2014 medal projections: Alpine skiing

Updated Jan. 14 and Feb. 4

Lindsey Vonn is hurt. Tina Maze (Slovenia) dominated last year but hasn’t been as strong this year.

Here we go …



Gold: Aksel Lund Svindal (Norway)
Silver: Erik Guay (Canada)
Bronze: Dominik Paris (Italy)

Also considered: Patrick Küng (Switzerland), Klaus Kröll (Austria), Bode Miller (USA), Christof Innerhofer (Italy), Adrien Theaux (France). Removed Hannes Reichelt (Austria), diagnosed with back injury just after a big win.

World Cup 2013-14 top 8 (so far): Svindal, Reichelt, Küng, Guay, Theaux, Miller, Johan Clarey (France), Max Franz (Austria)

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: Svindal, Kroell, Paris, Innerhofer, Reichelt, Guay, Theaux, Georg Streitberger (Austria)

2013 World Championship top 8: Svindal, Paris, David Poisson (France), Kroell, Andreas Romar (Finland), Silvan Zurbriggen (Switzerland), Küng, Didier Defago (Switzerland)

2010 Olympic medalists: Defago, Svindal, Miller


Gold: Maria Hoefl-Riesch (Germany)
Silver: Tina Maze (Slovenia)
Bronze: Tina Weirather (Liechtenstein)

Also considered: Lara Gut (Switzerland), Marianne Kaufmann-Abderhalden (Switzerland), Julia Mancuso (USA)

World Cup 2013-14 top 8 (so far): Hoefl-Riesch, Weirather, Kaufmann-Abderhalden, Anna Fenninger (Austria), Maze, Gut, Elisabeth Goergl (Austria), Elena Fanchini (Italy)

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: Lindsey Vonn (USA), Maze, Hoefl-Riesch, Stacey Cook (USA), Gut, Weirather, Daniela Merighetti (Italy), Fenninger

2013 World Championship top 8: Marion Rolland (France), Nadia Fanchini (Italy), Hoefl-Riesch, Nadja Kamer (Switzerland), Mancuso, Cook, Maze, Andrea Fischbacher (Austria)

2010 Olympic medalists: Vonn, Mancuso, Goergl



Gold: Aksel Lund Svindal (Norway)
Silver: Matthias Mayer (Austria)
Bronze: Patrick Küng (Switzerland)

Also considered: Christof Innerhofer (Italy), Ted Ligety (USA), Matteo Marsaglia (Italy), Bode Miller (USA). Removed Hannes Reichelt (Austria), see above.

World Cup 2013-14 top 8 (so far): Svindal, Didier Defago (Switzerland), Küng, Miller, Georg Streitberger (Austria), Otmar Striedinger (Austria), Jan Hudec (Canada), Kjetil Jansrud (Norway)

World Cup 2012-13 top 8 plus tie: Svindal, Marsaglia, Mayer, Werner Heel (Italy), Adrien Theaux (France), Reichelt, Ligety, Kjetil Jansrud (Norway), Joachim Puchner (Austria)

2013 World Championship top 8: Ligety, Gauthier de Tessieres (France), Svindal, Reichelt, Mayer, Alexis Pinturault (France), Innerhofer, Romed Baumann (Austria)

2010 Olympic medalists: Svindal, Miller, Andrew Weibrecht (USA)


Gold: Anna Fenninger (Austria)
Silver: Tina Maze (Slovenia)
Bronze: Lara Gut (Switzerland)

Also considered: Maria Hoefl-Riesch (Germany), Julia Mancuso (USA), Viktoria Rebensburg (Germany)

World Cup 2013-14 top 8 (so far): Gut, Tina Weirather (Liechtenstein), Fenninger, Elizabeth Goergl (Austria), Hoefl-Riesch, Nicole Hosp (Austria), Kajsa Kling (Sweden), Maze

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: Maze, Mancuso, Fenninger, Lindsey Vonn (USA), Hoefl-Riesch, Rebensburg, Fabienne Suter (Switzerland), Nicole Schmidhofer (Austria)

2013 World Championship top 8: Maze, Gut, Mancuso, Sofia Goggia (Italy), Suter, Ilka Stuhec (Slovenia), Daniela Merighetti (Italy), Rebensburg

2010 Olympic medalists: Andrea Fischbacher (Austria), Maze, Vonn



Gold: Ted Ligety (USA)
Silver: Marcel Hirscher (Austria)
Bronze: Alexis Pinturault (France)

Also considered: Manfred Moelgg (Italy), Aksel Lund Svindal (Norway)

World Cup 2013-14 top 8 (so far): Hirscher, Pinturault, Ligety, Thomas Fanara (France), Felix Neureuther (Germany), Leif Kristian Haugen (Norway), Stefan Luitz (Germany), Fritz Dopfer (Germany)

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: Ligety, Hirscher, Pinturault, Moelgg, Fanara, Neureuther, Svindal, Marcus Sandell (Finland)

2013 World Championship top 8: Ligety, Hirscher, Moelgg, Svindal, Pinturault, Davide Simoncelli (Italy), Dopfer, Philipp Schoerghofer (Austria)

2010 Olympic medalists: Carlo Janka (Switzerland), Kjetil Jansrud (Norway), Svindal


Gold: Jessica Lindell-Vikarby (Sweden)
Silver: Anna Fenninger (Austria)
Bronze: Lara Gut (Switzerland)

Also considered: Maria Hoefl-Riesch (Germany), Tina Maze (Slovenia), Viktoria Rebensburg (Germany), Mikaela Shiffrin (USA), Kathrin Zettel (Austria). Removed Tessa Worley (France), who is injured

World Cup 2013-14 top 8 (so far): Lindell-Vikarby, Maria Pietilae-Holmner (Sweden), Tina Weirather (Liechtenstein), Fenninger, Zettel, Shiffrin, Gut, Anemone Marmottan (France)

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: Maze, Fenninger, Rebensburg, Worley, Zettel, Hoefl-Riesch, Gut, Lindell-Vikarby

2013 World Championship top 8: Worley, Maze, Fenninger, Zettel, Frida Hansdotter (Sweden), Shiffrin, Gut, Marie-Michele Gagnon (Canada)

2010 Olympic medalists: Rebensburg, Maze, Elisabeth Goergl (Austria)



Gold: Marcel Hirscher (Austria)
Silver: Mario Matt (Austria)
Bronze: Felix Neureuther (Germany)

Also considered: Ivica Kostelic (Croatia), Andre Myhrer (Sweden)

World Cup 2013-14 top 8 (so far): Hirscher, Henrik Kristoffersen (Norway), Neureuther, Mattias Hargin (Sweden), Patrick Thaler (Italy), Matt, Myhrer, Jean-Baptiste Grange (France)

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: Hirscher, Neureuther, Kostelic, Myhrer, Manfred Moelgg (Germany), Matt, Fritz Dopfer (Germany), Jens Byggmark (Sweden)

2013 World Championship top 8: Hirscher, Neureuther, Matt, Myhrer, Kostelic, Alexis Pinturault (France), Dopfer, Byggmark

2010 Olympic medalists: Giuliano Razzoli (Italy), Kostelic, Myhrer


Gold: Mikaela Shiffrin (USA)
Silver: Marlies Schild (Austria)
Bronze: Frida Hansdotter (Sweden)

Also considered: Tina Maze (Slovenia), Tanja Poutiainen (Finland), Kathrin Zettel (Austria). Removed Veronika Velez Zuzulova (Slovakia), who is injured.

World Cup 2013-14 top 8 (so far): Shiffrin, Hansdotter, Schild, Marie-Michele Gagnon (Canada), Maria Hoefl-Riesch (Germany), Maria Pietilae-Holmner (Sweden), Bernadette Schild (Austria), Nina Loeseth (Norway)

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: Shiffrin, Maze, Zuzulova, Hansdotter, Poutiainen, Wendy Holdener (Switzerland), Maria Pietilae-Holmner (Sweden), Zettel

2013 World Championship top 8: Shiffrin, Michaela Kirchgasser (Austria), Hansdotter, Poutiainen, Maze, Pietilae-Holmner, Velez Zuzulova, Sarka Zahrobska (Czech Republic)

2010 Olympic medalists: Hoefl-Riesch, M. Schild, Zahrobska



Gold: Alexis Pinturault (France)
Silver: Ted Ligety (USA)
Bronze: Aksel Lund Svindal (Norway)

Also considered: Romed Baumann (Austria), Carlo Janka (Switzerland), Ivica Kostelic (Croatia), Bode Miller (USA)

World Cup 2013-14 top 8 (two events so far): Pinturault and Ligety tie, Thomas Mermillod Blondin (France), Sandro Viletta (Switzerland), Mario Caviezel (Switzerland), Peter Fill (France), Marcel Hirscher (Austria)

World Cup 2012-13 top 8 (limited competition): Kostelic and Pinturault tie, Blondin, Janka, Svindal, Baumann, Andreas Romar (Finland), Benjamin Raich (Austria)

2013 World Championship top 8: Ligety, Kostelic, Baumann, Romar, Villetta, Pinturault, Silvan Zurbriggen (Switzerland), Janka

2010 Olympic medalists: Miller, Kostelic, Zurbriggen


Gold: Tina Maze (Slovenia)
Silver: Nicole Hosp (Austria)
Bronze: Michaela Kirchgasser (Austria)

Also considered: Marie-Michele Gagnon (Canada), Maria Hoefl-Riesch (Germany), Julia Mancuso (USA), Kathrin Zettel (Austria)

World Cup 2013-14 top 8 (1 event so far): Marie-Michele Gagnon (Canada), Michaela Kirchgasser (Austria), Hoefl-Riesch, Hosp, Sara Hector (Sweden), Maze, Ramona Siebenhofer (Austria), Anna Fenninger (Austria)

World Cup 2012-13 top 8: Maze, Hosp, Kirchgasser, Lara Gut (Switzerland), Gagnon, Mancuso, Elena Curtoni (Italy), Zettel

2013 World Championship top 8: Hoefl-Riesch, Maze, Hosp, Kirchgasser, Zettel, Elisabeth Goergl (Austria), Sofia Goggia (Italy), Mancuso

2010 Olympic medalists: Hoefl-Riesch, Mancuso, Anja Paerson (Sweden; retired)



Top five, 2012-13 World Cup overall: Marcel Hirscher (Austria), Aksel Lund Svindal (Norway), Ted Ligety (USA), Felix Neureuther (Germany), Ivica Kostelic (Croatia)


Kjetil Jansrud (Norway): Leans toward speed events but took 2010 silver in GS. Lots of DNFs in worlds, lots of injuries.

Ivica Kostelic (Croatia): Perhaps a little more of a slalom specialist — silver medalist in 2010 and world champion in 2003. Also won World Cup slalom title in 2011, the same year he won the overall, and has been in the top five for six straight years. But he does have an overall World Cup to his credit and is the most consistent skier in the combined: silver medalist in 2002 and 2010, and again in 2013 worlds. He also took third place in super-G in both the World Cup and World Championship in 2011.

Bode Miller (USA): 2005 and 2008 overall World Cup champion tossed aside disappointing 2006 Olympics with gold (combined), silver (super-G) and bronze (downhill) in 2010, adding to his GS and combined silvers from 2002. He won three medals (giant slalom and combined gold, super-G silver) in 2003 worlds and swept the speed events in 2005. But he’s 36 and trying to rebound from injuries.

Aksel Lund Svindal (Norway): Why isn’t this guy more famous? Two-time overall World Cup champion (2007, 2009), three Olympic medals in 2010 (super-G gold, downhill silver, GS bronze), five world championships (two combined, two downhill, one GS; in 2013: downhill gold and super-G bronze). Won World Cup super-G title in 2006, 2009, 2012, 2013. Also won downhill World Cup title in 2013. Aside from injury year of 2007-08, he has been in the overall World Cup top four for seven of the past eight years. He even dated American Julia Mancuso for several years, and they broke up gracefully. Learn the name, OK?

Alexis Pinturault (France). One of those jack-of-all-trades guys who is therefore most dangerous in combined, an event that demands versatility. Only 22 – this will be his first time at the Olympics. First and second in the two combined races on the 2012-13 World Cup calendar. Third in 2012-13 World Cup GS. Good in slalom, best in GS, solid all-around.

Speed events

Didier Defago (Switzerland): Defending Olympic downhill champion but missed the next season with a knee injury. He’s now 36 years old and has no World Cup podiums since 2011. Eighth in downhill at 2013 worlds.

Erik Guay (Canada): 2011 world downhill champion and 2009-10 World Cup super-G champion. Sixth in 2012-13 World Cup downhill.

Christof Innerhofer (Italy): Had a career week at the 2011 World Championships: super-G gold, combined silver, downhill bronze. Three World Cup downhill wins in 2012-13.

Klaus Kroell (Austria): 33-year-old speed specialist won 2011-12 World Cup season downhill title and finished second in 2012-13, making it four of five years on the podium. Fourth in 2013 worlds (downhill).

Matteo Marsaglia (Italy): Second in 2012-13 World Cup super-G, mostly on the strength of one win and one runner-up finish. Not much else to report.

Matthias Mayer (Austria): Only 23. Third in 2012-13 World Cup super-G. Fifth in 2013 worlds super-G.

Dominik Paris (Italy): Youngest medalist (silver) in 2013 world championship downhill. Third in 2012-13 World Cup downhill.

David Poisson (France): Surprise bronze medalist at 2013 worlds downhill. Seriously. He was 30, and he had never been on a World Cup podium, though he was fourth at Kitzbuhel in 2013.

Hannes Reichelt (Austria): Fourth in World Cup downhill in 2011-12; fifth (one win) in 2012-13. A little more successful in super-G: World Cup champion in 2008, silver in 2011 worlds.

Super-G/giant slalom

Ted Ligety (USA): Dominant in GS: World Cup champion four of the past six years. 2012-13: Won six of eight World Cup GS races, plus a successful defense of his world championship. Also the 2013 super-G world champion, but that was his only super-G podium of the year. Not great in World Cup combined events, but he comes up big in the big events – 2006 Olympic gold and 2013 world championship. The 2010 Games, though, were a washout for him.

Gauthier de Tessieres (France): Exactly one World Cup podium, and that’s in GS. Then 2013 world super-G runner-up.

Giant slalom/slalom

Marcel Hirscher (Austria): He has won the last two overall World Cups while getting nearly all his points in slalom and giant slalom. In 11 World Cup slaloms and “city events” (slalom-ish races) last season, he finished first five times, second five times and third in the other. And he’s the reigning world champion. He’s just fine at GS, winning the 2011-12 season title, but he’s typically chasing Ligety.

Carlo Janka (Switzerland): 2010 GS gold medalist and 2010 overall World Cup champion. Needed heart surgery in 2011 and still finished third in overall World Cup, but he hasn’t returned to that level since.

Manfred Moelgg (Italy): Third in 2013 worlds GS; fourth in 2012-13 World Cup GS. Best season was 2007-08: Fourth overall, first in slalom, third in GS. Three World Championship medals: 2007 slalom silver, 2011 slalom bronze, 2013 GS bronze.

Felix Neureuther (Germany): Finally hit World Cup stride near age 30, with his overall fourth place in 2013 up 13 places from his previous best of 17th. Second in World Cup slalom and world championship slalom, first podium in each. Only finished one of four Olympic races (slalom/GS, 2006/2010), placing eighth in 2010 GS.

Mostly slalom

Mario Matt (Austria): Top 8 in World Cup 11 of the last 14 years. Missed 2010 Games. 2001 (yes, 2001) and 2007 world champion. Fourth in 2011 worlds, bronze in 2013. Once won a World Cup combined race and once took a world championship medal in the same event, but he’s pretty much all slalom these days.

Andre Myhrer (Sweden): 2010 bronze medalist; fourth in World Cup and World Championship in 2013. World Cup slalom champion in 2012.

Giuliano Razzoli (Italy): 2010 gold medalist. Never finished at worlds. Seven World Cup podiums; two wins.


Top five, 2012-13 World Cup overall: Tina Maze (Slovenia, with a record 2,414 points), Maria Hoefl-Riesch (Germany), Anna Menninger (Austria), Julia Mancuso (USA), Mikaela Shiffrin (USA)

The big 3, all-around

Maria Hoefl-Riesch (Germany): Overall World Cup champion in 2011, dethroning old friend Lindsey Vonn after two years as runner-up. Vonn and Tina Maze passed her in 2012, and Maze ran away in 2013. She still had five podium finishes — three downhill, one super-G and a slalom win — and won the World Championship combined. She won two gold medals (slalom, combined) in 2010. Legit accomplishments in all five disciplines.

Tina Maze (Slovenia): Her gradual improvement in the World Cup overall — sixth in 2009, then fourth, third, second and first — makes sense. Racking up 2,414 points, even with Lindsey Vonn absent for much of the season, is unreal. She would have swept all four disciplines if not for those pesky Americans — Vonn held on by one point in downhill, Mikaela Shiffrin took the slalom. She won 11 races (at least one in each discipline) and reached the podium 24 times. She only missed the top five in four races, all early in the season. She has six World Championship medals and two wins. And two Olympic silver medals (super-G, giant slalom) from 2010. All she needs is gold.

Lindsey Vonn (USA): Alternating gruesome crashes and fantastic seasons. Four-time overall World Cup champion, 2008-10 and 2012. Olympic frustration (injury woes in 2006 and 2010) ended in 2010 with downhill gold and super-G bronze. She won both of those events in 2009 worlds and took downhill silver in 2011. In combined, she has been on the podium in 11 of her past 15 World Cup events. She’ll miss the beginning of the World Cup season but should be ready to go in Sochi.

More all-around (super-G/GS)

Anna Fenninger (Austria): Third overall in 2012-13, second in GS, third in super-G. Fifth overall in 2011-12. Combined world champion in 2011; third in GS in 2013.

Elisabeth Goergl (Austria): Top 10 overall five straight years (2007-08 to 2011-12), with season podium finishes in downhill, GS and super-G. Turned it on in Whistler 2010 – bronze in downhill and GS, fifth in super-G, seventh in slalom. Then won 2011 World Championships in downhill and super-G.

Lara Gut (Switzerland): Best season in 2012-13 at age 21: ninth overall, fifth in downhill, sixth in GS. Two World Championships silvers (downhill, combined) at age 17 in 2009. Two fourths in 2011, then second in super-G in 2013. Hasn’t yet raced in Olympics, missing 2010 with injury. Won 2013-14 season opener GS.

Nicole Hosp (Austria): 2006-07 overall World Cup champion, second the next year. Great 2006 Olympics: slalom silver, fourth in GS, fifth combined. Injured in 2010, missed Games. Five World Championship medals, bronze in 2013 combined.

Viktoria Rebensburg (Germany): World Cup giant slalom winner in 2010-11 and 2011-12. Slipped to third in 2012-13 but picked up points elsewhere, many in super-G, to finish sixth overall. GS gold medalist in 2010, but not much success in World Championships.

Speed specialists

Stacey Cook (USA): Breakthrough season in 2012-13, fourth in downhill standings with two podium finishes.

Nadia Fanchini (Italy): Best World Cup year: 2008-09, second in super-G, fifth in downhill. Only one World Cup win, hasn’t been podium since January 2010, when she suffered dual injuries and missed the Olympics. But she’s a classic overachiever at World Championships: 2005 super-G fourth, 2009 downhill bronze and then back in 2013 for downhill silver.

Andrea Fischbacher (Austria): Second in World Cup downhill in 2008-09, bronze in 2009 worlds super-G, then the big one in 2010: gold medalist in downhill and fourth in super-G. No podium finishes since then.

Sofia Goggia (Italy): Had only four World Cup starts, all DNF or failures to qualify in GS, before the 2013 World Championships. Then finished fourth in super-G, seventh in combined at age 20.

Julia Mancuso (USA): Gets plenty of Cup points in GS and slalom, with GS and combined points propelling her to third overall in 2006-07. But she does her best work in speed events — third in super-G and downhill (fifth overall) in 2010-11, then second in super-G (fourth overall) each of the past two seasons. Then she dials it up for big events — a stunning giant slalom gold in the 2006 Olympics, silver in downhill and combined in 2010, plus five World Championship medals (super-G: 2011 silver, 2013 bronze).

Marion Rolland (France): DNF only Olympic race, 2010 downhill. Only two World Cup podiums, on same weekend in March 2012. Stunning World Championship victory in 2013 downhill.

Giant slalom/slalom

Michaela Kirchgasser (Austria): Second in World Cup slalom 2011-12. Second in World Championship slalom 2013.

Tanja Poutiainen (Finland): Slipped from her 2005 peak, when she won the slalom and GS World Cup titles and finished fifth overall. But she finished on the World Cup podium in each event in 2011 and was fifth in slalom in 2013. GS silver medalist in 2006. World Championships: Silver in slalom and GS in 2005, bronze in each event in 2009, fourth in slalom in 2013.

Tessa Worley (France): Essentially a GS specialist: 2013 world champion, 2011 bronze medalist. World Cup: second, third and fourth the last three years. Injured in December 2013; will miss Games.

Kathrin Zettel (Austria): Best World Cup years were 2008-09 (fourth overall, second in GS) and 2009-10 (fifth overall, second in GS and slalom). Solid seventh overall in 2012-13, fifth in GS. Fourth in combined in 2006 and 2010 Olympics. 2009 combined world champion; second in slalom in 2011. Remarkably consistent at worlds: 13 races, seven top-5s, 11 top-10s. Seven podiums in 2012-13: three slalom, three GS, one combined.

Mostly slalom

Frida Hansdotter (Sweden): Fourth in World Cup slalom 2012-13, third in World Championships.

Marlies Schild (Austria): World Cup slalom champ four of five years ending 2011-12. Injured in 2008-09 and 2012-13. Three Olympic medals: combined silver and slalom bronze in 2006, slalom silver in 2010. Five World Championship medals, slalom gold in 2011.

Mikaela Shiffrin (USA): World slalom champion at 17; clinched World Cup slalom title just after 18th birthday. In nine World Cup slaloms last season: Four wins, six podiums. Also picked up some GS points for fifth place overall.

Alpine update: Maze sweeping, USA rotating

Today’s Alpine skiing news goes beyond what I can sum up on Twitter:

First, let’s talk about Tina Maze. Last season, she finished second to the dominant Lindsey Vonn, but she didn’t win a single race.

This year, she has won nine races. She has been on the podium 20 times, tying U.S. great Phil Mahre for second-most in a season behind Austria’s Hermann (Herminator) Maier, who had 22 in the 1999-2000 season.

In that season, Maier had 2,000 points. Maze broke that record today and is up to 2,024 points.

Here’s the scary part: The season isn’t over. We have seven more races.

The other headline for Maze today is that she became just the second woman to win a race in all five disciplines — downhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom, and combined. She could actually win the season title in all five (though, technically, no globe is at stake in combined).

  • Giant slalom: Clinched it with two races left.
  • Combined: Clinched it. No races left.
  • Super-G: Almost clinched it. She’s first, with American Julia Mancuso chasing. Two races left: Sunday and in the World Cup final.
  • Downhill: She’s in second. But she’s only one point behind Vonn, who isn’t coming back in the next month. Others are in contention: Germany’s Maria Hoefl-Riesch and the USA’s Stacey Cook. One race left at the World Cup final.
  • Slalom: This one is the most challenging. She’s second, 33 points behind American teen phenom Mikaela Shiffrin. Two races left.

A lot of Americans are popping up in the standings, even after Vonn’s illness and catastrophic injury. Mancuso is a strong fourth overall, moving ahead of Vonn this weekend.

Today’s racing summed up the U.S. experience this season. Laurenne Ross finished second for her first World Cup podium. And Alice McKennis crashed, breaking her shinbone and requiring an airlift.

Maze vs. the Americans will be a fun story to follow in Sochi. Now, please, everyone stay healthy.

AP: Tina Maze breaks 2,000-point mark
Eurosport: Maze wins Garmisch downhill and breaks 2,000 points
World Cup standings

Monday Myriad: Sparkling play in WPS, short-sighted decision in Italy

We’re starting with WPS for a highlight that probably didn’t make SportsCenter (correct me if it did) but should have. It’s Abby Wambach’s back-heel, throwing off three defenders and setting up the Washington Freedom’s first goal against the run of play as the Atlanta Beat once again looked wonderful but couldn’t finish. If you want to skip ahead to it, go to the 1:17 mark:

Wambach’s header wasn’t bad, either, which is why she gets my Player of the Week vote ahead of Marta. Granted, if I could see Marta’s video highlights, that would help.

The full week (home teams first):

  • Atlanta 0, Washington 2: The Beat might have played the best two games ever without scoring, outshooting the Freedom 21-10.
  • Boston 1, Bay Area 2: Marta has both goals for the league leaders.
  • St. Louis 2, New Jersey 2: Apologies to Laura Kalmari, who scored twice for Sky Blue and won’t win Player of the Week ahead of the bigger names.
  • Chicago 0, Philadelphia 1: Not a very good week for home teams, was it?


Several trophies were on the line, but the decisive games made news for reasons beyond the results.

  • Spain: Barcelona looked as good as ever in beating Valladolid 4-0 to finish the La Liga season with a record 99 points — 31 wins, 6 draws, 1 loss — a season that ranks with Arsenal’s unbeaten Premier League run (2003-04) as one of the best ever in a top European league. The only team to beat Barca was erratic Europa League champion Atletico Madrid. Runner-up Real Madrid lost twice to Barca and still somehow kept pace until the very end, drawing 1-1 with Malaga in a result that kept the home team in La Liga next year at Valladolid’s expense.
  • Italy: Inter Milan made their fans sweat a little more, waiting until the second half to score at Siena and hold on for a 1-0 win that clinched the Serie A title by two points over Roma, which won 2-0 at Chievo.
  • Italy/USA: American defender Oguchi Onyewu, who missed much of the season after an injury in World Cup qualifying, worked out a one-year contract extension with third-place AC Milan by offering to play for free in 2012-13. The club have agreed, which is appalling. What happens to the next guy who gets hurt playing in a World Cup qualifier? How much pressure will be on that player to do what Onyewu did? (BBC)
  • FA Cup: Premier League champion Chelsea beat last-place Portsmouth, which played the season under the cloud of financial problems, but the underdogs managed to throw away much of their charm when Kevin-Prince Boateng’s brutal foul on Michael Ballack knocked the German cornerstone out of the World Cup. Boateng, coincidentally, has shifted nationality from Germany to Ghana and may play against Germany — and his half-brother, Jerome Boateng — in the World Cup. Perhaps it was instant karma that Boateng had a penalty kick saved, spoiling Portsmouth’s chance to take an improbable lead. (BBC)
  • German Cup: Bayern Munich 4, Werder Bremen 0. Saturday’s Champions League final (Bayern-Inter, 2:45 p.m. ET, Fox) will feature two teams going for a triple of league, cup and European trophies.
  • England: Congratulations to Oxford United, which returns to League football with an emphatic Conference final win. (BBC)
  • Mexico: Jose Francisco Torres will be available for the U.S. camp without a club-vs.-country battle, as his Pachuca side fell on 3-2 aggregate to Toluca. Santos followed up a 3-3 draw at Morelia by winning the second leg 7-1. What is this — the NASL? Third seed Toluca and fifth seed Santos will be the clubs playing in the Mexican final and lining up to crush MLS teams in next season’s CONCACAF Champions League.
  • CONCACAF (women’s): It’s a miracle that Haiti is able to field a team at all after the earthquake. They’re doing more than competing — they’ve advanced to the final round of Gold Cup qualifying. (All White Kit)


  • Strikeforce: Alistair Overeem demolished Brett Rogers to retain his heavyweight championship, saving Strikeforce from the PR dilemma of having their heavyweight champion already beaten by Fedor Emelianenko. All eyes now turn to an Overeem-Fedor matchup, assuming Fedor dispenses with Fabricio Werdum this summer. Also, Antonio Silva pushed Andrei Arlovski farther down the heavyweight ladder. (MMA Fighting Stances)
  • Shine Fights: Boxer Ricardo Mayorga was all set to face veteran Din Thomas in Fayetteville, N.C. Then a Florida judge granted boxing promoter Don King an injunction against Mayorga’s participation. After an afternoon Twitter flurry in which the card seemed to be going on with or without the main event, the North Carolina commission scrapped the whole card, though the co-main event of Murilo Rua vs. David Heath isn’t a bad matchup at all for a smaller promotion. King was asked to present a $1 million cash bond, which he did in two duffel bags. (Yahoo!)
  • Washington Combat: Sort of a senior-circuit main event, though Pedro Rizzo has two wins over Jeff Monson in recent years and was on Affliction’s much-hyped debut card against Josh Barnett. His opponent, Gary Goodridge, lost to Paul Buentello on the same Affliction card and lost to solid fighters Overeem and Gegard Mousasi since then. Bloody Elbow’s Luke Thomas says it’s time for Goodridge to hang ’em up. (Washington Post)


  • Giro d’Italia: Through nine stages, the leader is Alexandre Vinokourov, making his first big run since being tossed out of the 2007 Tour de France for flunking a doping test. Cadel Evans is 72 seconds back. American Tyler Farrar leads in points and has the red jersey, the equivalent of the Tour’s green.
  • Tour of California: Mark Cavendish, who won last year’s sprint title while Levi Leipheimer won the overall, won Sunday’s first stage of the eight-stage race. The big climbs are Tuesday and Friday.


  • Madrid Masters (men): After some atypical struggles, Roger Federer is back to normal, reaching the final and then, because it’s on clay, losing to Rafael Nadal. (AP)
  • Madrid Masters (women): Venus Williams reached the final and climbed to No. 2 in the rankings, her best since 2003. She lost in the final, though, to unseeded Aravane Rezai. Maybe she’ll be seeded next year.


  • Swimming: Universal Sports has some video from the Charlotte UltraSwim, including Michael Phelps cruising in the 200 IM. Dancing with the Stars contestant Natalie Coughlin also is back in the pool. (Universal Sports)
  • Track, field and whatever this is: Tyson Gay set a “world best” (it’s not officially a world record because it’s not officially an official event) of 19.41 seconds in Manchester. Makes you wonder how Usain Bolt can run a 19.19 around a curve.
  • Running: Remember the USA TODAY profile on Amy Palmiero-Winters, the amputee who qualified for the 24-hour running world championships? She finished a very respectable 19th, coming just short of 200 kilometers. Scott Jurek covered 266.677k for a silver medal as the U.S. men placed third. Anna Piskorka (10th, 214.417k) was the top U.S. woman as the women’s team finished fourth. (USA Track and Field)


Hikaru Nakamura and Gata Kamsky drew in their first meeting at the U.S. Chess Championships on Sunday, likely keeping both of them on track to play again in the “Final Four” in this uniquely formatted tournament. Irina Krush killed my fantasy team by losing out of what seemed to be a winning position against Varuzhan Akobian in a 113-move thriller. (U.S. Chess Federation)


  • Golf and tennis: One sport’s U.S. federation is taking all the right steps to get kids interested and keep them playing. The other is scratching its head as players appear to be abandoning the sport, and the solutions may be quite costly. (Wall Street Journal).
  • Football: Flag football — eventual answer to gender-equity questions? Convenient dodge of gender-equity questions? Waste of time? Great activity? Many opinions here. (New York Times)
  • Skiing/long-running TV shows: Lindsey Vonn was thrilled to do a guest spot on Law & Order. Not so thrilled to hear this is the final season. She’s organizing a group to save the show. (Yahoo! – Fourth-Place Medal)