Week in Review, Week in Preview

The NCAA College Cups – both men's and women's – are this weekend: semifinals on Friday, finals on Sunday, and every game is on ESPN2. Friday is a UCLA doubleheader: the Lady Bruins take on host and top-ranked North Carolina at 2:30pm, and the guys face Virginia at 5pm (the otUher semis – Florida State-Notre Dame women, and Wake Forest vs. UC-Santa Barbara men – will be shown tape-delayed on Saturday).
Sunday, Dec. 3 is the championship doubleheader: women at 11:30am, men at 2pm.

Next week, Dec. 5-6, it's the final games of the Champions League group stage. ESPN2's games of the week are Barcelona-Bremen, Tuesday 1:30pm (it's win-or-go-home for defending champ Barca), and Manchester United-Benfica, Wednesday, 1:30pm (a Man U loss would send them packing early yet again). The full schedule is below ...

Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro won the Golden Ball as European Footballer of the Year on Monday, only the third defender ever to win the award (German sweepers Franz Beckenbauer and Matthias Sammer were the others).

Cannavaro is also on the final three short-list for the FIFA World Player of the Year, along with Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldinho, who has won it for the last two years and is favored again. Notably absent from the list is Thierry Henry, whose Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was already publicly ranting about his star missing out on the European award.

European champion Barcelona is the world's most attractive soccer team for corporate sponsorship, according to a survey by sports marketing company Global Sponsors, reported on Bloomberg.com. Here are the top ten:
The Top 10 Most Sponsorable Teams
1. Barcelona
2. Manchester United
3. Real Madrid
4. Chelsea
5. AC Milan
6. Bayern Munich
7. Arsenal
8. Liverpool
9. Inter Milan
10. Lyon

Iran's suspension from international soccer was temporarily lifted by FIFA on Monday, and the country will be allowed to defend its Asian Games soccer title beginning Tuesday. FIFA had suspended Iran from international soccer last Wednesday because of government interference with the country's soccer federation. Iran won the Asian Games title in 1974, 1990, 1998, and 2002.


NCAA Men's and Women's College Cup

Friday, Dec. 1

Women's Semifinals:
UCLA vs North Carolina, 2:30pm, ESPN2
Florida State vs Notre Dame, 5pm (Saturday 11am on ESPN2)

Men's Semifinals:
UCLA vs Virginia, 5pm, ESPN2
UC-Santa Barbara vs Wake Forest, 7:30pm (Saturday 1pm on ESPN2)

Sunday, Dec. 3

Women's Final: 11:30am, ESPN2
Men's Final: 2pm, ESPN2


European Champions League
Group Stage, Game Day 6

On TV:

Tuesday, Dec. 5:
Barcelona-Werder Bremen, 1:30pm, ESPN2
Roma-Valencia, 1:30pm, ESPN Deportes; 4pm, ESPN Classic
Bayern Munich-Inter Milan, 3:45, ESPN Deportes

Wednesday, Dec. 6:
Manchester United-Benfica, ESPN2
AC Milan-Lille, 1:30pm, ESPN Deportes; 4pm, ESPN Classic

Full Schedule
Home teams listed first

Tuesday, Dec. 5:
Group A:
Chelsea vs. Levski Sofia
Barcelona vs. Werder Bremen
Group B:
Sporting Lisbon vs. Spartak Moscow
Bayern Munich vs. Inter Milan
Group C:
PSV Eindhoven vs. Bordeaux
Galatasaray vs. Liverpool
Group D:
Roma vs. Valencia
Olympiakos vs. Shakhtar Donetsk

Wednesday, Dec. 6:
Group E:
Dynamo Kiev vs. Real Madrid
Lyon vs. Steaua Bucharest
Group F:
FC Kobenhavn vs. Celtic Glasgow
Manchester Utd. vs. Benfica
Group G:
Porto vs. Arsenal
Hamburg vs. CSKA Moscow
Group H:
Anderlecht vs. AEK Athens
AC Milan vs. Lille

Standings after five games
Top two teams advance to knockout round.
Third-place teams drop down to UEFA Cup.
Fourth-place teams eliminated from European play.

Group A
Chelsea 10
Werder Bremen 10
Barcelona 8
Levski Sofia 0

Group B
Bayern Munich 11
Inter Milan 9
Sporting Lisbon 5
Spartak Moscow 2

Group C
Liverpool 13
PSV Eindhoven 10
Bordeaux 4
Galatasaray 1

Group D
Valencia 13
Roma 7
Shakhtar Donetsk 5
Olympiakos 2

Group E
Lyon 13
Real Madrid 10
Steaua Bucharest 4
Dynamo Kiev 1

Group F
Manchester United 9
Celtic Glasgow 9
Benfica 7
FC Copenhagen 4

Group G
Arsenal 10
FC Porto 10
CSKA Moscow 8
Hamburg 0

Group H
AC Milan 10
AEK Athens 7
Lille 6
Anderlecht 3

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