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5 to Watch This Weekend

Where Is the Best U.S. Soccer Action? Right Here

We give you the matches that absolutely demand your attention this weekend including a couple of MLS playoff tilts and the return of a familiar face to American screens.
BY Jon Arnold Posted
November 02, 2012
11:26 AM
It's a tremendous weekend to be an American soccer fan. The MLS playoffs are under way, a friendly with Russia is approaching, and there are dozens and dozens of matches to watch on television. But with so many options, things can get a little overwhelming. What to watch, what to watch?

Seattle Sounders v. Real Salt Lake
10 p.m. (all times Eastern)
NBC Sports Network

If you’re a USMNT fan and you’re not immersed in the MLS playoffs, well you’re doing it wrong. This compelling tilt features a Seattle team sans Eddie Johnson against a veteran Real Salt Lake squad. RSL needs to find that scoring touch against the Sounders who are eyeing MLS Cup glory thanks to their deep team.

Tottenham v. Wigan
11 a.m.
Fox Soccer Plus

After an iPad kept Clint Dempsey’s penalty out midweek—okay, that’s not quite what happened—the American will hope to redeem himself. Brad Friedel didn’t start the cup match, but after a subpar performance from Hugo Lloris, Friedel might be the one trying to stop Roberto Martinez’s Wigan side.

Tijuana v. San Luis
11 p.m.
Univision Deportes Network
Tijuana's American trio of Edgar Castillo, Joe Corona, and Greg Garza host a late-night match that, depending on results, could help them stay on top of the Liga MX. The penultimate game of the Apertura comes against a struggling San Luis side featuring a struggling American. Michael Orozco Fiscal hasn’t been able to get the same playing time he got prior to this goal: You caught me. I just wanted another excuse to post that tally.

Roma v. Palermo
2:45 p.m.
beIN Sport
Michael Bradley’s Roma club returns to U.S. airwaves this weekend on a two-match losing skid. Palermo, with eight points from 10 matches, might be just the opponent the ASN 100 riser needs to help guide Roma back into the win column—and the European spots.

Houston Dynamo v. Sporting Kansas City
3:30 p.m.
You could watch that other football on network television or you could tune into this playoff semifinal. A rematch of last season’s Eastern Conference final, these two teams seem to have a genuine distaste for each other despite their geographical separation. Sporting Kansas City are a trendy pick to lift the cup this season, but Dom Kinnear proved earlier this week that he knows how to prepare a team for the playoffs—as if he needed to prove that again.

Santos Laguna v. Cruz Azul (11 p.m. Friday Univision Deportes Network): Herculez Gomez and ASN 100 new man Benji Joya will both hope to line up for Santos when the club takes on La Máquina. The boys from Torreón are in need of a win to improve their chances of getting into the Liguilla.

Malaga v. Rayo Vallecano (11 a.m. Saturday beIN Sport Spanish): Oguchi Onyewu’s stock is on the rise. Tune in and see if he can get some league action for Malaga.

Sunderland vs. Aston Villa (11 a.m. Saturday foxsoccer2go.com; tape at 3 on Fox Soccer Plus): The Black Cats face off with Brad Guzan, but could Eric Lichaj make another appearance for Aston Villa? He followed up his Premier League appearances with a key assist in Villa’s cup victory.

Norwich vs. Stoke (11 a.m. Saturday foxsoccer2go.com; tape at 5:30 on Fox Soccer): Geoff Cameron might regret not having a chance at MLS Cup this year, but he and the Stoke defense played well in a scoreless draw last week against Sunderland. Now about that attack…

Juventus v. Inter Milan (3:45 p.m. Saturday, beIN Sport): The top two teams in Serie A meet in what should be a tremendous contest.

Manchester United v. Arsenal (8:30 a.m. Saturday, ESPN2, streaming on ESPN3): I’ve heard of these two teams somewhere.

La Liga: Valencia v. Atlético Madrid (5 p.m. Saturday, beIN Sport Spanish): No Messi? No Ronaldo? No problem. Mexico's Andrés Guardado and Falcao among others should provide enough fireworks when La Liga’s third- and fourth-most exciting teams do battle this weekend.

What will YOU be watching this weekend? Tell us in the Comments section below.

Jon Arnold (@ArnoldcommaJon) is a freelance writer based in Phoenix and the co-host of MLS in 30 on NASN.TV.

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