MARQUEZ: Rafa Marquez, a 33-year-old defender who was Mexico’s captain at the 2010 World Cup, was released by Major League Soccer’s New York Red Bulls yesterday by mutual agreement. Marquez joined the US club from Barcelona in 2010 and started 42 of his 44 matches for the Red Bulls, but played in only 15 games this past season.

JONES: Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Jones has signed a new contract with the club. The Australia international is deputy to Jose Reina but stood in ably when the Spaniard was sidelined for a month with a hamstring injury. Jones has made 10 appearances so far this season

KARPIN: Valery Karpin will stay as Spartak Moscow coach through the 2013-14 season after guiding his team to their first win in six matches. “Valery Karpin was given a one-and-a-half-year contract to be the head coach,” Spartak’s billionaire owner Leonid Fedun said. “He has been tasked with winning one of the three trophies – either the Russian league, the Russian Cup or a European cup during that time.”

US: Striker Abby Wambach reached 150 international goals by scoring twice as the United States women’s national team easily beat China 4-0 in a friendly on Wednesday. Wambach, 32, needs just nine goals to beat the record for goals for US men or women held by Mia Hamm, who finished her career in 2004 with 158 goals in 275 contests.

RICHARDS: Manchester City defender Micah Richards is hoping to return to action at the start of February. Richards, capped 13 times by England since making his debut in 2006, had knee surgery in October after suffering an injury in the victory over Swansea. “I am not putting a date on when I will be back because these things are never exact but I am hoping it will be in early February,” Richards said.

KING’S CUP: Last 16, first legs –Levante vs R. Zaragoza 0-1; Atl. Madrid vs Getafe 3-0; C. Vigo vs R. Madrid 2-1.

COPPA ITALIA: Last 16 – Milan vs Reggina 3-0.

LIGUE 1: Bordeaux vs St Etienne 0-0.

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