Where To Watch UEFA Euro 2012: TV Schedule and Soccer Bars

Alright football lovers (not that football), Euro 2012 is here and we’ve got a listing of all the matches, dates, times, and TV schedules so you can find out everything you need to know about watching your favorite team.  As you can see, all of the matches are on ESPN or ESPN2, so just about any bar you go to should have the ability to put the games on.  Also, if you’re looking for bars to watch with other soccer fans, click here and search for “Soccer,” then “All Teams,” which will bring up a listing of all the soccer bars in your area.  Here’s everything you need to know:

Friday, June 8, 2012
Poland vs. Greece (Group A): 12 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN
Russia vs. Czech Republic (Group A): 2:45 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN

Saturday, June 9, 2012
Netherlands vs. Denmark (Group B): 12 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN
Germany vs. Portugal (Group B): 2:45 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN

Sunday, June 10, 2012
Spain vs. Italy (Group C): 12 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN
Ireland vs. Croatia (Group C): 2:45 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN

Monday, June 11, 2012
France vs. England (Group D): 12 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN
Ukraine vs. Sweden (Group D): 2:45 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN

Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Greece vs. Czech Republic (Group A): 12 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN
Poland vs. Russia (Group A): 2:45 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN

Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Denmark vs. Portugal (Group B): 12 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN
Netherlands vs. Germany (Group B): 2:45 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN

Thursday, June 14, 2012
Italy vs. Croatia (Group C): 12 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN2
Spain vs. Ireland (Group C): 2:45 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN2

Friday, June 15, 2012
Ukraine vs. France (Group D): 12 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN2
Sweden vs. England (Group D): 2:45 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN2

Saturday, June 16, 2012
Greece vs. Russia (Group A): 2:45 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN
Czech Republic vs. Poland (Group A): 2:45 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN2

Sunday, June 17, 2012
Denmark vs. Germany (Group B): 2:45 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN
Portugal vs. Netherlands (Group B): 2:45 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN2

Monday, June 18, 2012
Croatia vs. Spain (Group C): 2:45 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN
Italy vs. Ireland (Group C): 2:45 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN2

Tuesday, June 19, 2012
England vs. Ukraine (Group D): 2:45 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN
Sweden vs. France (Group D): 2:45 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN2

Thursday, June 21, 2012 – Quarterfinal 1
Group A winner vs. Group B runner-up: 2:45 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN

Friday, June 22, 2012 – Quarterfinal 2
Group B winner vs. Group A runner-up: 2:45 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN

Saturday, June 23, 2012 – Quarterfinal 3
Group C winner vs. Group D runner-up: 2:45 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN2

Sunday, June 24, 2012 – Quarterfinal 4
Group D winner vs. Group C runner-up: 2:45 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN

Wednesday, June 27, 2012 – Semifinal 1
Quarterfinal No. 1 winner vs. Quarterfinal No. 3 winner: 2:45 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN

Thursday, June 28, 2012 - Semifinal 2
Quarterfinal No. 2 winner vs. Quarterfinal No. 4 winner: 2:45 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN

Saturday, July 1, 2012 – Championship
Semifinal No. 1 winner vs. Semifinal No. 2 winner: 2:45 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN

Recap of the 2011-2012 La Liga Season

Alright amigos, we come to the end of another season in Spain’s top-flight soccer league.  As always, we had a lot happen on the final day of the season, with at least a couple of teams getting sent down to La Segunda.

Real Madrid were finally crowned champions after three long seasons of Barcelona dominance.  It has been a record setting campaign for the ‘madridistas’ who scored 121 goals (breaking Madrid’s own previous record of 107 goals during the 1989-1990 season) and finished the league with an outlandish 100 points on their way to a 32nd league title.  Madrid has to be disappointed after crashing out of the Champions League but all in all a very good season for ‘los blancos.’  On a side note there was a very interesting article on Real Madrid’s President, Florentino Perez, in the New York Times detailing Mr. Perez’s use of debt to finance business ventures, including Real Madrid.  Will a global reluctance to ever-increasing debt and FIFA’s fair play initiatives prohibit some of Real Madrid’s spending this summer?  With the sale of Kaká and Gonzalo Higuaín appearing imminent it may not matter as Madrid’s coffers will probably be replenished.  We will see but one always expects Madrid to make a splash in the transfer market…

Villarreal, Sporting de Gijón, and Racing de Santander are the unfortunate teams being relegated to La Segunda.  The heartbreak seems especially unfair to Villarreal.  Villarreal lost to Atlético de Madrid, a team who had nothing to play for, on the last day of the season to see themselves out of La Liga for the first time since the 1999-2000 season.  Falcao scored the winner in the 88th minute, when most Villarreal fans must have thought the tie, and possible safety, were almost inevitable.  Injuries certainly played a part and it is disappointing to see such a talented team go down, but that is how life in La Liga goes.

However, there is no yin without the yang.  Zaragoza, who once seemed doomed to relegation, became the first team to overcome a 12 point deficit to remain in the top flight.  Their fans must be applauding a great team effort. 

Málaga, as their high spending owners surely expected, finished fourth and qualified for the Champions League next season, finishing fourth behind Real Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia.  Manuel Pellegrini, Málaga’s skipper, saved them from relegation last season and now leads his men into Europe (have hope, Villarreal fans, for circumstances can change so quickly!).  Atlético and Levante round out the Europa spots, and hopefully Levante will not curse me so next season, as they have been wildly unpredictable and a quiniela buster for me in the second half of the season.

Leo Messi has the honor of finishing the season as this year’s ‘pichichi’ (La Liga’s top goalscorer), finishing with an incredible 50 goals.  Christiano Ronaldo finished with 46, a total that would certainly have won any other year.  It is somewhat bittersweet, as Pep Guardiola, the coach who has watched Messi transform from a ‘good’ player to arguably the best in the world, will step down as Barcelona’s coach this summer.  Truly unfortunate for the fans, as Pep vs. Mourinho was really shaping up to be a rivalry for the ages.  It will be interesting to watch next year to see how Barcelona reacts to the loss of a true legend.

Well, that’s it for this year.  However, we have an action packed summer with Spain defending its European Championship at Euro 2012.  Look for our coverage.  Next year, the quinielas will be better than ever here at WheretoWatch.com, and look for our introduction to a Premier League Quiniela.

Hasta la proxima!

By: Ryan Moore

La Quiniela for La Liga, Spain’s Top-Flight Soccer League – Week 35

There are some great games this week.  It has been argued by many that La Liga is now a two-horse race, with only Barcelona and Real Madrid really in the running for the title.  Although I don’t agree with that assessment, tomorrow’s Clásico is simply such a big game I think it takes center stage this week.
As always, it is a ‘1’ for a home win, an ‘X’ for a draw, and a ‘2’ for an away win.  Last week I was 6/10 which is pretty much the best I’ve done all year.  Let’s see if I can make it two good weeks in a row.
1.  Racing (18th) – Athletic (7th): X
2.  Mallorca (13th) – Zaragoza (18th): 2
3.  Granada (17th) – Getafe (11th): 2
4.  Sevilla (9th) – Levante (5th): 2
5.  Sporting (19th) – Rayo (14th): 1
6.  Atlético (8th) – Espanyol: (10th): 1
7.  Valencia (3rd) – Betis (12th): 1
8.  Osasuna (6th) – Málaga (4th): 2
9.  Real Sociedad (15th) – Villarreal (16th): 1
10.  Barcelona (2nd) – Real Madrid (1st): 1
El Clásico, Barcelona vs. Real Madrid, 2:00 P.M. ET, Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain.
Barcelona currently trails Real Madrid by 4 points in the league, and this is simply a must win if los cules want to have any hope of winning la liga this year, which of course Pep Guardiola still thinks is an impossibility.  Both Barca and R. Madrid are coming off of losses in their Champions League matches this week (to Chelsea and Bayern Munich, respectively).  Both teams need to regroup before the return leg but with this monumental match to play they are simply going to have to press on full steam ahead (although Barcelona got some good news today because Didier Drogba may miss Tuesday’s match at the Camp Nou).  Here are a couple of things to watch for:
Pepe and Marcelo:
The two Real Madrid defenders, while talented players and obviously very important to the Madrid squad, cannot keep their cool when playing Barcelona.  Last season Pepe was sent off in the Champions League and then stamped Messi in a later game.  These two need to keep their cool in order for Madrid to have a chance.
Lionel Messi vs. Christiano Ronaldo:
These guys are playing at an astronomical level. Messi and Ronaldo are level at 41 goals apiece this season (a la Liga record) and will most likely both surpass that number greatly by the end of the season (in all competitions Messi has 63 to Ronaldo’s 57).  When it comes to these type of games, however, Messi has been having the upper hand against Ronaldo.
In 15 games against Barcelona, Ronaldo only has 5 goals.  Keep in mind that overall he has been averaging a goal every 81 minutes, to Messi’s 72.  Since Mourinho took over at the Bernabeu, Madrid only have one victory (in the Supercup) in ten matches.  Madrid, and Ronaldo, are too talented and has to be some sort of mental block that is preventing them from performing at their highest when they play Barcelona.
Christiano Ronaldo is possibly set to extend his contract with R. Madrid, which may be his way of showing that he is either (a) going to play in Spain long enough so that he might face a Barcelona team that he will possibly be able to beat or (b) a glutton for punishment.  Either way, odds are that eventually the tide will change and Real Madrid will become the dominant side.  
Whether or not that is going to occur tomorrow….
Check out the site to see where you can watch the game.  I’m probably going to Lynch’s Irish Pub in Jacksonville Beach, see you there!

La Quiniela for La Liga, Spain’s Top-Flight Soccer League – Week 34

Hay Liga!!!  Real Madrid have seen their seemingly insurmountable lead of 10 points over their arch-nemesis, Barcelona, dwindle to a wee 4 points, with a Clásico at the Camp Nou coming next weekend.  The remaining Champions League spots remain in play with Valencia, Málaga, Levante and Osasuna fighting for the 3rd and 4th places.  Still lots of excitement and many things to play for. 

Let’s kick this Quiniela off. Remember, its ‘1’ for a home win, ‘X’ for a draw, and ‘2’ for an away win.

1. Athletic (8th) – Mallora (12th): 1

Home victory for the Bilbaínos this weekend.  Things are really convoluted in the middle of the pack with Osasuna 6th on 45 points only 7 points ahead of Real Sociedad at 15th on 38 points.  Mallorca is safe from relegation this season and a mid-table finish will probably suit them just fine.  Athletic, on the other hand, need to stay sharp as they still have some silverware to play for in the Europa League and the Copa del Rey.

2. Zaragoza (18th) – Granada (16th): 1

Zaragoza must win to stay in La Liga.  No victory and their season is most likely over.  A desperate home team for the win here.

3. Getafe (11th) – Sevilla (7th): 2

Michel, Sevilla’s skipper, began his coaching career at Getafe and returns having Sevilla doing plenty of the right things.  It has been a good second half of the season for las sevillistas and I think Michel gets a win at his former club.

4. Levante (5th) – Barcelona (2nd): 1

After 10 consecutive wins in La Liga, Barcelona has drawn within four points of leaders Real Madrid.  Barcelona is doing its best Anton Chigurh impersonation and seems to be intent on tracking Madrid down and killing them at a seedy motel, or something like that….

Anywho, Barcelona looks great, annoyingly great. And impressive as Levante has been to stay so high in the table this season, Barcelona must win to keep the pressure on heading into the Camp Nou showdown with Madrid next weekend.

5. Real Madrid (1st) – Sporting (18th): 1

Real Madrid had better win this one!  Expect more right legged missiles from Christiano Ronaldo like these.  It would be disastrous for Madrid to head into next week’s Clásico with the possibility of Barcelona taking the pole position in La Liga.  Madrid simply needs to keep that 4 point window open and needs to win this weekend at home against a lesser team.

6. Rayo (13th) – Atlético (9th): 2

El ‘Efecto Simeone?’  Well, maybe not so much.  Atlético’s 3 points out of their last six matches is definitely mediocre.  Nevertheless, I’ll take them to win it here.

7. Espanyol (10th) – Valencia (3rd): 2

Graham Hunter wrote a great piece earlier this week over at espn.com/soccer detailing how the fact that Valencia is still playing wonderful football when it probably should have declared bankruptcy and collapsed is a marvel to behold.  I see Valencia finishing in the top four, an awesome feat considering everything the club has gone through in recent years.

8. Betis (14th) – Osasuna (6th): 1

Betis have been undefeated in their last five matches and I see them continuing the trend here with a home win.

9. Málaga (4th) – Real Sociedad (15th): 1

Málaga for the home win, I guess.  On paper, Málaga is the richer, better team, but you just never know with Real Sociedad….

10. Villarreal (17th) – Racing de Santander (20th): 1

Villarreal should win here and they will stay afloat and play top flight football next season (fingers crossed).  In some unfortunate news, New Jersey native Giuseppe Rossi, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament against Real Madrid on October 26, 2011 and had recently returned to the side, re-tore his ACL today in a training session and needs another operation.  Rossi, who had hoped to play with the Italian national side in the European Championships this summer will need to miss the Euros and most likely the start of next season.  Good luck on the recovery Giuseppe!

 By: Ryan Moore

La Quiniela for La Liga, Spain’s Top-Flight Soccer League – Week 26

Week 26: March 3 and 4, 2012
Last week another 3/10.  The only thing one can predict with reasonable certainty is that Zaragoza will lose.  Some peculiar results from last week include Levante beating Espanyol, Villareal over Athletic and Sevilla over Valencia.  In addition, Rayo probably should have beaten Real Madrid.  Plus, if it’s any indication of the bizarre things happening in soccer right now, the U.S. beat Italy 1-0 for the first time ever in a friendly last week, a streak that lasted 78 years. Alright now I feel better blaming my poor performance on a string of unexpected results rather than my own inability to pick more than 60% of any given week’s games correctly.

As always, I will cover each game and assign a ‘1’ for a home team win, an ‘x’ for a draw, and a ‘2’ for an away team win.  Please feel free to post your own Quiniela in the comments section.  At the end of the season if you have a better winning percentage than I do, Todd will buy you a steak dinner at the restaurant of your choosing.

1. Barcelona (2nd) – Sporting (19th): 1

50 goals scored and only 4 against for Barcelona at home this season. Marca, the Madrid based tabloid is reporting that Barcelona’s president, Sandro Rosell, and coach Pep Guardiola had a meeting at Rosell’s house last night to discuss the latter’s renovation, with signs pointing to Pep’s staying on at the Camp Nou.  The players want Pep to stay and what better way to show the love then a win this weekend.

2. Sevilla (10th) – Atlético de Madrid (9th): X

Atlético almost walked away with a win last week against Barcelona.  A game like that with high stakes and high emotions can sometimes leave a team deflated the next week.  Interestingly, we get to see the ‘Michel’ effect versus the ‘Simeone’ effect against one another this week.  Both of these coaches have done well since taking their managerial places at Sevilla and Atlético, respectively.  If anything might tilt the scale in favor of Atlético it could be their hatred of Michel, a former Real Madrid hero.

3. Granada (16th) – Valencia (3rd): 2

Poor Fernando Torres, you have one bad year at Chelsea, get dropped from the Spain’s national team, and your replacement, Valencia’s Roberto Soldado, comes in and has a hat trick in his first game after being welcomed back to the national side.  Although I think Torres eventually bounces back, maybe with a lesser club (and maybe with lesser expectations), Soldado is going to continue scorching defenses and we should see him featuring for Spain in the Euros this year.

4. Mallorca (15th) – Osasuna (7th): 2

Osasuna is missing their top two striking options, but with so much to play for still I think they steal a win here.

5. Athletic de Bilbao (5th) – Real Sociedad (13th): X

It has been 11 years since Real Sociedad’s last win in San Mames.  Athletic is really having a great year and has a chance to show its force in Europe in the games coming up against Manchester United.  It may be too much to ask for a victory, but with Athletic focused on Man U a draw is not out of the question.

6. Zaragoza (20th) – Villareal (17th): 2

See number 5, above.

7. Getafe (14th) – Málaga (6th): 2

Málaga has the benefit of playing with Spain international Santi Cazorla who is on fire lately and while Getafe might be somewhat of a more formidable opponent than Zaragoza (whom Málaga spanked 5-1 last week), Málaga is the better team and should get the away result.

8. Levante (4th) – Betis (12th): 2

All aboard the Levante bandwagon? Nope.  1 win in 9 matches hardly does it for me.  Last week’s win against Espanyol notwithstanding, I’m not back on it yet.  If Levante somehow makes it to the end of the season in the top four, I’ll treat Todd to a steak.

9. Real Madrid (1st) – Espanyol (8th): 1

Jose Mourinho spent a couple of days in London last week, presumably for vacation, but that has done nothing but stoke the fires burning for his return, possibly even to former club, Chelsea.  Although Mourinho has stated that he wants to win the ‘triple’ of the Champions League, La Liga, and the Copa del Rey, it could be that a league title and a Copa del Rey crown is all he takes back with him.

10. Rayo Vallecano (11th) – Racing de Santander (18th):

As noted above, after a hard fought loss to a big team (Rayo really could have done better against Real Madrid last week) a team can sometimes experience a post-match hangover, losing focus on the future.  However, Rayo has enough firepower to get past Racing at home.

As always, you can locate where to watch La Liga at bars around you by checking out the search feature of WhereToWatch.com.  If you know of a bar that shows soccer or La Liga games that we’ve missed, feel free to give us the inside tip here.

By: Ryan Moore