Saturday, February 6, 2016

Games to Watch: MLS, EPL, UEFA and CONCACAF Champions Leagues

Toronto FC at Seattle Sounders

Games to Watch: MLS, EPL, UEFA and CONCACAF Champions Leagues


Toronto FC at Seattle Sounders

4:30 p.m. Saturday (NBCSN)

Even though it's just the second week of the Major League Soccer season, this is one of the most anticipated games of the season. The U.S. national team's two biggest stars, Toronto's Michael Bradley and Seattle's Clint Dempsey, go head-to-head for the only time before the playoffs – not to mention the World Cup.

Unfortunately, the game is taking place at the same hour as the Philadelphia Union and New York Red Bulls' respective home openers. So MLS will lose a lot of fans and TV viewers in the nation's No. 4 and No. 1 media markets, respectively.

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It's yet another reminder that league headquarters needs to force its clubs to not play games that conflict with national television windows. MLS won't get the kind of money it needs to sign more Bradleys and Dempseys unless it truly makes national television partners' priorities their own. 

Liverpool at Manchester United

9:30 a.m. Sunday (NBCSN, Telemundo) 

The English Premier League's most famous rivalry has lost some of its luster in recent year. Liverpool hasn't won the league in the modern era, and now Wayne Rooney and United are struggling. But Luis Suárez and the Reds are flying high in second place, seven points back of Chelsea with a game in hand. A win at Old Trafford would confirm their status as contenders. 

Arsenal at Tottenham Hotspur 

12:00 p.m. Sunday (NBCSN, mun2)

Arsenal are tied with Liverpool for second place in the Premier League? So why does no one think the Gunners are title contenders? Perhaps because they haven't won a trophy of any kind for nearly a decade. It doesn't help that star playmaker Mesut Özil has been sluggish lately, and now he's out four weeks with a hamstring injury. It's an ideal time for Tottenham to knock off their perennial North London rivals.

Galatasaray at Chelsea

3:45 p.m. Tuesday (Fox Sports 1)

José Mourinho and Fernando Torres bring Chelsea home after securing a 1-1 draw in the first let of this Champions League Round of 16 game in Istanbul. The Blues should be favored at Stamford Bridge, but former Chelsea legend Didier Drogba would love nothing more than to spring the upset.

Los Angeles Galaxy at Club Tijuana

10:00 p.m. Tuesday (Fox Sports 2 and Galavisión)

The CONCACAF Champions League spotlight shifts across the Rio Grande as L.A. takes a 1-0 aggregate lead south of the border. If Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan and company can hold on, it would be a signature triumph for MLS. And if goalkeeper Jaime Penedo can produce another effort like his sterling performance in the first leg, the Galaxy might just do it. 

Olympiakos at Manchester United

3:45 p.m. Wednesday (Fox Sports 1, Fox Deportes) 

After losing the first leg of the series in Athens, 2-0, first-year United manager David Moyes faces the biggest test of his tenure yet. The Red Devils have been renowned for decades as one of Europe's great comeback artists. Can Robin van Persie lead the way to another triumph? 

Sporting Kansas City at Cruz Azul 

10:00 p.m. Wednesday (Fox Sports 2 and Galavisión)

Kansas City's mix of skill, experience and tactical savvy makes them the MLS team most likely to succeed in the CONCACAF Champions League. But they only won their home leg by a 1-0 margin. Now Graham Zusi and Matt Besler must go to the mile-high altitude of Mexico City to defend that lead. Keeping Cruz Azul and Mexican national team star Marco Fabián will be a big challenge.

Staff Writer
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About this blog
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.

Jonathan Tannenwald Staff Writer
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