Sports

Weekend sports lineup: US Gymnastics Championships, NFL preseason

Premier League season also kicks off

(CNN) - Simone Biles is tougher than nails.

Arguably the best gymnast in history, Biles, 22, takes center stage this weekend, competing at the US Championships in Kansas City, Missouri. And she has showed up with swagger, wearing a leotard with a goat -- as in greatest of all time -- on it.

Biles, 22, is undefeated in all-around competitions for more than six years and is the only woman to win four all-around titles at the world championships. Oh yeah, and she dominated the Olympics in Rio; Tokyo is less than a year away.

Her strength is evident with her words and actions as well. In January, she revealed she is a Larry Nassar survivor, and on Wednesday, she ripped the organization she competes for, saying of USA Gymnastics: "You had one job. You literally had one job and you couldn't protect us."

That's a woman with power.

Get the popcorn ready for a likely Biles masterclass viewing -- and for other sporting events this weekend:

 

US Gymnastics Championships

Biles is seeking her sixth national title in the all-around at the US Gymnastics Championships in Kansas City. She would be the first woman in almost 70 years to win six, tying her with Clara Schroth Lomady (1945-46 and 1949-52).

The same opportunity exists on the men's side, as Sam Mikulak has the opportunity to win his sixth US title in all-around. That would equal Makoto Sakamoto, who earned his sixth title in 1970.

The US Championships determine the men's and women's national teams that will compete in the world championships in Germany in October.

Watch it:

Friday: Senior women at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN

Saturday: Senior men at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN

Sunday: Senior men (tape delay) at 4 p.m. ET and senior women at 8 p.m. ET on NBC

International viewers, check local listings.

 

NFL preseason Week 1

There are five preseason games this weekend, and while franchises work to shape their rosters, there is action happening off the field, as well.

The Steelers had a very shaky offseason thanks to the drama-filled departures with wide receiver Antonio Brown to the Raiders and running back Le'Veon Bell -- who held out all of last season -- to the Jets. Despite the reality show-esque spring, things appear to have settled down in Pittsburgh. But will the addition-by-subtraction plan translate to wins?

Meanwhile, the drama is just getting going with Dallas. For starters, quarterback Dak Prescott and wide receiver Amari Cooper are entering the final year of their contracts. Meanwhile, running back Ezekiel Elliott isn't with the team -- instead, he went to train in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico -- and there are rumblings that he could sit out until he receives a new contract. Sound familiar, Pittsburgh?

Watch it:

Friday: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Pittsburgh Steelers at 7:30 p.m. ET on NFL Network

Saturday: Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers at 9 p.m. ET on NFL Network

International viewers, check local listings.

 

Premier League season begins

It doesn't matter which version of football you prefer, because in addition to the NFL preseason in full swing, the Premier League kicks off this weekend. For a slew of players, it's their debut weekend with new clubs -- including a prominent American.

Christian Pulisic made major headlines when he signed with Chelsea of the English Premier League for a transfer fee in excess of $73 million. The move from Borussia Dortmund to Chelsea makes the 20-year-old -- widely touted as one of the world's best young players -- the most expensive American player in history.

Manchester United, which hosts Chelsea on Sunday, made a big splash earlier this week with acquiring Harry Maguire. Leicester City sent the 26-year-old to Manchester United for a whopping $97 million transfer fee, making him the most expensive defender in the world.

Meanwhile, starting the new season as the reigning European champion after winning the UEFA Champions League title, Liverpool finished second in the league last season -- falling just short of Manchester City by a single point in one of the most tightly fought campaigns in the history of the division. Talk about a daunting challenge for Liverpool's opponent, Norwich City, back in the league for the first time since 2016.

Watch it:

Friday: Liverpool vs Norwich City at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN

Saturday: West Ham vs Manchester City at 7:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN

Sunday: Manchester United vs Chelsea at 11:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN

International viewers, check local listings.

 

Rugby: Australia vs New Zealand

An 85-year tradition continues Saturday when Australia and New Zealand face off for the Bledisloe Cup. The normal best-of-three annual series between the two countries will be shortened to just two matches due to this being a World Cup year. As 17-year defending champions, the All Blacks need to win just one to keep the cup. Saturday's match will count toward the Rugby Championship.

South Africa leads the championship standings and will face Argentina later in the day. The Pumas have yet to win a championship, only joining the tournament in 2012.

Watch it:

Saturday: Australia vs New Zealand at 5:45 a.m. ET and Argentina vs South Africa at 3:40 p.m. ET on ESPN+

International viewers, check local listings.


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