US soccer team wins nail-biter against Netherlands with penalty kicks in Olympics quarterfinal

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(TOKYO) — The U.S. faced off against the Netherlands Friday in soccer at the Olympics and won.

This was their first match of the knockout stage of the Tokyo Olympics, and with that, the Americans will advance to the next game.

It was a dramatic finish as the score was tied 2-2 at the end of 120 minutes of game time, which included two additional 15-minute extra time periods. The game came down to penalty kicks.

The kicks started with an epic save by America’s goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher of a kick by Netherlands’ Vivianne Miedema, giving the U.S. an advantage. Penalty kicks were then scored by the U.S. by Rose Lavelle, Alex Morgan, Christen Press and Megan Rapinoe.

Naeher blocked two of the Netherlands’ four penalty kicks, while the Americans scored on each attempt. Legend Rapinoe had the final word, with a right-footed kick pounding into the top back corner of the goal.

It was a generally epic day for Naeher who, in addition to blocking those two penalty kicks at the end of the match, blocked another penalty earlier in the match. Had she missed that attempt by Lieke Martens, which happened within minutes of the end of the second period, the entire trajectory of the match would have changed.

The U.S. team faced some uncharacteristic struggles making it past group play in the early stage of the tournament. They began by losing to Sweden, scoring no goals to Sweden’s three.

The Americans came back to their more typical style in the next game, beating New Zealand 6-1, but then drew a draw against Australia.

For more Olympics coverage, see: https://abcnews.go.com/Sports/Olympics

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Key moments from the Olympic Games: Day 7

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(TOKYO) — Each day, ABC News will give you a roundup of key Olympic moments from the day’s events in Tokyo, happening 13 hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard Time. After a 12-month delay, the unprecedented 2020 Summer Olympics is taking place without fans or spectators and under a state of emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic.

US swimming brings in pair of silvers, men’s team draws attention out of the pool

U.S. swimmers Lilly King and Annie Lazor finished second and third in the 200m breaststroke, an admirable finish for the swimmers who were bested by a world-record setting effort by South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker.

Team USA’s Ryan Murphy also secured a silver medal in the 200m backstroke.

Murphy’s teammate Michael Andrew was notably without a mask after his fifth place finish, and after the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee said he violated protocol, they later reversed their decision, according to USA Today.

COVID-19 cases at Tokyo Olympics rise to 225, Japan extends state of emergency

There were 27 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 among people at the Tokyo Olympics on Friday, including two athletes staying at the Olympic Village. The total now stands at 225, according to data released by the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee.

The surrounding city of Tokyo reported 3,300 new cases on Friday, a seven-day average increase of 180.5%, according to data released by the Tokyo metropolitan government. Japan has extended its state of emergency to three of Tokyo’s surrounding prefectures.

Track and field events get underway

The 2020 Olympics’ track and field events began with a fast start today; six women finished the 100m qualifying round under 11 seconds. The first medal event, the men’s 10,000m, will be held later this morning.

US women’s basketball extends win streak to 51

Team USA’s women’s basketball team increased their win streak to 51 with an 86-69 win to the host country’s team. The effort was led by A’ja Wilson who scored 20 points and Breanna Stewart who ended with 15. The team has one game left in the group round.

Djokovic loses in semifinals, Golden Slam dream over

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic lost to Alexander Zverev 6-1, 3-6, 1-6 in the semifinals and with the loss also went his hopes of achieving the Golden Slam. A Golden Slam is accomplished by winning all four majors and winning the Olympics all in the same year. The feat has only been achieved by Steffi Graf in 1988.

For more Olympics coverage, see: https://abcnews.go.com/Sports/Olympics

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Pro golfer Max Homa rallies behind Simone Biles: “We’re all battling something internally”

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(NEW YORK) — Pro golfer Max Homa added his name to those supporting Simone Biles’ decision to withdraw from the women’s all-around competition at the Olympics.

The 30-year-old Genesis Invitational winner took to Twitter on Wednesday to tell people to “cool it with the judgement and anger” because “we’re all battling something internally.”

Homa later told ABC Audio what went through his mind when he first heard Biles would not be competing in the Olympic event that she was predicted to win.

“I think that the moment it dropped, I knew it was going to be crazy, but at the same time, I knew that there’s got to be something big going on in her head if she doesn’t want to compete,” he declared. “So if she said she couldn’t do it, there’s a big reason [why].”

“I don’t think it’s up to all of us to judge… Basically, she knows there’s going to be a lot of people not happy with that,” he continued. “I don’t think that you need to start calling her a quitter and getting angry with her and saying that she’s letting people down because nobody around her has said that!”

“Not everybody can feel cool, calm and collected at all times… even people like Simone Biles who is amazing at what she does,” Homa explained. “I think people forget that she wants to compete and she wants to get gold medals and she wants to win and she wants to be with her team.”

Saying Biles is “doing what’s right” for her, Homa said that a reliable way athletes recharge is by “listening to their friends and family” who have their best interest at heart — not to the “random people on TV” telling them otherwise.

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Scoreboard roundup — 7/29/21

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(NEW YORK) — Here are the scores from Thursday’s sports events:

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

AMERICAN LEAGUE
Tampa Bay 14, NY Yankees 0
Kansas City 5, Chi White Sox 0
Detroit 6, Baltimore 2
Toronto 13, Boston 1
Oakland 4, LA Angels 0

NATIONAL LEAGUE
Washington 3, Philadelphia 1
Atlanta 6, NY Mets 3
Cincinnati 7, Chi Cubs 4
Philadelphia 11, Washington 8
San Francisco 5, LA Dodgers 0
Milwaukee 12, Pittsburgh 0
San Diego 3, Colorado 0

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SEC officially invites Texas, Oklahoma to conference

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(NEW YORK) — The SEC has officially offered the University of Texas and the University of Oklahoma invitations to join the conference starting on July 1, 2025

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey gave the news to the presidents of both schools during a video conference.

“Today’s unanimous vote is both a testament to the SEC’s longstanding spirit of unity and mutual cooperation, as well as a recognition of the outstanding legacies of academic and athletic excellence established by the Universities of Oklahoma and Texas,” said Commissioner Sankey in a statement. “I greatly appreciate the collective efforts of our Presidents and Chancellors in considering and acting upon each school’s membership interest.” 

The announcement comes after the conference voted in favor of extending invitations. At least three-fourth of the 14 schools in the conference needed to approve of the move. 

On Monday, the two schools issued a joint statement saying that they notified the Big 12 that the schools will not renew their grant of media rights in 2025.

“Providing notice to the Big 12 at this point is important in advance of the expiration of the conference’s current media rights agreement,” the statement said. “The universities intend to honor their existing grant of rights agreements. However, both universities will continue to monitor the rapidly evolving collegiate athletics landscape as they consider how best to position their athletics programs for the future.”

The following day, the schools sent a letter to Sankey asking for invitations to the conference.

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Nearly 88% of NFL players have gotten at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot

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(New York) — Nearly 88% of NFL players have gotten at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot, a week after the league announced that teams could face potential forfeits and lost paychecks for outbreaks among unvaccinated players.

On Thursday, NFL Communications Director Brian McCarthy said on Twitter that 87.9% of players have gotten at least one shot. Among the leagues’ 32 teams, 19 of them have more than 90% of players partially vaccinated, and seven have more than 95%, he said.

The partial vaccination rate among NFL players overall is up from over 75% a week ago, when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell warned teams that outbreaks may result in having to forfeit games during the regular 18-week season.

If a game is canceled due to a COVID-19 outbreak among unvaccinated players and it can’t be rescheduled, the team with the outbreak will have to forfeit the game, and players on both teams won’t get paid, he said in a memo to the athletes.

The NFL is striving to have at least 85% of players on each team vaccinated. Vaccination is not required among players, per an agreement with their union, the NFL Players Association.

Teams just opened training camps this week, during which COVID-19 protocols include daily testing and mask requirements for players who are not fully vaccinated. Fully vaccinated players are tested every two weeks.

The NFL Players Association told “Good Morning America” Saturday that the union agreed with the league’s new protocols, but would support any athlete who doesn’t want to get vaccinated.

“We know that vaccinations have reduced infection rates and so we feel good about this, but still want you to make the choice for yourself,” Benjamin Watson, vice president of the association, told ESPN’s Matt Barrie.

“If a player does not want to get vaccinated, we will stand by him 100%,” he said.

Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill told reporters on the first day of training camp Wednesday he felt the league was unjustly forcing them to get vaccinated.

“The NFL has made it clear what they want to happen,” he said, adding he was in the process of getting fully vaccinated. “If you don’t fall in line, they’re going to try and make your life miserable because of the protocol. I wouldn’t have gotten the vaccine without the protocols that they are enforcing on us. I think it’s a personal decision for each of us.”

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Jets sign rookie Quarterback Zach Wilson

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(NEW YORK) — The New York Jets have announced rookie quarterback Zach Wilson has signed his rookie contract. 

According to ESPN, Wilson signed a four-year, $35.15 million contract that is fully quaranteed. The contract includes a fifth-year team option. 

Wilson has missed the first two days of the Jets training camp. 

“Every rep is important, so my concern is that it’s two days too many for him,” head coach Saleh told reporters before the news of the contract. “As far as the installs go and the way we’re preparing the rest of the team, that doesn’t concern me. But this young man has a chance to do something special around here that hasn’t been done in a while and every rep matters for him.”

The Jets have only two other quarterbacks the roster with Mike White and James Morgan. Neither players have appeared in a regular season game. 

 

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Yankees acquire Joey Gallo from Rangers

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(NEW YORK) — The New York Yankees have acquired outfielder Joey Gallo from the Texas Rangers in a trade, the team announced Thursday.

The Yankees sent shortstop Josh Smith, second baseman Ezequiel Duran, second baseman/outfielder Trevor Hauver and right handed pitcher Glenn Otto to Texas. All four our top thirty prospects in the Yankees farm system. 

New York gets Gallo, left handed pitcher Joely Rodriquez and cash considerations. 

“We are incredibly excited to add two players that will really help us,” said manager Aaron Boone before Thursday’s game against Tampa Bay. “I’m thrilled [Gallo] coming to join the fold. This is obviously a tremendous player, hopefully people are talking about what a tremendous all-around player… We got a lot better today.”

Boone said Gallo will be with the team on Friday. 

Gallo is batting .223 with 25 home runs and 88 RBIs. His home runs rank sixth in the American League this season. 

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5 things to know about Sunisa Lee, America’s new Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast

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(TOKYO) — Sunisa Lee won gold in the gymnastics all-around at the Tokyo Olympics, making her the fifth American female gymnast in a row to win the Olympic all-around title.

The Minnesota-based Lee, 18, went into the all-arounds with a medal already in her pocket, having been part of the U.S. team that won silver Tuesday.

Lee competed in the all-around competition Thursday alongside fellow American Jade Carey, who finished in eight place.

Lee and Carey’s teammates, including Simone Biles, who withdrew from the individual competition to focus on her mental health, were seen Thursday in the stands in Tokyo cheering on Lee and Carey.

Here are five things to know about Lee, America’s newest gold medal-winning gymnast.

1. Lee made history as a Hmong-American:

Lee is the first Hmong-American to compete for Team USA and the first to win a gold medal at the Olympics.

One of six children, Lee was born and raised in Minnesota, a state that has one of the largest Hmong populations in the nation.

The Hmong people lived in southwestern China for thousands of years and then migrated to countries including Laos and Thailand. During the Vietnam War, the Hmong living in Laos partnered with American forces, which led to them being retaliated against once the United States left in the early 1970s.

Many families eventually resettled in the U.S., including Lee’s father, John, who moved to Minnesota from Laos at the age of 7 with his 10 siblings and their parents, according to ESPN.

Lee told People magazine earlier this year that she knows making gymnastics history as a Hmong-American “means a lot to the Hmong community … and to just be an inspiration to other Hmong people [means] a lot to me too.”

2. Lee is the youngest competitor on the US gymnastics team:

Lee is the youngest person on this year’s team at 18 years old, but is no stranger to high-stakes competition. A first-time Olympian, Lee is the national bar champion and has taken gold for beam at several national championships and at the 2019 World Championships.

3. Lee’s family watched her compete from Minnesota:

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Lee’s family was not able to travel to Tokyo to watch her in person.

Instead, the family gathered in their home state of Minnesota to watch Lee win the gold.

Among the family members celebrating was Lee’s dad, who was paralyzed from the chest down after falling from a ladder while helping a neighbor cut a tree branch in 2019. The accident took place just days before Lee competed at the U.S. National Gymnastics Championships.

It was Lee’s dad who helped her get her start in gymnastics by building a wooden balance beam that still sits in the family’s backyard.

“[He tells me] to go out there and do my best and to just do what I do,” Lee told People about her dad’s pep talks.

4. Lee survived a broken foot, family tragedy before the Olympics:

When the Olympics were postponed one year due to the coronavirus pandemic, Lee considered quitting the sport. But, with her family’s encouragement, continued her training, according to ESPN.

Then in June 2020 she broke her foot, and later over the summer, her aunt and uncle both contracted COVID-19 and died.

“It’s been a tough year, but I’m super proud of myself,” Lee told ESPN earlier this month. “After COVID and quarantine, I was unmotivated because we had so much time off and I felt I wasn’t good enough anymore. But now I’ve been a lot better mentally and you can see it in my gymnastics.”

5. Lee’s next stop post-Olympics is college:

After the Olympics, Lee plans to attend Auburn University in Alabama.

ABC News’ Alexandra Svokos and Aryana Azari contributed to this report.

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What is a Golden Slam? Novak Djokovic at Olympics steps closer toward men’s tennis history

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(TOKYO) — Cruising into the medal rounds Thursday, Serbia’s Novak Djokovic could be on his way to making men’s tennis history at this year’s Olympic Games.

Every year, tennis players have the opportunity to achieve a Grand Slam by winning all four majors: the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open.

But every four years — or, well, five years, in this case — they have the opportunity to achieve a “Golden Slam.” That means winning all four majors and the Olympics.

It’s only ever been achieved once, by Steffi Graf in 1988. No man has ever completed a Golden Slam.

Djokovic, at the very least, is close to it. So far this year, he has won the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon. The U.S. Open takes place at the end of summer.

On Thursday, Djokovic beat Japan’s Kei Nishikori in the quarterfinals in Tokyo. He will go on to face Germany’s Alexander Zverev in the semifinal.

A Grand Slam is rare enough. No men’s tennis player has done it in a calendar year since Rod Laver in 1969 — though Djokovic did hold all four titles simultaneously from 2015 to 2016.

He’s facing a somewhat limited field in Tokyo as Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Matteo Berrettini, who Djokovic beat in the Wimbledon finals to tie Nadal and Federer’s majors record, will not be competing.

Despite that — and despite the Serbian athlete’s general dominance over the last two years — it won’t exactly be a walk in the park as Djokovic’s competition in the tournament included Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas, Zverev and Russia’s Daniil Medvedev, representing the Russian Olympic Committee, among others.

Djokovic has made no secret of his ambitions, telling Montenegro’s MINA news agency before the Games, according to USOpen.org, “I am inspired to play my best tennis and confident that I can win the gold medal after a tremendous run so far this season.”

While he acknowledged the Olympics and U.S. Open would be “demanding,” he added, “But I am full of confidence and motivated to represent Serbia in the best possible way. I am yearning for a medal in Tokyo, hopefully gold, and then I’ll go to New York aiming to complete it all.”

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