Sporting Kansas City at Chicago Fire
8:53 p.m. Friday (NBCSN at 8:30)
Chicago’s Mike Magee is the hottest scorer in Major League Soccer right now, having bagged eight goals in his last 12 games. He’ll lead the Fire against a Sporting squad that sits atop the Eastern Conference with nine games to go.
Arsenal at Fulham
7:45 a.m. Saturday (NBCSN at 7:00, mun2 at 7:40)
Arsenal’s lack of summer spending came back to bite them in their season-opener, a 3-1 home loss to Aston Villa. Now the Gunners cross London to face city rival, Fulham led by Costa Rican dynamo Bryan Ruiz.
Sunderland at Southampton
10:00 a.m. Saturday (NBCSN)
U.S. national team striker Jozy Altidore will be in the spotlight as he leads Sunderland to England’s south coast. Southampton is led by late-blooming star Rickie Lambert and newly-signed Italian Pablo Osvaldo.
Liverpool at Aston Villa
12:30 p.m. Saturday (NBC at 12:00)
Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan is the U.S. national team’s backup, but he’s been front and center early in the Premier League season. He led the way in Villa’s upset of Arsenal, and performed admirably in a close loss at Chelsea. Next up is Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard in Villa’s first home game of the season.
Juventus at Sampdoria
2:45 p.m Saturday (beIN Sport at 2:30)
Juventus begins its quest for a 30th scudetto this weekend as the new season kicks off in Italy’s. New forwards Fernando Llorente and Carlos Tévez lead the attack for the most successful team in Italian soccer history. They’re backstopped by seemingly immortal midfielder Andrea Pirlo, now in his 28th season as a pro.
Portland Timbers at Seattle Sounders
10:00 p.m. Sunday (ESPN2)
It’s the game of the year so far in Major League Soccer. U.S. national team star Clint Dempsey makes his home debut for the Sounders in American soccer’s best rivalry game. A sold-out CenturyLink Field will host over 66,000 fans, making for one of the biggest crowds in MLS history.
Chelsea at Manchester United
3:00 p.m. Monday (NBCSN at 2:30)
The first clash of Premier League giants this season will command attention around the world - and not just because of the action on the field. Chelsea and United are reportedly discussing a blockbuster trade that would send English superstar Wayne Rooney to London and Spanish wizard Juan Mata to Manchester.
We’ll see if those talks affect how the teams play each other. The rumors alone could overshadow a game that was big enough already.