Olympic Soccer Live Updates: U.S. Women’s Team Leads Netherlands

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The New York Times 30 July, 2021 - 06:54am 47 views

When is USA vs Netherlands?

When is USA vs Netherlands? The Olympics' quarterfinal match between the United States women's national soccer team and the Netherlands is set for Friday, July 30 at the International Stadium Yokohama. al.comUnited States women’s national soccer team vs. Netherlands live stream (7/30): How to watch online, TV, time

What channel is USA vs Netherlands on?

The game will be broadcast on NBCSN and Telemundo at 7:00 a.m. ET, and can be streamed live on fuboTV, Sling and other live TV streaming services. syracuse.comHow to watch USA women’s soccer vs. Netherlands (7/30/2021): Tokyo Olympics quarterfinals time, TV channel, F

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If the U.S. women's national team wants to win their fifth gold medal in an Olympic women's football tournament, they need to get through Friday's quarterfinal (7 a.m. ET) against a team that has looked like an early favorite: the Netherlands.

While the U.S. is limping out of Group G with a loss, a draw and a win, the Netherlands are flying. They topped Group F with a plus-13 goal differential, and even their one draw of the group stage was a wild 3-3 shootout with Brazil, another top team competing in Japan this summer. But the shaky performances of the group stage need to be behind the U.S., because if they lose to the Netherlands, they are going home, and they will match their worst-ever finish in a major tournament.

"This is where the real tournament starts," said Alex Morgan. "You have to win and beat the best to get to that gold-medal match."

Today, the USWNT finds itself in unfamiliar territory. For perhaps the first time, the USWNT arrives in an Olympic quarterfinal as the clear underdog. Dutch midfielder Danielle van de Donk told reporters that the Netherlands' high-scoring performances in the group stage should serve as proof that "we are not afraid of America."

"Somehow I feel like, save the best for last, but maybe they are not the best at all, this tournament," she added of meeting the USWNT so early in the tournament.

The U.S. has certainly gotten to know the Dutch team quite well. The USWNT beat them 2-0 in the 2019 World Cup final, and when the USWNT resumed playing after about eight months of dormancy due to the pandemic, their first game back late last year was in the Netherlands. But those meetings don't mean much for the Americans, U.S. coach Vlatko Andonovski said -- not because the Netherlands are expected to change their approach, but because they aren't.

"The Netherlands are not a big surprise for the simple fact that they believe in their system, and they believe in what they do," Andonovski said. "They're very rigid at times, which makes them who they are and as good as they are. Their system works and they've shown that over and over in different games."

If the USWNT is going to get past the Dutch team, they need to turn off the faucet of goals coming from Vivianne Miedema. She has been on fire, with eight goals in the group stage at a rate of one goal every 22 minutes on the field. She has already set the women's record for the most goals scored in an Olympics prior to the knockout rounds as her team racked up 21 goals over the three matches.

But what makes the Dutch team dangerous is that it's not just Miedema the USWNT needs to worry about, in the way that all of their attention against Australia focused on Sam Kerr. Lieke Martens and Van de Donk are also two especially potent pieces of the Dutch attack that the USWNT will need to contain. The Dutch attack oozes chemistry -- the attackers have an uncanny ability to read each other on the field, and they are well-drilled on set pieces, meaning the threats are varied.

Limiting the Dutch attack ought to be enough on Friday; the Dutch team has shown defensive vulnerability, and the USWNT should feel confident they can score goals. In the group stage, the Netherlands surprisingly conceded three goals to Zambia, a first-time Olympic team that isn't on the level of most of the other teams in Japan. Then they conceded twice to China, another underpowered team known more for its disciplined defensive bunkering and organization than its firepower. (The Dutch conceded eight times in the group stage, more than any other team that reached the quarterfinals.)

The question is whether the Netherlands will stick to their approach from the previous games or give Andonovski the surprise he suggested he isn't expecting.

"I don't know if they are very vulnerable: they are very good defensively and they are very disciplined and we've seen that in numerous occasions," Andonovski said. "Obviously, as open as they play sometimes, they do have areas of the field that are more open, so hopefully we can take advantage of it."

After a disastrous opening 3-0 loss against Sweden, the USWNT unleashed itself against New Zealand to run up the goal differential with a 6-1 win, but then played with a conservative -- some might say "scared" -- approach against Australia for a 0-0 draw. Vlatko Andonovski and his staff knew that the U.S. only needed a draw against Australia to advance, so the thought process seemed to be: why risk a loss going after a win?

In the end, the USWNT clinched its spot in the quarterfinals, but the team didn't look like the USWNT fans have been watching for years. The team that dominates and imposes itself was nowhere to be found. When told Thursday about the reaction to the USWNT's style of play against Australia, it seemed to be news to Crystal Dunn, who said: "I'm not on social media. I have no idea what's going on in the outside world: it's been the best thing.

"But it's funny you say that because I think a lot of people don't understand we're here to compete and win a gold medal. However we get there, winning is the most important thing.

"Yes, fans, outsiders looking in, are probably like, 'Oh this is so different, we've never seen the U.S. doing this,' but at the same time, it's about executing a game plan and moving on from one round to another," Dunn added. "Whatever tactics, plans we're given, it's our job as players to trust and believe in ourselves and each other and live to fight another day."

When asked about making the difficult call to rein the USWNT's attacking instincts, Andonovski admitted it's a bold approach and probably not what the players would prefer.

"It's not easy, and sometimes you have to sacrifice some of the things that we believe or we've worked on to be able to execute the game plan," he said. "We saw that in Game 3 in the group stage -- that was not something that we've done in the previous games, but it was a game plan and I felt like we executed it well from the defensive standpoint.

"It's not easy for the players from the tactical and technical standpoint to execute it, but they've done a great job," he added. "Also, from the mental standpoint, it's not easy, but again lots of credit to them in being ready to do whatever it takes for the team to be successful."

The prevailing memory of the 2015 World Cup for Americans may be Carli Lloyd's goal from the midway line en route to her hat-trick in the final. But before that -- and before the USWNT's dominance -- the U.S. looked to be struggling. The U.S. never lost in that tournament before they won the trophy, but they played some bad soccer early on, leading fans and pundits alike to worry the USWNT was in for a short tournament.

The players stuck to a common refrain: we're just doing what the coaches want.

"We're just following the direction of our coaches, the coaching plan, doing everything they ask of us," Lloyd said before the 2015 quarterfinal. "At the end of the day, I've got full faith and confidence in everyone that we'll find our rhythm. We're working, we're grinding, the effort's there."

After the USWNT won their semifinal against Germany and finally played their best soccer of the World Cup, Megan Rapinoe echoed that sentiment: "We stuck to our game plan and stuck to what our coaches were telling us. We always stayed true to what we were doing and felt it was going to come together."

That sounds a lot like the players in this Olympics so far.

"It was a tactical decision by Vlatko for us to shift defensively, play a little more conservatively and allow them to get impatient and play it long and give it back to us," Morgan said after the 0-0 draw to Australia.

"The tactics we've been given is what we need to execute and we trust our staff to put us in the best position to succeed," Dunn said Thursday. "So yeah, every game is different and every opponent is different and with that comes new tactics we need to execute."

While the players haven't openly said it, there is a slight tinge of dissatisfaction in their comments, a wish that they could unleash themselves and show the world what they are capable of. But it's probably fine that the players feel this way, especially if the 2015 World Cup is any guide. After all, the Olympics is a lot of games packed into a small time frame, and teams can risk burning themselves out and peaking too early if they go full throttle from the beginning.

Christen Press hinted (ever so slightly) that she and her teammates would prefer to play a more attacking style, but she also made it clear she understands why the game plan worked, and that just because that's how the U.S. played in the group stage, that doesn't mean the knockout round will be the same.

"This tournament is really tough, with the amount of games you need to play without as many days in between as other tournaments, so there has to be tactical sophistication in how we manage," Press said Thursday. "Ultimately, when this team's at its best, we are relentless and we are lethal."

She later added: "In the last three games you've seen us take different tactical approaches in the group stage, and now we're in the knockout phase and I think that'll look really different. The team is really hungry, and the group stage has left us feeling like we have more to give -- I think that's a great thing, it's a powerful thing and it's intimidating."

Read full article at The New York Times

Familiar foes: USWNT, Netherlands ready for quarterfinal clash

NBC Sports 30 July, 2021 - 07:50am

The USWNT plays the Netherlands on Friday in the quarterfinals of the Olympic women’s soccer tournament — bringing together the two teams that played in the World Cup final two years ago in France.

The USWNT won that one 2-0 and afterward the crowd chanted “Equal Pay!” in support of the team’s legal fight for equity with the men’s national team.

This time, there won’t be any crowds and the case is before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals back home in the United States, with no ruling expected in the near future. And obviously there’s greater weight on a World Cup final than an Olympic quarterfinal.

But the game in Yokohama has taken on significance because the normally indomitable Americans showed vulnerabilities in the group stage: Notably a 3-0 loss to Sweden in the Olympic opener.

After a 6-1 rebound win over New Zealand, the USWNT played to a scoreless draw against Australia, which, while uncharacteristic for the offensively dominant Americans, got the team through to the knockout stage.

The USWNT hadn’t been shutout since 2017 before this Olympics, and now the team has been blanked twice in less than two weeks.

“I think a lot of people understand that we’re here to compete and win a gold medal and however we get there, winning is the most important thing. So, yes, fans and outsiders looking in are probably like, ’Oh, this is so different.′ You’ve never seen the U.S. do this,” defender Crystal Dunn said.

“But at the same time, it’s about executing a game plan, moving on from one round to another. And whatever tactics, plans that we have that we’re given, it’s our job as players to trust and believe in ourselves and each other and live to fight another day.”

Instead, it’s the Netherlands that has become a high-scoring juggernaut. The Dutch scored 21 goals in the group stage — smashing the previous record of 16 set by the United States in 2012.

Dutch striker Vivianne Miedema has an Olympic-record eight goals, and that’s only from the group stage.

Miedema, who plays professionally for Arsenal, is just 25 and already the all-time scoring leader for the Netherlands with 81 goals in 99 appearances. She is also the top career scorer in the Women’s Super League in England.

The United States has played the Netherlands since the World Cup final, winning by an identical 2-0 scoreline in Breda last November. The Americans were undefeated in 44 straight matches before the loss to Sweden.

“We have an understanding of what they like to do as a team, and their style of play. However, that was a friendly game and we understand that we are in knockout rounds and everything can be completely different,” Dunn said Thursday.

“It’s about focusing on our game plan and what we’re trying to do because we can’t get caught up in thinking about ‘Oh, we played them before, so therefore, this is exactly what this game is going to be like.’ That is nearly impossible to do in the knockout round.”

CANADA v. BRAZIL, Rifu: Another rematch, but this time of the third-place game at the Rio de Janeiro Games. Canada was triumphant in that one for the team’s second straight Olympic bronze medal, spoiling Brazil’s shot to medal on home soil.

There are many of the same faces in Japan. On Canada’s side, there’s Christine Sinclair, soccer’s all time international scorer among men and women. Brazil has Marta, the six-time FIFA Player of the Year.

Brazil is now playing under coach Pia Sundhage, who led the U.S. women to the gold medal in London in 2012. Canada’s coach in Brazil, John Herdman, now coaches the nation’s men team.

BRITAIN v. AUSTRALIA, Kashima: The Australians advanced to the knockout round as one of the top third-place teams after the group stage. This is the Matildas’ fifth trip to the Olympics and third time they’ve made it through to the quarterfinals.

Britain finished atop Group E. In a quirky rule, Britain’s Olympic teams must include Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Ireland, and all four teams must be in agreement to participate. For that reason, the only other Olympics that has included a Team GB is London 2012.

SWEDEN v. JAPAN, Saitama: The Swedes won all three of their games in Group G to advance, including that 3-0 victory over the Americans in their opener. Sweden famously knocked the United States out of the 2016 Games in the quarterfinals. The team went on to the final, but lost the gold medal to Germany.

Japan, as hosts, made the quarterfinals as one of the top third-place finishers. The Nadeshiko won the silver medal at the London Games, but did not make the field in 2016.

More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/2020-tokyo-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Netherlands vs USWNT: TV channel, live stream, team news & preview

Goal.com 30 July, 2021 - 07:50am

The U.S. women's national team will look to avoid the ignominy of another Olympic quarter-final exit when they face the Netherlands in a World Cup final rematch at Tokyo 2020.

Two years on from the Stars and Stripes' triumph at France 2019, the pair meet in the last eight, with a semi-final berth and a shot at a medal on the line in Yokohama.

Ahead of the game, Goal has the details of how to watch on TV, stream online, team news and more.

In the United States (US), this year's USWNT Olympics soccer games can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (watch with a 7-day free trial).

New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.

With a total haul of 21 goals across their three Group F games - at an eye-watering average of seven per match - the Oranje look to be the form side to beat at Tokyo 2020.

Having swapped a selection of players off at the interval against China, they will likely revert to a similar lineup for the far sturdier test of the Stars and Stripes, with captain Sari van Veenendaal looking to make amends for the events at Parc Olympique Lyonnais two years ago.

Predicted Netherlands starting XI: Van Veenendaal; Wilms, Janssen, Nouwen, Van Dongen; Roord, Groenen, Van de Donk; Van de Sanden, Beerensteyn, Martens.

With just the one win from their Group G campaign, Vlatko Andonovski's pursuit of an Olympic gold to match the USWNT's World Cup crown has been a less-than-eye-catching journey by the team's usual standards.

Against another heavyweight contender, however, they will need to step up to the plate - and with talents like Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan at the front of their attack, they will hope to hit a rich vein of form when they most need it.

Predicted USWNT starting XI: Naeher, O'Hara, Dahlkemper, Sauerbrunn, Dunn, Lavelle, Ertz, Horan, Press, Morgan, Rapinoe.

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Familiar foes: US, Netherlands ready for quarterfinal clash

Associated Press 30 July, 2021 - 07:50am

Carli Lloyd and the U.S. Women's National Team take on a tough Netherlands team with a spot in the semifinals on the line.

That is one of the events headlining a day of action at the Tokyo Olympics.

Some American swimmers will be going for more hardware in the pool.

Keep an eye out for Phillies connections as Team USA takes on Israel in its baseball opener and look for some local runners in heats for the women's 800m as track and field begins.

Also, there are plenty of Philly and New Jersey connections on the men's and women's eight boats as they row for gold.

Here are 5 to Watch and how to catch the action live:

The U.S. Women's National Team snuck into the soccer quarterfinals thanks to a draw against Australia on Tuesday.

The USWNT, which placed second in Group G, knows how dangerous the quarterfinal round can be. The team fell to Sweden in the round of eight at the 2016 Rio Olympics, failing to medal for the first time in Olympic history. The Americans had brought home gold in all four prior Games.

The team, featuring New Jersey natives Lloyd and Tobin Heath along with Julie Ertz, has already overcome adversity in Tokyo, though. The U.S. followed up a stunning 3-0 opening defeat to Sweden with a comfortable 6-1 win over New Zealand before drawing Australia to secure a quarterfinals berth. Now, Megan Rapinoe, Lloyd and Co. turn their attention to fending elimination and on the road winning the U.S. another gold.

The Netherlands has been an offensive force in Tokyo. The Dutch women topped Group F with seven points and scored 21 goals in three games. The quarterfinal tilt kicks off at 7 a.m. ET on Friday.

Watch the game on NBCSN or Telemundo or stream live at NBColmypics.com.

The track and field competition in Tokyo begins with a full day of action.

The first session began at 8 p.m. ET Thursday with heats in six events: men’s high jump, men’s steeplechase, men’s discus, women’s 800m, men’s 400m hurdles and women’s 100m. JuVaughn Harrison (men’s high jump), Athing Mu (women’s 800m) and Rai Benjamin (men’s 400m hurdles) are among the U.S. medal contenders who will begin their events. Also keep an eye out for Philadelphia's Ajeé Wilson and and Ireland's Siofra Cleirigh Buttner (who attended Villanova University) in the 800m heats.

The second session begins at 6 a.m. ET and will see the first track and field medals of the 2020 Olympics awarded. The session features women’s 5000m heats, women’s triple jump qualification, women’s shot put qualification and 4x400m mixed relay heats. Keturah Orji (women’s triple jump), Jessica Ramsey (women’s shot put), Raven Saunders (women’s shot put) and a star-studded women’s 4x400m relay team that has won six straight Olympic titles headline the Team USA participants.

The events conclude with the men’s 10,000m final. Grant Fisher, Woody Kincaid and Joe Klecker will be competing for the U.S.

Watch the first session in NBC10’s primetime coverage, or stream live on NBCOlympics.com starting at 8 p.m. Thursday.

Japan started off the Olympic baseball tournament with a bang on Wednesday, beating the Dominican Republic on a walk-off single. On Friday, the U.S. makes its return to the Olympic diamond for the first time since 2008, when it won the bronze medal.

The Team USA roster blends experience with promise. New Jersey native Todd Frazier (The so-called 'Toodfather'), Scott Kazmir, Edwin Jackson, former Phillies prospect Anthony Gose and former Phillies reliever David Robertson bring MLB experience, while Triston Casas, Simeon Woods Richardson and Shane Baz are promising prospects. Another U.S. star is infielder Eddy Alvarez, who has already been under the Olympic spotlight in Tokyo as one of the American flag bearers for the Opening Ceremony.

Israel's roster features some notable ex-big leaguers in Ian Kinsler, Danny Valencia and former Phillie Ty Kelly. Former Phillies prospects Josh Zeid and Jeremy Bleich also play for Israel. The team is ranked No. 24 in the World Baseball Softball Confederation rankings, while the U.S. comes in at No. 4. First pitch between the two sides is at 6 a.m. ET on Friday.

Baseball was a demonstration sport in six Olympics before gaining full-time status in 1992. The sport was then voted off the Olympic program for 2012 and 2016 before being brought back for the 2020 Games. It will be removed from the 2024 slate in Paris, but it could return for the 2028 Games in Los Angeles.

Stream live at 6 a.m. ET Friday on NBCOlympics.com.

A swimmer besides Michael Phelps will stand at the top of the men's 200m individual medley podium for the first time since the 2000 Sydney Olympics, but it won't be American Michael Andrew.

China's Wang Shun earned the gold medal in Thursday's final, Great Britain's Duncan Scott won silver and Switzerland's Jeremy Desplanches came in third place for bronze.

Defending Olympic champion Ryan Murphy came in second to earn a silver medal in the men's 200m backstroke.

Evgeny Rylov of Russian Olympic Committee won the gold medal and Luke Greenbank of Great Britain took home the bronze.

American swimmers Lilly King and Annie Lazor finished in second and third in the women's 200m breaststroke final.

American swimmer Caeleb Dressel set yet another record at the Tokyo Olympics. In the men's 100m butterfly semifinal on Thursday night, Dressel set the event's Olympic record with a time of 49.71.

Dressel won his first solo medal and set the Olympic record in the men's 100m freestyle final yesterday.

Both the men and women for Team USA just missed the podium in rowing eights, finishing fourth in their respective races.

Canada came in first for the gold medal, New Zealand came in second for the silver and China came in third for the bronze in Women’s eight.

The U.S. women’s eight trained in Princeton, New Jersey, and features Penn alum Regina Salmons along with Jessica Thoennes, Charlotte Buck, Gia Doonan, Brooke Mooney, Olivia Coffey, Meghan Musnicki, Kristine O'Brien and Katelin Guregian.

For the men, New Zealand took home gold, Germany won silver, and Great Britain finished third to claim bronze.

The American boat included Benjamin Davison, Justin Best, Daniel Miklasevich, Austin Hack, Alexander Richards, Nicholas Mead, John Harrity, Liam Corrigan and Julian Venonsky.

With both the women and men failing to medal, The United States will not earn a medal in Olympic rowing for the third time ever. The other two instances were at the 1908 and 1980 Games -- in both instances, the U.S. had no rowers entered.

Netherlands v USA: Tokyo Olympics women’s football quarter-final – live!

The Guardian 30 July, 2021 - 07:50am

The U.S. women’s national team has a major challenge on their hands in Friday’s Olympic quarter-final, as a confident and dangerous Netherlands side lies in wait.

After a lackluster group-stage performance, the USWNT will take on a Dutch team that has established themselves as a world power in recent years.

The Netherlands won the European Championship in 2017, and two years later cemented their status as a global force by advancing all the way to the World Cup final against the USWNT.

In that 2019 final in Lyon, the Oranje proved an able opponent for the U.S., but they could only hold out for so long before their opponents’ quality made the difference.

Megan Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle scored in the second half of a 2-0 win for the USWNT, clinching a second straight World Cup title. 

The U.S. entered that match looking like an unstoppable force, winning all six of their games while scoring 24 goals and conceding just three. But this summer, cracks have begun to appear in the facade of the world’s top team. 

Coming into the Olympics, the USWNT had not lost in two-and-a-half years, and had not been shutout in four years. But Vlatko Andonovski’s side were thrashed 3-0 in their opener by Sweden, and were shut out twice in a disappointing group stage that saw them end with just four points.

The Netherlands are well aware they are facing a wounded opponent.

"We do see opportunities against America, because in the group stage it turned out that they are vulnerable,” head coach Sarina Wiegman said. "Now is the time, now it has to happen.”

To make it happen, Wiegman has a choice: attack the U.S. and leave her vulnerable defense more exposed, or sit back like they did in the final two years ago.

In the World Cup final, Wiegman surprisingly deployed star forward Vivianne Miedema in a more withdrawn role and used the speedy Lineth Beerensteyn up top to try and hit the USWNT on the counter.

Would Wiegman do the same on Friday? It appears unlikely. Miedema has already set the record for goals in a single Olympics with eight, and taking her out of her best role would seem to be an unnecessarily reactive move.

If the high-scoring Dutch continue with their attacking approach, it will open up gaps for the USWNT to potentially exploit.

“As open as they play, sometimes they have areas of the field that are more open, so hopefully we can take advantage of that,” Andonovski told the media on Wednesday.

The USWNT attack has been surprisingly limp in Japan, totaling just 13 shots on target in their first three matches, an average of just over four per game. At the 2019 World Cup, the USWNT averaged more than eight shots on target per game. 

Testing Netherlands goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal as often as possible is a sensible goal for the USWNT. Van Veenendaal frustrated the U.S. in the World Cup final in a performance that helped her lock down the Golden Glove award, but she has been off her best form in Japan thus far. 

More than any tactical adjustment though, the USWNT will need to summon the same resilience that they used to overcome the Dutch in France.

After scoring within the first 13 minutes of every game leading up to the World Cup final, the U.S. were held scoreless through the entire first half in Lyon.

The Netherlands flew into every challenge – sometimes illegally – as they aimed to throw the USWNT off their stride.

Eventually, the USWNT broke through the Dutch resistance. The U.S. has been somewhat flat in Japan thus far, but the same tenacity and perseverance they demonstrated in the World Cup final will be required on Friday.

It was far from an ideal group stage, but it will matter not one bit if the USWNT can snap out of their funk when the Olympic knockouts begin.

“It's about playing the long game,” Crystal Dunn said. “These tournaments are marathons, not sprints.”

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Olympic Soccer Live Updates: U.S. Women’s Team Tied With Netherlands

The New York Times 30 July, 2021 - 04:22am

The United States would be eliminated from the tournament with a loss in the quarterfinal.

FULL TIME. Tweet! Tweet! Tweeeeeet! That Rapinoe free kick was the last chance. We’re going to extra time in Yokohama.

90+4′ Van de Donk wipes out O’Hara’s legs from underneath her, getting herself a yellow, and giving the U.S. a dangerous free kick from the left side. But Rapinoe sends it looping out of bounds for a goal kick.

90′ They announce five minutes of additional time, plenty of time for someone to snatch this win.

89′ Two of today’s quarterfinals went to extra time, and as we near 90 minutes in Yokohama you get the sense that’s where we are headed here, too. Let’s hope the late bus back to Tokyo is running ....

89′ Rapinoe wins a corner, but she sends the ensuing kick sailing over everybody’s heads. Things are getting tense now.

Alyssa Naeher’s penalty save might have been just that. And it’s not her first. She quietly saved her team’s World Cup title run several times in 2019 with big saves, most notably against England in the semifinals with a save a lot like that last one there against Lieke Martens.

Naeher is one of the quietest members of the United States team. You might not know much about her: She gives little away in interviews, and rarely smiles on the field until the game is over. In other words, a total pro.

But her teammates and her coach trust her implicitly. And she just showed why. Again.

81′ That was not a good penalty from Martens. She stood over the ball forever while waiting for the review. I wonder if that tightened her up. Regardless, she sent the ball, low and slow, toward Naeher’s left. Naeher guessed correctly and easily brushed the ball aside. That saved the tournament for the Americans.

81′ Lieke Martens will take it ..... VAR review ..... confirmed ..... SAVED!!! NAEHER!

80′ Kelley O’Hara took out Lineth Beerensteyn in the box to draw the whistle!

77′ Lindsey Horan gets the first yellow card of the game. She charges hard at a ball that’s sitting at the feet of Danielle van de Donk and takes a huge chunk of the Dutch player’s foot with her slide tackle. Looked painful. That’s the first booking of the night.

77′ With Rapinoe and Lavelle in the game, the U.S. now has both goal-scorers on the field who helped secure the team’s victory over the Netherlands in the 2019 World Cup final.

70′ Andonovski was just waving his players forward a minute ago after a clearance. He wants them out of their own end, clearly. But he probably wants pressure of the field when they clear the ball out, too, to keep it out.

68′ Lineth Beerensteyn, who replaced van de Sanden on the Netherlands right wing a few minutes ago, drives to the end line, but Alyssa Naeher is there to stuff the trouble.

64′ We’ve got another change, as Megan Rapinoe enters the game for Tobin Heath.

63′ Horan feeds Press at the back post for a goal but — wait for it — she is offside. That’s seven in the tournament for the U.S. now. Offside Goal still trails Miedema by a comfortable margin, however, in the Golden Boot race.

They’re doing a VAR check on the Press goal, but she looked off in real time and on replay. Which the review confirms.

57′ Line change for the U.S.: Morgan, Lavelle and Press come on for Williams, Lloyd and Mewis. That could signal a shift in formation, too, as Press slots in on the right of midfield.

55′ My goodness, Vivianne Miedema is unstoppable. She picked up the ball outside the box and made something seemingly out of nothing, measuring out some space with a series of quick touches, before cutting across the 18-yard line. When she found herself with a pocket of space, she lashed a right-footed shot inside the left post, out of the reach of Alyssa Naeher. That’s her 10th(!!!) goal of the tournament.

54′ GOAL! Vivianne Miedema’s second for the Netherlands. Wow. It’s 2-2.

51′ The other semifinal is set, by the way: Australia stuns Britain, 4-3 in extra time, and will play Sweden (which beat the Matildas in group play). Canada, which knocked out Brazil on penalties, gets the U.S.-Netherlands winner.

50′ It sounds like someone turned up the volume on the fake crowd noise in here by half a tick. It’s hard not to get caught up in the atmosphere!

46′ The second half is underway. No lineup changes for either team.

“We know what type of team we are,” forward Christen Press had said in a call with a handful of reporters on Thursday, suggesting that no one had seen that team yet.

“We know what type of offense we are. We have a way that we play, we have a way that we score goals and it’s been successful for years.”

“Ultimately,” she added, “when the team’s at its best, we are relentless and lethal.”

That was what the team showed in the first half. Relentless pressure and energy. Lethal finishes by Sam Mewis and Lynn Williams minutes apart, and just after the Americans had fallen behind against the run of play.

All week, after an opening loss to Sweden, the U.S. players talked about the “mentality” of their team, a winning mind-set forged over decades of successes and failures, highs and lows, internal pressures to not let down, even for a moment.

They know what it takes to win tournaments. They are showing it tonight.

But can they do it for another 45 minutes?

Giving up an early goal, clearly against the run of play, would have been an easy opportunity for a team to deflate and hang their heads. The United States instead mustered a whirlwind response, netting two goals in a span of three minutes.

Earlier in the tournament, defender Kelley O’Hara talked about the need for the players to be “ruthless.” It feels like we’re seeing some of that attitude right now. There’s a long way to go, but the show of resilience is a promising sign for the time.

33′ A clear handball in the area by the Netherlands there, a ball jumping up and hitting van der Gragt, I think, as she mis-controlled it. But the Australian referee, Kate Jacewicz, waves on play.

31′ Williams kept a play alive, winning a header off a corner kick, lofting the ball high into the air. When the ball finally descended to the field, she was there to smash it into the left side of the net.

Lynn Williams, one of the last players cut from the 2019 World Cup team, was originally an alternate for the Olympic roster until it was expanded to allow for a squad of 22. This is her first time in Tokyo as part of the starting 11 — and she makes her mark with an assist and a goal.

31′ GOAL! Lynn Williams! The U.S. turns the tables and it’s 2-1 in the blink of an eye.

Christen Press and Rose Lavelle and Emily Sonnett come sprinting off the U.S. bench after that one. Lots of fire back in this team tonight.

28′ Williams made a hard dribbling run down the right side, then did a great job cutting the ball back to give herself the time and space to peek up into the box. She spotted Mewis making a run, and whipped a lefty cross straight onto her forehead. Mewis gave it a good knock just inside the right post, giving the Americans the goal they desperately needed. It’s a whole new ballgame.

28′ GOAL! Sam Mewis header! We’re tied in Yokohama.

27′ Still waiting for our first Lynn Williams-Lynn Wilms encounter. Alas, they’ve been patrolling opposite touch lines.

The U.S. strategy has definitely been a shift tonight: They are pressing the Netherlands whenever it has the ball, almost as if they don’t want the Dutch to have it, or they are insulted when they do. But that’s hard work — a lot of running, a lot of pressing, a lot of tracking for no reward, until there is one.

All of it, however, was undone by a momentary lapse that let the best player in the tournament turn and fire from about 15 yards. Miedema was never going to miss from there.

18′ What a great piece of skill by Miedema. A cross was swirling into the box behind her, and she got a toe on it to get it under control. In a single motion, she spun her body, got in position to shoot and fired it into the lower left corner to give the Netherlands a 1-0 lead. That’s her ninth(!) goal of the tournament.

Miedema is already breaking records. She has scored the most goals ever in a single Olympic women’s tournament, a record she shattered in the group stage.

18′ GOAL! The Netherlands leads through Vivianne Miedema. 1-0.

14′ Oooh, the U.S. gets close again. Williams is sprung on the right and crosses hard and low for Horan at the back post. She meets the ball well, but the Dutch goalie Sari van Veenendaal dives to push it onto her post, and then covers up as it lays there tantalizingly. Great chance.

11′ Ouch! Ertz went airborne for a lofted ball, but Shanice van de Sanden did not. Ertz flipped over the Dutch player’s body and landed squarely on her back. She winces in pain, but she’s OK.

10′ GOOAAAL ... Nooooo. Heath beats the trap and latches onto a ball in the area, and then slots it home. But as soon as it hits the net the assistant referee raises her flag: no goal. That’s the *sixth* goal lost to offside in the last three games for the Americans — equal to their actual goal total.

6′ Case in point about the quiet in the stadium: We just heard Julie Ertz yell, “We gotta keep the ball moving!”

7′ That’s better than what she was yelling a minute earlier, the extremely subtle instruction of “Drop Tobin drop Tobin Tobin drop drop drop!”

Heath gets away by winning the first corner, but the Dutch clear it easily.

4′ Lloyd just forced a hurried clearance. She hasn’t let up since the opening whistle. She is the fittest player on the U.S. team, but at 39 she knows this might be her last big tournament (if she follows through on hints that it is). She doesn’t want to go out in the quarters.

Eight seconds into the game and Carli Lloyd is in the goalkeeper’s face inside her own six-yard box. So that’s how Lloyd is going to play, I see.

It’s steamy here in the press area. I’m sweating, but it might have just been the seven-story ascent to get to our nosebleed seats. And with the track ringing the field, it feels like we’re watching from a mile away. Even so, it’s so quiet that we can hear what some of the players are saying way out there on the grass.

Canada beats Brazil 4-3 on penalties after a scoreless tie. That means the Canadians await the winner of the U.S. vs. Netherlands match.

Canada and Brazil are in penalties in the day’s first quarterfinal, and Sam Kerr scored late for Australia to tie Britain, 2-2. We may have four games at once here.

What to watch on Day 7 of the 2021 Olympics: USWNT enters knockout stage

New York Post 29 July, 2021 - 07:15pm

By Michael Blinn

July 29, 2021 | 8:15pm | Updated July 29, 2021 | 8:15pm

One week in and the Olympics are still going hard.

Day 7 in Tokyo will see medal counts rise and the beginning of track and field events.

It will also see a heated matchup between the US Women’s National Soccer Team and The Netherlands to open up the knockout stage.

Here’s what to watch for on Day 7 of the 2020 Olympics:

Lilly King should be in the medal chase for the US in the Women’s 200M breaststroke final (9:41 PM), and she’ll have back-up in fellow American Annie Lazor. Ryan Murphy and Brett Redford will go for the gold in the Men’s 200M backstroke final (9:50), while Abbey Weitzel is the lone US representative in the pool for the Women’s 100M freestyle final (10:00).

The Americans will also have a stake in the Men’s 200M individual medley (10:16) to wrap up their day in the water.

The mud will fly for the men’s and women’s finale. Defending Olympic champ Connor Fields and Corben Sharrah will represent the US in the men’s race, while Alise Willoughby, and Felicia Stancil will do so in the women’s.

American duo Tennys Sandgren and Austin Krajicek will look to add to the medal count in the bronze medal match.

As far as quarterfinals go, it doesn’t get much bigger than this. The USWNT, which finished second in Group G, opens the knockout stage against the Netherlands — a rematch of the 2019 Women’s World Cup. The Americans haven’t lost to the Dutch since 1991, winning eight straight matchups.

Three Americans will race for the first medals in track and field, and it won’t be easy. Grant Fisher, Woody Kincaid and Joe Klecker will vie for the US’ first medal in the approximately 6-mile run since Galen Rupp’s silver in 2012.

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