Saturday, October 25, 2014
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Games to Watch: CONCACAF U-20s, Major League Soccer preseason, Barcelona vs. Real Madrid

United States Under-20s vs. Costa Rica

Games to Watch: CONCACAF U-20s, Major League Soccer preseason, Barcelona vs. Real Madrid

United States Under-20s vs. Costa Rica

6:30 p.m. Friday (Fox Soccer Channel)

The U.S. only managed to beat Haiti by a 2-1 margin in its first group game of the CONCACAF Under-20 championship. That was enough to qualify for the next round, but Tab Ramos' squad needs to make a statement with a better defensive effort against the Ticos.

Tuesday's quarterfinal against Canada (6:30 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel) will determine whether the U.S. reaches this summer's FIFA World Championship.

More coverage

(Yes, I updated this after the U.S. beat Costa Rica, 1-0.)

Montréal Impact vs. Columbus Crew

8:00 p.m. Saturday (ESPN3.com)

The championship game of the Disney Pro Soccer Classic in Orlando features two teams that will be going head-to-head with the Union for a playoff spot this year. Impact forward Marco Di Vaio and Columbus playmaker Federico Higuaín were two of the league's best mid-year signings in 2012. Now they've got a full season ahead to show off their attacking skills.

Bradford City vs. Swansea City

10:55 a.m. Saturday (beIN Sport)

A remarkable fairy tale in English soccer reaches its final chapter in the championship game of the Capital One Cup. Bradford City plays in the fourth division of English soccer, and its transfer budget last offseason was less than $12,000. But somehow, they upset three Premier League teams - Wigan, Aston Villa and Chelsea - to reach the final.

Swansea City is enjoying a Cinderella ride of its own. Yes, the team plays in the Premier League, and has a true star in Spanish forward Michu. But the Swans' spending is still just a fraction of giants such as Chelsea - the team that Swansea knocked out in the semfinals.

Olympique Marseille at Paris Saint-Germain

2:55 p.m. Sunday (beIN Sport)

David Beckham is expected to make his much-anticipated debut for PSG in French soccer's most famous rivalry game. For a player whose career reads like a Hollywood script, it couldn't happen any other way.

In all seriousness, though, it will be very interesting to see where Beckham fits into Paris manager Carlo Ancelotti's formation.

If Beckham replaces attack-minded Marco Veratti, he'll be unseating a genuine rising star playmaker. If Thiago Motta is benched (or more likely substituted out during the game), PSG's defensive spine will suffer. And if Beckham comes in for a winger such as Jérémy Menez or Ezequiel Lavezzi, that will take a lot of speed off the field.

This much is for certain: Marseille won't be the least bit intimidated by Beckham's aura. The reigning French champions have their own formidable attackers in brothers André and Jordan Ayew, André-Pierre Gignac and Mathieu Valbuena.

Tottenham Hotspur at West Ham United

2:55 p.m. Monday (ESPN2)

Clint Dempsey and his Tottenham teammates head across London to face a West Ham squad that hasn't lost at home since December. The Hammers will look for a spark from prodigal son Joe Cole, who's back at Upton Park after playing for Liverpool, Chelsea and French club Lille.

Barcelona at Real Madrid

2:55 p.m. Tuesday (beIN Sport)

Spain's famed El Clásico rivalry is renewed once again in the second leg of the Copa Del Rey semifinals. The first game in Madrid ended in a 1-1 tie, giving Barcelona the edge coming home.

Borussia Dortmund at Bayern Munich

2:30 p.m. Wednesday (ESPN3.com)

The two most powerful - and most entertaining - teams in Germany meet in the quarterfinals of the German Cup. Both teams are so stacked with stars that it's hard to pick out just a few names to watch. Start with Mario Mandzukic, Thomas Müller and Toni Kroos for Bayern, and Marco Reus, Mario Götze and Robert Lewandoski for Dortmund.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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.

Reach Jonathan at jtannenwald@phillynews.com or 215-854-2330.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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