5 to Watch This Weekend
Where Is the Best U.S. Soccer Action on TV? Right Here
The boys in Tijuana play an important fixture against Leon and Rafa Marquez; Tottenham returns to Premier League action with Clint Dempsey and Brad Friedel in the offering; Run DMB goes off.
BY Jon Arnold PostedWith the Bundesliga still on hiatus and Michael Bradley not gracing the small screen Stateside this week, it’s a weekend chock-full of Premier League and Liga MX for the discerning USMNT fan. FRIDAY Santos v. Chivas 10:30 p.m. (all times Eastern) Univision Deportes Herculez Gomez got off to a quick start in the Clausura, scoring the lone goal for Santos in a 1-1 draw. He’ll hope to continue impressing his new manager when Chivas pay a visit to Torreón. Like Santos, the Goats started the season sharing points. Both these clubs have a decent amount of expectation for the Clausura, so this Friday night fixture should be vigorous. SATURDAY QPR v. Tottenham 7:30 a.m. ESPN2 Clint Dempsey had a very good week last week, and we’ve seen just how scintillating he can be in Cup play as he netted two goals in Tottenham’s 3-0 FA Cup victory last weekend. Will Andre Villas-Boas stick with him in the league? With or without Dempsey in the Starting XI, Spurs will be wary of last-place QPR after the Hoops’ defeat of fellow London club Chelsea in their last outing. Brad Friedel also put in a great performance in the Cup, putting his name back in the discussion for the starting spot in Premier League action. Aston Villa v. Southampton 10 a.m. Streaming on Fox Soccer 2 Go, Tape Delayed on Fox Soccer at 4 p.m. Brad Guzan is expected to be back between the pipes after making way for Shay Given in Villa’s Cup matches. Guzan had allowed 17 goals in four games with a very poor defense making life tough for America’s No. 2 keeper. Both Villa and Southampton are teetering on the brink of the relegation zone, so while it might be a bit early, this feels like a true six-pointer. Both teams badly need a win to start an ascent up the table. Eric Lichaj was tapped in FA Cup play, so it’s possible he’ll make an appearance to help his countryman’s cause. Tijuana v. León 8 p.m. Unimas This rematch of a dramatic Liga MX Apertura semifinal takes place on the border, where Tijuana haven’t lost a regular season league match since January 29, 2012. (Monterrey knocked them off in a playoff match in May.) Borders really aren’t of any concern to Edgar Castillo, who has free range to roam as far forward in Tijuana’s system as any left back you’ll ever see. Speaking of Castillo, anybody remember this guy? Nery Castillo, once on loan to Chicago Fire, is hoping to make his León debut against Tijuana, and he’s confident the visitors will chase all three points. If he’s not enough of a foil to the American Castillo and Joe Corona, León also feature Rafa Marquez, who didn’t have the best go of things in the club’s opener, taking responsibility for one of the two goals allowed in a 2-2 draw with Queretaro. SUNDAY Toluca v. Puebla 1 p.m. Univision DaMarcus Beasley made a strong impression against Tijuana in a losing effort last weekend. The 30-year-old midfielder and Puebla had an uninspiring fall, but looked positive at the start of the match. Michael Orozco Fiscal, on loan to Puebla after falling out of favor at San Luis, started and went the full 90 at center back. The schedule isn’t kind to The Band, with runners-up Toluca the opponent after losing to champion Tijuana. But tune in to see if they can continue to play good football despite the strong opposition. BEST OF THE REST La Liga: Malaga v. Barcelona (3 p.m., Sunday, beIN Sport,)—Oguchi Onyewu probably won’t take the field for Malaga, but catching a Barcelona match is rarely a bad decision. Primeira Liga: Beira-Mar v. Estoril (3:15 p.m., Monday, ESPN3)—Take a rare opportunity to catch some Portuguese action and perhaps even a Tony Taylor sighting. The New Jersey native hasn’t made an appearance for Estoril since late November, but perhaps if you’re watchful you can will him on to the field. Premier League: Stoke v. Chelsea (10 a.m., Saturday, ESPN3)—Geoff Cameron putting in tackles on Fernando Torres and new Blues signing Demba Ba? Yes please. Liga de Acenso: Correcaminos v. Lobos BUAP (9:30 p.m., Friday, GolTV)—Marco Vidal, hero of Robert Andrew Powell’s fantastic book “This Love Is Not For Cowards,” makes a rare televised appearance in the Mexican second division. NO U.S. ANGLE BUT... Premier League: Arsenal v. Manchester City (10:30 a.m., Sunday, Fox Soccer)—The second of the Super Sunday fixtures could bring either fireworks or boredom but the high level of unpredictability makes this an intriguing match. Primeira Liga: Benfica v. Porto (3:15 p.m., Sunday, ESPN3)—It’s a 1 v. 2 match-up in Portugal as two of the three giant clubs in the country go head-to-head. Which matches will you be tuned into this weekend? Let us know your viewing schedule for the weekend in the comments below! Jon Arnold (@ArnoldcommaJon) is a freelance writer based in Phoenix and the co-host of MLS in 30 on NASN.TV.
January 11, 2013
January 11, 2013