Tuesday, June 26, 2012
June 27/28: What to watch, where to go WEDNESDAY, JUNE 27
2012 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP
Portugal vs. Spain
ESPN and ESPN Deportes, 11:30 a.m. Spain's patient possession game hasn't been conquered yet, but the reigning champions -- of the World Cup, too -- can figure on a severe test from the Portuguese, especially with Cristiano Ronaldo, the other “world's best player,” in top form. The victor gets Germany or Italy in Sunday's final. Replay: ESPN Deportes, 5 p.m.
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
Toronto FC at Montreal Impact
MLS Direct Kick, 4:30 p.m.
Canada's eastern contingent are still trying to find themselves, and the expansion Impact seem much further along in the tast. Paul Mariner's simplified approach could help Toronto, and with just one win in 15 league games, the Reds need all the help they can get.
Corinthians (Brazil) at Boca Juniors (Argentina)
Fox Deportes, 5:30 p.m.
Boca is in its 11th South American club championship final, and a triumph over two legs would enable it to pull even with countrymen Independiente with seven Libertadores trophies, five since 2000. São Paulo's Corinthians arrives in Buenos Aires aiming to become the ninth Brazilian club to win the title and with the defense required to do so: Timão have conceded just three goals in 12 games.
ON LOCAL FIELDS
USL PREMIER DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE
Orange County Blue Star at Ventura County Fusion
Ventura College, 7 p.m. The first meeting, not quite three weeks ago in Irvine, had the makings to be Game of the Year in the PDL's Southwest Division, but it was the first of five straight losses for Blue Star and FC Tucson has emerged as the Fusion's primary challenger for the divisional title.
Vancouver Whitecaps at Pali Blues
Palisades High School (Pacific Palisades), 7 p.m.
The Blues might be the best women's team in the land, and that includes the former WPS clubs fighting it out in the rival WPSL's Elite Division. Vancouver, a W-League final-four team the past two years, is the only team to take points off Pali, in last week's 0-0 draw.
THURSDAY, JUNE 28
2012 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP
Germany vs. Italy
ESPN and ESPN Deportes, 11:30 a.m. The Germans are the popular favorites at Euro 2012, even over mighty Spain, but getting past Italy in the second semifinal won't be simple. The Azzurri always are a contender, regardless of talent or form, and that's all about mentality. The Germans have long had similar mentality, but immigration has brought other qualities to the national team, as Mesut Özil so ably demonstrates. Replay: ESPN Deportes, 5 p.m.
COPA LIBERTADORES SUB-20
Union Española (Chile) vs. Defensor Sporting (Uruguay)
Fox Deportes, 6 p.m.
Both sides needed penalties to win quarterfinals over the host clubs, Alianza Lima and defending champion Universitario, in South America's under-20 club championship. The Chileans attack, led by Ramses Bustos' five goals, has been impressive.
Corinthians (Brazil) vs. River Plate (Argentina), Fox Deportes, 6 p.m.