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USMNT weekend viewing guide: head in the reiver

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Despite mass cancellations, the Bundesliga and Liga MX press on

FC Schalke 04 v TSG 1899 Hoffenheim - Bundesliga Photo by Ralf Treese/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

UPDATE: Shortly after this article was published, the Bundesliga and 2. Bundesliga made the decision to postpone this weekend’s matches:

The article below remains in its entirety as originally published.

Despite the increasing spread of the coronavirus, leading to mass cancellations in all sports across the globe, the Bundesliga and Liga MX have decided to press on as if nothing were happening (though the Bundesliga matches will be played in empty stadiums). The silver lining is that if you are on self-quarantine or social distancing and looking for something to watch there are a few matches on this weekend that could provide some USMNT action.

Friday

Fortuna Düsseldorf v Paderborn - 3:30p on FS2

Zack Steffen returned to training this week but according to manager Uwe Rosler, it’s clear he still needs time. So, it seems unlikely he would feature for the club this weekend.

Fellow United States international Alfredo Morales has seen his playing time slip over the last several weeks, including not seeing the field last weekend in the teams 1-1 draw with Mainz 05. The team continues to hover right around the relegation zone, currently sitting in 16th place which is the relegation playoff position. Their opponent this weekend is last place Paderborn, losers of four straight matches.

Saturday

Borussia Dortmund v Schalke 04 - 10:30a on Fox Deportes

The Revierderby could once again feature Americans on each side as Weston McKennie and Schalke take on Giovanni Reyna’s Borussia Dortmund. McKennie’s Schalke side have been struggling recently without a win in their past seven matches and currently sit in 6th place, one point ahead of Wolfsburg and Freiburg for the Europa League qualifiers spot. McKennie has been a regular starter for Schalke when healthy and is in line for a full slate Saturday as well.

Anything can happen in a rivalry match, but Schalke will have their work cut out for them as they face a second place Dortmund side who has won four straight league games but is also coming off the disappointment of being eliminated from Champions League play. Giovanni Reyna is still waiting for his first start, but continues to see regular minutes as a substitute, having appeared in every match for the team since joining the senior side, including both Champions League matches. It’s clear the coach trusts the young player and isn’t afraid to use him, including when the team is playing out a lead or searching for a goal.

Other Notes:

  • Tyler Adams and RB Leipzig seem to be wrestling with how to incorporate the player after a return from a long layoff was interrupted by a second injury. The team faces Freiburg at 10:30a on TUDN.
  • Sebastian Saucedo and Pumas UNAM will face Leon at 9p on Univision as South of the border the league is carrying on as though nothing is happening which seems risky at best. Saucedo has been a key player for Pumas this season including picking up his second assist of the season last weekend in a substitute appearance.

Sunday

Eintracht Frankfurt v Borussia Mönchengladbach - 10:30a on FS1

In the game of the forgotten ones, Timothy Chandlers Eintracht Frankfurt will face Borussia Mönchengladbach and Fabian Johnson, though it seems unlikely Johnson will see the field as he has seen just 90 minutes combined since August. Chandler had been on an absolute tear playing as a right winger for Frankfurt with four goals in six games before failing to make it off the bench last weekend in a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Bayer Leverkusen. It was Frankfurt’s third straight loss and the second by the same embarrassing scoreline in three games. Frankfurt have fallen to 12th in the table and while it doesn’t seem they are a relegation candidate it is a disappointing turn for a team that just missed Europa League last season.

‘Gladbach have also slipped down the table though not as drastically and now sit six points behind first place Bayern Munich and just two points ahead of Bayer Leverkusen for Champions League qualification. The team is coming off a 2-1 win over FC Koln and looking to build momentum down the stretch.

Other Notes:

  • John Brooks scored Wolfsburg’s only goal in a 2-1 loss to Shakhtar Donetsk in mid-week Europa League play. The match was the first leg of a home and home so Wolfsburg have not been eliminated at this time. The team hasn’t given up hopes of qualifying for European competition next season either as they currently sit just one point behind Schalke. It does look like American fans will have to settle for at best one of the two teams qualifying as they both sit at least 10 points behind fifth place Bayer Leverkusen.
  • Ventura Alvarado’s Nexaca have fallen to 11th place in Liga MX and Alvarado has not been included in the squad for the past couple of matches though information regarding why the captain was dropped is a bit hard to come by.

So we don’t have too many matches to talk about, but plenty of time on our hands to chat it up. So, hit the comments section below and let us know how you’re filling the time.