Monday, December 22, 2014

Games to Watch: MLS Cup, Liga MX playoffs, EPL, UEFA Champions League

Manchester City at Southampton

Games to Watch: MLS Cup, Liga MX playoffs, EPL, UEFA Champions League

Manchester City at Southampton

10:00 a.m. Saturday (NBCSN, mun2)

Southampton has been the most surprising team in the Premier League this season, riding young stars like Jay Rodriguez to eighth place in the Premier League. Manchester City have charged into second place thanks to red-hot striker Sergio Agüero. But while City are undefeated at home, they’ve lost four of seven road games. They’ll face a big test on England’s south coast.

Real Salt Lake at Sporting Kansas City

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4:00 p.m. Saturday (ESPN, UniMás)

This year’s MLS Cup final will disappoint those who want to see superstar-laden teams with big-name stars in the championship game. There’s no way around it. But RSL and SKC are the two best-run organizations in Major League Soccer, and Union fans should pay attention.

Both teams have the right mix of young energy and veteran leadership. They also have U.S. national team players in key roles: Nick Rimando and Kyle Beckerman for Salt Lake and Matt Besler and Graham Zusi in Kansas City. An electric atmosphere at sold-out Sporting Park will serve as a perfect backdrop for the climax to the season.

Everton at Arsenal

11:00 a.m. Sunday (NBCSN)

On Wednesday, Everton won at Manchester United for the first time in 21 years. Now U.S. national team goalkeeper Tim Howard leads the Toffees into London to face the Premier League’s best team this season. Arsenal is flying in first place thanks to Mesut Özil and Aaron Ramsey, who have brought skill and steel to the Gunners’ midfield.

Toluca at Club América

5:00 p.m. Sunday (Univision)

The Mexican League playoff semifinals come to legendary Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, where the second leg of this series will settle who advances. Big-spending América is led by Mexican national team star forward Raúl Jiménez. Toluca counters with Pablo Velásquez, who scored 13 goals in the autumn season.

Arsenal at Napoli

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

The biggest Champions League drama is in Group F, where three teams are fighting for two knockout round berths. First-place Arsenal could finish third if they lose by four goals and Borussia Dortmund wins at Marseille. Napoli has firepower in forwards José Callejon and Gonzalo Higuain. They also have one of the most intimidating stadiums on the planet. The Gunners have their work cut out for them.

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.

Jonathan Tannenwald Philly.com
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