A new week has begun, and with it have come a flurry of fixtures to satisfy the souls of ardent USMNT watchers. We’re still a long way off from the mouth-watering fixtures of the Champions League, but there’s quite a bit of action, especially in the Bundesliga, Championship, and Premier League. Hope you have ESPN+!
- Borussia Mönchengladbach v Werder Bremen - 12:30p on ESPN+: Josh Sargent has started Bremen’s first three games of 2021, though each in different setups: as a lone striker, alongside Davie Selke, and alongside Manchester United loanee Tahith Chong. US U-20-eligible RB Joe Scally recently joined ‘Gladbach from NYCFC, but he will begin with ‘Gladbach II as far as I can tell.
- Royal Mouscron v Waasland-Beveren - 12:45p: American striker Joe Efford and Waasland-Beveren take on Mouscron in a relegation fight.
- Derby County v AFC Bournemouth - 1p on ESPN+: Cameron Carter-Vickers is a likely starter for Bournemouth as they continue their promotion push in this Championship clash. Duane Holmes has been left out of the squad for dire Derby’s last three games, and he’s rumored to return to his boyhood club Huddersfield Town on a £1m transfer.
- Bayer Leverkusen v Borussia Dortmund - 2:30p on ESPN+: Gio Reyna missed Dortmund’s Saturday match with a throat infection, so hopefully he’ll return to face Leverkusen in this top-four clash.
- FSV Mainz 05 v VFL Wolfsburg - 2:30p on ESPN+: John Brooks has started the last three matches for Wolfsburg; they’ll be looking to get three points against bottom-dwellers Mainz.
- Rotherham United v Stoke City - 2:45p: Matthew Olosunde isn’t a name talked about by USMNT fans every day, but he turned in a Man of the Match performance in a 2-1 extra time loss to Everton in the FA Cup last week, scoring Rotherham’s only goal. The U-23-eligible RWB also started in the victory over Derby, ruining Wayne Rooney’s first match as a manager. While right back is a stacked position for the US, Matt is definitely one to keep an eye on.
- RSC Anderlecht v Charleroi SC - 3p: Great opportunity for Matt Miazga in this one, with only five points separating 3rd from 11th in the Belgian league table. Anderlecht sit 7th, one point behind upstarts Charleroi.
- Leicester City v Chelsea FC - 3:15p: Christian Pulisic and Chelsea need to pick up points as they face third-place Leicester, who have 11 points from their last five matches.
- FC Emmen v SC Heerenveen - 10:30a: Uly Llanez will look for minutes in this KNVB Cup matchup against Emmen, the Eredivisie’s bottom club, who have no wins from 17 league matches.
- KV Kortrijk v Sint-Truidense VV - 10:30a: Chris Durkin and Brendan Hines-Ike face off in Belgian league action.
- FC Lugano v BSC Young Boys - 12p: French dual-national Jordan Siebatcheu has been in good form of late in Switzerland; he gets another scoring change against Lugano in the league.
- Schalke 04 v FC Köln - 12:30p on ESPN+: One can only Hoppe for a quick end to all these puns. Will his scoring streak continue?
- Manchester City v Aston Villa - 1p: Ederson’s return from covid has returned Zack Steffen to the bench for the past two City matches; they face an Aston Villa side that has surprised many in the Premier League this year.
- Cardiff City v Queens Park Rangers - 2p: Geoff Cameron and Charlie Kelman face off against Cardiff, who are comfortably mid-table.
- Nottingham Forest v Middlesbrough - 2p: England U18 winger and US dual-nat Alex Mighten gets another chance to impress vs Middlesbrough.
- RB Leipzig v Union Berlin - 2:30p on ESPN+: Tyler Adams and Leipzig are painfully close, only trailing Bayern by four points. To keep up their progress, they’ll need a win against 5th-place Union.
- FC Augsburg v Bayern Munich - 2:30p on ESPN+: Bayern have an easier task against 11th-place Augsburg; Chris Richards has seen minutes hard to come by recently, playing more with Bayern II.
- Club Brugge v KV Oostende - 3p: Ethan Horvath is a player who plays for Brugge (rarely). At this point, it’s more interesting to watch transfer rumors fly to hope he can get out from under Simon Mignolet’s shadow.
- Fulham v Manchester United - 3:15p: Antonee Robinson and (maybe) Tim Ream face a surging United side that is top of the table. A point would be a huge victory for Fulham, who have work to do to stave off relegation.
- Livingston FC v Celtic FC - 3:15p on ESPN+: We’ll see if U20 winger Cameron Harper gets another cameo with Celtic, as they face off against Livingston and Scottish dual-nat attacking mid Scott Pittman.
- Sao Paulo FC v Internacional - 7:30p: Johnny Cardoso made his first Brazilian Serie A appearance in a while in Internacional’s last game against Fortaleza. He’ll look for more minutes in our evening viewing against Sao Paulo.
This one is actually on TV:
- Juventus v Napoli - 3p on ESPN 2, ESPN Deportes: Supercoppa final! It’s not often you see Americans lift trophies in top-5 European soccer leagues, but this may actually be the day.
- UE Cornella v FC Barcelona - 3p on ESPN+: Dest and Konrad face third-tier Cornella, as they look to recover from their Supercopa defeat to Athletic Bilbao on Sunday. They may be short-handed if Messi is suspended following his red card against Bilbao.
- RSC Genk v KAA Gent - 3p: A Mark McKenzie debut? A Genk-vs-Gent confusing all American watchers? The difference is that Genk are second in the table, while Gent are all the way down at 13th.
- Atletico San Luis v Chivas de Guadalajara - 10p: Ventura Alvarado has been joined at San Luis by U20 FC Dallas attacking mid David Rodriguez, on loan from Dallas’s second team, North Texas SC.
That’s it! Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below. Let’s see who impresses this week!