Brentford vs. Swansea City
Saturday, 10 a.m. (ESPN+)
This year’s edition of the “richest game in world football,” the promotion playoff final in England’s second division, will net the winner around $191 million for gaining a berth in the Premier League. Romantics will be rooting for Brentford, which lost last year’s final and has never played in the top flight.
Holstein Kiel vs. Köln
Saturday, noon (ESPN+)
Kiel won the first leg of the Bundesliga’s relegation-promotion playoff, 1-0, at Köln, setting up the second-division team for its first promotion to the top flight. There are still 90 minutes to go, but Kiel will be allowed to have fans in the stands for the first time since Halloween — a little more than 2,000 — as it tries to make history.
Manchester City vs. Chelsea
Saturday, 3 p.m. (CBS3, Univision, TUDN)
For just the second time an American man will win the UEFA Champions League title — and for the first time, that man will hail from the greater Philadelphia region. Downingtown’s Zack Steffen will be on Man City’s bench as the backup goalkeeper, and Hershey’s Christian Pulisic could become the first American man to start, for Chelsea, in the biggest game in world club soccer.
Steffen and Pulisic don’t have ties just to the region; they also have ties to the Union. Both played for the club’s youth teams many years ago, including at the 2012 Generation Adidas Cup. Pulisic didn’t stay in the program for long, but Steffen stayed until he went off to college at Maryland. He then chose to go to Europe instead of signing here, with Union officials convinced that they had no shot to land him. (How hard they tried, or didn’t try, is lost to history.)
Now back to the present. The magnitude of the moment is amplified by the fact that the game will be on two of the biggest broadcast platforms in the country. CBS will air the final for the first time, and Univision will do it for the third straight year. Both channels will start their pregame coverage at 1:30 p.m. ET. CBS’ show will include an interview Pulisic did with U.S. national team alums Clint Dempsey, Oguchi Onyewu, and Charlie Davies.
You can also watch the game through the networks’ respective streaming platforms, Paramount+ (paid subscription) and TUDN.com (free with TV provider authentication).
Wondering who the first U.S. men’s player was to win a European Cup medal? It was Jovan Kirovski in 1997 with Borussia Dortmund. He was a reserve on the bench. That means, even if Pulisic doesn’t start, he’ll be the first U.S. national team player to see the field in a final if he plays.
This article has been corrected. It originally said Pulisic would be the first American man to play in a UEFA Champions League final. That isn’t true: Neven Subotić did so in 2013. Pulisic would be the first U.S. men’s national team player to play in a final.
Los Angeles FC vs. New York City FC
Saturday, 5 p.m. (UniMás, Twitter)
After the Champions League final ends, Univision viewers can flip over to UniMás for an MLS doubleheader. It could be the debut for new NYCFC Brazilian winger Talles Mango, who commanded a transfer fee from Vasco da Gama that could grow to $12 million.
Los Angeles Galaxy vs. San Jose Earthquakes
Saturday, 7 p.m. (UniMás, TUDN, Twitter)
One of MLS’ oldest rivalries is renewed for the first time this year, and there will be a distinctly Mexican flavor. The Galaxy are led by Javier Hernández and Jonathan dos Santos, while the Earthquakes feature Oswaldo Alanís and Javier “Chofis” López.
» READ MORE: This weekend's MLS schedule
Switzerland vs. United States
Sunday, 2 p.m. (ESPN, UniMás, TUDN)
A U.S. men’s national team loaded with most of the program’s top stars plays a warmup game in Europe before next week’s Concacaf Nations League final four in Denver. Gio Reyna, Weston McKennie, Yunus Musah and Josh Sargent will lead the way. We also might see Brenden Aaronson and Mark McKenzie get some playing time, and perhaps young striker Matthew Hoppe.
You won’t see Steffen and Pulisic, who will be recovering from the Champions League final. They’ll join the squad for the long trip west.
Gotham FC vs. Portland Thorns
Sunday, 3 p.m. (Paramount+)
It’s always a big deal when the Thorns come east, and it’s always a big deal when New York native Crystal Dunn plays at Red Bull Arena. This time, both happen together. There should be a big-time atmosphere with pandemic capacity limits lifted, and stars all over the field.
» READ MORE: This weekend's NWSL schedule
Lyon vs. Paris Saint-Germain
Sunday, 3 p.m. (ESPN+)
Unfortunately for women’s soccer fans, the biggest game of the NWSL weekend is at the same time as one of the biggest games in the world this season. If Marie-Antoinette Katoto and PSG can beat Lyon for the second time this campaign, they’ll dethrone the 14-time French league champions and win their first title. Lyon is favored at home, but all three meetings have been one-goal games — including when PSG knocked Lyon out of the Champions League in April.
Flamengo vs. Palmeiras
Sunday 3 p.m. (Paramount+)
The Brazilian league comes to Paramount+ this weekend, bringing the widest-ever exposure here for some of South America’s legendary clubs. Two of them meet on the first weekend of the season, and, yes, it’s at the same time as the games above. But, if you’re able, give this a look with the others. On top of being two of Brazil’s biggest teams — Flamengo is from Rio de Janeiro; Palmeiras is from Sao Paulo — they’re the last two winners of the Copa Libertadores.
Cruz Azul vs. Santos Laguna
Sunday, 9:15 p.m. (Univision, TUDN)
Cruz Azul won at Santos, 1-0, Thursday night in the first leg of the Liga MX playoff final. Now the stage is set for La Maquina to end a 24-year Mexican league-title drought on home turf at the Azteca — or add another stunning chapter to the history of Mexico’s biggest playoff chokers.