There’s a decently full slate of games this weekend but with a couple of caveats...
Hannover 96 v Werder Bremen (Aron Johannsson) - 2:30p on FS2
It should have been a solid start to the weekend with a Werder Bremen game on Friday with some likelihood that Aron Johannsson would pick up some more playing time in a substitute role. Unfortunately it sounds like Aron has picked up anther injury, though this one is minor. He’s out for Friday’s game but is expected to be available again for their game next weekend.
Saint-Etienne v PSG (Timothy Weah) - 2:45p on beIN
Timothy Weah wasn’t in the 18 for PSG’s Cup Final against Monaco last weekend but was reportedly in the initial 20 man list. However, Weah has been included in the 18 for this weekend and with PSG’s healthy lead in league play he could be in line for some minutes, a pretty remarkable statement about an 18 year old American playing for one of the most recognizable teams in the world.
Stoke City (Geoff Cameron) v Tottenham - 10:00a on Telemundo Deportes
Stoke City sit in 2nd to last place coming into the weekend but the bottom of the table is fairly crowded and they are only 4 points from safety. Geoff Cameron didn’t see the field last weekend, an apparent healthy scratch, in Stoke’s 3-0 defeat to Arsenal. Stoke need to shore up their league worst defense if they’re going to stay in the Premiership next season and it will be intriguing to see if Cameron is a part of that.
Hamburg (Bobby Wood) v Schalke 04 (Weston McKennie) - 12:30p on FS2
It doesn’t seem like there’s much more to be said about Bobby Wood at this point, he was left off the squad for a last place Hamburg team last weekend that seems destined for relegation. Hamburg have managed only 19 points on the season and sit seven points back of the relegation playoff spot. Even if the teams ahead of them didn’t gain another point on the year they’d be unlikely to pick up the necessary seven points in their remaining six games.
Schalke sit at the opposite end of the spectrum, in second place behind only league giants Bayern Munich. Schalke are in a good position to make a Champions League spot with one of the easier remaining schedules over the final six games. It remains to be seen how much of a role Weston McKennie will play as he remained out last weekend due to injury concerns.
Atlanta United v LA Football Club - 5p on ESPN
Atlanta United come off an ugly 1-0 road win against Minnesota where things started off promising with a 3rd minute goal but went down with the temps from there. Atlanta was down to 10 men before halftime due to Leandro Gonzalez Pirez’s second yellow card. Former USMNT player Michael Parkhurst picked up Man of the Match honors helping Atlanta and Brad Guzan hold on to the shutout and pick up three points. Darlington Nagbe and Greg Garza also went 90 minutes but with the man advantage Minnesota dominated possession. Andrew Carleton was out with strep throat so didn’t see any time, he’s still listed on this weeks injury report so may still be unavailable.
You probably haven’t heard yet that LAFC got Zlataned last weekend coughing up a 3 goal lead to lose 3-4 in the first LA Derby. Bob Bradley and Benny Feilhaber will look to get things turned around quickly and may be joined by Walker Zimmerman who was in the 18 last weekend but is apparently still dealing with injury himself.
Borussia Dortmund (Christian Pulisic) v VfB Stuttgart - 9:30a on FS1
Borussia Dortmund were embarrassed last weekend in a 6-0 drubbing at the hands of Bayern Munich that really was as bad as it sounds. BVB remain in third but will need to bounce back quickly as they’re only 3 points ahead of 6th and have difficult games the next couple of weeks against Schalke and Bayer Leverkusen. Christian Pulisic got the start and had some dangerous moments but was subbed off in the 75th. It seems likely he’ll start again but if not you should be able to at least catch some substitute minutes.
Eintracht Frankfurt (Timothy Chandler) v Hoffenheim - 12:00p on FS2
While BVB’s loss was more embarrassing by virtue of the scoreline Eintracht Frankfurt’s 2-1 loss to 12th Place Werder Bremen was far more damaging for their European qualifying hopes. The loss dropped Frankfurt from 4th to 6th and they have one of the more difficult schedules remaining including games against Bayern and Schalke. Adding more pressure to this weekend is that Frankfurt play 7th place Hoffenheim who could vault them with a win and knock them out of the Europa League playoff position as well. Timothy Chandler started and went the first 65 minutes last weekend and should return to the starting lineup again this weekend though he has cooled off a bit since his blazing return from injury. He and the rest of his team will need to turn things around quickly and play very well down the stretch to maintain a top 6 position.
Orlando City SC v Portland Timbers - 4:00p on ESPN
Dom Dwyer and Sacha Kljestan did their parts last weekend in a 4-3 win over the New York Red Bulls tallying 2 goals (Dwyer) and an assist (Kljestan) between them. It was Orlando’s first win of the season and they’ll look to build on that as they host Portland this weekend.
For their part the Timbers are still looking for their first win and coming off a 2-2 draw with the Chicago Fire. 19 year old Left Back Marco Farfan continues to get playing time for the struggling Timbers, getting the start again last weekend and going 82’. He’s one of a handful of young LB options for the USMNT to keep an eye on moving forward.
LA Galaxy v Sporting KC - 9:00p on FS1
A huge weekend for the LA Galaxy with heroics by a former Premier League player who’s also eligible for the USMNT as Sebastian Lletget opened the scoring for the Galaxy in their comeback against LAFC before being pulled off for some guy named Zlatan. Chris Pontius also got in on the action with the second of the Galaxy’s four goals.
Sporting KC’s trio of defensive USMNT players - Zusi, Opara, and Besler - are coming off a clean sheet against D.C. United and will look to hold the line against Lletget, Pontius, and anyone else they might bring to town with them, like another former European player recently making a move stateside, Perry Kitchen.