Friday’s soccer news starts with the roundup of Europa Conference League play-off qualifying first legs. Mark McKenzie’s KRC Genk came back to beat Adana Demirspor 2-1 at home after falling behind in the 47th. Tolu Arokodare equalized for Genk in the 77th and Daniel Munoz scored three minutes into stoppage time. McKenzie saw yellow in the 24th minute.
Djordje Mihailovic subbed out in the 60th minute of AZ’s 1-1 draw with SK Brann. Falling behind in the 59th minute, AZ’s Pantelis Hatzidiakos equalized in the 71st minute.
Timothy Chandler and Paxten Aaronson were on the bench for EIntracht’s 1-1 draw at Levski Sofia. Randal Kolo Muani scored for Eintracht in the 6th and Levski Sofia equalized five minutes into stoppage time. Owen Otasowie wasn’t in the squad for Club Brugge’s 2-1 win at Osasuna. Andreas Skov Olsen put Club Brugge up in the 50th with Osasuna equalizing in the 78th.
Moving to the weekend games with the focus on MLS week 28, Inter Miami is at the Red Bulls on Saturday at 7:30pm ET. That game gets the attention for the obvious reasons, but it’s worth the reminder that New York picked up three points last week in the return to league play. Inter Miami is so different that it would take lots of convincing to link this team with what happened during their 11-game winless streak leading into what we all saw during the Leagues Cup. That puts even more pressure on the Red Bulls who open the round in 11th-place, 11 points ahead of Miami in 15th and three points out of the final playoff spot.
Are we seriously talking about playoff spots in late August with games played between 22 and 25? Yes, because two things are going to become the story as the league returns to a full schedule this weekend. The unbalanced schedule and games played. Inter Miami in the East and the Galaxy in the West are the two teams on 22 games played and both have made the kind of changes that should have the teams between them and the playoff positions concerned.
The Galaxy didn’t have a league game in week 27, facing Chicago at home tomorrow at 10:30pm. Chicago won three out of four heading into Leagues Cup, with last week’s 3-1 home loss to Orlando perhaps suggesting more than it should about the 9th-place Fire. They’re tied on points and level on games played with 8th-place Montreal in the East. In the West, the Galaxy is nine points out of 9th-place in 13th.
Minnesota is that 9th-place team in the West, hosting Seattle on Sunday in a game available nationally on FOX at 4:30pm. Minnesota winning at NYCFC last week and Seattle losing at Atlanta has them five points apart and potentially showing how quickly the table could change in the Western Conference with United tied on points with Vancouver and a point behind 7th-place Houston and 6th-place Austin.
WEEKEND SOCCER TV
Saturday has the Premier League on USA: Bournemouth vs Spurs at 7:30am and Arsenal vs Fulham at 10am. NBC has Brighton vs West Ham at 12:30pm. Premiership on CBS Sports: Ross County vs Rangers at 7:30am. Ligue 2 on beIN Sport: Bordeaux vs Amiens at 9am. La Liga on ESPN Deportes: Cadiz vs Almeria at 1pm, Granada vs Mallorca at 1:30pm, and Sevilla vs Girona at 3:30pm. Ligue 1 on beIN Sport: Marseille vs Brest at 1pm and PSG vs Lens at 3pm. Serie A on CBS Sports: Hellas Verona vs AS Roma at 2:45pm.
Ecuador’s Primera A on GolTV: Independiente del Calle vs Universidad Catolica at 2pm and Mushuc Runa vs Barcelona at 7pm. Liga MX on Univision: Club America vs Leon at 9pm. FS1 has Santos Laguna vs Chivas at 11pm.
Sunday has Ligue 1 on beIN Sport: Rennes vs Le Harve at 7am, Strasbourg vs Toulouse at 9am, Lorient vs Lille at 11am, and Nice vs Lyon at 2:45pm. Premier League on USA: Sheffield United vs Manchester City at 9am and Newcastle vs Liverpool at 11:30am. La Liga on ESPN Deportes: Villarreal vs Barcelona at 11:30am, Valencia vs Osasuna at 1:30pm, and Athletic vs Real Betis at 3:30pm.
Ecuador’s Primera A on GolTV: Emelec vs Delfin at 4:30pm and Gualaceo vs LDU Quito at 7pm. MLS on FOX: Minnesota United vs Seattle at 4:30pm. Liga MX on TUDN: Necaxa vs Queretaro at 6pm. Univision has UNAM Pumas vs Tigres at 8pm and Monterrey vs Cruz Azul at 10pm.
Monday has La Liga on ESPN Deportes: Getafe vs Alaves at 1:30pm and Rayo Vallecano vs Atletico Madrid at 3:30pm. Pro League on FS2: Al Whada vs Al Ittihad at 2pm. Fox Soccer Plus has Al Hilal vs Al Ittifaq at 2pm. Primeira Liga on GolTV: Rio Ave vs Porto at 3:15pm. Ecuador’s Primera A on GolTV: Deportivo Cuenca vs Tecnico Universitario at 8pm. All Times Eastern
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