Sunday, September 21, 2014
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Games to Watch: CONCACAF Gold Cup, UEFA Women's Euro, MLS All-Star Game

Germany women vs. Norway women

Games to Watch: CONCACAF Gold Cup, UEFA Women's Euro, MLS All-Star Game

Germany women vs. Norway women

9:45 a.m. Saturday (ESPN3.com) 

Women's soccer fans in the United States have had plenty to talk about with the National Women's Soccer League, but across the Atlantic all eyes have been on the European Championships in Sweden. The final will be played in front of a nearly full house at the Friends Arena just outside Stockholm. 

Germany beat the host country in the semifinals, and now plays for its record eighth European crown. Célia da Mbabi was a rising star at the 2011 World Cup, and is reaching her prime this year. 

Norway was the original European women's soccer superpower, and played some legendary games against the United States in the 1990s. After many years off the big stage, veteran midfielder Solveig Gulbrandsen has led them back to the top. 

Los Angeles Galaxy at Colorado Rapids 

7:00 p.m. Saturday (ESPN2) 

The two-time reigning Major League Soccer champion Galaxy are primed for another title run thanks to an infusion of new talent. Forwards Gyasi Zardes and Jose Villareal have made up for David Beckham's departure and Landon Donovan's absence at the Gold Cup. 

Colorado has also put its faith in young players, with forward Deshorn Brown and midfielder Dillon Powers leading the attack. A win over L.A. would put the Rapids in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race. 

Chicago Fire at Houston Dynamo 

9:00 p.m. Saturday (NBC Sports Network) 

Since being traded from L.A. to Chicago earlier this year, Mike Magee has rediscovered the form that made him one of MLS' most clutch players. His 12 goals this season are the second-most in MLS, and he has scored six of them since the trade in mid-May. 

Houston has long been one of MLS' most difficult teams to beat. But after making the last two MLS Cup finals, the Dynamo are languishing in fifth place in the Eastern Conference. The only spark of late has been midfielder Adam Moffat, a specialist at scoring goals from long range. 

United States vs. Panama 

4:00 p.m. Sunday (Fox at 3:30, Univision at 3:00) 

The championship game of the CONCACAF Gold Cup presents a rite of passage for a new generation of American soccer stars. 

Jurgen Klinsmann's squad has a well-earned swagger after strong performances in the quarterfinals and semifinals. Landon Donovan, Mix Diskerud and Joe Corona have produced dynamic soccer throughout the tournament, while goalkeeper Nick Rimando has led a stern defense. 

Panama might not be known as a soccer nation, but its place in the final is well-earned. The Canaleros beat reeling Mexico in the group stage and the semifinals, with former Union midfielder Gabriel Gómez playing a key role. 

The two best teams in the Gold Cup have reached the title game. Now the stage is set for the U.S. to reclaim the CONCACAF crown, or for Panama to complete its rise to the top. It's time to see what these teams are really made of. 

Bayern Munich vs. Sao Paulo 

2:15 p.m. Wednesday (ESPN2) 

Much-hyped new Bayern manager Pep Guardiola gets a chance to impress his home fans in its preseason tournament, the Audi Cup. The reigning European champions could be even better than last year's edition thanks to the addition of midfield dynamo Mario Götze. 

The Audi Cup is a four-team event, and the other participants are no slouches. Manchester City and AC Milan will meet in the first game of Wednesday's doubleheader (12:00 p.m., ESPN2), which means Milan star Mario Balotelli will face the Premier League team that made him famous. 

MLS All-Stars vs. AS Roma 

9:00 p.m. Wednesday (ESPN2/UniMás) 

Major League Soccer takes its midsummer spectacle to Sporting Park in Kansas City this year. As Philly fans learned last year, it's an All-Star Game unlike any other in American sports. A selection of the league's top players will face Italian powerhouse AS Roma, led by American star Michael Bradley and Italian legend Francesco Totti. 

Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Real Madrid 

10:30 p.m. Thursday (Fox Soccer) 

One of the benefits L.A. gets from being among MLS' most glamorous teams is the ability to play in high-profile summer tournaments. This year's big event across the U.S. is the Guinness International Champions Cup, which also features Chelsea and Inter Milan, among others. 

The Galaxy will travel to the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., for a meeting with Cristiano Ronaldo and the rest of Madrid's stars. There's also a game against Everton or Juventus on August 3 at Dodger Stadium. 

At least L.A. doesn't have a league game until August 11. So coach Bruce Arena won't have to worry about burning his top players in this series of friendlies.

About this blog
The Goalkeeper is your home for the latest news about the Philadelphia Union, Major League Soccer, U.S. national teams and the rest of the world's most popular sport. It's also a place for fans to gather and celebrate the culture of soccer and its unique place on the sports landscape.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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