ESPN, Univision, Telemundo Maintain Futbol Fever

Sadly, the 2014 FIFA World Cup is over, but there’s no shortage of futbol for fans to enjoy on TV this weekend.

English-language World Cup rights-holder ESPN continues its “summer of soccer” with the Major League Soccer side Seattle Sounders hosting the Barclays Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, July 19 at 4 p.m. on ESPN2. Jon Champion, who made his ESPN U.S. debut in May prior to the FIFA World Cup, returns from Brazil to call the match alongside analyst Kasey Keller with reporter Monica Gonzalez.

Also Saturday, reigning MLS Cup champion Sporting Kansas City and its two U.S. men’s national team World Cup stars Matt Besler and Graham Zusi take the field against fellow USMNT member Omar Gonazlez and the LA Galaxy on ESPN 2 and ESPN Deportes at 6 p.m.

On Sunday, July 20, ESPN2 steps onto the pitch with the debut of its National Women’s Soccer League coverage with Portland Thorns vs. Boston Breakers at 5 p.m. on ESPN2. 

South of the border, Liga MX is raising the lid on its Apertura. Telemundo, which has the rights to the home matches of  León, will present the two-time league champion’s first match of the Opening Tournament against América on Saturday, July 19 at 9 p.m. Deportes Telemundo’s team of award-winning sportscasters, led by Andrés Cantor with commentators Sammy Sadovnik and Carlos Hermosillo, will cover the action from Leon Stadium.

Every week this season, Deportes Telemundo, which now holds the Spanish-language rights to FIFA fare from 2015, starting with the Women’s World Cup from Canada, through 2022, will air live Club León and Pachuca home games. Highlights will include the encounter between the two teams on August 30; León vs. Guadalajara on Oct. 18; and León vs. the UNAM Pumas August 14 on mun2.

Univision, which concluded its FIFA run with its record-setting ratings from Brazil, is also all over Liga MX's Apertura, with six matches this weekend, four on Saturday, and a pair on Sunday. Fans will have to flip back and forth between Cruz Azul and Pachuca on the flagship service and Veracruz and Santos on Univision Deportes Network at 5:55 p.m. on July 19. The 40-million subscriber cable network will then conclude matters on Saturday night with the rest of its tripleheader: Monterrey vs. Leones Negros at 7:55 p.m. and Atlas vs. Tigres at 9:55 p.m.

On Sunday, Univision and UDN will simulcast Toluca and Monarcas at 12:55 p.m.,before UDN teams with broadcaster UniMas on coverage of  Guadalajara vs. Jaguares de Chiapas at 5:55 p.m.

Univision controls the home team rights to 16 of LigaMX’s 18 clubs during both the Apertura, which extends from July through December and Clausura, the Closing Tournament, which kicks off in the winter through spring.