It is back to domestic action for Brazil's finest this weekend, with two of the country's clubs having been involved in continental finals in midweek. Over in the USA, fans will be enjoying a veritable footballing feast, given their nation's hosting of the CONCACAF Gold Cup and a packed round of Major League Soccer fixtures. FIFA.com brings you the best of the forthcoming action from outside Europe.
Brasileirao: Continental commitments loom large
Leaders Internacional will be looking to bounce back from their defeat by Liga de Quito in the South American Super Cup by beating struggling Atletico Paranaense. Having opened his Brasileirao account with a hat-trick in Corinthians' 4-2 win over Fluminense on Wednesday, Ronaldo will be determined to further boost his side's push for a third title of the year. O Timão, currently in fifth, travel to face a Gremio team that overcame Atletico Paranaense 4-1 last time out.
Big game: After crashing to their third defeat in just nine league games last weekend, Sao Paulo, champions for the last three years but currently down in 14th, will be desperate to stop the rot against sixth-placed Flamengo. And the stats are in favour of O Tricolor Paulista, who have won 23 and lost just two of their last 30 games against Rio de Janeiro clubs at the Morumbi.
Players to watch: With one eye on the second leg of the Libertadores final on Wednesday, Cruzeiro forwards Wellington Paulista and Kleber would love to boost their confidence by getting on the scoresheet against second-placed arch-rivals Atletico Mineiro.
Japanese J.League: Antlers setting the pace
Table-topping Kashima Antlers take on tenth-placed Omiya Ardija this weekend boasting an eight-point cushion over their nearest pursuers. Gamba Osaka, in sixth, must avoid a third consecutive defeat to deny opponents Shimizu S-Pulse the chance to overtake them.
Big game: Albirex Niigata, Kawasaki Frontale and Urawa Red Diamonds, all on 31 points, are the closest challengers to Antlers' dominance and the former two clubs are set to do battle on Saturday in a match vital for both teams' aspirations.
Players to watch: Australian forward Josh Kennedy made the move from Karlsruhe in Germany to Nagoya Grampus a few short weeks ago, with a view to playing more regular first-team football. Will the 26-year-old score his first goal for the club against FC Tokyo?
American Major League Soccer: Galaxy hitting form
Houston Dynamo are looking secure at the top of the Western Conference with 31 points, the best tally in either conference so far. Dynamo visit third-placed Seattle Sounders aiming for a win that would maintain or extend their four-point gap over closest challengers Chivas USA, who host a Los Angeles Galaxy side aiming for a third win in a row.
The big game: Over in the Eastern Conference, a rest day for leaders DC United means that the match between second-placed Chicago Fire, also on 24 points, and Columbus Crew, one points back, will decide who takes over at the summit.
Players to watch: This matchday is set to feature an intriguing duel between the Dyanmo's Pat Onstad, the competition's best goalkeeper so far, and the Sounders' Fredy Montero, who is currently second in the race for the MLS Golden Boot.
With just two matchdays to go before the end of the season in Ghana, the championship race looks set to go to the wire. Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak are level at the top with 48 points, and neither can afford to slip up in their respective away meetings against AshantiGold and Berekum Arsenal. Heart of Lion, on 46, and King Faisal Babes, a further point back, also have a mathematical chance of snatching the title, though they must win their respective matches with Kessben and Tema Youth and hope the leaders slip up.
There is a top-of-the-table battle in Uzbekistan, meanwhile, where second-placed Pakhtakor visit leaders Bunyodkor in Round 15 on Sunday. Bunyodkor, now coached by former Brazil and Portugal supremo Luiz Felipe Scolari, have enjoyed a phenomenal start to the season, having won all 14 of their opening matches and racked up a six-point lead over their Tashkent rivals.
Hogging the attention on the 21st matchday in Peru, meanwhile, is the superclásico between leaders Universitario and closest challengers Alianza de Lima. The visitors could claim bragging rights with a win and move level on points with their hosts at the top. Juan Aurich, currently a point behind Alianza, could close in on the summit if they pick up a victory at 14th-placed Alianza Atletico.