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USMNT weekend viewing guide: previews and foreboding

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Valencia CF v FC Barcelona - La Liga Santander Photo by Aitor Alcalde Colomer/Getty Images

It’s shaping up to be one of the most significant months in USMNT history for players making their way in Europe and this weekend’s action is a major factor in that. In the EPL we have a preview of the Champions League matchup between Manchester City and Chelsea; in Spain it’s Sergino Dest and Barcelona looking to make a title winning move in La Liga; and in Germany there is no race for the title but we do have Borussia Dortmund looking to sneak their way into Champions League competition and Werder Bremen looking to avoid a fall into relegation. All that and more coming at you this weekend:

Friday

Lens v Lille - 3p on Fanatiz USA and beIN Sport

Timothy Weah and Lille remain one point ahead of Paris Saint Germain for the Ligue one title with three matches to play and this weekends matchup representing their most difficult remaining match. The team play fifth place Lens this weekend before wrapping up their season with matches against midtable opponents Saint-Etienne and Angers. Weah was back on the bench last weekend after missing the prior match due to injury but did not appear as his team won the match 2-0.

Looking through the paywall:

  • Pellegrino Matarazzo and Stuttgart continue their impressive season when they face Augsburg at 2:30p on ESPN+.
  • Real Salt Lake and the San Jose Earthquakes kick off the MLS weekend with David Ochoa looking for a reason to punt the ball into the stands again and Cade Cowell looking to add to his two goal, three assist tally early in the season.

Saturday

Barcelona v Atletico Madrid - 10:15a on Fanatiz USA and beIN Sport

It’s a great weekend to get yourself a free trial of Fanatiz USA or Fubo TV for some beIN Sports if you don’t already subscribe to one of the services because this could very well be the decisive weekend for the La Liga title as the winner of this match between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid will put them in the drivers seat. Currently Atletico hold a two point advantage for the title but can’t play for the draw with Barcelona to maintain the lead as Real Madrid is also just two points back (and facing fourth place Sevilla this weekend). There are still another three matches to play after this weekend so it won’t all be over this weekend regardless but Barcelona has the easiest remaining schedule and it would be surprising to see them fall behind if they were able to take the league lead this weekend.

Sergino Dest started and played 75’ last week in the 3-2 win over Valencia a week after remaining on the bench in the clubs disappointing 2-1 loss to Granada. The loss in conjunction with La Liga settling ties by head-to-head first rather than point differential mean Barcelona don’t entirely control their own destiny as they are tied with Real Madrid and lost both matches this season and thus will need them to stumble as well before the end of the season. However, should Barcelona be able to come away from the weekend with a victory over Atletico it would give them at least one foot up in the race.

Other Notes:

  • Christian Pulisic and Chelsea meet Manchester City in a preview of the upcoming Champions League final. City can clinch the league title with a win while Chelsea look to hold on to a three point advantage for the fourth position and Champions League qualification. The match will be played at 12:30p on NBC.
  • The NWSL Challenge Cup final between the Portland Thorns and Gotham FC will take place on Saturday afternoon at 1p and cab be seen on CBS. The Thorns will include USWNT members Crystal Dunn, Lindsey Horan, Meghan Klingenberg and Becky Saurebrunn. Carli Llloyd will lead the charge for Gotham.
  • Dante Sealy scored his first for DC Dallas last weekend, Paston Pomykal continues to work his way back, and Tanner Tessmann and Ricardo Pepi both started last weekend. This weekend the team will face the Houston Dynamo at 3:50p on Univision and TUDN.
  • NYCFC and Orland City meet this weekend at 6p on ESPN and ESPN Deportes. James Sands and Keaton Parks have been playing regular roles for NYCFC and Chris Mueller and Andres Perea continue to feature for Orlando City.
  • The latest edition of el Traffico kicks off Saturday night at 8p on Fox when Julian Araujo, Cameron Dunbar and the LA Galaxy face LAFC and, um, Correy Baird?

Looking through the paywall:

  • Chris Richards and Hoffenheim take on relegation bound Schalke and Matthew Hoppe though Hoppe hasn’t played more than a handful of minutes in the past month. The match will be played at 9:30a on ESPN+.
  • John Brooks and Wolfsburg continue their Champions League push against Union Berlin at 9:30a on ESPN+. Wolfsburg hold a two point advantage over fifth-place Dortmund and face RB Leipzig next weekend.
  • Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig meeting in what is also a preview match, the first of two games to be played in a week as the teams will meet next Thursday in the dfb Pokal final. A win would secure second place in the Bundesliga for Tyler Adams and RB Leipzig while BVB continue to push for Champions League qualification. Dortmund are currently just a point behind Eintracht Frankfurt with three games to play but have the most difficult remaining schedule of the teams in the top five including this match against Leipzig and their final matchday meeting with Bayer Leverkusen.
  • Speaking of uphill battles, that is exactly what face Werder Bremen if they look to avoid relegation. Currently tied for the relegation playoff spot and one point ahead of FC Cologne for straight relegation, Werder Bremen have easily the most difficult remaining schedule including this weekend’s matchup with Bayer Leverkusen at 9:30a on ESPN+. Werder Bremen will need to find a way to secure some points in their final three games, FC Cologne and Hertha Berlin have a remaining match against Schalke.
  • Caden Clark, Aaron Long, and the New York Red Bulls face Ayo Akinola, Michael Bradley, and Toronto FC at 1p on ESPN+.
  • The Chicago Fire play the Philadelphia Union at 1p on ESPN+. The Union continue to get results with their mix of veterans such as Alejandro Bedoya while finding time to play their youths.
  • Gyasi Zardes and the Columbus Crew look to bounce back from their CCL disappointment when they face DC United at 1:30p on ESPN+. DCU are off to a slow start but Moses Nyeman has seen some playing time, including the start last weekend.
  • Walker Zimmerman and Nashville SC face Matt Turner and the New England Revolution at 1:30p on ESPN+.
  • Saturday’s nightcap is Kellyn Acosta, Sam Vines and the Colorado Rapids facing Minnesota United and Hasanni Dotson at 10p on ESPN+.

Sunday

Portland Timbers v Seattle Sounders - 3p on ABC and ESPN Deportes

The latest edition of the Cascadia Derby gets the full network treatment Sunday afternoon as the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders face off for the first time this season. The Sounders are coming off a 3-0 thumping of the LA Galaxy and have two wins and a draw to start the season. Cristan Roldan has been playing well enough that he’ll probably get a Gold Cup look and Danny Leyva got 10’ off the bench last weekend. The Portland Timbers are coming off a midweek 3-1 loss to Club America in the CCL and a 4-1 loss to FC Dallas last weekend. Eryk Williamson looks like he’s becoming a key piece for the team and Jeremy Ebobisse is slowly returning from injury. Recent form would suggest that Seattle should cruise to victory but it’s a rivalry game so that adds another layer of uncertainty, just settle in and enjoy the chaos.

Other notes:

  • Gianlucca Busio and Sporting Kansas City take on Austin FC at 7:30p on FS1. Busio played on the win last weekend after starting the clubs first two matches in the forward position.

Looking through the paywall:

  • Valencia face Real Valladolid at 10:15a on Fanatiz USA and beIN Sports. Yunus Musah did not make it off the bench last weekend in Valencia’s 3-2 loss to Barcelona.
  • Roma looks to bounce back from elimination in the Europa League at the hands of Manchester United when they face Crotone at Noon on ESPN+. Bryan Reynolds has not made if off the bench for three straight matches following his two starts.
  • Weston McKennie and Juventus can take a bit step towards Champions League qualification by winning a tough matchup with AC Milan at 2:45p on ESPN+.