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The Sports Report: U.S. beats Sweden, on to knockout round

FBL-WC-2019-WOMEN-MATCH35-SWE-USA
U.S. defender Kelley O’Hara celebrates after her team’s second goal during the game against Sweden.
(Damien Meyer / AFP/Getty Images)

Howdy, my name is John Cherwa and I’m piloting this rebooted game of communication while Houston Mitchell is starting to realize his vacation is almost over.

Women’s World Cup

It wasn’t too bad a game to watch, but the win by the U.S. was more dominant than the 2-0 score indicated. Especially after the early score.

But best of all, we’re out of group play, which had all the excitement of any kids game where they don’t keep score. Few surprises and none the top teams were sent packing.

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Kevin Baxter was there for us, although I’m worrying about him. I think it’s a case of Stockholm Syndrome. He used the word “pitch” in one of his stories the other day. He forgot one of my early proclamations that we’re ‘Mericans writing for ‘Mericans.

Don’t worry, this story, the long version, is OK, I think. Just start reading.

“The final game of Women’s World Cup group play Thursday was supposed to be a major test for the U.S.

“It turned out to be little more than a pop quiz.

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“And it was one the Americans aced, defeating Sweden 2-0 before a crowd of 22,418 at Stade Oceane to win their group and advance to the round of 16 unbeaten and unscored upon.

“’When you come out of the group stage, we talk about mentality and being healthy,’ said coach Jill Ellis, whose team will face Spain on Monday in its first elimination-stage game. ‘I think we’re in a really good place.’

“Good place? The U.S. is the only country to have won this tournament three times and it has never started a World Cup like this, posting shutouts in all three group games. The Americans have seven shutouts in their last eight Women’s World Cup matches, dating to 2015, and their 18 goals in the first three games in France is a World Cup record.

“Sweden was their toughest opponent so far and the U.S. outshot the Swedes 16-7, had the ball nearly 60% of the time and completed more than twice as many passes. Which begs the question: Can anyone here challenge the top-ranked U.S.?

“’I don’t know,’” Carli Lloyd said. “’We’ll see. We’ve got a great squad. It will obviously get tougher and tougher.’

“But so will the U.S.”

Thursday’s results

Netherlands 2, Canada 1

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Cameroon 2, New Zealand 1

United States 2, Sweden 0

Chile 2, Thailand 0

Friday’s schedule (PDT)

No games scheduled.

Group A W-D-L, GD, Pts

France 3-0-0, +6, 9

Norway 2-0-1, +3, 6

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Nigeria 1-0-2 -2, 3

South Korea 0-0-3, -7, 0

Group A results

France 4, South Korea 0

Norway 3, Nigeria 0

Nigeria 2, South Korea 0

France 2, Norway 1

France 1, Nigeria 0

Norway 2, South Korea 1

Group B W-D-L, GD, Pts

Germany 3-0-0, +6, 9

Spain 1-1-1, +1, 3

China 1-1-1, 0, 4

South Africa 0-0-3, -7, 0

Group B results

Germany 1, China 0

Spain 3, South Africa 1

Germany 1, Spain 0

China 1, South Africa 0

Germany 4, South Africa 0

China 0, Spain 0

Group C W-D-L, GD, Pts

Italy 2-0-1, +5, 6

Australia 2-0-1, +3, 6

Brazil 2-0-1, +3, 6

Jamaica 0-0-3, -11, 0

Group C results

Italy 2, Australia 1

Brazil 3, Jamaica 0

Australia 3, Brazil 2

Italy 5, Jamaica 0

Australia 4, Jamaica 1

Brazil 1, Italy 0

Group D W-D-L, GD, Pts

England 3-0-0, +4, 9

Japan 1-1-1, -1, 4

Argentina 0-2-1, -1, 2

Scotland 0-1-2, -2, 1

Group D results

England 2, Scotland 1

Argentina 0, Japan 0

Japan 2, Scotland 1

England 1, Argentina 0

England 2, Japan 0

Scotland 3, Argentina 3

Group E W-D-L, GD, Pts

Netherlands 3-0-0, +4, 9

Canada 2-0-1, +2, 6

Cameroon 1-0-2, -2, 3

New Zealand 0-0-3, -4, 0

Group E results

Canada 1, Cameroon 0

Netherlands 1, New Zealand 0

Netherlands 3, Cameroon 1

Canada 2, New Zealand 0

Netherlands 2, Canada 1

Cameroon 2, New Zealand 1

Group F W-D-L, GD, Pts

United States 3-0-0, +18, 9

Sweden 2-0-1, +4, 6

Chile 1-0-2, -3, 3

Thailand 0-0-3, -19, 0

Group F results

Sweden 2, Chile 0

United States 13, Thailand 0

Sweden 5, Thailand 1

United States 3, Chile 0

United States 2, Sweden 0

Chile 2, Thailand 0

Round of 16 games (PDT)

Saturday

Germany vs. Nigeria, 8:30 a.m., FS1

Norway vs. Australia, 12:00 p.m., Fox

Sunday

England vs. Cameroon, 11:30 a.m., FS1

France vs. Brazil, 12 p.m., Fox

Monday

Spain vs. United States, 9 a.m., FS1

Sweden vs. Canada, 12 p.m., FS1

Tuesday

Italy vs. China, 9 a.m., FS1

Netherlands vs. Japan, FS1

Rest of the schedule (PDT)

Quarterfinal games, June 27-29

Semifinal game, July 2, noon, Fox

Semifinal game, July 3, noon, FS1

Third-place game, July 6, 8 a.m., Fox

Final, July 7, 8 a.m., Fox

NBA Draft

We didn’t think the Lakers and Clippers had a first-round pick but the Clippers made a move to get in the first round. Andrew Greif explains it to us. Here’s one version, below is another.

“The Clippers traded up in the NBA draft on Thursday to add Mfiondu Kabengele, a big man with shooting range and NBA lineage.

“The nephew of Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo, Kabengele averaged 13.2 points and 5.9 rebounds while making 50.2% of his shots during his sophomore season with Florida State. He made 37.4% of his three-pointers during his two seasons with the Seminoles.

“Brooklyn technically selected Kabengele 27th overall, and the 21-year-old walked the interview circuit at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, the site of the draft, wearing a hat and watch festooned with the Nets logo. But he will soon land with the Clippers, who are sending the Nets the 56th pick in Thursday’s second round and a protected first-round pick in the 2020 draft that was acquired by the Clippers in February’s trade with Philadelphia.

“This hat is only temporary,” he said.

If you want to know more about the first round, Dan Loumena has this pick-by-pick analysis. Just click here.

Dodgers pitching problems

“We probably should have done more with this in the last newsletter, but now that we know the actual results, we can speak with more confidence. And by we, we actually mean Mike DiGiovanna. Here’s his report, two ways.

“A flexor tendon strain is sometimes a precursor to Tommy John surgery, which is why the Dodgers winced when that diagnosis was attached to Rich Hill, the 39-year-old left-hander who was placed on the 10-day injured list Thursday but will be sidelined until at least early August.

“’I think any time you’re talking about a pitcher’s arm there’s a little bit of holding your breath,’ manager Dave Roberts said. “Right now, I don’t want to get too far ahead of my emotions. I want to take the three or four weeks and reassess.’

“Those emotions are attached to the worst-case scenario — that a highly effective pitcher, a fan favorite and one of the most popular players in the Dodgers’ clubhouse might have suffered a career-ending injury. Not many 39-year-olds undergo — let alone recover from — elbow reconstruction

“I think I’ll be able to pitch again this season, definitely, but when that is, I don’t have that answer,” Hill said. “There wasn’t anything that was indicative of a UCL [ulnar collateral ligament] tear, which was good, but it’s going to take some time to heal.”

This marks the 14th time Hill has gone on the injured list in 15 years, though five of his six previous IL stints were because of blisters on fingers of his pitching hand.

“The Dodgers and Hill are choosing to be more optimistic. Hill, who was pulled from Wednesday night’s start against the Giants after one inning, began platelet-rich plasma therapy on Thursday in an effort to promote healing in the tendon and plans to resume throwing in three to four weeks.

“I think I’ll be able to pitch again this season, definitely, but when that is, I don’t have that answer,” Hill said. “There wasn’t anything that was indicative of a UCL [ulnar collateral ligament] tear, which was good, but it’s going to take some time to heal.”

“This marks the 14th time Hill has gone on the injured list in 15 years, though five of his six previous IL stints were because of blisters on fingers of his pitching hand.”

Odds and ends

Dodgers’ bullpen almost blows it in win over the Giants. ...Angels fall to Blue Jays on walk-off home run in 10th. … Everything hinges on Kawhi Leonard for the Clippers. … Ducks sign goalie Ryan Miller to a contract extension. … World Cup newcomer Samantha Mewis sidesteps the butterflies to lead U.S. past Sweden. … Adults brawl over a call by a 13-year-old umpire at 7-year-olds’ baseball game. … For Santa Anita’s low-paid workers, horse deaths bring pain and fears about the future.

Other newsletters

We also have five other newsletters you can subscribe to for free. They are emailed to you and we don’t sell your name to other companies, so no spam from us. They are:

Our Dodgers newsletter, written by Houston Mitchell. Subscribe here.

Lakers newsletter, written by Tania Ganguli. Subscribe here.

Horse racing newsletter, written by John Cherwa. Subscribe here.

Boxing/MMA newsletter. Subscribe here.

Soccer newsletter, written by Kevin Baxter. Subscribe here.

Friday’s local sports schedule

Colorado at Dodgers, 7 p.m., Sportsnet LA, AM 570

Angels at St. Louis, 5:15 p.m., FSW, KLAA 830

Sparks at Seattle, 7 p.m., Spectrum Sportsnet

Born on this date

1956: Former Dodger Rick Sutcliffe

1959: NBA player Tom Chambers

1967: NBA player Derrick Coleman

1980: NBA player Richard Jefferson

Died on this date

1969: Tennis player Maureen Connolly, 34

1998: Former Dodgers GM Al Campanis, 81

And finally

Al Campanis did a lot of good in his baseball career. But, sadly, he will most be remembered for when he made racist comments on “Nightline.” If you don’t remember what I’m talking about. You can click here.

That concludes the newsletter for today. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, please email us here. If you want to subscribe, click here.


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