By Clemente Lisi – NEW YORK, NY (Nov 23, 2020) US Soccer Players – The gridiron version of football is synonymous with Thanksgiving. It’s a tradition that dates back to the late 1800s and something the National Football League adopted in 1934. Football, however, isn’t the only sport available over the four-day weekend. Streaming services, changing habits, and a global schedule have made soccer must-see TV as well this week. Here’s a look at the games not to miss.
Start your Thanksgiving weekend TV viewing early with the Champions League. Europe’s top club competition rolls along with matchday 4 of the group stage. Tuesday’s big game is Paris Saint-Germain, last season’s runners up, hosting Tyler Adams’s RB Leipzig, surprise semifinalists, at 3pm ET. The group H encounter could go a long way in determining which one of these sides qualifies for the knockout round. At the same time, Gio Reyna’s Borussia Dortmund hosts Ethan Horvath’s Club Brugge in Group F. Rounding out the USMNT players in action, Weston McKennie’s Juventus hosts Ferencvaros at 3pm. All Champions League games are available via CBS All Access in English and UniMas, Galavision, and TUDN in Spanish. Meanwhile, the MLS playoffs continue with three games on the schedule with Toronto playing Nashville on FS1 and ESPN showing Philadelphia vs New England and Seattle vs LAFC. It’s an open question on which is the one to watch, with the playoffs in MLS unpredictable at the best of times.
The following day features two highlight Champions League games in the 3pm ET slot. Bayern Munich, the defending champions, hosts RB Salzburg, coached by Jesse Marsch, in Group A while Liverpool takes on Atalanta in Group D. Zack Steffen’s Manchester City is at Olympiacos in group C, also at 3pm. In South America, the Copa Libertadores also rolls on with the knockout round starting Tuesday, giving fans something to watch in the evening. Argentine powerhouse Boca Juniors travel to Internacional of Brazil on Wednesday in the first-leg of the round of 16 with kickoff scheduled for 7:30pm on beIN Sport.
The Europa League, Uefa’s second-tier club tournament, gets top-billing on Turkey day. Twenty games from the Europa League’s matchday 4 all take place Thursday via CBS All Access and on UniMas, Galavision, and TUDN. The matchday starts at 1pm ET with Celtic and Sparta Prague in group H. At 3pm, Rangers host Benfica over in Group D, a game featuring two teams with Champions League pedigrees. Other games that also stand out include AZ Alkmaar taking on Real Sociedad and Tottenham hosting Ludogorets. Both those games are also at 3pm. The Europa League is a lonely place for USMNT players this season, but Tim Weah’s Lille hosts Milan at 1pm. In the evening, the Copa Libertadores features the Brazilian derby between Gurani and Gremio at 7:30pm on beIN Sport.
Black Friday may be about leftovers and shopping, but the soccer marathon continues. The Bundesliga’s matchday 9 starts at 2:30pm with Wolfsburg versus Josh Sargent’s Werder Bremen on ESPN+. The Premier League also has a Friday game at 3pm with Crystal Palace playing Newcastle on Peacock Premium.
The weekend, as usual, is loaded with games. Europe’s five major domestic leagues are in full swing. In the Bundesliga, Reyna’s Dortmund hosts Cologne at 9:30am on ESPN+ for those who enjoy their soccer with breakfast. In time for lunch, McKennie’s Juventus is at Benevento at noon ET, also on ESPN+.
Start of your Sunday with Barcelona hosting Osasuna at 8am on beIN Sport. Over in the Premier League, there’s the Chelsea vs Spurs version of the London derby at 11:30am on NBCSN. The Serie A encounter between Napoli and AS Roma is also a good one on Sunday at 2:45pm on ESPN+. The MLS playoffs resume with two of the four conference semifinals taking place at 3pm on ABC and 8pm on ESPN. It’s a busy week full of family, food, and soccer. Make it a good one.
Clemente Lisi is a regular contributor to US Soccer Players. He is also the author of A History of the World Cup: 1930-2018.
More from Clemente Lisi:
- The continuing legacy of Dutch coaches at Barcelona
- 5 MLS teams in contention
- Soccer players turned politicians
- Risk vs reward with Colorado’s player development
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