Some of the best race car drivers in the world come to Toronto this weekend for the Honda Indy.
American Danica Patrick headlines a solid field that also includes current IndyCar Series point leader Dario Franchitti of Scotland, Indianapolis 500 runner-up Ryan Hunter-Reay of the United States, defending champion Will Power of Australia, and Canadians James Hinchcliffe, Alex Tagliani and Paul Tracy.
Remarkably however Indianapolis 500 champion Dan Wheldon of England won’t be in Toronto competing, but might be as a commentator. It completely leaves me shaking my head that the winner of IndyCar’s biggest annual race hasn’t been able to find a team to ride for since May 29.
The Toronto Honda Indy will go Sunday at 12pm on TSN.
Here are the other events I’ll be watching this weekend:
Saturday–10am–Women’s World Cup Quarterfinal–England vs. France–CBC–In a battle between two teams that make international headlines in men’s soccer, but not so much in women’s soccer, take to the pitch in Leverkusen. England finished the round robin with two wins and a draw, winning Group B, while France finished with two wins and a loss, second in Group A. England has scored five goals in the tournament and it has been a complete team effort, as no player on the team has more than a goal. Midfielder Fara Williams leads the team with nine shots and five shots on goal. France, meanwhile, has scored seven times in the tournament. Forwards Marie-Laure Delie and Gaetane Thiney have each scored twice. Thiney’s pair came against France’s 4-0 rout over Canada.
Saturday–12:45pm–Women’s World Cup Quarterfinal–Germany vs. Japan–CBC–The host Germans were by far the most dominant team in Pool A, as they went a perfect 3-0, outscoring their opponents 7-3. The Germans got their offense from three players who scored two goals each in the round robin–midfielders Kerstin Garefrekes, Celia Okoyino da Mbabi and forward Inka Grings. Japan, meanwhile finished second in Pool B, defeating Mexico and New Zealand and losing to England. Homare Sawa scored a hat trick against Mexico in Japan’s convincing 4-0 round robin win.
Saturday–2pm–CFL–Montreal Alouettes @ Saskatchewan Roughriders–TSN–The Alouettes (1-0) were the much more impressive team in Week One. In a battle of the last two Grey Cup Championships, Montreal received two great performances by veteran wide receiver Jamal Richardson (162 yards receiving and two touchdowns) and running back Brandon Whitaker last week. In Montreal’s 30-26 win over the British Columbia Lions, Whitaker had 111 rushing yards, eight more than he had in all of 2011. The Roughriders (0-1), meanwhile got beat up soundly by the Edmonton Eskimos 42-28 in week one. Darian Durant did throw for 339 yards, but will need a better performance by Wes Cates, who only had 56 yards rushing. If Saskatchewan loses, they’ll drop to 0-2, and they haven’t had a road game as of yet.
Saturday–2pm–MLB–Atlanta Braves @ Philadelphia Phillies–FOX–In a battle of the top two teams in the National League East, the Braves (53-36) are coming off a four game sweep of the Colorado Rockies and have won nine of their last ten. Starting pitchers Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson have combined for 22 wins. Hanson (10-4, 103 K, 2.52 ERA) will start for the Braves, while Cliff Lee (9-6, 128 K, 2.92 ERA) will start for the Phillies (55-33) in a dandy pitching matchup.
Saturday–5pm–CFL–Hamilton Tiger-Cats @ Edmonton Eskimos–TSN–In a game I’m very excited about on the weekend, the first place Edmonton Eskimos (1-0) take on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats (0-1). Nobody expected to see the Eskimos destroy the Roughriders 42-28 last week. Now we’ll have to see how Edmonton plays with expectations. The Eskimos defense stopped the run, but struggled a little in stopping the pass. One thing to be aware of, is if Kevin Glenn and Quinton Porter struggled to score points against Winnipeg, they should equally have issues against Edmonton.
Sunday–5am–Women’s World Cup Quarterfinal–Sweden vs. Australia–Sportsnet–The Swedes might have delivered one of the biggest surprises in the round robin, when they shocked the world number one United States 2-1 on Wednesday. Midfielder Lisa Dahlkvist led the blue and yellow in round robin goals with two including a goal on a penalty to open the scoring in Sweden’s Wednesday surprise. Like Germany, Sweden also went a perfect 3-0 in the round robin. The Aussies meanwhile went 2-1, beating Norway and the Equitorial Guinea and losing to Brazil. Forward Kyah Simon scored twice against Norway in Australia’s 2-1 win to close out the round robin stage.
Sunday–9:30am–Women’s World Cup Quarterfinal–United States vs. Brazil–CBC–In the most anticipated matchup among games from teams in the final eight, the United States will try to stop the most powerful player in the world today, Marta. The Brazilian forward scored twice against Norway, in a 3-0 win. Two other Brazilians had a pair of round robin goals, forward Cristiane and midfielder Rosana. The Brazilians were also the only team in the round robin not to concede a goal. They had a perfect 3-0 record in outscoring their opponents 7-0. The United States find themselves in a very unfamiliar position in the round robin–an underdog. The two time champion (1991 and 1999) were significantly less impressive in the round robin than Brazil. Lauren Cheney of Indianapolis and Abby Wambach of Rochester, New York are tied for second in the tournament with 15 shots. The USA beat North Korea 2-0, and Colombia 3-0, but lost to Sweden 2-1.
Sunday–1pm–Golf–U.S. Women’s Open–NBC–Many golf experts predicted that one player on the LPGA Tour that has already won a Major so far this year would be leading at the U.S. Women’s Open by now. Well, we’re right. It’s just not the LPGA Championship winner Yani Tseng, but the Kraft Nabisco Championship Winner Stacy Lewis of the United States. Lewis is currently at -3 and leads Americans Amy Anderson, Ryann O’ Toole and Lizette Salas by a stroke. It is also interesting that the U.S. Women’s Open is loaded with American flags on the leaderboard (top four are American) compared to the United States Men’s Open, where there were only two Americans in the top ten (Kevin Chappell and Robert Garrigus tied for third).
Tags: abby wambach, alex tagliani, amy anderson, atlanta braves, brandon whitaker, celia okoyino da mbabi, cliff lee, cristiane, dan wheldon, danica patrick, darian durant, dario franchitti, Edmonton Eskimos, fara williams, gaetane thiney, hamilton tiger-cats, homare sawa, inka grings, jair jurrjens, jamal richardson, james hinchcliffe, kerstin garefrekes, kevin chappell, kyah simon, lauren cheney, lisa dahlkvist, lizette salas, marie-laure delie, marta, montreal alouettes, paul tracy, philadelphia phillies, robert garrigus, rosana, ryan hunter-reay, ryann o'toole, Saskatchewan Roughriders, stacy lewis, tommy hanson, toronto honda indy, will power, women's world cup, yani tseng