Injury may sideline Solo in key game

Posted: January 26, 2012

THE UNITED STATES women's soccer team might have to play the game that determines whether it goes to the Olympics without starting goaltender Hope Solo.

Solo is nursing an injured right leg. She aggravated the injury during Tuesday's 4-0 victory against Mexico. After the game, she was wearing an ice pack on the leg.

The United States plays Costa Rica tomorrow in the semifinals of the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament. The winner goes to London, the loser stays home for the summer.

"We have to make a decision whether she is 100 percent to go or not," coach Pia Sundhage said yesterday. "And if she isn't, we have a tremendous backup goalkeeper."

Solo has said she lost some of her muscle strength during her 2-month run on "Dancing With the Stars," an appearance that capitalized on the U.S. team's popularity following last summer's World Cup.

Solo has played every minute of the Americans' three games at the tournament, but hasn't had to do much. The U.S. team has outscored its opponents 31-0, and Solo didn't have to make a save against Mexico.

And, on paper at least, a less-than-100-percent Solo or backup Nicole Barnhart should be more than enough to hold off Costa Rica.

On the men's side, Graham Zusi scored his first international goal in the eighth minute, and the United States beat host Panama, 1-0, in an exhibition game.

In other Olympic news:

* Two-time Olympic gold medalist snowboarder Seth Wescott is out for the season after surgery to repair a torn muscle but is expected to make a full recovery. The Maine native won gold in the inaugural snowboardcross in the Turin Olympics.

Philly File * 

Penn senior guard Zack Rosen is among 10 college basketball players selected as finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I men's and women's head coaches' votes to determine the winner.

* Wings goaltender Brandon Miller was named National Lacrosse League Defensive Player of the Week, and Brodie Merrill was selected Transition Player of the Week.

Sport Stops * 

NASCAR said it will stop issuing undisclosed fines and will no longer keep certain penalties private. The practice of NASCAR issuing "secret fines" came to light midway through the 2010 season when Denny Hamlin was penalized for comments he made on Twitter.

Lindsey Jacobellis tore a ligament in her left knee during practice for the Winter X Games and will not have a chance to go for her fifth straight gold medal in snowboard cross. She was trying to become the first female to win five straight golds at the Winter X Games.

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