Soccer

US and Sweden play to 0-0 group-stage draw

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US and Sweden play to 0-0 group-stage draw

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — The United States played to a 0-0 tie with Sweden and former coach Pia Sundhage Friday night in one of the most anticipated matches of the group stage at the Women's World Cup.

Abby Wambach came off the bench in the second half, but her header in the 72nd minute was popped up and over the crossbar by Swedish goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl.

A win would have assured the United States a spot in the knockout round as the Americans seek their third World Cup title, but first since 1999. The U.S. women advanced to the final four years ago in Germany, but fell to Japan on penalty kicks.

The United States, ranked No. 2 in the world, has one more group stage match, on Tuesday in Vancouver, British Columbia, against Nigeria. Sweden heads to Edmonton, Alberta, for its final group match with Australia. The monthlong tournament, with an expanded field of 24 teams, is being played across six Canadian cities.

The U.S. leads the Group D standings with four points, following a 3-1 victory over No. 10 Australia in the opener. Sweden was surprised in its opener by No. 33 Nigeria, which erased a 2-0 deficit at the half for a 3-all tie.

Earlier Friday the Matildas defeated Nigeria 2-0.

U.S. coach Jill Ellis tinkered with her lineup for the match against Sweden, starting 22-year old Morgan Brian while Wambach was on the bench.

Wambach did give the U.S. an immediate boost after entering in the 68th minute, but Lindahl kept the match scoreless. Liddahl was named the player of the match.

Some five mintues after Wambach's chance, Caroline Seger's hard shot from far out was saved by defender Meghan Klingenberg, who deflected the ball to the crossbar. Goal-line technology was used to make sure the ball never crossed the line on its descent.

The United States had a good chance in the 34th minute when Ali Krieger charged into the box but her shot to the far post went wide. Shortly after Hope Solo punched away Therese Sjogran's corner kick into a crowded box, Megan Rapinoe's free kick in the 39th minute sailed well over the goal.

Lindahl came up with her first big save of the match when she leaped to pop Carli Lloyd's shot up and over the bar early in the second half.

Solo leaped to stop Sjogran's hard shot from far out in the 54th minute but it sailed over her fingertips and over the bar.

Solo started in goal for the United States as off-field incidents continue to haunt her. The United States opened played the day after an ESPN report revealed new details about her arrest last June in Washington state on domestic violence charges. The charges were dismissed earlier this year.

Sundhage was head coach of the United States for five years, guiding the team to two Olympic gold medals and the World Cup final in Germany. It was the first time the Americans had advanced to the final since winning it all in 1999.

Sundhage left after the 2012 London Games and returned home to coach her native Sweden's national team.

Adding to the buildup for the match, one of the most anticipated of the group stage, was a story about Sundhage earlier in the week in The New York Times. In it, Sundhage was quoted as saying that Lloyd was a challenge to coach and she suggested she wouldn't start Wambach at this point in the popular veteran's career. She said Solo was one of the most challenging players she'd coached, "especially when it comes to trouble."

She talked about those statements before the match, saying the interview occurred back in April and she certainly was not trying to taunt the U.S. team. She called Solo "a piece of work," but went on to also call her the "the best goalkeeper in the world." She also said she would start Wambach on Friday night.

The World Cup is being played as FIFA deals with an ongoing corruption scandal sparked by the U.S. Department of Justice indictment of 14 people with racketeering, wire fraud, money laundering and other offenses. Swiss prosecutors are leading a separate probe into the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding contests.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter, who is not at the tournament, announced last week that he plans to step down once an election is held for a successor.

Washington Spirit and Australian national players try American treats for first time

Washington Spirit and Australian national players try American treats for first time

Washington Spirit and Australian national players Chloe Logarzo and Amy Harrison sat down with NBC Sports Washington to taste test a few American favorites and rate the treats. For the first time ever, Aussies Logarzo and Harrison each tried a Twinkie and took a sip of Coke.  

For Harrison, the initial comment after taking a bite was disgust, "Ew."  

However, Logarzo gave the twinkie a 10 out of 10, "if I was seven years old." 

Both players enjoyed the Coke and had tasted it before. 

The Washington Spirit are returning home to their stomping grounds to host Portland Thorns FC at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 17.

Both the Spirit and Thorns are coming off wins from last weekend, with the Spirit defeating Sky Blue FC 3-2 and the Thorns beating the Orlando Pride 3-1. This weekend is a chance for both teams to move up in the NWSL standings. The Spirit currently sits in 6th place (2-1-1), just one spot behind the Thorns in 5th place (2-0-2).

If the Spirit secure a win against the Thorns they could move up as high as second place in the NWSL table, their highest ranking since 2016.

Both the Spirit and the Thorns will be missing a few contributors to their rosters who are currently preparing with the U.S. Women’s National team for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Spirit forward Mallory Pugh and midfielder Rose Lavelle will be absent and Thorns goalkeeper Adrianna Franch, midfielders Tobin Heath and Lindsey Horan, forward Christine Sinclair and defender Emily Sonnett will be absent as well.

This has been a big week for the Spirit. Both defender Cheyna Matthews and goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe received accolades for their contributions in the league.

During the 22nd and 68th minutes of last weeks game against Sky Blue FC, Matthews scored to put Washington ahead. Matthews was nominated for the NWSL’s week five Goal of the Week.

In addition, Bledsoe was named the Westfield W-League’s goalkeeper of the year after helping Sydney FC claim the 2019 W-League title. Bledsoe is only the third American goalkeeper to receive this award.

Spirit vs. Thorns FC takes place at the Maryland SoccerPlex, on the team's first annual Armed Forces Night. The Spirit will show appreciation to veterans and active duty service members at halftime and provide discounted priced tickets to the game.

Crystal Palace vs. AFC Bournemouth Premier League Championship Sunday: Date, Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

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Associated Press Images

Crystal Palace vs. AFC Bournemouth Premier League Championship Sunday: Date, Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

After successfully avoiding relegation from the Premier League once again, Crystal Palace and AFC Bournemouth square off on Championship Sunday at Selhurst Park on  NBC Sports Washington. 

Both clubs are heading into the final day with some momentum, Crystal Palace winning two of their last three matches and Bournemouth coming off a 1-0 victory over Champions League finalists Tottenham Hotspur last Saturday. 

While both clubs have secured safety, Crystal Palace will be looking to avenge a 2-1 loss in October, when a late Junior Stanislas penalty gave Bournemouth all three points. 

Want to watch Crystal Palace vs. AFC Bournemouth on NBC Sports Washington? Here are all the details:

Crystal Palace vs. AFC Bournemouth How to Watch

What: Crystal Palace vs. AFC Bournemouth, English Premier League Matchday 38

Where: Selhurst Park, London, UK

When: 10:00 a.m. ET Sunday, May 12

TV Channel: NBC Sports Washington

Stream: NBCSports.com/Live or the NBC Sports app. 

Crystal Palace vs. AFC Bournemouth Preview

Record: Crystal Palace (13-7-17, 46 points), AFC Bournemouth (13-6-18, 45 points)

Last Game: 3-2 win at Cardiff City, 5/4 (Crystal Palace), 1-0 win vs. Tottenham Hotspur, 5/4 (AFC Bournemouth) 

Last Head-to-Head Matchup: AFC Bournemouth 2-1 win on 10/1/2018

Top Scorers: Luka Milivojevic, 12 goals (Crystal Palace), Callum Wilson, 14 goals (AFC Bournemouth)