France vs. Wales
Wednesday, 3 p.m. (ESPN2, TUDN)
The spotlight in Europe shifts to national teams as the continent prepares for the European Championship to start later this month. No team has a bigger spotlight than the reigning World Cup champion French, whose squad is stacked with stars Kylian Mbappé, Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba and the irrepressible N’Golo Kanté. But the biggest headliner is Karim Benzema, who’s back on the squad after a five-year exile.
Puerto Rico vs. Bahamas
Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. (YouTube)
Under the direction of former U.S. national team coach Dave Sarachan, a Puerto Rican squad that includes Lancaster’s Zarek Valentin (his paternal grandmother was born there) looks for its first win in a World Cup qualifier since 2015. The Bahamas have lost both of their games so far, and Puerto Rico will play in front of fans for the first time since the pandemic began. So this is a good chance to get three points.
Bolivia vs. Venezuela
Thursday, 4 p.m. (Pay-per-view, fuboTV)
Union midfielder José Andrés Martínez has flown south to play for his country in World Cup qualifiers over the next few days. Unfortunately, they’ll be very hard to watch here. You’ll have to buy them on pay-per-view TV (details here) or stump up a lot of money for fuboTV’s subscription streaming service: over $70 (plus taxes) for the English-language tier with games, and $33 for the Spanish tier.
United States vs. Honduras
Thursday, 7:30 p.m. (CBS Sports Network, Univision, TUDN, Paramount+)
This Concacaf Nations League semifinal is the biggest U.S. men’s team game since the 2019 Gold Cup final, and the first time ever that all of the team’s Europe-based stars will play together on home soil. The talent is real, and so is the hype. Now it’s time to find out whether the players can form a team to live up to it.
Argentina vs. Chile
Thursday, 8 p.m. (fuboTV)
It’s a shame that South America’s World Cup qualifiers, which are some of the most passionate and intense games on the planet, are so hard to watch. A game like this, with Argentina’s Lionel Messi dueling against Chile’s Alexis Sánchez, would be appointment viewing and draw a huge audience. Hopefully a major U.S. network will buy the rights in the next World Cup cycle, when the teams will be playing to reach a World Cup that will be staged here.
Mexico vs. Costa Rica
Thursday, 10 p.m. (Univision, TUDN, Paramount+)
The second Concacaf Nations League semifinal should be a sensational game. Mexico is loaded with big-timers, especially forwards Hirving “El Chucky” Lozano and Jesús “Tecatito” Corona. Costa Rica will relish being the underdog, because it’s got plenty of firepower, too. Winger Randall Leal has been terrific for Nashville SC this season, while forward Joel Campbell and big centerback Kendall Waston bring veteran savvy.