Deep breath, crisis averted! The international break is over and the USMNT has qualified for the final round of the prestigious Nations League tournament thanks to the team exacting their revenge in a win over Canada. For those of you who are wondering, no the bad news isn’t that Canada has suddenly become our rival or even that we needed to exact revenge against them, the bad news is that there isn’t another international break until March of next year. Two thirds of “The Group” will gather again in January for Camp Cupcake but the camp will be limited to MLS players as the international players will remain with their clubs. On second thought, maybe that’s not such bad news. And don’t be alarmed, between now and the March break we’ll be here with your guide on where to catch your favorite USMNT players suiting up internationally whenever they can be found on broadcast television.
There is a lack of games on Sunday of this week but we’ll be making up for it with some bonus Monday action. Here’s what we’ll be watching:
Puebla v Necaxa - 8p on TUDN USA
Captain Ventura Alvarado and his Necaxa side have come up just short in the battle for first place in Liga MX but will look to finish the season on a positive note with a win over Puebla Friday evening. A win or draw would see Necaxa finish the Apertura alone in second place. It was a strong season for Necaxa with the team vying for first place throughout the year but they came up just short in the end as league leading Santos Laguna sit five points ahead going into the last match day. It was an impressive season for Alvarado who captained the team for every match prior to missing the past two games.
- The other, other Captain America will take the field Friday afternoon at 2:45p for Fulham on ESPN+. Fulham sit just outside of the promotion playoff spots after the first third of the season.
Eintracht Frankfurt v Wolfsburg - 9:30a on Fox Deportes
A potential match-up of American’s in the Bundesliga as Timothy Chandler and Eintracht Frankfurt face John Anthony Brooks and Wolfsburg on Saturday morning. Currently the teams are ninth and tenth in the table, both with 17 points and within four points of fourth place SC Frieburg and a coveted Champions League position. Frankfurt are coming off a 1-0 loss to Frieburg, a loss which was punctuated by Frankfurt’s captain being shown the red-card for running over Freiburg’s coach. The incident also resulted in the player receiving a seven game suspension.
Wolfsburg are looking for their first win in eight matches across all competitions, a stretch which includes most recently four straight losses by a combined twelve goals. Brooks has had a rough stretch as well being relegated to the bench for three matches during the stretch and being left out of the squad all together in a fourth. Maybe the silver lining is that he’s missed out on the clubs most embarrassing losses?
- Zack Steffen, Alfredo Morales and Fortuna Dusseldorf with face Bayern Munich at 9:30a on FS1. Steffen missed the international break for extended rest but seems likely to be available for Dusseldorf as they look to avoid a relegation scrap. Meanwhile Bayern have won their two games since firing Niko Kovac and currently sit in third place.
- A third game at 9:30a on Saturday morning has Fabian Johnson’s first-place Borussia Monchengladbach facing FC Union Berlin.
- Christian Pulisic missed the international break due to a hip injury but according to Frank Lampard is available this weekend and in contention to start against Manchester City when the two teams face off on NBC at 12:30p. Pulisic was on an absolute tear heading into the break with five goals and two assists in his last five games and it seems likely both he and Lampard are anxious for him to be back out there to continue his form.
Aston Villa v Newcastle United - 3p on NBCSN
Speaking of American goal scorers DeAndre Yedlin and Newcastle will face Aston Villa Monday afternoon. Yedlin scored the match tying goal as Newcastle would go on to win 2-1 over AFC Bournemouth heading into the international break. With the win Newcastle sit in 13th place just ahead of Tottenham Hotspur. This week they will be playing an Aston Villa team that has lost three straight Premier League games and currently sit in 17th place, just outside of the relegation zone.
What else are you keeping an eye on? Let us know in the comments below.