Oct 172014

The international break is over (for the men’s game), and the European leagues kick back into gear while MLS settles the final playoff spots.

As always, BIS=beIN Sports; EPL=English Premier League; FS1=Fox Sports 1; MLS=Major League Soccer; NBCSN=NBC Sports Network; SLL=Spanish La Liga; UD=Univision Deportes; WWCQ=Women’s World Cup Qualifier

Friday Oct 17

8-10pm. FS1. WWCQ. USA v Guatemala. The US were less than impressive in their first game, only winning 1-0 against unfancied Trinidad & Tobago. But maybe T&T are tougher than expected, as I write this T&T is 5+ minutes away from beating Haiti 1-0 despite playing much of the match with only 10 players. If the US can put on the expected performance then not only would their confidence get a boost, but they would be alone in first and needing only a tie to advance to the semifinals.

9-11:30pm. NBCSN. MLS. Portland v Real Salt Lake. Portland are only 1 point behind Vancouver in that last playoff spot in the West.

Saturday Oct 18

6:45-9am. NBCSN. EPL. Manchester City v Tottenham. The hosts and defending champs are already 5 points behind league leaders Chelsea, and will face a Tottenham side eager to prove they belong in the conversation.

9-11am. BIS. SLL. Levante v Real Madrid. Real have, frankly, been struggling this season. Will a visit to the 17th place team provide a lift, or will relegation-threatened Levante show more bite than Real can handle?

9-11:30am. NBCSN. EPL. Crystal Palace v Chelsea. Chelsea will have to feel that a visit to 15th place Crystal Palace offers an opportunity to maintain their lead in the league.

1-3pm. UD. MLS. Toronto v Montreal. Montreal have been the absolute worst team in MLS this season. But they only need a tie to eliminate their most bitter rivals from the playoffs.

5-7pm. UD. LMX. America v Monterey. #1 hosts #3 with only 3 points between them.

Sunday Oct 19

7:15-9:30. ESPN2. MLS. LA Galaxy v Seattle Sounders. One of these teams will win the Supporter’s Shield, MLS’s award for the best regular season record. No one else can catch them. They are currently tied on points (though LA holds a significant advantage on the first tie breaker, goal difference). And they will play their last two games of the season against each other, first in LA and then in Seattle. How’s that for scheduling? This should be good. LA knows playing in Seattle will be tough, so they will want to win emphatically at home.

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