Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Games to Watch: Confederations Cup, MLS, FIFA Under-20 World Cup

It's a short column today, but next week we're going to have a lot to talk about. Stay tuned.

Games to Watch: Confederations Cup, MLS, FIFA Under-20 World Cup

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It's a short column today, but next week we're going to have a lot to talk about. Stay tuned.

Uruguay vs. Italy

12:00 p.m. Sunday (ESPN2 at 11:45, Univision at 11:00)

There won’t be much at stake in the Confederations Cup third-place game, but both teams will be able to make a statement ahead of next year’s World Cup. Italy’s veteran squad will be quite familiar with Uruguay’s Edinson Cavani, who stars for Serie A club Napoli.

Unfortunately for neutral fans, Italy striker Mario Balotelli is out injured. It would have been fun to see him on the field with Uruguay's Luis Suárez, another of soccer's best-known bad boys.

Houston Dynamo at New York Red Bulls

2:00 p.m. Sunday (ESPN2)

After being routed by the Union last weekend, Thierry Henry and the Red Bulls return home to try to get things back on track. Brad Davis and the Dynamo could jump over New York and Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference standings with a win. 

Brazil vs. Spain

6:00 p.m. Sunday (ESPN at 5:30, Univision at 5:00)

The Confederations Cup final is a matchup that soccer fans around the world have dreamed of. Two of the planet’s most entertaining teams play for the title at Rio de Janeiro’s famed Estadio do Maracanã.

Brazil’s Neymar has justified the buzz around him as soccer’s next big star. He’ll be facing future Barcelona teammates Xavi Hernández and Andrés Iniesta. 

Whether you root for one team or not, here’s hoping that both teams play to the best of their creative potential. The Confederations Cup might just be a warm-up for next year’s World Cup, but this game has the potential to be a classic. 

FIFA Under-20 World Cup Round of 16 

Tuesday and Wednesday, 10:45 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. (ESPNU/ESPN3.com) 

The United States couldn’t escape from the group of death at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, but there are plenty of teams still alive. Top players to watch include Spain’s Gerald Deulofeu (FC Barcelona) and France’s Paul Pogba (Juventus).

Chivas vs. América

11:00 p.m. Wednesday (UniMás) 

Mexican soccer’s biggest rivalry crosses the border for a friendly game in Las Vegas. América, led by forward Christian Benítez, is riding high after winning last season’s Liga MX title. Chivas shockingly finished next to last in the standings, and will look to Mexican national team star Aldo de Nigris to turn things around. 

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The Goalkeeper is your home for the latest news about the Philadelphia Union, Major League Soccer, the National Women's Soccer League, the U.S. men's and women'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.

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