Welcome to the roundup of must-see sports headlines from Monday, highlighted by the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team grinding out a tough win against Spain in the Round of 16 to set up a marquee matchup with host nation France in the quarterfinals.
We also take a look back on Giannis Antetokounmpo winning the NBA MPV Award and giving a must-see emotional speech, and the results are in for the yearly NFL Fandom Report – see where your favorite team ranks for having the best fans in the league.
All this and more as we get you up to speed with the sports world on this Tuesday!
U.S. Women’s Soccer Team Survives Scare From Spain, Sets Up Heavyweight Quarterfinal Fight With France
The United States was pushed and tested unlike they had been in a while on Monday during their Round of 16 match with Spain. Megan Rapinoe’s penalty kick goal in the 76th minute propelled the U.S. to a tight 2-1 victory that advances them into the quarterfinals on Friday to play a highly anticipated match with host nation France.
The game-winner was Rapinoe’s second successful penalty kick of the game. The American spark plug got things going in the 7th minute with a PK goal but Spain would answer right back with a shocking goal by Jennifer Hermoso in the 9th minute. Hermoso capitalized off of a costly turnover by the U.S. deep in their own zone to score the first goal against the Americans in this World Cup.
The score would be knotted at 1-1 through the half and deep into the second half before Rapinoe struck again with her winning PK.
U.S. Coach Jill Ellis made some questionable personnel moves that had analysts and fans wondering why she waited until the 85th minute to make her first substitution of the game when she took out Alex Morgan, who had been struggling, for Carli Lloyd.
Monday’s win sets up a match everyone had hoped to see at this World Cup – the U.S. vs. France, although it is coming early in the quarterfinal round. Ticket prices for the game have skyrocketed according to ESPN, with one seller listing a pair of tickets to Friday’s match for more than $11,000 on the secondary market.
I think it’s safe to say that Monday’s hero Rapinoe is looking forward to the heavyweight fight, saying she hopes it’ll be “a total s—show circus.” The 33-year-old forward would go on to say that “It’s gonna be totally awesome. I think this is what everybody wants and these are the biggest games that you dream about as a kid.”
Buckle up folks, Friday’s going to be fun! Coverage will begin on FOX at 3pm ET.
Giannis Antetokounmpo Wins the NBA MVP Award, Gives a Must-See Emotional Speech
The “Greek Freak” Giannis Antetokounmpo has taken the NBA by storm and now has the hardware to back it all up. The 24-year-old Milwaukee Bucks forward won the MVP award at the NBA Awards show on Monday night. Antetokounmpo is the third-youngest MVP since 1980, joining LeBron James and Derrick Rose as the only players in the last 40 years to win the award before turning 25.
Antetokounmpo led the Bucks to the number one seed in the East this season, winning a league-high 60 games and making it to the Eastern Conference Finals where they’d lose to the eventual champion, Toronto Raptors. He averaged 27.7 points, 12.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game in his MVP season.
The MVP had the entire room captivated when he delivered an emotional speech, thanking his late dad and family for inspiring him to go from Greece to the highest level of the NBA:
“Two, three years ago I had the goal in my head, that goal to be the best player in the league,” Antetokounmpo said. “I’m gonna do whatever it takes to win and I’m going to win MVP. And every time I step on the floor I think of my dad and that motivates me to play harder and move forward even when my body is sore, I don’t feel like playing, I’m always going to show up and I’m going to do the right thing.”
Some other notable award winners from Monday’s awards show included Antetokounmpo’s coach, Mike Budenholzer, who took home Coach of the Year, Luka Doncic from the Dallas Mavericks who was named Rookie of the Year and Pascal Siakam from the NBA champion Toronto Raptors who won the Most Improved Player Award.
Also on Heavy, watch as Shaq takes a hilarious jab at Lonzo Ball and the Lakers’ trade.
New NFL Fandom Report Ranks Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots as Having Best Fans in the League
The results are in for the yearly NFL Fandom Report performed by Emory University’s Goizueta School of Business, and the winner of the best fans in the NFL are…the Dallas Cowboys. Filling out the top five are the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers.
The bottom five fan bases in the league, according to the report, include the Cincinnati Bengals, Jacksonville Jaguars, Tennessee Titans, Kansas City Chiefs and Super Bowl runner-up Los Angeles Rams (who ranked dead last in the report this year).
According to a Yahoo! Sports report, the fan bases are judged on three criteria – Fan Equity (how much the fans spend on their team), Social Equity (how many followers the team has across social platforms) and Road Equity (how well a team draws on the road).
DON’T MISS THESE STORIES: Rounding Up the Top Sports Headlines
- Italy (Milan-Cortina) wins the bid to host the 2026 Winter Olympics.
- Mets’ manager Mickey Callaway calls media back in to apologize for Sunday’s altercation with a reporter; Team fines Callaway and pitcher Jason Vargas.
- Tiger Woods dismissed from wrongful death lawsuit in Florida.
- Portland Trail Blazers deal Evan Turner to Atlanta Hawks for Kent Bazemore.
- St. Louis Cardinals flame-throwing closer Jordan Hicks diagnosed with torn UCL.
WHAT’S ON TAP
2019 College World Series Finals: Michigan vs. Vanderbilt
After defeating Vanderbilt in Game 1 on Monday, the Michigan Wolverines are one game away from completing their magical underdog run and winning an NCAA title. Vanderbilt will have a shot Tuesday night to force a winner-take-all third game on Wednesday.
Date: Tonight, 6/25
Time: 7pm ET
MLB All-Star Game Starters Election
For the first time ever, fans will be given a 28-hour window to vote-in the All-Star game starters. Fans have already narrowed the selections down to three finalists per position, from a primary voting phase. The winners will be unveiled on ESPN on Thursday night at 7pm ET.
Date: Wednesday, 6/26 (12pm ET) – Thursday, 6/27 (4pm ET)