This Weekend’s Soccer on TV

Spain (Reuters Pictures)

The final places in the Euro 2012 semifinals will be booked this weekend, with four teams aiming to join Portugal and Germany as the final four left vying for the continent's crown and a place in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.

The most anticipated matches of the quarterfinal round take place Saturday and Sunday, when defending champion Spain looks to thwart France's tournament run and set a date with Cristiano Ronaldo & Co., while England and Italy prepare for what should be a hard-fought battle for the right to face the Germans.

MLS has a pair of headliner matches on Sunday night, with the renewal of the Cascadia rivalry between the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders taking center stage, while the latest edition of the heated New York Red Bulls-D.C. United rivalry at a sold-out Red Bull Arena has implications atop the Eastern Conference standings.

Games flying a bit under the radar as a result of the rivalry bouts include Montreal hosting Houston with the memories of the preseason Brian Ching saga still lingering; the Los Angeles Galaxy going for three wins in a row while hosting the Vancouver Whitecaps; and Real Salt Lake looking to bounce back from their midweek collapse against the Galaxy by taking on a never-say-die San Jose Earthquakes side with first place in the Western Conference on the line.

And for those with a U.S. men's national team itch, Clint Dempsey, Carlos Bocanegra and Jozy Altidore are slated to be part of the World Soccer Masters star-studded exhibition match Saturday night in Miami, one headlined by Lionel Messi and Didier Drogba.

Here is this weekend's soccer on TV:

THIS WEEKEND'S SOCCER ON TV

SATURDAY

2:45 p.m. – ESPN2/ESPN3.com – Spain vs. France

5:30 p.m. - MLS Live/Direct Kick – Toronto FC vs. New England Revolution

7 p.m. – Fox Soccer Channel – World Soccer Masters

7 p.m. - MLS Live/Direct Kick – Philadelphia Union vs. Sporting Kansas City

7:30 p.m. - MLS Live/Direct Kick – Montreal Impact vs. Houston Dynamo

8:30 p.m. - MLS Live/Direct Kick – Chicago Fire vs. Columbus Crew

9 p.m. – Galavision – FC Dallas vs. Chivas USA

9 p.m. – MLS Live/Direct Kick – Real Salt Lake vs. San Jose Earthquakes

10:30 p.m. – MLS Live/Direct Kick – Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

SUNDAY

2:45 p.m. – ESPN – England vs. Italy

5 p.m. – ESPN/ESPN3.com – Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders

7 p.m. – NBC Sports Network – New York Red Bulls vs. D.C. United

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24 Responses to This Weekend’s Soccer on TV

  1. MemRook says:

    Is anyone else looking forward to the World Soccer Masters as much as I am? I know it’s just a publicity thing and not even as competitive as a friendly, but he chance to see Deuce (and Boca, but mainly Deuce) potentially line up next to Messi, Falcao, Forland, etc makes me giddy. I just hope he gets the respect he deserves and starts on one of the teams

  2. Dinho says:

    Smart move by MLS/ESPN to slot Portland v. Seattle after the Euro game. That MLS game will have a great atmosphere and may get more of an audience due to its placement.

  3. CR7 says:

    Not sure how RSL vs SJ is not considered an MLS “headliner” ?

  4. Chip says:

    The Portland vs Seattle time slot could backfire if the Euro game goes to ET and PKs.

  5. Charles says:

    Game of the week for sure.

    The 76th meeting of the Sounders and

    Timbers is pretty cool too though.

  6. Bart says:

    not so sure about that. Most of the American soccer fans I know refuse to watch MLS. Once the Euro game is over they will click off the channel.

  7. ToasT says:

    Most of the American Soccer fans that I know understand that the quality of MLS matches are sub-par to most the Europeans but also understand that supporting American Soccer and your local team encourages youths to continue with the sport. That’s the only way for soccer to develop in this country. Support. You need to stop hanging around with douches. They’ll rot your brain.

  8. Ben says:

    and it can be wildly entertaining even if the games lack technique sometimes

  9. Bart says:

    it’s not the lack of quality that turns people off. It’s the single-entity structure.

    btw..I watch MLS and I’m a season ticket holder of my local USL club. i’m just saying what I hear from people i know. Out of my 20 friends and aquantinces that are soccer fans just a few of us watch MLS. I ask them why they don’t and the answer is single-entity/no free agency.

  10. Wm. says:

    Yea, it looks kind of cool. I will definitely be watching it too, largely for the reasons you stated.

  11. Wm. says:

    Well the lack of quality turns *me* off. Don’t get me wrong——I have gone to many games, I’ve had MetroStars season tickets, and so on, but I do not think the quality is where I would have imagined it would be after, what——16 seasons?

  12. Do people realize it’s easier for me to watch a Eurpoean league game than it is to watch an MLS game? I’d watch MLS if I could consistantly watch a ‘home’ team (which San Diego doesn’t have).

    To watch MLS I’d have to pay extra to subscribe to a Direct Kick/MLS live, but I can get the Eurpoean games with ESPN and Fox Soccer which are on my basic package (No, I don’t have HBO, Showtime etc.)

    In any case I’m really enjoying the EURO 2012.

  13. Bart says:

    Wm.

    well i agree. But look at NY RB. They’ve spent 10.2 million on two players. That’s more than every other team except LA galaxy. It’s more salary than san jose, columbus, and KC combined. Thats two players.

    why do they spend 10.2 mill on two players? Well for one thing MLS won’t let them spend 10 mil throughout their squad. They only let them spend big money on DP’s (over the hill foreigners) because MLS cares about image not quality. Put that 10 mill throughout the squad and you would have quality. Or better yet, put half throughout the squad and the rest in youth development.

    i’m not surprised the quality is bad. MLS has these DP stars paired with players making 45k a year that would be lucky to get a game in League 1 in England.

    We know where to lay the blame for the poor quality. It’s all the DP/drafts/allocation crap. Want a good proper league? End the frickin gimmicks and give it time.

  14. B 16 says:

    Stream for free with Espn3-MLS content

  15. Johnny Thunder says:

    I agree with you. I’m in NC and we still have no home team. I’ve been supporting DC United since day 1, but I’m lucky to have opportunity to see more than 5 games a season. I was given the Direct Kick for father’s day once and decided I would never pay for it on my own. The picture quality and commentating were HORRIBLE.
    I used to see games EVERY Thursday night on ESPN, Saturdays on HDNet and some Sundays as well. Now I keep my eyes on NBCSN but rarely see games that I care about. I sometimes watch them anyway and am disappointed at the flatness of the games. Every once in a while MLS has a cracker of a game but they’re few and far between.

  16. JoeW says:

    I can’t believe the whining about MLS here. Sure–MLS aint’ Barca or ManU.

    1. DP doesn’t have to be an aging over-the-hill superstar.
    2. Most teams don’t have multiple players making $45k starting (unless injuries kick in).
    3. The rants about no free agency–duh, of course there is free agency. In fact the rants about drafts and allocations are just nonsense. Here’s why: there is a world full of soccer talent. And drafts, allocations, and “rights” to a particular group of players probably control about .00001% of that talent. The rest of the world and amateur talent could be acquired by an MLS team the same way that an English or German side acquires it–purchase outright from another club or wait until the contract is up and sign on a free. And I don’t get how the league structure turns off fans. I don’t hear Germans saying “well, b/c of the Bundesliga imposed spending limits I’m going to stop following St. Pauli/Cottbus/Koln.”

    No, most of you strike me as Euro-poseurs. Here’s the deal: you go to Germany or Holland or England or Bolivia or Argentina and you see people who follow poorer clubs who aren’t in the Euro championships of various types or don’t have a player with any hope of playing for the national team, yet they’re still fans. Why? It’s not b/c they’re full of stars, or b/c the technique is so pure (go watch a telecast of a lower Scottish league match while it’s raining and see what I mean). It’s b/c it’s THEIR club.

    I have no problem with people being fans of foreign clubs. But MLS is YOUR league. And all of the supposed “issues” people have with it get corrected if fan support grows.

  17. Nate says:

    Little typo – the Revs-TFC game is at 5:30, not 4:30

  18. Chupacabra says:

    Even worse is paying for Direct Kick and having to endure amateuristic, one-sided homer commentators and high school TV tech production quality.

  19. jya says:

    I have no local club I wish I did. If this were like Scotland every city and small town would have a club team that could potentially play at the highest level so fans do support their town club.

    Unfortunately that isn’t the case in the USA most cities that have professional teams in all the major sports don’t have soccer teams. I could support an MLS team that I only watch on TV but if I am watching on TV but that will never feel like my club because they are from another city I have no connection to.

  20. Lamont says:

    Unfortunately, that is the case in most places in the US. When I was a kid the only real soccer team in my area was the Columbia University team. They stank it up but my family and I were out there in those crappy bleachers week after week. Now in STL… when I arrived I had the Athletica and soon there after I had AC St. Louis. Now both are gone. It’s tough being a soccer fan in the U.S. Just ask my dad. Born in 51, he didn’t see the Nats play at the WC until 1990. But he stuck with it and is proud to see where Soccer in America is today as opposed to when he was a kid.

  21. Judging Amy says:

    Hmm. I’ve heard that very rarely (people not tuning into MLS because of the structure). I find it kind of odd. It seems extraordinarily picky. Most American soccer fans I know who don’t watch MLS do so because of the “inferior” quality.

  22. Judging Amy says:

    That’s definitely a valid argument.

  23. Wm. says:

    » No, most of you strike me as Euro-poseurs.«

    I still watch MLS, although with less enthusiasm than I once did. I go to games on occasion. But when I have a surfeit of great games almost every Saturday with excellent passing, tactics, and goals, why would I put the bulk of my time into supporting the MLS, a league that has less quality on display?

    I agree—support our domestic league certainly, but we’re Euro-poseurs if we point out the Emperor has no clothes?

  24. Bart says:

    JoeW,

    you are an idiot.

    there is no free agency in MLS. The Dp/allocations/discovery claim BS is just a bunch of gimmicks.

    Get this through your tiny brain. There is no free agency in MLS.