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USMNT Dec 14-16 viewing guide and open thread

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From first to last

America v Cruz Azul - Final Torneo Apertura 2018 Liga MX Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images

There will be small handful of games this weekend across the Bundesliga, Premier League and Liga MX, and while it remains to be seen how much some players will feature there will likely be at least a couple opportunities to watch USMNT players in actions. Here’s the rundown of games to keep an eye on to see if players see some action.

Friday

Nurnberg v Wolfsburg - 2:30p on FS2

The weekend starts off with one of the games most likely to feature a USMNT player as John Brooks and Wolfsburg take on Nurnberg in Bundesliga play. Brooks was suspended last weekend for yellow card accumulation but should be available this weekend and has been a 90’ starter in every game for which he’s been available.

Wolfsburg are in 9th place in a crowded middle of the Bundesliga table, just four points behind 5th place Eintracht Frankfurt and two points ahead of 12th place Freiburg. This weekend they’ll be facing a 15th place Nurnberg team with one of the worst goal differentials in the league.

Saturday

Hoffenheim v Borussia Monchengladbach - 9:30a on Fox Deportes

Fabian Johnson has seen very limited minutes so far this season, just 320 through 14 games, and for the past ten games has either failed to appear or made only a brief substitute appearance. His Gladbach team is in second place in the Bundesliga and this weekend will be facing Johnson’s former team, 7th place Hoffenheim.

Hannover 96 v Bayern Munich - 9:30a on FS1

Bobby Wood made just a token appearance last weekend in Hannover’s 1-1 draw with Mainz but previously had started seven straight for the team that looks like it’s bound for a relegation battle.

Hannover will be facing a Bayern Munich side that is failing to live up to their typical expectations, currently in third place and nine points behind first place Dortmund. They’ll certainly be looking to take out some frustrations and get back on track against Hannover.

Fulham v West Ham - 12:30p on NBC

Tim Ream was back starting for Fulham last weekend, unfortunately the team gave up four goals to Manchester United in a resounding defeat. It was not an unusual occasion for Fulham who have been dreadful defensively, they’ve given up three or more goals in 9 of their 16 games, have yet to hold any team scoreless, and have given up forty goals in all which is 8 more than the next worse defense. Their current pace would set a record for goals conceded in a 38 game Premier League season. Certainly the team’s issues extend beyond Ream but these are not the historical events you’d like to see American’s be a part of.

For obvious reasons Fulham sit dead last in the Premier League standings though still within striking distance of relegation safety. This weekend they’ll be facing an 11th place West Ham team that has been pretty solidly average.

Borussia Dortmund v Werder Bremen - 12:30p on FS2

The game of the weekend with the most potential for USMNT fans is also the one most likely to disappoint. Fan favorite Christian Pulisic has not started a Bundesliga game since September and with his 90 minutes of mid-week Champions League action that seems unlikely to change this week.

On the other side of the ball you may have heard of this Josh Sargent fellow who really knows how to make a debut. Sargent scored on his first Bundesliga touch last weekend in Werder Bremen’s 3-1 win over Fortuna Dusseldorf after coming on in the 76th minute. Sargent has been included in the squad for Saturday’s match against first place Dortmund but manager Florian Kohfeldt continues to temper expectations for the young man:

Sunday

Cruz Azul v America - 7:30p on Univision Deportes

Joe Corona was a bit of a forgotten man for Club America this season with just five appearances in the Apertura. However Corona has now started the past two games for the team in the playoffs, the second leg of the semi-finals and the first leg of the finals. The first leg finished 0-0 and the two teams will come in to the second leg all square.