Vikings exercise option on coach's contract | A.M. Briefing
After leading the Minnesota Vikings to a surprising playoff berth last season, Leslie Frazier now has a contract through 2014. The Vikings exercised the...
The Associated Press; AP Sports Writer
Vikings exercise option
on coach's contract
After leading the Minnesota Vikings to a surprising playoff berth last season, Leslie Frazier now has a contract through 2014.
The Vikings exercised the fourth-year option on his contract Wednesday, helping Frazier avoid what would have been a lame-duck season in 2013 while also giving the team some flexibility going forward.
Frazier was entering the final year of his deal, and talks of an extension started to become an issue publicly as the Vikings mounted a stunning December run to the playoffs. Stuck at 6-6 and without injured receiver Percy Harvin, the Vikings rode Adrian Peterson to four straight victories, including a thriller over Green Bay in the regular-season finale, to thrust them into the postseason. They lost to the Packers the next week in the wild-card round.
U.S. women win again
Abby Wambach scored on a diving header in the 51st minute and the U.S. women's soccer team beat Scotland 3-1 in Nashville, Tenn., to give Wambach a victory in her 200th international match. Wambach became the eighth American to play at least 200 games for the national team, and she served as captain for the game in honor of the milestone.
Megan Rapinoe and Christen Press also scored to help the Americans give new coach Tom Sermanni his second victory in five days against his native Scotland. The Scots avoided the shutout when Suzanne Grant redirected Emma Mitchell's cross past keeper Hope Solo in the 81st minute.
Ronaldo helps Madrid tie
Cristiano Ronaldo scored on a spectacular header for host Real Madrid in a 1-1 draw with Manchester United in the first leg of their final-16 Champions League series.
After Danny Welbeck opened the scoring for United in the 20th minute with a header off a corner kick, Ronaldo rose high to meet Angel di Maria's swinging cross 10 minutes later for his 183rd goal for Madrid — and first against his former club.
Timbers acquire Zemanski
The Portland Timbers acquired midfielder Ben Zemanski from Chivas USA for allocation money and the right of first refusal to defender Jonathan Bornstein, who plays for the first-division Mexican club Tigres UANL. Zemanski, 24, has two goals and seven assists in three MLS seasons.
American John Isner powered his way into the quarterfinals of the SAP Open in San Jose, Calif., pounding 14 aces in a 7-6 (7-3), 2-6, 6-3 victory over Canada's Vasek Pospisil.
Azarenka wins; Stephens out
Fresh off winning a second consecutive Australian Open, top-ranked Victoria Azarenka of Belarus breezed into the third round of the Qatar Open in Doha with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Romina Oprandi of Switzerland.
American Sloane Stephens, who upset Serena Williams in the Australian Open quarterfinals, lost to Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-5).
USC fires coach
USC fired baseball coach Frank Cruz for violating NCAA rules regarding limits on practice time and organized team activities. Trojans athletic director Pat Haden said the school has self-imposed a reduction in the number of practice hours for the baseball team this season and next.
Cruz was 48-63 in two seasons with USC. Associate head coach Dan Hubbs, a former Trojans pitcher, has been promoted to head coach.
Miami tests entire team
Every Miami baseball player underwent testing recently for performance-enhancing drugs, including human growth hormone, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press. The testing for HGH is not typical for the school, the source said.
Rachel Alexandra in serious condition after surgery
Rachel Alexandra is in serious condition in Lexington, Ky., while recovering from surgery related to complications involving the birth of her filly. The 2009 Horse of the Year had surgery to repair an area of bruising in her small colon, which was injured during foaling, according to Stonestreet Farm.
• Teen star Lydia Ko shot a 10-under 63 to take the early lead in the first round of the LPGA Tour's season-opening Women's Australian Open in Canberra. Colombia's Mariajo Uribe was a stroke back. Top-ranked Yani Tseng shot a 68. Former Husky Paige Mackenzie had a 74.
• Defending champion Roger Federer of Switzerland cruised into the second round of the ABN AMRO tournament in Rotterdam, Netherlands, beating Grega Zemlja of Slovenia 6-3, 6-1.
• Former Chicago Bears receiver Johnny Knox said he's giving up football. Knox missed last season following surgery to stabilize a vertebra after he suffered a back injury against the Seahawks in the 2011 season.
• Former Dallas Cowboys kicker David Buehler signed with the New York Giants as competition for Lawrence Tynes, who is entering the final year of his contract.
• The Ottawa Senators' Erik Karlsson, the Norris Trophy winner last season as the NHL's top defenseman, will need surgery to repair his left Achilles after the tendon was cut by a skate blade against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
• The New Jersey Devils acquired left wing Alexei Ponikarovsky from the Winnipeg Jets for a 2014 fourth-round draft choice and a 2013 seventh-round pick.
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