NFL, MLB, CFL stats

Around the Leagues: Festive Soccer Schedule About to Enter Full Swing

December 18, 2020 - United Soccer League Championship (USL) - Sacramento Republic FC News Release

The weather outside might be frightful but the beautiful game action on television this weekend will help to keep soccer supporters warm and cozy inside while enjoying all the big matches.

Unlike last week, there's no domestic silverware on the line after Columbus Crew SC triumphed over Seattle Sounders FC in Ohio, 3-0, to lift the 2020 Audi MLS Cup. Lucas Zelarayan bagged a brace and Derrick Etienne found the back of the net in the first half to lift the Crew to its second MLS Cup.

Just because the 2020 MLS season came to a close last weekend doesn't mean all North American clubs are done for the year.

Concacaf Champions League

The Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League this weekend features a mouth-watering matchup between two extremely talented clubs loaded with quality when LAFC clash with Liga MX powerhouse Club America at Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida.

The semifinal showdown - which pits two former national team head coaches against one another when USMNT's Bob Bradley and Miguel Herrera who previously coached El Tri manage their respective sides- also sees Mexican striker Carlos Vela hoping to bring an end to America's cup run.

The survivor of Saturday's single elimination semifinal fixture will take on the winner from U.A.N.L of Liga MX and Honduran club CD Olimpia.

European Leagues

Across the pond in England, Saturday's slate sees surprising third-place Southampton hosting Manchester City before fifth-place Everton host a struggling Arsenal side currently hovering just above the bottom three. Tottenham Hotspur trail league leaders Liverpool by just three points but face a tough task on Sunday when the North London-club host fourth-place Leicester City.

Sunday's schedule also includes the West Midlands Derby when West Bromwich Albion host Aston Villa while two classic rivals clash when Manchester United host Leeds United. The action even carries over into Monday when two London clubs go head-to-head as USMNT star Christian Pulisic's Chelsea host West Ham United.

In the Bundesliga, German giants FC Bayern Munich currently sit in second place but have the opportunity to claim the top spot on Saturday when the Bavarian club trave to first-place Bayer 04 Leverkusen. Sunday's slate will be the final fixtures in German soccer for 2020 as the league takes its annual winter break before returning to play on January 2, 2021.

Italy's Serie A features an interesting Sunday showcase as Atalanta hosts fourth place AS Roma while Lazio are hoping to climb back towards to the top of the table when the club host fifth-place Napoli.

Ligue 1 - France's top tier of professional soccer - may have the ultimate massive matchup of the weekend when league leaders Lille host Paris Saint-Germain hot on their tails in second place on Sunday.

• Discuss this story on the United Soccer League Championship message board...

United Soccer League Championship Stories from December 18, 2020

The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

OurSports Central