Week's Best in Soccer

COPA LIBERTADORES: While we wait for Europe's big finals (Bayern Munich vs. Inter Milan on May 22, Fulham vs. Atletico Madrid on May 12), we can catch semifinal replays on Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Sports en Español – check your TV schedules – or we can turn our attention to South America's club championship. Second-leg round-of-16 matches are this week, quarterfinals will be played the next two weeks, and then there's a break until the World Cup is over for the quarters, semis and final. Guadalajara is in decent shape (following a 3-0 first-leg win) as it heads to Buenos Aires to meet Velez Sarsfield. Mexico's other remaining entrant, San Luis, must overcome a 1-0 deficit at defending champion Estudiantes de La Plata. All eight second legs will be televised here, one of them delayed a day.


Universitario (Brazil) at Sao Paulo (Brazil). TV: Fox Sports en Español, 3:30 p.m.

Guadalajara (Mexico) at Velez Sarsfield (Argentina). TV: Fox Sports en Español, 5:30 p.m. (replay, 9:30 p.m.)


San Luis (Mexico) at Estudiantes de La Plata (Argentina). TV: Fox Sports en Español, 3:30 p.m. (replay, 9:30 p.m.)

Flamengo (Brazil) at Corinthians (Brazil). TV: Fox Sports en Español, 5:30 p.m.

Cruzeiro (Brazil) at Nacional (Uruguay). TV: Fox Sports en Español, delayed, Thursday, 1 p.m.


Banfield (Argentina) at Internacional (Brazil). TV: Fox Sports en Español, 3:30 p.m.

Alianza Lima (Peru) at Universidad de Chile (Chile). TV: Fox Sports en Español, 6 p.m.

Once Caldas (Colombia) at Libertad (Paraguay). TV: Fox Sports en Español, delayed, 9:30 p.m.

EUROPEAN DECIDERS: Lots going on in Europe, of course. Chelsea will win the English Premier League win a win Sunday, and Bayern Munich undoubtedly will finish off its German Bundesliga chase Saturday. Two games remain in Italy's Serie A, in which Inter Milan holds a two-point lead on AS Roma. Barcelona has the edge on Real Madrid with three games to go in Spain's La Liga, and it looks like nobody's going to catch Olympique Marseille in France. But the real drama isn't about who's going to win which championship, it's the battles for spots in Europe, in next year's UEFA Champions and Europa Leagues. Let's look at England. The top three clubs – Chelsea, Manchester United and almost certainly Arsenal – will head to the Champions League. The fourth-place club, currently Tottenham, will go into the Champions League's qualifying phase. And Nos. 5-8 (Manchester City, Aston Villa and Liverpool, as it stands) are Europa League-bound. Man City trails Tottenham (or Spurs, if you prefer) by a point, and they face off Wednesday in one of the two biggest match on this week's European docket. The other: Wednesday's Coppa Italia final between Inter and Roma.


France: Auxerre at Lyon. TV: TBA, 10 a.m.

Coppa Italia final: Inter Milan at AS Roma. TV: GOLTV, 11:30 a.m.

England: Tottenham at Manchester City. TV: ESPN2, 11:55 a.m.

Spain: Real Madrid at Mallorca. TV: ESPN Deportes, 11:55 a.m. (replay, 6 p.m.)

France: Stade Rennes at Olympique Marseille. TV: TBA, noon.


Germany: Bayern Munich at Hertha Berlin. TV: ESPN Deportes, 6:25 a.m.

Germany: Schalke 04 at FSV Mainz 05. TV: ESPN Deportes, delayed, 8:30 a.m.

France: Olympique Marseille at Lille. TV: TBA, noon.


Italy: Cagliari at AS Roma. TV: TBA, 6 a.m.

Italy: Chievo Verona at Inter Milan. TV: TBA, 6 a.m.

Italy: Sampdoria at Palermo. TV: TBA, 6 a.m.

England: Wigan at Chelsea. TV: TBA, 8 a.m.

England: Fulham at Arsenal. TV: TBA, 8 a.m.

England: Stoke City at Manchester United. TV: TBA, 8 a.m.

Spain: Athletic Bilbao at Real Madrid. TV: TBA, 8 a.m.

Spain: Barcelona at Sevilla. TV: TBA, 8 a.m.

Spain: Valencia at Villarreal. TV: TBA, 8 a.m.

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER: The Galaxy and Chivas USA play what they call in Mexico a “doble jornada” – two games in one week. Both are on the road Wednesday, and Chivas comes home for a rematch Saturday night at Home Depot Center with perennial power Houston Dynamo, which embarrassed the Goats a couple of weeks ago in Texas. In all, 11 MLS games this week, and the two that entice us the most is the Galaxy's return on Saturday to Seattle (where it lost last year's MLS Cup final) and New York's visit to San Jose, also Saturday. The best of the bunch:


Kansas City at D.C. United. TV: ESPN2/ESPN Deportes, 4 p.m.

Chivas USA at Houston. TV: FSN Prime Ticket, 4:30 p.m.

Galaxy at Colorado. TV: FSN West, delayed, 8 p.m.


Galaxy at Seattle. TV: FSN West/TeleFutura (KFTR/Channel 46), 1 p.m.

New England at Columbus. TV: Fox Soccer Channel, 4 p.m. (replay, midnight); Fox Sports en Español, 4 p.m.

New York at San Jose. TV: MLS Direct Kick, 7 p.m.

Houston at Chivas USA, Home Depot Center, 7:30 p.m. TV: KDOC/Channel 56, 7:30 p.m.

PREMIER DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE: All six So Cal sides in the USL's Premier Development League – the fourth tier of American men’s soccer – are again in action, all at local schools. We're most looking forward to Thursday's encounter.


Southern California Seahorses at L.A. Legends, Salesian High School (Los Angeles). TV: None.


Hollywood United Hitmen at Lancaster Rattlers, Antelope Valley High School (Lancaster), 5 p.m.

BYU Cougars at Orange County Blue Star, Concordia University (Irvine), 5 p.m.

Fresno Fuego at L.A. Legends, Crenshaw High School (Los Angeles), 5:30 p.m.

Ogden Outlaws at Ventura County Fusion, Buena High School (Ventura), 7 p.m.

ROAD TO SOUTH AFRICA: Mexico's preparations for next month's World Cup start turn intense with a pair of games on American soil. Its opponents Friday and next Monday are meant to aid in its studies of host South Africa, which El Tricolores will meet in the June 11 tournament opener in Johannesburg, and Uruguay, the foe on June 22 in Rustenburg.


Mexico vs. Ecuador at East Rutherford, N.J. TV: Telemundo (KVEA/Channel 52), 6 p.m.


Mexico vs. Senegal at Chicago. TV: Telemundo (KVEA/Channel 52), 6 p.m.

MEXICAN PLAYOFFS: Three of the four higher seeds for the Clausura (or “Bicentenario”) quarterfinals in Mexico's Primera Division lost in away legs last weekend. Now they're all home for the decisive second legs. Can Monterrey overcome a 1-0 deficit to Pachuca? Can Chivas somehow bounce back from the 4-2 loss at Morelia? Can Pumas' defense regain form after a 2-0 loss to Santos? And can America make its 1-1 draw at home mean something at Toluca? All four are on local TV, of course.


Pachuca at Monterrey. TV: Telemundo (KVEA/Channel 52), 3:55 p.m.

Morelia at Guadalajara. TV: Telemundo (KVEA/Channel 52), 5:55 p.m.


Club America at Toluca. TV: Telemundo (KVEA/Channel 52), 10 a.m.

Santos at Pumas UNAM. TV: Telemundo (KVEA/Channel 52), 3 p.m.

WOMEN'S PRO SOCCER: Will the expansion Atlanta Beat ever win a game? Sure they will, and what would be better than beating defending champion Sky Blue FC for your first win? Unlikely, but anything's possible in this sport.


Sky Blue FC at Atlanta. TV: Fox Soccer Channel, 4 p.m.

All times PDT