Seattle Sounders vs. Minnesota United
Friday, 9:30 p.m. (FS1, Fox Deportes)
The first national TV game of the MLS season is a rematch of last year’s wild Western Conference final, which the Sounders won 3-2 after trailing 2-0 with 20 minutes to go — including goals in the 89th and 93rd minutes.
Seattle will miss injured star forward Jordan Morris, who’s out for a while with a torn ACL suffered on loan abroad at Swansea City. But there will still be ample firepower in Raúl Ruídíaz and Nicolás Lodeiro. Minnesota will hope to debut new striker Ramón “Wanchope” Ábila, a prolific scorer for Argentina’s Boca Juniors.
Earlier Friday, the Houston Dynamo host the San Jose Earthquakes in the first game of the season leaguewide (8 p.m., ESPN+).
OL Reign vs. Houston Dash
Friday, 10 p.m. (Paramount+)
Although Megan Rapinoe will likely get the night off after returning from U.S. national team duty, the Reign will have plenty of firepower for their NWSL Challenge Cup opener in playmakers Jessica Fishlock and Nicole Momiki, and forwards Tziarra King (of Sicklerville, N.J.) and Jasmyne Spencer.
VfL Wolfsburg vs. Bayern Munich
Saturday, 9:30 a.m. (ESPN+)
John Brooks and Wolfsburg have climbed up to third place in the Bundesliga, and would take a big step toward clinching a Champions League berth for next season with a win over first-place Bayern.
Chelsea vs. Manchester City
Saturday, 12:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
It might take a little bit of good luck for Hershey’s Christian Pulisic and Downingtown’s Zack Steffen to play against each other in this FA Cup semifinal. Pulisic got hacked all over the field by Porto in the Champions League on Tuesday, and Steffen might not start in goal for Man City. But Steffen has started every game of City’s FA Cup run so far, so maybe Pep Guardiola will let him have this one too.
The other semifinal is Leicester City vs. Southampton, Sunday at 1:30 p.m. (ESPN+).
Orlando City vs. Atlanta United
Saturday, 3 p.m. (UniMás, TUDN, Twitter.com/MLS)
Orlando finally got things together last year under manager Óscar Pareja, and reached the second round of the playoffs. After signing former Brazilian phenom Alexandre Pato during the winter, the Lions start their quest for an encore against the team their fans most love to hate. Atlanta has a new manager in Gabriel Heinze, and striker Josef Martínez is finally healthy again. The Union will be watching closely ahead of their Champions League quarterfinal matchup later this month.
Athletic Bilbao vs. Barcelona
Saturday, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
Barcelona’s loss to Real Madrid last weekend put Real in the driver’s seat for the Spanish league title. Now the Copa del Rey final could be Lionel Messi’s last shot at winning a trophy before potentially leaving the club at the end of this season. Of course, he might stay, and the odds of that seem to be improving. But since we don’t know for sure yet, the world will tune in to this game to see if Messi can come out on top.
Los Angeles FC vs. Austin FC
Saturday, 6 p.m. (Fox29, Fox Deportes)
A perennial MLS Cup favorite thanks to star forwards Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi, LAFC welcomes expansion team Austin FC to the league for its inaugural game. Austin made some savvy moves to build its squad, including Argentine playmaker Tomás Pochettino and former New York City midfield stalwart Alex Ring.
There will also be star power in the owners’ boxes. Will Ferrell has a stake in LAFC, and Matthew McConaughey has one in Austin.
Lyon vs. Paris Saint-Germain
Sunday, 8 a.m. (beIN Sports Xtra)
Lyon has finally seen off the COVID-19 outbreak that sidelined 15 people in recent weeks, including stars Amandine Henry, Wendie Renard and Delphine Cascarino. They’re all back just in time for the second leg of a Champions League quarterfinal series against their archrivals. Lyon won the first leg in Paris 1-0, so is in good shape to advance. Barcelona awaits in the semifinals.
Inter Miami vs. Los Angeles Galaxy
Sunday, 3 p.m. (6ABC, ESPN Deportes)
New Miami manager Phil Neville makes his debut on the bench with team owner David Beckham, his former teammate, watching from above. Coincidentally (or perhaps not), the opponent is the team Beckham played for in MLS.
The Galaxy are also under new management. Greg Vanney, a former stalwart player at the club, has come home after coaching Toronto FC to five trophies (and two more MLS Cup finals) in six and a half seasons. Can he get the most out of Javier “Chicharito” Hernández, who was a flop last year in his long-awaited first season in MLS?
» READ MORE: The rest of this weekend's MLS schedule