The NWSL’s two biggest teams meet in the Challenge Cup quarterfinals, four of England’s powerhouses play in the FA Cup semifinals, and one of MLS’ top rivalry games gets a Saturday night showcase.
Here’s your viewer’s guide to the best action to watch on TV and online this weekend.
Friday, 12:30 p.m. (CBS All Access)
The biggest surprise of the NWSL Challenge Cup’s first round was undoubtedly the powerhouse Thorns going winless in all four first-round games and finishing in last place. Christine Sinclair’s frustration in the finale against OL Reign was clear for all to see. So the quarterfinals begin with a matchup that most people thought would be the title game.
Portland has been decimated by injuries to star centerback Becky Sauerbrunn, goalkeeper Adrianna Franch and big-time forward prospect Sophia Smith. And three key players are questionable for this game: No. 2 netminder Bella Bixby, defender Emily Menges and superstar midfielder Lindsey Horan.
North Carolina, meanwhile, surprised no one by running the table in the first round. Samantha Mewis and Crystal Dunn are firing on all cylinders, and Jessica McDonald is back after finally overcoming a thigh issue. It’s rare to call a Portland win in this series an upset, but it would be this time.
Friday, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
Friday, 8 p.m. (ESPN2, ESPN Deportes)
There will be simultaneous games for the first time -- and perhaps the only time -- in MLS’ tournament at Disney World. D.C. rallied late to tie Toronto in its first game, while New England beat Montreal. Kansas City and Colorado both lost their openers, so will be under pressure to win.
Also Friday: Real Salt Lake vs. Minnesota United, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN, ESPN Deportes)
Friday, 10 p.m. (CBS All Access)
Saturday, 12:30 p.m. (CBS All Access)
Washington finished second in the first round with some stylish soccer, but lost key midfielder Andi Sullivan to a meniscus injury in the finale. Rose Lavelle should be back after getting that game off, and her matchup with Sky Blue midfielder McCall Zerboni should be a great contest.
Saturday, 2:45 p.m. (ESPN+)
The FA Cup isn’t the biggest prize Manchester City can win this season -- the Champions League is -- but it would be the team’s second trophy of the season after winning the EFL Cup in March. Alexandre Lacazette and Arsenal are equally capable of beating superior teams, as they did to Liverpool on Wednesday, or getting blown out.
Saturday, 10 p.m. (CBS All Access)
The polite way to preview this game is to say you’ll like it if you’re a fan of defense. The truth is the Reign scored just one goal in the first round and the Red Stars scored two. Who will provide the breakthrough? Keep an eye on OL’s Sofia Huerta and Chicago’s Kealia Watt.
Saturday, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN, ESPN Deportes)
The Los Angeles derby is always one of MLS’ most-anticipated games, and it gets the big stage this weekend at Disney World. Carlos Vela isn’t playing for LAFC, but Diego Rossi is and he’s looking sharp. Javier Hernández scored his first Galaxy goal in the team’s tournament opener.
Sunday, 1 p.m. (ESPN+)
Sunday, 10:30 p.m. (FS1, TUDN)
Vancouver got off to a stunning start in the MLS tournament, throwing away a 3-1 lead by giving up three goals in the last 20 minutes. Seattle, though, is in even worse shape: a scoreless tie and a surprising loss to Chicago in its first two games. The Whitecaps need a win for their sanity’s sake; the Sounders need a win to stay in the tournament.