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USMNT weekend viewing guide and open thread: a derby and a debut?

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Red(head) alert!

Peru v United States

There’s a chance that two of America’s best youngsters could be facing off in the Revierderby Saturday morning but that’s actually getting ahead of ourselves a bit as another young player could reportedly see his debut on Friday.

Friday

Werder Bremen v Fortuna Dusseldorf - 2:30p on FS2

USMNT fans have been waiting impatiently all season to see if Josh Sargent will be able to make a debut. While there’s no guarantee that he will see the field he has reportedly gotten himself one step closer as the team is reporting that he will be included in the squad for Friday’s matchup with Dusseldorf.

One would guess that Sargent will likely start on the bench and he may not see time as a substitute but this is a solid step for the 18-year-old forward.

Werder Bremen are in 9th place in the Bundesliga but haven’t won in their last five tries, averaging just over a goal per game. Perhaps they’re hoping that the youngster will be able to provide a shot of energy. They’ll be facing a last place Dusseldorf team that has just two wins through thirteen games this season and has given up 29 goals which is second to only Nurnberg. Alfredo Morales had started the first ten games for Dusseldorf but has not appeared in their three most recent games.

Saturday

Schalke 04 v Borussia Dortmund - 9:30 on FS1

The 153rd meeting of the Revierderby between Schalke and Dortmund could feature Americans on either side as Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and Haji Wright could all see the field.

Haji Wright was a surprise starter for Schalke last weekend in their 1-1 draw with Hoffenheim. Wright did not have any standout moments and was subbed off in the 70th minute when fellow American Weston McKennie came on in a double switch, it was McKennie’s return from injury having missed one game each for club and country. Schalke have moved up to 12th in the table with just two losses in their last eight games after starting the season on the wrong foot with five straight losses. They’ll have their work cut out for them as they look to play the role of spoiler against their rivals in top of the table Dortmund.

Dortmund defeated Freiburg 2-0 last weekend in a game that Christian Pulisic missed due to a calf injury. It’s uncertain how severe the injury was or if Pulisic will be available for the Derby this weekend. Dortmund have yet to lose this season but will certainly not want to overlook Schalke in this rivalry game.

MLS Final - Atlanta United v Portland Timbers - 7p on Fox

Atlanta United will look to finish off their impressive second season by winning the MLS Cup Saturday evening. Atlanta finished second to the New York Red Bulls in the regular season, loosing out on the Supporters Shield by two points but handled New York in the semi-finals, winning 3-1 over the two games. Brad Guzan will be in goal for Atlanta and he will be joined in defense by Michael Parkhurst and Greg Garza with Darlington Nagbe playing in the midfield.

They’ll be facing a Portland Timbers team that defeated Sporting Kansas City 3-2 on the road. The Timbers line is likely to include Jorge Villafaña in defense as well as forward Jeremy Ebobisse who was nowhere to be found for the majority of the regular season but came on strong at the end of the regular season and has been playing ever since.

Other Notes:

  • Tim Ream saw six minutes as a substitute last weekend after four straight games on the bench for Fulham who play Manchester United at 10a on NBCSN.

Sunday

Mainz v Hannover - 9:30a on FS2

In a bit of a shock the American seeing the most regular playing time in the Bundesliga this season has been Hannover’s Bobby Wood who has appeared in 11 of their 13 games including seven straight starts. Hannover are 2-4-1 over that stretch and sit in second to last place as it looks like Wood may see himself in the heart of another relegation battle this season. Hannover face a Mainz team that has one of the leagues top defenses, the only teams that have given up fewer goals are Dortmund and RB Leipzing. However, Mainz sit at tenth in the table as they’ve been unable to score goals themselves, with only twelve goals through thirteen games, only Stuttgart have found it more difficult to score.

Other Notes:

  • DeAndre Yedlin has again been a regular 90 minute starter for Newcastle United who play the Wolverhampton Wanderers at 11a Sunday in a game that can be seen on NBCSports.com this weekend.
  • Joe Corona played in both quarterfinal games for America as they advanced to the semifinals of the Liguilla MX Apertura. They will play Pumas UNAM in the semifinals at 7:45p on Univision Deportes.