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US skip Shuster benched for France match
By JANIE McCAULEY
Associated Press
2010-02-20 03:45 AM
U.S. skip John Shuster was benched for the winless American men in Friday's Olympic curling match with France.

USA Curling chief operating officer Rick Patzke told The Associated Press the decision was made by coach Phill Drobnick in a team meeting Thursday night.

The typically dependable Shuster, a bronze medalist in Turin four years ago, has struggled with his shot-making all tournament. Alternate Chris Plys will skip the team against France, with vice skip Jason Smith throwing the last stone.

"For this game he is sitting out," Patzke said. "We support their decision. It's not unprecedented. Our mission and their mission is to put the best possible team on the ice for every game."

Shuster's bronze medal in 2006 was the Americans' first in an Olympics and first in a major competition since 1978.

He said Thursday after a third straight extra-end loss, this time to Denmark, "I've let my teammates and USA Curling down."

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