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Best Bets July 16/17: What to watch, where to go

SATURDAY, JULY 16

  • TELEVISION

FIFA WOMEN'S WORLD CUP

Sweden vs. France

ESPN2, 8 a.m.

Europe's top two finishers face off in the consolation match, and if they go at it with passion, this could be one of the best matchups of the tournament. France's Sonia Bompastor, who nearly beat the U.S., and Sweden's Lotta Schelin are the key figures.

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER

Colorado Rapids at Seattle Sounders

Fox Soccer League, 1 p.m.

The Sounders, unbeaten in their last eight, are MLS's hottest side, but the MLS champion Rapids are starting to find their stride now that Conor Casey and Omar Cummings are together again. Replay: Fox Deportes, 4 p.m.

Also

Real Salt Lake at Vancouver Whitecaps, MLS Direct Kick, 1 p.m.

San Jose Earthquakes at Columbus Crew, MLS Direct Kick, 4:30 p.m.

Sporting Kansas City at Houston Dynamo, MLS Direct Kick, 5:30 p.m.

Portland Timbers at Chicago Fire, MLS Direct Kick, 5:30 p.m.

D.C. United at FC Dallas, MLS Direct Kick, 6 p.m.

New York Red Bulls at Chivas USA, Prime Ticket and Galavision, 7:30 p.m.

USL Pro

Rochester Rhinos at Orlando City, Fox Soccer Channel, 3:30 p.m.

COPA AMERICA

Uruguay at Argentina

Univision (KMEX/Channel 34), 3 p.m.

Argentina disappointed the home fans by struggling to get out of the group stage at South America's club championship, but the Celeste surrendered just one goal in three games. Their neighbors, who finished fourth last year in South Africa, also scraped through to the quarterfinals.

Also

Colombia vs. Peru, Univision (KMEX/Channel 34), noon

CLUB FRIENDLY

America (Mexico) vs. Manchester City (England)

TeleFutura (KFTR/Channel 46), 5 p.m.

Mexico City's giant has won its first two friendlies in the U.S., but rising English power Man City -- the opposition in San Francisco -- will be a tougher foe than the Portland Timbers and Atlas were.

Also

Liverpool (England) at Malaysia XI, Fox Soccer Channel, 2:30 and 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.; Fox Soccer Plus, noon and 10 p.m.

Galaxy vs. Real Madrid (Spain), ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes, 7 p.m.

Elite Clubs National League

Under-17 national championship, ESPNU, 8 a.m.

Brazilian Brasileirão Petrobras

Fluminense at Coritiba, GolTV, 2:30 and 8 p.m. and midnight

  • ON LOCAL FIELDS

WOMEN'S PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE

Orange County Waves at Ajax America

Nansen Field (Rolling Hills Estates), 3:30 p.m.

The Waves prepare for the playoffs and Ajax, which reached the WPSL final four a year ago, wraps up its season.

Also

Claremont Stars at L.A. Premier FC, La Cañada High School (La Canada Flintridge), 6 p.m.

NATIONAL PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE

Sacramento Gold at Hollywood United

Crenshaw High School (Los Angeles), 5 p.m.

The Western Division final pits newcomers HUFC against the defending league champs from the capital, with the winner advancing to the NPSL final four in Alabama at the end of the month.

CLUB FRIENDLY

Galaxy vs. Real Madrid (Spain)

Memorial Coliseum (Los Angeles), 7 p.m.

The Galaxy takes on the Spanish giant for the second straight year, an opportunity to test themselves against the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaká, Iker Casillas and Xabi Alonso.

TV: ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER

New York Red Bulls at Chivas USA

Home Depot Center (Carson), 7:30 p.m.

The Goats are at a good place in their roller-coaster season -- playing well, especially Nick LaBrocca -- and the Red Bulls are struggling despite a lineup to die for. Any chance to see Thierry Henry is worthwhile, and Juan Agudelo and Luke Rodgers bear watching, too.

TV: Prime Ticket and Galavision

SUNDAY, JULY 17

  • TELEVISION

FIFA WOMEN'S WORLD CUP

United States vs. Japan

ESPN, 11 a.m.

The Americans' dramatic victories over Brazil and France have reignited their country's passion for the women's game, but Japan is the big story of this World Cup -- and most of the world will be rooting for Homare Sawa, Aya Miyama and Co. to prevail. Worth noting: The Americans have never lost in a World Cup or Olympic final. Replay: ESPN2, 4 p.m.

Women's Professional Soccer

Western New York Flash at Sky Blue FC, Fox Soccer Channel, 3 p.m. and midnight

COPA AMERICA

Brazil vs. Paraguay

Univision (KMEX/Channel 34), noon

A Seleção, like the Argentines before them, were on the verge of a group exit before AC Milan's Alexandre Pato and Santos' Neymar throttled Ecuador to climb atop the Group B standings. Now they get a quarterfinal rematch with the Paraguayans, who settled for a 2-2 draw after conceding an 89th-minute strike in the second group-stage clash.

Also

Chile vs. Venezuela, Univision (KMEX/Channel 34), 3 p.m.

Brazilian Brasileirão Petrobras

Corinthians at Botafogo, GolTV, noon and 7 p.m.

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER

Philadelphia Union at New England Revolution

MLS Direct Kick, 4 p.m.

The Union used solid defense (and New York's inability to get what it should from its talent) to take control in the Eastern Conference, and now we're seeing a little dynamism in MLS Coach of the Year frontrunner Peter Nowak's attack. As for the Revs ... well, they've seen better days.

  • ON LOCAL FIELDS

CLUB FRIENDLY

West Bromwich Albion (England) at Ventura County Fusion

Oxnard College, 3 p.m.

It's preseason for the Europeans, which means clubs galore on U.S. soil for training and friendlies, and if West Brom isn't as sexy as Real Madrid, Manchester United or Barcelona (or even Everton, Manchester City and Sporting Lisbon), it is an English Premier League club, and that speaks to a standard. The Fusion have made summer encounters with English clubs an annual highlight on the Ventura soccer scene.

USL PRO

Dayton Dutch Lions at L.A. Blues

Norco College, 5 p.m.

Cesar Rivera did well to win and then convert a penalty kick in stoppage time Friday night to give the dominant Blues a 1-1 draw in the first meeting with the Oranje. They'll be looking for more in round two.

USL Premier Development League

L.A. Legends at Orange County Blue Star, Concordia University (Irvine), 5 p.m.

USL W-LEAGUE

Pali Blues at Santa Clarita Blue Heat

Canyon High School (Canyon Country), 7 p.m.

Santa Clarita is in the postseason, and Pali, which won W-League titles in 2008 and 2009, needs a victory to join them -- and set up a rematch for a W-League final-four berth.

Women's Premier Soccer League

Los Al Vikings at Claremont Stars, Claremont High School, 11 a.m.