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Soccer owns sports nationalism. There are world championships and continental championships in all kinds of sports, but when it comes to countries playing against each other, soccer's tournament is more spectacular than all the others put together. Hey, win the World Cup, baby, you're ticker tape on Broadway.

Marking the first time any women's team has been celebrated in New York's famed Canyon of Heroes, thousands of fans turned out Friday for a parade honoring the U.S. women's soccer team's record third World Cup title.

The ticker-tape parade comes on the heels of another U.S. achievement: a return to the No. 1 spot in FIFA's rankings that were released this morning.

The U.S. women's national team is basking in the glow of the new FIFA World Cup trophy they claimed with an emphatic 5-2 win over Japan on Sunday. Led by Carli Lloyd's three first-half goals, the win touched off celebrations and drew a huge TV audience, according to Fox.

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For the U.S. women's soccer team, three is the magic number. In Vancouver last night, the team won their third soccer World Cup, thanks to three spectacular goals by the U.S. captain. NPR's Shereen Marisol Meraji has the story.

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And next, to the streets of Vancouver. Throngs of American soccer fans brought traffic to a crawl there yesterday. They were celebrating a Women's World Cup championship.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: USA, USA, USA.

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The U.S. team won the Women's World Cup soccer final 5-2 in a game that brought U.S. fans to their feet, reduced polished sportswriters to all-caps expressions of awe and rewrote FIFA records — and that was just in the first half.

The game began in spectacular fashion: In the first five minutes, captain Carli Lloyd scored two swift goals — the fastest two goals in FIFA history, according to the FIFA Women's World Cup Twitter account.

Just a few minutes later, Lauren Holiday brought the score up to 3-0.

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Sunday's World Cup Is U.S. Women's Chance For Payback

Jul 5, 2015

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The Chicago Blackhawks have traded forward Brandon Saad to the Columbus Blue Jackets in a seven-player deal. 

Many people took notice when a Sports Illustrated analyst dismissed women's sports as "not worth watching" earlier this week. Unfortunately for SI's Andy Benoit, two of those who noticed were Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers.

Ah, it's summer, and sport is of a sweeter sort now — don't you think? For instance, of all the jobs in sport, I think maybe the best is retrieving foul balls. The boys and girls in that job get to wear uniforms and gloves, but mostly they just sit and occasionally gather up a foul ball, then give it away to some happy fan. Isn't that a neat job?

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And it's time for sports.

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Updated at 12:15 p.m. ET On June 17:

U.S. veteran Abby Wambach, making her second start of the World Cup, scored her first goal of the tournament and the 183rd of her storied international career to push the Americans past Nigeria on Tuesday in Vancouver, Canada.

The 1-0 victory allowed the U.S. to win Group D and advance into the elimination rounds, where they'll face another group's third-place team on Monday, followed by a possible matchup against Cameroon or China later next week.

Updated 10:55 p.m. ET:

For the third time in six years, the Chicago Blackhawks have won the Stanley Cup. Their 2-0 victory Monday night over the Tampa Bay Lightning even offered an opportunity the team didn't have the two previous times — the chance to celebrate the title on its home ice.

It's Chicago's sixth Stanley Cup overall, having previously also won in 1934, 1938 and 1961, as well as the two recent titles in 2010 and 2013.

When we asked adults who play sports which one they play the most, golf topped the list. That's right: Our poll finds that a day on the links beat out soccer, softball and tennis.

My first reaction was: Whaaat? Golf is played by people riding around in motorized carts; how much exercise could you possibly get?

Play ball! Fore! Swish!

Americans love sports — watching them and playing them.

But as participants, Americans' relationship with sports changes as we grow older. About three-quarters of adults say they played sports when they were younger. By the time people are in their late 20s, however, only 26 percent say they've played sports in the past year.

Those are just two of the findings from the latest poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health that takes a look at sports and health in America.

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Shaq Encourages Fans To Meme His Fall

May 8, 2015

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Fans of Spanish soccer may see their beloved pastime cut short this season.

Spain's soccer federation says it will halt all professional games "indefinitely" starting May 16, to protest a new law regulating the sale of television game rights. But Spain's professional soccer league said today it had begun legal proceedings to prevent the games from being canceled.

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Two members of the New England Patriots' staff probably violated the NFL's playing rules by tampering with game balls, according to a lengthy review of the scandal that's come to be known as "Deflategate."

The report names two Patriots workers who had access to footballs before a pivotal game; it also states, "it is more probable than not that Tom Brady was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities."

It's interesting to note the major differences in the way the media deals with sports stars and entertainment celebrities in public.

When entertainment personalities are interviewed, they are dressed to the nines, and the interrogation consists mostly of compliments. Athletes, however, are interviewed all grubby and sweaty, and primarily, they are rudely asked to explain themselves. Why did you strike out? How could you have possibly dropped that pass?

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