Your weekend viewing guide - The best games of the weekend and why you should watch. Usually everything from College Football, to the English Premier League, to the NHL but this week we have the British Open, Women’s World Cup, and Copa America Quarterfinals.
The Triple-Dub: July 15th – 17th
2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup:
Photo via zimbio.com
The U.S. Women had another exciting match in the Semifinals with France on Wednesday. Lauren Cheney deflected a perfect cross from Heather O’Reilly into the back of the net just 9 minutes into the game giving them a 1-0 lead. The U.S. then controlled most of the first half before France turned up the pressure in the second half. After several shots from distance in the wet conditions France got a much needed equalizer from Sonia Bompastor whose apparent cross ended up beating Hope Solo. The French kept the pressure on the U.S. for much of the second half until Abby Wombach headed home the go-ahead goal in the 79th minute (pictured above). Alex Morgan scored her first goal of the World Cup three minutes later for the U.S. sealing their spot in the Final. Japan upset Sweden in the other Semifinal 3-1 after the Swedes took a 1-0 lead just 10 minutes in – I didn’t get to see the game but was surprised to see Japan prevailed.
The U.S. should have a distinct height and athletic advantage against Japan in the Final but the Japanese have a very technical style and possess the ball similar to the Spanish Men’s Team at times (obviously not quite to that level but you get the idea). The contrasting styles should be fun to watch in the Final but the United States is heavily favored. Solo, Wambach, Cheney, O’Reilly, Megan Rapinoe and Shannon Boxx have all played well throughout the tournament and I expect it to continue in the Final. However, if the game is close late, keep your eye on super sub Alex Morgan to potentially make a game changing play for the United States. Anyway, here’s what you need to know so you can watch the action this weekend:
- Saturday July 16th
France vs Sweden - Third Place Game – 11:30 AM ET – ESPN 2 (Third place games can actually be pretty exciting – the teams are more relaxed and tend to play more of a wide-open game with more goals scored than normal)
- Sunday July 17th
United States vs Japan - Women’s World Cup Final – 2:45 PM ET – ESPN
2011 British Open:
The Open Championship – as it’s known in the U.K. – is always a little wacky with the links style courses, the insane wind, heavy rain, and often obscure winners. Anyway, the 140th British Open teed off at Royal St. George’s yesterday with Thomas Bjorn and amateur Tom Lewis atop the leaderboard at 5-under. Lewis’ 65 was the lowest round by an amateur in British Open history. The next 15 players behind them with scores between -4 and -2 include Graeme McDowell (-2), Martin Kaymer(-2) and basically a bunch of no namers. Phil Mickelson is tied for 36th finishing with an even 70 while Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald are tied for 51st after shooting 1-over in the opening round. As you can probably tell I’m not exactly sold on watching this weekend but Friday should be a good indicator if it will be watchable through the weekend. Here’s the TV schedule:
- Round 2 – Friday – 4:00 AM – 3:00 PM ET – ESPN
- Round 3 – Saturday – 7:00 AM – 2:30 PM ET – ESPN
- Final Round - Sunday – 6:00 AM – 1:30 PM ET – ESPN
I was getting ready to give up on Copa America after the extremely dull group stage matches but the Quaterfinal match-ups could actually be intriguing. Brazil and Argentina seemed to awaken in their final group games with both teams getting much needed wins. Messi finally seemed to fit-in with the rest of the Argentina squad recording two assists against Costa Rica while Pato and Neymar came to life for Brazil with each of them scoring twice against Ecuador. Here are the Quarterfinal matches this weekend:
- Saturday July 16th
Colombia vs Peru - 3:00 PM ET – YouTube
Argentina vs Uruguay - 6:15 PM ET – YouTube (this should be a good one)
- Sunday July 17th
Brazil vs Paraguay - 3:00 PM ET – YouTube (could also be pretty good)
Chile vs Venezuela - 6:15 PM ET – YouTube
What are you watching this weekend?