It’s a full weekend of action with MLS, Liga MX and the return of the Bundesliga as well as the outside possibility of Premier League action, though it seems unlikely DeAndre Yedlin will be available for Newcastle’s game being broadcast Sunday morning.
Orlando City SC v Atlanta United - 8p on ESPN
Orlando City continues to struggle, sitting tenth in the Eastern Conference and having not won a game in their last five attempts. Sacha Kljestan is doubtful with an ankle injury which leaves us with Dom Dwyer as the most likely American to suit up for the Lions.
Orlando will be taking on Atlanta United who continue to clip along in first place despite the loses of Darlington Nagbe and Greg Garza. Those losses (and Andrew Carleton’s inability to see the field by and large) mean that the American presence on that side of the ball is limited to Brad Guzan and Michael Parkhurst.
Atlas v Guadalajara - 10p on Univision
Let’s be honest, you probably don’t want to actually watch this game, Omar Gonzalez is the only American likely to be playing and it features a mid table team taking on the worst team in Liga MX. Nothing against Omar but his team has yet to win a game in six attempts and somehow hasn’t managed to score a goal yet either!
LA Galaxy v Los Angeles Football Club - 10:30p on ESPN / ESPN Deportes
El Trafico round three features an LA Galaxy team that has been hit hard by injuries and is coming off a 5-0 loss to Seattle. Chris Pontius, Perry Kitchen and Sebastian Lletget will try to help things turned back around against cross town rivals LAFC.
LAFC are in third place in the Western Conference in their inaugural season. Head coach Bob Bradley leads Benny Feilhaber, Lee Nguyen, Christian Ramirez and company into the match looking for the season split with the Galaxy.
Wolfsburg v Schalke 04 - 9:30a on FS1
The Bundesliga is back in fashion Saturday morning with a match up that will likely provide an American presence on either side of the ball.
After another injury plagued season that saw him appear in just nine Bundesliga games in the 2017-18 season John Anthony Brooks returns to action for Wolfsburg. Brooks has been a solid defender but injuries have been an ongoing concern for him and it would be good to see him put together a healthy season. Wolfsburg could certainly use the help as they narrowly avoided relegation last season, finishing in 16th place.
On the other side of the field youngster Weston McKennie will suit up for a Schalke team that finished second in the Bundesliga last season. It’s remarkable that a 19-year-old American would make 22 appearances for the second place team in the Bundesliga. But what is perhaps even more remarkable is the feeling that he’s just scratching the surface and will still develop significantly.
Borussia Moenchengladbach v Bayer Leverkusen - 12:30p on FS1
Gladbach finished last season in ninth place in the Bundesliga, four points out of Europa League qualifying. They’ll be looking to improve on that finish this season but will start off with a tough match-up against a Bayer Leverkusen team that finished tied on points for third place but ended up missing out on Champions League play due to tiebreakers.
Fabian Johnson had a rough time of it last year, missing over half the season with back troubles. However, reports are that he is back to full health and expected to have a role with the team this season.
Quick hits on other potential games of interest
Paris Saint Germain (Timothy Weah) v Angers - 11a on beIN Sports - Timothy Weah made a shock start last week but didn’t make much of an impact in his 45 minutes of play. It’s too early to tell what sort of pattern coach Thomas Tuchel will settle into
America v Pumas UNAM - 8p on ESPN Deportes - Joe Corona hasn’t made it off the bench in the last couple of games for America who sit middle of the table in Liga MX.
Borussia Dortmund v RB Leipzig - 12p on Fox and Univision
Christian Pulisic and
the fighting Pulisics, er Borussia Dortmund get their season started on Sunday with a top of the table match-up with RB Leipzig. BVB finished a disappointing fourth last season as they were never really in the hunt for the league title and only just hung on to goal differential to qualify for the Champions League. They’ve brought in a new manager in the person of Lucien Favre but there remains some concern about their lack of finishing and a solid striker. Much like Weston McKennie it should be enjoyable to see the relatively young Pulisic continue to grow and develop as a player this upcoming season with a regular role at a Bundesliga club that fancies themselves to finish near the top of the table.
Quick hits on other potential games of interest:
Portland v Seattle - 9:30p on FS1 - Jorge Villafana should be close to returning for Portland who fielded 19 year old Marco Farfan last week. Seattle crushed the Galaxy last weekend thanks in part to Cristian Roldan.