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Football League Opening Weekend / Preseason Friendlies / Saturday Open Thread

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Jan Kruger

All across England, football pitches are stirring this morning. The 2013/14 season is about to get underway in the lower divisions! So that's the Championship and Leagues One & Two as far as the professionals are concerned. Exciting! Kind of.

But hey, REAL football. Kind of.

The two big televised matches in the Championship are Burnley vs. Bolton, kicking off in about 15 minutes, and QPR vs. Sheffield Wednesday, kicking off in three hours. This may be your last chance to laugh at QPR live before they fade completely from relevance.

There's a somewhat intriguing friendly on ESPN3 at 9 A.M. EDT between Galatasaray and FC Porto. A chance to catch a bit of old man Drogba vs. Chelsea lately-not-so-actively-rumored-target Eliaquim Mangala maybe?

The jewel in the crown of today's preseason action is Monaco vs. Tottenham Hotspur at 12:30 P.M. EDT. This one probably needs no introduction, but Gareth Bale has not travelled with the team. BeIN Sport has it in the US, ITV4 in the UK.

And speaking of ex-Spurs players, Clint Dempsey has returned a hero to the MLS and has joined the Seattle Sounders. Seattle is of course the greatest city in America, so his decision is not so surprising. The Sounders host Dallas tonight at 10:30 P.M. EDT, although I'd be very surprised if THE DEUCE featured - I only included him because he fit the narrative.

Lastly, we have two matches in the Guiness International Champions Cup: Everton take on Real Madrid in the non-Chelsea semifinal (8 P.M. EDT), while Juventus play LA Galaxy in the ... third-place ... semifinal at 10:30 P.M. EDT. Yes, there's a semifinal for the third-place match. Because preseason.