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USMNT viewing guide: take it slow

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Some significant competition in a slow weekend

Chelsea FC v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League
Why would you put this match behind a paywall?
Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Christian Pulisic looks to capture his first trophy with Chelsea FC this weekend. Unfortunately with the game behind a paywall, the European leagues on a brief break before starting a new season, the NWSL tournament coming to a close, and MLS is Back entering its final stages we’re left with a fairly limited slate this weekend. There are a few games to catch though, so here they are:

Friday

Orlando City SC v Los Angeles Football Club - 7:30p on FS1

One of the tournaments biggest surprises, Orlando City SC, meets one of the tournaments biggest favorites in LAFC on Friday night in the second quarterfinal of MLS is Back Tournament action. Orlando City finished 11th in the Eastern Conference last season, ahead of only FC Cincinnati, and had picked up just one point in a scoreless draw at the start of the season but came into the tournament and have gotten the results they need. The club picked up seven points in the group stage to finish a top Group A and then defeated the Montreal Impact in the first elimination round of the tournament. They haven’t exactly faced murderers row, with wins over Montreal, Inter Miami and an NYCFC team that looked like they were sleep walking through the group stage but they were results none the less.

LAFC have been scoring with ease, with 15 goals through their first four games. They did settle for two draws in the group stage as their defense allowed three goals to Houston and a pair to the Timbers. However, they easily handled Seattle 4-1 in the first elimination stage and look like a decent bet to take home the trophy. There aren’t a ton of USMNT eligible players to keep an eye on for either team but Chris Mueller has looked good for Orlando and Bob Bradley mans the helm for LAFC.

Saturday

Arsenal v Chelsea FC - 1p on ESPN+

We usually try to avoid focusing on games behind the paywall but this is the game of the weekend for USMNT fans. Christian Pulisic has declared himself healthy and will be seeking his first trophy with Chelsea when they face Arsenal in the FA Cup final on Saturday. Pulisic would become just the third American to play in the FA Cup final, following in the footsteps of Tim Howard and John Harkes.

Chelsea finished up their fourth place campaign last weekend with a 2-0 win over Wolverhampton to guarantee a Champions League spot but they’ll still be looking to take home some silverware this weekend when they face an Arsenal team that finished a disappointing eighth place and will miss out on European competition next season unless they are able to win the FA Cup and the associated Europa League spot.

The game is on ESPN+ Saturday which will cost you $5 for a month or $50 for a year if you’ve already used your free trial. The many options for independent subscription services aren’t great and can get pretty pricey if you need them all but the ESPN+ package does provide one of the best values out there and $5 isn’t terrible if you’re just interested in watching Pulisic’s quest for a trophy.

Other Notes:

  • Jackson Yeuill, Nick Lima and the San Jose Earthquakes take on the other big surprise of the tournament in Minnesota United on Saturday in elimination play at 8p on ESPN2.
  • Pumas UNAM face Atlas at 10p on Univision. However, Sebastian Saucedo was not included in the squad for Pumas in their return to action.
  • James Sands and NYCFC will play Jeremy Ebobisse and the Portland Timbers at 10:30p on FS1 to finish out the weekend.

While there isn’t a ton of action it should be an exciting weekend, let us know what you’re watching tin the comments section below.