Obama-rouhani Chat Covers Nuclear Talks, New York Traffic

I think this will be the hardest test of our season, away at Seattle.” Dax McCarty, who once again has been one of New York’s most influential players this term, is looking forward to the atmosphere and the hope to get a result to maintain the club’s lead in the race for the Supporters’ Shield. “It’s going to be a fun one, it’s going to be a lot of fun,” McCarty told MLSsoccer.com. “I’ll probably be singing a different tune when we’ve got 40-50,000 people barking against us in Seattle and it should be a great atmosphere. “Our depth is going to be tested again, but it’s going to be a huge game. If we can get a result up there, a win or even a draw, I think we have to consider that a positive because we have a couple of teams directly competing us with the Supporters’ Shield but obviously they are right behind us.” The Red Bulls bring a four-game winning run into the clash, though three of those victories have come from the comfort of their home field. New York only has managed a pedestrian 5-7-3 record from its away games this term. The visitors will come up against a surging Seattle side that is enjoying a six-game unbeaten run, avoiding defeat in every contest since its 3-1 road loss to the Houston Dynamo on Aug. 17. Even more impressive has been Seattle’s home form in recent months. The Sounders have lost just once at CenturyLink Field all season, falling to the Montreal Impact in their opening match. Since the defeat, Sigi Schmid’s men have produced a remarkable record of 10-0-3 on their home turf.

New York Rangers sign Derek Stepan to two-year contract

Scott Lev/NHLI via Getty Images NEW YORK (AP) — Derek Stepan is back in the fold with the New York Rangers, agreeing to a two-year contract that should have him back on the ice in time for the season opener. Negotiations had been tense in recent days as the sides worked on a deal to get the restricted free-agent forward signed and into training camp. A contract was finally worked out Thursday, one week before the Rangers start the regular season at Phoenix. The 23-year-old Stepan, expected to be the Rangers’ No. 1 center, led the team with 44 points last season and was second to Rick Nash with 18 goals while playing all 48 games of the lockout-shortened campaign. He had been seeking $3.5 million per season, while the Rangers were offering around $3 million. The new deal is for a total of $6.15 million – $2.3 million this season and $3.85 million in 2014-15. Signing Stepan was a critical move for the Rangers, who are starting the season under new coach Alain Vigneault without captain Ryan Callahan and speedy winger Carl Hagelin – both recovering from shoulder operations. Stepan set career highs last season with a plus-25 rating and six game-winning goals. He tied his high with four power-play goals. Stepan went over the 40-point mark for the third straight season, tying for the NHL lead with four short-handed points. In 12 playoff games, Stepan had a career-best four goals – including winners in Games 3 and 4 of New York’s first-round victory over Washington. In 212 regular-season NHL games overall, Stepan has 56 goals and 140 points.

Seattle, New York battle for supremacy

U.S. officials spoke with Israelis to inform them of the call, according to the Obama administration official. The Iranian president shared details of the call with the world over his English-language Twitter feed. He said that Obama had expressed his hope for progress on nuclear talks as well as respect for you and ppl of #Iran, and apologized for New York Citys traffic. It wasnt immediately clear what prompted Rouhanis change in strategy, though the U.S. official who described the call said it may have been the positive tenor of renewed talks about Irans nuclear program in New York the day before. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and counterparts from five other world powers met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who proposed a goal of reaching an accord within a year. Iranian Contact After saying that a meeting between Obama and Rouhani on Sept. 24 in New York would be too complicated, Iranian officials contacted their U.S. counterparts yesterday and said that Rouhani wanted to speak with him before leaving New York, according to the administration official. With Obama back in Washington , meeting with Indias prime minister Manmohan Singh and bracing for the prospect of a government shutdown over differences with congressional Republicans on the budget and health-care, the U.S.