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USMNT Dec 11-13 Champions League and Europa viewing guide and open thread

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Sealed fates but high level experience none the less

China Fortune v Schalke 04 - 2018 Clubs Super Cup Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

A trio of young American’s could take the field today in Champions League action. Their teams fates have already been sealed with Schalke and Borussia Dortmund guaranteed to advance while Club Brugge will move on to the Europa League competition. With their next round spots already decided the teams may choose to use heavily rotated sides or could look to build momentum moving forward. Regardless, it should be good experience for any American’s who are able to make the field.

Additionally, there are a couple players who could see action in Europa League plan on Thursday. Those games are available exclusively on B/R Live but we’ll let you know what you can catch regardless.

Tuesday

Schalke v Lokomotiv Moscow - 12:55p on Galavision, Univision Deportes en Vivo and B/R Live

Schalke is one of the two teams with American’s who could see the field that already has booked a place in the round of 16 despite loosing their last game 3-0 to Porto. The loss was their first in the Champions League as they had previously managed two wins and two draws, including a win on the road against Lokomotiv when Weston McKennie scored the winning goal.

McKennie has played all over the field for Schalke, including being deployed over the weekend as a Forward for the team that has struggled to score and is also suffering from injuries.

Manager Domenico Tedesco has hinted that the squad for their Champions League match may be highly rotated though they will still be pushing for the win so it will be interesting to see how this impacts McKennie’s usage. Fellow American Haji Wright was left out of the squad on Saturday and is unavailable for their Champions League match as he was not included on the initial rosters.

Club Brugge v Atletico Madrid - 3p on Univision Deportes en vivo or B/R Live

Ethan Horvath has been a regular presence at the back for Club Brugge over the past month and a half, including two clean sheets in the Champions League against Monaco and Borussia Dortmund. Unfortunately the effort was too little too late as the club lost their opening two matches, and managed just one win and one draw in Horvath’s two starts. They sit firmly in third place and are headed for the Eurpoa League following Tuesday’s match with group leaders Atletico Madrid.

Brugge have lost three of their last four league games and in general need to get things back on track. It will be interesting to see how the teams handle the game and if they look to use it as a launching point moving forward.

Monaco v Borussia Dortmund - 3p on Univision Deportes en vivo or B/R Live

Christian Pulisic came on as a late sub in the Revierderby over the weekend, a 2-1 win over Schalke. With the lack of play over the weekend it would seem he is likely available Tuesday for their match against a Monaco team that has managed just a single point through their first five games of Champions League play and lost to Dortmund in their first match 3-0.

American fans have expressed concern with Pulisic’s place at Dortmund given his usage this year and the outstanding play of Jadon Sancho. While the opponent is not as formidable as the Atletico Madrid teams Pulisic has already faced a strong showing couldn’t hurt his confidence and might quiet some of the Twitter crowd as well.

Thursday

Besiktas v Malmo FF - 12:55p on B/R Live

Romain Gall and Malmo FF meet Besiktas in the final game of group play needing a win to advance. Besiktas lead Malmo by one point heading into the game so a draw will not be enough for Malmo as their goal differential advantage will not come into play since Besiktas would clearly still have a one point lead. (Update: this section heavily edited to correct the author’s poorly functioning math skills).

Gall has 13 goals through 28 games for Malmo this season, including two goals in their last three games. However, he’s made only two brief substitute appearances for the club in Europa play through their first five games. Malmo defeated Besiktas 2-0 in their first matchup.

Dinamo Zagreb v Anderlecht - 3p on B/R Live

Kenny Saief and Anderlecht have managed just two draws through their first five games in Europa League play and now travel to Croatia to face group leaders Dinamo Zagreb. Dinamo Zagreb have won four of their first five, tied the other and sit firmly in first place in the group.

Saief has struggled to see the field recently, appearing in just two of the clubs past five league games and being left out of the squad all together twice as well. He did start and play 90’ in their most recent Europa League game so perhaps he will see the field as well this week and can take some steps towards regaining a regular position with the club.