After some time off to go all in on World Cup and Gold Cup action The Weekend Viewing Guide is back and ready for club action. We’re still several weeks away from the opening of regular season play for the major European clubs but MLS is in the heart of their season and Liga MX starts up their Fall season this weekend. Additionally the open thread can be your go to location to see which players are seeing some time in preseason action, which may or may not point to their role in the upcoming season (see: Weah, Timothy - 2018 preseason).
Since we’ve had half a Summer off here’s a recap of what we’re up to: We’ll look to keep you aware of all the matches featuring USMNT players (former, current, or potential - all of which are loosely defined at the discretion of the author) that are available on one of the major networks (Fox, NBC, FS1, ESPN, Univision, etc.). We’ll try to go a bit deeper on 2-3 games a week and provide quick hit notes on all the others. There are also a number of streaming services but we won’t be covering any of those simple because we don’t have the time. Just ESPN+ has a huge number of matches available including all the MLS games, US Open Cup, Carabao Cup, USL, English League Championship, Dutch Eredivise, etc. etc. etc. just sorting through and listing all those games becomes overly burdensome. Enjoy those streaming services but the network games is where we choose to make a nice clean cut. There’s also usually a good bit of chatter in the comments section that calls out players who are seeing time or making an impact in various leagues around the world, whether they’re available for viewing or not.
Without further ado let’s get to this weeks version of the Weekend Viewing Guide:
LA Galaxy v Los Angeles Football Club - 10p on ESPN
If you’re okay with the late start the MLS weekend kicks off Friday night with a solid matchup between league leading LAFC and their intercity rivals, LA Galaxy. The Galaxy will be hosting this edition of the young rivalry with LAFC looking for their first win in four meetings. The Galaxy are currently in third place in the Western Conference and have been on a seesaw ride the last two months, alternating wins and losses. The team lacks much of a USMNT presence outside of Joe Corona and David Bingham though Efrain Alvarez remains eligible to represent the team and based on early returns would be a coup if he would switch. However, he has most recently chosen to represent Mexico at the youth levels and appears committed to the team.
LAFC have won three straight league games, five of their last six, and currently hold a 10 point lead for the Supporters Shield. On that side of the ball keep an eye on Christian Ramirez, Walker Zimmerman, and perhaps 21 year old Joshua Perez as well who started last Friday in a heavily rotated side.
Necaxa v Cruz Azul - 10p on Univision Deportes
Your best bet for catching an American in action on Saturday is also the late game when Ventura Alvarado and Necaxa kick off their Fall campaign against Cruz Azul Saturday night. Alvarado was a regular for Necaxa at centerback in the Spring, appearing in 13 of 17 games and wearing the captains armband in all but one of those games. It was a middling season for Necaxa who finished in 11th place. This Saturday they will be taking on a Cruz Azul team that finished 12th in the Spring.
Atlanta United v D.C. United - 4p on ESPN
Atlanta United and DC United face off on Sunday afternoon in a battle of two teams looking to make a run at the top of the Eastern Conference standings. Currently D.C. United sit in second place with 35 points, one point behind the East leading Philadelphia Union, while Atlanta sit in third with 33 points. Atlanta are coming in off a dominating win over the Houston Dynamo, their first league win in four attempts. Darlington Nagbe and Brad Guzan are likely to start for the team while Brek Shea and newly arrived Emerson Hyndman (on loan from AFC Bournemouth) could see time as well.
D.C. United have a short turn around following their Thursday matchup with FC Cincinnati. The win over the cellar dwellers was a needed respite for a team that had managed just one win in their past nine league games. Bill Hamid will be in net, Paul Arriola is back with the team following Gold Cup duty, and will likely be joined by Russel Canouse and Steve Birnbaum as well. Chris Durkin appeared in his first two games after returning from the U20 World Cup but has failed to appear in the teams last four matches.
- The Chicago Red Stars face the North Carolina Courage at 6p on ESPN2 in a game that could feature as many as eight World Cup champions taking the field. Alyssa Naeher, Tierna Davidson, Morgan Brian and Julie Ertz all represent the Red Stars while Abby Dahlkemper, Crystal Dunn, Samantha Mewis and Jessica McDonald represent the Courage.
- Orlando City SC and the New York Red Bulls meet at 7:30p on FS1. Aaron Long is back in action for the Red Bulls as they look to build on back-to-back wins and push to the top of the Eastern Conference standings.
- The Seattle Sounds and Portland Timbers face off in the nightcap at 9:30p on FS1. Jordan Morris and Cristian Roldan are back in action for Seattle while Jeremy Ebobisse is likely to see the field for Portland.
Let us know what you’re following this weekend, whether that’s MLS and Liga MX regular season or the preseason activities of other players, in the comments section below.