U.S. women have their 43-match unbeaten run ended by Sweden
The U.S. women’s team had its unbeaten streak snapped at 43 matches Friday when it lost 1-0 to Sweden — which is guided by former U.S. coach Pia Sundhage — in Algarve Cup play in Albufiera, Portugal.
The United States had been 36-0-7 since a 1-0 loss to Japan at the Algarve Cup on March 5, 2012, and was 16-0-4 under Tom Sermanni, who took over as coach of the Americans after Sundhage left in 2012 to coach her native Sweden.
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The United States cannot advance to the Algarve Cup final.
Lotta Schelin of Sweden scored on a header in the 24th minute, nodding the ball into the lower right corner past U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo. Solo, a former Washington Huskies standout from Richland, made two saves.
Swedish keeper Hedvig Lindahl had six saves and made a diving stop of Abby Wambach’s penalty kick in the 15th minute.
“You’re always going to lose games in football. That’s how it works,” Sermanni said. “Sometimes you win games that perhaps you should have lost. Sometimes you lose games that perhaps you should have won.
“But, as I said, today we missed a penalty at nil-nil and in the last 15 minutes, we had four very good goal-scoring opportunities. And if you don’t take those, that makes a difference.”
Saints release receiver Moore;Sproles indicates he also is out
The New Orleans Saints released veteran receiver Lance Moore and running back Darren Sproles wrote a farewell message to fans on Twitter after reports surfaced he also would be gone.
The Saints are seeking to get under the league salary cap of $133 million. They reportedly would save at least $6 million in terms of the cap if Moore and Sproles, who are 30-year-olds, are gone.
Sproles tweeted: “Thank you New Orleans for your support over the past 3 years! I will always be forever grateful. #WhoDat”
Henne, Jaguars agree on deal
Quarterback Chad Henne and the Jacksonville Jaguars agreed to a two-year contract worth $8 million and coach Gus Bradley made it clear the plan is for Henne, 28, to be the starter even if the team takes a quarterback with the No. 3 pick in the first round of the draft in May.
Sharper can’t be held indefinitely
A judge refused to immediately release former NFL All-Pro safety Darren Sharper, 38, from jail in a Los Angeles rape case but said she would have to free him soon if charges aren’t filed in a similar case in Louisiana.
The ruling came after lawyers for Sharper argued he had been freed on $1 million bail and pleaded not guilty in the Los Angeles case but was jailed again after an arrest warrant was issued last week in Louisiana.
“To hold him into perpetuity on an arrest warrant seems to be grotesquely unfair,” Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Renee Korn said.
Penguins prevail in Anaheim
Brandon Sutter scored in the sixth round of the shootout to give the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins a 3-2 victory over league-leading Anaheim.
The Penguins lead the Eastern Conference.
Corey Perry scored twice for the Ducks, giving him 34 goals this season.
Meanwhile, Florida goaltender Roberto Luongo, playing in his first game since being traded by the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday, made 25 saves as the Panthers blanked visiting Buffalo 2-0.
Logano earns pole for Sunday
Joey Logano won the pole for Sunday’s Kobalt 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race with a track-record qualifying lap of 193.278 mph at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Brad Keselowski was second in qualifying at 193.099 mph.
Kasey Kahne of Enumclaw set the previous qualifying record of 190.456 in 2012.
Kahne (191.659 mph) will start in 13th this year and Greg Biffle of Vancouver, Wash., will start 25th.
• In a day of potentially damaging testimony, a former girlfriend of Oscar Pistorius said at his murder trial in South Africa he once shot his gun out of a car sunroof and later cheated on her with the woman he killed Feb. 14, 2013. And a security guard recalled the double-amputee Olympian telling him everything was “fine” after neighbors reported gunshots coming from Pistorius’ house on the night of her death.
Prosecutors say Pistorius, 27, intentionally killed Reeva Steenkamp, 29, during an argument. But Pistorius insists it was a mistake, and that he fired through the locked toilet door in his bathroom believing an intruder was behind it.
Ex-girlfriend Samantha Taylor, who cried twice during her time on the stand in the Pretoria court, said Pistorius carried a firearm when they dated and sometimes shouted angrily at her and her friends. There were murmurs in court when Taylor said their relationship ended because Pistorius cheated on her with Steenkamp.
Taylor said she started going out with Pistorius in 2011, when she was 17, and that the relationship ended in November 2012.
• Four-time champion Martin Buser of Big Lake, Alaska, was the first musher to leave the Nulato checkpoint in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race of about 1,000 miles in Alaska.
Nulato is 393 miles from the finish line in Nome.
Buser won the Iditarod in 1992, 1994, 1997 and 2002.
• Third-seeded Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, playing her first tennis match in more than a month because of a left-foot injury, lost 6-0, 7-6 (7-2) to American Lauren Davis in the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif.
• The WNBA Board of Governors ratified a new eight-year collective-bargaining agreement. The biggest change in the deal is an increase by one in a team’s maximum roster size to 12.
Seattle Times news services