NASHVILLE – While Nashville Soccer Club has the weekend off ahead of its July 27 showdown against Indy Eleven at Nissan Stadium, there is still plenty of great soccer to watch this weekend. Here’s a helpful guide to some of the soccer on TV this weekend.
MLS: LA Galaxy vs. LAFC (9:00 p.m. CT on ESPN)
The Los Angeles derby known as “El Tráfico” is renewed for the first time this season on Friday night. The new rivalry got started with a bang on March 31, 2018 as LA Galaxy erased a 3-0 deficit in the final 30 minutes of the match to win 4-2. Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibrahimović netted two goals as a substitute in his Galaxy debut. The other two matches last season ended in hard-fought draws. The 2019 edition of the rivalry pits the hottest team in MLS, LAFC, against one of the league’s most dynamic forwards in Ibrahimović. You won’t want to miss one of the best matchups MLS has to offer on ESPN on Friday night.
NWSL: Utah Royals vs. Portland Thorns (9:00 p.m. CT streamed on Yahoo! Sports)
A strong weekend of NWSL action kicks off on Friday with the Utah Royals and Portland Thorns facing off. This match could be highlighted by the return of a number of U.S. Women’s National Team players to NWSL action. Kelley O’Hara, Christen Press and Becky Sauerbrunn are expected to suit up for Utah, while Tobin Heath, Lindsey Horan, Emily Sonnett and Adrianna Franch are all expected to be available for Portland in this matchup. The two teams also have plenty of international talent, including Canada’s Desiree Scott with the Royals and Canada’s Christine Sinclair with the Thorns. The match will be streamed on Yahoo! Sports’ website.
USL Championship: Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC vs. North Carolina FC (6:00 p.m. CT on ESPN+)
This Saturday night USL Championship matchup in Pittsburgh could have implications for Nashville SC in the Eastern Conference race. North Carolina FC has surged up the standings in recent weeks and currently sits two points ahead of Nashville SC. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC has gone unbeaten in four of its last five matches and could get to within striking distance of Nashville with a win.
International Champions Cup: Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid (7:00 p.m. CT on ESPN2)
The International Champions Cup is a global tour of preseason friendly matches featuring some of the biggest names in European soccer. On Saturday night, defending German champions Bayern Munich will square off against Spanish superpower Real Madrid at NRG Stadium in Houston. Real Madrid had quite the offseason, adding some elite talent in Eden Hazard and Luka Jović to the squad. Meanwhile, this will be a year of change for Bayern Munich, as legends Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery left the club.
MLS: Real Salt Lake vs. Minnesota United (9:00 p.m. CT on ESPN+)
Close out your Soccer Saturday night with an MLS Western Conference clash in Utah. Real Salt Lake, currently in sixth place in the conference, hosts red-hot Minnesota United, who sit just four points ahead in fourth place. Minnesota has not lost since June 8 and is coming off of a dramatic 1-0 win over FC Dallas that featured both a stoppage-time winner and penalty save. Meanwhile, Real Salt Lake is looking to build off of an unexpected 2018 playoff run this season in what will be goalkeeper Nick Rimando’s final season.
NWSL: Chicago Red Stars vs. North Carolina Courage (5:00 p.m. CT on ESPN2)
The second nationally-televised NWSL match of the season takes place on Sunday in Chicago between the Red Stars and North Carolina Courage. This match should mark the return of USWNT players to both sides. Julie Ertz, Alyssa Naeher, Morgan Brian and Tierna Davidson are expected to return for the Red Stars, while Sam Mewis, Crystal Dunn, Abby Dahlkemper and Jessica McDonald are expected back for the Courage. There is a considerable buzz for the match, with a record crowd for women’s soccer in Chicago expected.
MLS: Seattle Sounders FC vs. Portland Timbers FC (8:30 p.m. CT on Fox Sports 1)
Rounding out this weekend’s action is one of MLS’ biggest rivalry matches. Seattle Sounders FC hosts Portland Timbers FC in a massive showdown between the two Cascadia rivals. The rivalry dates back to when the original Sounders and Timbers squared off in the old North American Soccer League between 1975 and 1982, and was revived with both clubs joining MLS in the last decade. This match will also be a playoff rematch, as the two sides met in the 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs. Portland advanced to the Conference Finals with a second-leg victory on penalties in that matchup. This season, Portland is trying to climb back into playoff position with 25 points, while Seattle is trying to hold on to second place in the conference behind LAFC.