The big soccer news for U.S. fans and anyone who appreciates the underdog: Fulham reached the Europa League final, rallying from 1-0 down to win 2-1 Thursday against Hamburg. That’s not exactly Butler reaching the NCAA hoops final — Fulham plays in the Premier League, and Hamburg would’ve been the team playing at home in the final. It’s more like Northwestern, in a major conference but not a major player, reaching the NCAA hoops final. The U.S. interest is, of course, Clint Dempsey, who was on the field for the big comeback.
The weekend ahead includes another eight-game Saturday in MLS (all times ET) …
Full listings at Soccer America. Games Saturday unless specified.
England (2 games left; Chelsea lead Man U by 1)
Fourth place/Champions League berth: Tottenham Hotspur (64 pts., +26 goal diff) lead Aston Villa (64, +16), Manchester City (63, +27) and Liverpool (62, +28).
- Manchester City-Aston Villa, 10 a.m., FSC: Well, that’s convenient, given the standings.
- Tottenham Hotspur-Bolton, 10 a.m., Fox Soccer Plus
- Liverpool-Chelsea, 8:30 a.m., Fox Soccer Plus
- Sunderland-Manchester United, 11 a.m., FSC
Italy (3 games left; Inter lead Roma by 2)
- Parma-Roma, noon, Fox Soccer Plus
- Lazio-Inter, 2:45 p.m. Sun., FSC
Spain (4 games left; Barca lead Real Madrid by 1)
- Villarreal-Barcelona, 4 p.m., GolTV
- Real Madrid-Osasuna, 1 p.m. Sun.
Germany (2 games left; Bayern and Schalke tied)
- Hannover-Borussia Moenchengladbach, 9:30 a.m.: Hannover (Steve Cherundolo) is 17th, one behind automatic safety (15th) and one behind a playoff spot (16th). Gladbach (Michael Bradley) will finish 11th, 12th or 13th.
- Bayern Munich-Bochum, 9:30 a.m., GolTV
- Schalke-Werder Bremen, 9:30 a.m.
MLS (points in parentheses)
- D.C. United (0) -New York (12), 4 p.m., TeleFutura: Worst vs. first in the East.
- New England (6)-Dallas (3), 7:30 p.m., DK/MLSS
- Chicago (7)-Chivas USA (6), 8:30 p.m., DK/MLSS
- Houston (7)-Kansas City (7), 8:30 p.m., FSC
- Salt Lake (4)-Toronto (6), 9 p.m., DK/MLSS: If Real don’t win this one, THEN it’s time to worry.
- San Jose (6)-Colorado (10), 10 p.m., DK/MLSS
- Los Angeles (13)-Philadelphia (3), 10:30 p.m., DK/MLSS
- Seattle (8)-Columbus (7), 10:30 p.m., DK/MLSS
- Sky Blue (6)-Gold Pride (6), 6 p.m., FSC/iPhone/Webcast: Better known as Bay Area-New Jersey and the battle for first place. Carli Lloyd is on 30-day injured reserve with a broken ankle.
- Washington (3)-St. Louis (5), 6 p.m.
- Philadelphia (5)-Atlanta (1), 6 p.m.
- Boston (5)-Chicago (1), 6 p.m.
Quarterfinals, first leg
- #8 Pachuca-#1 Monterrey, 6 p.m. Sat., Univision: Pachuca (Jose Francisco Torres) won the CONCACAF title this week.
- #7 Morelia-#2 Chivas, 8 p.m. Sat.
- #5 Santos-#4 Pumas, 5 p.m. Sun., TeleFutura
- #6 Club America-#3 Toluca, 10 p.m. Sun., Univision
- Cycling, Tour de Romandie
- Gymnastics, Pacific Rim Championships, Melbourne, Australia.
- Canoe/kayak: U.S. slalom team trials Friday.
- Beach volleyball: AVP Santa Barbara, men’s championship, 5:30 p.m., Sun., ESPN2
- Wrestling: Pan American Championships.
- Diving, FINA Grand Prix, Canada.
- NCAA winter championships special, 1 p.m. Sat., CBS
- ATP, Internazionali BNL d’Italia, Rome: semifinals 7:30/10 Sat.; 10 Sun. final; Tennis Channel
- WTA, Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, Stuttgart, Germany: semifinals 2/4 Sat. (delay); 2 Sun. (delay) final ; Tennis Channel: Watch Justine Henin and Dinara Safina
- WTA, Grand Prix de SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem, Fez, Morocco.
- Boxing: Mayweather-Mosley, 9 p.m. Sat., pay-per-view
- Cricket: World Twenty20 starts Friday with one surprise team among the 12-team field — Afghanistan.
- Horse racing: Kentucky Derby, 4 p.m. Sat., NBC
- Chess: The World Championship continues as long as they can keep the lights on.
(Confused by the headline? Here’s the reference.)