WAMBACH 2ND ON GOALS LIST; US BEATS CANADA 4-0: VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Now Abby Wambach only has Mia Hamm to beat.
The veteran striker scored twice Sunday night, moving into second place on the international scoring list, and the U.S. women’s soccer team beat Canada 4-0 in the championship game of the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament.
Wambach and Alex Morgan made for a formidable tandem, accounting for all the goals in a game for bragging rights among neighboring rivals. The U.S. and Canada already wrapped up berths in the London Olympics with their semifinal victories Friday.
Wambach’s head-flick provided the assist on Morgan’s goal in the fourth minute, then Morgan assisted in the 24th and 28th as Wambach pushed her career total to 131 goals, one ahead of longtime U.S. captain Kristine Lilly. The 31-year-old forward said last week that it’s only a matter of time before she or Canada’s Christine Sinclair topple Hamm’s record of 158, but that’s still a few years off.
Wambach left for a sub at halftime, but Morgan continued merrily on, scoring her second goal in the 56th.
Wambach and Sinclair started the game tied at 129, but the anticipated head-to-head matchup between two of the game’s greats turned out to be as lopsided as the final score. Sinclair, who had nine goals in her first four games in the tournament, found herself bottled up by U.S. defenders. The better scoring chances were left to Christina Julien, who was twice stymied point-blank by goalkeeper Hope Solo in the first half.
ABBOTT WINS 3RD US TITLE WITH MESMERIZING GRACE: SAN JOSE (AP) — Rust will no longer be Johnny Weir and Olympic champion Evan Lysacek’s only worry if they come back.
Jeremy Abbott proved he’s capable of contending with the best in the world — past and present — in winning his third title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Sunday. Needing only to stay on his feet to claim the title, he put on a sublime display of quiet elegance and superior skill that was simply bewitching.
“I skate to give a performance like that and so I felt really good,” Abbott said. “I was really nervous when I started, I was shaking a little bit. But from the second I set for the quad I was like, ‘I’m going to do this.’ I just really took it into my hands and made sure that I did what I needed to do.”
His final score of 273.58 was the highest ever at the U.S. championships, and puts him within striking distance of world champion Patrick Chan. It was about 12 points better than 2006 Olympic champion Evgeni Plushenko scored in winning his seventh European title Saturday.
Adam Rippon, a two-time junior world champion, was second. Ross Miner finished third for a second straight year.
Earlier Sunday, Caydee Denney and John Coughlin won their first pairs title together after winning the previous two years with other partners.
The U.S. men have been in a bit of a funk without Lysacek and Weir the past two years. No one’s come close to winning a medal at the world championships, and the Americans did so poorly last year they actually lost the third spot they’ve had since 2002.
MAVS’ KIDD OUT AT LEAST A WEEK WITH CALF STRAIN: DALLAS (AP) — Mavericks guard Jason Kidd will be out at least a week because of a strained right calf.
Coach Rick Carlisle said before Sunday night’s game against San Antonio that Kidd would be sidelined, and probably longer than a week. The game against the Spurs was the first of five games for Dallas in seven days.
When speaking to reporters at halftime, Kidd said he felt good. He said he continue to do rehabilitation and see how he felt next weekend.
Kidd got hurt playing defense just more than 2 minutes into Friday’s game victory against Utah. He said he tried to plant while trying to draw a charge when he got hurt.
“I felt like I got kicked in the calf,” said Kidd, who was told by a Mavericks trainer that nobody had actually hit him. “I’m happy it was just a strain.”
Kidd was wearing a sleeve over his right calf while riding a stationary bicycle before Sunday’s game.
GABORIK CLAIMS NHL ALL-STAR GAME MVP: OTTAWA (AP) — Marian Gaborik made New York Rangers teammate Henrik Lundqvist pay for passing him up in this year’s All-Star game draft.
The high-scoring Rangers forward scored twice in the first period against Lundqvist, completed his hat trick in the second period with another goal, and added an assist in the third to carry Team Chara over Team Alfredsson 12-9 on Sunday.
Gaborik, who made his third All-Star appearance, became the 16th player to record a hat trick in the midseason showcase. The previous one was in 2008 by Columbus’ Rick Nash, Gaborik’s Western Conference teammate in that game.
As a member of the Minnesota Wild, Gaborik enjoyed a five-goal game against Lundqvist, Team Alfredsson’s assistant captain. Despite his success against the Swedish goalie, Gaborik prefers having him on his side rather than trying to score on him.
CHINA’S YU BREAKS 500 RECORD, WINS SPRINT TITLE: CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — China’s Yu Jing broke the world record in 500 meters Sunday and finished second in the 1,000 to win the world sprint speedskating championship.
Yu won the 500 in 36.94 seconds. Canada’s Christine Nesbitt was second in the overall four-race competition, 0.02 points back. She swept the 1,000 races Saturday and Sunday, setting a world record Saturday.
The Netherlands’ Stefan Groothuis won the men’s sprint championship. He won the 1,000.
“At last,” Groothuis said. “Pretty much before I got fourth. Finally I won a big championship and I’m really glad for that. Sprints is the most difficult one to win, so I’m really glad to win this one.”
South Korea’s Lee Kyou-hyuk was second, 0.19 points back, and teammate Mo Tae-bum was third.