There’s still one more week until a handful of the European leagues, including French Ligue 1 and the English Premier League, begin their regular seasons (fans of the Bundesliga and American’s playing in that league will have to wait a few more weeks as their season doesn’t kick off until August 24) but there are still a handful of friendlies, MLS, and Liga MX games that you can catch this weekend to get your USMNT soccer fix.
Paris Saint-Germain v Monaco - 8a on bein Deportes
The French Super Cup pits the Ligue 1 winners against the Coupe de France winners. Because PSG won both competitions last year they will face off with Monaco, who finished 2nd in League 1, for the Super Cup trophy Saturday morning.
With several PSG players, including Angel Di Maria returning for availability in their last International Champions Cup match Timothy Weah did not get the start on Monday but he did come off the bench in the 45th minute as PSG held on to defeat Atletico Madrid for their first win in the tournament.
Weah has made a good impression on manager Thomas Tuchel this preseason:
However, with a number of stars, including Neymar and Kylian Mbappe still making their way back to the team Weah will have his work cut out for him if he’s going to see the field for PSG this season. He may have another opportunity to impress on Saturday with Neymar’s status unknown and Mbappe still away from the team.
Atlanta United v Toronto FC - 4p on ESPN
Saturday afternoon Atlanta United take on Toronto FC in a match up pitting one of the best teams in the MLS against one of the most disappointing.
Atlanta United have lost just once in their last 11 games, have scored nearly twice as many goals as their opponents this season, and have a five point lead in the Supporters Shield race. Brad Guzan has been a regular presence in goal for the Five Stripes this season as well as Michael Parkhurst. Youngster Andrew Carleton has not been as fortunate, he received his first ever start two weeks ago when Ezequiel Barco was suspended by the team but failed to appear last Saturday despite Barco still being out on suspension and it seems unlikely to appear with Barco returning to the field this weekend.
On the opposite end of the spectrum Toronto FC have been a bit of a disaster this season with just 22 points through 21 games, which puts them second to last in the Western Conference and 20th in the Supporters Shield standings. Things have been bad enough for Toronto this season that they hadn’t won consecutive league games until the recently defeated the Chicago Fire in back to back games. That’s right, prior to last Saturday Toronto’s longest winning streak of the season was precisely one game. Michael Bradley remains one of the most polarizing faces in the USMNT but continues to play an integral role for Toronto and will be an important figure for the team if they are going to turn their season around. Fellow American Jozy Altidore has recently returned to action for Toronto after missing nearly four months and scored a goal in his second game back.
On the younger side of things Marky Delgado has seen some playing time recently and 18 year old Ayo Akinola received three brief substitute appearances in the month of July.
Quick hits for other potential games of interest:
Southhampton v Borussia Monchengladbach (Fabian Johnson) - 10a on ESPN3 - It remains to be seen if Fabian Johnson will return to action with the USMNT but he will likely be an integral part of the team for a Gladbach team that finished middle of the table last season.
Necaxa (Ventura Alverado) v Lobos BUAP (Michael Orozco) - 6p on Univision - A little American v American action south of the border.
Pachuca v America (Joe Corona) - 8p on Univision
New York Red Bulls v Los Angeles Football Club - 6p on FS1
Sunday Evening marks the inaugural clash of LAFC v NYRB as the West’s second place team heads East to take on a team that sits third in the East and just ahead of them in the Supporters Shield standings.
LAFC come in on a bit of a skid, having one just once in their past five games and giving up a two goal lead to settle for a draw against the cross town rival LA Galaxy most recently. American Lee Nguyen (who’s time with the USMNT has probably passed him by) caught David Bingham and the rest of the Galaxy team flat footed on LAFC’s second goal. Walker Zimmerman and Benny Feilhaber would be the other American’s to keep an eye on, though of the three Zimmerman seems the most likely to have an impact moving forward.
The Red Bulls are coming off a 3-2 loss to the Columbus Crew after giving up 3 goals in the opening 31 minutes. Tim Parker continues to be a steady presence in defense for the Red Bulls but it’s 19 year old All Star Tyler Adams that seems to get USMNT most excited. His ability to press and quickly move the team from defense to offense as he did in picking up the hockey assist last Saturday makes him an intriguing prospect for the USMNT midfield.
Quick hits for other potential games of interest:
Santos Laguna (Jorge Villafana) v Puebla - 7p on Univision - the Left Back everybody seems to love to hate has appeared in 3 of the last four games for the defending champions.
Tiajuana (Rubio Rubin) v Leon (William Yarbrough) - 9p on FS1 - Rubin has appeared in both of Tiajuana’s leage games (starting one of two) but Yarbrough looks like he’s fallen to the backup keeper role for Leon.