This weekend is going to be a quiet one in European soccer, but there are three big games worth watching.
Here’s a look at the matchups and how to watch them.
Saturday, 7:30 a.m. (ESPN+)
The new English soccer season begins with the women’s and men’s Community Shield games at Wembley Stadium, staged as a doubleheader at Wembley Stadium. It’s the first time since 2009 that there will be a women’s version of the contest, which pits the reigning league champion against the reigning FA Cup winner.
Both teams have plenty of players who are familiar to American fans, starting with Chelsea striker Sam Kerr. The Australian alum of NWSL teams, including the Chicago Red Stars and Sky Blue FC, moved to London last winter as arguably the biggest signing in Women’s Super League history, and led the Blues to a league and League Cup trophy double.
Manchester City upped the ante this summer by signing U.S. stars Sam Mewis and Rose Lavelle earlier this month. Mewis is likely to make her debut in official competition after playing 45 minutes in a preseason friendly against Everton last weekend. She got off to a great start, recording a goal and two assists. Lavelle won’t play, though, because she’s in a 14-day quarantine mandated by the British government for travelers from the United States.
Saturday, 11:30 a.m. (ESPN+)
In the men’s half of the doubleheader, Liverpool plays its first official game since winning the Premier League, while Arsenal returns to the field where it lifted the FA Cup a month ago. The biggest spotlight will likely be on Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the team’s top scorer in each of the last two seasons, as he’s entering the final year of his contract.
Sunday, 2 p.m. (CBS All Access)
The dynasties of French and German women’s soccer meet in the Champions League final for the fourth time, all in the last seven years. Lyon has won the last four European Cups, including title-game victories over Wolfsburg in 2018 and 2016, and six overall. Wolfsburg has won it twice, in 2013 and ’14, beating Lyon in the first of them.
In the semifinals, Wolfsburg beat Barcelona, and Lyon beat French rival Paris Saint-Germain, both by 1-0 scores. There will be stars all over the field in this game, and the biggest matchup of all will be between Wolfsburg striker Pernille Harder and Lyon centerback Wendie Renard. If Harder can get Wolfsburg an early goal, it could blow the game open. Renard, Lyon’s longtime captain, scored the goal against PSG with a classic towering header off a free kick.