[THIS WEEK IN SOCCER: March 31-April 6]Both the U.S. men and women will be in action at home this week. More than 50,000 tickets had been sold for USA-Mexico at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. The week also features two big MLS rivalry games -- Portland-Seattle and Chivas USA-LA Galaxy -- plus Sporting KC-Real Salt Lake in a rematch of MLS Cup 2013.
MONDAY, March 31:
Venezuela, the Cinderella story of the Under-17 Women's World Cup in Costa Rica, faces its biggest test as La Vinotinto faces Japan in the semifinals in Liberia. La Vinovinto, led by 14-year-old Deyna Castellanos and Gabriela Garcia, goes up against a Japanese team that has outscored its opponents, 17-0, in four games. In the other semifinal at the Estadio Edgardo Baltodano Briceno, Italy and Spain square off in a battle of European teams.
TUESDAY, April 1:
-- TheUEFA Champions League moves into the quarterfinals with the first legs at Old Trafford (Manchester United-Bayern Munich) and Camp Nou (Barcelona-Atletico Madrid). Play-by-play announcer Gus Johnson is set to call the United-Bayern game alongside Eric Wynalda (live on Fox Sports 1 at 2 p.m. ET).
-- The three MLS quarterfinalists were all eliminated, but there is an American connection to the Concacaf Champions League semifinals as Tijuana, which has used seven Americans this season, hosts Mexican leader Cruz Azul in one of the semifinals. Toluca travels to Costa Rica to face Alajuelense in the other first leg.
WEDNESDAY, April 2:
-- In the USA's last game before it must submit its World Cup short list of 30 players to FIFA, it resumes its border rivalry with Mexico at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. (live on ESPN, WatchESPN, UniMas at 11 p.m. ET). Twelve U.S. World Cup probables have been called in for the game. The last time they met in Glendale in 2007, the USA beat Mexico, 2-0, in front of 62,462 fans.
-- In a rematch of last year's semifinals, Real Madrid hosts Borussia Dortmund at the Santiago Bernabeu in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarterfinal series. The other match pits Chelsea against Paris St. Germain.
FRIDAY, April 4:
The fourth edition of the Under-17 Women's World Cup concludes with the third-place game and final at the Estadio Nacional in San Jose. Costa Rican fans have flocked to the matches, setting a record with overall attendance of 209,658 for the first-round games.
SATURDAY, April 5:
Portland-Seattle (live on NBCSN at 3 p.m. ET) has been dubbed soccer's Pig War, a rivalry so intense Seattle fans must hide out in the backroom of a Portland bar if they want to gather and watch the Sounders. The first meeting of 2014 takes on greater importance as the Timbers come into the game without a win in four matches and the Sounders are coming off their second home loss of the season. Also worth watching: Sporting Kansas City-Real Salt Lake(live on MLS Live at 8:30 pm. ET) in a rematch of MLS Cup 2013.
SUNDAY, April 6:
-- The first SuperClasico of the season takes place at StubHub Center as Chivas USA hosts the LA Galaxy (live on UniMas at 3 p.m. ET). In a role reserve, Chivas USA finds itself in the top five in the Western Conference with a 1-1-2 record while the Galaxy is tied for last with a 0-1-1 mark.
-- The U.S. women's national team assembles for one last time before the start of the NWSL season to face China. The first of the two-game series takes place at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. (live onussoccer.com at 5 p.m. ET). It will be the 51st meeting between the two teams. The USA leads the series with a 30-8-12 record.