The long summer days with games few and far between are starting to fill up once again, as the European soccer schedule begins a new season this week. Also coming on the calendar is the annual display of youthful exuberance and fun that is the Little League World Series. Plus, we have the second of three FedEx Cup events, the Big Three in men's tennis all playing in the final lead-up event to the U.S. Open and a big series for the scorching New York Mets.
Must Watch: Liverpool-Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup
The UEFA Super Cup between Champions League winners Liverpool and Europa League winners Chelsea kicks off Wednesday. The two English Premier League rivals square off in Istanbul, the same city that will host the 2020 UCL final. The match begins at 3 p.m. ET, and you can watch on TNT or stream on B/R Live, with pre-match coverage starting at 2 p.m. with B/R Football Matchday.
The squads began their league seasons differently over the weekend, with the Reds earning a 4-1 win over Norwich City (although at a high cost, with star goalkeeper Alisson leaving with a calf injury and expected to miss up to eight weeks), while the Blues lost 4-0 at Manchester United. Liverpool will be taking its second shot at an early-season trophy after falling to Manchester City in the Community Shield earlier this month. American standout Christian Pulisic didn't start for Chelsea on Sunday in manager Frank Lampard's debut, potentially giving him the chance to feature heavily Wednesday.
The 2019 Super Cup will also make history with its official, as Stephanie Frappart from France will become the first woman to be the match official for a major men's UEFA event. Frappart, who also officiated the FIFA Women's World Cup final this summer, will be assisted by a mostly female officiating crew as well.
Watch This: Little League World Series
Let the kids play—literally. The LLWS begins Thursday as 16 teams (eight from the United States and eight more from rest of the world) play a double-elimination tournament from the famed complex in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Each team qualified for the World Series by winning its regional tournament. Hawaii won the championship last year, while Japan has dominated the decade, winning five times since 2010. Play begins Thursday, with every game of the tournament on ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC. For more on the full schedule and bracket, list of teams and live scores, go here.
Thursday schedule (all times ET):
Caribbean (Willemstad, Curacao) vs. Australia (Sydney), 1 p.m. on ESPN
New England (Barrington, R.I.) vs. Southeast (South Riding, Va.), 3 p.m. on ESPN
Asia-Pacific (South Chungcheong, South Korea) vs. Latin America (Maracaibo, Venezuela), 5 p.m. on ESPN
Midwest (Coon Rapids, Minn.) vs. Great Lakes (Bowling Green, Ky.), 7 p.m. on ESPN2
More to Watch This Week
1. La Liga and Bundesliga Kick Off, Plus a Week 2 EPL Showdown
Two more of Europe's top leagues kick off this weekend, as Spain's La Liga and Germany's Bundesliga join the English Premier League and French Ligue 1 already in action. Reigning league champions Barcelona will have to hold off new-look squads from the Spanish capital, as both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have made big-money moves. None of those new signings had a bigger preseason impact than Portuguese teenager Joao Felix.
Athletic Bilbao vs. Barcelona, 3 p.m. on BeIN Sports
Bayern Munich vs. Hertha Berlin, 2:30 p.m. on FS2
Borussia Dortmund vs. FC Augsburg, 9:30 a.m. on FS1
Celta Vigo vs. Real Madrid, 11 a.m. on BeIN Sports
Manchester City vs. Tottenham, 12:30 p.m. on NBC
Atletico Madrid vs. Getafe, 4 p.m. on beIN Sports
2. BMW Championship
The second tournament of the PGA Tour FedEx Cup playoffs begins Thursday from Medinah Country Club in Illinois. Patrick Reed won the first playoff event at the Northern Trust over the weekend, moving him up to second in the latest FedEx Cup standings.
Defending BMW Championship winner Keegan Bradley returns to lead the packed field of 70 golfers as they pursue ranking points and a purse of $9.25 million. The top 30 in the rankings will advance to the Tour Championship next week.
Other contenders include standings leader Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas. Obviously the golfer to keep an eye on is Tiger Woods, who withdrew after the first round at the Northern Trust with an oblique injury but said he hopes to play this week.
Watch the tournament's first two rounds Thursday and Friday from 3-7 p.m. ET on the Golf Channel. Third round coverage begins Saturday at noon on Golf Channel and moves to NBC from 3-6 p.m. Golf Channel will broadcast Sunday's final round from noon to 2 p.m. before NBC takes over through the end of play. You can also stream featured groups and holes all day for each round on PGA Tour Live.
3. Campeones Cup
In what will essentially be a North American super cup, the reigning champions of MLSand Liga MX square off in the second edition of the Campeones Cup. Atlanta United will host Club America, Mexico's all-time leader in league titles, on Wednesday night (8 p.m. on ESPN2 and Univision).
In last year's debut of this tournament, Tigres defeated Toronto FC 3-1. This matchup will be Atlanta's second of the season against a team from Mexico, having played Monterrey in a two-leg quarterfinal in the CONCACAF Champions League. Atlanta won the second leg at home 1-0, but the result wasn't enough to overcome Monterrey's 3-0 win in the first leg. Club America defeated Monterrey 4-2 last month in league play.
4. Western and Southern Open
The final summer hard-court tournament before the U.S. Open takes place all week long in Cincinnati with loaded fields in the men's and women's draws. The Big Three in the men's game, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer, are all playing the event, as is a former member of that group. Andy Murray will make his inspiring return to singles tennis after a long absence due to what was once thought to be a career-ending hip injury. Nadal enters the tournament following his fifth title at the Rogers Cup in Montreal.
The women's draw features top-ranked Ashleigh Barty, defending champion Kiki Bertens, Sloane Stephens, and Rogers Cup winner Bianca Andreescu. The 19-year-old Canadian won in her home country after Serena Williams was forced out of their final matchup with an injury, leaving her status for this week uncertain. The two did share a heartfelt moment following the close of the match.
You can watch early-round coverage Monday through Wednesday on the Tennis Channel and the round of 16 through the final Thursday through Sunday on ESPN2. For the full draws, schedule and scores, go here.
5. The New York Metropolitans
The hottest team in MLB right now plays a huge series this week in the midst of an incredible run to get back into the postseason chase. The Mets have won 15 of their last 17 games to move within one game of the National League's second wild-card spot.
New York can make an even bigger statement this week when it heads to face the NL East leaders in Atlanta from Tuesday through Thursday. The Braves lead the Mets by eight games, but a New York series win would continue its momentum and make for an intriguing last month-and-a-half in the division race. The depth of the Mets' new-look starting pitching will be tested, as Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard will miss this series. Each game begins at 7:20 p.m. and will be available to watch locally and on MLB.TV:
Tuesday: Zack Wheeler (NYM) vs. Max Fried (ATL)
Wednesday: Steven Matz vs. Dallas Keuchel
Thursday: Marcus Stroman vs. Julio Teheran
What's on B/R Live This Week
1. UEFA Champions and Europa League Qualifying
The last qualifying legs before the Champions League playoff round are this week, with just a handful of spots remain. B/R Live will stream select Champions and Europa League qualifiers this week as the path to the group stage gets clearer.
Here's the schedule for this week, with first-leg scores in parentheses and all times ET:
UEFA Champions League Tuesday | Stream on B/R Live
Ferencvaros (1) vs. Dinamo Zagreb (1), 2 p.m.
Copenhagen (1) vs. Red Star Belgrade (1) 2 p.m.
LASK (2) vs. FC Basel (1), 2:30 p.m.
Olympiakos (1) vs. Istanbul Basaksehir (0), 2:30 p.m.
UEFA Europa League Thursday | Stream on B/R Live
Rangers (4) vs. Midtjylland (2), noon
Spartak Moscow (3) vs. Thun (2), 12:45 p.m.
Viktoria Plzen (0) vs. Royal Antwerp (1), 2 p.m.
2. ONE Championship Dreams of Gold
The Flyweight Kickboxing World Championship is on the line in Bangkok at ONE: Dreams of Gold. The seven-bout main card begins at 9:30 a.m. ET on Friday and will stream here on B/R Live.
The main event will be the kickboxing title bout between belt-holder Petchdam Petchyindee Academy in his home country and Ilias Ennahachi of the Netherlands. Ennahachi has won the kickboxing world championship six times, making him an excellent opponent for Academy. You can check out the full event card here. And to learn more about ONE Championship's plans for an event in the United States, go here.
1. Just dads catching balls while holding babies: After a break last week, we're back with another dad, another baby and another barehanded catch. The gift that keeps on giving.
2. Simone Biles, GOAT: In addition to a goat on her leotard and winning another U.S. Championship over the weekend, Simone Biles became the first person to ever land this incredible double-flip, double-twist dismount off the beam.
And then she made more history on the floor on the event's final night.
3. The kid is all right: We haven't seen much of Zion Williamson since he sat out most of the Pelicans' summer league season after a minor knee injury in his opening game. Well, he seems good.
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