Thanksgiving is a time for being with people you love, eating good food, caring about those around you (related or not), and just being thankful for what you have, no matter how much and how little. In the middle of all that, it is also nice to have something to watch and distract you from it all.
In the States, American football is the default television for many people. But if you want to skip debates over what counts as a catch, endless commercials for men with “problems”, and lame commentators trying to man-up each other, there are soccer options for you. The beauty of American Thanksgiving being this date is the rest of the world doesn’t observe it. We the editors at Soccer Minnows thus present a guide to watching club soccer this Thanksgiving, 2017.
If you just can’t sleep thinking about seeing Aunt Matilda or you are baking a massive turkey, start your day off with an A-League battle between Central Coast Mariners and Perth Glory. Only five points separate the two clubs early in the season, and you can catch former Wolves forward Andy Keogh in action. Flip on ESPN3 on your streaming device at 3:50 am ET for this compelling match.
After catching a little shut-eye and packing up the food/kids/pets for a trip to your parents/friends/food bank, it’s Europa League time! The 11 AM ET kick-offs have a few interesting matches. Fox Sports 1 has Fenerbache hosting Zorya, last season’s Ukrainian Cup champion. Three other are on the Fox streaming platforms.
The 1 PM time slot has eleven matches featuring some big names. The biggest match-up in terms of name recognition is sadly on Fox Soccer Plus – Schalke hosts Nice with Nice desperately needing a victory to move up from last in the group. Fox Sports 1 has the Premier League’s Southampton traveling to the group’s first place team Sparta Praha. Serie A has two clubs in this time slot – Fiorentona hosting A.C. PAOK from Greece (ESPN3) and Inter in Israel to play Hapoel (Fox Soccer 2).
The last Europa League slot of the day is 3:05 PM ET and has no games on Fox Sports 1. ESPN3 has Athletic Bilbao (Spain) hosting Sassuolo (Serie A) and Olympiakos (Greece) versus Young Boys (Switzerland). Viktoria Plzen travels to Rome to try to pull the upset on Fox Soccer Plus. And, oh yeah, some team from Manchester takes on Feyenoord (1st place in the Netherland’s Eredivisie) on ESPN Deportes.
As the pumpkin pie is served and your uncle falls asleep on your couch, the Thanksgiving soccer switches to North America. At 7:45 PM ET, the semi-finals of the Copa Sudamericana continues when Atletico Nacional hosts Cerro Porteno. This tournament involves 47 South American teams from 10 nations. Three weeks ago the two teams drew 1-1.
While that tournament is occurring, the action begins in Mexico with two Liga MX matches. Necaxa hosts Pachuca at 8:30 PM and American follows hosting Guadalajara. Both matches can be seen on Univision.
What matches will you be watching/did you watch on Thanksgiving?