Nationals

Chiefs offense a no-show the last 2 games

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Chiefs offense a no-show the last 2 games

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Duck, Kansas City, a nasty quarterback controversy may be headed your way.

It's just what the embattled, touchdown-starved Chiefs do not need. But if coach Romeo Crennel returns Brady Quinn to the bench and puts Matt Cassel back under center, a quarterback controversy seems assured.

Crennel made it clear Tuesday that Quinn and Cassel are now in head-to-head competition.

``What I told them is I'm rotating the quarterbacks. They will get equal reps,'' Crennel said. ``Both of them will get work and then we'll evaluate it and then next week we'll get ready for game week and then we'll make a decision and go from there.''

Drawing from bitter experience during four stormy years as head coach in Cleveland, Crennel knows how destructive a QB controversy can be.

``It is distracting,'' Crennel said. ``Everybody's wondering who the guy's going to be, and all those kind of things. Then what happens, some guys on the team kind of favor one guy over another guy. Even though everybody's got a job to do and they will do their job. But it is a distraction.''

Cassel missed last week's game at Tampa Bay with a concussion he sustained the week before. That was fine with some fans; many have never warmed to the former New England backup who didn't help his case by throwing nine interceptions through the first five games.

But Cassel was back on the wind-swept practice field Tuesday, cleared for noncontract drills, and Crennel expects him to be OK by the time the Chiefs (1-5) come back from their bye week and play Oakland (1-4) on Oct. 28.

No matter who's under center, the offense will be looking for its first touchdown in eight quarters.

``They will give (Cassel) another test next week, on game week, to finalize, to make it official,'' Crennel said. ``But I imagine, during these couple of days here, if he does good and there's nothing different on his baseline test, that he'll be cleared for contact.''

Cassel was having no trouble moving around.

``I feel great, yeah,'' he said. ``I've passed all the tests and done all that.''

Quinn, in his first start in almost three seasons, did OK for the most part during last week's 38-10 loss to the Buccaneers, the Chiefs' fourth blowout defeat. He was 22 for 38 for 180 yards, sticking almost entirely to short and intermediate-range passes.

He had two interceptions, but at least one was hardly his fault as it bounced off the receiver's thigh, bounced off the defensive back's forearm and bounced off the back of the receiver's elbow before Ronde Barber snatched it out of the air, about an inch from the ground, and returned it for a touchdown.

``He processed the information nicely. He was able to read defenses, get us out of a play, get us into a play,'' Crennel said.

But how long will it take to chip away the rust? Is it like riding a bicycle, it comes right back?

``I think that depends on how good of a rider you were to start with,'' the coach said.

Getting Cassel in a trade with New England was one of the first major moves Scott Pioli made after being named general manager in Kansas City in 2009. Although he had a nice year in 2010, last year was a struggle and this year's bad start includes a league-high 19 turnovers.

When Cassel went down in the fourth quarter of a 9-6 loss to Baltimore two weeks ago, some cheering was heard from the Arrowhead Stadium crowd. It prompted sharp comments from tackle Eric Winston about the hometown crowd and national attention no one wanted.

``All I'll say is I live here year-round in Kansas City and I've had nothing but support from the people in Kansas City and the people that we've met,'' Cassel said Tuesday. ``The fact of the matter is Kansas City is a great place to play and we've got a passionate fan base. I'm sure they're frustrated. I'm frustrated as well. But we're working and doing everything in our power to get it corrected.''

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Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic and Nationals grant boys wish to be a player for a day

Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic and Nationals grant boys wish to be a player for a day

The Nationals welcomed 10-year-old cancer patient Parker Staples as the newest addition to their team on Friday, in conjunction with the Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic Foundation.

While battling lymphoma, Staples learned he would receive a wish and didn’t hesitate about what he wanted to choose. After being sidelined for two years during treatment, Parker couldn’t wait to celebrate his remission by becoming part of his favorite baseball team. 

Staples was introduced to his new teammates and got signed autographs from Matt Adams, Juan Soto, Anthony Rendon, and Yan Gomes. He also got to spend time hitting and playing catch with his new teammates, as well as being interviewed as the newest member of the team. It gets even better than that, Staples threw the ceremonial first pitch at Nationals Park leading up to the Marlins-Nationals game Staples 

"My favorite moment was throwing the first pitch. It was really cool," Staples said.

"Probably the biggest day of my life."

The Nationals are hosted the Miami Marlins in the series opener Friday.

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Australian Taste Test: Washington Spirit Aussies serve up Vegemite

Australian Taste Test: Washington Spirit Aussies serve up Vegemite

Washington Spirit Aussies Chloe Logarzo and Amy Harrison have NBC Sports Washington’s Anna Witte try Australian staples Vegemite and Bundaberg ginger beer.

According to Logarzo, before each game with the Australian National team, all of the players would eat vegemite on toast with poached eggs and avocado. 

Witte rated the Vegemite a four out of ten, her immediate response was that it tastes "Super salty."

"Not awful, but I don't think I would buy it for myself....it's awful."

Both Logarzo and Harrison joined the Spirit this season. Harrison has appeared in ten games for the Australian national team and Logarzo has appeared in 37. 

After two straight wins the Washington Spirit are looking to continue their winning streak this weekend against the Chicago Red Stars.

Washington will face off against Chicago at the SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Illinois on Sunday, March 26 at 6 p.m.

In the NWSL standings, the Red Stars are in first place with a 3-1-2 record and the Spirit are in fourth with a 3-1-1 record. In 2018, Chicago took the series over Washington with two wins and a draw.

Despite missing U.S. National players Rose Lavelle and Mallory Pugh, the Spirit defeated Portland Thorns FC last weekend 3-1. 

Amy Harrison scored the first goal during the 16th minute followed by Portland scoring on their own goal in the 47th minute to put Washington ahead 2-0. Finally, in the 71st minute, Jordan Diabasi scored an olimpico. 

Spirit Midfielder Jordan DiBiasi won the NWSL Goal of the Week for her goal against the Portland Thorns last weekend. 

Spirit Goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe continues to lead the NWSL with 19 saves.