WORLD CUP

Rapinoe set for Sunday’s final

LYON, France — United States forward Megan Rapinoe said she is still on track to be ready for Sunday’s World Cup final against Netherlands. Rapinoe sat out of the semifinal Tuesday with a slight hamstring strain. She said after the game she would be fine for the final, and she reiterated that the following day.

“I do expect to be healthy for the final, feeling really good. I had a good session today and feeling better every day,” Rapinoe said on Friday. “It was really nothing too serious, but obviously with such a short time between games, just wasn’t able to go. I felt like for myself and for the team, it was the best to not even try.

“It’s was just minor to begin with, so every day it feels better and better, just increasing the load and I’ll be ready for the final.”

With so much talk about goal celebrations throughout this World Cup, one flew somewhat under the radar during the United States’ 2-1 semifinal win over England.

After Christen Press scored in the 10th minute of the game, she looked to the sky and raised both her arms. When asked about her gesture after the game, Press said, “I was thinking about my mom,” then quickly had to excuse herself.

Press’ mother, Stacy, died earlier this year at the age of 58. Press’ father, Cody, told Sports Illustrated she was taken off life support following a brain aneurysm, a complication that occurred as Stacy fought a rare brain tumor, Stage IV glioblastoma.

Cody Press said his wife would have loved that goal Press scored against England, a header past goalkeeper Carly Telford. Press only started the match because Rapinoe needed to rest a hamstring injury, and she not only scored, but muted England’s top player, right back Lucy Bronze.

“I felt like a little bit surreal,” Press said. “Like the whole moment was surreal. I think the game was so intense, it was so much defending, it was emotional, back and forth. I think it feels a little bit like I was watching from afar.”

NFL

Dolphins DT in stable condition

MIAMI — Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Kendrick Norton’s football career is over, but friends and family close to the former University of Miami standout have shifted their focus from despair to optimism.

Norton was no longer in critical condition as of Friday, a day after his early Thursday morning car crash that resulted in his left arm being amputated. His health improved to stable condition on Thursday night, a source told the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

“It’s sinking in ... I’m just glad ma boi’s Alive,” Malki Kawa, Norton’s agent, posted on social media late Thursday following the incident. “I could be helping to plan a funeral right now... Instead, praise God he’s alive and well ... #prayersup4bignort.”

An investigative report following the incident was not yet available on Friday.

Norton’s arm was amputated after his 2017 Ford F250 rolled over onto its roof after colliding with a concrete barrier at approximately 1:18 a.m. Thursday on the Dolphin Expressway (State Road 836) westbound ramp, leading to the Palmetto Expressway (State Road 826), according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

The vehicle overturned after hitting the barrier, and came to a final rest on its roof.

“With sadness, I can confirm that Kendrick Norton was in a car accident last night and suffered multiple injuries, including the amputation of his arm,” Norton’s agent posted on Twitter early Thursday morning following the incident. “We ask that you continue to pray for him. His family also asks that the public respect Kendrick’s privacy.”

Norton, who played three college seasons with the Miami Hurricanes, joined the Miami Dolphins last December and was expected to compete for a spot on the team’s 53-man roster this season.

Tedy Bruschi suffers stroke: Former New England Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi had another stroke on Thursday, according to a statement from his family.

Bruschi is “recovering well,” according to the statement tweeted by Bruschi’s foundation.

Bruschi immediately recognized the warning signs of arm weakness, face drooping and speech difficulty, the statement said.

The statement thanked doctors, nurses and staff at Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro, Mass., for “all they have done.”

After suffering a stroke in February, 2005, just days after the Super Bowl, Bruschi established “Tedy’s Team,” which raises money for stroke research.

Bruschi retired in 2009 after 13 years with the Patriots and winning three Super Bowls.

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