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An American at Wembley, Atletico-Real, plus MLS preseason
February 24th, 2014 4:22PM

TAGS:  americans abroad, england, fifa, mls, referees, spain


[THIS WEEK IN SOCCER: Feb. 24-March 2] The week begins with midweek UEFA Champions League action and ends Sunday with Jozy Altidore in a Wembley Stadium final for the first time and Atletico Madrid-Real Madrid. In between, there are lots of MLS preseason games -- 22 in total -- at the four preseason tournaments being held across the country.

TUESDAY, Feb. 25
The second week of games in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 kicks off with Zenit St. Petersburg against 2013 runner-up Borussia Dortmund (live on Fox Sports 1 at 12 p.m. ET) and Olympiakos against Manchester United (live on Fox Sports 1 at 2:30 p.m. ET).

WEDNESDAY, February 26:
-- English and Spanish league leaders save it until last to resume play in the UEFA Champions League as Chelsea travels to Galatasaray (live on Fox Sports 1 at 2:30 p.m. ET) and Real Madrid heads to Gelsenkirchen to face Schalke 04 (live on Fox Sports 2 and Fox Soccer Plus at 2:30 p.m. ET).

-- Eleven games are on tap at the four MLS preseason tournaments being held in Charleston, S.C., Kissimmee, Fla., Portland, Ore., and Tucson, Ariz. Fans can watch the action of many of the games, which will be streamed live online (schedule).

-- The International Football Association Board -- soccer's rules body -- holds its 128th annual general meeting at FIFA's headquarters in Zurich. Proposals have been included for discussion only on the use of sin bins and video replays and the "triple punishment" (penalty, red card and automatic suspension). For approval at the amateur and recreational level will be a proposal to allow re-entry.

-- The defending champion USA will learn its group opponents at the Under-20 Women’s World Cup draw at the historic Windsor Hotel in Montreal. The tournament will be held Aug. 5-24 at four cities in Canada. The USA is the defending champion. Other teams to watch: France, the European champion, and South Korea, the Asian champion.

-- MLS preseason wraps up at four tournament locations: Carolina Challenge Cup, Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic, FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup and Rose City Invitational.

SUNDAY, March 2
-- American Jozy Altidore hopes to become the fourth American to play in the English League Cup final as Sunderland faces Manchester City at Wembley (live on beIN Sports at 6 a.m. ET). John Harkes, Kasey Keller and Brad Friedel won in the first of each's two appearances in the final of what is now known as the Capital One Cup.

-- Losses by Atletico Madrid and Barcelona over the weekend allowed Real Madrid to open up a three-point league in La Liga heading into one of the season's most tantalizing matchups: Atletico Madrid-Real Madrid at the Estadio Vicente Calderon. Atleti made a statement with a 1-0 win at Real Madrid in their first meeting, but it has begun to falter this winter, going 4-2-2 in its last eight games.

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