Monday, July 28, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Games to Watch: La Liga tripleheader, EPL, MLS, UEFA Champions League

Southampton at Manchester City

Games to Watch: La Liga tripleheader, EPL, MLS, UEFA Champions League

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Southampton at Manchester City

7:45 a.m. Saturday (NBCSN)

Even though City are four points back of Premier League leaders Liverpool, they’ve got two games in hand. That’s why Sergio Agüero and Yaya Touré’s team remains the favorite to win the title. Southampton has a track record of knocking off bigger teams, though, and has a rising English star in Adam Lallana. Don’t put it past the Saints to pull off another upset.

Villareal at Atlético Madrid

9:55 a.m. Saturday (beIN Sport)

The Spanish league title race continues to be the most thrilling – and star-studded - in Europe. Diego Costa’s Atlético leads Lionel Mssi’s Barcelona by one point and Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid by three points.

All three teams play back-to-back on Saturday. Atlético goes first, Barcelona hosts Real Betis at 11:55 a.m., and Real Madrid visits Real Sociead at 1:55 p.m. All three games will air on beIN Sport in English and Spanish.

Seattle Sounders at Portland Timbers

3:00 p.m. Saturday (NBCSN)

It’s the signature rivalry in North American soccer, and one of the best spectacles you’ll see on TV this season. The latest Cascadia Cup clash is filled with storylines, especially the return of Seattle star Clint Dempsey from a two-game suspension. Portland was a trendy pick to win this year’s title, but Diego Valeri and the Timbers are shockingly winless through four games.

Arsenal at Everton

8:30 a.m. Sunday (NBCSN)

Arsenal’s struggles in recent weeks have made the race for England’s last Champions League berth as compelling as the race for the title. Santi Cazorla and the Gunners are holding on for dear life. Fifth-place Everton, led by Tim Howard, is just four points back with a game in hand. The Toffees can raise the stakes even higher with a win on home turf.

Chivas USA vs. Los Angeles Galaxy

3:00 p.m. Sunday (UniMás)

After years as Major League Soccer's worst-run team, Chivas USA finally has signs of hope. MLS headquarters bought out Jorge Vergara's ownership, and installed veteran league executive Nelson Rodríguez to run the show. The team will be re-sold and re-branded after this year.

But let's not overlook the present just yet. The Goats have an underrated attacking star in Erick "Cubo" Torres, and veteran leadership in defender Carlos Bocanegra. In fact, there's just enough talent on the team for it to be a darkhorse playoff candidate.

We'll find out just how good Chivas is in the latest edition of MLS' only intra-city rivalry game. Right now, they're four points ahead of the Galaxy in the table. Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan and company are winless on the season, though they've only played two games. Both teams will take the field at StubHub Center with plenty to prove.

Paris Saint-Germain at Chelsea

2:30 p.m. Tuesday (Fox Sports 1)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic showed why he’s one of Europe’s biggest stars last week, as he helped PSG to a 3-1 win over Chelsea in Paris. But he’ll miss the second leg of this Champions League quarterfinal due to a hamstring injury. Can the Parisians hold on without him? Samuel Eto’o and the Blues have the firepower to make a comeback.

Manchester United at Bayern Munich

2:30 p.m. Wednesday (Fox Sports 1)

In the first leg of this Champions League quarterfinal, embattled United rose to the occasion by holding Bayern to a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford. Now the scene shifts to Munich, and the reigning European champs should be favored. It would be an all-time upset if Wayne Rooney and the Red Devils can knock Bayern out.


If you're a subscriber to MLS Direct Kick or MLS Live, you could easily spend almost 15 straight hours watching soccer on Saturday. Consider this schedule:

7:45 a.m.: Southampton at Manchester City, NBCSN
9:55 a.m.: Villareal at Atlético Madrid, beIN Sport
11:55 a.m.: Real Betis at Barcelona, beIN Sport
1:55 p.m.: Real Madrid at Real Sociedad, beIN Sport
3:20 p.m.: Seattle Sounders at Portland Timbers, NBCSN (reflecting the actual kickoff time)
5:00 p.m.: Philadelphia Union at Chicago Fire, Comcast SportsNet
7:00 p.m.: Colorado Rapids at Vancouver Whitecaps (kickoff is at 6:30) or New England Revolution at D.C. United, MLS Live
8:30 p.m.: Real Salt Lake at Sporting Kansas City, MLS Live

That last game is the only matchup of the season between the teams that contested last year's MLS Cup final. It deserves to be on national TV, but unfortunately neither team is a big enough ratings draw.

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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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