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Soccer on TV: The UEFA women’s Champions League takes center stage this week

Plus the resumption of men's World Cup qualifying, and a chance to watch three Union players play for the U.S. under-20 team against big-time international opponents.

U.S. women's national team rising star Catarina Macario (left) has eight goals and two assists in 11 games for French club Lyon this season.
U.S. women's national team rising star Catarina Macario (left) has eight goals and two assists in 11 games for French club Lyon this season.Read moreAaron Doster / AP

Paris Saint-Germain vs. Real Madrid

Tuesday, 3 p.m. (YouTube, DAZN)

As the men’s soccer world heads into a FIFA window, the spotlight shines on women’s club games in Europe. This is the highest-profile of this week’s Champions League games, with stars on both sides.

PSG has Canada’s Ashley Lawrence and Jordyn Huitema, Germany’s Sara Däbritz, and France’s Sandy Baltimore, Kadidiatou Diani and Marie-Antoinette Katoto. Real Madrid has Spain’s Marta Corredera, Mexico’s Kenti Robles, and Sweden’s Kosovare Asllani.

Juventus vs. Wolfsburg

Tuesday, 3 p.m. (YouTube, DAZN,

There will be big names on both sides of the ball in this game, too. Juventus features Italy’s Barbara Bonansea, Cristiana Girelli and Sara Gama, and Sweden’s Lina Hurtig and Linda Sembrant. Wolfsburg’s firepower includes the Netherlands’ Dominique Janssen, Jill Roord and Shanice van de Sanden, and Germany’s Pauline Bremer and Lena Oberdorf.

Lyon vs. Bayern Munich

Wednesday, 3 p.m. (YouTube, DAZN,

If any team can give Lyon’s juggernaut a challenge in the group stage, it’s Bayern. The reigning German champions have big-time players in Sweden’s Hanna Glas and Sofia Jakobsson, Japan’s Saki Kumagai (a former Lyon star), the Netherlands’ Lineth Beerensteyn, and Germany’s Giulia Gwinn, Lina Magull, and Lea Schüller.

But Lyon has started the season in blazing-hot fashion, winning all 11 of its games in all competitions. Only Barcelona has a better set of playmakers than the quartet of France’s Delphine Cascarino and Melvine Malard, the Netherlands’ Daniëlle van de Donk, and the United States’ Catarina Macario. And now superstar striker Ada Hegerberg is back from injury to finish all the chances they create.

» READ MORE: Carli Lloyd’s last USWNT game also showed the great potential of the next era of players

HB Køge vs. Arsenal

Wednesday, 3 p.m. (YouTube, DAZN,

Arsenal will be favored but wary on this trip to Denmark. Køge held Barcelona scoreless for over an hour on Oct. 14 before finally succumbing to a 2-0 loss. And the Gunners will be a little bit shorthanded, as Tobin Heath is sidelined with what manager Jonas Eidevall called a “very, very minor injury.”

» READ MORE: The rest of this week's women's Champions League schedule

United States vs. Brazil

Wednesday, 5:50 p.m. (TUDN)

The U.S. under-20 men’s team returns to action for the first time since the pandemic started at the Revelations Cup, a four-team tournament hosted in Mexico with the U.S., Brazil, Mexico and Colombia participating. That’s a great series of tests for a group of American prospects who haven’t all had that kind of experience before.

The American squad includes the Union’s Paxten Aaronson, Jack McGlynn, and Quinn Sullivan. Other notable players to watch include Chicago Fire goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina, a 17-year-old who made 11 starts in MLS this year; FC Dallas defender Justin Che, who’s being watched by Bayern Munich; New York Red Bulls midfielder Caden Clark, who’s heading to Leipzig in January; and San Jose Earthquakes forward Cade Cowell.

The Brazilian squad will be an under-18 group of players from the domestic league. You might not have heard of any of them yet, but file their names away in case they become stars in the future.

Mexico faces Colombia at 8:30, also on TUDN.

» READ MORE: After proving skeptics wrong by finishing second in the East, some of the Union’s iron men finally get to rest

Australia vs. Saudi Arabia

Thursday, 4:10 a.m. (Paramount+)

It’s understandable if you won’t be awake for this Asian men’s World Cup qualifier. Just know that by the time your alarm clock goes off, either Saudi Arabia will have a six- or four-point lead over Australia in the standings, or the Socceroos will have jumped into first place if they win at home in Sydney.

Vietnam vs. Japan

Thursday, 7 a.m. (Paramount+)

Japan is finally getting up off the mat in its group, but is still only in fourth place — one spot back of the berth in a qualifying playoff, and two back of an automatic berth in the World Cup. A game against last-place, winless Vietnam should help the Samurai Blue chase down third place Oman, but road trips are always tricky.

Republic of Ireland vs. Portugal

Thursday, 2:45 p.m. (ESPN+,

Ireland isn’t just in fourth place in its World Cup qualifying group, it’s 11 points back of second-place Portugal with four games to go. The bigger story is that Portugal isn’t in first. Serbia has that honor right now. But Portugal can jump into first with a win or tie here, ahead of Serbia’s visit to Lisbon on Sunday.

» READ MORE: More World Cup qualifying games to watch this week