WEEKEND WATCH GUIDE
NASL: Fort Lauderdale at Minnesota, 7 p.m. Saturday, Ch. 45. The Loons are playing perhaps their best soccer of the year, with seven wins and three draws in their past 10 games — including a 5-2 victory over Fort Lauderdale two weeks ago. Minnesota is one win from clinching a playoff berth but has gained no ground on Ottawa in the fall-season standings, where the Fury still lead by five points. All United can do is keep winning and hope that Ottawa — with its four-game winning streak — will slip up at some point.
CONCACAF Cup: Mexico at United States, 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Fox Sports 1. Mexico has had a rough year; either “El Tri” scores in bunches but its defense collapses, or the defense keeps a clean sheet but the offense looks lost. Mexico will face a U.S. side that remains as unsettled as ever. Jurgen Klinsmann’s constant changes mean that nobody knows whether the U.S. side that won at Germany and at the Netherlands will show up, or whether the one that lost to Jamaica and got whacked 4-1 by Brazil will be there. Either way, this is perhaps the match of the year in international soccer.
Euro 2016 qualifying: Ireland at Poland, 1:45 p.m. Sunday, ESPN. Ireland beat powerhouse Germany 1-0 on Thursday to set up what effectively is a Group D playoff for the final automatic qualification spot. Poland will qualify with a win or a draw, making it the favorite, but Ireland’s euphoria over beating Germany might carry it through. That said, the Irish have to contend with Poland striker Robert Lewandowski, who scored 12 goals in four games for Bayern Munich entering the international break, and then scored twice against Scotland on Thursday to earn a draw for Poland. The loser of this one will go into the playoffs for third-place teams, the winner to Euro 2016.
NASL: Edmonton at New York, 4 p.m. Sunday, ESPN3. The NASL playoff race has split itself into two separate races. Edmonton, tied for fourth, is closer to last-place San Antonio than to third-place New York. The Cosmos still has a hope of clinching home-field advantage for the playoffs, while Edmonton is just trying to sneak its way into the four-team field. This week will be a critical one for the Eddies; they play three road games in seven days. By next Saturday, we will have a pretty good idea if Edmonton will make its first playoff appearance since 2011 or start the offseason early yet again.