World Cup players to be left off U.S. Olympic soccer qualifying roster

DeAndre Yedlin, John Brooks
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U.S. Soccer has both fortunate and unfortunate situations when it comes to Rio 2016 Olympic men’s soccer qualifying.

Positively, it could field a roster for the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament in October that includes two World Cup players, John Brooks and DeAndre Yedlin. Olympic qualifying is strictly for the under-23 age group rosters, but Brooks and Yedlin are young enough.

Negatively, the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament and the senior national team’s 2017 Confederations Cup playoff with Mexico happen at the same time.

U.S. men’s national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann an Olympic bronze medalist with Germany in 1988 — decided it was more important for Brooks and Yedlin to be with the senior national team than the Olympic qualifying team.

So, the U.S. will attempt to qualify for the 2016 Olympic men’s soccer tournament without the two most recognizable names available to its U-23 roster.

The Oct. 10 semifinal winners in the CONCACAF U-23 tournament will qualify for Rio, with the third-place nation going to a playoff with Colombia.

If the U.S. qualifies for Rio, Brooks and Yedlin could be put on the Olympic roster without the U.S. having to use any of its three Olympic over-age exceptions on them. In that case, the 2016 U.S. Olympic men’s soccer team could include five players with World Cup experience, a record high.

In 2012, Jozy Altidore was the one World Cup veteran young enough for U-23 Olympic qualifying, but he was not released from his European club team to play in the CONCACAF tournament, which didn’t occur during a FIFA international date window. Without him, the U.S. didn’t reach the Olympic qualifying semifinals and failed to make it to London 2012.

In 2008, no U.S. players with World Cup experience were young enough for U-23 Olympic qualifying.

In 2004, Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley were the two World Cup veterans young enough for U-23 Olympic qualifying, and both played in the CONCACAF tournament. The U.S. failed to qualify for Athens 2004.

In 2000, no U.S. players with World Cup experience were young enough for U-23 Olympic qualifying.

In 1996, the U.S. did not have to go through qualifying for the Olympics because it had an automatic spot as the host nation in Atlanta. Claudio Reyna was the one World Cup veteran young enough for U-23 play, and he was named to the Olympic team.

MORE SOCCER: U.S. Olympic coach: We may use over-age spot on goalkeeper

Summer McIntosh breaks 400m individual medley world record, extends historic week

Summer McIntosh

Canadian swimmer Summer McIntosh broke her second world record this week, lowering the 400m individual medley mark on Saturday.

McIntosh, a 16-year-old who trains in Sarasota, Florida, clocked 4 minutes, 25.87 seconds at the Canadian Championships in Toronto.

She took down Hungarian Katinka Hosszu‘s world record of 4:26.36 from the 2016 Rio Olympics. Before Saturday, McIntosh had the fourth-fastest time in history of 4:28.61.

“It’s always nice to set world records,” McIntosh said.

On Tuesday, McIntosh broke the 400m freestyle world record, becoming the youngest swimmer to break a world record in an individual Olympic event since Katie Ledecky in 2013.

McIntosh also this week became the fourth-fastest woman in history in the 200m individual medley and the eighth-fastest woman in history in the 200m butterfly.

In each of her four races this week, she also broke the world junior record as the fastest woman in history under the age of 19.

She is entered to swim the 200m free on the meet’s final day on Sunday. She is already the eighth-fastest woman in history in that event.

McIntosh, whose mom swam the 1984 Olympic 200m fly and whose sister competed at last week’s world figure skating championships, placed fourth in the Tokyo Olympic 400m free at age 14.

Last summer, she won the 200m fly and 400m IM at the world championships, becoming the youngest individual world champion since 2011.

This summer, she could be at the center of a showdown in the 400m free at the world championships with reigning world champion Ledecky and reigning Olympic champion Ariarne Titmus of Australia. They are the three fastest women in history in the event.

Around age 7, McIntosh transcribed Ledecky quotes and put them on her wall.

MORE: McIntosh chose swimming and became Canada’s big splash

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Hilary Knight leads new-look U.S. women’s hockey roster for world championship

Hilary Knight

Hilary Knight headlines a U.S. women’s hockey roster for this month’s world championship that lacks some of the biggest names from last year’s Olympic silver-medal team. Changes have been made as the U.S. looks to end losing streaks to Canada, both overall and in major finals.

The full roster is here. Worlds start Wednesday in Brampton, Ontario, and run through the gold-medal game on April 16.

It was already known that the team would be without stalwart forwards Kendall Coyne Schofield, who plans to return to the national team after having her first child this summer, and Brianna Decker, who announced her retirement last month.

Notable cuts include the No. 1 goalies from the last two Olympics: Alex Cavallini, who returned from Christmas childbirth for the tryout camp this past week, and Maddie Rooney, the breakout of the 2018 Olympic champion team.

Cavallini, 31, was bidding to become the first player to make an Olympic or world team after childbirth since Jenny Potter, who played at the Olympics in 2002, 2006 and 2010 as a mom, plus at several world championships, including less than three months after childbirth in 2007.

Forward Hannah Brandt, who played on the top line at last year’s Olympics with Knight and Coyne Schofield, also didn’t make the team.

In all, 13 of the 25 players on the team are Olympians, including three-time Olympic medalists forward Amanda Kessel and defender Lee Stecklein.

The next generation includes forward Taylor Heise, 23, who led the 2022 World Championship with seven goals and was the 2022 NCAA Player of the Year at Minnesota.

The team includes two teens — 19-year-old defender Haley Winn and 18-year-old forward Tessa Janecke — who were also the only teens at last week’s 46-player tryout camp. Janecke, a Penn State freshman, is set to become the youngest U.S. forward to play at an Olympics or worlds since Brandt in 2012.

Abbey Levy, a 6-foot-1 goalie from Boston College, made her first world team, joining veterans Nicole Hensley and Aerin Frankel.

Last summer, Canada repeated as world champion by beating the U.S. in the final, six months after beating the U.S. in the Olympic final. Canada is on its longest global title streak since winning all five Olympic or world titles between 1999 and 2004.

Also at last summer’s worlds, the 33-year-old Knight broke the career world championship record for points (now up to 89). She also has the most goals in world championship history (53). Knight, already the oldest U.S. Olympic women’s hockey player in history, will become the second-oldest American to play at a worlds after Cammi Granato, who was 34 at her last worlds in 2005.

The Canadians are on a four-game win streak versus the Americans, capping a comeback in their recent seven-game rivalry series from down three games to none. Their 5-0 win in the decider in February was their largest margin of victory over the U.S. since 2005.

Last May, former AHL coach John Wroblewski was named U.S. head coach to succeed Joel Johnson, the Olympic coach.

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