US women top Canada, Japan next for Olympic gold

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US women top Canada, Japan next for Olympic gold

MANCHESTER, England (AP) -- The U.S. women's soccer team has advanced to the gold medal match of the Olympic tournament with a wild 4-3 win in extra time over Canada.

Alex Morgan scored on a header in the final minute of injury time in extra time Monday night for the two-time defending Olympic champions, who will play Japan on Thursday for the title.

Christine Sinclair scored a hat trick for the Canadians. Megan Rapinoe scored twice, and Abby Wambach had one goal for the U.S.

The final at Wembley Stadium will be a rematch of last year's World Cup final, won by Japan on penalty kicks. The Americans have played in the gold medal match in every Summer Games since women's soccer was introduced in Atlanta in 1996.

Canada will play France for the bronze medal.

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Morning tip: What has changed for Otto Porter since All-Star break?

Morning tip: What has changed for Otto Porter since All-Star break?

All of Otto Porter's numbers post-All-Star break have taken a dip, especially his accuracy from three-point range for the Wizards.

The assumption -- and typical explanations -- made are to be expected at this time of year. Porter has played in 71 games and is averaging a career-high 33.6 minutes therefore he's tired.

He very well could be. Last season, he complained to John Wall about feeling worn down two months into an 82-game season. 

But to dumb down Porter's struggles to something that every starter in the NBA experiences ignores the more nuanced reasons for the dip in his play. He's a priority on the scouting reports, and he's not being left open for clean threes and he's being closed out and forced to put the ball on the floor to finish which isn't a strength of his game. 

To match apples with apples, this is a look at how the same team covered Porter early in the season vs. how they reacted to him later when he elevated himself as the most accurate three-point shooter in the league:

Porter had all kinds of open space back in November, when the Celtics relied on late closeouts on recovery to contest him on the three-point look (3 of 5). That didn't work out too well as Porter set a career-high with 34 points and grabbed 14 rebounds because he was able to swoop in unmarked to grab extra possessions.

Now compare that coverage to what he saw earlier this week from Jae Crowder. Before he catches the ball the defense shifts towards him. Crowder fights through a flare screen and takes away his three-point look. Teams want to make Porter put it on the floor and finish off the dribble. Even if he makes it, they take away the three and force a two-point attempt. Porter had just eight points and missed all three of his long balls.

When Porrter is off the ball, he doesn't always have the same real estate to roam, find a soft spot in the defense to catch and shoot. This is what a frame of how he was defended by Crowder even when not on the ball. The defender is staying home more often.

These shifts in coverage were happening before mid-February. It's just that the results are more pronounced now.

Porter  averaged 15.6 points on 53.4% field-goal shooting, including 46.6% from three, in 55 appearances before the break.

Since then, he's at 11.8 points on 46.5% shooting, including 35% from long range, in 16 games.  He has gone scoreless in a game and scored just two points in another.

[RELATED: Film study: Wizards' most frequent mistakes]

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Need to Know: Examining the Redskins' roster locks and bubble dwellers

Need to Know: Examining the Redskins' roster locks and bubble dwellers

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, March 24, 34 days before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/17) 23
—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 49
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 61
—Franchise tag contract deadline (7/15) 113
—First Sunday of 2017 season (9/10) 170

Redskins locks and bubble players

Yesterday I looked at players who will not be returning to the Redskins in 2016. Today the focus shifts to the players who are on the roster and separating them into who is certain to be on the Week 1 roster and who is on the bubble.

RELATED: NFL Mock Draft Version 6.0

Here are the players I see as roster locks:

Offense (15)

  • QB Kirk Cousins
  • QB Colt McCoy
  • RB Rob Kelley
  • RB Chris Thompson
  • WR Jamison Crowder
  • WR Josh Doctson
  • WR Terrelle Pryor
  • TE Jordan Reed
  • TE Vernon Davis
  • G Shawn Lauvao
  • G Brandon Scherff
  • C Spencer Long
  • OT Morgan Moses
  • OT Trent Williams
  • OT Ty Nsekhe

Defense (15)

  • DE Anthony Lanier
  • DE Terrell McClain
  • DE Stacy McGee
  • LB Will Compton
  • LB Mason Foster
  • OLB Junior Galette
  • OLB Ryan Kerrigan
  • OLB Preston Smith
  • OLB Trent Murphy
  • CB Bashaud Breeland
  • CB Quinton Dunbar
  • CB Kendall Fuller
  • CB Josh Norman
  • S Su’a Cravens
  • S D.J. Swearinger

Specialists (3)

  • K Dustin Hopkins
  • P Tress Way
  • LS Nick Sundberg

That totals 33 locks. These are players who are on the bubble; only players who were on the team last year or were notable signings are included here. The other street free agents signed are long shots.

Offense (9)

  • G Arie Kouandjio
  • OL Vinston Painter
  • QB Nate Sudfeld
  • RB Mack Brown
  • RB Matt Jones
  • TE Derek Carrier
  • TE Niles Paul
  • WR Maurice Harris
  • WR Ryan Grant

Most of these bubble players will be watching the draft closely. A quarterback drafted early would be bad news for Sudfeld. A third-round guard could be an ominous sign for Kouandjio. The three I most strongly considered putting the lock list were Jones, Paul, and Harris but too much can happen to call them sure things.

Defense (15)

  • DE Ziggy Hood
  • DE Matt Ioannidis
  • DE A.J. Francis
  • NT Phil Taylor
  • OLB Houston Bates
  • LB Chris Carter
  • LB Steven Daniels
  • LB Martrell Spaight
  • OLB Lynden Trail
  • LB Zach Vigil
  • CB Tharold Simon
  • S Josh Evans
  • S Deshazor Everett
  • S DeAngelo Hall
  • S Earl Wolff

The three closest to being locks here are Hall, Hood, and Spaight. Hall has to show that he can come back from his ACL, Hood could get bumped out by promising draft picks, and Spaight needs to fend off potential draft picks and possibly Daniels and Vigil.

I’ll take another look at this after the draft to see how things shift.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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