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USMNT Feb 15-17 viewing guide and open thread

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With a little Monday on the side.

Chivas v Necaxa - Torneo Apertura 2018 Liga MX Photo by Refugio Ruiz/Getty Images

The Champions League and Europa League competitions have started up again, allowing additional opportunities but there’s also the potential that the midweek action could impact player availability over the weekends. With that caveat in mind here are the opportunities you could have this weekend to catch USMNT members in action.

Friday

Tijuana v Veracruz - 10:06p on FS2

Once again this Friday there’s just one USMNT member in action on Friday and again it’s happening south of the border in Liga MX. Joe Corona’s Tijuana takes on Veracruz Friday in some night action. Unfortunately even this game seems unlikely to be a viewing opportunity for USMNT fans as Corona has rarely seen the field for Tijuana since returning from his loan spell with Club America. In fact Corona was not included in the 18 for Tijuana’s last match, a 1-1 draw with Santos Laguna.

Saturday

Schalke 04 v SC Freiburg - 9:30a on FS2

Schalke are one of several teams impacted by the European competitions as they are set to face Manchester City on Wednesday. It’s possible that the midweek Champions League competition could impact Weston McKennie’s availability over the weekend but he’s been such a strong and regular presence for the team that it seems likely he’ll see some time. On the flip side it’s also possible that the midweek action could positively impact Haji Wright who has seen just a minute of time since the team returned from their winter break.

Schalke have lost their past two league games, including a 3-1 loss to Bayern Munich last weekend and the team now sits in 14th place, a sharp drop off from their second place finish last season. The team is much closer to a relegation fight than to making a push for 2019-20 European competition so it will be interesting to see how they balance their faint Champions League hopes with their League expectations.

This weekend Schalke will be facing a Freiburg team that sits just above them in the Bundesliga standings and is coming off back-to-back draws with Wolfsburg and Stuttgart.

Stuttgart v RB Leipzig - 9:30a on Univision Deportes

After three straight starts, including one in DFB-Pokal play, Tyler Adams saw just a brief appearance last weekend in RB Leipzig’s 0-0 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt, a result that saw them maintain their five point lead over Frankfurt for the final Champions League position. With the draw Leipzig remain undefeated in Adams’ appearances, something which should certainly lead us to draw conclusions about causation. Leipzig have been eliminated from European Competition and remain 12 points out of first place in the Bundesliga so their primary goal down the stretch will likely be to maintain at least a fourth place position to secure Champions League play for next season.

Hertha BSC v Werder Bremen - 12:30p on FS2

Josh Sargent continues to make regular appearances off the bench for Werder Bremen, having now appeared in 7 of 8 matches for the team since joining the senior side full time. However, the 2 minutes he received last weekend as the team saw out the final minutes of their 4-0 victory over Augsburg was his briefest appearance to date.

Werder Bremen sit in 10th place in the league in what is once again a very crowded middle tier of the table. They are 15 points clear of the relegation zone and sit just three points back of Bayern Leverkusen for sixth place and Europa League qualifying.

This weekend Werder Bremen will be facing 8th place Hertha Berlin who are just a point ahead of them in the standings and are coming off a 3-0 victory over 3rd place Borussia Monchengladbach. There are no American’s who will feature on that side of the ball as Jonathan Klinsmann has yet to feature for the first team and will reportedly be looking to catch on with a new team this Summer as Hertha are expected to let him leave the club.

Update:

Wolfsburg v Mainz - 9:30a on Fox Deportes

John Brooks and Wolfsburg will be facing Mainz at 9:30 in a match that can be seen on Fox Deportes. Wolfsburg are currently in 7th place, just a point behind Bayer Leverkusen for the final qualifying spot for European competition. Mainz is in 11th and coming off an ugly 5-1 loss to Leverkusen.Lever

Other Notes:

  • Captain Ventura Alvarado leads undefeated Necaxa as they meet Tigres UANL in a matchup of top four clubs at 8p on Univision Deportes.
  • Omar Gonzalez and Atlas face Guadalajara at 10p on Univision Deportes. Atlas is coming off their second loss of the season, they’ve figured out how to score but are now looking for their first clean sheet.
  • In Mexican 2nd League action Rubio Rubin and Dorados will face Atlante at 10p on ESPN Deportes. Rubin has started and gone the full 90 for Dorados their past 3 games.

Sunday

Eintracht Frankfurt v Borussia Monchengladbach - 9:30a on FS2

Sunday is an “Other Notes” sort of day with Bundesliga action limited to Eintracht Frankfurt facing off against Borussia Monchengladbach at 9:30a on FS2. Both teams have an American representative but while Timothy Chandler has returned to training he seems unlikely to appear this weekend and Fabian Johnson has not made the field in four straight, including being left out of the 18 altogether on two occasions. The meeting would otherwise be an intriguing one as it sees two top five clubs facing off.

Lobos BUAP v Queretaro - 5p on Univision Deportes

Along with Ventura Alvarado, Michael Orozco remains the most steady U.S. presence in Liga MX having played in all 23 games for Lobos BUAP in the 2018-19 seasons. The club is looking to pick up their first win in the last five and bounce back from a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Monterrey.

Monday Bonus Action: Nurnberg v Borussia Dortmund - 2:30p on FS1

It’s hard to put a finger on what to expect from Christian Pulisic, the young man remained on the bench last weekend as the team coughed up a 3-0 lead to Hoffenheim, having to settle for a 3-3 draw. He then got the start midweek in the teams Champions League matchup with Tottenham when Favre finally decided to play Jadon Sancho and Pulisic together. Unfortunately, after a relatively strong first half with several opportunities things fell apart for BVB in the second half with Tottenham finishing the first leg with a 3-0 win.

Dortmund will be looking to bounce back quickly from their two poor results to maintain their lead at the top of the Bundesliga table. On Monday they’ll face a last place Nurnberg team that should provide them a good opportunity to get back on track but the pressure could start to rise if things begin to seem more difficult than anticipated as it will be crucial for Dortmund to walk away from the match with all three points.

What are you looking forward to watching this weekend? What are you noticing as you tune in? Let us know in the comments below.