The weekend may start a little slowly but should end’s strong on Sunday, including a match between American’s Christian Pulisic and Weston McKennie.
John Brooks likely remains out with injury but his Wolfburg side, who are sitting 2 points above the relegation playoff spot, take on an Augsburg team that has been struggling recently.
Philadelphia Union v Orlando City SC - 8:00p on ESPN
The good news is that the Philadelphia Union are playing some of their youngsters: 19 year old Auston Trusty and 18 year old Matthew Real got the start in their last game against the Colorado Rapids. 24 year old Keegan Rossenberry is practically ancient and 30 year old Alejandro Bedoya is nearly dead (or perhaps that’s just his international career) by comparison. The bad news is that the Union are winless in their last three and lost 3-0 to a Colorado team that was previously winless themselves and had managed only 1.3 goals in their first three games. Hopefully the young defenders can continue to see some playing time and develop.
Orlando City looks to continue a nice winning streak, coming off wins against RB New York and Portland. While we might see some of their players like Sacha Klejstan or Dom Dwyer in the Gold Cup or Copa America in the Summer of 2019 the team doesn’t generally offer much for the USMNT fan looking to the future.
Bayer Leverkusen v Eintracht Frankfurt (Timothy Chandler) - 9:30a on FS2
Timothy Chandler was on the bench last weekend for Frankfurt as they drew with Hoffenheim. With the draw they remained above Hoffenheim and moved up one spot to fifth, two points out of a Champions League spot. There was no report of a Chandler injury so it remains to be seen if he will play this weekend in a huge matchup against fourth place Bayer Leverkusen, a win would move them up to fourth and a loss might kill their chances down the stretch as they still have games remaining against first place Bayern Munich and second place Schalke 04. It will also be interesting to see if the team responds to reports of their manager taking the helm at Bayern Munich next season.
Bayern Munich v Borussia Monchengladbach (Fabian Johnson) - 12:30p on FS2
Fabian Johnson remains out with a back injury.
Pachuca v Santos Laguna - 8:06p on ESPN Deportes
Omar Gonzalez made the field last weekend after Pachuca had built up a 5-1 lead. Presumably the coaches felt safe, assuming Omar didn’t have the offensive prowess to score 4 own goals in the remaining 21 minutes and cough up the lead. Kekuta Manneh did not make the bench for Pachuca.
Deandre Yedlin started and played 90 minutes last weekend in a 2-1 win against Leicester City. While Newcastle haven’t officially avoided relegation yet they sit in a good spot and it’s been good to see Yedlin be such a consistent presence, having now appeared in 28 straight Premier League matches, including 26 starts (shout out to eastdeflection for that statistic).
Schalke 04 (Weston McKennie) v Borussia Dortmund (Christian Pulisic) - 9:30a on FS1
It looks as though Weston McKennie has returned to action just in time to face off against Christian Pulisic and Borussia Dortmund. McKennie returned from injury last week to come on in the 46th minute of Schalke’s shocking 3-2 defeat to Hamburg. Meanwhile Pulisic went 90 minutes and scored his fourth goal of the season against Stuttgart, a wonderful combination of trickery and skill, or maybe just dumb luck. With the win BVB pulled within one point of second place Schalke. In addition to playing for second place in the standings the teams will by vying for important points. At this point it seems likely that both teams will qualify for the Champions League but Dortmund are only 5 points ahead of Eintracht Frankfurt and RB Leipzig who sit in fifth and sixth place respectively and if Schalke allow last weeks stumble against last place Hamburg to fester they could be looking at trouble.
Werder Bremen (Aron Johannsson) v RB Leipzig - 12:00p on FS2
Aron Johannsson was out with yet another injury last weekend but it was reportedly minor and he was expected to be available again this weekend already. Aron had been playing well recently and it would be good to see him take the field again but you can probably hope for nothing more than a substitute appearance. Perhaps Johannsson and his teamates can do fellow American’s McKennie, Pulisic and Chandler a favor by knocking off RB Leipzing who sit in sixth and are tied with Frankfurt on points. For their part Weder Bremen look safe as they are 9 points clear of the relegation playoff spot with 5 games remaining.
Sporting KC v Seattle - 4:00p on ESPN
Coming off a 2-0 win against the LA Galaxy, Graham Zusi, Ike Opara, Matt Besler, and the rest of the Sporting KC gang will host the Seattle Sounders. With the win SKC remained in first place in the Western Conference. Seattle will be without Clint Dempsey who was suspended an additional game for his love tap on Jacori Hayes. Christian Roldan will man the midfield for Seattle, hopefully not too exhausted from his recent appearance with the USMNT when American Manager Dave Sarachan brought him in at the 92nd minute. Seattle have only played 3 games thus far but are still looking for their first points on the season.
Atlanta United v NYCFC - 6:00p on FS1
Darlington Nagbe started and went the full 90 in Atlanta’s 5-0 drubbing of LAFC last weekend, perhaps a reminder that first year clubs shouldn’t expect the kind of success Atlanta saw last season. 17 year old Andrew Carleton saw a few minutes in stoppage time, his third appearance this year. NYCFC don’t feature much of interest to fans looking for USMNT action but they are the league leaders and are coming off an impressive 4-0 win themselves.