Houston Dash vs. Seattle Reign (Friday, 8 p.m., FOXSports1/FOXSoccer.com)
Two of the best NWSL teams meet in a game with major playoff implications. Carli Lloyd and Meghan Klingenberg’s Houston Dash host Hope Solo and Megan Rapinoe’s league-leading Seattle side two days after the USA downed Costa Rica in Tennessee 7-2. The Reign can put one hand on the NWSL Shield this weekend with a win; Houston need a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. Seattle beat the Dash 2-1 last time out and have dropped just one game in their last 13, ominous tidings for a slumping Dash team in a three-game skid. This match will be simulcast on FOXSoccer.com via FOXSportsGO, authenticated.
Ingolstadt vs. Borussia Dortmund (Sunday, 9:30 a.m., FOXSports1)
Are Dortmund back? It sure looked that way after Thomas Tuchel’s side creamed Moenchengladbach on opening day 4-0. Marco Reus and Henrik Mkhitaryan were the stars of the show as Dortmund simply dominated the game from the opening whistle. They now face off against an Ingolstadt side that impressed in a nervy 1-0 win over Mainz in their Bundesliga debut. Ingolstadt, a club only formed in 2004, are something of hipster favorites due to their stunning entry into the top-flight after only 11 seasons of play. But against a fierce and moneyed Dortmund side, they face a real stiff test.
Athletic Bilbao vs. Barcelona (Sunday, 12:30 p.m., beIN)
A reeling Barcelona side stagger into the new season at the San Mames, site of one of the biggest upsets Spanish soccer has seen in recent memory. Athletic Bilbao pasted Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup 4-0 in the first leg and rode that to a 5-1 aggregate win to raise their first trophy since 1984. Barcelona were badly stung by the result, and have already begun making some changes, notably shipping Pedro out to Chelsea. Will they take their revenge this Sunday? Don’t bet against Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi – but do keep an eye on their very shaky defense: they have conceded nine goals in the run-up to this match.
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LA Galaxy vs. NYCFC (Sunday, 3 p.m., ESPN)
Wits might call this the Battle of the Aged, but by rights this should be the MLS game of the week. OK, so Andrea Pirlo hasn’t lit it up at NYCFC, which remains a work in progress. But he still can add a dash of élan to the proceedings when he wants to, and with David Villa and the suddenly hot Kwado Poku, NYC can score goals. NY’s problem is that that LA, and particularly Robbie Keane, are currently white-hot. With Steven Gerrard providing the service and Gyasi Zardes coming good, you’d expect the Galaxy to wipe up StubHub with the Blues. Open question: will Frank Lampard play?
Arsenal vs. Liverpool (Monday, 3 p.m., NBCSN)
A major EPL clash with some big implications for both teams. Arsenal recovered at Selhurst Park last weekend after dropping their home opener to West Ham. The Gunners were much improved against a gritty Palace side, with Mesut Ozil finally showing up, but there remain big questions about both their offense and their new-look defense with Petr Cech in the nets. Liverpool have won two straight but haven’t looked particularly good in either match, and this may be the game where their run comes a halt. The X-factor is likely to be Christian Benteke, who scored in controversial fashion last time out, but is a hulking, harrying presence up top.