Friday Myriad: UFC, Giro and a field of their own in WPS

This weekend, we’ll have the biggest weekend of global soccer until the World Cup, with title deciders and playoffs. We’ll also have a new soccer stadium opening, something unexpected happening in a large soccer stadium, the first big cycling tour of the season starting and a UFC card worth a look.

Hour-by-hour for your couch-potato planning …

FRIDAY

3 p.m.: Basketball: EuroLeague Final Four, Barcelona-CSKA Moscow. Ricky Rubio still plays for Barcelona despite NBA recruiting efforts. Former Dukie Trajan Langdon has carved out a long career with CSKA. NBA Network

5 p.m.: Basketball: EuroLeague Final Four, Partizan-Olympiakos. Good WaPo feature today on Olympiakos’ Josh Childress. NBA Network

7 p.m.: Hockey: World Championships, Germany-USA (delayed broadcast, live online at 2 p.m.). The men’s tournament suffers from the absence of playoff-bound NHL stars, but they’re expecting a record crowd. World record. All hockey. That’s because they’re playing at Schalke’s soccer stadium and expecting a crowd of more than 76K. Universal Sports

SATURDAY

7:40 a.m.: Soccer (England): Promotion playoffs, first leg. Blackpool-Nottingham Forest. Two smaller clubs with a lot of top-flight history (including Forest’s back-to-back European triumphs) try to climb into the Premier League.  Fox Soccer Plus

  • Eye on Soccer (Germany): Can Schalke make up a 17-goal goal difference and catch Bayern Munich for first place? Probably not. Hannover (Steve Cherundolo) avoids relegation with a win at Bochum OR a draw at Bochum and a Nurnberg loss/draw, but that’s not on TV. So you might as well watch Werder Bremen-Hamburg, with Werder trying to hang on to third place and a Champions League playoff spot.  9:30 a.m., GolTV

10 a.m.: Cycling, Giro d’Italia, first stage. Ivan Basso, Cadel Evans, Carlos Sastre and Alexandre Vinokourov are there. Reigning champion Denis Menchov, Levi Leipheimer, Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong are not. See VeloNews preview, which has a guide to each stage. The opener is a prologue-style short, flat time trial. Universal Sports

  • Tennis: WTA final, Rome. Venus Williams lost 6-0, 6-1 to Jelena Jankovic and won’t face Serena Williams in Friday’s semis. The other side of the draw has the resurgent Ana Ivanovic vs. Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez. Tennis Channel

3 p.m.: Soccer (Spain): Sevilla-Barcelona, the biggest test left for Barca, which leads Real Madrid by one point with two games left3 p.m., GolTV

  • Real Madrid-Athletic Bilboa. 3 p.m. ESPN Deportes

4 p.m.: Soccer (MLS): At the same time, Seattle-Los Angeles is the first of the national broadcasts. TeleFutura

  • Toronto-Chicago and Salt Lake-Philadelphia. Direct Kick/MLSSoccer.com

7 p.m.: Volleyball: NCAA men’s final: No. 12 Penn State at No. 1 Stanford. ESPN

  • Soccer (MLS): Columbus-New England. FSC
  • Soccer (Mexico): Playoffs, second leg, Monterrey-Pachuca. Eighth-seeded Pachuca (Jose Francisco Torres) lead 1-0 after first leg. Telemundo
  • Soccer (Mexico): Playoffs, second leg, Chivas-Morelia. Morelia lead 4-2 after first leg. 9 p.m., Telemundo

10 p.m.: MMA: UFC 113 has a rematch of the controversial light heavyweight showdown between Lyoto Machida and Mauricio Rua. We also see if Paul Daley’s trash talk has managed to rattle Josh Koscheck so much that Kos forgets to put his hands up and lets Daley punch him out. And Kimbo Slice and Matt Mitrione compare progress in their ongoing MMA education. Pay-per-view / Yahoo! Sports online / FloTV mobile

SUNDAY

11 a.m.: Soccer (England): Final day for the Premier League. Chelsea leads Manchester United by a point (if tied: Chelsea leads by nine in goal difference). So the likely clincher is Chelsea-Wigan. Fox Sports Net AND FSC

  • Manchester United-Stoke, which will be very interesting indeed if Chelsea isn’t winning. Fox Soccer Plus
  • Other EPL games are all going at the same time. Arsenal is fighting to hold third and an automatic group-stage Champions League berth over Tottenham Hotspur, which is two points back and has clinched at least a Champions League playoff berth. Arsenal’s game also gives one last chance to check in on Clint Dempsey, playing for the visitors. Arsenal-Fulham (delay), 1 p.m., Fox Soccer Plus
  • Cycling: Giro d’Italia, second stage, 10 a.m., Universal Sports

1 p.m.: Soccer (Mexico): Playoffs, second leg, Toluca-Club America. 2-2 after first leg. Telemundo

4 p.m.: Basketball: EuroLeague final. NBA Network

Atlanta Beat stadium
A bit of play on the field at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Atlanta Beat's stadium. (Courtesy WPS)

7 p.m.: Soccer (WPS): The Atlanta Beat will play their first home game in the first stadium built for a women’s soccer team. Or two, technically, since it will be shared with Kennesaw State University. The 8,300-seat stadium can be expanded to 16,000 for concerts, but generally, you won’t see much else in the stadium. No X Games tearing up the field (Home Depot Center, LA), no football lines somehow creating divots in the field (RFK Stadium, DC), no artificial turf, etc. You could argue that it’ll be more soccer-specific than many MLS “soccer-specific” stadiums. All White Kit has a cool selection of photos and boldly predicts that the Beat, buoyed by their first home game and a festive atmosphere, will rise up out of last place with a win and go on to beat (ugh … still hate that unintentional pun) FC Gold Pride in the WPS final in September. FSC / iPhone / WPS site

  • Soccer (Mexico): Playoffs (second leg), Pumas-Santos Laguna. Santos lead 2-0 after home leg. 6 p.m., Telemundo

Full soccer listings at Soccer America. More TV listings at USA TODAY.

Advertisements

One thought on “Friday Myriad: UFC, Giro and a field of their own in WPS

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s