Well, it's on now. Just about every major European league is going this weekend -- England, Germany, Spain, Italy, France. And, if you want to take it all in, you're gonna need a pretty decent cable package. If you've got that, the world of soccer awaits you.
How can you watch it all? Well, you'll need the basics to start: ESPN, Fox Soccer Channel and the NBC Sports Network. For the deeper cuts you'll need GolTV (available on most Kansas City cable and satellite providers) and beIN Sport (available on Dish and DirecTV right now). And, if you really want to take it all in this weekend, you'll need a few Spanish-language channels (Telefutura, Galavision, Univision) and a really good internet connection (ESPN3.com is really great).
Here are the five games I'd circle on the calendar this weekend (in chronological order).
1. Borussia Dortmund vs. Werder Bremen, 1:30 p.m. today, GolTV
The reigning Bundesliga champs kick off the season against Bremen. Dortmund is perhaps the most entertaining team to watch outside of England or Spain.
2. Swansea City vs. West Ham United, 6:45 a.m. Saturday, ESPN2 (Deportes/ESPN3.com
There are a few games I could pick from England on Saturday, but you should really give the Swans a watch now. Swansea trashed QPR last weekend 5-0 and play really attractive soccer. Swans midfielder Michu is definitely one to watch.
3. Juventus vs. Parma, 1:45 p.m. Saturday, beIN Sport
Serie A was rocked by a(nother) match-fixing scandal that could pose a very serious threat to Juventus' title defense (manager Antonio Conte is banned for 10 months). Something tells me that Italy is going to be very, very interesting this year.
BeIN Sport (owned by Al Jazeera) appear to have procured the rights to La Liga and Serie A.
4. Liverpool vs. Manchester City, 10 a.m. Sunday, Fox Soccer Channel
Does this match even need a preview? No. If you follow English soccer, you're already watching this game.
5. Los Angeles Galaxy vs. FC Dallas, 6 p.m. Sunday, NBC Sports Network
Sure, there's a much more interesting game about two hours after this game, but we usually give Sporting Kansas City matches a bit more expansive coverage. But this MLS match featuring two of the hottest teams in the league should be worth DVR-ing if you're heading out Livestrong Sporting Park.
Other matches worth tracking: Chelsea vs. Newcastle (11:30 a.m. Saturday, FSC) and PSG vs. Bordeaux (2 p.m. Sunday, beIN Sport)