- Associated Press - Thursday, December 17, 2015

SOCCER

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Abby Wambach walked off the field for the final time like a rock star - mic drop and all. It sounded as if she was ready to party like one, too.

She wasn’t able to leave with a victory in her final game with the U.S. national team. China’s 1-0 victory - the U.S. team’s first home loss in more than a decade - wasn’t going to diminish the triumphant nature of Wambach’s extraordinary career.

Wambach said her teammates apologized profusely to her afterward, but she told them, “There’s nothing to be sorry about. Today wasn’t about getting a result.”

Wambach played into the 72nd minute, managing two threatening headers and a shot on goal from inside the penalty area before subbing out of a match for the final time.

NEW YORK (AP) - Two previously charged defendants in the FIFA corruption case have pleaded not guilty to wire fraud conspiracy and other charges in a new indictment.

Former FIFA official Jose Maria Marin and Florida businessman Aaron Davidson entered the pleas in federal court in New York City. Both men left court without speaking to reporters.

In May, U.S. prosecutors named the two and 12 others in an indictment accusing soccer officials of accepting $150 million in bribes in exchange for rigging bids for lucrative marketing rights. A revised indictment announced earlier this month added 16 more defendants.

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) - El Salvador police say they have arrested the country’s former soccer federation president Reynaldo Vasquez, who is wanted by U.S. authorities on corruption charges relating to the growing FIFA scandal.

Salvadoran national police deputy director Howard Cotto says Vasquez was captured in a housing complex in the Costa del Sol tourist area, 34 kilometers (21 miles) south of the capital of San Salvador. He said Vasquez “was alone and put up no resistance.”

El Salvador’s supreme court approved Vasquez’s extradition to the United States last Friday. His whereabouts at the time were unknown and the court issued a warrant for his arrest.

BASEBALL

CHICAGO (AP) - All-Star third baseman Todd Frazier was dealt from the Cincinnati Reds to the Chicago White Sox as part of a three-team, seven-player trade that also included the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Los Angeles received second baseman Micah Johnson, right-hander Frankie Montas and outfielder Trayce Thompson from the White Sox, and Cincinnati got infielders Brandon Dixon and Jose Peraza and outfielder Scott Schebler from the Dodgers.

The 29-year-old Frazier, who won last summer’s All-Star Home Run Derby in Cincinnati, was an NL All-Star in each of the last two seasons and hit .255 this year with 43 doubles, 35 homers and 89 RBIs.

Frazier has a $7.5 million salary next year and can become a free agent after the 2017 season.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Minnesota Twins will add protective netting above the dugouts at Target Field for 2016, following Major League Baseball’s recent safety recommendations for some of the most expensive and most exposed seats at the ballpark.

The Twins already complied with MLB’s standard of netting between the dugouts for field-level seats within 70 feet of home plate. They announced they will literally go above and beyond that: The lower-level seats in Minnesota are closer to home plate than in any other MLB venue, so the organization decided to hang protective netting that will run the length of both dugouts and extend about 7 feet high.

NFL

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Andrew Luck went back to work but still isn’t ready to play.

Matt Hasselbeck missed practic, yet Colts coach Chuck Pagano remains optimistic the 40-year-old backup will start Sunday’s crucial game against Houston.

In Indianapolis, everything seems to be upside down and the only certainty is this: Luck will miss his fifth straight game, his seventh this season and his second in a row against his hometown team as he recovers from a lacerated kidney and partially torn abdominal muscle.

NBA

CLEVELAND (AP) - Kyrie Irving’s return date remains a mystery.

The All-Star point guard, who has missed Cleveland’s first 23 games recovering from a broken kneecap sustained in the NBA Finals, said he won’t be playing Thursday night against Oklahoma City.

Irving traveled with the Cavs on their road trip to Orlando and Boston, but didn’t play despite coach David Blatt saying last week there was a possibility he would be back on the floor.

After a report surfaced saying Irving would make his season debut against the Thunder, Irving went on Twitter to say it was false.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Derrick Henry, Kirby Smart and Alabama returned to the practice field after making the rounds on the awards circuit - or starting a new job.

The second-ranked Crimson Tide started preparation for the Dec. 31 semifinal against No. 3 Michigan State at the Cotton Bowl four days after Henry won the Heisman Trophy.

Smart was back running the defense after taking over as Georgia’s head coach. New defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt was merely an observer at practice.

Despite all the off-the-field goings-on, coach Nick Saban thinks the mindset appears better than leading up to last season’s playoffs. Alabama lost to eventual national champion Ohio State and Saban later said that thoughts of the upcoming NFL draft were a distraction to some players.

NEW YORK (AP) - Montana State quarterback Dakota Prukop, who plans to transfer to Oregon next season, led The Associated Press FCS All-America team, along with three-time first-team selection Cooper Kupp of Eastern Washington.

The team also included running backs Marshaun Coprich of Illinois State and Lamar’s Kade Harrington, who are finalists for FCS offensive player of the year with Kupp.

Kupp, a junior, has 114 catches for 1,642 yards and 19 touchdowns, all tops in FBS.

Prukop will be the second straight AP FCS All-America quarterback to transfer to Oregon, following Vernon Adams of Eastern Washington.

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