U.S. Women’s Soccer Heads To Knockout Round Of The FIFA World CupTobin Heath in action at the 2019 Women's World Cup on June 20, 2019 on Le Havre, France.
After winning all three games in group play of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the U.S. women’s national team is preparing to meet Spain in the Round of 16 on Monday in Reims, France.
The U.S. won first place in Group F, completing the preliminary stage with a 2-0 win over Sweden on Thursday.
Spain finished in second place in Group B, behind Germany, giving up just two goals in three games. After defeating South Africa 3-1, Spain lost 1-0 to Germany and tied China 0-0.
Monday’s game has a noon ET kickoff at Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims.
Two-time Olympian Alex Morgan and three-time Olympian Carli Lloyd have led a strong U.S. offensive burst that produced a World Cup-record 18 goals in the group stage. Morgan scored five goals and had three assists in a 13-0 win over Thailand, tying a World Cup scoring record, and Lloyd scored three times despite starting just once in three games.
The U.S. is seeking its second consecutive World Cup championship and fourth overall. The championship game is set for July 7 in Paris.
Lexi Thompson, who made her Olympic debut in Rio in 2016, is on a hot streak entering this week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Minnesota.
She is up to No. 2 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings following a win at the Shoprite LPGA Classic and a pair of second-place finishes. A first- or second-place finish this weekend could put her on top of the world rankings, something an American woman hasn’t done since 2016 Olympian Stacy Lewis reached No. 1 in 2014.
Thompson is well positioned to make her second Olympic team next year. She is No. 2 in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Golf Rankings, trailing only Korea’s Jin-Young Ko. Also on target for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 are sisters Nelly and Jessica Korda, who are ranked 10th and 12th, respectively. Nelly Korda has finished among the top 10 in seven LPGA tournaments this season, an accomplishment matched only by Canada’s Brooke Henderson.
The Olympic qualification period goes through June 2020. All golfers in the top 15 qualify for the Olympics, up to a maximum of four per country. After that, allocations are filled on world rankings with two per nation.
The Women’s PGA Championship, one of five women’s majors, consists of four rounds of individual stroke play with a cut coming after Friday’s second round. The tournament concludes Sunday.
Other American golfers in the field include 2016 Olympian Gerina Piller, who has one top-10 finish this year, and Lewis.
TV: 6 p.m. ET Thursday and Friday, Golf Channel; 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, NBC
Webcast: NBC Sports app
The U.S. men’s national team is getting hot just in time for a return home.
The U.S., which has won four consecutive matches in FIVB Nations League play, hosts Japan, Canada and China in matches Friday through Sunday at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago. The home stand follows three weekends of play in Europe.
“We’re happy with the way we improved. We’re excited to go back to the USA and play in front of our fans,” 2016 Olympian Taylor Sander said.
Three wins last week in France boosted the U.S. into sixth place in the Nations League standings with a 5-4 record. As host team of the Nations League final round in July, the U.S. has already secured one of the six final spots. Among those battling for playoff spots are No. 11 Japan and No. 10 Canada.
Sander, an outside hitter, led the U.S. with 16 points on 14 kills and two blocks in last Sunday’s four-set win over No. 5 France.
The U.S. hosts Japan at 9 p.m. ET Friday, Canada at 8:30 p.m. ET Saturday and China at 5:30 p.m. ET Sunday.
TV: 9 p.m. ET Sunday, Olympic Channel
Men’s Soccer -- Gold Cup
The U.S. men’s soccer team finally gets a chance for payback on Saturday in Cleveland. Coming off a 4-0 win against Guyana on Tuesday night in its opening game of the Gold Cup, the U.S. faces Trinidad & Tobago at 8 p.m. ET Saturday at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland. A 2-1 loss to Trinidad & Tobago in October 2017 prevented the U.S. from qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Following 20 months without a competitive match, the new-look U.S. team is back with new coach Gregg Berhalter and only seven returning players from the team that won the 2017 Gold Cup. Saturday’s game is the second of three games in the group stage; the third game is Wednesday against Panama in Kansas City, Kansas. In his second international game, Tyler Boyd scored two goals for the U.S. on Tuesday, and Paul Arriola had a goal and an assist.
Surfing -- Oi Rio Pro
John John Florence and Kolohe Andino hold down the one-two spots in the World Surf League’s men’s points standings entering this week’s competition in the Oi Rio Pro tournament in Rio de Janeiro. Florence is the only surfer, male or female, to have title wins in two of the season’s four competitions thus far. On the women’s side, Americans fill five of the top seven spots, led by Caroline Marks at No. 2 behind defending champion Stephanie Gilmore of Australia. Third-ranked Carissa Moore has finished in the top five at every competition this season and 2018 WSL runner-up Lakey Peterson is coming off a win in the Margaret River Pro in Australia.
Rowing -- World Cup II
Twelve Olympians, including two-time Olympic gold medalist Meghan Musnicki, are among 14 U.S. crews competing in World Cup II this week in Poznan, Poland. Musnicki and 2016 Olympian Felice Mueller are rowing in the women’s eight boat. Other U.S. women include 2016 Olympians Megan Kalmoe and Tracy Eisser in women’s pair, two-time Olympian Gevvie Stone teaming up with Cicely Madden in double sculls, and Olympic eight-boat gold medalist Emily Regan joining one of the two U.S. four crews. Two crews in the men’s four include 2016 Olympians Austin Hack, Alex Karwoski and Michael DiSanto. Andrew Campbell Jr., who made his Olympic debut in 2016, is combining with Nicholas Trojan in lightweight men’s double sculls. In the Paralympic portion of the competition, Hallie Smith is entered in women’s PR1 single sculls, and the team of Alexandra Reilly, Todd Vogt, Charlie Nordin, Jaclyn Smith and Karen Petrik are in mixed coxed four.
TV: 4:30 a.m., 6 a.m., 3:30 p.m. ET Sunday, Olympic Channel
Basketball -- 3x3 World Cup
The U.S. men go after their first gold medal in the FIBA 3x3 World Cup this weekend in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Led by former Purdue University star Robbie Hummel, the U.S. began the tournament on Wednesday with a historic victory over four-time defending world champion Serbia. Hummel scored a game-high nine points in a 21-16 victory against Serbia. It was the first win ever for the U.S. against Serbia and halted Serbia’s international win streak at 15. The U.S., which won both of its first two games, finishes up group play on Friday with games against South Korea and the Netherlands. A first- or second-place finish in Group A would advance Team USA to Saturday’s quarterfinal round. The semifinals and medal rounds are Sunday. 3x3 basketball will make its Olympic debut in Tokyo in 2020.
Women’s Field Hockey -- FIH Pro League
The U.S. women’s national team will try to finish its first season in the FIH Pro League with a win on home turf Saturday night. Team USA faces Germany at 7 p.m. ET Saturday at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The U.S. has just one regulation victory in 15 matches this season with a young team but fell to Germany by just one goal in an April meeting overseas. Germany is one of four teams that has qualified for the Pro League Grand Final. Lauren Moyer and Danielle Grega have each scored three goals for the U.S.
Women’s Softball -- USA vs. Japan
The U.S. women’s national team begins its international schedule this weekend with three games against rival Japan in a showdown between the world’s No. 1 and No. 2 teams. The series features games on Saturday and Sunday in Sendai, Japan and the final game Tuesday at the Tokyo Dome. Both teams have already clinched spots in the six-team tournament that will be held at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The U.S. secured its Olympic berth by winning last year’s world championship. The team includes two-time Olympic medalist Cat Osterman and 2008 Olympic silver medalist Monica Abbott, both dominant pitchers. Osterman came out of retirement last year in order to make a run at a third Olympic Games, after softball was left off the 2012 and 2016 Olympic programs.
Skateboard -- Vans Park Series
U.S. skateboarders had strong finishes in the Vans Park Series opener in Shanghai, claiming three of the top four spots in the men’s competition. Roman Pabich, a 17-year-old, and 15-year-old CJ Collins finished one-two and Patrick Ryan was fourth. The second stop in the Vans Park Series is this week in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Other U.S. men include Alex Sorgente, Tom Schaar and Jagger Eaton. Jordyn Barratt, who finished fifth in Shanghai, is among the U.S. women. Other top women include Brighton Zeuner and Nicole Hause. The prelims and semifinals are Saturday, followed by the men’s and women’s finals on Sunday.
Canoe/Kayak -- Slalom World Cup II
Ashley Nee, a 2016 Olympian, is competing in the one-woman kayak event at this week’s ICF Slalom World Cup 2 in Bratislava, Slovakia. She missed qualifying for the semifinal round by just four spots in World Cup I in London. Joining her in Bratislava are Evy Leibfarth, who is entering the kayak and canoe events, and Tyler Westfall, who is racing in one-man kayak.
Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic sports since 1996, when he was an assistant bureau chief in Atlanta. He is sports editor of the Cape Cod Times and a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.