Tom Sermanni, making his debut, coached the U.S. women's soccer team to a 4-1 victory over Scotland.

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Sermanni wins debut

as coach of U.S. women

Tom Sermanni coached the U.S. women’s team to a 4-1 victory over Scotland on Saturday in Jacksonville, Fla.

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It was a strong debut for Sermanni, 58, who was born in Scotland and spent the past eight years as Australia’s coach. He was hired by the U.S. Soccer Federation in October to replace Pia Sundhage, who left to coach her native Sweden.

Christen Press scored in the 13th and 32nd minutes as the U.S. team took control before a crowd of 18,656. Press assisted on Shannon Boxx’s goal in the 52nd minute that gave the Americans a 3-0 lead.

American Sydney Leroux, who played for the Sounders Women last year, closed out scoring in the 89th minute.

“We’ve only been together with the new coach for a short time, but we’re all working hard, having fun and we’re enjoying it,” U.S. forward Abby Wambach said. “It’s a great marriage so far.”


Saints hire Rob Ryan

Saints coach Sean Payton has hired Rob Ryan, 50, as his new defensive coordinator.

Ryan, the brother of New York Jets coach Rex Ryan, spent the past two seasons as Dallas’ defensive coordinator. He was fired after last season, when the Cowboys’ defense ranked 19th.

Figure skating

Reynolds wins in Japan

Kevin Reynolds of Canada upstaged favorite Yuzuru Hanyu of Japan to win the Four Continents men’s title in Osaka, Japan.

Reynolds was sixth after the short program but landed three quads and finished with 250.55 points. Hanyu led after the short program but settled for second with 246.38.

Meanwhile, two-time world champion Mao Asada of Japan reintroduced her trademark triple axel to take a comfortable lead over compatriots Akiko Suzuki and Kanako Murakami in the women’s short program. Americans Cristina Gao and Gracie Gold were fourth and fifth, respectively.

Short-track speedskating

Celski finishes 2nd

JR Celski of Federal Way finished second to Sin Da-woon of South Korea in a men’s 1,500-meter World Cup race in Dresden, Germany.

Sin won in 2 minutes, 13.149 seconds. Celski’s time was 2:13.195.


• American Varvara Lepchenko won in her Fed Cup singles debut to lift the U.S. team to a 1-1 tie with Italy. Sara Errani of Italy beat Jamie Hampton 6-2, 6-1 in the opening match of the best-of-five tennis competition in Rimini, Italy.

Lepchenko rallied past Roberta Vinci 2-6, 6-4, 7-5.

Rafael Nadal beat Jeremy Chardy 6-2, 6-2, putting the Spaniard in both finals of the VTR Open in Vina del Mar, Chile, after a seven-month layoff because of a left-knee injury and a stomach virus.

Earlier, Nadal and Juan Monaco advanced to Sunday’s doubles final.

• Skier Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway won the men’s downhill at the world championships in Schladming, Austria.

Svindal won in 2:01.32 and Dominik Paris of Italy was second in 2:01.78.

• In Grade I horse races at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Fla., 4-year-old colt Graydar ($13.40 to win) took the $500,000 Donn Handicap and 5-year-old Point of Entry ($6.20) captured the $300,000 Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap.

Point of Entry won by 1 ¼ lengths over 2011 Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom, who was making what is expected to be his final U.S. start. Animal Kingdom is likely to compete in the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 30 and perhaps also race in Europe.

• Fiji beat the United States 21-19 and New Zealand blanked Canada 17-0 in USA Sevens rugby tournament games in Las Vegas. In Sunday’s semifinals, New Zealand will play Fiji and South Africa will face Samoa.

Edgar Douglas “Doug” Kenna II, quarterback of West Point’s 1944 national-championship football team, died Jan. 28 in North Palm Beach, Fla. He was 88.

Seattle Times news services