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Best Bets Sept. 14/15: What to watch, where to go

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 14

  • TELEVISION

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Manchester United (England) at Benfica (Portugal)

Fox Soccer Channel, 11:30 a.m.

The English champs are aiming for another title-game appearance in the world's foremost club championship, although they're hoping for a different ending this season. The Red Devils open the competition against their primary opposition in Group C. Replays: Fox Soccer Plus, 2 p.m. and 1 a.m.; Fox Deportes, 2 p.m.

Also

Olympique Marseille (France) at Olympiakos (Greece), Fox Soccer Channel, 6 a.m.

Napoli (Italy) at Manchester City (England), Fox Soccer Plus, 11:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.; Fox Soccer Channel, 2 p.m. and 1 a.m.; Fox Deportes, 4 p.m.

Real Madrid (Spain) at Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia), Fox Deportes, 11:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.; Fox Soccer Plus, 9 p.m.; Fox Soccer Channel, 11 p.m.

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER

Houston Dynamo at Columbus Crew

MLS Direct Kick, 4:30 p.m.

Eastern Conference leader Columbus can't stop anyone at the moment -- its last two foes have fired in 10 goals. Houston's postseason chances weren't aided by a 3-0 disappointment Saturday in Kansas City.

CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Tauro (Panama) at FC Dallas

Fox Soccer Channel, 5 p.m.

The Hoops are going through a rough patch in Major League Soccer but posted 1-0 wins in its first two Group C matches to vault atop the standings. Winning at home is critical in the region's club championship.

Also

Toronto FC (Canada) at Pumas UNAM (Mexico), Telefutura (KFTR/Channel 46), 5 p.m.

Seattle Sounders at Herediano (Costa Rica), Fox Soccer Channel, 7 p.m.

Monterrey (Mexico) at Comunicaciones (Guatemala), Telefutura (KFTR/Channel 46), 7 p.m.

Copa Sudamericana

Trujillanos (Venezuela) at Liga de Quito (Ecuador), Fox Deportes, 7 a.m.

INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY

Brazil at Argentina

ESPN Deportes, 5:50 p.m.

South America's big boys get together in Cordoba for the first of two friendlies two weeks apart. It's not a FIFA date, so the names everybody knows won't be around, but blooding players for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers is important, too.

MEXICAN PRIMERA DIVISION

San Luis at America

Galavision, 6:30 p.m.

The Aguilas, whether or not they want to admit it, are in crisis, with two successive shutout losses and just one win in their last six league games. They sit 16th in the standings, and that's the kind of number that could soon spell the end of Carlos Reinoso's tenure as manager.

Colombian Liga Postobon

Cartagena at Independiente Medellin, GolTV, 6 p.m. and midnight

  • ON LOCAL FIELDS

COLLEGE MEN

Pomona-Pitzer at Redlands

Farquhar Fields (Redlands), 7 p.m.

The Bulldogs, with former Galaxy coach Ralph Perez at the commands, shared last year's Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Association regular-season title. They open conference play at home.

Also

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at Cal Lutheran (Thousand Oaks), 4 p.m.

Occidental at Caltech (Pasadena), 4 p.m.

Concordia at Soka (Aliso Viejo), 5 p.m.

Whittier vs. La Verne at Damien High School (La Verne), 7 p.m.

COLLEGE WOMEN

Cal Lutheran at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps

Pritzlaff Field (Claremont), 7 p.m.

Two of the SCIAC's best programs tangle in a conference opener.

Also

Dixie State (Utah) at Cal Baptist (Riverside), 3 p.m.

Redlands at Pomona-Pitzer (Claremont), 4 p.m.

Chapman at Occidental (Eagle Rock), 5 p.m.

La Verne at Whittier, 7 p.m.

THURSDAY, SEPT. 15

  • TELEVISION

UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE

Celtic (Scotland) at Atletico Madrid (Spain)

GolTV, noon

The Spaniards won Europe's No. 2 club competition the season before last, and they're huge favorites, of course, in this Group I opener. Celtic is just happy to be here. The Glasgow giant was eliminated in the playoff round by FC Sion, but UEFA tossed the Swiss club for using ineligible players, and the appeal was denied Tuesday.

Also

Red Bull Salzburg (Austria) at Paris Saint-Germain (France), 10 a.m.

UEFA Champions League

Bayern Munich (Germany) at Villarreal (Spain), Fox Soccer Channel, 11 a.m.; Fox Soccer Plus, 6 p.m.

Trabzonspor (Turkey) at Inter Milan (Italy), Fox Soccer Channel, 1 p.m.

COPA SUDAMERICANA

Emelec (Ecuador) at Olimpia (Paraguay)

Fox Deportes, 4 p.m.

The start of a second-stage home-and-home between midlevel South American powers. Olimpia, which overcame a first-leg deficit against Bolivia's The Strongest, counts 38 Paraguayan titles and three in Copa Libertadores, South America's club championship. The Ecuadorans don't have quite the history -- just 10 national crowns and none in South America -- but are the higher seed.

Also

Deportivo Anzoategui (Venezuela) at Universitario (Peru), Fox Deportes, 8 a.m.

Deportivo Cali (Colombia) at Santa Fe (Colombia), Fox Deportes, 6:30 p.m.

Universidad Catolica (Chile) at Deportivo Iquique (Chile), Fox Deportes, 11 p.m.

COLLEGE WOMEN

Stanford at Portland

Fox Soccer Channel, 7 p.m.

The second-ranked Cardinal are looking for their third successive NCAA title-game appearance this fall -- and their first national title in the sport. Portland, which has won two NCAA crowns, is looking to bounce back from an uncharacteristic slow start.

  • ON LOCAL FIELDS

COLLEGE MEN

Biola at La Sierra

La Sierra Soccer Field (Riverside), 7 p.m.

The Golden Eagles have taken a big step forward in their second season, winning four of their first five games -- and they're picking up votes in the national NAIA poll. No. 14 Biola offers a stern test.

Also

Arizona Christian at The Master's (Santa Clarita), 4:30 p.m.