Genk vs. Shakhtar Donetsk
Tuesday, 2 p.m. (Paramount+)
The day that former Union defender Mark McKenzie has been waiting for since he moved to Belgium last winter is finally here. His team plays its first game of qualifying for this season’s UEFA Champions League, entering the field in the second round of qualifying playoffs.
Shakhtar will provide a terrific test. The Ukrainian club has been in the Champions League’s group stage for the last four seasons, and in 12 of the last 15 campaigns. Tetê, a 21-year-old Brazilian forward who helped Shakhtar win at Real Madrid last season, is still there.
United States vs. Australia
Thursday, 4 a.m. (USA Network, Telemundo)
It’s going to sting the generation of U.S. stars whose national team careers will soon end that they didn’t bring the curtain down with one more gold medal. But it will be a small salve if they can win bronze, and the time will come when we all look back and cherish how exceptional the last decade has been.
That said, Australia won’t care about any American sentiments. The Matildas are gunning for their first Olympic medal, and their best major-tournament finish, ahead of hosting the 2023 World Cup with New Zealand.
Canada vs. Sweden
Thursday, 10 p.m. (USA Network, joined in progress on NBC10 at 11:30 p.m.)
There’s no doubt now that Sweden has been the best team at the women’s Olympic tournament. The 2016 silver medalist and 2019 World Cup third-place finisher hasn’t won a major title since the 1984 Euros, and will enter the gold-medal game in Tokyo as the favorite to finally reach the summit.
Canada won bronze in 2012 and 2016, and is one win away from a long-sought summit of its own. It’s especially true for Christine Sinclair, the program’s all-time legend who has carried the program on her back for so long.