A week before the Bundesliga kicks off most of the action is limited to secondary sources (beIN, ESPN3, Univision Deportes, etc.) but there are a number of opportunities throughout the weekend to watch former, current, or potential USMNT players in action.
Perhaps in this final preseason weekend, it would be good to cover some ground rules for those who may be a bit newer to the site or this weekly column.
We look to provide some insight into the opportunities you have to view USMNT players in action. Typically we focus on the viewing opportunities through the major networks, because they are the most widely available. ESPN, FS1 and NBCSN reach 4-5 times as many homes as beIN Sport Espanyol, for example. Other services, such as ESPN+ we exclude for two reasons: first, it necessitates an additional cost (in the case of ESPN+ it actually seems like a pretty good deal, for $5 a month you’re getting access to a ton of soccer). Second, we’ve chosen to exclude additional services because you have to draw the line somewhere and documenting every single MLS game (again, available through ESPN+) is where we draw that line. (P.S. Bob Iger if you’d like to send me a check for promoting your product let me know and I’ll get you my address).
We look at the games from a distinctively USMNT perspective. If we don’t talk about the seven best players on your team it’s because none of them are American and number eight is which makes him the best thing ever.
We don’t hit every opportunity, though you’ll see some additional coverage in the “Quick Hits” section for each day and we’ll try to include games from some of the smaller networks there as well.
As always, the comments section is open and a great place to hear about players in action in secondary leagues as well as to engage in discussion regarding what you’ve been seeing over the weekend.
Atlas v Morelia - 10p on Univision Deportes
Omar Gonzalez and Atlas are off to a slow start this season, still looking for their first win through four games. Omar has started three of the four and gone the full 90 in each of the games he’s played. While the defense hasn’t been spectacular, allowing three goals a piece to Pumas UNAM and América (Omar was on the field against Pumas but not against América) it’s really been the offense for Atlas that has been struggling, they’re still looking for their first goal this season so even in the two games where the defense had a clean sheet they had to settle for the draw. Atlas will be looking for their first goal and first win against Morelia who have won two of four and are tied for third most goals in the league behind only... Pumas and America.
Newcastle v Cardiff City - 7:30a on NBCSN
While it sounds like DeAndre Yedlin avoided a major knee injury it seems unlikely that he will appear this weekend in Newcastle’s second straight game televised in America this season. Assuming he misses the game this will bring Yedlin’s 35 straight appearances streak to a close.
Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham - 10a on NBCSN
Another potential USMNT appearance that may be interrupted by injury. Tim Ream missed last weekends season opening loss to Crystal Palace with an injury but was expected to return to training this week. It’s unknown if he’ll be fit to play against Tottenham who technically also have a USMNT center-back on their team in the person of Cameron Carter-Vickers. CCV remains with the team but failed to make the matchday squad last weekend and would probably benefit from a loan spell to see regular playing time.
Guingamp v Paris Saint Germain - 11a on beIN Sports
We’re going to break our own made up rules with these next two games because injuries are no fun and seem likely to spoil the opening two games, the Bundesliga isn’t in season yet, and most importantly these games on the beIN networks offer a chance to checkout a couple of young American’s playing in Ligue 1.
In the first Ligue 1 offering of the day Timothy Weah’s PSG take on Guingamp who finished mid-table last season. It seems unlikely that Weah will start but if you tune in a bit later perhaps you’ll get to see him score another ridiculous goal like he had last weekend:
Tim Weah scores for PSG! Punishes a bad GK error pic.twitter.com/BP2vJxsQpq— Brian Sciaretta (@BrianSciaretta) August 12, 2018
Hopefully it will be ridiculous for different reasons but take what they give ya Tim!
Dijon v Nantes - 2p on beIN Sports Connect
The second Ligue 1 game features another Center-back playing abroad. Matt Miazga, on loan from Chelsea will look to work his way into the lineup for Nantes. Nantes lost their opener to Monaco 3-1 with Miazga watching from the bench. The loan to Nantes includes an option to buy so it seems that it would be to their benefit to work him in at some point, perhaps as soon as this weekend.
Quick hits on other potential games of interest
Seattle Sounders v LA Galaxy - 4p on ESPN and ESPN Deportes - Christian Roldan and the ghost of Clint Dempsey take on a scuffling LA Galaxy team that includes Chris Pontius, Perry Kitchen and Sebastian Lletget.
Pachuca v Lobos BUAP (Michael Orozco) - 8p on ESPN Deportes - Lobos and Orozco are looking for their second win on the season against a struggling Pachuca team that has three loses in four games.
Necaxa (Ventura Alvarado) v Puebla - 10p on Univision Deportes - There is no middle ground for Ventura Alvarado and Necaxa who have two wins and two losses in their first four.
Querataro v America (Joe Corona) - 10p on Univision - Joe Corona has started half of the games America have played to this point, the third place team has scored three goals in 3 of their four games
DC United v New England - 7:30p on FS1
Could D.C. United be making a push for one of the final playoff spots in the Eastern Conference? The eighth place team is still six points back of sixth place but has secured seven points from their last three games and have at least two more games to play than all the teams ahead of them. Paul Arriola and company have been bolstered by the return of Bill Hamid and the arrival of Russell Canouse as well as some old British dude who seems to be able to play a little soccer still. Unfortunately with the new arrivals, it seems as though youngster Chris Durkin has been relegated to a bench role.
If D.C. United are going to continue their playoff push a win against New England would certainly help as the Revs currently sit just in front of them in the standings. Juan Agudelo and Teal Bunbury are the most notable names for New England though they fall more into the “what could’ve been” category for most USMNT fans.
Quick hits for other potential games of interest
Toluca v Tijuana (Rubio Rubin)- 1p on Univision - Rubio Rubin hasn’t seen much time for Tijuana this season, he’ll need to work his way into a prominent role with the team if he’s to see time with the USMNT moving forward.
So what are you seeing this weekend? Hit the comments below and let us know.