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U.S. blanks Norway

Cindy Parlow scored a pair of first-half goals as the U.S. women's team defeated Norway 4-0 on Sunday to snap a four-game losing streak against its biggest rival.

The United States is 6-2-2 in international play this year, with both losses coming against Norway, the only team with a winning record (18-14-2) against the Americans.

Norway had beaten the United States four consecutive times, a streak dating to the gold medal game at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

Parlow scored the first goal in the 11th minute when she headed home a left-foot feed from Tiffeny Milbrett.

The United States capitalized on a Norway error to take a 2-0 lead in the 17th minute.

Aly Wagner fired a long pass from her own end and, with Milbrett challenging at the top of the box, Norway goalkeeper Astrid Johannessen kicked and missed. That left Milbrett an open net for her 88th career goal, third best in U.S. history.

Milbrett and Parlow connected again in the 30th minute, when Parlow headed home another Milbrett volley from the right corner.

Mia Hamm scored unassisted in traffic in the 90th minute for the final score.

ENGLAND: Leeds agreed to sell star defender Rio Ferdinand to Manchester United for a British record $45-million. Ferdinand, 23, put in a transfer request last week after completing one year of his five-year contract with Leeds.

Also, Liverpool pulled out of a deal to sign Leeds United midfielder Lee Bowyer because of the player's attitude. Liverpool had agreed to pay about $14-million for the 25-year-old, but Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier "wasn't convinced he had the hunger or desire to play for the club, qualities essential for any Liverpool player."

RONALDINHO HONORED: Brazilian star Ronaldinho received the Grand Medal from the mayor of Paris, the same day he returned to practice with the Paris Saint-Germain team.

"It's a veritable love story that Paris shares with soccer and with Brazil," Mayor Bertrand Delanoe said. When the French team was eliminated from the World Cup, "the Brazilian team became the team of France," Delanoe said.

SPAIN: World Cup star Rivaldo reached an agreement to end his contract with FC Barcelona. The 30-year-old scored five goals _ only teammate Ronaldo had more _ to help Brazil win its record fifth World Cup championship.

WUSA: Monica Gerardo scored in the 83rd minute to help visiting Washington beat San Jose 3-2. San Jose's Katia scored in stoppage time to pull the CyberRays (6-6-4) within a goal. The Freedom (7-5-4) took advantage of defensive miscues, scoring on a penalty kick and an own goal.

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