Internationals from other parts of the world are perennially high on the “cool factor” and equally low on the “convenience factor.” It is what it is.
Luckily there are DVRs and computer-assisted daytime work viewing, sneaky and naughty as it may be. Hee-hee.
One way or the other, get it done! Here’s how we would arrange things Wednesday.
10 a.m. ET:
Get your second cup of Italian roast in hand and watch Jurgen Klinsmann’s national team finish its 2012 schedule. The following year will be stocking stuffed with final round World Cup qualifiers and the Gold Cup, so Wednesday’s contest may help reveal a few more clues as to whom Klinsmann will lean on in the coming months. The match is on ESPN2.
(MORE: on Timothy Chandler and “trust issues”)
(MORE: Jozy Altidore gets back into the team)
Don’t expect Saudi Arabia to put up much resistance against the fabulous Leo Messi (pictured) and Argentina. But it should be a hoot for daytime viewing, as the South American giants play at the King Fahd International Stadium.
2:30 p.m. ET:
Life is about tough choices … and we can’t do everything for you around here. You’ll have to pick from two good ones, Sweden-England on GolTV, or old rivals Netherlands-Germany meeting on ESPN2. (Of course, given the greatness of DVRs and such, I suppose it is possible to catch both.)
4 p.m. ET:
If one of the above matches gets out of hand, or goes a little humdrum on you (and assuming you’re among the lucky set already blessed with beIN Sport), click over at some point to Panama-Spain on the new Al Jazeera-backed channel. The European champions will be at far less than full strength for their trip into Central America, but there’s plenty of talent just the same.
PRAGUE (AP) Czech champion Viktoria Plzen is close to signing Austrian midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz.
Plzen says Ivanschitz agreed terms for a contract lasting 1 + seasons and will sign it when the team returns from a training camp in Spain. Ivanschitz has already joined the squad at the Oliva Nova resort, the club says.
Ivanschitz helped the Seattle Sounders win their first MLS Cup in December.
[ NEW HOMES: Fonte | Berahino ]
No financial details were given.
The 33-year-old Ivanschitz also played for Rapid Vienna and Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, Mainz in the Bundesliga, Levante in Spain and Panathinaikos in Athens.
Ivanschitz played 69 games for Austria in 2003-14, scoring 12 goals.
Joel Matip is going to get to play for Liverpool during AFCON after all.
The center back had turned down the chance to represent Cameroon at the Africa Cup of Nations, and Liverpool was forced to apply to FIFA for a waiver.
[ PL PREVIEW: Swansea vs. Liverpool ]
Matip suffered an ankle injury in December, adding to his desire to stay at Anfield. He declared himself internationally retired and was one of six Cameroon players who refused call-ups for AFCON.
He last played for the Reds on Dec. 11, and can be selected by Jurgen Klopp against Swansea City on Saturday.
MANCHESTER, England (AP) Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney says he raised 1.2 million pounds ($1.5 million) from a friendly game against former club Everton last year.
That represents the profits, after operational costs, from August’s sellout match at Old Trafford and goes toward the Wayne Rooney Foundation’s target of raising 5 million pounds for children’s charities.
[ NEW HOMES: Fonte | Berahino ]
Rooney said: “I’d like to thank all the fans who came to the testimonial and made it such a special night. They’ve raised a huge amount of money for children who are disadvantaged and it will make a real difference to their lives.”
Rooney is one goal from breaking Manchester United’s scoring record, with the striker currently tied with Bobby Charlton on 249 goals.
Rooney joined United from Everton in 2004.
Robert Lewandowski picked up where he left off.
The Polish striker scored twice for Bayern Munich, once in stoppage time, as the Bavarians improved their Bundesliga lead to six points after toppling Freiburg 2-1 on Friday.
[ MORE: Bundesliga second half preview ]
And what a winner it was, Lewandowski taking a Douglas Costa cross with two juggling touches before hitting an offspeed bouncer inside the post.
It was the league’s first match following the winter/holiday break, giving Bayern a cushion before RB Leipzig takes the pitch against Eintracht Frankfurt in a Top Five tilt on Saturday.
Lewandowski moves closer to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the goal scoring chart. His 13th and 14th goals have him two back of Borussia Dortmund’s striker, as Lewandowski pursues a third Golden Boot in four seasons.
Full Weekend Schedule
Freiburg 1-2 Bayern Munich — Friday
Augsburg vs. Hoffenheim — Saturday
Schalke vs. Ingolstadt — Saturday
Darmstadt vs. Borussia Monchengladbach — Saturday
Werder Bremen vs. Borussia Dortmund — Saturday
Wolfsburg vs. Hamburger SV — Saturday
RB Leipzig vs. Eintracht Frankfurt — Saturday
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Hertha Berlin — Sunday
Mainz vs. Koln — Sunday