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May 4/5: What to watch, where to go

FRIDAY, MAY 4

  • TELEVISION

ENGLISH CHAMPIONSHIP

Birmingham City at Blackpool

Fox Soccer Plus, 11:40 a.m.

Only one point separated fifth-place Birmingham and sixth-place Blackpool in the table, and the surging Blues are a decent bet to return to the EPL after one season in the second tier, riding a nine-game unbeaten streak culminating in a victory over Championship champion Reading. They're the No. 2 seed in the the four-team playoff for the third promotion slot to the top league. Big guns: Marlon King (16 goals and 10 assists) and Chris Burke (13 goals and 16 assists).

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER

Chicago Fire at Chivas USA

ESPN Deportes, 8 p.m.

Chivas USA is playing decent soccer, but they're not scoring goals -- just four in eight games, none in the last 239 minutes (after starting the season with just one in the first 407). Good thing the Goats play defense, although they will be tested by Chicago's speedy Dominic Oduro and Patrick Nyarko.

  • ON LOCAL FIELDS

USASA REGION IV CHAMPIONSHIP

Doxa Italia vs. Cal FC

Ontario Soccer Park, 1 p.m.

Manhattan Beach's Doxa won the title last year. Cal FC looks like then big challenger, with Eric Wynalda bringing in some familiar names. The winner of each group in the three-day, eight-club event advances to the U.S. Open Cup.

Also

EP Elite vs. The Internationalist, 1 p.m.

OC Crew vs. Pittsburg Galaxy, 3 p.m.

PSA Elite vs. DV8 Defenders, 3 p.m.

USL PREMIER DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE

Pali Blues at Orange County Blue Star

Concordia University (Irvine), 5 p.m.

Longtime PDL power Blue Star, the team Jurgen Klinsmann once played for, opens its Southwest Division slate against the L.A. Blues' second club, now focused on development (and using college players) rather than as a farm side for the big team. It's the model Blue Star has used to create dozens of pros.

USL PRO

Wilmington Hammerheads at L.A. Blues

Fullerton College, 5 p.m.

The Blues look to bounce back from losses in their first two USL Pro home games, taking on a North Carolina club loaded with players from So Cal. Admission is free after a shift of venues because of a scheduling conflict at Cal State Fullerton.

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER

Chicago Fire at Chivas USA

Home Depot Center (Carson), 8 p.m.

The Goats have lost all four home games, all by 1-0 scorelines. Might a fifth such result endanger Robin Fraser's tenure. You wouldn't think so, but the foundation of success in this sport: win your home games.

TV: ESPN Deportes.

SATURDAY, MAY 5

  • TELEVISION

ENGLISH F..A. CUP

Liverpool vs. Chelsea

Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Deportes, 9 a.m.

The biggest day on the English sporting calendar: Soccer's oldest competition is renewed at Wembley, with London's Chelsea -- winner of three of the past five trophies. Replay: FSC, 5 p.m.

Semifinals

Liverpool vs. Everton, Fox Deportes, 5 a.m.

Tottenham vs. Chelsea, Fox Deportes, 7 a.m.

English Premier League

Norwich City at Arsenal, ESPN2, 4:30 a.m.; ESPN Deportes, 4:40 a.m.

Scottish Premier League

Motherwell at Rangers, Fox Soccer Plus, 4:40 a.m. and 9 p.m.

SPANISH LA LIGA

Malaga at Atletico Madrid

ESPN Deportes, 2 p.m.

Real Madrid clinched the league title Wednesday, so the real intrigue is about European berths for next season. Malaga is in fourth place, which is rewarded with a Champions League qualifying spot, and it's three points clear with two games to go. Atletico is sixth, which leads to the Europa League, and there are five teams battling for two berths.

Also

Espanyol at Barcelona, Fox Deportes, 11:50 a.m.

Real Madrid at Granada, GolTV, noon, 4 p.m. and midnight

German Bundesliga

Bayern Munich at Cologne, GolTV, 6:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Borussia Mönchengladbach at Mainz 05, GolTV, 8:30 a.m. and 10 p.m.

Schalke 04 at Werder Bremen, ESPN Deportes, 9 a.m.

Italian Serie A

Fiorentina at Lecce, Fox Soccer Plus, 8:55 a.m. and 1 a.m.

Catania at AS Roma, Fox Soccer Channel, 11:30 a.m. and 8 p.m.

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER

San Jose Earthquakes at Vancouver Whitecaps

MLS Direct Kick, 4 p.m.

The Quakes are on a seven-game unbeaten streak and have scored 19 in that span, behind MLS goals leader Chris Wondolowski and Yorba Linda's Steven Lenhart, who has two in each of the last two games. The 'Caps, at 4-2-2, are Canada's top team.

Also

Philadelphia Union at Seattle Sounders, NBC Sports Network, 1:30 p.m.

D.C. United at Toronto FC, MLS Direct Kick, 1:30 p.m.

New York Red Bulls at Galaxy, ESPN and ESPN Deportes, 5 p.m.

New England Revolution at Real Salt Lake, MLS Direct Kick, 5 p.m.

Montreal Impact at Sporting Kansas City, MLS Direct Kick, 5:30 p.m.

Columbus Crew at Portland Timbers, MLS Direct Kick, 7:30 p.m.

MEXICAN PRIMERA DIVISION

Pachuca at America

Telefutura (KFTR/Channel 46), 3:55 p.m.

Christian “Hobbit” Bermudez scored two goals as America, seeking its first title in seven years, opened the postseason with a 3-1 first-leg win. Hold onto the advantage at Azteca and the Aguilas are in the final four.

Also

Club Tijuana at Monterrey, Univision Deportes, 5:55 p.m.

Argentine Primera B Nacional

Gimnasia y Esgrima de Jujuy at River Plate, GolTV, 2 and 8 p.m.

  • ON LOCAL FIELDS

USASA REGION IV CHAMPIONSHIP

OC Crew vs. PSA Elite

Ontario Soccer Park, 5 p.m.

Irvine's competitors face off in the Group B finale, which could determine a U.S. Open Cup berth. Two are up for grabs, and all eight clubs in the U.S. Adult Soccer Association tournament must grind through two games this day to grab them.

Also

The Internationalist vs. Doxa Italia, 8 a.m.

Cal FC vs. EP Elite, 8 a.m.

Pittsburg Galaxy vs. PSA Elite, 10 a.m.

DV8 Defenders vs. OC Crew, 10 a.m.

The Internationalist vs. Cal FC, 3 p.m.

Doxa Italia vs. EP Elite, 3 p.m.

DV8 Defenders vs. Pittsburg Galaxy, 5 p.m.

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER

Galaxy vs. New York Red Bulls

Home Depot Center (Carson), 5 p.m.

L.A. ought to be back at full strength after sending a secondary lineup to Seattle for the midweek clash, but New York is missing a lot of important players (Thierry Henry most of all) and some maybe not so important (suspended Rafa Marquez). Juan Agudelo and Jan Gunnar Solli could return from injury for the Red Bulls.

TV: ESPN and ESPN Deportes.

USL PREMIER DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE

L.A. Misioneros at Ventura County Fusion

Ventura College, 7 p.m.

The Misioneros, coming off two losses to defending Southwest Division champion Fresno, need just one win to match last year's total, but with some of the talent they've amassed, just one isn't going to do it. The Fusion, always a title contender, open their PDL campaign.

National Premier Soccer League

Phoenix Monsoon at FC Hasental, Rolland Stadium, Cal Lutheran (Thousand Oaks), 7 p.m.