Sports Extra

NFL

Jets bench Sanchez for ... McElroy, not Tebow

NEW YORK – Mark Sanchez blew the second chance Rex Ryan gave him. Now, it’s Greg McElroy’s turn to be the New York Jets’ starting quarterback.

McElroy was a seventh-round pick last year out of Alabama.

And Tim Tebow? Well, he was leapfrogged by the third-stringer, fueling speculation that the team has little confidence in him as a quarterback.

Ryan decided to bench Sanchez on Tuesday after the fourth-year quarterback had another miserable performance, throwing four interceptions Monday night. He also mishandled a low snap with the game on the line as the Jets were eliminated from playoff contention with a 14-10 loss at Tennessee.

Sanchez leads the league with 24 turnovers, including 17 interceptions, and has turned the ball over 50 times since the start of last season.

NHL

Two years ago Tuesday, Fehr is hired by the NHLPA

Date: Tuesday, Dec. 18.

Day: 94.

Last Negotiations: In-person talks Dec. 13 in New Jersey and a bargaining conference call Dec. 14.

Next Negotiations: No negotiations have been scheduled.

Games Lost: 527 (all games through Dec. 30, plus New Year’s Day Winter Classic and All-Star weekend).

On This Day Two Years Ago: After serving as an unpaid consultant to the NHL Players’ Association, Donald Fehr was voted in by the union as its executive director. Fehr had been executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association for 26 years until he stepped down in December 2009.

Soccer

USA soccer will open 2013 with a Canadian friendly

CHICAGO – The U.S. soccer team will open its 2013 schedule with an exhibition game against Canada at Houston’s BBVA Compass Stadium on Jan. 29.

The Americans will hold a training camp Jan. 14-27 in Carson, Calif.

Seeking their seventh consecutive World Cup appearance, the Americans will open the final round of World Cup qualifying Feb. 6 against Honduras at San Pedro Sula.

Costa Rica, Jamaica, Mexico and Panama also are in the six-nation group, which will produce three qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The fourth-place team advances to a playoff for another berth, likely against New Zealand.

Colorado and the MLS season will kick off March 2

NEW YORK – Major League Soccer’s season will open March 2 with six games on its earliest start date, and New England will be the final team to open at home when it hosts Dallas on March 23.

The league said Tuesday that March 2 matches will include Columbus at Chivas USA, Colorado at Dallas, D.C. United at Houston, Kansas City at Philadelphia, Montreal at Seattle and Toronto at Vancouver.

The two-time defending champion Los Angeles Galaxy will open at home against Chicago the next day.

World Cup Ski Racing

Hirscher wins slalom by night to take Ligety’s No. 2 spot

MADONNA DI CAMPIGLIO, Italy – Defending overall World Cup champion Marcel Hirscher of Austria was fastest in both runs to post an emphatic victory in a night slalom Tuesday that was marred by the death of a gate keeper.

The win moved Hirscher above American rival Ted Ligety into second place in the overall standings.

Hirscher had a two-run combined time of 1 minute, 42.50 seconds. Felix Neureuther of Germany finished second, a distant 1.67 seconds behind, and Naoki Yuasa of Japan was third, 2.28 back.

There was a delay of about 15 minutes after the first eight starters when a 70-year-old gate keeper, positioned midway down the course, went into cardiac arrest and died.

Associated Press