21414_isi-altidorejozy_bpi_jt_westham_sunderland_00179.2607449 Joe Toth/isiphotos.com
What to Watch this Weekend

Another Sunderland Match, Another Chance for Jozy

The English Premier League is closed for business this weekend, but you don't have to watch Nordic Combined or Curling—we've got five U.S.-centric soccer matches you should consider.
BY Christopher McCollum Posted
February 14, 2014
4:14 PM
AFTER SOME MIDWEEK LEAGUE action in England, we're back to FA Cup play this weekend, greatly reducing the number of options for seeing Americans on TV.

There are still a couple options though, with Herculez Gomez and Tijuana taking on Santos Laguna, Jozy Altidore and Sunderland taking on Southampton, Alejandro Bedoya's potential return from injury for Nantes against Nice, and then there's a couple opportunities to scout World Cup opponents, with German and Portuguese stars taking the stage in England and Spain.

Here's our curated guide to weekend soccer viewing.


Santos Laguna vs. Tijuana
10:30 p.m. (all times Eastern)

After last week's win against Monterrey, Tijuana are now one more win away from getting back into the top three. Herculez Gomez has not been able to find the back of the net, but continues to be a mainstay, along with Edgar Castillo and Joe Corona, in the lineup. Santos Laguna have dropped down the power rankings, and despite keeping the same core of attacking talent that won Liga MX only a few of seasons ago, it is still struggling to keep up this season.


Sunderland vs. Southampton
Fox Soccer 2Go

Sunderland's streak of good fortune came to an end during the middle of the week as fell to Hull City, 2-0. However, the club is still looking strong in other competitions, advancing in both the Capital One Cup and the FA Cup. On Saturday Sunderland will try to maintain it's strong FA Cup run against Southampton. The heat is still on Jozy Altidore to get on the scoreboard. With two goals in 31 games for Sunderland, in a World Cup year, each game brings more and more nerves to American observers.

Nice vs. Nantes
2:00 p.m.
beIn Sports Play

Alejandro Bedoya has been out with a hamstring injury but is hoping to be healthy in time to play in Saturday's game against Nice. Nantes has been sliding over the past month, winless in its last four and taking only one point during that span. Nantes have likely lost out on a chance to play in Europe, now resting 11 points out of fourth place. But despite three losses in its last four, the club can still easily make the top half of the field and then make a push to the top six.


Arsenal vs. Liverpool
11:00 a.m.
Fox Deportes

This game is an unusual feature in ASN's Five to Watch this Weekend. With the shortage of American players seeing action this weekend due to injury, inactivity, or cup matches, we will look at some future World CUp Group G opponents instead. Arsenal sports three likely German starters in Per Mertersacker, Mesut Ozil, and Lukas Podolski—players likely to lineup against the U.S. on JUne 26 in Recife, Brazil. Of course, this will also be an interesting game in that it's kind of a rematch of the 5-1 shocker that Liverpool put on Arsenal last week. There may also be an added bonus that potential American Gedion Zelalem could see the bench, and even a few minutes of playing time, depending on how the match plays out.

Getafe vs. Real Madrid
11:00 a.m.
beIN Sports USA

Like the Arsenal match, this game doesn't have an American national team player, but it does feature opponents that will be seen in Brazil. Portugal's team in 2002 was labeled the "Golden Generation," but one has to wonder if Cristiano Ronaldo's team is even better than Luis Figo's. In this game against Getafe, three likely World Cup starters will be on display—Ronaldo, Pepe, and Fabio Coentrao. After a comparatively slow start to the season, Madrid has been closing steadily on the top spot, and have finally caught up to Barcelona and Atletico, creating a three way tie at the top. Getafe has not been a defensively solid team this season, and even outside of the World Cup scouting, it should be an entertaining game to watch if you like goals.


England: Manchester City vs. Chelsea (12:15 p.m., Saturday, Fox Soccer 2GO)— Another gigantic FA Cup meeting could be one of the games of the week. Chelsea's victory over City two weeks ago is sure to light a fire under Sergio Aguero and company, and it should be one of the more entertaining games of the weekend.

So what are you watching this week? Let us know in comments section below.

Christopher McCollum is a New York City based writer and an ASN contributor.

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