Happy Friday Caps fans and what a weekend we have in store for us. Not only does MLS return but we have no fewer than four international competitions on offer this weekend, meaning we here at Coffee with the Caps would not blame you one bit for barely budging from the sofa.
Now, in order to best maximize your soccer viewing (and balance it with, you know, your actual life) we have prepared the official 86 Forever Viewing Guide (TM) for this weekend’s games. Without further ado...
Egypt vs. Zimbabwe, 4 pm ET/ 1 pm PT
Every good weekend of games needs that one that you sneak a peak at every once in awhile at work and this match fits the bill perfectly. Egypt is the prohibitive favorites at home to claim this year’s African Cup of Nations and Mo Salah and Co. open their campaign against Zimbabwe. This should be a rout but AFCON can produce some funky results.
Jamaica vs. El Salvador, 7 pm ET/4 pm PT
Both teams claimed victory in their first match but that’s not the reason to watch is Leon Bailey, the Reggae Boyz’s wonderkid (by way of Leverkusen). If El Salvador can claim a result, it also would go a long way to helping see them through to the knockout stages
Germany vs. Nigeria, 11:30 AM PT/8:30 AM PT
OK so most of you might still be in bed when this one kicks off but the first of the World Cup round of 16 matches should be a good one to start off with. Germany is one of the prohibitive favorites but eased through the group stages. Meanwhile, Nigeria needed a Thailand/Chile draw in order to advance but justice was served, as the Super Falcons largely denied France in the final group stage game, aside from a controversial VAR penalty re-take. The Germans will be on high alert here.
Norway vs. Australia, 3:00 pm ET/12:00 pm PT
Sam Kerr scores when she wants at the moment and carried Australia on her back to the knockout stages. It will be worth tuning in to see if she can continue her dominant form.
Brazil vs. Peru, 3:00 pm ET/12:00 pm PT
Brazil have largely sleepwalked through the group stages, needing a controversial PK to break open the floodgates against Bolivia and limping to a 0-0 draw against Venezuela. Peru is likely an even better team than those two and will be a stiff test for the Selecao in front of what promises to be a restless home crowd.
Guinea vs. Madagascar, 4 pm ET/1 PM PT
Lass Bangoura, Naby Keita and Madagacar making its AFCON debut. What more could you ask for?
US vs. Trinidad and Tobago, 7:30 pm ET/4:30 PM PT
As a USMNT fan this is a must watch already, as the US get their first real test of the Gold Cup. But even if you’re not, this is still the match to watch. Think about it: the USMNT is perfectly capable of lol-ing this one up and, if they do, the #narrative will be off the charts. You’ll want to witness that, right?
England vs. Cameroon, 11:30 AM ET/8:30 AM PT
Another David versus Goliath match but also another Goliath which should not be taken lightly. Cameroon nabbed a late winner against New Zealand to punch their ticket to the knockout stages. England coasted through their group but did not look infallible. Canadians fans will remember Cameroon holding the CWNT to only a goal in the World Cup opener.
France vs. Brazil, 3 pm ET/12:00 pm PT
The hosts get their stiffest test yet, even though Brazil looks a shade less powerful than they usually do. Brazil can argue they were hard done in their group stage loss to Australia, which caused them to tumble all the way down to third place and setting up this matchup with France.
Columbus Crew vs. Sporting Kansas City, 5:30 PM ET/2:30 PM PT
Both teams need a win here and should be playing with a corresponding level of desperation. But I really put this on here as a bridge between the World Cup and the Gold Cup matches later on in the evening.
Canada vs. Cuba, 6:00 PM ET/3:00 PM PT, Mexico vs. Martinique, 8:00 PM ET, 5:00 PM PT
These games will obviously decide whether Canada will move into the knockout stages and, barring catastrophe, they should be able to do so with little problem. Cuba capitulated late against Martinique and have nothing to play for in the final group stage game. Meanwhile, Canada rested some key players against Mexico to ensure they remain sharp. Mexico should have little problem with Martinique but the Caribbean side is capable of pulling an upset.
Now how about some links, eh?
Shameless Self Promotion
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