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San Diego Wave vs. Angel City FC: Previewing the rivalry match

Angel City’s Julie Ertz and San Diego’s Amirah Ali battle for the ball during the teams’ first meeting in April. (Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports)

Angel City FC and the San Diego Wave will face off Saturday in the latest edition of their cross-California rivalry match.

San Diego holds a 1-0 edge this season and a 3-1-1 advantage overall after their 2-0 win over Angel City in April. Their most recent meeting in San Diego last September drew an NWSL record 32,000 fans to Snapdragon Stadium. The Wave (6-3-2) enter the game in first place in the NWSL standings, Angel City (2-6-3) in 11th place and with an interim head coach after the club parted ways with Freya Coombe on Thursday.

While this marks the final regular-season match between the teams in 2023, two Challenge Cup games await, in Los Angeles on June 28 and in San Diego on Aug. 5.

Angel City vs. San Diego: How to watch

The rivalry game will take place at 4 p.m. ET (1 p.m. local time) on Saturday, June 17. It will air on CBS and also stream online via CBS Sports.

Key players

Alyssa Thompson, Angel City FC

Thompson’s pro career has gotten off to a strong start. The 2023 No. 1 draft pick has created the second-most chances for Angel City, with 18 total shots so far this season. She’s also scored three goals, tied for the most on the team with Claire Emslie. Wherever she is on the field, San Diego should have eyes on Thompson, as letting the speedy 18-year-old go unchecked could lead to danger for the visiting team.

Didi Haračić, Angel City FC

In order for Angel City to have a shot against top-of-the-table San Diego, goalkeeper Haračić will need to be lights out against the likes of Jaedyn Shaw, Alex Morgan and Sofia Jakobsson. While she has allowed 21 goals this season, she has faced 59 shots on target and registered a 71.2% save percentage. Angel City, currently in 11th place on the NWSL table, could use an outstanding performance from Haračić. She has kept her team in games of late, with their three most recent losses ending in a one-goal difference.

Jaedyn Shaw, San Diego Wave

Shaw’s passing abilities and goal-scoring prowess make her a rising star for San Diego. Her three goals are the second-most on the team behind Alex Morgan, and she’s been a key fixture in creating chances for her team when she’s not the one scoring. Head coach Casey Stoney called the 18-year-old’s vision among the best she has seen. Shaw could be a sleeper pick for a USWNT World Cup spot this summer and a future national team mainstay.

Naomi Girma, San Diego Wave

The reigning NWSL Rookie and Defender of the Year, Naomi Girma comes into the game with a brand-new contract that will keep her in San Diego through 2026. The reasons for that contract are clear: Girma is one of the best players the Wave have in their arsenal of talent. (And that is not a knock on the Wave but a credit to Girma — after all, San Diego features Alex Morgan, Sofia Jakobsson and other stars on its roster.) The future of the USWNT defense, Girma is an elite passer (with an astounding 86.2% completion rate, good for third in the league) and a lockdown defender (with 5.0 clearances per 90, also third in the league).

X-factors

Angel City FC

Control the transitional attack and maintain possession. Angel City has had good ball possession this season — they just haven’t managed to put together all of the pieces. Despite 36 shots on target, they’ve scored just 13 goals. They’ve also put up 149 total shots and, at some point, need them to find the back of the net. San Diego’s stats look fairly similar, with 16 goals on 44 shots on target. Can Angel City finally find an offensive breakthrough?

San Diego Wave

Goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan is tied for the league lead with five clean sheets. She’s had help from a strong defense, but those shutouts are also just the sign of a good goalie. Their offensive stars similarly have helped propel them to the top of the league, led by Alex Morgan’s five goals. But when they lose, they tend to lose big. Limiting Angel City’s attack will be key if San Diego wants to walk away with the win.

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USWNT Kicks Off 2024 Olympic Tournament Against Zambia

uswnt vs. zambia olympics graphic
The USWNT kicks off their group stage run against Zambia today at 3 PM ET. (Just Women's Sports)

The USWNT begins their 2024 Olympic campaign today, taking on Zambia in their first group stage match.

The team will be looking for a positive first result, before taking on Germany and then Australia in a fast and furious schedule kicking off in Nice before traveling west down the coast to Marseille.

HARRISON, NJ - JULY 13: USWNT coach Emma Hayes stands on the field before a game between Mexico and USWNT
The USWNT is entering a new era under head coach Emma Hayes. (Brad Smith/ISI Photos/USSF/Getty Images for USSF)

The road to Olympic gold starts now

While eight of the 12 teams competing in the group stage will move on to the August 3rd quarterfinals — including two countries advancing on a third-place tiebreak — first week successes can dictate a path to the medal rounds.

"There's top footballing nations in this tournament. I don't think shocks in the women's game exist anymore — I think we have to reframe our focus a little bit and have respect for the rest of the world," US head coach Emma Hayes told the media this week.

"We've learned a lot and we've grown a lot," added USWNT forward Sophia Smith. "We're just looking at this tournament and not backwards because there's really no point in doing that."

Barbra Banda of Zambia's Olympic soccer team celebrates after scoring at the 2023 World Cup
Zambia star Barbra Banda has extensive experience facing USWNT players. (Hannah Peters - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Sizing up the USWNT's Olympic challengers

Hayes’s words could prove true from the jump. While FIFA world No. 92 Zambia weighs in as Group B's lowest-ranked team, they're definitely capable of setting the USWNT on their heels. This will be the first-ever meeting between the two nations, though Zambia has both Tokyo Olympics and 2023 World Cup experience under their belt.

Case and point? Starting striker Barbra Banda currently leads the NWSL's Golden Boot race, firmly placing herself in the MVP conversation while routinely going head-to-head with USWNT players.

"I know what a threat she can be," US defender Emily Fox said this week. "Their entire team is a threat, especially with their transition. But we're ready for it."

Hayes has emphasized cohesion from her starting group, indicating fans could see this afternoon's starting XI mirror the lineups utilized in the last two tune-up friendlies. The US defeated Mexico 1-0 before drawing Costa Rica 0-0 in their final two games before traveling to training camp in France.

Where to watch USWNT vs. Zambia

Today’s Olympic group stage match between the USWNT and Zambia kicks off at 3 PM ET with live coverage on NBC platforms.

Team Canada’s Olympic Drone Controversy Explained

Team Canada with their flag at the 2024 Concacaf Women's Gold Cup
Team Canada faces repercussions after flying a drone over New Zealand's practice session. (Logan Riely/Getty Images)

The 2024 Paris Games haven't even officially begun, yet the Olympic soccer tournament has already been rocked by a controversy spurred by defending gold medalists Canada.

New Zealand lodged a formal complaint to the IOC on Tuesday, alleging that a Team Canada support staff member spied on their training session in Saint-Étienne using drone surveillance. 

In response, the Canadian Olympic Committee immediately confirmed the incident and apologized, promising to conduct an "independent external review."

Local police saw the drone and arrested "Non-accredited analyst" Joseph Lombardi on Monday, charging him with "flying an unmanned aircraft over a prohibited area." He has since pleaded guilty and accepted a suspended eight-month prison sentence in addition to a €45,000 fine.

Team Canada has since dismissed Lombardi, sending him along with his direct supervisor Jasmine Mandor home from the Games and officially removing the pair from the team.

CanWNT head coach Bev Priestman looks up during a match.
Head coach Bev Priestman has removed herself from Canada's Olympic opener against New Zealand. (Logan Riely/Getty Images)

Canada boss Priestman to miss opening match

Canada head coach Bev Priestman accepted the decision to sit out her squad's Olympic group stage opener against New Zealand on Thursday.

"On behalf of our entire team, I first and foremost want to apologize to the players and staff at New Zealand Football and to the players on Team Canada," Priestman said in a statement.

"I am ultimately responsible for conduct in our program. Accordingly, to emphasize our team’s commitment to integrity, I have decided to voluntarily withdraw from coaching the match on Thursday," Priestman added. "In the spirit of accountability, I do this with the interests of both teams in mind and to ensure everyone feels that the sportsmanship of this game is upheld."

New Zealand has also reportedly asked FIFA that to bar Canada from earning any points in the opening match, regardless of the outcome.

USA Basketball Bounces Back in Final Olympic Tune-Up

Team USA celebrates their exhibition win over Germany on Tuesday
Team USA will meet Germany again in the Olympic group stage.(Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

Team USA definitively bounced back from their WNBA All-Star Game defeat on Tuesday, routing Germany 84-57 at the USA Basketball Showcase in London.

A'ja Wilson put up 19 points and 14 rebounds in the win, leading the team ahead of Breanna Stewart's 15 points. Wilson is now averaging 16.5 points per game for the US, tying Team WNBA All-Star coach Cheryl Miller for the highest in team history.

Napheesa Collier of Team USA at the USA vs. Germany basketball showcase in London
Napheesa Collier returned to the court for Team USA on Tuesday. (Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

Team USA raises their game

Team USA is still building chemistry after spending a little more than one week as a unit, shoring up vulnerabilities highlighted in their weekend loss to Team WNBA.

The team looked more cohesive in London, with Napheesa Collier returning to the starting lineup after missing a number of weeks with a plantar fascia injury. They also saw quality performances off the bench, with Jewell Loyd scoring in double digits and both Alyssa Thomas and Jackie Young keeping head coach Cheryl Reeve's rotations steady.

Returning to Europe for the first time since her 2022 wrongful detainment in Russia, Brittney Griner did not feature for the US due to load management.

For Germany, Dallas Wings star Satou Sabally took the court for the first time since the team's February Olympic qualifier, playing 26 minutes as Germany prepares for their Olympic debut in Paris.

"It was a breath of fresh air to get out of All-Star and come here," Sabrina Ionescu told reporters after the London Showcase. "There's one goal and it's to win." 

Breanna Stewart lays up the ball in Team USA's win over Germany on Tuesday
Breanna Stewart and Team USA begin their Olympic campaign against Japan on July 29th. (Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)

All eyes are on gold

USA Basketball seems to be improving by the day, but the short runway to Paris could present a challenge for Reeve and her staff as the team looks to grow throughout the tournament — and hopefully hit their stride in time for the medal rounds.

"It's a tune-up game," Stewart said on Tuesday. "We don't want to peak too soon."

What's next for Team USA?

The US will start their Olympic group stage campaign with a game against Japan on July 29th, before playing a blockbuster August 1st matchup against a strong Belgium side. They'll later face Germany once again in their August 4th Olympic group stage finale.

1v1 With Kelley O’Hara: What Has Emily Sonnett Learned From Past USWNTs?

Emily Sonnett chats with her former USWNT teammate Kelley O'Hara
Emily Sonnett joins host Kelley O'Hara for a conversation about the upcoming Paris Olympics in the latest episode of '1v1.' (Just Women's Sports)

In the latest episode of Just Women's Sports' 1v1 With Kelley O'Hara, Gotham FC and USWNT defender Emily Sonnett joins Olympic gold medalist and retired USWNT star Kelley O'Hara for a one-on-one conversation about the upcoming Paris Olympics.

We hear from Sonnett about her first impressions of new USWNT coach Emma Hayes, her international competition journey so far, and what advice from past USWNT players she's planning to take into the 2024 Summer Games.

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