Top games to watch this week
Werder Bremen vs Bayern München (Bundesliga)
Casa Pia vs Sporting CP (Primeira Liga)
Metz vs Marseille (Ligue 1)
Al Nassr vs Al Taawon (Saudi Pro League)
Al Hazm vs Al Ittifaq (Saudi Pro League)
Pumas UNAM vs Toluca (Liga MX)
Juárez vs Guadalajara (Liga MX)
FIFA Women's World Cup - Third-place match
Nashville vs Inter Miami – Leagues Cup Final
Liverpool vs Bournemouth (English Premier League)
Tottenham vs Manchester United (English Premier League)
Manchester City vs Newcastle United (English Premier League)
Almería vs Real Madrid (La Liga)
Inter vs Monza (Serie A)
Bayer Leverkusen vs RB Leipzig (Bundesliga)
Borussia Dortmund vs Köln (Bundesliga)
Benfica vs Estrela (Primeira Liga)
Lyon vs Montpellier (Ligue 1)
Toulouse vs PSG (Ligue 1)
Al Hilal vs Al Feiha (Saudi Pro League)
Al Ittihad vs Al Ta'ee (Saudi Pro League)
Spain vs England – FIFA Women's World Cup Final
West Ham vs Chelsea (English Premier League)
Barcelona vs Cádiz (La Liga)
Udinese vs Juventus (Serie A)
Columbus Crew vs Cincinnati (MLS)
St. Louis City vs Austin (MLS)
Los Angeles FC vs Colorado Rapids (MLS)
Cruz Azul vs Santos (Liga MX)
Necaxa vs Tigres UANL (Liga MX)
Crystal Palace vs Arsenal (English Premier League)
Bologna vs Milan (Serie A)
Deportivo Alavés vs Sevilla (La Liga)
Granada vs Rayo Vallecano (La Liga)
Guadalajara vs Tijuana (Liga MX)
Juárez vs Pumas UNAM (Liga MX)
Bolívar vs Internacional (Copa Libertadores)
Corinthians vs Estudiantes (Copa Sudamericana)
Deportivo Pereira vs Palmeiras (Copa Libertadores)
Boca Juniors vs Racing (Copa Libertadores)
América vs Necaxa (Liga MX)
Pachuca vs Cruz Azul (Liga MX)
Cincinnati vs Inter Miami (US Open Cup)
Houston Dynamo vs Real Salt Lake (US Open Cup)
Botafogo vs Defensa y Justicia (Copa Sudamericana)
Fluminense vs Olimpia (Copa Libertadores)
Union Saint-Gilloise vs Lugano (Europa League)
LDU Quito vs Sao Paulo (Copa Sudamericana)
Al Raed vs Al Hilal (Saudi Pro League)
Al Riyadh vs Al Ittihad (Saudi Pro League)
Most-watched soccer games in the USA: August 7-13, 2023
The FIFA Women's World Cup nears its conclusion but the prestigious competition continues to dominate the viewership numbers in the USA. Unfortunately, due to the elimination of the USWNT, those numbers have somewhat come down, but the tournament racking up an outstanding audience.
In fact, the most-watched soccer game in the USA on August 7 through August 13 was Spain's 2-1 win over the Netherlands, a fixture that sealed La Roja a spot in the semifinals. Over 1.7 million people tuned in to FOX for that quarterfinal clash, with the European side having since moved on to the final.
England's quarterfinal showdown with Colombia, which they won 2-1, comes in at second. This tie earned 861,000 average viewers for FOX as goals from Lauren Hemp and Alessio Russo secured the Lionesses the victory. Wrapping up the top three is Telemundo's coverage of the aforementioned clash between Spain and the Netherlands. This match brought the Spanish-language network 815,000 average viewers and a 0.5 rating.
What are this week's must-watch games?
Tottenham vs Man Utd live this Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC USA, Telemundo, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo, and Peacock
Matchday 2 of the 2023-24 Premier League campaign is here and it promises to be exciting. Two stellar games are scheduled for Saturday, the first being Manchester United's trip to Tottenham, as Ten Hag's men look to make it two wins out of two. The Red Devils struggled against Wolves in their opener but got the win nonetheless, Spurs, on the other hand, drew 2-2 with Brentford and are on the hunt for the first triumph of the campaign.
Man City vs Newcastle live this Saturday at 3 p.m. ET exclusively on Peacock
The other exciting Premier League tie is Manchester City's home clash with Newcastle as the defending champions look to send an early message to their rivals. Unfortunately, Haaland and Co. enter this tie on the back of their tiring victory over Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup. The Magpies, on the other hand, last played over the weekend when they thrashed Aston Villa 5-1 and will be full of energy when they visit the Etihad Stadium.
Nashville vs Inter Miami in the Leagues Cup final live this Saturday at 9 p.m. ET on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, TUDN USA, Univision USA, ViX, TUDN App, Univision NOW, and TUDN.com
Will Lionel Messi captain Inter Miami to silverware in only his seventh game for the club? This is the question on everyone's mind ahead of the Herons' Leagues Cup final showdown with Nashville. The Florida side, who are bottom of the Eastern Conference, take on fourth-placed Nashville in this tie. Tata Martino's men beat Philadelphia Union 4-1 to make it this far while the Boys in Gold overcame Monterrey 2-0 to qualify for the final. Don't miss this clash.
The 2023-24 Bundesliga season kicks off as Leverkusen vs RB Leipzig headlines Matchday 1
Two of Europe's major leagues return to action and they are the Bundesliga and Serie A. The German top flight commences their title defense with a trip to Werder Bremen while Napoli get things underway in the Italian championship with their clash with Frosinone. However, the standout tie is Leverkusen's clash with RB Leipzig, the recently-crowned DFL-Supercup champions. Both sides have made new additions to their respective squads, thus making this an intriguing fixture. Catch the action live on ESPN+.
Spain vs England in the FIFA Women's World Cup final live this Sunday at 6 a.m. ET on FOX Network, UNIVERSO, Telemundo, Fox Sports GO, Fox Sports App, Foxsports.com, Telemundo Deportes En Vivo, Peacock, and UNIVERSO NOW
From one final to another, the first Sunday fixture to make this list is the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup finale. Spain take on England in the ultimate game as both nations fight to win this competition for the first time in history. La Roja overcame Sweden in the semifinals while the Lionesses beat co-hosts Australia 3-1 thanks to a Lauren Hemp masterclass. The return of Laure James from suspension makes things interesting for the UEFA Women's Euro champions in what should be a thrilling end to this brilliant edition of the Women's World Cup.
Biggest stories of the week
Premier League ace agrees terms to join Cristiano Ronaldo's Al Nassr
It has been a busy summer for Saudi Arabian teams in their search for talent from European clubs, and by the looks of it, it will not stop until the very end of the transfer window.
Reports from England revealed how one of the most talented defenders in the Premier League is set to leave the top European league to join the Saudi top flight. To make it even more interesting, the player in question would join Cristiano Ronaldo's club.
The player in question is Aymeric Laporte, who won the treble with Manchester City last season and just won the UEFA Super Cup with Pep Guardiola's team on Wednesday. Sources close to the player and the club revealed that Laporte, who fell down Pep's pecking order, would be open to joining the Saudi Arabian side.
Laporte arrived at Manchester City in 2018 after the club paid Athletic over $65M. Now, the club would be willing to let the footballer leave since he is not one of Guardiola's regular starters. In that light, Laporte would also be keen on this switch to try and earn playing time prior to the upcoming international break.
Added to Ronaldo, Laporte would also join Sadio Mané and Marcelo Brozovic as Al Nassr's summer signings, but only time will tell if the French-born footballer adds his name to the list of players that made the trip to play in Saudi Arabia.
Speaking of Saudi Arabia…
PSG star Neymar completes shock move to Saudi Pro League giants Al Hilal
Another superstar is set to leave Europe for the Saudi Pro League.
And this time, it is one of the biggest names in football over the past decade. That man is Neymar, with the Brazilian sensation agreeing to join Saudi giants Al Hilal this summer.
According to CBS Sports, Al-Za'eem will cough up a whopping $98M for the Selecao sensation, which is more than double the initial $47M they intended on paying for the 31-year-old.
Furthermore, the former Santos prodigy will pocket roughly $219M per year in total during his stay in Riyadh, which would put him in the same region as Cristiano Ronaldo in terms of earnings.
Neymar was initially holding out on a move to another European club, with the attacker eyeing a return to Barcelona. However, nothing materialized for the winger.
PSG, meanwhile, will be happy with this deal as it was not only the player who wanted out. The French champions were keen on getting Neymar's wages off the book and had informed him that he was not part of their plans under Luis Enrique.
Al Hilal, on the other hand, paid more than they would have preferred but have finally landed the marquee signing they were yearning for. The Saudi Pro League's most successful club missed out on Lionel Messi, who opted to join Inter Miami, and had their one-year offer for Kylian Mbappe rejected.
The league's broadcasters, particularly DAZN and Fox, will celebrate this deal as well after securing broadcasting rights for the Saudi top flight.
Fox will bring English and Spanish coverage to the United States via Fox Sports and Fox Deportes, as per Sport Business. DAZN, meanwhile, will stream three league games per week for the next two seasons for audiences in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Belgium, and Canada.
Pep Guardiola makes history by leading Man City to Super Cup title
Once again, Pep Guardiola keeps re-writing history books when it comes to titles for a single coach, and luckily for him, most of the records are already under his name.
The former Barcelona and Bayern boss has extended his legacy from the dugout, winning one more title with Manchester City after beating a tough Sevilla side in the UEFA Super Cup.
If winning was not enough for Guardiola, the Catalan boss has also added a couple more records to his resume, added to those he has already accomplished with the English side.
The first of those records has to do with his ability to turn teams into serial winners. Wherever Pep has gone, he has been able to win continental titles, and this is a milestone no one in Europe shares with him after today. He is now the first and only manager to win the UEFA Super Cup with three different teams following similar success at Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
To top it all, his contribution to the game has seen him matching the tally of one of the best coaches in history, moving level with Carlo Ancelotti as the manager with the most UEFA Super Cup titles (4).
Guardiola and his team may have missed out on winning all six titles they were aiming to win, but their chances of success will always be good as long as they have Pep at the helm.
Messi makes history with long-distance golazo vs Philadelphia
If there were any goalscoring records for Lionel Messi to accomplish, he will surely do so after joining Inter Miami.
Once again, the Argentine found the back of the net with Inter Miami, raising his tally in the 2023 Leagues Cup to nine goals, while also leading his new team to their first-ever title match.
Messi followed up an effort by Josef Martínez to give Miami a two-goal lead inside the first 20 minutes. Jordi Alba and David Ruiz added a couple of goals to seal the deal for the Herons, but the real standout goal came when "La Pulga" found the back of the net far away from the box.
The South American striker displayed his speed to get rid of one of Philly's defenders, and once he found the necessary space, he drilled his shot past André Blake.
This goal by Messi secured one more record in his illustrious career, as he hit the back of the net with a shot that was 32.1 meters away from the goal line. His previous record, according to stats specialist Mister Chip, took place back in 2018 against Real Sociedad.
Now, the Argentine will try to add one more title to his impressive resume on Saturday, the day when Inter Miami are scheduled to play the Leagues Cup final against Nashville.
Chelsea beat Liverpool to another EPL midfielder despite already completing record $146M deal for Moises Caicedo
Liverpool might have picked up a point at Stamford Bridge over the weekend but the London giants have handed Jurgen Klopp's side a double blow in the transfer window since.
The first victory is no secret. The Blues beat the Merseyside giants to the signature of Moises Caicedo, with Pochettino's side completing a British record £115M ($146M) deal for the Ecuadorian.
Liverpool had initially agreed a £110M deal with Brighton for the midfielder, with Klopp even admitting to this during his pre-match press conference for the Stamford Bridge trip. However, the player was adamant about one thing — he only wanted a move to Chelsea and turned down a transfer to Anfield. Caicedo has agreed to an eight-year deal with the option for a ninth while Brighton get a sell-on clause for the South American.
And sadly for Liverpool, it did not stop there. Romeo Lavia was the Reds' initial target for the defensive midfield role but Chelsea have since joined – and won – that race as well.
This is according to the Athletic, with the reliable David Ornstein revealing that the teenager has followed in the footsteps of Caicedo and snubbed Anfield for a move to West London.
It should be noted that a deal has not yet been reached with Southampton, the 19-year-old's current club. However, a fee worth £50M ($63M) plus add-ons is expected from Todd Boehly and Co. and that should get this over the line.
Chelsea were initially pursuing Tyler Adams but Pochettino's side abandoned the pursuit of Leeds' USMNT midfielder and pivoted towards the Belgian. Liverpool are aware of the player's decision and will have to return to the drawing board to find a replacement for Fabinho.
The Reds' desperation was on full view at Stamford Bridge as Alexis Mac Allister was forced to play as the no.6. While Salah and Co. did not lose that game, they struggled in the midfield battle and were often played through like a knife through butter. It remains unknown who the Merseyside giants will target next.
Both clubs will be in action in the Premier League next weekend, with Chelsea locking horns with rivals West Ham while Liverpool will welcome Bournemouth in their first home game of the campaign. The English top flight will be aired in the USA via NBC across NBCUniversal's family of networks, including NBC Sports, USA Network, Telemundo, Universo, and Peacock.
USWNT boss Vlatko Andonovski quits following team's horrific World Cup display
It was bound to happen at some point.
USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski has decided to resign from his post following the team's dismal showing at the World Cup. The Stars and Stripes, who were hoping to complete a historic "three-peat" after winning it in 2015 and 2019, were dumped out of the round of 16 by Sweden on penalties. That marks the first time in tournament history that the USWNT exited at that stage, and many fans and pundits had made their frustration well known, both with the team and its manager.
It was a very dismal showing overall for Team USA, who failed really to ignite in the group stages and picked up just five points. That was the lowest ever tallied by the world's number one national team in any World Cup, with their drab scoreless draw against debutants Portugal earning the players and their manager a lot of ire from observers in the USA.
As a result of finishing as runners-up in their group, the USWNT had to face Sweden, while the Netherlands, who finished as winners, were paired with minnows South Africa.
The USWNT will be next in action in September for a series of friendlies, while some sources claim that Andonovoski's assistant, Twila Kilgore, could be appointed in his stead as they will need to search for a more permanent replacement. Some rumors claim that current England boss Sarina Wiegman, who led the Lionesses to the 2022 Women's EURO title and is on the cusp of potentially winning this year's World Cup, is high on the list of candidates the USA's soccer federation are keen on.
Other key headlines from the world of soccer
Barcelona continue reshuffle by appointing Deco as sports director
Barcelona on Wednesday announced that former player Deco was taking over as sporting director.
The 45-year-old Brazilian-born Portuguese international midfielder has signed a three-year contract.
"Deco will be in charge of setting FC Barcelona's sporting philosophy and putting together the squad with the coach and the coaching and becoming head of the football section," the club said in their announcement.
Deco first joined Barcelona from Benfica in 2004 and won La Liga twice and the Champions League in 2006 in four seasons at the club.
He then played two seasons for Chelsea before returning to Brazil and finishing his career with four seasons at Fluminense in Rio de Janeiro.
The appointment follows a reshuffle Barcelona announced in May.
The team's current director of football Mateu Alemany is leaving the club when the transfer window closes.
Miami move 'opposite' of PSG switch, says happy Messi
Lionel Messi said Thursday he has refound happiness since joining Inter Miami, describing his move to Major League Soccer as the "opposite" of his transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain.
Messi, who has scored nine goals in six appearances since joining Miami, joined the MLS club after two seasons in France with PSG.
Speaking to local media for the first time since arriving in Miami, a smiling and relaxed Messi talked positively of his life in South Florida and contrasted it with his time in the French capital.
"As I said at the time, my departure to Paris was not something I wanted, it was not something I wanted to leave Barcelona and, so to speak, it was from one day to the next," he said.
"And, well, I also had to get used to a place that was totally different from where I had been living all my life, both in terms of the city and in a sporting sense, and, well, it was difficult, but the opposite of what is happening to me now here," he said.
The seven-times Ballon d'Or winner has the chance to win his first trophy when Miami take on Nashville on Saturday in the final of the Leagues Cup.
It would also be his club's first triumph in just their third season of existence.
Matildas World Cup semi-final smashes Australia TV records
The Matildas' crushing Women's World Cup semi-final loss to England was the most watched television show in Australia on record, data showed Thursday, as their exploits captivated the nation.
A staggering 11.5 million people tuned in at some point to Wednesday's match in Sydney, which the Lionesses won 3-1, out of a population of some 25 million.
The average audience was 7.13 million.
The country's free-to-air host broadcaster Channel Seven said it was the most-watched program, sport or otherwise since the current rating system was established in 2001.
"The Matildas have rewritten the history books," said Seven's head of network sport Lewis Martin.
"Australia was captivated last night as the Matildas played their hearts out and did us all proud."
The data does not include those who watched on pay-TV broadcaster Optus Sport.
Despite their defeat, Australia still have one match left with a third-place play-off against Sweden in Brisbane on Saturday.
England face Spain in the final in Sydney on Sunday.