No, not our Football, nearly everyone else’s. And it’s not technically a fortnight I suppose, closer to a month really, but I’m a sucker for alliteration. Make the jump to see what’s on tap in the coming weeks, one of the most saturated periods for quality soccer in recent memory.
If you’ve been on the fence about soccer for awhile now, and are in the market for something to finally push you over into the realm of genuinely enjoying a good 90 minutes of The Beautiful Game, the next few weeks might be the ticket.
Tomorrow we get the Super Bowl of European Club Soccer: The Uefa Champions League Final. Manchester United v. Chelsea makes this year an all English final, and the familiarity between the two clubs should make the competition more fierce than usual. Tune into ESPN 2 around 7:00 pm to catch the replay of what should be a gem featuring some of the best, and arguably the best (United’s Cristiano Ronaldo), player(s) in the world. If you want to see it live (at 2:45 on ESPN 2), you’re probably gonna have to bail on a commitment to someone or some entity, but I’m sure it won’t be the first time.
The Toulon Under-23 International Tournament also kicks off on Wendesday, with USA v. Turkey opening things up at 9:30 am on Fox Soccer Channel. FSC is providing full coverage of this Olympic tune up event, but you’ll have to be free in the mornings to catch it live. They’re showing taped delays in the evenings, and you can always just DVR/Tivo it if you’re interested.
On the heels of the USA Under-23’s final group match in Toulon, our Senior International side begins one of the most mouth watering stretches of friendlies ever. On March 28th we get our oldest of all rivals, those blokes from across the pond. Outside of World Cup play, I’m not sure I’ve anticipated a US soccer match more than this USA-England showdown. England, having missed out on Euro 2008 (see below), will be bitter, and the U.S. will, as always, be trying to prove they can play with the big boys. Catch it live from Wembley on ESPN Classic at 3:00 pm ET. Read: “Get sick” at lunch, and tell the boss you need the rest of the afternoon off to recover (at the bar (leave the part in parentheses out)).
A week after USA-England we get yet another beauty: USA v. Spain, from Santander. This game should be the Spaniards final warm up prior to Euro 2008 (see below), so it may not have the look and feel of your typical, fairly tame, intercontinental friendly. ESPN 360 is carrying this game live at 4:00 pm on the 4th of June, but most viewers will probably have to catch ESPN 2’s tape delay at 5:30 .
After their European excursion, the U.S. squad travels home to face Argentina in Giants Stadium on June 8th (Engalnd, Spain and Argentina in less than two weeks? What a treat). ESPN’s got this one live at 7:30 pm ET, so unfortunately you won’t be able to skip out on work, but you’ll probably be wanting to save up some “sick days” for Euro 2008 anyway.
That’s right, just when you thought the soccer well had run dry (no offense to MLS), on June 7th Euro 2008 begins, and the ESPN family of networks are bringing us every minute of it. The tournament runs til June 29th, with the final being broadcast on ABC on 2:30 ET. It never fails to impress. You can find the entire Euro 2008 TV schedule over at Awful Announcing.
Finally, on June 15th the U.S. begins it’s World Cup Qualification campaign against Barbados. If you don’t already make it a regular practice, take a late, extended lunch to catch this one at 2:00 pm ET, live on ESPN 2 and Galavision.