Scandals highlight lack of women coaches at top of US soccer
Few women are coaching at the top of American soccer — a result of how the sport offers scarce opportunities for female players and imposes a high price on coaching licenses. The shortage of qualified women was highlighted by a glut of vacancies created by men who were pushed out of the sport. When scandal rocked the National Women’s Soccer League in 2021, five male coaches were dismissed or forced to resign because of misconduct or harassment. Today, just three women hold head coaching jobs in the 12-team league. Five coaches, all men, are embarking on their first season with their teams this year.
Chiefs’ Reid: Mahomes ‘going to play’ vs Cincy for AFC title
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Monday that Patrick Mahomes will play in the AFC championship game against the Bengals. He also said the high ankle sprain that the All-Pro quarterback sustained over the weekend against the Jaguars is less severe than the one he played through during the 2019 season opener. Mahomes was hurt in the first quarter of Saturday’s win over Jacksonville when pass rusher Arden Key landed heavily on his right ankle. Mahomes finished off the drive but was hobbling badly, and Reid and the training staff forced him to get an X-ray that came back negative. He had an MRI on Sunday that revealed the extent of the injury.
Analysis: Defense still wins in the NFL playoffs
Defense stills wins in the NFL playoffs. The San Francisco 49ers and Cincinnati Bengals advanced to the conference championship games with excellent defensive performances on Sunday. The Philadelphia Eagles also had a standout defensive effort Saturday night. While high-flying offenses led by star quarterbacks get most of the attention, defense matters. It was evident in the NFL divisional round this weekend. The Bengals will meet the Chiefs again in a rematch of last year’s AFC championship game that was won by Cincinnati. Burrow is 3-0 against Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. Next up for the 49ers is a trip to Philadelphia to face one of the league’s most well-rounded offenses in the NFC championship game.
AP source: Lakers acquiring Rui Hachimura from Wizards
A person familiar with the negotiations says the Los Angeles Lakers are acquiring former lottery pick Rui Hachimura from the Washington Wizards in exchange for Kendrick Nunn and a package of second-round draft picks. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the trade has not been finalized and approved by the NBA. The person said the teams are working under the expectation that the deal will be completed later Monday. Hachimura and the Wizards didn’t agree on a rookie extension before the season started. That prompted speculation that the Japanese power forward wouldn’t be in their long-term plans.
With Djokovic’s leg OK, he sees Australian title realistic
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — It took about a week for Novak Djokovic to go from worrying about whether he simply could play a match at all on his injured left hamstring to thinking he can win the Australian Open. And one pain-free, nearly perfect performance in the fourth round has made a world of difference. Djokovic now says he thinks he “can go all the way” to a 10th championship at Melbourne Park and 22nd Grand Slam trophy overall. He beat 22nd-seeded Alex de Minaur 6-2, 6-1, 6-2 to reach the quarterfinals. The 35-year-old from Serbia looked like his usual flexible, court-covering, dominant self at Rod Laver Arena and said he felt “fantastic.”
Purdue back at No. 1 in AP Top 25, Alabama right behind
Purdue is back at No. 1 in the AP Top 25. Alabama is right behind the Boilermakers. Purdue returned to the top spot in The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll, moving up two spots after Houston’s loss to Temple. The Boilermakers received 39 first-place votes after a volatile week where just two teams kept the same spot from a week ago. Alabama climbed two spots to No. 2, its highest ranking since reaching No. 1 in 2002-03. Houston, Tennessee and Kansas State round out the top five.
In a first, women’s AP Top 25 has no teams from Texas
For the first time in the 47-year history of The Associated Press women’s basketball poll no team from Texas is in the Top 25. That ends a 835-week run dating to the first poll in 1976. South Carolina remained a unanimous No. 1. The Gamecocks were followed by Ohio State, Stanford, LSU and UConn to round out the top five. Middle Tennessee entered the poll for the first time since 2014, coming in at No. 23. Florida State also entered at No. 24. Oregon and Texas fell out of the rankings.
Georgia football transfer Thomas arrested on felony charge
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — A wide receiver who recently transferred to Georgia from Mississippi State has been arrested on felony and misdemeanor charges. Clarke County jail records show that Rodarius “Rara” Thomas was booked early Monday on a felony charge of false imprisonment and a misdemeanor count of family violence battery and was later released on $1,850 bond. Thomas was arrested by University of Georgia police. Other details were not immediately available. Thomas was Mississippi State’s leading receiver last season, with 626 receiving yards on 44 catches and seven touchdowns. He announced his transfer to Georgia in December shortly before the Bulldogs won their second straight national championship.
Column: Roger Penske moves closer to shot at winning Le Mans
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — There is only one major hole in Roger Penske’s trophy case. It is winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He tried to win the race once as a driver and once as a team owner, but failed to finish both times. The 85-year-old Penske will have two chances to win it this June with the launch of the Porsche Penske sports car program that debuts Saturday at the Rolex 24 at Daytona. Penske’s return to sports car competition comes as IMSA becomes the first North American motorsports series to use hybrid technology.
Ovechkin Chasing Gretzky: Assisting Ovi on goals is an art
ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — Alex Ovechkin earlier this season became the third player in NHL history to surpass 800 career goals. Only Wayne Gretzky has scored more than Ovechkin’s 810. But Ovechkin has not gotten within range of Gretzky’s record of 894 goals by himself. Dozens of Washington Capitals teammates have assisted on goals by Ovechkin during his 18-year career since coming to North America. How to pass him the puck and where he wants it on the ice and on his stick is part of the art that is assisting Ovechkin.