We’re back from the international break and there’s a half decent slate of soccer to watch this weekend for those who are interested in following United States internationals around the globe. The weekend starts and ends strong with good action on Friday and Sunday, though Saturday is really marred by ongoing injuries with Tyler Adams and DeAndre Yedlin still out. Here’s what we’ll be watching this weekend:
Fortuna Düsseldorf v Wolfsburg - 2:30p on FS2
Alfredo Morales, Zack Steffen and Fortuna Düsseldorf take on John Brooks’ Wolfsburg side on Friday afternoon to kick off the weekend. Unfortunately, Brooks has already been ruled out with a hamstring injury suffered while training with the USMNT.
Coach #Glasner started off in today's press conference about John Brooks, "Jay Brooks has a hamstring injury while he was training with the national team and he won't be able to play tomorrow." #F95WOB pic.twitter.com/m0hyW1PhLS— VfL Wolfsburg US (@VfLWolfsburg_US) September 12, 2019
(Brief aside: John Brooks goes by Jay? Is that really a thing?)
Brooks’ team is off to a quick start this season, as their seven points through three games is good enough for third place in the Bundesliga and the two goals they have allowed has them tied with RB Leipzig for least goals allowed. Obviously, it’s early in the season, and it will be interesting to see how they adapt without Brooks. Still, the club is off to a solid start and hopefully the centerback will be able to join them again soon.
Fortuna Düsseldorf, on the other hand, have gotten off to a much slower start. They have one win and two losses through their first three games and have been below average both defensively and offensively. Alfredo Morales does have a goal and an assist already and the silver lining to the poor Fortuna defense is more work for Steffen who has 19 saves through three games (Manuel Neuer by comparison has six).
As was mentioned above, it’s a bit rough on Saturday due to injuries to key players, not to mention Fabian Johnson’s apparent removal from the USMNT picture, whether voluntary or forced. Let’s just hit Saturday with some quick notes:
- DeAndre Yedlin’s Newcastle face Liverpool at 7:30a on NBCSN. Yedlin remains out with injury and his return is unknown.
- Fabian Johnson has seen regular minutes for eighth place Borussia Mönchengladbach, who play FC Köln at 9:30a on FS2. The team is 1-1-1 in their first three games, with Johnson seeing two starts and one significant appearance off the bench.
- RB Leipzig has a big matchup against Bayern Munich this weekend at 12:30p on FS2, but they remain without the services of Tyler Adams. The teams are currently first and second in the Bundesliga, with RB Leipzig on top due to three wins in as many games.
Paderborn v Schalke 04 - Noon on FS1
Weston McKennie and Schalke will face Bundesliga newcomers SC Paderborn on Sunday, looking to build on their first win of the season. In order to win more games this season, Schalke are going to have to figure out a way to score more goals. After being held scoreless in their first two games, Schalke managed to win 3-0 over Hertha Berlin in their last match but only scored one of those goals themselves as Hertha Berlin scored two own goals in the match. That’s right, through three games Hertha Berlin has scored more goals for Schalke than Schalke have managed to score themselves.
- The Portland Timbers and D.C. United face off at 3:30p on FS1. Jorge Villafana and Jeremy Ebobisse should see the field for Portland, while Paul Arriola and Bill Hamid see time for D.C. United.
- The Seattle Sounders and New York Red Bulls play at 6p on ESPN in the weekend finale. Jordan Morris and Cristian Roldan look to lead the Sounders to a playoff spot, while Aaron Long and Tim Parker look to secure some points for a more precariously positioned Red Bulls team.