Seven must-see weekend matches from around the globe
By Ogo Sylla
*All times listed are for Eastern Standard Time.
Friday, June 12
Croatia vs Italy
2:45pm / ESPN2
Group H leader Croatia hosts runner-up Italy in a EURO 2016 qualifier. The home team have scored 15 goals and only conceded twice in this qualification campaign. In fact, the only points they’ve dropped were in their November draw with Italy.
USA vs Sweden
8pm / FOX 5
The USA leads Group D after their opening match victory over Australia and now takes on Sweden in the hopes of making one giant step towards advancement into the next round. In their short head-to-head history, the USWNT has three victories whereas Sweden has just one. After Sweden relinquished leads against Nigeria twice, the USWNT’s firepower should pose a daunting force to the Swedes.
Saturday, June 13
Uruguay vs Jamaica
2:50pm / BeIn
Uruguay kicks off its title defense against tournament invitees Jamaica. With Luis Suarez still suspended (you may remember his bite on Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini) and Diego Forlan retired, it will be up to Paris Saint-Germain’s Edinson Cavani to lead the charge and help Uruguay retain its record 15th Copa América crown.
Argentina vs Paraguay
5:20pm / BeIn
Days removed from having sealed an impressive treble with Barcelona, Lionel Messi lands in Chile to guide Argentina to a roaring start in the Copa América. Argentina starts the tournament against Paraguay — last edition’s finalist — as Messi leads the charge and chases that elusive first international title with the Albiceleste since his 2008 Olympic gold medal.
Seattle Sounders vs FC Dallas
10pm / MLS Live
FC Dallas travels to the Pacific Northwest in the hopes of reducing their four-point gap behind the Western Conference leader. With Seattle having had its four-game unbeaten run snapped last weekend, Dallas will be looking to take advantage of the situation. If they do, they will have to replicate the Sporting Kansas defensive clinic that kept out Seattle’s top-scorers Clint Dempsey (seven goals) and Obafemi Martins (six goals).
Sunday, June 14
Brazil vs Peru
5:20pm / BeIn
Brazil was flawless in its preparation for the Copa América, winning all of its friendlies ahead of the tournament. After a disappointing quarterfinal exit last time out and the humiliation of the 2014 World Cup semifinal still stinging, new coach Carlos Dunga will aim for nothing less than total victory. Let’s just hope that Brazil has been practicing its penalties this time around; in 20122 they went out in a shootout after failing to convert a single spot kick.
Orlando City vs DC United
7pm / FS1
Orlando City hosts Eastern Conference leader DC United. Orlando could be in for a world of pain however, taking on a DC United side that is attempting to rebound after its 16-match unbeaten home run was snapped by Toronto FC last weekend.