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World Cup Notebook

June 29, 1999

Chart-topping actress-turned-singer Jennifer Lopez will sing live during the Women’s World Cup closing event at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl on July 10th.

To accommodate the expanded Closing Ceremonies, the start of the third-place match has been moved back 15 minutes to 10:15 a.m. PDT. Lopez will sing in between the third-place match and the final match at 12:30 p.m. The final match begins at 12:50 p.m.

``The Women’s World Cup will conclude with an exciting Closing Ceremonies featuring one of the hottest female stars today,″ said World Cup organizing director Marla Messing. ``Jennifer Lopez exemplifies the spirit of the Women’s World Cup, and we are thrilled to have her be a part of this history-making event.″

Lopez is already making history on her own. Last week the single’s debut single ``If You Had My Love″ was the first to claim the No. 1 slot on the Hot 100, Hot 100 single sales, and R&B singles sales charts simultaneously.

In addition, ``If You Had My Love″ became only the second song in Hot 100 singles history to be both No. 1 and the greatest gainer in both sales and airplay. The song’s video has been among the top five in airplay on MTV since May 17, and Lopez’s first Latin single, her duet with Marc Anthony, ``No Me Ames″ soared to No. 1 on last week’s Hot Latin Tracks chart.

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NO TV FOR NORWAY: The Norwegian team wasn’t happy when they turned on their televisions Sunday from their San Jose hotel room. The hotel didn’t have ESPN2 and they couldn’t watch the United States-North Korea match.

Norway’s coach Per-Mathias Hogmo was not pleased that he could not scout one of the other favorites in the tournament.

``We had to find another place to watch the game,″ he said. ``I watched around the corner at a sports bar with my (coaching staff).

Hogmo blamed FIFA for not being more careful when choosing accommodations for the teams.

``Maybe FIFA should check to see if hotels have ESPN2 beforehand,″ said Hogmo.

Linda Medalen, the team captain, was also critical of FIFA.

``It would be good to relax and watch game, but FIFA does not want us to,″ he said. ``It’s strange that we can’t watch (the games) from our rooms.″

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ROLE MODEL: United States goalkeeper Briana Scurry hopes she will be a role model and inspire more black children to take up soccer. Scurry is the only African-American starter on the team.

Soccer is mainly a white suburban sport in the U.S. and Scurry said she only played soccer because her family moved from Minneapolis to a predominantly white suburb when she was young.

Now Scurry hopes she can inspire more black children to take up the sport.

``I definitely see the day when we get to that, when more African-American kids will be playing,″ she said. ``Everything begins with a single step. For example, my nieces and nephews back in Minnesota saw me play and that made them want to try it.″

Scurry is sure that the future of soccer in the United States lies beyond white suburban families.

``I know I’m a pioneer now,″ Scurry said. ``But after I’m old and retired, I know we’ll see a lot more African-American players out there.″

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INJURED: Sweden’s title hopes were dampened with the injury to Hanna Ljungberg.

The midfielder who scored two goals in an earlier victory over Australia, left in the sixth minute of a 2-0 win Saturday over Ghana with a right knee injury.

Ljungberg hasn’t officially been listed as ``out″ for Wednesday’s match against Norway, but isn’t expected to play.

She was diagnosed with a ligament sprain with a possible tear.

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RATINGS: The Women’s World Cup’s television ratings are doing fine. The opening match of the United States vs. Denmark received a 1.7 rating on ABC.

ESPN’s audience for last Thursday’s U.S.-Nigeria game drew a 1.85 rating and was seen in 1.4 million homes. It was the second-highest rated soccer match on the network, behind the men’s World Cup semifinal last year between Brazil and the Netherlands.

Last Sunday’s United States-North Korea game on ESPN2 got a 1.96 rating and was seen in 1.3 million homes. It was the highest rating for any soccer match on ESPN2 and the fifth most-watched event on the network.

Overall, the tournament ratings are a .82 on ESPN and .51 on ESPN2. One cable ratings point equals 766,000 homes on ESPN and 644,000 homes on ESPN2.

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