UEFA club competitions return to the spotlight this week as the Champions League qualifying playoffs reach their final round and the Super Cup crowns the season’s first trophy winner. There are also games to watch in England and in MLS.
Here’s your viewer’s guide to the top action.
Tuesday, 3 p.m. (TUDN, CBS All Access)
Salzburg, led by American manager Jesse Marsch, kicks off another season’s run in Europe with a Champions League qualifying playoff trip to Israel. The world will be watching to see which young prospects will be the team’s next great exports, following Erling Haaland’s move to Borussia Dortmund and Takumi Minamino’s move to Liverpool. And yes, the Union will tune in, for lots of reasons. Jim Curtin will be rooting for Marsch, his old friend; Ernst Tanner will be rooting for his old team; and Brenden Aaronson will be casting an eye on one of the many European teams closely scouting him.
Wednesday, 2:45 p.m. (ESPN+)
No matter how much hype English soccer tries to give the League Cup -- officially called the Carabao Cup these days -- it often gets little attention. But when a fourth-tier team hosts a Premier League giant, ears perk up. This game fits the bill, as Everton travels up the coast of the Irish Sea to 5,327-seat Highbury Stadium to face third-tier Fleetwood. The ground is not named after the legendary London venue that Arsenal called home for decades; it’s named for Highbury Avenue, the street that runs parallel to the west stands.
Fleetwood’s manager is former notorious bad boy Joey Barton. His squad includes former Canadian national team goalkeeper Jayson Leutwiler. Everton’s new headliner is Colombia national team hero James Rodríguez, signed from Real Madrid for around $15 million after he fell out of favor with the Spanish giants. He still has plenty of talent, as he showed Saturday with a goal and an assist in a 5-2 win over West Bromwich Albion.
Wednesday, 8 p.m. (ESPN+)
Yes, the Union are playing FC Cincinnati at the same time, but you’ll want to keep an eye on this game. Miami comes to Chester on Sunday, and is waiting for new star striker Gonzalo Higuaín’s visa paperwork to clear. If he does debut Wednesday, he could do so Sunday night at Subaru Park. Higuaín’s glittering résumé includes time at Real Madrid, Napoli, Juventus, AC Milan and Chelsea, and 75 caps for Argentina’s national team -- including at three World Cups and three Copa Américas.
Thursday, 3 p.m. (CBS Sports Network, TUDN)
Bayern will be favored to win the UEFA SuperCup, the annual game between the reigning Champions League and Europa League winners, which this year is being played in Budapest. Then again, Bayern is favored to win pretty much every game it plays in, because it’s just that good. The German juggernaut went a perfect 11-0-0 in last season’s Champions League campaign, then got right back at it with an 8-0 demolition of Schalke last Friday to open the Bundesliga season. Even better, American centerback Chris Richards made his second first-team appearance.
Sevilla boosted its squad this summer by bringing back midfielder Ivan Rakitić from Barcelona. The Croatian creator became a star in Seville from 2011-14, then moved to Barcelona. But he and his family kept some roots in Andalusia, and Sevilla was thrilled to get him again.