Looking at the upcoming week, here are the soccer matches I am most excited to watch:
Wed. Aug. 22
- AJAX vs. Dynamo Kyiv (Europa Cup) — It’s hard for me to watch midweek games, and honestly I don’t watch much of the Europa cup until the final rounds. But this match jumped out at me and I am going to try and catch it.
- New York City vs. New York Red Bulls (MLS) — I’m a sucker for a derby and this one looks to be a good one. #2 vs #3 in the east!
Fri. Aug. 24
- Bayern Munich vs. Hoffenheim (Bundesliga) — Bundesliga is kicking off and the first match are the Munich juggernauts facing Hoffenheim, who finished last season in 3rd.
- Atlanta United vs. Orlando City SC (MLS) — The rivalry of the south, the enmity of these two teams rivals Seattle and Portland’s, sadly this match is likely to be a bit lopsided. But I’ll tune in regardless.
- Los Angeles Galaxy vs. LA FC (MLS) — As above, a good cross town rivalry though the teams are not quite performing at the same level as our NYC derby.
Sat. Aug. 25
- Arsenal vs. West Ham United (EPL) — Both London teams are winless thus far into the EPL season, but one or both of them will leave this match with at least a point.
- Juventus vs. Lazio (Serie A) — Ronaldo is still settling into his new team, and I am eager to see how this week goes.
- Seattle Reign vs. North Carolina Courage (NWSL) — I am ardent fan of women’s soccer whether it is on the international stage or at the NWSL here in the US. North Carolina Courage just proved themselves to be the best women’s soccer team in the world, and they are pulling a Bayern on the NWSL as they run away with the league’s record. That said, the Seattle Reign are second in the league and will be eager for a rematch after their 4 – 1 loss against the Courage in June.
Sun. Aug. 26
- Girona vs. Real Madrid (La Liga) — I have to admit, even as I moderately follow La Liga, I knew almost nothing about Girona. They finished mid‐table last season. This isn’t about them, it’s about the new Real Madrid without Zidane and Ronaldo and watching how the team evolves.
- Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders (MLS) — The unquestionably best rivalry in MLS, playing in the best atmosphere in MLS, between two teams that are running very well right now. Sounders are on an unprecedented winning streak, Portland is playing very well, and this one should be an absolutely classical match for the history books.
- Santos Laguna vs. Cruz Azul (Liga MX) — Number 1 vs. 2 in Liga MX, should be an entertaining match! Liga MX is a league I rarely watch so I don’t have more to add, but I have faith this one will be entertaining.