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USMNT viewing guide: No rest for the weary

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A busy December rolls on.

VfL Wolfsburg v FC Schalke 04 - Bundesliga Photo by Maja Hitij/Bongarts/Getty Images

It’s been a busy December for a number of United States Men’s National Team players making their way in Europe. With midweek league action added to the mix across a number of leagues, there are increasing opportunities for playing time. In some cases (Timothy Chandler, Fabian Johnson), it has meant a rare opportunity, while for others (Christian Pulisic, John Anthony Brooks), it has meant an increased load. It will be important to watch how this impacts players availability and usage moving forward.

Friday

Notes:

  • Giovanni Reyna made his first appearance on the bench for Borussia Dortmund two weeks ago but has not been with the senior team since. The team faces Hoffenheim this weekend following a midweek 3-3 draw with top of the table RB Leipzig. Unless Reyna shows additional signs of making some noise, the BVB matches will get moved to the back burner until we hear more. The game this Friday will be at 2:30p on FS2

Saturday

Bayern Munich v Wolfsburg - 9:30a on FS1

John Anthony Brooks and Wolfsburg are coming off a 1-1 midweek draw with Schalke 04 heading into their match against Bayern Munich on Saturday morning. Brooks has started five straight since his “what the heck is happening here” benching in early November. The team is 2-2-1 over that time period and currently sit in 8th place. The matchup against Bayern is certainly a tough one on paper, and Brooks and company will have their hands full with Bayern’s attacking talent. Having said that, Wolfsburg was able to defeat then-leaders Borussia Mönchengladbach 2-1 last weekend.

Bayern are coming off three straight wins across all competitions with a combined scoreline of 12-3! The team has not been without their struggles this season but they certainly have the tools to put up gaudy offensive numbers. With 44 goals scored, are currently one of just three teams to have scored more than 33 goals on the season.

Other Notes:

  • RB Leipzig and Augsburg meet up at 9:30a on TUDN USA as the Tyler Adams watch continues. Leipzig have not lost since October, though it has been largely due to their offensive output this season, and they could use the return of Adams to put some bite back in their defense.
  • The Wolverhampton Wanderers face Norwich City at 10a on NBCSN. Owen Otasowie has seen some Europa League playing time, but has not made the bench for a League match in the past three matches, so he is in a similar place to Reyna as far as the watch list is concerned.

Sunday

Tottenham Hotspur v Chelsea - 11:30a on NBCSN

Christian Pulisic is one of those players seeing a high usage rate recently. While he has been subbed out of his two most recent matches to get some rest he has now started 11 straight matches. Fortunately, Chelsea did not have a midweek competition this week so it will be a rare full week off for Chelsea since the last time they played, a shocking 1-0 loss to AFC Bournemouth. Despite the loss Chelsea remain in 4th place, three points ahead of their opponent this weekend, Tottenham. Spurs have won two straight league games and since Jose Mourinho has taken over, they have started to see the results many expected from them at the start of the season, having won four of their five league games since then.

Other Notes:

  • Goal scoring Sergiño Dest and Ajax play ADO Den Haag at 6:15a on ESPN+ Sunday morning. It’s been a bit of a rough stretch for Ajax, who did not advance out of the Champions League group stage, have dropped to a tie for 1st after lost their past two league games, and who had to hold on to win against second tier Telstar in the Dutch Cup on Wednesday.
  • Alfredo Morales should be back and Zack Steffen will continue to see a lot of work as Fortuna Düsseldorf face Union Berlin at 9:30a on FS1. Düsseldorf have lost three straight, giving up 11 goals over that time while failing to score any of their own. Currently, the team sits in the relegation zone with just 12 points.
  • Timothy Chandler has started two straight for struggling Eintracht Frankfurt. The team has suffered six losses in their past eight games and have fallen to twelfth in the table. It should be a get well weekend for Frankfurt as when they face Paderborn at Noon on FS1 as the team has just two wins and nine points through their first 16 games.

Enjoy the conversation and let us know what else you’re watching in the comments section below.