Thursday, September 3, 2015

Games to Watch: MLS' wild finish, Barcelona-Real Madrid Clásico

Arsenal at Crystal Palace

Games to Watch: MLS' wild finish, Barcelona-Real Madrid Clásico


Arsenal at Crystal Palace

7:45 a.m. Saturday (NBCSN)

NBCSN kicks off 13 straight hours of soccer coverage with a clash of London rivals. You’ll see three Premier League games and two MLS games over the course of the day, including the Union’s must-win clash with Sporting Kansas City.

If you can get out of bed early, you’ll see a star-studded Arsenal lineup led by midfielder Mesut Özil. The German playmaker has proven to be worth every cent of his club record $66 million summer transfer fee. Palace are next to last in the Premier League, and need a new spark after manager Ian Holloway resigned on Wednesday.

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Real Madrid at Barcelona

11:55 a.m. Saturday (beIN Sport)

The world’s most famous club soccer rivalry kicks into another gear this season, as four of the world’s most expensive players will likely take the field at the same time. Barcelona has Lionel Messi and Neymar; Real Madrid has Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale. This game always gets endless hype, but there’s reason to believe it will live up to the billing.

Manchester City at Chelsea

12:00 p.m. Sunday (NBCSN)

It's always worth watching when these two Premier League giants clash. They're in fourth and second places respectively, and they're both stacked with stars. City has Sergio Agüero, Yaya Touré and David Silva; Chelsea has John Terry, Frank Lampard and Fernando Torres. But that's not all this time. NBCSN has brought in U.S. national team goalkeeper Tim Howard to serve as the color analyst on its broadcast. He'll work alongside Arlo White just a day after playing for Everton.

Houston Dynamo at D.C. United

1:30 p.m. Sunday (NBC10)

If the Union win Saturday, this will be one of two games that will determine their playoff fate. The Union need D.C., Major League Soccer’s worst team, to tie or beat Houston.

The Dynamo have a history of peaking late in the season, which is why Brad Davis and company have claimed the last two Eastern Conference crowns. But they got blown out last weekend by New York, and were bounced from the CONCACAF Champions League on Thursday. Houston has a lot more to play for than D.C. does, but United have a core of young players looking to prove themselves.

Chicago Fire at New York Red Bulls

5:00 p.m. Sunday (UniMás)

The Red Bulls are just 90 minutes away from finally winning a trophy for the first time in New York’s 18-year history in MLS. A victory over Chicago would give Tim Cahill and Thierry Henry the Supporters’ Shield for having the league’s best overall record. But the Fire, led by MVP candidate Mike Magee, won’t go down easily. They're still trying to seal a playoff berth.

Los Angeles Galaxy at Seattle Sounders

9:00 p.m. Sunday (ESPN)

A capacity crowd at CenturyLink Field will hope to see U.S. national team stars Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey play against each other for the first time since Dempsey’s return to MLS. Both teams are headed to the playoffs, and now are battling for high seeds. The winner of this game will clinch a valuable first-round bye.

Chelsea at Arsenal

3:30 p.m. Tuesday (beIN Sport)

Arsenal plays a second London derby in four days, this time in the Capital One Cup. It might not be as prestigious a competition as the Premier League, or even the FA Cup. But the Gunners haven’t won a trophy since 2004. The team’s massive global fan base doesn’t care how the drought ends. 

Mexico vs. Finland

9:00 p.m. Wednesday (ESPN/UniMás)

After barely holding on to CONCACAF’s last World Cup qualifying spot, Mexico’s hopes of reaching Brazil are still alive. El Tri will play a warm-up game in San Diego ahead of next month’s do-or-die playoff against New Zealand.
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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
Lauren Green Inquirer Staff Writer
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