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 l said.TRAINERS ROOMTwins: C Kurt Suzuki was not in the sta

ATLANTA -- Remember back when Hope Solo had the market cornered on controversy? How times have changed.In a lot of ways.The Netherlands was a goal away this spring from claiming the Olympic berth that Sweden instead nabbed. Under the direction of Pia Sundhage, the Swedes then memorably stifled the United States in an Olympic quarterfinal and eliminated the reigning champions in a shootout.That penalty shootout in Brasilia, in turn, left Solo incapable of stifling her true feelings about Swedens tactics. Her accusations of cowardice ultimately resulting in a six-month suspension which some feel could mark the permanent conclusion of the goalkeepers national-team career (despite the Free Hope sign fans displayed Sunday night in the Georgia Dome).Which makes one wonder what the past week, not to mention those ahead, would have looked like for the United States womens national team had Swedens Olivia Schough not scored against the Netherlands in the final minute of the first half of an Olympic qualifier in March.No Sweden in the Olympics, no Solo suspension. So blame Holland.A butterfly flaps its wings and a hurricane happens. Or something like that.There wasnt quite enough time to think through all of those machinations as Dutch winger Shanice van de Sanden bore down on the opposing goal at full speed in the second minute of her teams game against the U.S. on Sunday. But there was time to realize danger was at hand, and then to realize that it wasnt Solo on hand to make one final effort at averting disaster.The Dutch player scored with a shot across goal that any keeper would have struggled to stop. The damage was already done up the field to allow van de Sanden the open run at goal. Less than 120 seconds into the game, the United States trailed.The U.S. eventually erased the deficit for a 3-1 win, a far more useful -- and physical -- game than the 9-0 rout of Thailand four days earlier.There was the issue of the moment Sunday with Megan Rapinoe again kneeling during the national anthem. She entered the game to a notably mixed reception in the second half and heard boos every time she touched the ball thereafter -- even after setting up the third goal with a long cross that Carli Lloyd headed back to Allie Long. And there was also plenty of the familiar on display. The best part of the teams abbreviated stay in Brazil was Tobin Heath. She was a scalpel on the right side, lifting the U.S. out of its early doldrums to create the tying goal with a deft cross, which Carli Lloyd finished, and breathing life into the attack.But even as U.S. coach Jill Ellis said that the games against Thailand and Holland were about wrapping up the summer before turning the focus to preparations for a still-distant World Cup, Solos absence meant the past week was very much about the future for at least one position.For Naeher, who started Sunday, and Ashlyn Harris, who started against Thailand, the time is now.I think they both had exceptional league seasons and kept their teams in tough games, Ellis said this week. So its allowing them now to compete for that No. 1 spot, to go through a process. [Its] also to identify another keeper to bring in -- probably two to bring in to the mix because we want to be planning. Thats where were at with those two. I think by the time end of January rolls around, heading into [the SheBelieves Cup], hopefully by then it will be identifying a starter.But the great thing about these two is theyre so darn competitive, and at times its very little between them. I think theyre going to push each other and make each other better.Its worth reiterating that the opening goal was in no way Naehers to apologize for, as the U.S. was undone by a quick Dutch counter and a bounce that landed at van de Sandens feet. In fact, in the rare friendly in which a goalkeeper was kept busy, she was terrific. That included a strong save to protect the two-goal lead late in the second half, but it also came from distribution -- both quick throws and booming kicks -- which drew repeated applause and encouragement from Ellis and assistant coach Tony Gustavsson. Naeher helped spark the U.S. attack into life, too.I thought tonight, Alyssa gives us a transition game that I love, Ellis said. Because she picks her head up, and her distribution with her hands and her feet is very good. ... I thought Alyssa had a lot to deal with tonight. I thought she did very well. The one save she got down to was brilliant.Im excited. I think theyre going to give us a lot of depth, and now when we commit to getting them experience, were going to have -- I think we already have two world-class keepers -- but two world-class keepers with experience.That is certainly the missing piece.While Naeher, 28, has traveled to two major tournaments, both last years World Cup and the recent Olympics, Sunday was just her eighth appearance for the national team. The 30-year-old Harris has just one more than that. For more than a decade, minus the occasional absence for injury or suspension, Solo owned the position. It is one sign of how good she is that she kept the best players from the rest of the world at bay for so long. It is another that she kept the best goalkeepers from this country at arms length, too. Naeher and Harris have been two of the best keepers in NWSL for quite some time, each getting plenty of work in that leagues first four seasons. That level of play may be both cause and effect when it comes to their places on the national team. They may have been in the shadows on game days, but those werent the only days.I think my time with the team has just helped me get more comfortable in this environment, Naeher said. Its a faster pace than it is in the professional league. The more you are in with the caliber of players that are here, seeing this pace day in and day out, it kind of demands that you raise your level every day. Being in this environment consistently forces you to keep growing.Naeher said she doesnt feel any greater sense of competition now than in the past, i.e. with Solo around. Harris said it is way too early for her to start thinking about France and a World Cup that wont take place for three more years. And there is no guarantee that Solo wont be back.But whatever else occurred in Columbus and Atlanta, it sure felt like the opening rounds of a long-running bout for starts.Not unlike the former starter who used to bristle whenever anyone asked her about the supposedly quiet nights she had when the U.S. dominated possession in front of her, Harris didnt have much patience when asked about her own patience waiting for this opportunity.Youve got to understand that on all my club teams, Ive been an impactful player, Harris said Its hard being on the best team in the world. Its hard to get playing time on this stage. But I have to give myself pats on the back, too, when Im performing well with my club teams. Ive done a lot of great things playing for this country and this national team in the youth stage. Do you have to be patient? Yeah, but it doesnt define my career -- how many caps Ive had with this team. Ive had a fantastic career. I can sleep at night, and Im happy with that.How well Ellis, and a lot of U.S. fans, sleep at night will depend on Harris and Naeher. China Jerseys NFL . Oaklands loss to Seattle clinched the ALs best record for the Red Sox with one day to spare in the regular season. "I think everybody was kind of watching," catcher David Ross said. "Demp (Ryan Dempster) came out before he went to the bullpen and was just yelling that they lost. Wholesale NFL Jerseys . PETERSBURG, Fla. . -- Bobby Ryan helped the U. Cheap NFL China Jerseys . -- The plastic that was taped across the lockers in Oaklands clubhouse came down and the champagne that was on ice went back into the cooler. Cheap China Jerseys . Rob Manfred, baseballs chief operating officer, testified last week during the grievance filed by the players union to overturn Rodriguezs 211-game suspension. A person familiar with the hearing, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press on Saturday that Manfred testified the sport wasnt concerned whether Bosch distributed performance-enhancing drugs to minors because MLBs interest was his relationship with players under investigation. BOSTON -- After an ominous beginning, Kyle Gibson put a decisive end to Bostons two-game hitting outburst.Gibson allowed a pair of hits in the first inning, then none over the next seven as the Minnesota Twins edged Boston 2-1 Friday night.This team is a good team -- a really good team, Gibson said. Thats a tough lineup to navigate.Gibson navigated it better than anyone else has lately against the Red Sox, who had won three straight and nine of 10. Mookie Betts homered for Boston on the second pitch and Xander Bogaerts singled during a brief scare that Gibson got himself out of, then pitched seven more stellar innings.Kind of as a rule of thumb, a solo homer is not gonna beat you whether its the first guy or in the seventh inning, Gibson said. You just get it out of your mind and get back to attacking guys and making pitches.Brian Dozier hit a solo home run for the Twins in the second inning and Miguel Sano added an RBI single in the sixth. It was all the scoring Minnesota needed as Gibson (3-6) did the rest before Brandon Kintzler took over and survived a wild bottom half of the ninth.Kintzler got his seventh save, preserving the lead in a wild bottom half of the ninth. Michael Martinez and Dustin Pedroia started the inning with consecutive singles and Bogaerts walked to load the bases with nobody out and slugger David Ortiz coming up next.Ortiz hit a grounder to second, which Dozier threw home for the force out and catcher Juan Centeno doubled up Ortiz at first.You dont want really want Papi to come up in the situation, but hes still a groundball away from two outs, Kintzler said.Its not like I drew it up like that. But thats what it is. Its one of those moments where either hes going to beat me or Im gonna get him.Hanley Ramirez lined out to right to end the game and Bostons three-game winning streak.The Red Sox got a leadoff homer Betts for the second straight night. Dustin Pedroia struck out, but reached first safely when catcher Juan Centeno couldnt stop a wild pitch and Bogaerts followed with a single. That was the last hit for Boston until the Red Sox threatened in the ninth.Gibson was the story, Twins manager Paul Molitor said. He settled down, minimized the damage in the first, and then he just started making pitch after pitch, inning after inning.The Red Sox had 33 hits in their previous two games, including 17 Thursday night in a 13-2 rout of the Twins. Gibson quickly cooled off Bostons batters after the scare in the first.I dont know but he should keep on throwiing it the rest of the season, Ortiz said when asked what Gibson threw that was so effective.ddddddddddddIf the game would have been that easy, it wouldnt be the way it is. They know how to get a hitter out. They know how to get that done. Its not always going to work in our way. Sometimes its going to work in their way, too.Eduardo Rodriguez (2-4) allowed two runs on six hits and struck out eight and walked one over 5 1/3 innings for Boston. Joe Mauer was the only batter Rodriguez walked, reaching with one out in the sixth before Heath Hembree took over for the Red Sox.TOUGH TWINSGibsons performance was exactly what the Twins needed after the humbling results in the series opener Thursday.Coming in here and facing this team, as hot as they are, and the way they are swinging the bats and the way we got pummeled last night, I thought it was a really impressive rebound by him to help us get back on track and give us a chance to win, manager Paul Molitor said.MISSING MOOKIEBetts did not take the field with the Red Sox in the top of the fifth. Martinez took over in right field and the Red Sox announced a few minutes later that Betts had left the game with soreness in his right knee.Betts, an All-Star Game starter, leads the Red Sox with 127 hits and is second on the club with 20 home runs and 63 RBI. He was considered day-to-day and manager John Farrell wasnt sure when he could return to the lineup.We wouldnt take any risks with Mookie, certainly, Farrell said.TRAINERS ROOMTwins: C Kurt Suzuki was not in the starting lineup for the Twins, getting some rest and avoiding the heat. The temperature at gametime was 92 degrees. Manager Paul Molitor said Suzuki should return Saturday.Red Sox: Betts left the game in the fifth inning with soreness in his right knee. RHP Junichi Tazawa (right shoulder impingement) returned to the roster after being activated from the 15-day DL.UP NEXTTwins: RHP Ricky Nolasco (4-8, 5.02) gets his team-high 20th start. Nolasco also shares the team lead for losses, picking up his eighth Monday despite holding Detroit to one run on three hits and three walks in six innings.Red Sox: LHP David Price (9-7, 4.36) gets his first start since taking the loss Sunday when the Yankees ended Bostons six-game winning streak. Price struck out just one batter in 5 2/3 innings, ending a string of three straight starts with at least 10 strikeouts. Cheap NFL T-shirts Discount Jerseys Wholesale NFL Gear Wholesale Nike NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys From China China NFL Jerseys Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys Jerseys Wholesale Cheap Jerseys Free Shipping China Jerseys Cheap Stitched Jerseys NFL Jerseys China Jerseys NFL Cheap Cheap Stitched Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic ' ' '

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