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Sports briefs: May 26

Soccer

Bayern defeats Dortmund 2-1 in Champions League finals

Arjen Robben found redemption at Wembley Stadium. He scored a go-ahead goal in the 89th minute to give Bayern Munich a 2-1 victory over German rival Borussia Dortmund on Saturday in the Champions League finals, ending four years of frustration for his team in club soccer's biggest tournament.

"I don't know how many times I dreamed about it," Robben said. "Everybody I spoke to before the game, I said, 'Today is going to be the night and we're going to do it.' To do it in the end is an unbelievable feeling."

Bayern had lost two of the last three Champions League finals.

A year earlier, Robben failed to convert a penalty kick in overtime as Bayern lost the finals in its own stadium against Chelsea in a shootout. This time, when he carried the European Cup toward the thousands of celebrating fans in red and white and raised it over his head, he received undivided adulation.

"There are so many emotions, especially after where we came from," Robben said. "Last year was such a disappointment."

In a game that featured a slew of chances for both teams, Mario Mandzukic put Bayern ahead in the 60th minute, and Ilkay Gundogan tied it with a penalty kick 8 minutes later after defender Dante fouled Marco Reus.

Robben had missed two great chances in the first half, reviving memories of last year and of the 2010 World Cup finals, when the winger missed the Netherlands' best chance during the loss to Spain.

Even Bayern great Franz Beckenbauer, the club's honorary president, said during halftime on television that "evidently in the big games he just can't score."

But this time, he could. Robben ran onto Franck Ribery's backheeled flick-on in the area and calmly slotted the ball past goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller to give Bayern its first Champions League victory since 2001 and fifth overall.

Rogers, openly gay, joins MLS' Galaxy

Robbie Rogers will play for the Los Angeles Galaxy of Major League Soccer in another step by openly gay athletes in professional sports. He told The Associated Press his fears about returning to soccer were eased by the strong support he received from family, fans and players, including Galaxy star Landon Donovan. Now Rogers is ready to accept his role as the league's first openly gay player.

"I don't know what I was so afraid of," Rogers said Friday. "It's been such a positive experience for me. The one thing I've learned from all of this is being gay is not that big of a deal to people."

"People are just really growing and accepting and loving," he added. "Those other things are just not that important to them. I think as the younger get older and the generations come and go, I think times are just becoming more accepting."

The 26-year-old player retired in February on the same day the former U.S. national team player publicly came out in a blog post.

Last month, NBA veteran Jason Collins came out, and Rogers spoke with Collins on the day of the center's announcement.

"I would have thought more athletes would have taken that step, I guess," Rogers said. "People have seen how accepting everyone has been of Jason's and my story. I think it's going to take just more time and more athletes coming out. It's all about seeing that it's not something to be afraid of. It's not going to hurt your career."

Rogers is an MLS veteran who spent the last two seasons in England. About a month ago, Rogers decided he wasn't truly ready to give up soccer. He trained with the Galaxy in recent weeks and hoped to continue his career in his native Southern California. The Galaxy made it happen by giving up high-scoring midfielder Mike Magee in a trade with the Chicago Fire, who held Rogers' MLS rights.

"I want to get back to soccer, which is what I love," Rogers said. "I get to do something I love, and I get to help people and be a positive role model. I'm really excited to set a great example for other kids that are going through the same thing I went through. It's a perfect world for me, a perfect world."

Rogers isn't likely to debut for Los Angeles immediately, although Coach Bruce Arena thinks Rogers already is in decent shape despite 18 months with little match experience. Arena figures Rogers could be a strong contributor to the Galaxy by July.


Horse racingDark Cove wins Churchill's feature race

Dark Cove grabbed the lead with a quarter-mile to run and held off late charges by Atigun and Najjaar to win the Grade III, $111,800 Louisville Handicap by a half-length on Saturday at Churchill Downs.

Dark Cove ran 1½ miles over a firm Matt Winn Turf Course in 2:27.29 and just missed Simmard's 2012 stakes record of 2:27.16. Rosie Napravnik rode the winner for the Spring Meet's leading trainer and owners, Mike Maker and Ken and Sarah Ramsey, respectively.

"The horse gives you 110 percent every time," Maker said. "He's all heart and class."

The Louisville Handicap was the second consecutive graded stakes win for Dark Cove. On April 26, the 6-year-old took the Grade II, $150,000 Elkhorn at Keeneland by 4¼ lengths — exactly one year from the day the Ramseys claimed him for $50,000. The Ramseys have banked $187,294 with Dark Cove since the claim.


Etc.

Mathies' WNBA debut on NBATV tonight

Former University of Kentucky standout A'dia Mathies is expected to make her WNBA debut on Sunday in the Los Angeles Sparks' opener against the visiting Seattle Storm. The game will be televised on NBATV at 8:30 p.m. Mathies averaged 4.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 1.5 assists in 17.5 minutes in two pre-season games.

■ Lexington Legends starter Bryan Brickhouse pitched seven shutout innings, giving up three hits to go with four strikeouts, and reliever Clayton Schulz finished off the host Hagerstown Suns in a 6-0 victory. Brickhouse improved to 3-3 and has a 2.13 ERA in nine starts. Mark Donato had three of the Legends' 12 hits.

■ Kentucky's Luis Orta set a school record and qualified for the NCAA Championships by running the 3,000-meter steeplechase in 8:42.22 on Friday in the NCAA East Preliminary Championships at Greensboro, N.C.

■ Notre Dame spokesman Dennis Brown said quarterback Everett Golson is no longer enrolled at the school. Golson, who led the Fighting Irish to an undefeated regular season and the national championship game in his first season as a starter during his sophomore season, was no longer enrolled in the school as of Friday. Brown said he couldn't comment on why because of federal privacy laws.

Tuukka Rask stopped 28 shots, Gregory Campbell scored twice and the Boston Bruins beat the visiting New York Rangers in Game 5 to advance to the NHL's Eastern Conference finals.


The last word

San Francisco 49ers Coach Jim Harbaugh on driving the pace car for Sunday's Indianapolis 500:

"I'm thrilled to be doing it. It will be one of the great memories of my life — as long as I don't screw it up."

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