4 to Watch: Team USA Advances to Semifinals in Knockout Stage of Women's Soccer

The U.S. women's soccer team started quarterfinal play victorious, with everything to play for. In other events, the U.S. wins its first play in baseball, the men's volleyball team loses to a giant, and events got underway in track and field at the Tokyo Olympics.

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

The U.S. women's soccer team won a must-win nail biter of a quarterfinal matchup early Friday, when it took on a potent Netherlands team at the Tokyo Olympics.

With the win, Team USA is inching towards firmer footing in Tokyo after a shutout loss, one convincing win and a draw in the group stage.

In other action, baseball and track and field events began, and the U.S. men's volleyball lost a matchup against the Rio Olympics gold medalists.

The U.S. women’s soccer team advanced to the quarterfinals after tying with Australia 0-0. The quarterfinals are scheduled to begin July 30.

Team USA Beats Netherlands in Women's Soccer Quarterfinals

The U.S. women's national team won a high-stakes, edge-of-your-seat game against the Netherlands, after going 4-4 in penalty kicks to move on to the semifinal against Canada.

Megan Rapinoe, Palos Verdes Estates' Christen Press, Diamond Bar's Alex Morgan and Rose Lavelle scored, and Alyssa Naeher made two saves in the shoot-out. Sam Mewis and Lynn Williams scored in regulation.

The United States had three goals called back for offsides during the game, over the course of regulation and two overtime periods.

Team USA sneaked into the soccer quarterfinals thanks to a draw against Australia on Tuesday after a worrying loss to Sweden to open the group stage.

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 Olympics.

The team 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, Carli Lloyd, Diamond Bar's Alex Morgan and Co. turn their attention to fending elimination and winning the U.S. another gold.

Other players with Southern California connections include Christen Press (Palos Verdes Estates) and UCLA's Sam Mewis and Abby Dahlkemper.

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 semifinal between the U.S. and Canada will take place on Monday, starting at 1 a.m. PT.

If triathlete Katie Zaferes had a sushi roll named after her, it would have ice cream, she says. Swimmer Bowe Becker isn't sure what ingredients his would have, but he knows it would be deep-fried.

Women’s 100m Heats Highlight Track and Field’s Tokyo Debut

Full Schedule: Click here to see a schedule or track and field events.

The women’s 100m heats were the marquee event of the night in track and field, and they did not disappoint. Marie Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast had the fastest qualifying time at 10.78, followed by Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson-Herah at 10.82 and Olympic legend Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce at 10.84.

All three Americans -- Teahna Daniels, Javianne Oliver and Jenna Prandini, who replaced Sha’Carri Richardson in the event – also advanced to the semifinals on Saturday at 6:15 a.m. ET. The finals will follow at 8:50 a.m.

In the 3000m steeplechase, Hillary Bor surprisingly did not advance to the final after having finished seventh overall at the 2016 Rio Games. He was in the third heat, where the runners ran at a much slower pace than their counterparts in the first two heats. Among the other Americans, Benard Keter advanced after finishing in 8:17.31, good enough for sixth in the second heat, and Mason Ferlic finished eighth in the first heat.

All three Americans in the men’s 400m hurdles advanced to the semis after their performances in the heats. Rai Benjamin and Kenneth Selmon had the fourth (48.60 seconds) and fifth (48.61) fastest times overall. Dave Kendziera was toward the back of the pack with a time of 49.23.

Two American men moved forward in the high jump. Juvaughn Harrison and Shelby McEwen each jumped 2.28m. Darryl Sullivan did not make it to the final on Sunday, Aug. 1 at 6:10 a.m.

Sam Mattis was the only American to advance in the discus throw, with his best throw at 63.74m, good enough for eighth out of the 12 athletes moving forward. The final will be Saturday at 7:15 a.m. ET.

All Summer Olympic medals feature the same Greek goddess: Nike, the goddess of victory. Watch to learn why this figure of ancient Greek mythology became a fixture in the Olympic Summer Games.

US Wins Opening Olympics Baseball Tournament Against Israel

Team USA won its 2021 Olympics debut 8-1, knocking off Israel. Tyler Austin’s three-RBI night led to the baseball team's first win in Tokyo, while Joe Ryan pitched six innings, giving up only one run.

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. made 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. Todd Frazier, Scott Kazmir, Edwin Jackson, Anthony Gose, of Bellflower, and 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.

The team includes Dodgers AAA player Tim Federowicz. Team USA is managed by former Dodger and ex-Angels manager Mike Scioscia. 

Israel's roster features some notable ex-big leaguers in Ian Kinsler, Danny Valencia and Ty Kelly. 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 3 a.m. PT 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.

The livestream was available here.

Wrestler Jordan Burrougs doesn't buy into the concept of karma. "Bad stuff happens to all people," he says. Beach volleyball star April Ross thinks the opposite. "Putting positive energy into the world and helping each other out goes full circle," she says.

Brazil Beats Team USA in Men's Volleyball

The U.S. men's volleyball team fell to Brazil early Friday morning. Team USA took the lead in the first set after an intense first frame, winning 32-30, before Brazil pulled ahead in the next three 25-23, 25-21 and 25-20.

The United States and Brazil are used to playing each other in men's volleyball. The two teams last met two months ago, with Brazil coming away victorious in the Volleyball Nations League 2021. In their 44th overall meeting, the result was no different for Team USA, which fell in four sets. 

The defending gold medalists took the match in four sets, 3-1. The U.S. dropped to 2-2 in pool play. Brazil, looking for its fifth consecutive medal at the Olympic Games, moves up to second in the standings. The U.S. falls to third, but is still in position to advance.

Both teams were 2-1 entering the contest, scheduled for 7:05 p.m. PT Thursday. The two teams last met in May, when Brazil -- the Rio gold medalists -- scored a hard-fought win.

The United States is coming off a 25-14, 23-25, 25-14, 25-23 win over winless Tunisia.

Players on the U.S. team with Southern Californians ties include Taylor Sander, (Hungtington Beach), Micah Christenson (USC), Garret Muagututia (UCLA), David Smith (Saugus), Mitch Stahl (UCLA), TJ DeFalco (Huntington Beach) and Kyle Ensin (Valencia). 

Contact Us