The United States, still glowing over its upset of Brazil in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, got shown what a top team can do at full strength, losing to the Netherlands 2-0 Saturday.
Ronald de Boer scored on a deflection off Alexi Lalas two minutes into the game after a bad pass by Roy Wegerle set up a breakaway, and Clarence Seedorf scored 30 seconds into the second half after Philip Cocu's through ball beat the defense.The United States, preparing for the World Cup in June, beat Brazil for the first time ever on Feb. 10, but the World Cup champions were missing half their regular starters. In contrast, the Dutch were nearly at full strength for Saturday's exhibition.\ --------------------
WAKE RETIRES BROWN'S NUMBER: Skip Brown, the fifth-leading scorer in Wake Forest history and a three-time all-ACC selection, on Saturday became the ninth Demon Deacon to have his jersey number retired.
The 6-foot-1 Brown scored 2,034 points in a four-year career that ended in 1977. Brown remains the school's all-time leader in field goals made and is second in assists, third in steals and fourth in free-throw percentage.
``This is without question one of the greatest honors an athlete can receive,' said Brown, now a banking executive in Winston-Salem.\
``DIVERSITY' LAWSUIT: A former coach for Spartanburg Methodist College is moving his fight from the basketball court to federal court.
Scott Rigot has filed a lawsuit against the South Carolina college and three current and former officials, alleging he was fired in June 1996 because he opposed a college policy that ordered him to recruit white basketball players for his team, which was all black.
Rigot, who is white, asks for actual and punitive damages but does not specify an amount. He now lives in Alabama, where he works as an assistant basketball coach for the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Rigot posted a 158-31 record in six years at Spartanburg Methodist.
College officials have denied that Rigot was fired because he opposed the controversial policy, which promoted ``diversity' on the college's athletic teams.
PHILIPPOUSSIS COMES UP ACES: Whenever Mark Philippoussis runs into trouble, he turns to his big serve. It didn't fail him Saturday night as he used 17 aces to upset top-seeded Marcelo Rios 6-4, 7-6 (7-5) at the $700,000 St. Jude tournament in Memphis, Tenn.
Philippoussis, seeded fourth, will meet No. 2 seed Michael Chang today. Chang needed two tiebreakers to defeat Brazilian Gustavo Kuerten 7-6 (9-3), 7-6 (7-4) earlier Saturday.
``It is a big win, but I don't want to get too happy about it. It's just another win,' said Philippoussis, who is 0-4 against Chang.\
ROSSET, RUSEDSKI TO MEET: Defending champion Marc Rosset and Greg Rusedski, who met in a memorable match earlier this month, will have a rerun today in the final of the $1 million European Community Championship in Antwerp, Belgium.
The unseeded Rosset, of Switzerland, beat Patrick Rafter, ranked No. 3 in the world, in a serve-and-volley battle, 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-2), in a semifinal Saturday. Rusedski, of Britain, defeated Karol Kucera of Slovakia 6-4, 6-3.\
NOVOTNA, KOURNIKOVA ADVANCE: In Hanover, Germany, top-seeded Jana Novotna fended off the challenge of 16-year-old Anna Kournikova in the semifinals of the $450,000 Faber Grand Prix Saturday.
Novotna, 29, and the world's third-ranked player, defeated the Russian, 6-3, 6-3, to reach the tournament final for the second straight year. In today's final, she will face Switzerland's Patty Schnyder, who beat Belgium's Sabine Applemans, also 6-3, 6-3.