Soccer Wednesday: A Look Ahead

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Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

Whether high-stakes regional play, league play or international club friendlies piques your interest, Wednesday's selection of games being played in the United States has you covered.

Between two MLS teams vying for a place in the CONCACAF Champions League group stage, three MLS mid-week battles and a World Football Challenge match involving Barcelona, it's a big night for soccer in this country.

Here's a closer look at Wednesday's soccer schedule:

CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

FC Dallas vs. Alianza FC

TV: Fox Soccer Channel, 8 p.m.

At stake: A berth in the CCL group stage in Group C along with Toronto FC, Pumas UNAM and Tauro.

Last time they met: FC Dallas took a 1-0 result in El Salvador to seize the advantage in both aggregate goals and away goals. Jackson came up huge with a 70th-minute winner, and FCD should come out strong to try and put the tie away early to keep its continental dreams alive.

Seattle Sounders vs. San Francisco

TV: Fox Soccer Channel, 10 p.m.

At stake: A berth in the CCL group stage in Group D along with Monterrey, Comunicaciones and either Herediano or Alpha United.

Last time they met: The Sounders turned in an underwhelming performance but managed to walk away with a manageable 1-0 deficit heading into the return leg. With a match in front of its raucous supporters looming, the Sounders need to come up with a more inspired showing to avoid an embarrassing early exit.

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER

Sporting Kansas City vs. Real Salt Lake

TV: MLS Direct Kick/MatchDay Live, 8:30 p.m.

Intriguing because: Sporting Kansas City hasn't lost in 13 matches and has yet to fall at Livestrong Sporting Park; RSL is coming off a rare home loss and gets striker Alvaro Saborio back from suspension; Both teams will be without key centerbacks (SKC – Aurelien Collin; RSL – Jamison Olave), meaning that opposing attacks could be primed for success.

Chicago Fire vs. Philadelphia Union

TV: MLS Direct Kick/MatchDay Live, 9 p.m.

Intriguing because: It's Philadelphia's first game since Carlos Ruiz' departure; it marks Union coach Peter Nowak's return to Chicago, where he won an MLS Cup as a player; The Fire will showcase new signings Sebastian Grazzini and Pavel Pardo.

Portland Timbers vs. Los Angeles Galaxy

TV: ESPN2, 10:30 p.m.

Intriguing because: Despite losing some of its early-season luster, Jeld-Wen Field is still one of the top atmospheres in all of MLS; The Galaxy are on a 14-game unbeaten run and could get caught looking ahead to this weekend's anticipated showdown with FC Dallas; The last time they met, Landon Donovan scored twice in a 3-0 romp.

WORLD FOOTBALL CHALLENGE

Barcelona vs. Chivas de Guadalajara

TV: ESPN2/ESPN3.com/Galavision, 8 p.m.

Intriguing because: Chivas put up a fight against Real Madrid and will hope to do the same against Barcelona; Whenever the defending UEFA Champions League winners play, it's typically must-see TV; The teams should draw pretty well at Miami's Sun Life Stadium.

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Which games are you looking forward to the most? How do you see Wednesday's matches unfolding?

Share your thoughts below.

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13 Responses to Soccer Wednesday: A Look Ahead

  1. Good match-ups, but I’m hoping to see Edu get the start when the Rangers face Malmo in need of an away goal and a victory in the Champions league, streaming of course. I think the game starts at 1:00 ET, but I’m in Thailand so you might want to check that.

  2. Chris says:

    I’m just waiting for the USMNT roster to be released…any idea what time this will happen?

  3. dinho says:

    I am looking for the same info.

  4. Jake says:

    MLS scheduling drops the ball once gain. 6 interesting games and the 3 MLS tilts are all quality games. There are too many good games here to watch them all on a Wednesday. It will interesting to see what the crowd is like for Miami soccer.

  5. Santos says:

    FCD should roll at home, but a less than confident Seattle needs to overcome a deficit. With their leaky defense and Sigi’s disregard for CCL, another early exit could be in store for Sounders FC. The fans deserve better.

  6. Charles says:

    The Sounders have given up 26 goals in 23 MLS games….leaky defense ?

    Hurtado being hurt has caused disarray in a few games, but it will settle down.

    I don’t even like Sigi, but I don’t think Sigi disregards CCL, it was mostly a starting lineup in the first game.

    Sounders painfullys truggled last year in CCL, but part of that has to be distance travelled. I believe it is 3800 miles for the away team this game.

  7. Anyone know if the Edwin van der Sar testimonial is being streamed anywhere?

  8. Poo says:

    A testimonial for a GK? Would anyone dare to score on him?

  9. dinho says:

    Chris, per US Soccer’s twitter feed, roster will be announced tomorrow, not today. Bummer.

  10. Tim says:

    Portland is in dire need of a win…I expect a battle vs LA

  11. herb says:

    yes, save one of these matches for the weekend

  12. Aaron in StL says:

    Edu has an assist so far… but Rangers down 2-1 on aggregate. Also down two men to red cards. Malmo picked one up as well so its 10 on 9. Rangers score and they’re through

  13. Alex says:

    screw the racist Rangers