We may technically be on the international break, but there are plenty of intriguing matchups – with more than their share of historical grievances – to help fill the void.
Argentina vs. Brazil, international friendly, Saturday at 5 a.m.
The cliché that there’s no such thing as a friendly between old rivals is especially true when it comes to this South American derby. Brazil is desperate to get back in its fans’ good graces after that World Cup disaster.
Congo vs. South Africa, African Cup of Nations 2015 qualifying, Saturday at 7:30 a.m.
The hosts are the surprise leaders of Group A after stunning Nigeria 3-2 on the first match day. Bafana Bafana needs some positives to help counteract its failure to qualify for the last World Cup.
Poland vs. Germany, Euro 2016 qualifying, Saturday at 11:45 a.m.
Poland lost to its neighbors in the semifinals of the 1974 World Cup and again in the group stages of the 2006 version. It has lost players (Lukas Podolski, Miroslav Klose) over the border and lost every single time it has met Germany on the field. Suffice it to say the Poles are overdue.
France vs. Portugal, international friendly, Saturday at 11:45 a.m.
This matchup may lack the bile or the stakes of the matches above it, but miss any meeting of a former World Cup champion and one of the best players in the game at your own risk.
F.C. Dallas vs. L.A. Galaxy, Major League Soccer, Sunday at 4 p.m.
A victory from the hosts would put the Sounders within touching distance of the Supporter’s Shield. A win from the visitors would build even further positive momentum ahead of the season-closing L.A.-Seattle home-and-home.