This Weekend’s Soccer on TV (and SBI’s Top 10 Matches to Watch) | Soccer By Ives

The game everyone has been waiting for is finally here, even if it will come a day later than most would like.

Barcelona and Real Madrid, the two best teams in the world, face off on Monday in the most highly-anticipated match of the European club season. Both teams have looked unstoppable, and Mondays match will give one of the teams the edge in the tight race for the La Liga title.

If waiting until Monday for quality soccer is too long for you, theres plenty of action on Saturday and Sunday. Stuart Holden and red-hot Bolton are in action on Saturday, while the U.S. womens national team takes on Italy with a World Cup berth on the line. Speaking of Italy, red-hot AC Milan faces

Sunday has good action as well, with Tottenham taking on Liverpool.

Here is the rundown of this weekends soccer on TV/web, as well as SBIs Top Ten Matches to Watch:

SBIS TOP 10 MATCHES TO WATCH

1. Barcelona vs. Real Madrid. Two best teams in the world. Period. Good day to leave work early.

2. Tottenham vs. Liverpool. If the Reds are going to climb back into the race for a Top Four spot, they will need at least a point at White Hart Lane.

3. Sampdoria vs. AC Milan. Red-hot Zlatan Ibrahimovic will look to do work on the road against an underrated Sampdoria side.

4. USA Women vs. Italy. Not a fan of womens soccer? You have to be a fan of a winner-take-all battle for a World Cup place involving the United States.

5. Juventus vs. Fiorentina. Surging Juve has a chance to pull closer to Milan with a win against underachieving Fiorentina.

6. Bolton vs. Blackpool. Bolton is playing some amazing soccer lately so combine that with getting to watch Stuart Holden and this match suddenly becomes must-see TV.

7. Sporting vs. FC Porto. No, its not Sporting Kansas City, but the real Sporting CP of Lisbon, facing Porto in this Portuguese clash.

8. Lyon vs. Paris St. Germain. PSG has first-place aspirations, while Lyon needs a win to climb into contention.

9. Santos Laguna vs. Club America. Even if youre not a fan of Mexican soccer, when youre talking MLS playoff semifinals, its going to be worth watching.

10. Aston Villa vs. Arsenal. Brad Friedel (and possibly Eric Lichaj) look to halt Arsenal as newly-signed Villan Robert Pires faces his former team.

THIS WEEKENDS SOCCER on TV

SATURDAY

7:45am- ESPN2- Aston Villa vs. Arsenal

10am- Fox Soccer Channel- Manchester United vs. Blackburn

10am- Fox Soccer Plus- Stoke City vs. Manchester City

10am- FoxSoccer.tv- Bolton vs. Blackpool

10am- FoxSoccer.tv- Everton vs. West Bromwich Albion

10am- FoxSoccer.tv- Fulham vs. Birmingham City

10am- FoxSoccer.tv- West Ham United vs. Wigan

Noon- Fox Soccer Plus- Sampdoria vs. AC Milan

Noon- Fox Soccer Channel- Fulham vs. Birmingham City (Delayed)

Noon- GolTV- Real Zaragoza vs. Villarreal

12:20pm- FoxSoccer.tv- Burnley vs. Derby County

12:30pm- ESPN3.com- Borussia Moenchengladbach vs. Borussia Dortmund

1pm- FoxSoccer.tv- Brest vs. Lens

1pm- FoxSoccer.tv- Olympique Marseille vs. Montpelier

2pm- ESPN3.com- USA womens national team vs. Italy (World Cup playoff)

2pm- ESPN3.com- Sevilla vs. Getafe

2pm- GolTV- Defensor Sporting vs. Nacional

2:45pm- Fox Soccer Channel- Juventus vs. Fiorentina

4pm- ESPN3.com- Atletico Madrid vs. Espanyol

4:15pm- ESPN3.com- Sporting Lisbon vs. FC Porto

6:20pm- GolTV- Santa Fe vs. Atletico Huila

2am- Fox Soccer Channel- North Queensland Fury vs. Perth Glory

SUNDAY

6:30am- Fox Soccer Plus- Inter Milan vs. Parma

8:30am- Fox Soccer Plus- Newcastle United vs. Chelsea

9am- Fox Soccer Channel- Lazio vs. Catania

9am- ESPN3.com- Udinese vs. Napoli

10:30am- Fox Soccer Plus- Norwich City vs. Ipswich Town (Delayed)

11am- Fox Soccer Channel- Tottenham vs. Liverpool

11am- DirecTV- Sporting Gijon vs. Real Sociedad

11am- DirecTV- Mallorca vs. Malaga

11am- FoxSoccer.tv- Auxerre vs. Toulouse

11am- FoxSoccer.tv- Caen vs. Sochaux

11:30am- GolTV- Cologne vs. Wolfsburg

1pm- DirecTV- Athletic Bilba vs. Osasuna

2:45pm- Fox Soccer Channel- Palermo vs. AS Roma

3pm- GolTV- Valencia vs. Almeria

3pm- Fox Soccer Plus- Lyon vs. Paris St. Germain

7pm- Telefutura- Santos Laguna vs. Club America

9pm- Telemundo- Monterrey vs. UNAM Pumas

MONDAY

2:45pm- FoxSoccer.tv- Leicester City vs. Nottingham Forrest

3pm- GolTV- Barcelona vs. Real Madrid

What matches are you most looking forward to? Who do you see winning Barcelona-Real Madrid?

Share your thoughts below.

Advertisements

Soccer Saturday: Your Running Commentary | Soccer By Ives

It may be hard to believe, but Stuart Holden and Bolton are currently sitting in fifth place in the English Premier League, and could move into with a win against Blackpool today.

Bolton currently sit ahead of the likes of Tottenham (on goal differential) and Liverpool, and are doing so playing attractive soccer. Holden has become a key figure in the Wanderers attack as they look to stay ahead of Tottenham for fifth, and put pressure on Manchester City for fourth place.

Holden is one of several U.S. national team players in action. Clint Dempsey will look to help Fulham move further away from the relegation zone with a win against Birmingham City, while Tim Howard and Everton take on West Brom.

The biggest match involving an American team will take place at Toyota Park today, where the U.S. womens national team takes on Italy in the second leg of their World Cup playoff series. The Americans can clinch a World Cup berth with a win or a tie after beating the Italians on the road.

Wondering why Soccer Saturday was posted at 3:30am this morning? The Los Angeles Galaxy take on the Australian side Newcastle Jets in an exhibition in Australia airing live on Fox Soccer Channel at 3:30am.

If you will be watching todays action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Todays TV Schedule is after the jump).

TODAYS SOCCER ON TV

3:30am- Fox Soccer Channel- Newcastle Jets vs. Los Angeles Galaxy (Exhibition)

7:45am- ESPN2-Aston Villa vs. Arsenal

10am- Fox Soccer Channel-Manchester United vs. Blackburn

10am- Fox Soccer Plus-Stoke City vs. Manchester City

10am- FoxSoccer.tv-Bolton vs. Blackpool

10am- FoxSoccer.tv-Everton vs. West Bromwich Albion

10am- FoxSoccer.tv-Fulham vs. Birmingham City

10am- FoxSoccer.tv-West Ham United vs. Wigan

Noon- Fox Soccer Plus-Sampdoria vs. AC Milan

Noon- Fox Soccer Channel-Fulham vs. Birmingham City (Delayed)

Noon- GolTV-Real Zaragoza vs. Villarreal

12:20pm- FoxSoccer.tv-Burnley vs. Derby County

12:30pm- ESPN3.com-Borussia Moenchengladbach vs. Borussia Dortmund

1pm- FoxSoccer.tv-Brest vs. Lens

1pm- FoxSoccer.tv-Olympique Marseille vs. Montpelier

2pm- ESPN3.com-USA womens national team vs. Italy (World Cup playoff)

2pm- ESPN3.com-Sevilla vs. Getafe

2pm- GolTV-Defensor Sporting vs. Nacional

2:45pm- Fox Soccer Channel-Juventus vs. Fiorentina

4pm- ESPN3.com-Atletico Madrid vs. Espanyol

4:15pm- ESPN3.com-Sporting Lisbon vs. FC Porto

6:20pm- GolTV-Santa Fe vs. Atletico Huila

2am- Fox Soccer Channel-North Queensland Fury vs. Perth Glory

U.S. Women clinch last spot in World Cup | Soccer By Ives

It came in atypical fashion, but the U.S. womens national team qualified for the 2011 Womens World Cup thanks to a 1-0 second leg victory over Italy Saturday afternoon.

A 40th minute goal by Amy Rodriguez was all the scoring the U.S. would need, as they won the two-game aggregate 2-0. The U.S. outshot Italy on the day 13-5, shutting out the Azzurri for the second game in a row.

The draw for the Womens World Cup will be held Monday in Germany, where the U.S. will learn their group opponents for next summer.

Here is the video of Rodriguezs goal:

What did you think of Saturdays game? Can the U.S. women succeed next summer?

Share your thoughts below.

Dempsey scores again for Fulham | Soccer By Ives

Fulham is in an early battle to steer clear of relegation, and if not for Clint Dempsey, chances are the Cottagers would be losing that battle.

Dempsey stepped up yet again on Saturday, heading home his sixth goal of the season to help Fulham post a 1-1 tie vs. Birmingham City. The draw wasnt the result the Cottagers needed to move away from the drop zone, but Dempseys latest goal kept things from being even worse.

In case you missed the goal, you can see it here (at the 1:17 mark):

http://video.rutube.ru/31b2747198a54970d74ef0fbbca1275f

American fans eager to see Dempsey in a U.S. national team uniform will likely have to wait until March, with the reported friendly against Argentina a possibility.

What did you think of Dempseys latest finish? starting to wonder how much longer Dempsey will stay at Fulham?

Share your thoughts below.

Soccer Sunday: Your Running Commentary | Soccer By Ives

Tottenham is doing well in UEFA Champions League play, but if Spurs are going to move back into the top four of the English Premier League, they will need to beat Liverpool today to stay close to the pack.

Liverpool has a more modest goal, which is to pull even with Tottenham, which the Reds can do with a win at White Hart Lane.

In Italy, Inter Milan kick the day off in the morning against Parma needing a victory to try and close the gap on AC Milan. Lazio will also be looking to close the gap, and a win against Catania could pull the Roman club to within a point of the leaders.

If last weeks MLS Cup final left you yearning for some more playoff action, look no further than the Mexican League, which will have both semifinal series decided tonight. Santos Laguna faces Club America while Monterrey takes on UNAM Pumas.

If you will be watching todays soccer action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Todays TV schedule is after the jump):

TODAYS SOCCER ON TV

6:30am- Fox Soccer Plus-Inter Milan vs. Parma

8:30am- Fox Soccer Plus- Newcastle United vs. Chelsea

9am- Fox Soccer Channel-Lazio vs. Catania

9am- ESPN3.com-Udinese vs. Napoli

10:30am- Fox Soccer Plus-Norwich City vs. Ipswich Town(Delayed)

11am- Fox Soccer Channel-Tottenham vs. Liverpool

11am- DirecTV-Sporting Gijon vs. Real Sociedad

11am- DirecTV-Mallorca vs. Malaga

11am- FoxSoccer.tv-Auxerre vs. Toulouse

11am- FoxSoccer.tv-Caen vs. Sochaux

11:30am- GolTV-Cologne vs. Wolfsburg

1pm- DirecTV-Athletic Bilba vs. Osasuna

2:45pm- Fox Soccer Channel-Palermo vs. AS Roma

3pm- GolTV-Valencia vs. Almeria

3pm- Fox Soccer Plus-Lyon vs. Paris St. Germain

7pm- Telefutura-Santos Laguna vs. Club America

9pm- Telemundo-Monterrey vs. UNAM Pumas

NCAA Round of 16 (Matchday Commentary) | Soccer By Ives

The 16 teams still vying for a national championship are in action today in eight Round of 16 matches across the country.

Unbeaten Louisville and title favorites Akron and Maryland are all in action today, and SBI will try to bring you coverage from as many of todays matches as possible. We have Avi Creditor at the Maryland-Penn State title, while Adam Serrano will be at the UCLA-Dartmouth match. The days early match has already been decided, with Michigan rolling to victory against South Carolina.

If you are attending any of todays matches, watching them on TV, or simply want to discuss them, you can do so after the jump. Were going with CoverItLive for todays action, so be sure to tune in for updates throughout the day and evening.

Here is a rundown of todays schedule:

Michigan3, South Carolina 1Michigan State at North Carolina, 3:00Indiana at Akron, 4:00Brown at California, 4:30Penn State at Maryland, 5:00Ohio State at Louisville, 7:00William Mary at Southern Methodist, 8:00Dartmouth at UCLA, 8:00

Enjoy the action (Todays commentary is after the jump):

Olsen to be named D.C. United head coach | Soccer By Ives

D.C. United took a good look around as it considered who to make head coach come 2011 before decided it already had the man for the job.

Ben Olsen will remain D.C. United head coach for the 2011 season, removing the interim tag he has held since taking over for Curt Onalfo, who left D.C. in the midst of a horrific season.

The club will introduce Olsen on Monday, sources told SBI on Sunday. He took over a team in shambles, and while he couldnt keep the team from finishing with the worst record in MLS, Olsens team did play better and did manage some good results late in the year. One of the most beloved players in club history, Olsen began the 2010 season with no coaching experience, but did well enough to earn a chance to keep the job after D.C. considered several other candidates.

What do you think of the decision? Like the job Olsen did as interim head coach? Were you hoping for someone else?

Share your thoughts below.