With late goal U.S. gets tie with Russia

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With late goal U.S. gets tie with Russia

By The Associated Press

Mix Diskerud scored his first international goal in the third minute of injury time, giving the United States a 2-2 tie against Russia on Wednesday in an exhibition game at Krasnodar.

Michael Bradley, who scored in the 76th minute, sent a long ball into the penalty area toward Terrence Boyd, who was battling defender Sergei Ignashevich. The ball rebounded off Ignashevich to Diskerud, who had entered in the 87th minute. He bounced a 20-yard, right-footed shot in off a hand of goalkeeper Vladimir Gabulov.

The 22-year-old, whose mother is from Arizona and who grew up in Norway, was playing just his third game for the U.S. He was a member of the American Olympic team that failed to qualify for the London Games.

Fedor Smolov, making his Russian national team debut, gave the hosts the lead in the ninth minute following a giveaway by Danny Williams. Bradley tied it on a 19-yard volley, his 11th international goal.

Roman Shirokov put Russia back ahead 2-1 when he converted a penalty kick in the 84th minute after a foul by Clarence Goodson, who pushed over Artem Dzyuba in front of goalkeeper Tim Howard following a free kick.

The 27th-ranked United States, missing regulars Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan and Steve Cherundolo, are preparing for the final round of qualifying next year for the 2014 World Cup. They finished the year at 9-2-3 with a .750 winning percentage that tied their best, set in 2005.

The ninth-ranked Russians won their fifth straight match, improving to 5-0-1 since former England coach Fabio Capello took over last summer.

Jozy Altidore started for the U.S. after he was dropped from the roster for last month's World Cup qualifiers following poor performances against Jamaica in September, and Timmy Chandler started at right back. Chandler had not played for the Americans since last November, uncertain whether he wanted to commit to the U.S. program.

Russia went ahead early after the U.S. was given a free kick in its own half. Williams mis-hit the ball as Altidore crossed in front of him. Alexander Kerzhakov started a quick break and passed to Smolov, whose right-footed shot from 15 yards went under Howard's left arm. Smolov fell to the ground, injured, and was replaced by Maxim Gregoriev two minutes later.

U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra left in the 18th minute with what the team said was an injured hamstring. He was replaced by Goodson, who paired with Geoff Cameron in central defense.

Howard made a fine double save in the 66th, batting away an open shot by Renat Yanbaev, then parrying Vasily Berezutskiy's shot over the crossbar.

Four minutes later, Fabian Johnson made a fine run up the middle of the field and passed to an open Altidore, who failed to control the ball.

Bradley scored after Maurice Edu passed to Juan Agudelo in the penalty area, and Agudelo headed the ball back to an open Bradley for a right-footed shot that clanked in off a post.

Highlights: Sebastian Salazar recaps Week 7 in NWSL

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Highlights: Sebastian Salazar recaps Week 7 in NWSL

Week 7 of the National Women's Soccer League season is in the books - and what a week it was.

We saw the Houston Dash vs. Washington Spirit match postponed due to weather, and got a glimpse at how NWSL squads will deal with their U.S. Women's National Team absences later this summer. 

CSN's Sebastian Salazar takes you around the NWSL for highlights from all four league matches this weekend as well as last week's international friendly between Seattle Reign FC and Arsenal Ladies.

WATCH ALL THE HIGHLIGHTS OF WEEK 7 IN THE VIDEO PLAYER ABOVE

Real Madrid wins Champions League in penalty shootout

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Real Madrid wins Champions League in penalty shootout

By GRAHAM DUNBAR, AP Sports Writer

MILAN (AP) -- Cristiano Ronaldo did it again for Real Madrid, stepping forward to score a penalty and inflict another devastating loss in a Champions League final on rival Atletico Madrid.

For the second time in three finals, the biggest game in club soccer ended with Ronaldo sealing victory, then ripping off his shirt to show off his muscled torso to adoring fans.

Ronaldo's decisive spot kick in a Saturday night shootout gave Real Madrid a 5-3 victory on penalties, following a 1-1 draw after extra time.

Two years ago, the Portuguese superstar's penalty had sealed a 4-1 extra-time win over Atletico and prompted the first of his provocative celebrations.

"I knew I was going to score the winning penalty. I was confident," said Ronaldo, who won his third Champions League title. "I asked (coach Zinedine) Zidane to let me take the last penalty."

Rising to the dramatic moment after a quiet game for him, Ronaldo sent goalkeeper Jan Oblak the wrong way seconds after Atletico defender Juanfran struck a post with his team's fourth kick.

Real Madrid got its record-extending 11th European title and left Atletico was left with bitter memories of its third loss in a European Cup or Champions League final. In its two previous finals, Atletico gave up last-minute equalizing goals.

"I don't believe in injustices," Atletico coach Diego Simeone said. "In football, the team that wins deserves to win. They were better during the shootout."

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Simeone said he will consider his future at Atletico, where the combative Argentine has coached for five years.

Zidane has coached for less than five months, yet is already just the seventh man to both coach and play for champion teams in the competition's 61-year history. The France great joins an elite group that includes Johan Cruyff and Pep Guardiola.

Just like the 2014 final, a Madrid derby finished 1-1 after 90 minutes. This time, it was Real Madrid instead of Atletico in the role of long-time leader giving up a late equalizer.

Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos, who struck in stoppage time two years ago, showed a forward's hunger to score in the 15th by forcing the ball past Oblak from close range.

Atletico substitute Yannick Carrasco showed the same desire to level in the 79th, outmuscling Lucas Vazquez to shoot Juanfran's pass high into the net.

Atletico missed a penalty kick in the 48th, given for Pepe's clumsy tackle through Fernando Torres.

Antoine Griezmann's kick struck the cross bar, repeating his failure to beat goalkeeper Keylor Navas from the spot in a league match this season. The France forward scored in the shootout.

Atletico raised its game after Griezmann's miss but the clearest shooting chance fell to defender Stefan Savic who also failed to force a save from Navas.

Ramos showed how a defender, tough and often cynical, should finish. As noted for his red cards as goals, he has now scored in two Champions League finals to stand with Ronaldo in the competition's history.

Atletico's defense was warned of Real Madrid's threat, and its own weakness on the night, from free kicks as early as the sixth minute.

Gareth Bale was fouled deep in Atletico territory, then fired a dipping cross. Attackers again got in front of defenders and both Karim Benzema and Casemiro seemed to deflect the ball toward Oblak staying on his goal-line. This time, the Slovenia goalkeeper blocked with his left leg.

When Madrid did score nine minutes later, Benzema was again free but failed to connect on Bale's flick before Ramos pounced.

Benzema could have likely sealed the win in the 70th when sent clear but Oblak blocked the Frenchman's shot with his chest.

Atletico was soon level when Carrasco exploited substitute Vazquez, a midfielder who had just come on for Benzema.

Early in extra time, Ronaldo wasted a good chance when his downward header struck defender Filipe Luis and looped into Oblak's hands.

Real Madrid was crowned the best in Europe -- watched by Spain's King Felipe VI in San Siro stadium -- to cap a season when it had not even been best at home.

Victory helped eclipse rival Barcelona winning four major trophies, including a Spanish league and cup double. Just not the one that matters most in Madrid.

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Leicester City clinches EPL title, greatest underdog season in sports history

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AP Photo/Rui Vieira

Leicester City clinches EPL title, greatest underdog season in sports history

On Monday afternoon, Chelsea and Tottenham F.C. played to a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge, meaning Leicester City clinched the Barclays Premier League championship. 

While Leicester City still has a few games left, they have already clinched an outright title thanks to 77 points and a 22-11-3 record and the mantle of greatest underdog season in sports history.

Yes, sports history. All of it.

 The Foxes were promoted to the Premier League after winning the Football League Championship in 2014. Imagine a baseball team being called up to join the AL East and in just the second season, they clinched the pennant after leading the entire season.

Leicester City's estimated payroll for the 2015-16 season is 48.2 million pounds, which is good enough for 17th place, with Chelsea (215.6 million), Manchester United (203 million), Manchester City (193.8 million), Arsenal (192 million) and Liverpool (152 million) firmly cemented at the top.

Unlike a majority of American sports, there are no salary caps in international club football. A player can be bought by another team at any time during the transfer window. The teams at the top of the league, the traditional powers, are typically able to buy the best players because they have more money at their disposal. Since the formation of the English premier League in 1992, only one team outside the traditional powers has claimed the championship — the Blackburn Rovers in 1993.

Leicester City is now the second.

Leicester City had  5000-to-1 odds to win the championship at the beginning of the season. Think about this: Indiana, Illinois, and Colorado have 2000-to-1 odds to win the College Football Playoff championship this season. 

The Foxes were led by Jamie Vardy, who set an EPL record for consecutive games with a goal scored in with 11. Vardy has scored 22 goals in 34 appearances this season and is behind just Tottenham's Harry Kane (24) and Manchester City's Sergio Aguero (23) in the league's scoring table. Aguero's salary calls for nearly 220-thousand pounds a week. Vardy makes roughly 45-thousand a week.

In clinching the championship, Leicester City has clinched a spot in the UEFA Champion's league, the top club competition in Europe., the first time in club history. The club was founded in 1884, 24 years before the Chicago Cubs last won a World Series. Not only has Leicester City never qualified for the UEFA Champion's League, but they have never qualified for the UEFA Europa League, the international competition for the teams that just miss out on the Champion's League.

Leicester City winning the Barclays Premier League makes what George Mason did in the 2006 NCAA Tournament look like a regular season MLB series in May.

Simply put, this is the most unthinkable and unexpected championship season in sports history.