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Christian Pulisic, Folarin Balogun score as Team USA takes down Bolivia in Copa América opener

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Christian Pulisic, Folarin Balogun score as Team USA takes down Bolivia in Copa América opener

The United States men’s national soccer team took care of its first Copa América opponent on Sunday night in a 2-0 victory over Bolivia at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. 

Christian Pulisic and Folarin Balogun found the back of the net as Team USA dominated Bolivia throughout the 90 minutes on the pitch. 

The U.S. was looking to make a statement in this Copa América, and taking an early lead against Bolivia, a team they were expected to beat on Sunday night, was the objective. 

Folarin Balogun (20) of the United States is defended by Jesus Sagredo of Bolivia during the first half at AT&T Stadium on June 23, 2024, in Arlington, Texas. (John Todd/ISI Photos/USSF/Getty Images for USSF)

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Pulisic, the USMNT veteran, was the one who made it happen with just over two minutes gone in the match after the Stars and Stripes were awarded a corner kick.

Instead of sending a cross into the box, Pulisic made a short pass to Timothy Weah, who started to make his way toward the net. He dropped it to his right for Pulisic, who decided to take his first strike of the tournament toward the net, and it couldn’t have been better. 

Pulisic, trying to bend it from right to left, got the perfect height on the ball as he watched it sail over Bolivia’s goalkeeper and into the right side of the net. 

EURO 2024 DAILY RECAP: GERMANY, HUNGARY CLOSE OUT GROUP A WITH STOPPAGE TIME STUNNERS

The U.S.-heavy crowd was raucous as Pulisic celebrated his 30th international goal of his career with his teammates. 

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The first half was slow from there, but things picked up again late when Pulisic got a through ball and ran quickly with 22-year-old Folarin Balogun in stride with him on his left. Pulisic dropped a pass to Balogun, who was trying to work against his Bolivia defender one-on-one.

Christian Pulisic kick

Christian Pulisic of the United States kicks the ball during the Copa América 2024 Group C match with Bolivia at AT&T Stadium on June 23, 2024, in Arlington, Texas. (Omar Vega/Getty Images)

After stepping to his left, Balogun drove a shot low, and it went through the defender’s legs and got past the keeper, who couldn’t stretch far enough for the save. 

Balogun’s 44th minute goal was the fourth of his international career, and it was all the offense the U.S. would need to come away with the victory.

There were multiple chances in the second half to tack on more, especially when Ricardo Pepi, who subbed in, had two chances right near the goal line, but Bolivia’s keeper made two incredible saves to keep the score intact.

But the United States was all smiles when the final whistle sounded, knowing they got the job done and earned the first three points of the tournament. 

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Christian Pulisic celebrates goal

Christian Pulisic of the United States celebrates scoring with teammates during the first half against Bolivia at AT&T Stadium on June 23, 2024, in Arlington, Texas. (John Todd/ISI Photos/USSF/Getty Images for USSF)

Their next test comes later this week against on Thursday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

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Dodgers activate Tyler Glasnow, sign veteran shortstop Nick Ahmed

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Dodgers activate Tyler Glasnow, sign veteran shortstop Nick Ahmed

The Dodgers have yet to make any trades ahead of next Tuesday’s deadline.

But their roster got another notable shake-up Wednesday.

Before their game against the San Francisco Giants, the Dodgers activated pitcher Tyler Glasnow from the injured list, and signed and activated veteran shortstop Nick Ahmed.

In corresponding moves, shortstop Miguel Rojas was placed on the injured list with a flexor strain in his throwing arm. Pitcher Landon Knack was optioned, sent back to triple-A Oklahoma City despite his 3.07 ERA in nine outings this year. Reliever Ricky Vanasco was also designated for assignment to create room on the club’s 40-man roster for Ahmed.

Glasnow’s return was long expected, with the team’s right-handed ace returning as scheduled from back tightness he sustained before the All-Star break.

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Rojas’ placement on the injured list was also no surprise, after he was removed early from Sunday’s game with discomfort in his forearm.

While the team was initially optimistic that Rojas could avoid an IL stint, manager Dave Roberts said a medical scan this week showed the strain in Rojas’ arm. His timeline to return is unclear, but Roberts didn’t make the injury sound serious.

“I think it’s something that he’ll be able to bounce back from,” Roberts said.

In Rojas’ absence, the Dodgers signed Ahmed to a major-league deal Wednesday, inking the 11-year veteran and two-time Gold Glover two weeks after he was released by the Giants.

Roberts said Ahmed, a longtime member of the Arizona Diamondbacks who batted .232 in 52 games with the Giants this year, would serve as the Dodgers’ primary shortstop in Rojas’ absence — or, at least, until Mookie Betts returns in the next couple of weeks from his broken hand.

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“Got a call late last night, and came to terms pretty quickly,” Ahmed said of signing with the Dodgers. “Pretty obvious choice, just playing against these guys for a long time. Having the opportunity to compete and win a championship is something I want.”

The odd man out in Wednesday’s flurry of moves was Knack, the rookie right-hander who seemed to be establishing himself in the Dodgers rotation after a five-inning, one-run start Tuesday night.

Knack, however, became the casualty of a roster crunch. He had minor-league options. He was also the most recent member of the Dodgers rotation to pitch — which, with a couple off-days on the schedule in the next week, left his next potential start date unclear.

Instead, the Dodgers decided to send Knack down and preserve their bullpen depth, something that could be important the next two nights as Glasnow and Clayton Kershaw make their first starts back from the injured list.

“It was one of those timing situations for Landon,” Roberts said. “But I can’t say enough about what he did for our ball club.”

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Buehler’s next steps

Walker Buehler said he will begin a rehab assignment with triple-A Oklahoma City on Friday. It will be his first live game action since going on the injured list last month with a hip injury.

Buehler is expected to make two rehab starts, Roberts said, before rejoining the Dodgers rotation next month.

Before going on the IL, Buehler had struggled in his return from a second Tommy John surgery, going 1-4 with a 5.84 ERA in eight starts.

Hurt having Tommy John

In other injury news Wednesday, the team announced that prospect Kyle Hurt is scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery next week, ending his 2024 campaign and probably sidelining him for most of 2025 as well.

A USC product acquired in a 2021 trade with the Miami Marlins, Hurt had emerged as one of the top pitchers in the Dodgers’ farm system, earning the club’s minor league pitcher of the year award last year while leading all minor-league pitchers with 14.9 strikeouts per nine innings.

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Hurt made his MLB debut with one outing last September, then opened this season in the Dodgers’ bullpen, giving up two runs (one earned) in 6 2/3 innings over three appearances.

He missed a couple of months earlier this year with a shoulder injury, but had been back pitching for Oklahoma City for a month before exiting an outing on July 4 with an apparent arm injury.

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Xander Schauffele or Scottie Scheffler for PGA Tour Player of the Year?

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Xander Schauffele or Scottie Scheffler for PGA Tour Player of the Year?

We must begin this article with a pair of admissions: We remain eternally envious of our co-workers and media center brethren spending their July gallivanting around Scottish links courses, and try as we might, we have not mustered any enthusiasm for the 3M Open. We appreciate your understanding and instead have opted to write down and publish a conversation that began Sunday during the end of the Open Championship.

Hugh Kellenberger: Let’s start here: The men’s golf player of the year race has gone from a coronation of Scottie Scheffler to a two-man race between Scheffler and Xander Schauffele. The latter made it a conversation with his stirring win at the Open Championship, in one season vaulting from “best player to never win a major” to “a guy who can win half of the majors in a given year.” But I’m curious, Gabby, is performance in the majors the only data point that matters in this race, at least to you?

Gabby Herzig: This is a tricky one because I am definitely in the camp that majors define a career, but do they — and should they — define a single season? It’s hard to argue against the fact Scheffler has been dominant all year long, even though Schauffele was the best during two very important weeks. Scheffler’s six wins (compared with Schauffele’s two) include the Players, the Masters and four PGA Tour signature events, one coming just a week after his runaway victory at Augusta — and we still have the playoffs to evaluate. There are more than a few data points to take into account here, with strokes gained statistics, consistency and wins outside of majors being just the tip of the iceberg. Should Schauffele’s two-major season overshadow all of that?

Hugh: Deciding that it does means no other event matters more than the four major championships, and though that is true in the broad scope of a career, there is a level of nuance to it on a year-to-year level. Is Schauffele winning at Valhalla in 2024 automatically more impressive than Scheffler’s win at TPC Sawgrass, just because we’ve decided one is a major and the other is not? No, I don’t think so. They are roughly equal in almost every other way, including field quality. So if you say that of the five biggest events of the year, each won two, that narrows the gap in this POY conversation. And that’s before we get to this: Both will be at the Olympics and the Tour Championship. Are we going to end up having to crown someone based on what they do at Paris’ Le Golf National next week?

Gabby: That’s why things could get dicey — I wouldn’t say any of the remaining events in the 2024 season are necessarily going to sway the debate much, unless Scheffler or Schauffele goes out and wins two or even three more times. So why not just turn to the numbers? Scheffler is still leading the PGA Tour in strokes gained total by a significant margin — a stat purely based on week-to-week performance, compared with the field. No biases on which tournament means more. Just data. Scheffler holds a 2.760 strokes gained on average, compared with Schauffele’s 2.201. Then the list drops off to Rory McIlroy at 1.896. Schauffele is catching up to Scheffler, but he said it himself after winning the PGA: “All of us are climbing this massive mountain. At the top of the mountain is Scottie Scheffler. I won this today, but I’m still not close to Scottie in the big scheme of things.” Player of the Year is decided by a PGA Tour member vote. If there’s anyone who understands how difficult it is to perform to that high of a standard on a week-to-week basis, it’s Scheffler and Schauffele’s peers.

Hugh: Right, and it’s that group that picked Patrick Cantlay in 2021 despite his not winning a major, and Scheffler a year ago even though he didn’t win a major. What does that mean? I think it’s a Scheffler three-peat, though I’m here for the argument that Schauffele deserves his flowers. Gabby, I’ll let you make your pick and then ask you this: Who will be Keegan Bradley’s next vice captain pick after selecting Webb Simpson on Tuesday?


Keegan Bradley will captain the U.S. Ryder Cup team in 2025. (Ross Kinnaird / Getty Images)

Gabby: I’m with you, Hugh. I think they’ll go with Scheffler. This is the award for Player of the Year, not the Player of the Majors. But Schauffele deserves all the praise for what he accomplished at Valhalla and Royal Troon. He’s gotten over the major-winning hump and quickly joined a growing list of top active players with two majors (Scheffler, Jon Rahm, Collin Morikawa, Bryson DeChambeau, Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson). Perhaps his ability to knock off the first two so quickly will make him the best candidate to first get to three?

On to my Ryder Cup vice captain prediction. Tuesday, we saw Bradley select three-time U.S. team member Simpson as his first appointee. The pick aligns perfectly with what Bradley shared about his intentions when he was first announced as captain: He wants to surround his team with younger voices who are out there, week to week, interacting and building relationships with his potential members. I don’t think we’re going to see the next vice captain’s pick for a little while because I have a feeling it will be Rickie Fowler. While reporting on the selection process for Bradley, I was told Fowler’s name was part of the conversation about who could be the next captain. If Fowler doesn’t totally turn around his game somehow (he’s ranked 43rd in the U.S. Ryder Cup team standings), it’ll be a no-brainer decision for Bradley to bring him on board. He’s played in five Ryder Cups but he’s only 35 years old, and all the guys — and the fans — love him. Besides Tiger Woods, who is a complete question mark at this point, who would be better?

Hugh: Rickie Fowler, vice captain in charge of the vibes with a secondary emphasis on hydration. I can get behind it.

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(Photos: Patrick Smith, Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images) 

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French sprinter Sounkamba Sylla says she's prohibited from Paris Olympics' opening ceremonies over hijab

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French sprinter Sounkamba Sylla says she's prohibited from Paris Olympics' opening ceremonies over hijab

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A French sprinter said she will be prohibited from participating in the Paris Olympics’ opening ceremonies Friday night because she wears a hijab.

Sounkamba Sylla, 26, expressed her frustration on her social media last weekend.

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“You are selected for the Olympics, organized in your country, but you can’t participate in the opening ceremony because you wear a headscarf,” she wrote on Instagram, according to The Associated Press.

Sounkamba Sylla of France attends the 4x400m relay during the 26th European Athletics Championships Rome 2024 at Stadio Olimpico June 11, 2024, in Rome, Italy. (Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)

Sylla is a member of France’s 400-meter women’s and mixed team relays. However, France enforces secular laws, and French Olympic Committee President David Lappartient said French Olympians are ordered to follow secular principles that apply to public sector workers, which includes a ban on hijabs.

“It’s perhaps sometimes not understandable in other countries in the world, but it’s part of our DNA here in France,” Lappartient said.

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Sounkamba Sylla hands the baton

Sounkamba Sylla of France hands the baton to teammate Alexe Deau in the 4x400m relay at the 26th European Athletics Championships Rome 2024 at Stadio Olimpico June 11, 2024, in Rome, Italy. (Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)

He added that talks were underway to come to a solution to allow Sylla to participate in the ceremonies in a way her “beliefs are respected.”

“I have no doubt that a solution can be found,” he said. “We hope that everyone can take part in the opening ceremony.”

Sylla routinely wears a hijab while competing.

Sounkamba Sylla in Budapest

France’s Sounkamba Sylla, Camille Séri, Louise Maraval and Amandine Brossier pose for a photo after the women’s 4x400m relay heats during the World Athletics Championships at the National Athletics Centre in Budapest Aug. 26, 2023. (Jewel Samad/AFP via Getty Images)

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She ran with a black headscarf in several events, including the 2022 and 2023 world championships and the World Relays in May 2024.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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