Schalke 04 vs. Hamburg SV
Friday, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
The German second-division season starts with a matchup of two former Bundesliga stalwarts. Schalke was relegated in the spring, two years after being in the Champions League’s round of 16. Hamburg was relegated in 2018 after being in the top flight since its founding in 1963, and hasn’t gone back up yet.
Schalke is in big financial trouble, and there are fears that the club could need a long time to recover. But there are also reasons to hope, including 20-year-old American striker Matthew Hoppe.
Kansas City vs. North Carolina Courage
Friday, 8 p.m. (twitch.tv/nwslofficial)
On Thursday, these teams were part of a blockbuster NWSL trade. North Carolina acquired former U.S. national team veteran Amy Rodriguez and $60,000 in allocation money for forward Kristen Hamilton, midfielder Hailie Mace, and goalkeeper Katelyn Rowland. Coincidentally, the deal happened a day before the sides face off on the field.
Sweden vs. Australia
Saturday, 4:30 a.m. (NBCSN)
U.S. fans will be rooting for Australia, led by star Sam Kerr, to beat Sweden. That would open the door for the Americans to win the group if they can sweep their remaining games by big scores. But Sweden will be favored after its dominant 3-0 win over the U.S. to open the tournament.
Netherlands vs. Brazil
Saturday, 7 a.m. (Universo)
This will be a star-studded showdown between the Netherlands’ Vivianne Midema and Lieke Martens and Brazil’s Marta and Debinha. It will also play a big role in sorting which team wins the group and which team finishes second, the latter of which will face the second-place team from the United States’ group in the quarterfinals.
Brazil is coming off a 5-0 win over China; the Dutch opened their tournament with a 10-3 blowout of Zambia.
New Zealand vs. United States
Saturday, 7:30 a.m. (NBCSN, Telemundo)
It’s gut-check time for the U.S. women, because it wasn’t just that they lost to Sweden, it was how. They were out-thought and out-executed, especially in midfield, and comprehensively beaten. Of course the Americans will play angry, but that won’t be enough from now on.
Manager Vlatko Andonovski will have to diversify their game plan, potentially bringing Lynn Williams and Catarina Macario into the mix. And the defending will have to be a lot better. Centerback Abby Dahlkemper in particular was beaten repeatedly on Sweden’s goals.
Atlanta United vs. Columbus Crew
Saturday, 3:30 p.m. (6abc, ESPN Deportes)
Atlanta plays at home for the first time since firing manager Gabriel Heinze, and it does so against the reigning MLS champions.
Qatar vs. El Salvador
Saturday, 7:30 p.m. (Fox29, Univision 65, TUDN)
What is the least star-studded of the Gold Cup’s quarterfinal games doing on the biggest TV stage? It’s mainly because Fox didn’t have any other live programming scheduled for Saturday night, so the network decided to put on a soccer game.
But these teams deserve some attention. Qatar won the last Asian Cup, and won its Gold Cup group with a statement 2-0 victory over Honduras. El Salvador gave Mexico fits before a stunningly pro-Salvadoran crowd at the Cotton Bowl in a narrow 1-0 loss.
Mexico vs. Honduras
Saturday, 10 p.m. (FS1, Univision 65, TUDN)
Mexico remains the favorite to win the Gold Cup but needs to step up as the knockout rounds start.
Egypt vs. Argentina
Sunday, 3:30 a.m. (Telemundo)
Both of these teams surprised on the opening day of the Olympic men’s soccer tournament. Egypt held Spain to a scoreless tie, while Esequiel Barco and Argentina were poor in a 2-0 loss to Australia. Spain and Australia kick off just over an hour after this game ends (6:30 a.m., NBCSN and Universo).
Japan vs. Mexico
Sunday, 7 a.m. (Telemundo)
Mexico looked every bit the Olympic medal contender it was hyped to be in a 4-1 rout of France in its opening game. Now El Tri faces the host nation, which edged South Africa, 1-0, in its opener. In addition to Telemundo’s broadcast, NBCSN will join the game in progress at 8:30 a.m.
Also Sunday: New Zealand vs. Honduras, 4 a.m. (Universo); France vs. South Africa, 4 a.m. (NBCOlympics.com); Brazil vs. Ivory Coast, 4:30 a.m. (NBCSN); Romania vs. South Korea, 7 a.m. (NBCOlympics.com); Saudi Arabia vs. Germany, 7:30 a.m. (NBCOlympics.com)
Costa Rica vs. Canada
Sunday, 7 p.m. (FS1, Univision, TUDN)
This is the toughest Gold Cup quarterfinal to call. Costa Rica has more experience and pedigree, but Canada has some big-time young players, including winger Tajon Buchanan. This could be a statement game for the Canucks.
United States vs. Jamaica
Sunday, 10 p.m. (FS1, Univision, TUDN)
Union goalkeeper Andre Blake will be in the spotlight as he faces a U.S. team that will be favored, thanks in part to hot striker Daryl Dike. But the Americans will be tested. Keep an eye on left back Sam Vines, who could battle against Reggae Boyz star winger Leon Bailey.