Best Bets June 4/5: What to watch

June, 4, 2011
6/04/11
1:06
AM PT

SATURDAY, JUNE 4

  • TELEVISION

2012 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFYING
Armenia at Russia
ESPN Deportes, 7:55 a.m.

This Group B qualifier pits a perennial (Russia) against a nobody (Armenia) in a clash made pivotal by the nobodies' performances through the first half of group play. A big contributor for the Armenians: Pasadena's Yura Movsisyan.
Also
Switzerland at England, Fox Soccer Channel, 8:30 a.m. and 8 p.m.; Fox Deportes, 8:30 a.m. and 11 p.m.
France at Belarus, ESPN Deportes, 11 a.m.
Norway at Portugal, ESPN Deportes, 12:55 and 6 p.m.
Bulgaria at Montenegro, ESPN Deportes, 3 p.m.
Toulon U-20 Tournament
China at France, GolTV, 9:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Mexico vs. Hungary, GolTV, 6:30 p.m.

INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY
Netherlands at Brazil
TeleFutura (KFTR/Channel 46), noon
Wesley Sneijder
's two-strike second-half heroics lifted the brainier Dutch past the Brazilians in the quarterfinals last year in South Africa. It's always special when these aesthetic standard-bearers get together, even after a long, hard season with nothing at stake.

INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY
Spain at United States
ESPN and Univision (KMEX/Channel 34), 1:30 p.m.
They're calling it “Tiqui-taca,” that tempered, short-pass, constant-movement possession game that has taken the Spaniards -- and FC Barcelona, with many of the same stars -- to the apex of the global game. Most of the World Cup champs' icons are on board for this friendly at Foxborough, Mass., but not Xavi, who might be hands down the world's best player if you don't count Lionel Messi. The U.S., prepping for its opener next week in the CONCACAF Gold Cup, remembers well the last meeting, not quite two years ago in the Confederations Cup semifinals: Yanks 2, España 0.

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
Philadelphia Union at Colorado Rapids
MLS Direct Kick, 6 p.m.
The Union has been confounding experts all season, rising to the top spot in the Eastern Conference on sound defense, then scoring a half-dozen last week. The Rapids haven't found their MLS Cup-winning form, but Omar Cummings' return from injury and Conor Casey's to form could spark another run like last year.
Also
Sporting Kansas City at Toronto FC, MLS Direct Kick, 4 p.m.
Columbus Crew at New York Red Bulls, MLS Direct Kick, 4:30 p.m.
New England Revolution at FC Dallas, MLS Direct Kick, 5:30 p.m.
Seattle Sounders at Chicago Fire, MLS Direct Kick, 5:30 p.m.
Vancouver Whitecaps at Real Salt Lake, MLS Direct Kick, 6 p.m.
Houston Dynamo at San Jose Earthquakes, Galavision, 7 p.m.
Portland Timbers at Chivas USA, Prime Ticket, 7:30 p.m.
Brazilian Brasileirão Petrobras
Cruzeiro at Fluminense, GolTV, 2:30 p.m.
Colombian Liga Postobon
La Equidad at Millonarios, GolTV, 4:30 p.m. and midnight
  • ON LOCAL FIELDS

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
Portland Timbers at Chivas USA
Home Depot Center (Carson), 7:30 p.m.

The Timbers are a first-year MLS team, and Chivas USA might as well be, with all the changes in Goatsville the past eight months. Both are looking to establish themselves, with mixed results, among that collection of clubs that really do contend for playoff spots. Portland hasn't won on the road, and Chivas has turned surrendering leads into an art form. Expect fireworks.
TV: Prime Ticket

WOMEN'S PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE
L.A. Premier at Orange County Waves
Orange Coast College (Costa Mesa), 6 p.m.
The ambitious Waves take their first steps toward the women's game's top league -- the WPS -- and L.A. Premier's amateurs, always among the best teams in the Pacific Conference, ought to give them a real test in their home debut.
Also
Claremont Stars at Los Al Vikings, Long Beach City College, 11 a.m.
San Diego SeaLions at Ajax America, Nansen Field (Rolling Hills Estates), 3:30 p.m.

NATIONAL PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE
San Diego Flash at Santa Ana Winds
Santa Ana Stadium, 7 p.m.
The Santa Anas have been blowing hot through the NPSL, with seven straight victories to snag the top spot in the Southwest Flight. The Flash are three points back, but that's because they used an ineligible player in two games, and so 8-0 is now 6-2.
Also
Real San Jose at FC Hasental, Calabasas High School, 6:30 p.m.
USL Premier Development League
Fresno Fuego at L.A. Legends, Crenshaw High School (Los Angeles), 5 p.m.

SUNDAY, JUNE 5

  • TELEVISION

INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY
Argentina at Poland
ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes, 7:55 a.m.

Always worthwhile to watch the Celeste, even if it's not their first team, and this one isn't. No Messi, no Tevez, no Cambiasso nor Mascheroanmo, no Higuain, no Zanetti. Just 54 caps spread among 22 players. Replays: ESPN Deportes, 2 p.m. and 1 a.m.
Also
Norway U-21 at England U-21, Fox Soccer Channel, 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Toulon U-20 Tournament
Colombia vs. Italy, GolTV, 9:30 a.m. and 7 p.m.
2012 European Championship qualifying
Denmark at Iceland, ESPN Deportes, 10 a.m.

CORAZON CLASSIC
Real Madrid vs. Bayern Munich
Fox Soccer Channel, 10 a.m.
An African relief benefit featuring legends -- led by Zinedine Zidane -- from both clubs. Among those joining Double-Z: Luis Figo, Emilio Butragueño, Karlheinz Rummenigge, Paul Breitner, Andreas Brehme. Replay: 8 p.m.
Brazilian Brasileirão Petrobras
Corinthians at Flamengo, GolTV, noon and 8 p.m.
Colombian Liga Postobon
Deportes Tolima at Atletico Nacional, GolTV, 2 p.m.

WOMEN'S INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY
Mexico at United States
ESPN2 and Univision (KMEX/Channel 34), 11 a.m.
The U.S. wraps up its domestic preps for the Women's World Cup, taking on burgeoning rival Mexico -- perhaps with an eye toward avenging last year's shock loss in the CONCACAF semifinals. The Americans, Diamond Bar-bred forward Alex Morgan notes, “have been playing our best soccer yet” over the past month.
Women's Professional Soccer
magicJack at Boston Breakers, Fox Soccer Channel, 3 p.m. and midnight

CONCACAF GOLD CUP
Mexico vs. El Salvador
Univision (KMEX/Channel 34), 5 p.m.
The defending champs open the region's nations championship at Cowboys Stadium outside Dallas, and if it's not the first step toward a spot in the June 25 final at the Rose Bowl, this will have been a disastrous summer for El Tri.
Also
Costa Rica vs. Cuba, Univision (KMEX/Channel 34), 3 p.m.
  • ON LOCAL FIELDS

MLS RESERVE LEAGUE
Portland Timbers at Chivas USA
Home Depot Center Track and Field Stadium (Carson), 11 a.m.

The return of Blair Gavin? Seth Owusu? Tristan Bowen? Chivas is getting healthy, and those coming off injuries need game time. And admission, as always, is free.

USL W-LEAGUE
Vancouver Whitecaps at Santa Clarita Blue Heat
The Master's College (Santa Clarita), 1 p.m.
The mighty Whitecaps rallied to tie Pali Blues, and now they get a test against the Blue Heat, who are looking like contenders in the West.
Also
Seattle Sounders at Pali Blues, Palisades High School (Pacific Palisades), 3 p.m.

USL PREMIER DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE
Southern California Seahorses at Ventura County Fusion
Ventura College, 5 p.m.
The Seahorses have beaten Orange County Blue Star twice in eight days and take aim at the Southwest Division leaders, who were held to a draw by L.A. Blues 23.
Also
Fresno Fuego at L.A. Blues 23, Palisades High School (Pacific Palisades), 6 p.m.

WOMEN'S PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE
Ajax America at L.A. Premier
La Cañada High School (La Cañada Flintridge), 6 p.m.
L.A.'s WPSL veterans always produce quality soccer, but with pros O.C. Waves now in the mix, it's a very different landscape for both sides. And it makes their matchup all the more important.
Also
Orange County Waves at Los Al Vikings, Long Beach City College, 11 a.m.

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