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Olympic Berths On The Line In Soccer And Shooting & More From Team USA This Weekend

By Paul D. Bowker | Feb. 07, 2020, 12:01 a.m. (ET)


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.


Women’s Soccer Nears Olympic Berth

The U.S. women’s soccer team can lock in a seventh consecutive Olympic berth with a victory Friday night in Carson, California.

The U.S. faces Mexico in the semifinals of the Concacaf Women’s Olympic Qualifying tournament on Friday at Digital Health Sports Park with a spot in the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 hanging in the balance. Kickoff is 10 p.m. ET.

History is on the Americans’ side. The U.S. has never lost a game in an Olympic qualifier and the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup champions are unbeaten in their last 26 games.

A victory would also put the U.S. in Sunday’s Concacaf title game against Canada or Costa Rica. Both semifinal winners Friday clinch Olympic berths.

The U.S., which is seeking its fifth Olympic gold medal, did not give up a goal in three matches in the preliminary round, defeating Haiti, Panama and Costa Rica by a combined 18-0 to win Group A. Lindsey Horan, a 2016 Olympian and member of the 2019 World Cup team, has scored five goals in three games.

Follow along on social: Team USA on Twitter, U.S. Women’s National Team on Instagram and Crystal Dunn on Instagram.

Team USA And Canada Finish Women’s Ice Hockey Rivalry Series

The largest home crowd in U.S. women’s national team history will greet the squad when it faces Canada on Saturday night in the concluding game of the 2019-20 Rivalry Series.

The U.S., which is the defending Olympic and world champion, has won three of the four games in the series, including 3-1 on Wednesday night. The final game, which has already sold more than 11,000 tickets, is Saturday night at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Saturday’s crowd will surpass the record of 10,158 spectators who attended a 2002 game between the U.S. and Canada played at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

Opening faceoff is 10 p.m. ET Saturday.

The U.S. began the series on Dec. 14 with a 4-1 victory at Hartford, Connecticut.

Among the highlights in the series was three-time Olympic medalist Hilary Knight recording her 200th career point with an assist in Monday night’s game, a 3-2 overtime loss in Victoria, British Columbia. Knight also set up Hayley Scamurra’s winning goal on Wednesday and scored an empty net goal with 1:50 left in the game.

The five-game showdown is serving as a preview to the IIHF Women’s World Championship, which begins March 31 in Halifax and Truro, Nova Scotia. The U.S. is five-time defending world champion and also defeated Canada in a shootout to win the gold medal in the Olympic Games PyeongChang 2018.

Follow along on social: USA Hockey on Twitter, Hilary Knight on Instagram and USA Hockey on Instagram.

Shooting Olympic Team Trials For Air Rifle To Conclude

The first four U.S. Olympic Team berths in shooting are up for grabs in this week’s air rifle competition in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Lucas Kozeniesky, a 2016 Olympian and 2019 Pan American Games gold medalist, and Mary Tucker, a freshman at the University of Kentucky, are the leaders entering the three-day competition in the second, and final, stage of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Air Rifle.

Two Olympic team berths are available in both men’s and women’s 10-meter air rifle, and the spots will be determined by total scores from both stages of competition.

Tucker placed first in the opening stage of the trials in December, totaling 1256.4 points. Also in contention for the Olympic berths on the women’s side are Pan Am Games gold medalist Ali Weisz, 1256.0 points; Sarah Beard, 1255.1; Pan Am Games silver medalist Mindy Miles, 1253.6; Sagen Maddalena, 1251.6; and Ginny Thrasher, the 2016 Olympic gold medalist in air rifle, with 1250.0 points.

Kozeniesky has a lead of nearly three points over Tim Sherry in the men’s air rifle competition, scoring 1259.2 in the opening stage of the trials. Sherry is in second place with 1256.4 points, followed by William Shaner at 1255.0, Dempster Christenson at 1252.7 and Ivan Roe at 1250.3.

Follow along on social: Team USA on Twitter, Lucas Kozeniesky on Instagram and Ginny Thrasher on Instagram.

Women’s Basketball Takes On Mozambique, Nigeria In Olympic Qualifier

A spot at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is already in place for the U.S. women’s basketball team.

One of the team’s leading stars, 2016 Olympic gold medalist Breanna Stewart, is back from a ruptured Achilles.

Preparation for the Olympic Games includes games Saturday and Sunday in the FIBA Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Belgrade, Serbia. The U.S., which locked down a berth in the Tokyo Games by winning the 2018 FIBA World Cup, won all three of its games in the FIBA Pre-Olympic Qualifying Tournament and also went unbeaten in winning the FIBA AmeriCup. Its only loss this season was to the University of Oregon in an exhibition game.

The U.S., which is seeking its seventh consecutive Olympic gold medal, faces Mozambique on Saturday and Nigeria on Sunday.

Stewart scored 13 points in a 97-54 exhibition win over Louisville on Feb. 2 and three-time Olympic gold medalist Sylvia Fowles scored 16. The powerful U.S. lineup also includes four-time Olympic gold medalist Sue Bird.

Follow along on social: Breanna Stewart on Instagram, USA Basketball on Twitter and Sue Bird on Instagram.

Figure Skating – Four Continents Championships
Olympic pair skaters Alexa Knierim and Chris Knierim, who are coming off their third national championship win, go after their third podium finish in the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships on Saturday in Seoul, South Korea. The husband-and-wife team, who won a team bronze medal at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 and are making their fifth appearance in the Four Continents Championships, are among 18 U.S. skaters in the competition. They finished fifth in the short program Thursday, needing to pass Sui Wenjing and Han Cong of China, and U.S. skaters Jessica Calalang and Brian Johnson to reach third place in the free skate.

Bradie Tennell, a 2018 Olympic bronze medalist who won a bronze medal at the 2020 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, is among three U.S. skaters in the women’s competition, which concludes with the free skate Saturday (11 p.m. ET Friday). Tennell sits in second following the short program. Also in the women’s event are 2018 Olympian Karen Chen and Amber Glenn, the No. 4 and 5 finishers at the national championships. Jason Brown, a 2014 Olympian, is among three skaters in the men’s competition, which wraps up with the free program Sunday (9:30 p.m. ET Saturday). Brown finished third in this event two years ago, and he is joined by world junior champion Tomoki Hiwatashi and 2016 Youth Olympian Camden Pulkinen.

TV: 7:30 and 11 p.m. ET Friday, 7 p.m. Saturday, 11 p.m. Sunday, NBCSN; 4 p.m. Sunday, NBC

Webcast: 4:05 a.m. and 11 p.m. Friday, 4:15 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. Sunday, NBC Sports App

Women’s Alpine Skiing – Garmisch-Partenkirchen World Cup
Olympic teammates Breezy Johnson, Alice Merryweather and Alice McKennis are among the expected U.S. starters for Saturday’s world cup downhill race in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. Johnson, a 2018 Olympian, has finished in the top 10 in her last two downhill races, including a season-best fifth in Bansko, Bulgaria. Just getting on the downhill course has been a challenge over the last week. Last week’s downhill in Sochi, Russia, was called off due to bad weather and Thursday’s scheduled training run in Germany was canceled. A training run is still set for Friday, followed by the downhill race on Saturday and a super-G on Sunday. Merryweather, a 2018 Olympian, moved up to 20th place in the super-G season standings after a career-best 17th-place finish in Sochi. World cup overall points leader Mikaela Shiffrin, a two-time Olympian, will not compete this week due to the sudden death of her father, Jeff, this past Sunday. She has a lead of 280 points in the world cup title race.

TV: 5:20 a.m. ET Saturday, 5 a.m. Sunday, Olympic Channel

Webcast: 5:30 a.m. Saturday, 5:15 a.m. Sunday, NBC Sports App

Moguls/Aerials – Deer Valley World Cup
Olympic and world championships teammates Jaelin Kauf and Tess Johnson return to the venue of their memorable 2019 world triumphs, Deer Valley Resort in Utah, which hosts a world cup competition in moguls and aerials. Kauf and Johnson won silver and bronze medals, respectively, at the 2019 world championships in dual moguls at Deer Valley. The dual moguls competition is Saturday night, and in addition to Kauf and Johnson, the U.S. entries include Hannah Soar, two-time Olympian Bradley Wilson, Tom Rowley and Dylan Walczyk. Ashley Caldwell, a three-time Olympian and 2017 world champion, is among 16 U.S. skiers who will take to the air in Friday night’s aerials world cup. The U.S. lineup also includes Madison Varmette and Winter Vinecki on the women’s side, and 2018 Olympian and 2017 world champion Jon Lillis and 2018 Olympian Eric Loughran on the men’s side.

TV: 12:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. ET Friday, NBCSN; 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, NBC; 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Olympic Channel

Webcast: 9:30 p.m. Friday, 9:30 p.m. Saturday, NBC Sports App

Men’s Alpine Skiing – Chamonix World Cup
Luke Winters, who has finished as high as 19th place on the world cup tour, is expected to be on the starting list for Saturday’s world cup slalom in Chamonix, France. The world cup stop also includes a parallel giant slalom race Sunday.

TV: 7 a.m. ET Saturday and Sunday, Olympic Channel

Webcast: 4 and 7 a.m. Saturday, 3:30 and 7:15 a.m. Sunday, NBC Sports App

Cross-Country Skiing – Falun World Cup
Jessie Diggins, a two-time Olympian, has finished third in her last two world cup sprint races. She’ll go after another podium finish on Saturday in Falun, Sweden, when Diggins is among seven U.S. cross-country skiers racing in the women’s classic sprint race. Diggins, who is now fourth in the world cup overall standings, has reached the podium in five individual races this season and has finished no worse than fourth in her last three sprint races. Other podium contenders include two-time Olympian Sophie Caldwell, who finished just behind Diggins and in fourth place in Oberstdorf, Germany, two weeks ago, and Sadie Maubet Bjornsen, a two-time Olympian who finished ninth in the same race and is seventh in the world cup standings. All three are set to compete in both the sprint race on Saturday and the 10-kilometer freestyle mass start Sunday. Three-time Olympian Simi Hamilton is among the U.S. men competing in the sprint and 15K mass start races. Joining him in the sprint are Logan Hanneman, Kevin Bolger and Ben Saxton. On the start list for the mass start are Hamilton, Bolger, David Norris, Ian Torchia and Ben Lustgarten.

TV: 8:15 a.m. ET Saturday, 8:30 a.m. Sunday, Olympic Channel

Webcast: 8:15 a.m. Saturday, 4 and 8:30 a.m. Sunday, NBC Sports App

Long Track Speedskating – Calgary World Cup
Coming off an eight-medal performance at the inaugural ISU Four Continents Speed Skating Championships last week in Milwaukee, the U.S. national team heads to Calgary, Alberta, this week for the fifth world cup of the season. Two-time Olympian Brittany Bowe, who did not compete in Milwaukee, is looking to extend her U.S. record streak in the women’s 1,000-meter to eight consecutive wins. Mia Kilburg-Manganello won four medals in Milwaukee, including victories in the women’s 3,000-meter and mass start. Brianna Bocox had individual wins in the 1,000- and 1,500-meter. They’ll join Bowe in Calgary, along with Kimi Goetz, Erin Jackson and Paige Schwartzburg. On the men’s side, two-time Olympians Joey Mantia and Emery Lehman are on the start list in the 1,000- and 1,500-meter races. Mantia is the world cup leader in the mass start. Also on the start lists are Kimani Griffin in the 500 and 1,000, Brett Perry in the 500 and Conor McDermott-Mostowy in the 1,000.

TV: 11 p.m. ET Friday, 12 a.m. Sunday, Olympic Channel

Webcast: 2:30 p.m. ET Friday, 2:30 p.m. Saturday, NBC Sports App

Short Track Speedskating – Dresden World Cup
Following up bronze-medal performances in the inaugural ISU Four Continents Championships in short track, 2018 Olympians Maame Biney and Thomas Hong lead the U.S. short track team to a world cup stop this weekend in Dresden, Germany. The competition begins Friday with qualifying rounds, then includes final rounds in men’s and women’s 1,000-meter and 1,500-meter on Saturday, and men’s and women’s 500-meter, 1,500-meter and relay races on Sunday. Hong finished third in the men’s 1,500-meter in the Four Continents Championships and combined with Aaron Tran, Andrew Heo and Ryan Pivirotto for a third-place finish in the 5,000-meter relay. All are competing in Dresden, along with Brandon Kim and Joonhwa Hong. Biney, who in 2018 became the first black woman to qualify for a U.S. Olympic Team in speedskating, won a bronze medal in the women’s 1,500-meter. She’ll be joined in the women’s competition by Kristen Santos, Corinne Stoddard, Hailey Choi, Shreya Arun and Julie Letai.

TV: 8 p.m. ET Saturday, 8 p.m. Sunday, Olympic Channel

Webcast: 7:15 a.m. Saturday, 7:10 a.m. Sunday, NBC Sports App

Dew Tour
Olympic gold medalists Jamie Anderson, David Wise and Red Gerard are among a stacked U.S. lineup competing in this week’s Dew Tour at Copper Mountain, Colorado. The competition, which began Thursday, includes superpipe and slopestyle snowboarding and skiing. More than 180 athletes from 20 nations are competing. Anderson, a three-time Olympic medalist who has already won U.S. Grand Prix and X Games titles this season, headlines the entry list in the women’s slopestyle snowboarding event, along with Olympian Julia Marino. Fellow Olympian Maddie Mastro leads the U.S. women’s halfpipe snowboarders. Wise, the only men’s halfpipe skiing gold medalist in Olympic history, will battle 2019 world champion Aaron Blunck and Olympic silver medalist Alex Ferreira in men’s superpipe skiing. Gerard and Chris Corning, a 2018 Olympian who won a big air world cup competition in Atlanta in December, are among those in the men’s slopestyle snowboarding event.

TV: 2:30 p.m. ET Feb. 15, NBC

Webcast: www.dewtour.com

Women’s Ski Jumping – Hinzenbach World Cup
Four U.S. ski jumpers, including 2020 Youth Olympians Annika Belshaw and Paige Jones, are competing in this weekend’s world cup women’s stop in Hinzenbach, Austria. Jones, 17, is making her world cup debut. Also on the start lists are Logan Sankey and Anna Hoffmann. Following a qualifying round on Friday, individual HS90 jumps will be held Saturday and Sunday. 

Webcast: 8:30 a.m. ET Saturday, 8:30 a.m. Sunday, NBC Sports App

BMX Racing – Bathurst World Cup
Alise Willoughby, a two-time Olympian and two-time world champion, took the opening of the UCI supercross world cup season by storm last week, winning both of the first two rounds of racing in Shepparton, Australia. Rounds 3 and 4 are on tap this weekend Down Under in Bathurst, Australia. Of the four races last week, Americans won three of them and captured four podium finishes. Connor Fields, the defending Olympic champion, won Sunday’s race in the men’s competition. Felicia Stancil finished runner-up to Willoughby on Sunday. Willoughby and Stancil are now second and third, respectively, in the world rankings behind 2019 world cup champion Laura Smulders of the Netherlands.

Fencing – Torino Grand Prix
Race Imboden, Nick Itkin, Gerek Meinhardt and Alex Massialas are all ranked among the top 10 men’s foil fencers in the world entering this week’s FIE Grand Prix tournament in Torino, Italy. All except Itkin are Olympians, and they have already combined to secure the U.S. a quota spot in team foil for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Imboden, a two-time Olympian, is the highest-ranked American at No. 4 and Itkin is No. 5. On the women’s side, Lee Kiefer is ranked No. 5 in the world and has already qualified for her third Olympic team. Also in medal contention is 15th-ranked Nicole Ross, a 2012 Olympian. The tournament, featuring 23 Americans, begins Friday with play in the women’s preliminary round. The men’s prelims are Saturday, followed by the medal rounds for women and men on Sunday.

Fencing – Epee World Cups
Sisters Kelly Hurley, a three-time Olympian who is ranked No. 10 in the world in women’s epee, and Courtney Hurley, a two-time Olympian who is ranked No. 15, are among 12 U.S. fencers competing in a world cup stop in Barcelona, Spain. At the same time, 12 U.S. men’s epee fencers are chasing after podium finishes in a world cup tournament in Vancouver, British Columbia. Both tournaments feature individual play on Friday and Saturday, and team tournaments on Sunday. The women’s epee team, featuring the Hurley sisters along with Catherine Nixon and Anna Van Brummen, is ranked fifth and coming off a season-opening third-place finish in Estonia. Curtis McDowald and Jacob Hoyle are both ranked among the top 30 in men’s epee, and will join up with Yeisser Ramirez and Soren Thompson as the 10th-seeded squad in the team tournament.

Field Hockey – FIH Pro League
A rematch of a game in the Olympic Games Rio 2016 will provide a solid test for the U.S. women’s field hockey team this weekend in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The third-ranked Argentina squad, which lost to Team USA in group play in Rio 2016, opens its FIH Pro League season against the Americans. Games are set for Friday and Saturday. The U.S., which is ranked 14th in the world, lost its season opener to the Netherlands two weeks ago in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic and Paralympic sports since 1996, when he was an assistant bureau chief in Atlanta. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.