Turkey vs. Italy
Friday, 3 p.m. (ESPN, Univision, TUDN)
A European Championship tournament unlike any before kicks off this weekend. Despite the pandemic, UEFA stuck to a plan hatched nine years ago to spread games across the continent in honor of the tournament’s 60th anniversary.
So the 24 teams involved will fly all over the place, with games set to be played in 11 cities. They’re as far north as Glasgow, Scotland; as far south as Seville, Spain; and as far east as Baku, Azerbaijan, which is next to Iran on the Caspian Sea.
First on the itinerary is Rome, where naturally Italy is the road team on the scoreboard. The Azzurri have their usual share of big-name veterans, including Juventus’ Giorgio Chiellini (age 36), Lazio’s Ciro Immobile (31) and Paris Saint-Germain’s Marco Verratti (28). But this squad has a refreshing dose of young talent in Sassuolo’s Manuel Locatelli (23), Juve’s Federico Chiesa (23) and Inter’s Nicoló Barella (24).
Belgium vs. Russia
Saturday, 3 p.m. (ABC, PrendeTV)
Belgium is one of the big favorites to win the Euros. The stars who led the team to third place at the 2018 World Cup are back: Kevin de Bruyne (Manchester City), Eden Hazard (Real Madrid), Yannick Carrasco (Atlético Madrid), Romelu Lukaku (Inter), and many more.
If you haven’t heard of PrendeTV, you aren’t alone. It’s Univision’s answer to Peacock and Paramount+, a free-of-charge Spanish-language streaming platform that complements the network’s TV channels. It just launched in March, and the Euros are its first big sports programming. There will also be lots of movies and TV shows, including a big helping of telenovelas.
PrendeTV will be Univision’s exclusive outlet for 40 of the Euros’ 51 games. Just 11 will be on regular television. So don’t be surprised when you go looking for those 40 and don’t find them.
Haiti vs. Canada
Saturday, 5 p.m. (Paramount+, TelemundoDeportes.com)
Concacaf’s World Cup qualifying campaign has now reached the next-to-last stage: a set of playoffs for the last three spots in the final round. Canada delivered the statement win against Suriname that it needed, with a 4-0 rout. Now comes a two-leg playoff against Haiti, with the first game in Port-Au-Prince and the second game Tuesday in Bridgeview, Ill. — Canada’s home until the border reopens.
Also Saturday: Wales vs. Switzerland, 9 a.m. (ESPN, PrendeTV); Denmark vs. Finland, noon (ESPN, PrendeTV); St. Kitts & Nevis vs. El Salvador, 4 p.m. (Universo, Paramount+); Panama vs. Curaçao, 7:05 p.m. (Universo, Paramount+)
England vs. Croatia
Sunday, 9 a.m. (ESPN, PrendeTV)
England teams often get overhyped at tournaments, but this one’s really intriguing. Just three of its players are 30 or older, and some of the biggest names are very young: Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford (23), Chelsea’s Mason Mount (22), Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho (21) and Manchester City’s Phil Foden (21).
Rayo Vallecano vs. Girona
Sunday, 3 p.m. (beIN Sports Xtra)
As if there isn’t enough going on this weekend, there’s also the promotion playoff in Spain’s second division. A two-game series this Sunday and next Sunday will send one of these teams to La Liga next season.
Brazil vs. Venezuela
Sunday, 5 p.m. (Fox29, Univision)
The countdown to the Copa América has been an absolute mess. It was to be co-hosted by Colombia and Argentina, but it was pulled from both countries at the last minute — the former due to protests against the government, the latter due to the COVID-19 pandemic still being rampant there.
Brazil stepped up to host, but that prompted a huge backlash in the country. The country has seen 480,000 deaths due to the pandemic, including over 207,000 in the last three months. Even Brazil’s star players have protested in unusually blunt terms.
“For many reasons, humanitarian or professional, we are not satisfied with the conduct shown by CONMEBOL,” a joint statement from the tournament squad said. “We are against the organization of the Copa America, but we will never say no to playing for Brazil.”
So Neymar and company will play. They open against a Venezuelan squad that has five MLS players, including Union midfielder José Andrés Martínez. He might not see the field in this one, but it’s big enough that he made the team just a week after earning his first cap.
Also Sunday: Austria vs. North Macedonia, noon (ESPN, PrendeTV); Netherlands vs. Ukraine, 3 p.m. (ESPN, PrendeTV); Colombia vs. Ecuador, 8 p.m. (FS2, UniMás, TUDN)
United States vs. Jamaica
Sunday, 10 p.m. (FS1)
The U.S. women will stay up late Sunday in Houston for their next-to-last game before Vlatko Andonovski picks the Olympic team.
Jamaica’s roster has six NWSL players: goalkeeper Sydney Schneider (Washington); defenders Konya Plummer (Orlando) and Deneisha Blackwood (Houston); midfielders Havana Solaun (North Carolina) and Chinyelu Asher (Washington); and forward Cheyna Matthews (Louisville), wife of former Eagles wide receiver Jordan Matthews.
Scotland vs. Czech Republic
Monday, 9 a.m. (ESPN, PrendeTV)
Scotland is in a major tournament for the first time since 1998, a painfully long drought for a nation with a huge soccer history. The Tartan Army will get to watch their team play at home in Glasgow, and that team has some good players in Manchester United’s Scott McTominay and Liverpool’s Andrew Robertson.
Argentina vs. Chile
Monday, 5 p.m. (FS1, Univision, TUDN)
Stuffed yet? Better save room for a big-time dessert Monday night. Lionel Messi’s quest to finally win his first trophy with Argentina’s senior team begins with a clash against the nation that beat the Albiceleste in the 2015 and 2016 Copa América finals. On top of that, earlier this month Chile snatched a 1-1 draw at Argentina in a World Cup qualifying game.
Also Monday: Poland vs. Slovakia, noon (ESPN, PrendeTV); Spain vs. Sweden, 3 p.m. (ESPN, PrendeTV); Paraguay vs. Bolivia (8 p.m., FS1, TUDN, UniMás)