BEHIND THE CREST | USWNT Reaches Olympic Semifinal After Thriller in Yokohama

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U.S. Soccer 01 August, 2021 - 11:28pm 49 views

When is USA vs Canada Soccer Olympics?

The USWNT will face off against Canada in the Olympic soccer semifinals as the tournament nears its end. The game will take place at Kashima Stadium in Japan on Monday, August 2 at 4:00a.m. ET. It will be broadcast on the USA Network and Telemundo. DraftKings NationUSA vs. Canada live stream: How to watch USWNT in Olympics women’s soccer semifinals via live stream

Who won beach volleyball USA or Canada?

Team USA's beach volleyball team suffered a controversial loss to Canada in the Round of 16 at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics on Saturday. USA's pairing of Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil, ranked third in the world by the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB), won the first set 24-22. Sporting NewsTwitter incensed as USA volleyball suffers controversial loss to Canada following challenge reversal

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Tokyo Olympics live updates: USWNT ready for Canada, US women's hoops team put to test vs. France

USA TODAY 01 August, 2021 - 05:43pm

USWNT faces a familiar foe in soccer semis. US women's hoops wins vs. France. World record holder Keni Harrison takes silver in women's 100m hurdles.

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Sunday had historic medals for America in golf and diving. Monday features gymnastics event finals, women's 100m hurdles and wrestling medals. USA TODAY

The U.S. Women's National Team has one more game to go to secure an Olympic medal in soccer, and its semifinal opponent is a familiar one. 

Coming off a quarterfinal game that came down to penalty kicks, the USWNT will kick off against Canada at 4 a.m. ET on Monday for a chance at the gold-medal game. Canada advanced from its quarterfinal against Brazil 4-3 on penalties after ending regulation and extra time in a scoreless draw.

Should the USWNT win, it will advance to its sixth Olympic final having only missed one since the sport was added in 1996. The USWNT could be the first team to win consecutive World Cup and Olympic titles, having taken the trophy in the 2019 World Cup

In Monday's completed action, American Keni Harrison finished second in a photo finish behind gold medalist Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico in the women's 100-meter hurdles.

And the U.S. women's beach volleyball team of April Ross and Alix Klineman kept their quest for gold alive on Monday with a straight-sets win over Cuba. 

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TOKYO — As the U.S. women’s basketball team heads into the knockout round of the Olympics, at least they won’t be accused of having no competition this time.

If anything, the three games of group play have been unexpectedly difficult for Team USA, including Monday’s 93-82 win over France. In each of the three, the U.S. has been pushed deep into the fourth quarter before finding another gear late to put the game away.

Heading into the quarterfinals on Wednesday, Team USA’s situation seems very different from the 2016 Olympics when its closest game was 19 points. This time, it seems like the world is ready to challenge the Americans after six straight gold medals. Actually beating them, however, is likely to prove much tougher.

The U.S. women’s basketball team is once again in the middle of a tough fight as it tries to close out group play 3-0, leading France just 50-44 at halftime.

This has been a common theme at the Olympics so far, as Team USA was in a semi-close game late against Nigeria, didn’t put away Japan until the final couple minutes and is now getting challenged by  France despite shooting 57% from the field in the first half.

U.S. coach Dawn Staley will almost certainly be focused on the U.S. tightening up its defense in the second half – France just got too many easy looks at the rim – and pounding the ball inside on offense. France doesn’t have an answer for the Americans’ size, and as a result Team USA made 17-of-25 inside the 3-point line.

Guard Diana Taurasi seemed to hurt her wrist early in the game and came out immediately. After sitting on the bench for quite awhile, she came back in for a stretch late in the half but only logged 5 minutes in the first half.

Skylar Diggins, who had only played a couple minutes in the first two games, got back into the rotation and played 5 ½ minutes. She had apparently not been feeling well the last few days.

TOKYO — The U.S. women’s volleyball team defeated Italy in five sets, 21-25, 25-16, 25-27, 25-16, 15-12, on Monday in their final pool play match of the Tokyo Olympics. They’re currently ranked first in Pool B with four wins and one loss and are guaranteed a spot in the quarterfinals.

For the U.S., opposite Annie Drews led scoring with 22 points. Italian opposite Paola Egonu finished with 28 points.

In the second set, the U.S. lost setter Jordyn Poulter when she rolled her right ankle after attempting to make a block. She left the arena floor in a wheelchair and did not return to action.

Poulter’s ankle injury is the team’s second this week – during their loss to the Russian Olympic Committee on Saturday, the U.S. team lost starting opposite Jordan Thompson to a rolled right ankle. Thompson’s status for the quarterfinal is unclear.

The U.S. team will make its quarterfinals appearance on Wednesday, Aug. 4 against a yet-to-be-determined nation. They’re looking to improve upon their bronze-medal finish in the 2016 Rio Olympics. The U.S. is on a quest for its first gold medal in the sport.

TOKYO — It’s not a true rivalry unless you can actually win a game every once in a while.

The USWNT’s semifinal against Canada is being made out to be the latest in a long series of grudge matches between the otherwise friendly neighbors. Which, aside from that testy meeting in the semis at the London Olympics, it really is not.

The USWNT has played the Canadians more than any other opponent — 61 times ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. The Americans have won 51 of those games, and the teams have played to a draw seven times.

Even when they look beatable, the Americans have a knack for being able to turn it around once the knockout games begin. See the 2011 World Cup. And the 2015 World Cup.

And, of course, the London Olympics — when the USWNT rallied to tie Canada three times before Alex Morgan scored in injury time of overtime to give the Americans the win.

TOKYO — JuVaughn Harrison’s Olympic medal hopes came up short.

Harrison finished fifth in the men’s long jump competition. His mark was 26 feet, 9 inches.

The LSU product was in third place midway through the competition but was passed by two other competitors.

Greece’s Miltiadis Tentoglou won the event at 27 feet, 7¼ inches. Cubans Juan Miguel Echevarría and Maykel Masso placed second and third.

Harrison competed in the men’s high jump final a day prior. He finished seventh in the event with a jump of 7 feet, 7¾ inches.

Harrison is first American man since Jim Thorpe in 1912 to compete in both the long jump and high jump at the Olympics.

TOKYO — Five years after heartbreak, Keni Harrison is an Olympic medalist.

Harrison won silver in the final of the 100-meter hurdles at the Tokyo Olympics on Monday, finishing second with a time of 12.52 seconds. Jasmine Camacho-Quinn of Puerto Rico took gold in 12.37, and Jamaica's Megan Tapper finished third.

The U.S. swept all three medals in the event at the Rio Olympics in 2016 – though Harrison was not among them.

She had arrived at the 2016 U.S. Olympic trials as the prohibitive favorite, not only to make the Olympic team but potentially win gold. And then, heartbreak: She finished sixth at trials, her Olympic dreams dashed. 

Harrison proceeded to set a new world record, 12.20 seconds, the next month. And she's spoken about how, for five years, the agony of missing that 2016 Olympic team fueled her. 

On Monday, it culminated in a silver medal.

One of the most thrilling races at the #TokyoOlympics is here! Watch the women's 100m hurdles right here on Twitter. https://t.co/DEgb7eadbQ

TOKYO – For most everyone, falling on the final lap of a 1500-meter race would be certain disaster. 

For Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands, it appeared to be just a minor inconvenience.

Hassan overcame a fall at the start of her last lap to win her 1500-meter preliminary race Monday – tripping over another runner who had fallen in front of her, leaping back to her feet and running the final 300 in a blistering 43.7 seconds. And it might not even wind up being the most impressive achievement of her day.

Hassan is entered in the 1500, 5000 and 10,000 at the Tokyo Olympics, an attempt to pull of what would be an incredible triple. And Monday will likely be the most challenging day of her schedule. After Monday's 1500-meter run, she will be back in less than 12 hours to run the 5,000-meter final, with a medal on the line.

TOKYO – The American beach volleyball team of April Ross and Alix Klineman might be in position to do more than win a gold medal at the Tokyo Games. 

Surely they’re capable of setting an unofficial record for hugs – that is, if they haven’t already broken the record. 

Ross and Klineman hug after every point, so on Monday that was 74 hugs in their 21-17, 21-15 victory over Cuba’s Lidianny Echevarria Benitez and Leila Consuelo Martinez in the round of 16 at Shiokaze Park. 

“It’s so funny because we didn’t invent the hug in beach volleyball,’’ Ross said, noting that Brazilian teams also hug. 

But the Americans have taken it to a new level, committed to a hug – preceded by high fives or low fives -- after every single point.  

As they advance to the quarterfinals, after going 3-0 in preliminary play, Ross and Klineman have hugged 323 times during competition at the Tokyo Games. 

“It just gives a moment to kind of regroup as a team,’’ Klineman said. 

Added Ross, “I think it brings us together energetically and we even talk for a second. Some people hold hands, some people hold their arms around each other and we just hug.’’ 

Two weeks after missing out on the Rio Olympics in 2016, Keni Harrison set a world record in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 12.20. 

The former University of Kentucky athlete, who's now in the school's hall of fame, won the NCAA title for 60m and 100m hurdles her senior year in 2014-15 and was honored as National Track Athlete of the Year. Several other former Wildcats, including fellow hurdler Sydney McLaughlin, are also competing in Tokyo. 

Harrison made the U.S. team with a time of 12.47 in the Olympic Trials. She finished second behind Jamaica's Britany Anderson in her semifinal heat to move on to the medal round. The Olympic record time is 12.35 set by Australia's Sally Pearson at the 2012 London Games. 

The event will air live at 10:50 p.m. ET, after the men's long jump final at 9:20 p.m. ET. 

Team USA will take on host Japan in one of two games on Monday in the quarterfinal round of the Olympic baseball tournament (8 a.m. ET). 

Former New York Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka will get the start for Japan. The two-time MLB All-Star pitched for the Yankees for seven seasons before returning home and signing with the Rakuten Golden Eagles of the NPB.

On the mound for the U.S. is right-hander Shane Baz, 22, who was a first-round pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2017 draft and is now pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays' Class AA team.

The last time the two nations met on the international stage, the USA defeated Japan 4-3 in the Super Round of the 2019 WBSC Premier12. However, Japan went on to win that tournament. 

In Monday's other quarterfinal game, Israel will face Korea in a rematch of their first-round clash, which Korea won 6-5 in 10 innings. Israel eliminated Mexico 12-5 on Sunday, while Korea rallied to defeat the Dominican Republic with a 4-3 walk-off win.

For its final game of the preliminary round, Team USA tips off against France at 11:40 p.m. ET. The women will hope to enjoy better success against France heading toward the quarterfinals than their male counterparts

Team USA won its opening game against Nigeria 81-72 on July 26. Then, on Thursday, it was propelled to an 86-69 victory over Japan by Aj'a Wilson and Brittney Griner. 

France fell to Japan 74-70, but beat Nigeria 87-62.

The United States' No. 1 women's beach volleyball team plays its first match of the elimination round at 7 p.m. ET. 

April Ross and Alix Klineman will take on Lidy Echevarria Benitez and Leila Martinez, the Cuban duo that lost two of its three preliminary matches before beating the Netherlands in two sets in the Lucky Loser Round. The Americans won out in the prelims. 

Ross and former partner Kerri Walsh Jennings won bronze in Rio. This is Klineman's first Olympics. 

On Saturday, the other pair from the U.S., Kelly Claes and Sarah Sponcil, lost 2-1 to Canada, eliminating them from the round of 16. 

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Opinion: Canada believes it can beat USWNT in Olympic semifinals. Except it rarely has

Sporting News 01 August, 2021 - 03:14am

Dan Wetzel, Pat Forde, Pete Thamel

Andy Behrens, Dalton Del Don, Matt Harmon, Liz Loza, Scott Pianowski

You Pod to Win the Game

The USWNT’s semifinal against Canada is being made out to be the latest in a long series of grudge matches between the otherwise friendly neighbors. Which, aside from that testy meeting in the semis at the London Olympics, it really is not.

“If we turn up and do what we can do, I believe – I truly believe, and I believed this in February – I believe we can do this,” Canada coach Bev Priestman said Sunday.

OK. But, so far, Canada hasn’t.

The USWNT has played the Canadians more than any other opponent, 61 times ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. The Americans have won 51 of those games, and the teams have played to a draw seven times.

For those who don’t want to do the math, that means the Canadians have won all of three games since the teams began playing in 1986. And the last one of those came back in 2001. (To put that in context: Carli Lloyd was still a teenager then.)

Even the last draw was almost four years ago, and the Americans have won four more games since then.

I get it. After bulldozing their way through the World Cup to win their second consecutive title in 2019, the Americans have looked vulnerable in Tokyo. They were held scoreless in two of their three group games, including a 3-0 loss to Sweden in the opener, and needed a shootout to beat the Netherlands in the quarterfinals Friday.

They have, at times, looked old and tired. This is coach Vlatko Andonovski’s first major tournament at the helm and sometimes his lineups and tactics reflect that.

“You never underestimate the United States of America. They’re one of the top nations in the world with class players front and back,” Canada midfielder Desiree Scott said. “But I do think you watch the tournament, you watch the games progress, and you see 'Ooh, maybe this is our time.’ That does build a bit of confidence.

“What a better time than now to do it?”

But aside from Sweden, there’s no team that’s been able to talk smack about the USWNT and then back it up on the field.

The French chirped ahead of the 2019 quarterfinal after a shellacking of the Americans earlier in the year, and looked how that turned out. Some of the Netherlands players were talking big before Friday night’s game, and they’ll now be watching the rest of the tournament from their couches.

It’s like Michigan insisting it’s still competitive in The Game even though Ohio State has won the past eight and all but one since 2004.

“We had some very good times during the game but it doesn’t matter,” goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal said after the Dutch were eliminated. “We go home and they stay in the tournament.”

Even when they look beatable, the Americans have a knack for being able to turn it around once the knockout games begin. See the 2011 World Cup. And the 2015 World Cup.

And, of course, the London Olympics.

The USWNT rallied to tie Canada three times, the last goal coming thanks to some gamesmanship by Abby Wambach. The Americans felt Canadian goalkeeper Erin McLeod was holding the ball a second or two too long in an effort to slow the game down, so Wambach started counting out loud to call referee Christiana Pedersen’s attention to it.

It worked. In the 78th minute, McLeod was whistled for time wasting after holding the ball for more than the allowed six seconds; estimates were it was anywhere from eight to 11 seconds. Megan Rapinoe’s free kick went off a Canadian player’s arm, and Wambach converted the penalty to tie the game.

Alex Morgan then scored in injury time of overtime to give the Americans the win.

“All of us remember that 2012 match,” Scott said. “Our team is completely different now I would say. We have developed as a program, as people on the field, the brand of soccer we play has really evolved. … We now have attack and defense going both ways.

“We’re just a more confident group,” she added. “I think our edge will come from the belief we have in ourselves. In 2012, we were kind of on a hope and on a prayer, hoping we could get to that match. But now we truly believe in ourselves and what we can do on a soccer pitch, and believe we can get to that gold-medal game.”

Confidence is good. So, too, a little swagger.

But if you really want to make it a rivalry, it's going to take more than talk.

It hasnt been the easiest ride for the U.S. womens national team in the Tokyo Olympics, but they are exactly where they expected to be after four matches: in the semifinal.

NBC's Olympics still dominate broadcast and cable ratings, but ratings are down sharply and competitors are less intimidated in counterprogramming.

Two judokas withdrew this week from Olympic competition against an Israeli competitor.

The owner of The Izakaya NYC told the New York Post he wanted to turn the shed's top level into a "rooftop with skylights," but that plan was halted.

Yulimar Rojas didn't even need to look for validation. The runway, the take off, the way she hit the sand — it all felt so good she somehow knew she'd sealed her Olympic gold medal in the women's triple jump with a world record. Rojas broke the Olympic record in the first round of Sunday's final at the Tokyo Games, signaling her intent.

Penny Oleksiak is officially Canada's most decorated Olympic athlete of all time.

Katie Ledeckys historic career is still far from over.

TOKYO (Reuters) -Hosts Japan displayed nerves of steel as they edged out New Zealand 4-2 in a penalty shootout to reach the men's Olympic soccer semi-finals on Saturday, while Spain survived a scare in an extra-time win over Ivory Coast. After a goalless 120 minutes at the Ibaraki Kashima Stadium, New Zealand full back Liberato Cacace's penalty was saved by Kosei Tani and midfielder Clayton Lewis blasted his spot-kick over the bar.

As the mens and womens beach volleyball knockout stages began, Team USA was front and center fighting for more gold medals to bring home from Tokyo.

Juventus are confident of signing Italian midfielder Manuel Locatelli after making a "suitable offer" to Serie A rivals Sassuolo, the Turin club's director Pavel Nedved said on Saturday.

Mourad Aliev screamed at the referee, kicked his mouthguard and shook a TV camera in protest of his Olympics disqualification.

Jessica Fox, the Australian canoeist who beat Britain's Mallory Franklin to Olympic gold, has a condom to thank for her double medal success in Tokyo. The 27-year-old claimed bronze in the K1 event on Tuesday and then two days later was crowned the first Olympic champion, ahead of silver medallist Franklin, in the women's C1. And it turns out she was paddling with an extra layer of protection after a video emerged from last week showing her and her team carrying out crucial pre-competition repai

For the second time in two months, the USMNT defeated Mexico in a final of a continental tournament, defeating their rivals in the Concacaf Gold Cup.

Controversy struck the beach volleyball world after a replay review.

The IOC made the admission as New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard prepared to become the first openly transgender athlete to compete at the Olympics.

The United States claimed their seventh CONCACAF Gold Cup title on Sunday night with a thrilling 1-0 extra time win over defending champion Mexico in Las Vegas.

The U.S. swim star captured the 800-meter freestyle, then let the cat out of the bag.

Can the United States and Sweden both advance as favorites?

Now this is how you cheer when your wife is in the Olympics.

After a disappointing silver medal in 2016, New Zealand's women's rugby team found redemption with a gold medal in Tokyo.

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