Team USA goes the distance
Women's World Cup: Team USA won another thrilling game in its semifinal match against France 3-1. This team's heart and resilience when things look grim should be bottled and sold. Even though the French essentially controlled the ball (55 percent to 45 percent) throughout the game, the U.S. national team's reservoir of passion gave it what it took to pull through in the end. Megan Rapinoe's entry into the game was a clear turning point -- and a repeat of the team's quarterfinal match against Brazil.
Suddenly, the Americans started to control the ball and good things began to happen. The queen of set pieces, Abby Wambach, came through in the (clutch!) 79th minute with another header on a corner from Lauren Cheney, and the U.S. went up 2-1. (Wambach's goal ties her with Michelle Akers for most in U.S. history and third overall in WC history.). Youngster Alex Morgan, 22, iced the game with another nifty goal in the 82nd minute.
The French must have been stunned. While it seems they lost the game due to a lack of follow through on offense, it was the defense that really did them in. They had 25 shots compared to the Americans' 11. Sunday marks the USA's third appearance in a World Cup final, this time against a creative and crafty Japanese team. Japan took down Sweden 3-1 in the other semifinal to advance.
NBA: David Stern really needs to chill. Tuesday, he reportedly threatened Portland Blazers GM Chad Buchanan with a $1 million dollar fine. The infraction? Uttering the word 'yeah' in response to a question about the summer league, or lack thereof. All Buchanan did was agree that it's a bummer. (That breaks the current 'rule' against referencing players during the lockout.) A fair warning to all you outspoken execs: Big brother Stern is watching.
MLB: It turns out Christian Lopez has a few fans of his own. The young man who returned Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit ball received a pledge for $50,000 from two Times Square retailers -- and Yankee fans -- Mitchell Modell and Brandon Steiner. Inspired by Lopez's selflessness, each man pledged him $25,000. Modell also gave Lopez his 2009 Yankee's World Series Championship ring, worth more than $40,000. (He received the ring as a major sponsor of the Yankees.) Way to play it -- and pay it -- forward, guys.
The ESPYs: Seth Meyers hosted the star-studded event in L.A. for the second year in a row. A few of the night's highlights:
• It was a big night -- and then some -- for the Dallas Mavericks. The NBA champions won best team, Dirk Nowitzki won Best Male Athlete and Best NBA Player and Rick Carlisle won best Coach/Manager.
• In a nod from the fans -- who determined this year's winner -- Wambach won the ESPY for Best Play for her overtime goal against Brazil in the WWC quarterfinals last Sunday.
• The Arthur Ashe Award for Courage went to Dewey Bozella, who was sent to prison in 1983 for a murder he did not commit but won his release in 2009.
• Reigning Olympic downhill champion and three-time overall World Cup ski champion Lindsey Vonn won Best Female Athlete.
• Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers won Best NFL Player.
• Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams won Best Male and Best Female Tennis Player.
• Maya Moore, who helped UConn to two national women's basketball titles, won Best Female College Athlete.
• "The Fighter" won the Best Sports Movie.
ESPN news reports were used in this article.