The Bundesliga is back from winter break and with it comes word that there will be a new American player to keep an eye on, albeit at a familiar club. Borussia Dortmund have recently promoted Giovanni Reyna to the first team and manager Lucien Favre has confirmed that Reyna will be included in the teams squad for Saturday’s match against Augsburg.
Favre pregame presser:— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) January 16, 2020
“Gio Reyna will definitely be in the squad on Saturday.” pic.twitter.com/M7LFnBKmup
You better believe we’ll be keeping an eye on BVB Saturday (and moving forward) but first let’s take a look at what you can watch on Friday.
Schalke 04 v Borussia Mönchengladbach - 2:30p on FS2
Unfortunately, the excitement of the return to Bundesliga action is dampened a bit by Weston McKennie’s injury, which will make him unavailable for Friday afternoon’s match against Borussia Mönchengladbach and fellow American Fabian Johnson.
News from David #Wagner in today's press conference ℹ️— Schalke 04 USA (@s04_us) January 16, 2020
"@WMckennie is back in training, but he's not doing tackles yet - that should change in the next week. Our schedule has him back playing for one of the games against @HerthaBSC_EN"#SchalkeUS pic.twitter.com/BC8pORGfSn
Schalke start the second half of the season in fifth place though tied for fourth and a coveted Champions League spot. It would be good to see McKennie immediately involved in the race for a top four spot but based on reports out of Schalke McKennie will be out until at least the last week of January. This weekend Schalke will be facing second place Borussia Monchengladbach and McKennie’s fellow United States international Fabian Johnson. Unfortunately, Johnson has seen very little time for ‘Gladbach recently, with just a single two-minute appearance since August.
Augsburg v Borussia Dortmund - 9:30a on FS1
Borussia Dortmund are back in the weekly viewing guide! As mentioned above, Giovanni Reyna is reportedly with the first team and likely to be included in Saturday’s squad. While it is certainly not a given that the 17-year-old Reyna will see the field, it is an important step in his progression and you can be sure we’ll be keeping an eye on things moving forward. Dortmund currently sit in fourth place and will be facing 10th place Augsburg this weekend.
RB Leipzig v Union Berlin - 12:30p on FS2
Tyler Adams is also back to action and worth keeping an eye on this weekend. After missing the majority of the first half of the season, Adams came back for the team’s final game before the winter break and started at right-back for the club and played nearly the full 90 in a 3-1 win over Augsburg. While the position certainly drew some second glances, it was good to see the young American return to the field for the first place club and hopefully he can remain healthy and provide a positive impact in the second half as his team looks to close in on a Bundesliga title.
- Timothy Chandler and Eintracht Frankfurt will face Hoffenheim at 9:30a on FS2. After seeing very limited action to start the season, Chandler started the last three games for Frankfurt. Unfortunately, he was unable to help them turn things around as they lost all three matches which brought their record over the last nine games to 1-7-1.
- Christian Pulisic remains out injured for Chelsea and DeAndre Yedlin missed Newcastle United’s most recent match with an apparent knee injury as well. The two teams meet at 12:30p on NBC.
No matches likely to feature Americans on the major networks so here are a couple quick notes for Sunday:
- Haji Wright and VVV Venlo face PSV Eindhoven at 6:15a on ESPN+ Sunday morning if you’re looking for some bright and early action. Haji has had difficulty finding the back of the net this season, though he did manage some productivity over the break which could spur him on.
- Sergiño Dest and Ajax will face Sparta Rotterdam at 8:30a on ESPN+ as Dest rejoins the team after having left the senior side in Qatar due to safety concerns.
Let us know what you’re observing or what other matches you’re keeping an eye on this weekend in the comments section below.