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Best Bets July 17/18: What to watch

7/17/2011

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.

MONDAY, JULY 18

  • TELEVISION

CLUB FRIENDLY

Manchester City (England) at Vancouver Whitecaps

ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes, 7 p.m.


This World Football Challenge friendly already has caused havoc, with heavy rains turning Empire Stadium's temporary grass field to mush and forcing postponement of the Whitecaps' Major League Soccer match Saturday against Real Salt Lake. Hopes are that the field will be playable for this.