|Thursday, June 20, 2013 11:44 PM|
HARRISON, N.J. — Abby Wambach broke Mia Hamm’s record for international career goals by a soccer player, scoring four times in the first half against South Korea to push her total to 160.
Wambach tallied three times in the first 29 minutes to break Hamm’s mark of 158 international goals and added another in injury time to give her a nice round number.
The historic 159th came on a line-drive header that ripped into the twine in the back of the net off a corner kick by Megan Rapinoe.
The 33-year-old Wambach turned and ran a couple of steps in the direction of the U.S. bench, then stopped as Rapinoe jumped into her arms. The Rochester, N.Y., native was then mobbed by teammates on the field and those who streamed off the bench as the crowd at Red Bull Arena cheered wildly.
Her first goal came on a shot in the box past South Korean goalkeeper Kim Jung-mi in the 10th minute. The second came nine minutes later in the friendly on a flicking header.
Lauren Cheney set up the first two goals on crossing passes.
Wambach’s fourth goal was an easy tap-in after Alex Morgan made a run down the right side and centered the ball to the on-rushing Wambach, the 2012 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year.
RIO DE JANEIRO — World Cup champion Spain routed the Pacific islanders from Tahiti 10-0 on Thursday at the Confederations Cup — a result that wasn’t as bad as some had suggested beforehand.
Fernando Torres scored four goals. David Villa added three goals, David Silva two and Juan Mata one.
Tahiti attacked from the start and was just 1-0 down after 15 minutes, making light of the gulf between the world champions and a team made up of amateurs who hold down day jobs. But that did not last long, with Spain leading 4-0 at the break.
The Tahitians tired in the second half and only found their way into the Spanish half a handful of times. Spain added six and could easily have added plenty more. Despite letting in 10, Roche made several fine saves to the joy of the Brazilian crowd.
SALVADOR, Brazil — Diego Forlan celebrated his 100th appearance for Uruguay in style, setting up one goal, then scoring the winner in a 2-1 victory over Nigeria on Thursday to move his team within sight of the Confederations Cup semifinals.
Forlan’s decisive goal came in the 51st minute with a sweetly struck left-footed drive as he finished off a swift counterattack. The play involved all three of the South American champion’s forwards, starting with Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani.
Malaga defender Diego Lugano put Uruguay ahead in the 19th minute following a cross from Forlan. Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel equalized for Nigeria in the 37th.
ATLANTA — Mets pitcher Jonathon Niese left his start against the Atlanta Braves in the fourth inning with left shoulder discomfort on Thursday night.
Niese winced as he finished making a pitch to Tyler Pastornicky with one out and motioned to the New York dugout that he was hurt.
David Aardsma replaced him with the Mets trailing 3-2.
Niese allowed eight hits and three runs in 3 1/3 innings. The left-hander struck out five.
Niese missed a turn in the rotation with shoulder tendinitis but avoided the DL.
OAKLAND, Calif. — Former college basketball standout Ed O’Bannon and his lawyers sought on Thursday to dramatically expand his lawsuit challenging the NCAA’s ban on compensating athletes in a move that could expose the organization and its member schools to billions of dollars in damages.
O’Bannon and his lawyers asked a federal court judge to turn their antitrust lawsuit into a class action, representing thousands of former and current college athletes. The lawsuit demands that the NCAA find a way to cut players in on the billions of dollars earned by college sports from live broadcasts, memorabilia sales, video games and in other areas.
U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken didn’t rule on either the merits of O’Bannon’s case or his demands to turn the case into a class action. It could take weeks, even months, before Wilken rules.
Instead, she ordered O’Bannon’s lawyers to revise the lawsuit to fix some legal technicalities, including explicating adding current players to the lawsuit. Lawyer Michael Hausfeld said he will file a new lawsuit that includes current players but will seek to keep their names confidential because of fear of retaliation.
NCAA lawyer Greg Curtner is against certifying the lawsuit as a class action, arguing that the claims of thousands of collegiate athletes are too different to be treated the same. For instance, certain athletes bring in more revenue than others and have different legal claims at stake.
The NCAA argues that many of the athletes receive scholarships in exchange for playing sports and to pay student-athletes would ruin amateur athletics.
The debate over compensating college players is almost as old as the NCAA, founded in 1906. Amateurs have been expected to compete for free and the love of sport — or at least the cost of a scholarship and the pursuit of an education.
The NCAA is steadfast in its position that student-athletes are prohibited from receiving payment for participating in sports. It also says it has done nothing wrong in marketing itself for the benefit of its member schools and will continue to vigorously contest the lawsuits.
But the NCAA’s revenues have skyrocketed in recent years — it recently signed a $10.8 billion, 14-year television deal for basketball — and so have the demands of athletes to share in the money.
The schools argue that money-making sports like football and baseball help support sports such as volleyball and gymnastics with smaller fan bases.