It’s a big weekend for American soccer players in Europe, headlined by Tim Weah, Weston McKennie, and potentially Alex Morgan. There are also big games in the Premier League and NWSL.
Here’s your viewer’s guide to the top action to watch.
Lille vs. Nantes
Friday, 3 p.m. (beIN Sports)
Let’s start the weekend in France, and with a Lille team that has North American players in starring roles. American winger Tim Weah is finally healthy again after suffering three straight hamstring tears that sidelined him for almost 12 months. He’s joined this season by Canadian forward Jonathan David, signed from Belgian club Gent for $35 million.
Arsenal vs. Tottenham Hotspur
Saturday, 12:15 p.m. (The FA Player)
This FA Cup quarterfinal could be Alex Morgan’s Tottenham debut, making a North London derby game an even bigger attraction. Arsenal’s women’s team, with stars including Vivianne Miedema, has much more talent and pedigree than Tottenham’s. But in a cup competition, you never know.
By the way, this game is a quarterfinal from last season’s FA Cup, not this season’s. The tournament never finished because of the coronavirus pandemic. Morgan is eligible to play because teams had so much turnover this summer that the FA had no choice.
West Bromwich Albion vs. Chelsea
Saturday, 12:30 p.m. (NBC)
While we’re waiting for Christian Pulisic to get back on the field, new Chelsea signings Kai Havertz and Timo Werner have been plenty entertaining. Havertz scored a hat trick in a 6-0 thumping of Barnsley in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday.
Chicago Red Stars vs. Washington Spirit
Saturday, 1 p.m. (CBS3)
The Red Stars' attack finally broke out last weekend in a 4-1 win over Sky Blue, including two goals and an assist by Kealia Watt. Washington, led by Ashley Hatch and Ashley Sanchez, hasn’t played since its NWSL Fall Series opener on Sept. 12.
Nashville SC vs. Houston Dynamo
Saturday, 3:30 p.m. (Univision, TUDN, Twitter)
Nashville’s inaugural season has been fitting for a country music ballad. After two losses to start the year, the club was booted from the MLS tournament in Orlando due to a coronavirus outbreak on the team, then won its first game back, drew its second, and lost the two after that.
But since then, Nashville has won three, drawn two, and lost just one. No player has scored more than one goal, but 10 players have found the net, and major signing Hany Mukhtar is one of them. Union academy product Derrick Jones played his first full 90 minutes in Wednesday’s 1-0 win over D.C. United.
Houston has been up and down in Tab Ramos' first season as manager, but young forward Memo Rodríguez has been a bright spot. The Dynamo just sold leading striker Alberth Elis to Portugal’s Boavista, where he’ll be teammates with former FC Dallas right back Reggie Cannon.
AS Roma vs. Juventus
Sunday, 2:45 p.m. (ESPN+)
The first big game of the Serie A season will give us a hint about whether there will will be a title race this time. Juventus has won the last nine titles, and most of them have been romps. Weston McKennie looked very good in his official debut last weekend, a 3-0 win over Sampdoria.
Roma is trying to return to the Champions League after two seasons out of it. Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Justin Kluivert and Edin Džeko are tasked with leading the Giallorossi back to the big time.
Lyon vs. Bordeaux
Sunday, 3 p.m. (atafootball.com)
France’s star-studded women’s league has a U.S. broadcast deal for the first time, thanks to Atalanta Football -- the same company that brokered NBC’s deal with England’s FA Women’s Super League. The debut broadcast features Lyon, winner of 14 straight league titles and five straight European Cups. Lyon has had some turnover this summer, but still has lots of familiar names: Wendie Renard, Amandine Henry, Dzsenifer Marozsán, Delphine Cascarino and Ada Hegerberg, just to name a few.
Bordeaux’s squad has its own share of players U.S. fans know. American forward Darian Jenkins is there on loan from the NWSL’s OL Reign; midfielder Claire Lavogez is a French national team veteran; defender Estelle Cascarino is Delphine’s sister; and Jamaican forward Khadija “Bunny” Shaw was a star of the Reggae Girlz team that made its World Cup debut last year.
Barcelona vs. Villarreal
Sunday, 3 p.m. (beIN Sports, beIN Sports Español)
Lionel Messi and Barcelona finally kick off their La Liga campaign after being allowed to start two weeks late due to the Champions League summer tournament. Luis Suárez is gone to Atlético Madrid, and Miralem Pjanic has arrived from Juventus. Will American right back Sergiño Dest also join? He wants to, and Barcelona is talking with Ajax. But it’s not done yet, and Bayern Munich still wants him.
Liverpool vs. Arsenal
Monday, 3 p.m. (Peacock)
NBC kicks another big Premier League game to its subscription streaming platform, and if you’re wondering, NBCSN has car shows and poker on during the time slot.
Arsenal, led by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette, has looked pretty good so far in wins over Fulham and West Ham. Liverpool has looked even better, highlighted by a 2-0 win at Chelsea last weekend. Sadio Mané scored both goals.