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USMNT midweek viewing guide: a Real challenge

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Christian Pulisic and Zack Steffen are one step away from a Champions League final.

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Isabel Infantes/PA

Christian Pulisic and Zack Steffen could both advance to the Champions League final if their clubs defeat Real Madrid and PSG, respectively, this week. There are also other Americans playing soccer for other teams, elsewhere. Folarin Balogun could feature for Arsenal, as they make a push for the Europa League final. He could one day be a USMNT player. In other news, there could be one or even two Americans in the Champions League final depending on Chelsea and City’s results this week.

Did I mention we could see Christian Pulisic in a Champions League final?

Let’s get into it! Here’s a snapshot of USMNT players in action:

Tuesday

  • Manchester City v Paris Saint-Germain, 3p on Paramount+, CBS Sports Network, TUDN, Univision, fuboTV: PSG crumbled at home to give City the 2-1 win from behind. The Manchester club must be heavy favorites now that the tie returns to the Etihad. Zack Steffen will likely be a spectator from the bench; he will hope his side take the final step toward a Champions League final.

Also in action:

  • SPAL v Frosinone, 8a: Andrija Novakovich notched an assist Saturday for Frosinone.
  • Shrewsbury Town v Ipswich Town, 2p: Andre Dozzell (22) has played in 28 straight league games for Ipswich.
  • Luton Town v Rotherham United, 2:15p on ESPN+: Matt OIosunde and Rotherham could move out of the relegation zone with a win. Luton LB Dan Potts is also US-eligible.
  • Bahia v Independiente, 6:15p on Fanatiz, fuboTV: Independiente are top of their Copa Sudamericana group, with 6 points from their first 2 games. Alan Soñora hasn’t played since testing positive for covid April 8, but has made the bench once since.
  • Philadelphia Union v Atlanta United, 8p on FS1, TUDN, fuboTV: The Union (Fontana, Flach) are in the driver’s seat for this CCL second leg. They gave Atlanta (Robinson, Bello, Hyndman) a 3-0 pasting away at the Benz, partially thanks to Andre Blake’s heroics early on.
  • Cruz Azul v Toronto FC, 10:15p on FS1, TUDN, fuboTV: Jozy Altidore and Ayo Akinola could suit up to help Toronto try to overcome a 3-1 deficit at the Azteca, if fit and healthy.

Wednesday

  • Chelsea FC v Real Madrid, 3p on Paramount+, CBS Sports Network, TUDN, Univision, fuboTV: Christian Pulisic’s goal opened the scoring in this fixture, which is tied at 1-1 thanks to Karim Benzema’s equalizer. Pulisic and Chelsea return to Stamford Bridge with a chance to knock out Madrid and advance to the Champions League final.

Also in action:

  • Duisburg v Bayern II, 1p: Justin Che (17) has appeared in 4 straight for Bayern’s second team, most recently as a RB rather than his natural CB role.
  • Stal Mielec v Raków Częstochowa, 1p: Ben Lederman (20) and Rakow could jump to second in the Polish table with a win. Lederman has played in 5 straight.
  • Internacional v Olimpia, 8p on Fanatiz, fuboTV: Johnny hasn’t been in the squad for either of Internacional’s first 2 games in the Copa Libertadores group stage.
  • Monterrey v Columbus Crew, 8p on FS2, TUDN, fuboTV: After leg one, these teams are, in fact, on the same playing field (at least for now). The Crew travel to Monterrey tied 2-2.
  • Red Bull Bragantino v Talleres, 8:30p on Fanatiz: Joel Soñora has subbed on for both of Talleres’ first two Copa Sudamericana group stage matches.
  • América v Portland Timbers, 10:15p on FS1, TUDN, fuboTV: Jeremy Ebobisse is finally fit, and could join Eryk Williamson as the Timbers travel to Mexico City tied 1-1.
  • LA Galaxy II v Las Vegas Lights, 10:30p on ESPN+: Los Dos are chock full of youth national team prospects, most of whom are also Mexico-eligible. Two gems are U18 RB Mauricio Cuevas and U16 AM Alex Alcalá. Las Vegas’ roster includes U19 prospects Julian Gaines (winger) and Nathan Sepulveda (mid).

Thursday

  • Hobro IK v Fremad Amager, 1p: Christian Cappis hasn’t missed a Hobro match since visa issues in October. The club sit middle in the relegation group of the Danish second division, after dropping down from the Superliga last season.
  • Arsenal FC v Villarreal, 3p on Paramount+, Galavision, fuboTV: Folarin Balogun made a 2’ cameo in the Gunners’ 2-1 away loss. He’ll hope to get on the field again as they try to overcome the deficit in the Europa League semifinal second leg.
  • AS Roma v Manchester United, 3p on Paramount+, TUDN, UniMás, fuboTV: Bryan Reynolds isn’t eligible for Europa League action with Roma, and they don’t look likely to advance after getting slapped 6-2 in the first leg.

Also in action:

  • RGV Toros v San Diego Loyal, 8p on ESPN+, ESPN Deportes, fuboTV: Rio Grande Valley features U21 attackers Christian Sorto and Alexis Cerritos. San Diego have 4 players 19 and under on loan from their academy, though none dressed for their season opener.

That’s it! Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments below. Let’s see who impresses this week!