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USMNT weekend viewing guide: relegation looms

Big matches at the bottom of the tables and elsewhere

Hertha BSC v VfB Stuttgart - Bundesliga Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images

The train is reaching the end of the track and relegation is starting to look like a certainty for some clubs while others still have some hope of avoiding the drop though they’ll need to make a sudden reversal of fortunes and in some cases get some help as well. If you like dark viewing you’re in luck this weekend, let’s get to it:

Friday

Union Berlin v Greuther Furth - 2:30p on ESPN+

With three matches to play in the season and Greuther Furth’s relegation fate sealed Timothy Tillman and Julian Green will be headed to 2 Bundesliga next season unless they make a case for being brought in by a new first tier side over the Summer. Tillman, who has only seen action with the US at the youth levels would seem to have the better chance of catching an eye as he has at least started the majority of the clubs matches since making it off the bench last September while Green has gone through several stretches where he saw just brief minutes off the bench or did not appear at all. Furth has just three wins all season but one of those did come against Union Berlin who remain in the hunt for a Europa League qualifying spot, currently in sixth place and two points back of Freiburg.

Saturday

Stuttgart v Wolfsburg - 9:30a on ESPN+

John Brooks and Wolfsburg have steered themselves out of the relegation zone but Brooks will certainly be moving on this Summer as he and Wolfsburg have agreed to part ways. Their opponent this weekend will be Stuttgart and their American manager Pellegrino Matarazzo who remain in the relegation fight. Currently Stuttgart sit in the relegation playoff position, two points ahead of Arminia Bielefeld for straight relegation and four points back of Hertha Berlin for safety. It seems likely that they’ll head to the playoff having suffered the 2-0 loss to Hertha last weekend but they did defeat Wolfsburg last December. Should they see results against Wolfsburg they will still have to face Bayern Munich, a tough test even if they have already clinched the title, and finish against Cologne who have a shot at European play themselves.

Broadcast matches:

  • Jesse Marsch and Leeds United have opened a five point gap with the relegation zone but have their hands full this weekend as they face a Manchester City side that hold a one point lead for the league title. This match will be played at 12:30p on NBC.
  • The Houston Dynamo face Austin FC at 1:30p on UniMas and TUDN. There aren’t many USMNT options to watch in this one outside of Nick Lima.
  • Real Salt Lake and the LA Galaxy meet up at 3:30p on Univision and Twitter (though the match seems to consistently start about 20 min later than advertised and won’t be available on Twitter until it actually kicks off). Speaking of USMNT flashbacks Bobby Wood has two goals and an assist for RSL in his seven appearances.

Streaming overseas:

  • Matt Miazga and Deportivo Alaves face Villareal at 8a on ESPN+. Miazga has not appeared since February and seems likely to move on again come the summer window.
  • Ricardo Pepi’s Augsburg side has opened a seven point gap with the relegation playoff spot and can clinch safety this weekend with a win or a Stuttgart loss. Pepi did not appear last weekend in Augsburg’s 2-0 win over Bochum, they face Cologne at 9:30a on ESPN+.
  • George Bello started and went the full 90’ last weekend for Arminia Bielefeld in their 3-1 loss to Cologne. Six points back of safety and two points behind Stuttgart, Bielefeld will need some help to avoid relegation but can also help themselves this weekend in a relegation scrap with Hertha Berlin at 9:30a on ESPN+.
  • Yunus Musah and Valencia lost the Copa del Ray last weekend with Musah the only player from either side to miss his penalty take. The club, and player, will look to bounce back when they face Levante at 12:30p on ESPN+.

MLS Mashup (all matches on ESPN+):

Sunday

Troyes v Lille - 7a on beIN Sports

This one starts pretty early and is on one of the more fringe providers but there’s a chance to see a couple USMNT face each other in Ligue 1 action on Sunday morning when Timothy Weah and Lille face Erik Palmer-Brown and Troyes. Weah has started two straight matches for Lille and gone the full 90’. The club sit squarely middle of the table, out of reach of European qualification and well out of the relegation zone as well. Meanwhile Palmer-Brown and Troyes sit just two points out of the relegation playoff spot with four matches to play so a result would be very meaningful for the side. The centerback has started 15 straight matches for his side.

Broadcast matches:

  • Walker Zimmermann and Nashville SC face the Eastern Conference leading Philadelphia Union at 4p on ESPN.
  • Los Angeles FC and Kellyn Acosta close out the weekend against Minnesota United at 10p on FS1.

Streaming overseas:

  • We are denied a Serie A matchup when Juventus host Venezia at 6:30a on ESPN+ due to Weston McKennie’s season ending injury but Gianluca Busio is still likely to start for Venezia who are going to need some shocking results to end the season if they will avoid relegation.
  • Christian Pulisic and Chelsea face Everton at 9a on USA. Pulisic was used as a substitute again midweek in Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United after coming off the bench to pick up the loan goal in last weekend’s 1-0 win over West Ham.