5 to Watch This Weekend
Xolos, Everton, Cameron, Edu Among Top TV Options
Start your weekend off right with a Friday night game between Tijuana and Leon, with playoff seeding implications on the line. And after that? More soccer on TV, of course. Here is Christopher McCollum's guide.
April 25, 2014
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Tijuana vs. Leon
10:30 p.m. (all times Eastern)
It’s the last weekend of the Clausura before the playoffs begin, and there's still a race for every spot. Tijuana is locked in, though still fighting for a higher seed to avoid a clash with Toluca. As usual, there’s five Americans vying for playing time, with Edgar Castillo currently the only lock to start. Plenty of sub minutes are being handed out to Herculez Gomez and Joe Corona though, and with very few of those left this season, it’s down to last-gasp time to make a good impression on Jurgen Klinsmann as he makes his provisional World Cup roster. On Club Leon’s side, Dennis Flores, the 20-year old Mexican-American who seemingly popped out of nowhere to earn an invite to the U.S. U-21 camp, has been making late-game appearances for his club.
Southampton vs. Everton
NBC Sports Live Extra
It’s now or never for Everton, and it’s not entirely up to Tim Howard and the rest. With three games to go, Arsenal hold a one point edge over the Toffees. Southampton will prove a stiff test for Everton, but next week’s game against Manchester City could prove to be the spoiler unless Arsenal drops points in at least two of their remaining three games and Everton gains six. Even then, it could come down to goal differential, where Everton currently has the advantage thanks to Howard’s magnificent season, which saw him become the fourth Everton keeper to reach 100 clean sheets.
Stoke City vs. Tottenham
NBC Sports Live Extra
Geoff Cameron and Stoke City are close to finishing the season in the top 10, but are being chased by a shockingly on-fire Crystal Palace side that has won five in a row, including games against Chelsea and Everton. Cameron has been a 90-minute man all season, ranking second on the team in minutes played. His ticket to Brazil is assured, but where will he play once there? Watch him take on sixth place Tottenham Saturday and reignite the debate.
Montreal Impact vs. Philadelphia Union
The debate is raging over whether or not Maurice Edu or Kyle Beckerman should get a spot next to Michael Bradley in the midfield. You get to watch them play one after another on Saturday, and make your comparisons. Edu has been revitalized after his return to MLS, and has been performing well for the Union. Only a month ago, he likely wasn't even part of the conversation for a national team spot. Now, though, the talk is there and it’s getting louder. Meanwhile, Montreal still has not won a game.
Real Salt Lake vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
Beckerman has helped steer Salt Lake away from the loss column this season, and has won over many of his detractors while solidifying his existing fans’ adoration. He has recorded two goals and two assists while holding down the central midfield—an impressive start to the season, to be sure. Also to watch in this game is Nick Rimando and Tony Beltran: one is assured to go to Brazil, and the other still very much in consideration, though on the outside looking in at this point.
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.