Welcome back from the international break, there’s not much available on Friday but a very full slate on Saturday including Der Klassiker on broadcast television as well as a couple games on Sunday.
Schalke 04 (Weston McKennie) v SC Frieburg - 9:30a on FS1
Schalke come back from the international break in second place in the Bundesliga, well out of first but still with a lot to play for as only six points separate the 2nd through 6th place teams with nine games remaining. Weston McKennie was held out of Schalke’s last match as well as the United States game against Paraguay on Tuesday with a groin injury so it remains to be seen if he will be included in Tedesco’s plans for Saturday. Hopefully he’s able to return soon and get some high pressure experience as Schalke push for one of the Champions League spots down the stretch.
Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund (Christian Pulisic) - 12:30p on Fox
Christian Pulisic was allowed to stay with Borussia Dortmund over the break as they prepare for the home stretch which gets started in earnest this weekend with a huge match up against Bayern Munich. Marco Reus is reportedly out with an injury so we can likely expect Pulisic to see a good amount of minutes against the Bundesliga giants. While they are in third place BVB have no real hope of catching Bayern down the stretch, the league leaders have an 18 point advantage going into the weekend. BVB’s real goal is to maintain one of the Champions League spots by finishing in a top four position. Currently they sit 4 points ahead of fifth place Bayer Levekusen.
Orlando City SC v New York Red Bulls - 1:00p on Univision
Tyler Adams comes back to the NYRB off a nice showing in the international break, a man of the match performance for the USMNT including drawing the penalty that led to the lone goal. Back home, Alex Muyl had a nice game for NYRB over the break with a goal and a very nice assist in the Red Bulls 3-0 win over Minnesota. 20 year old RB Kyle Duncan has been getting consistent minutes and technically recorded the assist on Muyl’s goal though it was really more of a solo effort by Muyl.
For what it’s worth this is a revenge match of sorts for OCSC / USMNT mid Sacha Kljestan who was traded by the Red Bulls in the off-season.
Hertha Berlin v Wolfsburg (John Anthony Brooks) - 2:30p on FS2
John Anthony Brooks has been out with knee inflammation but he returned to training over the break. It looks like Wolfsburg hope to get him back on the field at some point before the end of the season and they are currently tied for the relegation playoff spot with Mainz (though they hold a strong goal differential advantage).
LA Galaxy v LAFC - 3p on Fox
There’s a chance that the Fox coverage will be so heavily focused on Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s arrival that you’ll be forced to settle for glimpses of USMNT players in the background. If they do pay attention to other players on the field you can catch Sebastian Lletget and Perry Kitchen for the Galaxy as well as Benny Feilhaber playing for former USMNT coach Bob Bradley. Walker Zimmerman is out with a hamstring injury.
San Jose Earthquakes v New York City FC - 8p on ESPN2
Not much to see here, James Sands made the 18 for NYCFC last weekend but failed to make it off the bench. Sean Johnson is 28 and seems buried down the goalkeeper depth chart. On the San Jose side you can watch Chris Wondolowski continue his march towards the all time MLS goal scoring record. Tommy Thompson’s name may also ring a bell, at 22 he’s trying to shrug the bust label but he’s got some work to do to get back into the USMNT picture.
Tigres UANL v Leon - 9p on Univision
Landon Donovan scored his first goal in over two years in a friendly against the Quakes over the break. If you’re feeling nostalgic you can see if it leads to any additional playing time this weekend. William Yarborough will be in net, though his 24 goals allowed and 42 saves through 12 games don’t seem like great ratios.
Werder Bremen (Aron Johannsson) v Eintracht Frankfurt (Timothy Chandler) - 9:30a on FS1
Aron Johannsson spent the International break in Iceland receiving treatment for an Achilles tendon injury after missing Werder’s game heading into the break. However, Werder’s sporting director Frank Bauman has said that Aron should be available for Sunday’s matchup. Having said that, it seems likely that the most we’ll see is a substitute appearance. Werder Bremen have 18 points from their last 10 games and now sit in 12th place in the Bundesliga, 8 points clear of the relegation playoff spot.
On the other side of the field Timothy Chandler was also held out of his teams most recent game due to injury but reports are he’s set to return. Eintracht Frankfurt sit in fourth, just one point ahead of Bayern Leverkusen and two points ahead of RB Leipzig.
Mainz 05 v Borussia Mönchengladbach (Fabian Johnson) - 12:00p on FS1
Fabian Johnson saw nine minutes in his first appearance since returning from injury during Monchengladbach’s most recent match, Johnson had been out since November. Monchengladbach sit right in the middle of the table, seven points out of Europa League qualifying and eleven points from the relegation playoff position.