The kickoff of MLS this weekend, including four games on the major networks, has significantly increased the pool of games available to follow this weekend and along with a solid slate of Bundesliga action there are quite a few games that we can track through the weekend. So here we go:
Fortuna Dusseldorf v Hertha Berlin - 2:30p on FS2
The weekend kicks off with a Bundesliga match that should see Alfredo Morales take the field with Fortuna Dusseldorf when the team faces Hertha Berlin on Friday afternoon. Morales came off the bench last weekend which snapped a streak of seven straight starts for the American. Dusseldorf won the game thanks to two goals before Morales came on and the win snapped a five game winless streak so perhaps that doesn’t speak well to the role Morales has been playing with the team. The victory was a crucial one for the team though as they need every point they can get to avoid relegation. With the win they remained in 16th place and the relegation playoff spot but drew within two points of Mainz for 15th place.
This weekend Dusseldorf will be playing 15th place Hertha Berlin who are coming off a humiliating 5-0 loss to FC Koln despite out possessing them nearly 2-1. Another victory for Dusseldorf this weekend could very well raise them out of the relegation zone and set them on a trajectory for safety this season.
Borussia Dortmund v Freiburg - 9:30a on FS2
Giovanni Reyna still awaits his first Bundesliga start but continues to get significant minutes off the bench for Borussia Dortmund and has looked the part every time he has seen the field for the team. BVB currently sit in third place, four points back of league leading Bayern Munich and are coming off a 2-0 win over toothless Werder Bremen. Dortmund may be looking ahead to the second leg of their Champions League match-up with PSG which could lead them to rest some of their normal starters and could provide additional minutes for Reyna though it did not seem to impact his usage when they had a short turn around after the first leg.
Dortmund will take on a Freiburg side who are coming off a 2-0 loss to Fortuna Dusseldorf and who have three losses and just one win in their last five games, a stretch which has included losses to 13th place Koln and last place Paderborn. The team is clearly struggling at this point and BVB would be wise to take advantage if they want to retain any hopes of a Bundesliga title this season.
- Nashville SC get their MLS debut and their national TV debut simultaneously on Saturday at 8p on Fox. Walker Zimmerman will be lending a sense of MLS experience for Nashville but it could be a rough debut for the new MLS club as they face what looks to be another tough Atlanta United side who have lost a couple key players including Darlington Nagbe but Emerson Hyndman and Brooks Lennon both look to see a good number of minutes this season and Brad Guzan continues to mind the net. Miles Robinson missed the Concacaf Champions League games for Atlanta and his time frame for return is unknown.
- Ventura Alvarado and Necaxa have lost three straight and fallen all the way down to 11th place in Liga MX. They’ll have their work cut out for them this weekend when they take on league leading America at 8p on ESPN Deportes.
- Sebastian Saucedo and third place Pumas UNAM face Tigres UANL at 10p on TUDN. Saucedo has been a consistent performer for his team as they continue to push for the top of the table.
Looking through the paywall:
- Fabian Johnson’s Borussia Monchengladbach side play Augsburg at 9:30a on Fox Soccer Plus. Unfortunately Johnson has barely sniffed the field this season and was not even included in the squad for last weekends 1-1 draw with Hoffenheim.
- Weston McKennie started but played just 54’ in Schalke’s 5-0 loss to RB Leipzig last weekend. If you’re looking for a silver lining it’s probably that 4 of the 5 goals were scored after McKennie left the field. The team will look to bounce back this weekend with a more favorable match-up against Koln at 11:30a on Fox Soccer Plus.
Werder Bremen v Eintracht Frankfurt - Noon on FS2
Timothy Chandler and Eintracht Frankfurt will look to take advantage a favorable match-up against a struggling Werder Bremen side to snap a two game losing streak on Sunday afternoon. Chandler has produced instant results in his new role on the right wing for Frankfurt but a bad loss to BVB followed by a second to 12th place Union Berlin has dampened things a bit.
Things could turn around quickly for Frankfurt however as they face a Werder Bremen side that has lost five straight and nine of their past ten with just three goals scored over that time. Clearly it’s been a rough stretch for Werder Bremen and things haven’t looked good for Josh Sargent either who has seen time of the bench but has been unable to provide any significant impact. The team sits squarely in the relegation zone and it’s hard to see that changing without a drastic turn around.
- John Brooks has started the past two league games for Wolfsburg after being benched for the previous three. Wolfsburg has won both matches so perhaps Brooks can work himself out of the doghouse. The team plays Union Berlin at 7:30a on FS1 Sunday morning.
- RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen meet Sunday at 9:30a on FS1 in a top five match-up. No word at this point on Tyler Adams return from his most recent injury.
- Jordan Morris, Cristian Roldan and the Seattle Sounders will face the Chicago Fire at 3p on ESPN as they kick off their respective seasons.
- The Los Angeles Football Club will welcome David Beckham and Inter Miami to the MLS Sunday evening when the teams play at 5:30p on ESPN. The over / under on cutaways to David Beckham in the stands has tentatively been set at seventy bazillion.
- The Portland Timbers and Minnesota United finish up the weekend when they meet at 7:30p on FS1.