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What to watch this weekend

MLS After Dark vibes in the morning and several hours of UCL final action.

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Voraciously sub food brand 07 2019 Photo by Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post via Getty Images; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Sometimes the calendar looks at you and smiles. Your day is blank, nothing planned. Nothing except homemade biscuits & gravy, Bloody Marys, a pour-over of coffee and so much Am Socc on TV it’s impossible to avoid.

Hey there couch, let’s be friends all day Saturday.

OL Reign, Seattle Sounders, and Tacoma Defiance all play on Sunday. That’s a lot of soccer at once.

MLS games to watch

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MLS Am Socc Brunch-time Special: Chicago Fire v. CF Montreal - Saturday at 10 AM PT on ESPN+

With two 10 AM matches to choose from, I head to lean towards the better food vibes. I’ve dined in both Harrison and Orlando, and frankly it’s fine. But I dream of a food vacay in Montreal, so my brunch-time soccer vote is for Chicago and Montreal.

Will the soccer be good? Probably not. Will it be an excellent pairing for my day of soccer while my wife is out showing houses? YES.

LAFC v. NYCFC - Saturday at 2 PM PT on UniMás/TUDN

These are two sides that should have high-powered run & gun offenses. All indications are that Banger League Soccer will get started with NYCFC’s second-ever visit to LAFC. Bob Bradley’s never lost to an Eastern Conference side when hosting them, and I’m okay if that streak ends on Saturday. The Pigeons are the only team with two goal scorers in the top seven of the early season. LA should be there. Let there be goals, bangers.

This match is also available in English streaming on Twitter and on TUDN if your cable, satellite, or cord-cutting package has it.

LA Galaxy v. San Jose Earthquakes - Saturday at 4 PM PT on UniMás/TUDN

Are TUDN using the same announcers and driving between venues? No, those cowards know it takes an act of God to get from LA to Carson in time. But, it’s handy to not have to change the channel. Especially when your Am Socc Saturday started six hours ago (remember to hydrate).

The Cali Classico features everyone’s favorite chaos lords and the little pea. Neither team knows how to defend, which should make for pleasant casual viewing.

This match is also available in English streaming on Twitter and on TUDN if your cable, satellite, or cord-cutting package has it.

Philadelphia Union v. Portland Timbers - Sunday at 4 PM PT on FS1/FOX Deportes

The best part of this one is that you can watch the Timbers lose on the road and not have to change the channel to watch the Sounders win at home. Thanks FS1, love this decision. Just pour the Sunday afternoon/evening soccer in my face.

Philly hasn’t stumbled much after selling their two best players. They are no longer Shield contenders, but should cause the continually injured Timbers some trouble. Both teams will make the playoffs, somehow.

As a reminder, ESPN+ (affiliate link) is the out-of-market service for MLS games. You may be regionally locked out if you live in a market that is showing the game on linear (that’s broadcast, cable, sat) TV. For most of us this happens when Timbers are on ROOT (they aren’t this week).

NWSL games to watch

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Gotham FC v. Portland Thorns - Sunday at Noon PT on Paramount+

I don’t want to sign up for Paramount+, but I do want to see Portland miserable. Red Bull Arena is a great park for soccer — especially with Gotham in the house. Those images are great. Also, I remain an Allie Long and Ify Onumonu stan. Go Gotham. Be the new power of the NWSL in every game but those against Reign.

  • Twitch has the Friday (4 PM PT) match when the broken Courage host Racing. It will be great if Louisville can take out Paul Riley’s 2021 hopes. I don’t really like that guy because of all the winning he does.

If you have Fubo TV (affiliate link) or YouTube TV you get CBSSN, which is airing Chicago v. Houston on Saturday at 4:30 PM PT.

USL games to watch

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New Mexico United v. Loudon United - Saturday at 6:30 PM PT on ESPN+

Welcome home, New Mexico.

Many American sports fans are used to hearing about how during the pandemic Canada’s teams were forced on season-long road trips, which still continue into this year. New Mexico United also only played road games last year. Once the vibrant beacon of what lower division soccer can do for a state, The Lab sat empty in 2020. On Saturday they return home, in front of fans, ready to spread their combined mission of soccer greatness and social change.

Welcome back.

  • Also Saturday night the Pacific will get sorted out a bit as Orange County hosts Galaxy II; Sacramento Republic Quails host Phoenix Rising; and San Diego Loyal host Las Vegas Lights (this will involve less travel for Vegas than games in Vegas do). Oakland is off this weekend.
  • The #LIPAFC (Lou City v Indy XI) is one of the great rivalries in the lower divisions. The 4:30 PM PT showcase for Lynn Family Stadium features two indie sides looking to assert themselves in 2021.

Other Broadcast Soccer

Chelsea v. Manchester City - Saturday at Noon PT on CBS/Paramount+

The UEFA Champions League Final also gets a 90 minute pregame show on Big CBS. Zack Steffen could win the biggest title a USMNT player has ever seen. There’s also a postgame show on CBSSN, which leads into an NWSL match (Houston Dash v Red Stars).

Switzerland v. United States Men’s National Team - Sunday at 11 AM PT on ESPN

Mostly I’m just watching to see how the fullback battle works out now that DeAndre Yedlin is back in the picture.

OL Fem v. PSG - noon PT on Sunday on ESPN+

Normally I avoid Euro soccer in the Am Socc weekend threads, but the Reign Ringers are Ready to Romp and win the league before they come to Cheney Stadium.

This is your AmSocc open thread for the weekend of Friday, May 21 through Sunday, May 22. Watch with us because what else are you going to do this weekend?

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