As you settle into your weekend, Team USA athletes are getting ready to compete all around the world. Keep track of the biggest events and how to follow them on Team USA This Weekend.
Beach Volleyball Stars Compete At World Tour Finals
The world’s best beach volleyball players are gathered in Rome this week for a tournament that rewards Olympic ranking points.
Thirteen U.S. teams are competing in the FIVB World Tour Finals, which award 1,200 Olympic ranking points to each winner.
The main draw began Thursday, with the men’s and women’s finals on Sunday.
Among the women’s teams are five-time Olympian Kerri Walsh Jennings and Brooke Sweat, who are third in the rankings with 6,780 points. Just above them are Alix Klineman and April Ross with 8,160 points, though they haven’t taken part in enough tournaments to officially be ranked. The top two U.S. teams in the Olympic rankings next year qualify for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Walsh Jennings, a three-time Olympic gold medalist, is going after her 57th career win on the FIVB World Tour.
“We are determined to have a good finish this week,” Walsh Jennings said.
Joining them in the main draw are Klineman and Ross, Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil, and Kelley Larsen and Emily Stockman.
Phil Dalhausser, a three-time Olympian, is the only World Tour player who has won in Rome more than once, dating back to his first win there in 2010 with two-time Olympian Todd Rogers. This time, Dalhausser is teaming up with his 2016 Olympic teammate Nick Lucena. They have 4,880 points in Olympic qualification but not enough tournaments to be ranked. One of the teams above them are Americans Trevor Crabb and Tri Bourne, who have 5,600 points.
Also in the men’s tournament are the teams of Taylor Crabb and Jake Gibb, and Billy Allen and Stafford Slick.
TV: 6 a.m. and noon ET Saturday, noon Sunday, Olympic Channel
U.S. Men’s Basketball Team Reaches World Cup’s Second Round
The U.S. Men’s National Team moves into the second round of the FIBA World Cup on Saturday in Shenzhen, China.
Team USA, which is attempting to be the first to win three consecutive World Cup championships, was triumphant in all three of its games in the first round and won Group E.
Khris Middleton of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks has helped Team USA to a perfect start, including scoring the game-winning free throws with 2.1 seconds left in overtime in a 93-92 victory over Turkey on Tuesday.
Saturday, Middleton meets up with Bucks teammate and NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, who is one of the star players for Greece.
Team USA faces Brazil on Monday in another second-round game. The quarterfinals are Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by the semifinals on Friday and championship game on Sunday.
A top two finish among teams from the Americas would secure a spot in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.
“The chemistry is unbelievable right now and it can only go up from here,” said Team USA center Myles Turner of the Indiana Pacers.
Diamond League Season Wraps Up In Brussels
Noah Lyles goes after a Diamond League double Friday in Brussels.
After powering to a Diamond League season championship in the men’s 100-meter sprint last week in Zurich, Switzerland, Lyles seeks another Diamond Trophy in the 200 in Friday’s season-ending Diamond League meet as part of the 43rd AG Memorial Van Damme. His time of 19.50 seconds set in July remains the fastest time in the world this season and makes him the fourth fastest man ever at the distance.
Lyles won the 200 in the USATF Outdoor Championships and has been focusing on that race all year.
Lyles is one of 29 Americans competing for Diamond Trophies, or Diamond League event titles, on Saturday. Another three Americans, including Olympic gold medalist Ryan Crouser, were in the men’s shotput on Thursday night.
World silver medalist Michael Cherry is one of six Americans in the men’s 400-meter, an event in which Michael Norman led a 1-2-3-4 U.S. sweep at the Diamond League stop in Stockholm. Two-time Olympic gold medalist Christian Taylor and three-time Olympic medalist Will Claye are among four Americans in the triple jump.
The women’s competition includes two-time Olympic medalist Brittney Reese going after a Diamond Trophy in the long jump, Olympic silver medalist Nia Ali and world-record holder Keni Harrison among four Americans in the 100-meter hurdles, and two-time Olympic medalist Jenn Suhr and 2016 Olympic silver medalist Sandi Morris in the pole vault.
TV: 8 p.m. ET Saturday, Olympic Channel
Webcast: 12:20 p.m. Friday, NBC Sports App
Serena Is Going Strong In The US Open
Serena Williams is on the verge of a historic Saturday.
A win in the US Open women’s singles title match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York would be the 24th Grand Slam singles title for Williams, tying a record held by Margaret Court. It would also be her seventh US Open title, a record for any woman or man in the Open Era. Both Williams and Chris Evert have won six times.
Williams is seeking to win the US Open for the first time since 2014 and win a Grand Slam tournament for the first time since giving birth more than two years ago.
The four-time Olympic gold medalist was seeded eighth in this year’s tournament and blasted through her first five matches, losing just one set so far to rising star Caty McNally of the U.S. in the second round. She beat No. 5 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine on Thursday night to advance to the final.
Williams is in the finals for the second consecutive year and the 10th time overall. She lost to Naomi Osaka of Japan in last year’s final.
Williams isn’t the only American closing in on a title in New York.
Unseeded American teammates Caroline Dolehide and Vania King advanced to Friday’s semifinal round in women’s doubles. They’ll face fourth-seeded Elise Mertens of Belgium and Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus. King has won Grand Slam titles in doubles twice, including the 2010 US Open.
Bethanie Mattek-Sands and British teammate Jamie Murray will play for a second consecutive title in mixed doubles on Saturday. She is playing with Jamie Murray of Scotland. They will meet Chan Hao-ching of Chinese Taipai and Michael Venus of New Zealand.
Archery -- World Cup Final
Three-time Olympian Brady Ellison is chasing after another piece of archery history this weekend in Moscow. Ellison, ranked No. 1 in the world, is the top seed in men’s recurve in the Archery World Cup Final. He is attempting to become the first archer in any discipline to win five world cup championships. A three-time Olympic medalist, Ellison won his first world championship earlier this year. He faces Artern Makhnenko of Russia in the quarterfinals to begin play Saturday. Alexis Ruiz is the top seed in women’s compound, and Braden Gellenthien is the No. 2 seed in men’s compound. Joining Gellenthien in men’s compound is James Lutz. The compound competition is Friday, followed by recurve on Saturday.
TV: 5 p.m. ET Friday, 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Olympic Channel
Men’s Soccer -- USMNT vs. Mexico
The U.S. Men’s National Team heads to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, to begin its preparation for the Concacaf Nations League. The U.S. faces Mexico on Friday night (8:30 p.m. ET) for the first of two international friendlies prior to the start of the Nations League. The U.S. meets Uruguay in a friendly on Tuesday in St. Louis. The U.S. is coming off a runner-up finish in the Gold Cup in July and among those on the team are goalkeeper Zack Steffen, who posted four shutouts during the Gold Cup, and Chelsea FC’s Christian Pulisic.
Surfing -- World Surfing Games
Carissa Moore, Caroline Marks and Courtney Conlogue, who are all ranked among the top six in the World Surf League, will be in the water for the U.S. when the women’s competition in the World Surfing Games begins Saturday in Miyazaki, Japan. Moore, a three-time world champion who competes for Hawaii, is ranked No. 1, followed by Marks at No. 5 and Conlogue at No. 6. Because athletes must compete in either the 2019 or 2020 World Surfing Games to be eligible for the 2020 Olympic debut of surfing, this year’s event has drawn many of the top surfers in the world. The U.S. is on track to qualify two women and two men for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 through the 2019 World Surf League standings. The men’s competition in the World Surfing Games, featuring 11-time world champion Kelly Slater, Kolohe Andino and Conner Coffin, is scheduled to begin Tuesday, pending wave conditions.
Skateboarding -- Vans Park Series Championships
Two-time Vans Park Series champions Brighton Zeuner and Alex Sorgente are among a stacked field competing in the Vans Park Series World Championships in Salt Lake City. The preliminary and semifinal rounds are Friday, followed by the women’s and men’s finals Saturday at Vans - Utah Sports Commission Skatepark. Other top U.S. skateboarders include Tristan Rennie, Cory Juneau, Keegan Palmer and Jagger Eaton on the men’s side, and Jordyn Barratt, Autumn Tust and Lizzie Armanto on the women’s side. Juneau is coming off a win in the Vans Park Series stop in Paris last month. Armanto finished second in Paris and won a bronze medal in X Games Minneapolis. Skateboard park and street events will make their Olympic debuts next year in Tokyo.
Pentathlon -- World Championships
The UIPM Pentathlon World Championships finish up in Budapest, Hungary, this weekend with the women’s individual finals Friday, men’s finals Saturday and mixed relay Sunday. The U.S. team includes 2020 U.S. Olympic Team nominee Samantha Achterberg and Heidi Hendrick, who teamed up for an 11th-place finish in women’s relay. U.S. men include 2020 Olympic Team nominee Amro Elgeziry and Tyler Evans.
Halfpipe Skiing -- New Zealand World Cup
Trick time has arrived for two-time Olympian Aaron Blunck. A two-time world champion in halfpipe skiing, Blunck is among 10 Americans opening the season this weekend in a world cup competition at the Winter Games NZ in Cardrona, New Zealand. Blunck, a bronze medalist in the Winter Youth Olympic Games Innsbruck 2012, landed a double cork 1440 to help him win his second consecutive world title in February. He’ll be joined in the men’s competition by Hunter Hess, 2016 Youth Olympic Games gold medalist Birk Irving, 2014 Olympian Lyman Currier, Jaxin Hoerter, Cassidy Jarrell and Taylor Seaton. Svea Irving, Hanna Faulhaber and Riley Jacobs are in the women’s competition. Qualifying is Friday, followed by the final round on Saturday.
TV: 7 p.m. ET Friday, Olympic Channel
Webcast: 7 p.m. Friday, olympicchannel.com
Cycling -- Mountain Bike World Cup Final
Kate Courtney, a three-time world cup winner this season, is in third place in the UCI cross-country rankings entering this week’s world cup finals at Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia. Courtney, who finished fifth last week in the world championships, has won three Olympic cross-country world cup races and two short track cross-country races. Among other Americans also going after podium finishes is Chloe Woodruff, who is ranked 18th. Men’s contenders include Keegan Swenson, who is 26th in the world cup rankings, and Christopher Blevins, who is 41st. Short track races are set for Friday, followed by downhill on Saturday and Olympic cross-country on Sunday.
Karate -- Premier League
Thomas Scott, who is ranked sixth in the world, and Brian Irr, who is ranked 10th, are among the U.S. athletes competing in this week’s Karate1 Premier League stop in Tokyo. Scott is competing in the men’s 75 kg. weight class and Irr is in the 84+ kg. class. Others in the competition include Brian Ramrup, men’s 67 kg.; Kamran Madani, men’s 84 kg.; Tyler Hudson and Madison Malone, women’s 45 kg.; Brandi Robinson, women’s 55 kg.; Elisa Au Fonseca, women’s 61 kg.; and Cheryl Murphy, women’s 68 kg. Karate will make its Olympic debut in 2020, and this weekend’s tournament is the test event for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Competition begins Friday at Nippon Budokan, an indoor arena and Olympic venue that hosted the test event for judo last week. The medal rounds are Sunday.
Canoe/Kayak -- Canoe Slalom World Cup Final
Evy Leibfarth, a 15-year-old competing on the world cup tour for the first time, is in eighth place in one-woman canoe entering this week’s canoe slalom world cup final in Prague, Czech Republic. She is also the highest-ranked American woman in kayak at 15th place. Other top U.S. paddlers include 2016 Olympian Michal Smolen, who is 13th in one-man kayak, and three-time Olympian Casey Eichfeld, who is 17th in one-man canoe. The finals in women’s kayak and men’s canoe are Saturday, followed by women’s canoe and men’s kayak on Sunday.