Around the Nation (May 24): Donovan stunned to be cut from U.S. World Cup team

GREG BEACHAM AP Sports Writer Published:

Associated Press

SOCCER

Donovan stunned to be cut from U.S. World Cup team

CARSON, Calif. -- Landon Donovan is surprised and disappointed by U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann's decision to drop him from the World Cup roster.

Donovan also disagrees with Klinsmann's assertion that other American players were a step ahead of the 32-year-old attacker. In fact, Donovan thought a strong performance in U.S. training camp had earned him a chance to play a significant role for the Americans in Brazil, perhaps even as a starter.

Klinsmann's decision was still sinking in when a saddened Donovan returned to work with the LA Galaxy on Saturday instead of preparing for his fourth World Cup.

While Donovan says he would gladly return to the team if an injury created a spot on the 23-man roster, he's urging fans to support the current squad.

Real Madrid wins Champions League

LISBON, Portugal -- Real Madrid won the Champions League final Saturday for its record 10th European title, scoring three times in the second period of extra time to beat Atletico Madrid 4-1.

Gareth Bale scored on a header in the 110th minute, Marcelo connected in the 118th and Cristiano Ronaldo capped the spree on a penalty kick.

Atletico was on the brink of victory in regulation time, but Real's Sergio Ramos tied it on a header in the third minute of stoppage time at the end of 90 minutes.

GOLF

Toms, Matsuyama, Campbell, Stroud lead at Colonial

FORT WORTH, Texas -- David Toms, Hideki Matsuyama, Chad Campbell and Chris Stroud shared the third-round lead at 7-under 203 on Saturday at Colonial, where plenty of others also are in contention.

There were 13 players within two strokes of the leading quartet.

The closest chasers include Adam Scott, the No. 1 player in the world, and Jimmy Walker, a three-time winner this season and No. 1 in the FedEx Cup standings.

Kevin Chappell, whose early 7-under 63 was the low round of the day, moved from a tie for 60th to within one stroke of the lead.

Matsuyama, the 22-year-old from Japan with five wins at home, shot a bogey-free 64. Toms, who got the last of his 13 PGA Tour victories at Colonial in 2011, had a 65, and local resident Campbell shot a 68.

Nordqvist leads Airbus LPGA Classic

MOBILE, Ala. -- Anna Nordqvist moved into position for her third victory of the year, shooting her second straight 6-under 66 on Saturday to take the third-round lead in the Airbus LPGA Classic.

The 26-year-old Swede, the winner in Thailand and Carlsbad, had a 16-under 200 total on The Crossings course at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail's Magnolia Grove complex.

Catriona Matthew, the 44-year-old Scot who led after each of the first two days, was a stroke back. She birdied three of the last four holes for a 70.

Second-ranked Stacy Lewis, the 2012 champion who needs to finish solo third or higher to take the top spot in the world from Inbee Park, was third after a 66. Park missed the cut Friday.

AUTO RACING

Earnhardt Jr. looks to win NASCAR's longest race

CONCORD, N.C. -- Some of Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s earliest NASCAR memories came at Charlotte Motor Speedway and he hopes to add another big one by winning the Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday night.

Earnhardt grew up watching his late father, Dale Earnhardt, race here more than 30 years ago and has long wanted to win NASCAR's longest race as he dad accomplished three times, the last in 1993.

Dale Jr. has come close, most notably in 2011 when he broke free from a late restart to take the lead. He got the white flag just fine, then ran out of gas on the front straightaway and coasted through the final turn before Kevin Harvick passed him for the win. Earnhardt finished seventh, his sixth top-10 finish in the Memorial Day weekend race.

HORSE RACING

California Chrome gallops at Belmont

NEW YORK -- California Chrome has galloped 13⁄4 miles over a sloppy track at Belmont Park, with a possible 12-horse field taking shape for the Belmont Stakes in which the colt will try to win the Triple Crown.

The Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner picked up the pace considerably as he ran through the stretch a second time Saturday. Assistant trainer Alan Sherman says California Chrome often loafs the first mile and then works harder.

As many as 11 other horses could take on California Chrome in the Belmont on June 7, including Peter Pan winner Tonalist, who galloped at the same time as the chestnut colt Saturday.

Other possible Belmont runners include Commissioner and Intense Holiday; Wood winner Wicked Strong; Derby runner-up Commanding Curve; Preakness runner-up Ride On Curlin; Kid Cruz; Matuszak; Samraat; Social Inclusion; and Candy Boy.

BASEBALL

Hidecki Matsui hits HR at HOF Classic

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- Ivan Rodriguez hit a two-run homer to knot the score in the top of the sixth inning, and the Knucksies and Wizards played to a 4-4 tie in the rain-shortened Hall of Fame Classic on Saturday.

The sixth annual classic at Doubleday Field also featured home runs by former major league stars Hideki Matsui, Luis Gonzalez, and Jack Wilson. It was called before the bottom of the sixth began.

The teams were divided into American League and National League squads, with Hall of Fame knuckleballer Phil Niekro managing the Knucksies of the AL and Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith managing the Wizards of the NL.

The game was scoreless until Matsui brought the crowd to life with a towering home run over the 312-foot sign in right field.

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