With European leagues having come to a close, things are slowing down a bit for the summer. But, there’s still some action domestically this weekend as well as the USMNT U-20s kicking off their World Cup action Friday with a matchup against Ukraine and the USWNT with their final send-off game before the World Cup kicks off. So let’s get right to the action.
Ukraine U-20 v US U-20 - 2:30p on FS1
The US U-20s kick off their World Cup campaign against Ukraine on Friday in what could be their toughest match of the group stage, and they need to start strong in order to ensure they are able to finish first in the group and avoid a Round of 16 match-up with likely Group E winners, and tournament favorites, France.
The U-20s should put forward a pretty exciting attacking and possession side, with names that will be familiar to a lot of US fans, even if they haven’t been following the U-20s such as Paxton Pomykal, Chris Durkin, Alex Mendez, Ulysses Llanez, and Timothy Weah. The Ukrainians feature a number of players who made it to the semi-finals of the U-19 Euros in 2018 before losing to Portugal. However, they will be without one of their best players, Vitaliy Mykolenko a left back who has seen time for Dynamo Kyiv and the Ukrainian senior team.
Orlando City v LA Galaxy - 7p on Univision Deportes
Orlando City are coming off a 5-1 shellacking of FC Cincinnati and will look to build on that as they try to get their early season form turned back around. Dom Dwyer came on as a substitute against Cincinnati and scored the fifth goal for Orlando City, while Sacha Kljestan did not make the 18.
The Galaxy are coming off a 1-0 loss to the Colorado Rapids and are on a rough stretch having lost four straight. Sebastian Lletget and Joe Corona will look to help the Galaxy get things back on track.
Chicago Fire v New York City FC - 3:30p on Univision Deportes
Djordje Mihailovic and the Chicago Fire are coming off a 4-1 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes, which snapped a two game win streak. The team is currently in ninth place, though well within striking distance of the playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. This weekend, they will be facing 6th place New York City FC, who are just two points ahead of them in the standings. NYCFC are coming off a 2-0 win over the LA Galaxy but thanks to wonky MLS scheduling, that game was two weeks ago. James Sands has been seeing pretty regular starts for the team while Keaton Parks has seen the occasional substitute appearance.
Sporting Kansas City v Seattle Sounders - 6p on FS1
Sporting K.C. continue to struggle this season, as they are winless since March, and they are currently in 11th place in the Western Conference, which makes them the front runner for most disappointing club of 2019. Most recently, they drew 1-1 with the Vancouver Whitecaps despite playing down a man for nearly half the match after Krisztian Nemeth was sent off early in the second half. Matt Besler, Benny Feilhaber and Kelyn Rowe will look to get Kansas City back on track and Gedion Zelalem would like to contribute as well, but he has seen only limited minutes off the bench.
Meanwhile, the Seattle Sounders are one of the strongest teams in the West, currently sitting in second place and coming off a scoreless draw on the road against the Eastern Conference leading Philadelphia Union. Cristian Roldan continues to be a strong presence for the Sounders and seems to have added the long distance banger to his arsenal this season with two goal of the week candidates recently.
- The United States Women’s National Team will face Mexico in their final send off game ahead of the Women’s World Cup starting at 11:30a on ESPN. Stars and Stripes FC will have full coverage of the game.
- Leon and Tigres UANL will play in the Liga MX final at 9:06 on Univision Deportes. Tigres won the first leg 1-0, so Leon will need to turn things back around at home. William Yarbrough has not seem time in the net recently but will be on hand to cheer on his team and potentially hoist the trophy as league champion.
- On Monday the U-20s will face Nigeria in their second game of the group stage. The game will air on FS1 at 2:30p Monday afternoon.
Come along for the ride as we cheer on the U-20s and catch some MLS action as well. Let us know what you’re seeing and what else we should be keeping an eye on in the comments below.