Rapinoe makes third Cup team
Experience was a factor in coach Jill Ellis’ decision to include defender Ali Krieger and midfielders Allie Long (who plays for Reign FC) and Morgan Brian on the U.S. team that will seek to defend its title at the Women’s World Cup.
All three were widely considered to be on the bubble for the 23-player roster for France that Ellis announced Thursday.
Long, 31, has been in and out of the national team after playing in the 2016 Olympics.
The tournament starts June 7, and the U.S. has first-round matches against Thailand, Chile and Sweden.
Carli Lloyd, 36, made her fourth World Cup squad.
Defender Tierna Davidson is the youngest player on the roster at 20.
In addition to Krieger, defenders Kelley O’Hara and Becky Sauerbrunn made their third World Cup team, joining forwards Tobin Heath, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe (who also plays for the Reign).
Dahmen tied for lead with McIlroy
Rory McIlroy made the most of his game and turned it into a 5-under 66 that gave him a share of the lead with former Husky Joel Dahmen after the opening round at the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, N.C.
McIlroy, a two-time winner at Quail Hollow, twice made birdie when he was out of position off the tee and ran off three straight birdies on the back nine for his lowest start in his 10 appearances at Quail Hollow.
Dahmen holed a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to finish a bogey-free round — no small task on a firm, fast course — to match McIlroy.
Former Husky Nick Taylor was among those at 67, while defending champion Jason Day had a 68.
• Tiger Woods will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Donald Trump on Monday, the White House said.
• Long-hitting Anne van Dam two-putted for birdie on the par-5 18th for a 5-under 67 and a share of the lead with So Yeon Ryu and Eun-Hee Ji in the LPGA MEDIHEAL Championship in Daly City, Calif.
Top pros to sit out next season
Hilary Knight would rather risk missing a year of playing meaningful hockey than settle for the status quo.
The star American forward is among more than 200 of the world’s top female players who announced they will not play professional hockey in North America at all this year in a bold attempt to establish a single, economically viable professional league.
She left the U.S.-based National Women’s Hockey League after having her salary cut in half during the 2016-17 season. And she spent the past year playing in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, only to have it abruptly shut down, a move that became official Wednesday.
The players announced their decision on social media in a strikingly unified effort that came together in less than a month.
The decision is an immediate threat to the NWHL, a five-team league that is the only current option in North America after the demise of the CWHL, which had six teams in the U.S., Canada and China.
Baffert has favorite
Bob Baffert is feeling the pressure now. The five-time Kentucky Derby winner finds himself with new favorite Game Winner since Omaha Beach was scratched with a breathing problem.
The Derby possibly could lose another horse, too.
Haikal, a 30-1 shot trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, is being treated for an abscess in his left front foot. The Gotham Stakes winner didn’t train Thursday and soaked in Epsom salts to reduce the accumulation of pus in his infected foot.
If Haikal can’t train again Friday, McLaughlin said he would be out of the race. The deadline to scratch is Friday morning.
No matter how much he tries to deflect the attention, Baffert holds a strong hand heading into Saturday’s race in Louisville, Ky. Game Winner is the 9-2 favorite, and his two other horses, Improbable and Roadster, are the co-second choices at 5-1.
• Atletico Madrid will be the opponent in this summer’s Major League Soccer All-Star Game in Orlando, Fla., July 31.