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Soccer on TV: Italy’s Serie A comes to CBS Sports this weekend

CBS starts a three-season run as the home of Serie A this weekend. Plus the Bundesliga on ABC, MLS on Fox, and the Portland Thorns vs. Lyon in the Women's International Champions Cup final.

Juventus' American midfielder Weston McKennie, center, will be in the spotlight this weekend when CBS Sports starts a three-year run as the home of Serie A.
Juventus' American midfielder Weston McKennie, center, will be in the spotlight this weekend when CBS Sports starts a three-year run as the home of Serie A.Read moreTano Pecoraro (Custom credit) / LaPress via AP

RB Leipzig vs. VfB Stuttgart

Friday, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN+)

For the first time, two American managers face off in a major European league. Leipzig’s Jesse Marsch and Stuttgart’s New Jersey-born Pellegrino Matarazzo have known each other since they played one another in college in the 1990s: Marsch for Princeton and Matarazzo for Columbia.

Los Angeles Galaxy vs. San Jose Earthquakes

Friday, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN2, ESPN Deportes)

The weekend in MLS begins with one of the league’s classic rivalries. San Jose hasn’t lost in nine games since a June 26 home loss to the Galaxy, but seven of those results have been ties. The Galaxy will be favored again here, but watch the Earthquakes’ 17-year-old attacking prospect Cade Cowell.

Japan vs. United States

Saturday, 9:30 a.m. (FS1, Telemundo)

For a change of pace, check out FIFA’s Beach Soccer World Cup, which kicked off Thursday in Russia. (Yes, there are beaches in Russia, but the tournament’s being played at a temporary 5,000-seat venue built outside Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium. You can put a pile of sand anywhere easily enough if you want to.)

The U.S. opened its tournament run Thursday with a 5-4 loss against the host nation, which like at the Olympics can’t be called Russia but is still clearly Russian. Nick Perera is the U.S.’ leader, with 80 goals in 103 career games and a seat on the U.S. Soccer Federation’s Athlete Council.

Inter vs. Genoa

Saturday, 12:30 p.m. (Paramount+)

CBS Sports’ TV and streaming channels become the new home of Serie A this weekend in a three-season deal.

The campaign starts with reigning champion Inter looking to show it’s still got firepower after selling star striker Romelu Lukaku to Chelsea for $135 million. Inter’s big star now is Lautaro Martínez, and he’s got help from three new signings: midfielders Hakan Calhanoglu (from crosstown rival Milan) and Denzel Dumfries, and striker Edin Dzeko.

Bayer Leverkusen vs. Borussia Mönchengladbach

Saturday, 12:30 p.m. (6ABC, ESPN Deportes, ESPN+)

18-year-old American Joe Scally played superbly at left back for Mönchengladbach in a season-opening 1-1 tie against superpower Bayern Munich. Leverkusen started off with a 1-1 tie at Union Berlin.

» READ MORE: The rest of this weekend's Bundesliga schedule

Athletic Bilbao vs. Barcelona

Saturday, 4 p.m. (ESPN+)

How’s Barcelona doing after Lionel Messi’s exit? Martin Braithwaite answered the question with authority in last Sunday’s season opener: two goals and an assist in a 4-2 win over Real Sociedad. This will be another big test, but that victory will have meant a lot in the Blaugrana locker room.

» READ MORE: The rest of this weekend's La Liga schedule

Columbus Crew vs. Seattle Sounders

Saturday, 5:30 p.m. (Fox29, Fox Deportes)

A rematch of last year’s MLS Cup final comes at a difficult time for the Crew, who are winless in their last five games. Seattle, meanwhile, is on a three-game winning streak that includes a 6-2 stomping of the archrival Timbers in Portland last Sunday.

» READ MORE: The rest of this weekend's MLS schedule

New York Red Bulls vs. New York City FC

Saturday, 8 p.m. (FS1, Fox Deportes)

It’s been a while since a Hudson River derby had some sizzle. This one might. NYCFC fell to third in the East with Saturday’s 1-0 loss to the Union, while the 10th-place Red Bulls upended reigning champion Columbus, 1-0, on the same night.

» READ MORE: Alejandro Bedoya goal lifts Union over New York City FC

Portland Thorns vs. Lyon

Saturday, 10 p.m. (ESPN2, ESPN Deportes)

The Women’s International Champions Cup semifinals were both electric games. Lyon knocked off reigning European champion Barcelona, 3-2, and the host Portland Thorns beat the Houston Dash in a penalty kick shootout after coming back from 2-0 down to force a 2-2 tie.

So the final will pit the NWSL’s biggest team against Europe’s perennial superpower, the record seven-time Champions League winner — including five straight from 2016-20 — that Barcelona dethroned last spring.

Portland will have its Olympic stars back, and Lindsey Horan will be in the spotlight amid reports she’s joining Lyon in January. But manager Mark Parsons might be tempted to give playing time to two youngsters who were heroes of the semifinal. Rookie goalkeeper Shelby Hogan made three saves in the shootout, and 15-year-old midfield phenom Olivier Moultrie scored the last goal of regulation with a free kick.

Houston and Barcelona will meet in the third-place game earlier Saturday (7:30 p.m., ESPNU and ESPN3).

OL Reign vs. Gotham FC

Saturday, 10 p.m. (Paramount+)

Gotham starts a two-game swing through Cascadia on the night that Reign stars Megan Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle will return to the Tacoma, Wash.-based club after a post-Olympics break.

» READ MORE: The rest of this weekend's NWSL schedule

Udinese vs. Juventus

Sunday, 12:30 p.m. (CBS Sports Network, Paramount+)

The first Serie A game on CBS’ sports TV channel is no surprise. It features Italy’s biggest team, Juventus, and two big draws for American viewers, Weston McKennie and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Juve’s nine-year run as league champion ended last season. The Bianconeri boosted their push to return to the top by signing Manuel Locatelli, a superb young midfielder who helped Italy win the Euros, on a loan deal from Sassuolo that will likely lead to a $40 million purchase.

» READ MORE: The rest of this weekend's Serie A schedule

Arsenal vs. Chelsea

Sunday, 11:30 a.m. (NBCSN, Telemundo)

After scoring in Chelsea’s season-opening 3-0 win over Crystal Palace last Saturday, Chelsea travels across London to face an Arsenal team that was beaten soundly by newly-promoted Brighton, 2-0, a day earlier. Chelsea’s addition of Lukaku makes the Blues strong contenders to challenge Manchester City for the Premier League title.

But Hershey’s Christian Pulisic will miss this game — and could miss some of next month’s U.S. national team World Cup qualifiers — after testing positive for COVID-19. Thankfully, he said he’s fully vaccinated. It will come down to how long protocols mandate he be in isolation.

» READ MORE: The rest of this weekend's Premier League schedule

Napoli vs. Venezia

Sunday, 2:45 p.m. (Paramount+)

Though Juventus and Milan have the biggest U.S. fan bases among Italian clubs, expect Venezia to get a lot of attention here in its first Serie A campaign in 19 years. The club’s West Chester-born director of analytics, Alexander Menta, helped sign two major American prospects in FC Dallas midfielder Tanner Tessmann and Sporting Kansas City midfielder Gianluca Busio.


» READ MORE: How West Chester's Alexander Menta helped bring Venezia back to Serie A