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FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images(MONTREAL) -- The U.S. women's soccer team is readying to take on top seed Germany in the semifinal round of the World Cup Tuesday night.

"We've been watching Germany a lot this tournament knowing that we could very well see them in the semifinal and the day's finally come," U.S. forward Alex Morgan said ahead of the 7 p.m. ET game in Montreal.

The winner of Tuesday's match will advance to the World Cup final on Sunday and play either England or Japan. Those two teams will face off on Wednesday in the other semifinal game.

U.S. head coach Jill Ellis said the matchup against Germany will be challenging.

"They're a good team in every line. They've got personalities and players, and I think it's going to be a great test for us but I certainly think we have players that will step up," she said.

She expects it to be a competitive match.

"They're a terrific team and I think it’s going to be a fantastic match. Two great teams worthy of a semifinal matchup," Ellis said.


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Chicago Bulls introduce first round pick Bobby Portis
 
     CHICAGO (AP) - With the Chicago Bulls already loaded in the frontcourt, Bobby Portis understands playing time won't come easy.
 
     Portis, the Bulls' first-round draft pick and reigning SEC Player of the Year out of Arkansas, said Monday he is prepared to do whatever it takes to play his way into a rotation that includes Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and Nikola Mirotic.
 
     General manager Gar Forman said at Portis' introductory news conference that the versatile rookie will have to work for everything he gets.
 
     The 6-foot-11, 248-pound power forward averaged 17.5 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game last season. Portis says he was the player always chosen last growing up in Little Rock, Arkansas - something he used as motivation all the way to becoming the 22nd overall pick.


Veteran guard Hinrich returning to Chicago Bulls
 
     CHICAGO (AP) - The Chicago Bulls say guard Kirk Hinrich has exercised his player option and will return next season.
 
     Terms were not disclosed in Monday's announcement.
 
     A 12-year NBA veteran, the 34-year old Hinrich has played in 833 regular-season games and averaged 11.4 points, five assists, three rebounds and 1.15 steals per game. He also has played in 65 playoff games.


Blackhawks agree to terms with D David Rundblad
 
     CHICAGO (AP) - The Chicago Blackhawks have agreed to terms with defenseman David Rundblad on a two-year extension through the 2016-17 season.
 
     The 24-year-old Rundblad had three goals and 11 assists in 49 games with the Blackhawks last season along with a career-best plus-17 rating. He saw time in five playoff games as the Blackhawks relied primarily on four defensemen to win the Stanley Cup championship.
 
     The Swede has 23 points (four goals, 19 assists) in 104 career NHL games over four seasons with Ottawa, Arizona and Chicago.


One day at a time, Cardinals putting up enviable record
 
     ST. LOUIS (AP) - Mike Matheny has zero interest in scanning the daily statistics that show just how efficiently the St. Louis Cardinals have dealt with the opposition.
 
     Matheny prefers players ignore it, too. He wants them to focus on keeping the franchise with the majors' best record rolling by grinding out at-bats, grinding out innings, briefly savoring results and moving on.
 
     Even without ace Adam Wainwright, the Cardinals' 2.61 ERA leads the majors by a wide margin. St. Louis has 30 saves and is 29-7 at home, the best ever in the divisional era that began in 1969 according to STATS. The Cardinals also lead the majors with 22 come-from-behind wins.
 
     The Cardinals open a series against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday.





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