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Category: World Cup

David Ragan wins pole for NASCAR's Brickyard 400

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David Ragan, who won at Daytona early this month for his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victory, won the pole position for Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Ragan, driving a Ford prepared by Roush Fenway Racing, turned a lap of 182.994 mph around the famed 2.5-mile Indianapolis track Saturday.

Kasey Kahne of the Red Bull team was second with a lap of 182.927 mph and will start next to Ragan on the front row.

Reigning Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, a three-time winner of the Brickyard 400, qualified third and Kurt Busch of Penske Racing was fourth.

Jeff Gordon, who has won a record four Cup races at Indy, qualified eighth while Dale Earnhardt Jr., his teammate at Hendrick Motorsports, qualified 22nd.

Meanwhile, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway said Hope Solo, goalkeeper of the U.S. women's national soccer team, would drive the pace car at Sunday's race, which starts at 10 a.m. PDT.

--Jim Peltz in Indianapolis

Photo: Dale Earnhardt Jr. drives his No. 88 Chevrolet through the garage area at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Saturday before qualifying for the Brickyard 400. Credit: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Is women's soccer better respected today than it was a month ago? [Updated]

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Writers from around the Tribune Co. discuss how the Women's World Cup affected their opinions of women's soccer. Check back throughout the day for more responses and weigh in by voting in the poll and leaving a comment of your own.

Bob Foltman, Chicago Tribune

The women's game likely gained some new fans in the last month due to a higher quality of play than in the past. But will that translate into a more viable professional league?

That's the real question. Ideally, MLS teams would also have a women's team, but the league isn't strong enough yet to absorb those expenses. The onus is on women sports fans.

Women's professional sports leagues will thrive only when women increase their support and younger girls watch games on TV and drag their parents out to more games.

It's up to you, ladies.  

Continue reading »

Women's World Cup: U.S. vs. Japan: Victory on penalty kicks earns Japan title

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The most dramatic Women’s World Cup final in history has produced the most surprising champion.

Japan twice came from behind to tie the score, first in regulation and then in extra time, and then went on to win the penalty shootout, 3-1, after a 2-2 tie in front of a sellout crowd in Frankfurt Germany.

The U.S. was trying to become the first three-time world champion.

Instead, Japan became the first Asian champion.

It was a deserved victory for the Japanese team, which never gave up, never quit trying, and in the end added another monumental achievement to its earlier feats of eliminating host and defending champion Germany in the quarterfinals and Sweden in the semifinals.

The result was even more meaningful because the Japanese team has ridden a wave of emotion brought about by the devastating March 11 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear accident in northern Japan that left tens of thousands dead or missing.

Continue reading »

Women's World Cup: U.S. vs. Japan: Game tied 1-1 going into extra time

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The Women’s World Cup final between the U.S. and Japan is all tied at 1-1 and is heading for 30 minutes of extra time in Frankfurt, Germany.

Alex Morgan gave the Americans the lead in the 69th minute on a superb individual goal off a long pass from teammate Megan Rapinoe.

The U.S. then committed a dreadful defensive error in the 81st minute when it failed to clear the ball out of danger, allowing Japanese midfielder Aya Miyama to score from close range.

If the match remains tied after extra time, it will go to penalty kicks. 

RELATED

U.S., Japan tied at halftime, 0-0, at Women's World Cup final

Former U.S. players understand pressure facing teams in World Cup final

Photos: U.S. vs. Japan

-- Grahame L. Jones

Photo: U.S. forward Alex Morgan, center, fails to score past Japan goalie Ayumi Kaihori during the second half of Sunday's Women's World Cup final. Morgan later scored the first goal of the match for the U.S. Credit: Martin Meissner / Associated Press

Women's World Cup: U.S. and Japan tied at halftime of final, 0-0

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At halftime in the final of the Women’s World Cup in Frankfurt, Germany, the U.S. and Japan were tied at 0-0 in a match the Americans were dominating.

Time and again in the first 45 minutes the Amercians created opportunities to take the lead, but each time they failed with the final shot.

The Japanese, playing in their first final, gradually began asserting themselves in the match, but were not as dangerous as they had been in defeating Germany and Sweden in their quarterfinal and semifinal games, respectively.

The first 15 minutes of the championship match belonged to the U.S., which created four clear scoring chances.

In the ninth minute, Lauren Cheney was just wide left with a shot off a pass from Megan Rapinoe and Abby Wambach lashed a shot just over the Japanese crossbar.

Two minutes later, Carli Lloyd followed suit with a shot that was just high and second later Rapinoe steered a cross from Heather O’Reilly wide right.

Continue reading »

Who will win the Women's World Cup? [Poll]

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Writers from around the Tribune Co. discuss the Women's World Cup final between the U.S. and Japan on Sunday. Check back throughout the day for more responses and weigh in by voting in the poll and leaving a comment of your own.

Grahame L. Jones, Los Angeles Times

This is the best Japanese women’s team ever assembled. This is not the best U.S. women’s team ever assembled. Japan already has answered the question of whether it can defeat bigger, stronger, physically more powerful players. The Germans and Swedes can attest to that. The Japanese team is not the Barcelona of the East, but it is playing stylish, possession-oriented soccer that is entertaining to watch. Japan’s coach, Norio Sasaki, has proven to be a shrewd tactician and will have done his homework on the American players.

That said, the U.S. goes into the final knowing that it twice shut out Japan as recently as May. It also goes in with the knowledge that instead of playing Germany or Brazil in the final, as expected, it faces a (large “perhaps” here) less-difficult opponent. Confidence will be high. Victory and a third world championship for the U.S., 2-0.

Continue reading »

Women’s World Cup: U.S. vs. France, U.S. leads 2-1

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Abby Wambach scored in the 79th minute to give the U.S. a 2-1 lead over France in their Women's World Cup semifinal match Wednesday morning.

RELATED:

Women's World Cup: U.S. vs. France, U.S. leads at halftime

Women's World Cup: U.S. vs. France, U.S. leads, 1-0

Don't expect World Cup semifinalists to get harsh media treatment

Newcomer France could be a threat for U.S. in Women's World Cup

Photo: Abby Wambach, left, celebrates with U.S. teammate Megan Rapinoe after scoring the eventual winning goal during a 3-1 victory over France in the Women’s World Cup semifinals Wednesday. Credit: Friso Gentsch / EPA

Women’s World Cup: U.S. vs. France, U.S. leads 3-1

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Alex Morgan scored in the 82nd minute to give the U.S. a 3-1 lead over France in their Women's World Cup semifinal match Wednesday.

RELATED:

Women's World Cup: U.S. vs. France, U.S. leads at halftime

Women's World Cup: U.S. vs. France, U.S. leads, 1-0

Don't expect World Cup semifinalists to get harsh media treatment

Newcomer France could be a threat for U.S. in Women's World Cup

Photo: Alex Morgan, left, celebrates with teammate Lauren Cheney after scoring to give the U.S. a 3-1 lead over France in the Women's World Cup semifinals Wednesday. Credit: Friso Gentsch / EPA

Women’s World Cup: U.S. vs. France, U.S. leads at halftime

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The U.S. leads France, 1-0, halfway through their rain-spattered Women's World Cup semifinal match at Borussia Park Stadium in Moenchengladbach, Germany.

Although France started off the brighter and more adventurous of the two teams, it was the U.S. that took the lead when former UCLA standout Lauren Cheney scored in the ninth minute.

A back-heel pass from Carli Lloyd to Heather O'Reilly set O'Reilly free to run at the French, and her pass into the goal area was deflected past French goalkeeper Berangere Sapowicz by Cheney.

It was Cheney's second goal of the tournament, having also scored the game-winner in the U.S.' opener against North Korea.

Continue reading »

Women’s World Cup: U.S. vs. France, U.S. leads 1-0

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Lauren Cheney scored in the ninth minute to give give the U.S. an early 1-0 lead over France in the Women's World Cup semifinals Wednesday morning. Heather O'Reilly got the assist.

More later at Latimes.com/sports.

RELATED:

Don't expect World Cup semifinalists to get harsh media treatment

Newcomer France could be a threat for U.S. in Women's World Cup

Photo: Lauren Cheney, right, celebrates scoring the opening goal followed by Amy Rodriguez. Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press

U.S. trails Sweden, 2-0, at halftime in the Women's World Cup

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Needing only a tie to clinch first place in its Women's World Cup group, the U.S. trailed Sweden, 2-0, at halftime of their match in Wolfsburg, Germany, on Wednesday.

The Swedes took the lead in the 15th minute after U.S. defender Amy LePeilbet pulled down Swedish midfielder Lotta Schelin after Schelin had gotten around her. The referee gave LePeilbet a yellow card and awarded Sweden a penalty kick.

Lisa Dahlkvist stepped up to take the kick and fired the ball past U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo. It was the first goal Solo had allowed in 796 consecutive minutes and marked the first time the U.S. had trailed in the tournament after earlier victories over North Korea and Colombia.

The American team came close to tying the score in the 32nd minute when LePeilbet sent a long ball downfield to forward Amy Rodriguez, but the former USC star's shot rebounded off the Swedish crossbar after she tried to chip goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl.

Sweden then doubled its lead after another U.S. defensive miscue. This time defender Rachel Buehler fouled Sweden midfielder Therese Sjogran about 25 yards out from the net. The free kick by midfielder Nilla Fischer caught the luckless LePeilbet on the thigh, took a sharp deflection and left Solo helpless in the nets.

Continue reading »
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