single through the pitcher's legs.

    LAST UPDATE : Apr 03, 2013, 10:29 AM EDT
  • Japan's Atsunori Inaba, right, reacts after striking out against Puerto Rico's Mario Santiago during the third inning of a semifinal game of the World Baseball Classic in San Francisco, Sunday, March 17, 2013. At left is catcher Yadier Molina.

    This time, under far different circumstances four years later, two-time reigning champion Japan couldn't pull off a remarkable three-peat.

    LAST UPDATE : Mar 18, 2013, 10:51 AM EDT
  • United States' Eric Hosmer (35) is safe at first base as Dominican Republic first baseman Edwin Encarnacion is unable to hold on to the ball during the sixth inning of a second-round game of the World Baseball Classic in Miami, Thursday, March 14, 2013. Jose Reyes was charged with a throwing error.

    The Dominican Republic topped the United States 3-1 Thursday night to earn a berth in the final round of the World Baseball Classic.

    LAST UPDATE : Mar 15, 2013, 10:30 AM EDT
  • Netherlands' second baseman Jonathan Schoop hits a three-run homer off Cuba's pitcher Yadier Pedroso in the sixth inning of their World Baseball Classic second round game in Tokyo Friday, March 8, 2013.

    Jonathan Schoop hit a three-run homer to lead the Netherlands over Cuba 6-2 Friday in the second round of the World Baseball Classic.

    LAST UPDATE : Mar 08, 2013, 12:59 PM EST
  • Rafael Nadal, of Spain, speaks during a news conference at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament in Indian Wells, Calif. Thursday, March 7, 2013.

    Rafael Nadal is not sure how his injured left knee will respond to his first hardcourt match of the year at the BNP Paribas Open.

    LAST UPDATE : Mar 08, 2013, 12:33 PM EST
  • Cuba's starter Wilber Perez delivers a pitch against Japan in the first inning of their World Baseball Classic first round game in Fukuoka, Japan, Wednesday, March 6, 2013.

    Japan, which scored three runs in the ninth, will face Group B winner Taiwan in the second round at the Tokyo Dome.

    LAST UPDATE : Mar 06, 2013, 11:01 AM EST