A slow day on Friday makes way for a lot of action across Europe on Saturday, as well as a showdown on Sunday that will significantly impact the Supporters Shield race as MLS comes down the homestretch. Here’s what you can watch across the United States on Saturday and Sunday.
Schalke 04 v Mainz 05 - 9:30a on FS2
Weston McKennie went off just after the half last week after suffering a scary knee injury. It turned out to be “only” a bone bruise and the team reported that McKennie was able to return to training this week.
It would be a pleasant surprise to see McKennie back on the field already this weekend but Schalke could use all the help they can get. The team is still looking for their first points on the season and coming off a 1-0 loss to a previously winless Augsburg team.
Wolfsburg v Borussia Mönchengladbach - 9:30a Fox Deportes
Our “Americans facing off on Germany” game of the week features John Brooks of Wolfsburg going up against Fabian Johnson and Borussia Monchengladbach in a battle of early top six teams. Brooks is healthy (knocks on all the wood) and has been a consistent presence in the back for Wolfsburg, starting each game and going the full 90 as well as picking up his first goal and an assist. The team won their first two games but is winless in their last three, having given up five goals in those games, though the most recently held Mainz to a scoreless draw.
Fabian Johnson has also scored one and assisted one early in the season while appearing in all five games for Gladbach. However, he was pulled at the half last weekend and then most recently came on as a substitute in their midweek win over Eintracht Frankfurt.
Bayer Leverkusen v Borussia Dortmund - 12:30p on FS2
Christian Pulisic notched a beautiful assist midweek to open the scoring in BVB’s 7-0 thrashing of Nurnberg.
Jacob Bruun Larsen scores his first goal for Dortmund, but what about that set-up from Christian Pulisic?— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) September 26, 2018
What an assist from the American! pic.twitter.com/Tb1BbCEMyL
The win (and massive goal differential) brought BvB to second in the Bundesliga table, two points back of Bayern Munich.
This weekend Dortmund will take on a Bayer Leverkusen team that scuffled out of the gate giving up eight goals and loosing their first three games but has won their last two giving up just a single goal in the process.
- Danny Williams has yet to see time for a Huddersfield Town side that is winless through their first six, failing to even make the 18 for two of the five games for which he was healthy. Huddersfield Town face Tottenham Hotspur at 10am on NBC.
- Tim Weah has made the initial 20 announced for Paris Saint-Germain who play Nice at 11:15 on beIN.
- Coach Bob Bradley leads Walker Zimmerman, Benny Feilhaber, Lee Nguyen and company as they look to close in on first place in the Western Conference. They’ll be facing Dax McCarty and the Chicago Fire at 3:30pm on Univision and Twitter.
- Ventura Alvarado has started and gone the full ninety in every game for 14th place Necaxa. They play Santos Laguna at 10pm on Univision Deportes.
- Rubio Rubin played one whole minute of Tijuana’s last league game after having not appeared in the previous five, and he was also left out of their midweek cup squad. Tijuana and Monterrey meet up at 10:06pm on FS2.
Eintracht Frankfurt v Hannover 96 - 9:30a on FS1
Bobby Wood got the start last weekend, but was pulled just thirty minutes in to the game as Hannover needed to make a defensive substitution thanks to a red card picked up by their left back. In their midweek loss to Hoffenheim, Wood was left on the bench. Hannover are still looking for their first win on the season and will be taking on a Frankfurt team that hasn’t won since their opener.
New York Red Bulls v Atlanta United - 1p on ESPN
It’s a clash of the Eastern Conference’s top teams and the two legitimate remaining contenders for the Supporters Shield as the New York Red Bulls host Atlanta United on Sunday afternoon. What makes the match even more intriguing for USMNT supporters is that both sides will feature USMNT players in prominent roles.
The game is something of a must-win for NYRB if they’re hoping to overcome Atlanta in the standings and capture the Supporters Shield. Currently, they are four points back with four games to play, and a win would still leave them one point back but with a chance to make a push. A loss, on the other hand, would drop them to seven points back and, while not technically eliminated, it would seem highly unlikely for them to close that gap in the three games remaining. The Red Bulls are coming off a 2-0 win over Toronto FC and will be featuring Tim Parker, Aaron Long and Tyler Adams.
Atlanta United, for their part, are coming off a 2-0 win over Real Salt Lake in which 16-year-old George Bello received his first start. Bello was joined by fellow Americans Brad Guzan and Darlington Nagbe in the victory. If Atlanta are able to close in on the Supporters Shield with a win on Sunday, it could mean additional playing time down the stretch for Bello and, perhaps, even (gasp) Andrew Carleton.
- In a battle of USMNT defenders, Sporting Kansas City (Matt Besler, Ike Opara, and Graham Zusi) take on Real Salt Lake (Justen Glad, Brooks Lennon, and Sebastian Saucedo as well as defensive midfielder Kyle Beckerman) Sunday at 5pm on FS1.
- Joe Corona has been relegated to the bench for a second place Club America team that has won their last three. The team plays Monterrey at 10:06pm on FS2.