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USNT weekend viewing guide: Domestically speaking

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MLS and NWSL return for some summer action

Jamaica v United States - 2021 WNT Summer Series Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images

While the Euros and Copa America march on, and with the Big Five European leagues on summer break, MLS and the NWSL return from a brief hiatus and pick back up with their regular season action. The matches start on ESPN+ Friday night, so let’s get right to it.

Friday

Real Salt Lake v Vancouver Whitecaps - 10:08p on ESPN+

David Ochoa and Real Salt Lake have drawn three straight and will look for their first win in five matches on Friday as they take on the Vancouver Whitecaps. Ochoa was with the Nations League-winning USMNT, though he did not see any time on the field in the tournament or in the friendlies on either side. Ochoa was not named to the 59-man provisional roster for the Gold Cup, but RSL teammates Aaron Herrera and Rubio Rubin were. Rubin, who last appeared with the national team in 2018, is off to a blazing start this season with four goals in six games. He has caught the eye of the Guatemalan national team, who invited the striker to train with them during the June international window.

RSL’s opponent this weekend is the Vancouver Whitecaps, who started the season well but have lost three straight and currently sit in 11th place in the Western Conference. Vancouver does not currently have a USMNT representative.

Looking through the paywall:

  • Kyle Duncan, Caden Clark, and the New York Red Bulls face Walker Zimmerman and Nashville SC at 8:08p on ESPN+.

Saturday

North Carolina Courage v OL Reign - 4p on CBS

The North Carolina Courage and OL Reign FC get the big network treatment on Saturday afternoon when they meet up in a match that can be seen on CBS. The Courage look to bounce back from a 1-0 defeat to the Chicago Red Stars and will look to do so with Sam Mewis, who started in the USWNT victory over Nigeria on Wednesday evening, and Lynn Williams, who entered late but picked up a goal in that match. The Courage will face the OL Reign who are also coming off a 1-0 defeat. They will look to rebound behind Megan Rapinoe, who also started Wednesday’s USWNT victory, but may potentially be without Rose Lavelle, who was held out of the match with a minor injury.

Other notes:

  • Austin FC open their stadium against Cade Cowell, Jackson Yueill, and the San Jose Earthquakes at 9:08p on TUDN and Unimas.
  • Saturday’s nightcap features LAFC taking on Memo Rodriguez and the Houston at 11:08p on ESPN+.

Looking through the paywall:

  • James Sands and NYCFC face Matt Turner and the New England Revolution at 7:38p on ESPN+.
  • FC Cincinnati take on a Colorado Rapids team that have had six players names to the Gold Cup provisional roster including Nations League winning Kellyn Acosta and 19-year-old Cole Bassett. The match will be played at 7:38p on ESPN+.
  • Gyasi Zardes and the Columbus Crew play the Chicago Fire at 7:38p on ESPN+.
  • Jozy Altidore apparently remains apart from Toronto FC, though he was named to the Gold Cup provisional roster. His club will face Daryl Dike’s Orlando City at 7:38p on ESPN+.
  • The Chicago Red Stars face the Washington Spirit at 8p on Twitch.
  • D.C. United, who had five players named to the Gold Cup provisional roster, including Paul Arriola and 17-year-old Moses Nyeman (who is still working on his U.S. papers), will face Inter Miami CF at 8:08p on ESPN+.
  • The LA Galaxy and Cristian Roldan’s Seattle Sounders meet up at 9:08p on ESPN+.
  • Eryk Williamson, Jeremy Ebobisse and the Portland Timbers will face Gianlucca Busio and Sporting Kansas City at 10:38p on ESPN+.

Sunday

Atlanta United v Philadelphia Union - 2:13p on ESPN

Atlanta United had three players named to the Gold Cup provisional roster: CB Miles Robinson, LB George Bello, and GK Brad Guzan, who many felt had probably seen his last days with the USMNT. Atlanta have drawn two straight and have just two wins through seven matches this season, and they currently sit in eighth place, a point back of Nashville for the final playoff spot. The club has played hardball with releasing players for USMNT duty in the past, though they will be compelled to release them for the Gold Cup if Gregg Berhalter names them to the roster.

This weekend, Atlanta will face the Philadelphia Union in a rematch of their 2021 CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal matchup, which Philadelphia won 4-1 on aggregate. Philadelphia has a number of young players to keep an eye on, but the one who has been called in for Gold Cup action is 20-year-old Leon Flach, who has made a positive impression since joining the club from Germany to start this season.

Other notes:

  • CBS is stepping up its coverage of the NWSL with two matches on big CBS this weekend, the second of which is the Portland Thorns taking on Kansas City at 4p Sunday afternoon. Lindsay Horan and Crystal Dunn lead the way for the Thorns.

Looking through the paywall:

  • Racing Louisville face the Houston Dash at 3p on Paramount+. Houston’s Kristie Mewis is coming off time with the USWNT.
  • The weekend wraps up with the Orlando Pride facing NJ/NY Gotham FC at 6p on Paramount+. Carli Lloyd and Midge Purce led Gotham to victory their last time out, while the Orlando Pride settled for a 1-1 draw with the Washington Spirit.

Let us know what you’re watching in the comments section below.