Jurgen Klinsmann

Jurgen Klinsmann, Olympic bronze medalist, focuses on U.S. Soccer qualifying for Rio

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Jurgen Klinsmann won a pair of international prizes in his German playing career that he would like to deliver to the U.S. Soccer program — a World Cup, of course, but also an Olympic medal.

Klinsmann, a member of the 1988 West German Olympic team that won bronze in Seoul (pictured to the right), said “the main task for 2015 definitely is the Olympic team,” according to reports citing audio distributed by U.S. Soccer.

Klinsmann coaches the U.S. Men’s National Team that’s eyeing the 2015 Gold Cup, but as U.S. Soccer’s technical director he realizes the importance of the Olympics.

The Olympic team will not be the World Cup-level senior national team, but instead at least primarily — if not wholly — members of the Under-23 team that does not currently have a full-time head coach.

The U.S. U23 team cruelly missed the 2012 Olympics, giving up a stoppage-time goal in CONCACAF qualifying to El Salvador when it was seconds away from advancing to a winner-goes-to-London match.

“We want to make sure what happened with London 2012 doesn’t happen again,” Klinsmann said.

The U.S. hasn’t won an Olympic men’s soccer medal since 1904, when only three teams competed at the St. Louis Games. Two of those three were U.S. teams.

Klinsmann’s “main task for 2015” comment is particularly interesting given the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament is not scheduled to happen in 2015, but instead in March 2016, according to this Olympic soccer qualifying procedure document.

Qualifying could be easier this time around. In 2012, CONCACAF had two berths for the Olympics. In 2016, it gets 2.5, meaning the third-place nation from the Olympic qualifying tournament will play a South American nation in a winner-goes-to-Rio match.

At the Seoul 1988 Olympics, Klinsmann was 24 years old when he scored a hat trick for West Germany to beat Zambia in the quarterfinals (highlights here). Zambia had shocked Italy 4-0 earlier in the tournament.

West Germany went on to lose to Brazil in the semifinals. Brazil’s roster included the great Romario, whose late equalizer helped force the Brazil-West Germany match to a penalty shootout. Klinsmann’s penalty kick struck the post (watch here). West Germany beat Italy in the bronze-medal match.

Two years later, Klinsmann and West Germany won the World Cup.

If the 1988 Olympics were played under today’s Olympic rules, Klinsmann might not have been on the team. The 1988 Olympics were the last Games before the 23-and-under rule was instituted.

If the U.S. qualifies for the Rio Olympics, its roster must be made up of players who will be no older than 23 in 2016 — with three exceptions for over-age players.

Nations have added stars with those exceptions — such as Ryan Giggs for Team Great Britain and Thiago Silva and Hulk for Brazil in 2012.

In 2008, the U.S. added three-time World Cup forward Brian McBride as an over-age player, two years after his retirement from the senior national team. That was before Klinsmann joined the program.

In 2016, the U.S. could put 2014 World Cup players John Brooks, Julian Green and DeAndre Yedlin on the Olympic roster without using over-age spots.

15 Olympic sports events to watch in 2015

Anna van der Breggen is first cyclist to sweep road world titles in 25 years

Anna van der Breggen
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Dutchwoman Anna van der Breggen added the road race crown to her time trial victory at the world road cycling championships, becoming the second rider in history to win both events at the same edition.

“This is, for me, pretty good so far,” she said.

Van der Breggen, the Rio Olympic road race champion, won after a solo attack with more than 25 miles left of an 89-mile course in Imola, Italy, on Saturday.

She prevailed after more than four hours of racing by 80 seconds over countrywoman Annemiek van Vleuten, the 2019 champion. Van Vleuten raced nine days after breaking her left wrist in a Giro Rosa crash.

Italian Elisa Longo Borghini took bronze in the same time as van Vleuten after losing a photo-finish sprint. Lauren Stephens was the top American in 11th.

Full results are here.

The race lacked American standout Chloé Dygert, who crashed out of the time trial while leading on Thursday and required leg surgery.

Van der Breggen joined Frenchwoman Jeannie Longo as the only male or female cyclists to sweep the time trial and road race at a single worlds. Longo did so in 1995 at age 36.

Van der Breggen, 30, said in May that she will retire after the 2021 Olympic season.

It will be the end of one of the great cycling careers. She is now a three-time world champion and nine-time world medalist to go along with her road race gold and time trial bronze in her Olympic debut in Rio.

Worlds conclude Sunday with the men’s road race. A TV and stream schedule is here.

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MORE: A more equal future for women’s cycling? Lizzie Deignan has high hopes

2020 French Open TV, live stream schedule

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Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams can each tie Grand Slam singles titles records at the French Open, with daily live coverage among NBC Sports, Peacock and Tennis Channel.

NBC coverage starts Sunday with first-round action at Roland Garros, its 38th straight year covering the event. Tennis Channel airs the majority of weekday coverage. Peacock, NBC Universal’s new streaming service, has middle weekend broadcasts.

All NBC TV coverage alo streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app.

Nadal is the primary men’s storyline, favored to tie Roger Federer‘s male record of 20 major titles and extend his own record of 12 French Open crowns. Federer is absent after knee operations earlier this year.

The Spaniard’s primary competition is top-ranked Novak Djokovic, the 2016 French Open champion whose only defeat in 2020 was a U.S. Open default for hitting a ball that struck a linesperson in the throat.

Williams bids again to match the overall Grand Slam singles mark of 24 held by Australian Margaret Court. Williams, a three-time French Open champion, lost in the third and fourth round the last two years and is coming off a U.S. Open semifinal exit.

The women’s field is led by 2018 champion Simona Halep but lacks defending champion Ash Barty of Australia, not traveling due to the coronavirus pandemic. Also out: U.S. Open winner Naomi Osaka, citing a sore hamstring and tight turnaround from prevailing in New York two weeks ago.

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MORE: How Jay-Z, Beyonce helped Naomi Osaka come out of her shell

French Open TV Schedule

Date Time (ET) Network Round
Sunday, Sept. 27 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
12-3 p.m. NBC
Monday, Sept. 28 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
Tuesday, Sept. 29 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel First Round
Wednesday, Sept. 30 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Second Round
Thursday, Oct. 1 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Second Round
Friday, Oct. 2 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Third Round
Saturday, Oct. 3 5 a.m.-12 p.m. Tennis Channel Third Round
11 a.m. Peacock
Sunday, Oct. 4 5 a.m.-12 p.m. Tennis Channel Fourth Round
11 a.m. Peacock
Monday, Oct. 5 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Tennis Channel Fourth Round
11 a.m. Peacock
Tuesday, Oct. 6 6 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tennis Channel Quarterfinals
Wednesday, Oct. 7 6 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tennis Channel Quarterfinals
Thursday, Oct. 8 5 a.m.-2 p.m. Tennis Channel Women’s Semis
11 a.m. NBC, NBCSN
Friday, Oct. 9 5 a.m.-4 p.m. Tennis Channel Men’s Semis
11 a.m. NBC, NBCSN
Saturday, Oct. 10 9 a.m. NBC Women’s Final
Sunday, Oct. 11 9 a.m. NBC Men’s Final