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Americans complete soccer sweep of Canada

| Monday, July 31, 2006

CARY, N.C. -- Abby Wambach and Natasha Kai scored goals to lead the United States to a 2-0 victory over Canada on Sunday in an exhibition game that gave the Americans a sweep of three matches in July.

The U.S. controlled play throughout, improving to 9-0-3 and outshooting Canada, 13-5, during a physical contest that featured three yellow cards. Twenty of the 34 fouls called were on the Canadians.

"Nobody could say that this was an artistic game today," U.S. coach Greg Ryan said. "It was just a scrap and a battle. Credit Canada, they fought very, very hard, and I feel like our players matched their intensity, and, fortunately, we were able to put a couple away."

Wambach scored her 57th career goal on a penalty kick late in the first half.


• Dave Wolak punctuated a great July with another strong performance yesterday to capture the Bassmaster American on Lake Wylie. Wolak, from Warrior Run, Pa., caught five bass weighing 10 pounds, 8 ounces, for a total of 25-14 in the two-day finals.


• Center Paul Gaustad avoided salary arbitration with the Buffalo Sabres, signing a two-year, $1.425 million contract yesterday. Gaustad, who will make $675,000 next season, received a slight raise over the $450,000 contract he made as an NHL rookie last season. He was scheduled to have his arbitration hearing Wednesday.

Horse racing

• Spun Sugar edged Balletto in a head-bobbing photo-finish yesterday in the $250,000 Go For Wand Stakes at Saratoga. The Todd Pletcher-trained 4-year-old won the Apple Blossom Stakes in April, but was a distant fourth in her last start, the Ogden Phipps on June 17 at Belmont. Ridden by Mike Luzzi, Spun Sugar ran 1{1/8} miles in 1:49.98 on the fast track and paid $13, $6.40 and $4.40. She has six wins in 11 career starts for Stronach Stables.

• Nacascolo beat Knight in Flight by 1{1/2} lengths yesterday in the $50,000 The Vid Stakes at Calder Race Course. Ridden by Jeffrey Sanchez, the 5-year-old Nacascolo ran a mile in 1:36.62 and paid $66.20, $23.20 and $17.40 for his third win in his last four starts. Knight in Flight returned $7 and $4.60, and Keep Cool paid $5.20 to show.


• Kim Clijsters won her fourth Bank of the West Classic title in six years yesterday, effortlessly beating Patty Schnyder, 6-4, 6-2, to stay unbeaten in this event since 2002. Clijsters overwhelmed her Swiss opponent with sharp serves, then ran her ragged with back-and-forth groundstrokes to win her 32nd career title and her second this season, following a victory in Warsaw in May.

• Anna Smashnova of Israel became the first player to defend her Budapest Grand Prix title, defeating Lourdes Dominguez Lino of Spain, 6-1, 6-3, in yesterday 's final. The eighth-seeded Smashnova, ranked No. 63, took a 3-0 lead before Dominguez Lino won her only game in the first set.

• Stanislas Wawrinka won his first ATP title when favored Novak Djokovic retired with breathing problems during the first set of the Croatian Open final yesterday.

• Tommy Haas won his third title of the year and second Los Angeles championship in three years yesterday with a 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 victory over Dmitry Tursunov in the Countrywide Classic. Haas bounced back from a first-set loss to keep the pressure on Tursunov, who was playing in his first tour final.

• Agustin Calleri claimed his second career title by beating Juan Ignacio Chela, 7-6 (9), 6-2, 6-3, yesterday in an all-Argentine final at the Generali Open. The ninth-seeded Calleri had to fight off three set points before winning the first set. He broke Chela twice in the second and won six games in a row.

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