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Best Bets: What to watch, where to go

FRIDAY, JUNE 24

  • TELEVISION

FIFA U-17 WORLD CUP

Netherlands at Mexico

Galavision, 4 p.m.

El Tri thrilled the home fans by clinching a round-of-16 berth by beating North Korea and Congo in their first two Group A matches. Only the Oranje stands between Mexico and a perfect group stage.

USL PRO

Charleston Battery at Wilmington Hammerheads

Fox Soccer Channel, 5 p.m.

There's a fierce battle going on in the American Division, with all six teams -- none of them below .500 -- battling for the top spot and four playoff berths. These Carolina sides are right on the dividing line. Replay: Midnight

  • ON LOCAL FIELDS

USL PRO

Harrisburg City Islanders at L.A. Blues

Centennial High School (Corona), 7:30 p.m.

The Blues return to league play after a month off, and their lead in the National Division has disappeared while they've been gone. The City Islanders have pulled even on points and look to climb into second place -- and perhaps overtake first-place Rochester -- in two meetings this weekend with L.A. (The second is Sunday at Cal State Fullerton.)

SATURDAY, JUNE 25

  • TELEVISION

UEFA U-21 CHAMPIONSHIP

Spain vs. Switzerland

ESPNU and ESPN Deportes, 11:30 a.m.

The Spaniards, led by Deportivo La Coruña forward Adrian's five goals in four games, look to add Europe's youth title to the championship won three years ago by their big boys, but the balanced Swiss have beaten every team they've faced. Both sides are headed to next year's London Olympics, along with the winner of the early game (listed below).

Also

Olympic playoff: Belarus vs. Czech Republic, ESPN Deportes, 5:55 a.m.

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER

Galaxy at San Jose Earthquakes

Fox Soccer Channel, 3:30 p.m.

The Galaxy's biggest rival before Chivas USA's arrival still brings the heat when L.A. comes to town. There's a lot of history here, but Quakes fans still haven't forgiven Landon Donovan -- who's with the U.S. at the Gold Cup -- for abandoning them for L.A. a half-dozen years ago. Replay: 9 p.m.

FIFA U-17 WORLD CUP

United States vs. New Zealand

ESPNU and Galavision, 4 p.m.

Group play wraps up with a must-win encounter, for both teams, although a draw would be enough to get both through if the other Group D game also ends on even terms. The U.S. looked great in beating the Czechs, not so much so in losing to Uzbekistan, and will need to find its form to topple a solid Kiwi side.

Also

England vs. Uruguay, Galavision, 1 p.m.

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER

Chivas USA at Philadelphia Union

Prime Ticket, 5 p.m.

The Goats are going through a lot of ups and downs, which is how things go when you're building from scratch, as Robin Fraser and his staff are doing. The Union, with Orange's Danny Califf in a key role, have been superb defensively and are making progress on attack, but they're 0-1-3 with just two goals this month. Replay: 11 p.m.

Also

Houston Dynamo at D.C. United, TeleFutura (KFTR/Channel 46), 3 p.m.

Portland Timbers at FC Dallas, MLS Direct Kick, 5:30 p.m.

Vancouver Whitecaps at Sporting Kansas City, MLS Direct Kick, 5:30 p.m.

Toronto FC at Real Salt Lake, MLS Direct Kick, 6 p.m.

Brazilian Brasileirão Petrobras

Atletico Mineiro at Flamengo, GolTV, 2:30 and 9 p.m.

CONCACAF GOLD CUP

Mexico at United States

Fox Soccer Channel and Univision (KMEX/Channel 34), 6 p.m.

Mexico (led by Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez) has won in three of four meetings with its archrival in a Gold Cup final and captured the trophy in half of the 10 championships since the move to the current format 20 years ago. The U.S. (with Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey in charge), playing in a record fourth successive title game, has four crowns.

International friendly

Senegal at Colombia, ESPN Deportes, 2 p.m.

  • ON LOCAL FIELDS

CONCACAF GOLD CUP

Mexico at United States

Rose Bowl (Pasadena), 6 p.m.

It's the biggest game of the year in L.A., and that's underselling it. Some 90,000 fans (yes, already a sellout), most decked out in green El Tri jerseys, converge on the Arroyo Seco for the title game -- the first meeting of these archrivals in Southern California since October 2000, -- and a berth in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup is up for grabs.

TV: Fox Soccer Channel and Univision (KMEX/Channel 34)

NATIONAL PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE

San Diego Flash at FC Hasental

Oxnard College, 6 p.m.

Thousand Oaks' Hasental had won four in a row before a stoppage-time strike in the Antelope Valley lifted Rattlers FC in last weekend's clash. The Flash have lost just once on the field -- and twice by forfeit -- and will be difficult to slow down.

Also

San Diego Boca at Rattlers FC, Palmdale High School, 5 p.m.

USL Premier Development League

L.A. Blues 23 at Southern California Seahorses, Biola University (La Mirada), 7 p.m.

WOMEN'S PREMIER SOCCER LEAGUE

San Diego SeaLions at Orange County Waves

Orange Coast College (Costa Mesa), 6 p.m.

The Waves rallied from a two-goal deficit and won on Katrin Omarsdottir's stoppage-time penalty kick when the Pacific-South Division's top two teams met last week in San Diego. The rematch could determine the divisional title.

Also

L.A. Premier FC at Los Al Vikings, Long Beach City College, 11 a.m.

Ajax America at Claremont Stars, Claremont High School, 7 p.m.