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Soccer on TV: The USMNT visits Panama in World Cup qualifying

Plus Union players in African World Cup qualifying, the UEFA Nations League final, and key games in the NWSL and FA Women’s Super League.

The Ricardo Pepi (16) hype train is rolling at full speed as the Americans head back on the road.
The Ricardo Pepi (16) hype train is rolling at full speed as the Americans head back on the road.Read moreEric Gay / AP

Cameroon vs. Mozambique

Friday, noon (ESPN+)

The Union’s Olivier Mbaizo is likely to play for Cameroon as the Indomitable Lions chase the first-place Ivory Coast in their World Cup qualifying group.

Manchester United vs. Manchester City

Saturday, 8:30 a.m. (NBCSN)

Four games into the FA Women’s Super League season, Manchester City has just one win. The squad has a pile of injuries, but it’s still got enough healthy talent to be much better than this. Manager Gareth Taylor is on the hot seat, and it will get hotter with a loss or tie in the Manchester derby.

Orlando City vs. Gotham FC

Saturday, 7 p.m. (

After the full range of emotions came out in Wednesday’s return to the field and Carli Lloyd celebration, Gotham now turns its attention to the NWSL playoff race. Gotham enters the weekend in eighth place, two points out of the last playoff spot, but with a game in hand on all the teams above it.

» READ MORE: Gotham FC, Washington Spirit players protest during NWSL game as fans give strong support

Seattle Sounders vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

Saturday, 9 p.m. (ESPN+)

A few MLS teams are playing through the FIFA window because of jam-packed schedules. Any Cascadia Cup game, even when the squads are shorthanded, is worth checking out.

» READ MORE: The rest of this weekend's MLS schedule

Central African Republic vs. Nigeria

Sunday, 9 a.m. (ESPN+)

Cape Verde vs. Liberia

Sunday, noon (ESPN+)

These four teams are in the same group for the next-to-last round of World Cup qualifying in Africa. On Thursday, the Union’s Jamiro Monteiro scored Cape Verde’s first goal in a 2-1 win at Liberia. A few hours later, Nigeria was stunned at home by the Central African Republic, 1-0, giving up the goal in the 90th minute.

That left Nigeria, one of Africa’s traditional powers, with a two-point lead over Cape Verde in the standings heading into Sunday’s games. A Super Eagles squad with Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho and Lille’s Victor Osimhen ought to be better than this, but they’re now under some pressure as they go on the road.

Spain vs. France

Sunday, 2:45 p.m. (ESPN, Univision 65, TUDN)

Both UEFA Nations League semifinals, Spain’s 2-0 win over Italy and France’s 3-2 comeback win over Belgium, were outstanding games. This should be another elite contest, as Spain’s brilliant young creators Gavi and Pedri face France’s stout defense and lightning-fast attack led by Kylian Mbappé and Karim Benzema.

Panama vs. United States

Sunday, 6 p.m. (Universo, Paramount+)

The Ricardo Pepi hype train is rolling at full speed now, thanks to the 18-year-old FC Dallas striker’s two terrific goals for the U.S. that sunk Jamaica on Thursday — the second of which had a fine assist from Brenden Aaronson.

U.S. manager Gregg Berhalter was able to withdraw Pepi with 22 minutes to go to keep a little extra fuel in the tank for this game. It will be needed, because Michael Amir Murillo and Panama have a stingy defense: just two goals allowed through four games.

» READ MORE: Ricardo Pepi’s goals lift U.S. men’s soccer team to 2-0 win over Jamaica in World Cup qualifying

Jamaica vs. Canada

Sunday, 6 p.m. (Paramount+,

The days when Jamaica was a favorite to get a top-four finish in World Cup qualifying feel a long way in the past now, even though it’s been only a matter of weeks. Andre Blake and the Reggae Boyz are rooted in last place, and Canada has plenty of firepower to keep them there.

The Canucks are coming off a historic 1-1 tie at Mexico, the nation’s first World Cup qualifying point at the famed Estadio Azteca since 1980. Alphonso Davies and company gave as good as they got, including some well-practiced dark arts in key moments. But the skill was there when it needed to be, and Canada is in good shape to reach its first men’s World Cup since 1986.

Costa Rica vs. El Salvador

Sunday, 6 p.m. (Paramount+,

Costa Rica’s struggles continued Thursday in a scoreless tie at Honduras that left the Ticos in sixth place and the Catrachos in seventh. El Salvador finally got its first win of the round, beating Panama 1-0 at home. The standings are so tight that La Selecta is now up to fifth place in the standings, trailing fourth-place Panama on goal difference.

Mexico vs. Honduras

Sunday, 7 p.m. (Univision 65, TUDN, Paramount+)

What to make of Mexico now? El Tri finished Thursday in second place behind the U.S. on goal difference. The nation’s media will throw a fit, but the team is in no real danger of not qualifying for the World Cup.

That said, after this game Mexico plays four straight World Cup qualifiers on the road: Wednesday at El Salvador, Nov. 12 at the U.S. (in Cincinnati), Nov. 16 at Canada (in chilly Edmonton), and Jan. 27 at Jamaica. So it’s fair to call this game a must-win. Especially if you’re manager Gerardo “Tata” Martino, and a scheduled reunion with longtime sparring partner Gregg Berhalter is drawing ever closer.

North Macedonia vs. Germany

Monday, 2:45 p.m. (TUDN, ESPN+)

The last time these teams met, back in March, North Macedonia pulled off an all-time upset with a 2-1 win on German soil in World Cup qualifying. At this point, Germany has a comfortable four-point lead atop the standings. North Macedonia is in fourth, but just two points out of second and a shot at a playoff.