While the MLS season marches on and clubs in the U.K. and Italy wrap up their preseason in Germany, things are getting started with the first round of the DFB-Pokal. While it leads to some lopsided matchups, it is the first taste of “competitive” soccer for the season and a last chance for the clubs to warm up for the start of the Bundesliga campaign. In addition, Ligue 1 kicks off this weekend with Timothy Weah and Lille beginning their title defense and Konrad de la Fuente looking to make a good first impression at Olympique de Marseille. Bayern Munich’s Friday DFB-Pokal matchup with Bremer SV was postponed, so the action starts on Saturday with Tyler Adams and RB Leipzig taking on Sandhausen.
RB Leipzig v Sandhausen - 9:30a on ESPN3
Tyler Adams and RB Leipzig officially kick off their season Saturday when they meet 2. Bundesliga side Sandhuasen in DFB-Pokal action. Adams and Leipzig will look to build on the 2020-21 campaign, in which they finished a distant second to league-winning Bayern Munich. Adams played a positionally inconsistent but reliable role for Leipzig last year and generally avoided injury until missing the final three games of the season with back concerns. Leipzig’s opponent this weekend narrowly avoided relegation from 2 Bundesliga, finishing just three points out of the final relegation spot. This should be a good opportunity for Leipzig to work out the final kinks heading into the new season. The match is listed as being available on ESPN3, so you shouldn’t need an ESPN+ subscription to view it though you may need a provider login.
Other network notes:
- Giovanni Reyna and Borussia Dortmund also kick off their season in DFB-Pokal action. Their opponent is 3. Bundesliga side Wehen Wiesbaden, and the match can be seen at 2:45p on ESPN Deportes.
- If Zach Steffen is going to stick with Manchester City this year and see any minutes, it will probably be in matchups like Saturday’s FA Community Shield match against Leicester City, which can be seen at Noon on ESPN+ (free trial).
(All games on ESPN+)
- FC Cincinnati and Orlando City meet at 7:30p. Daryl Dike should be available for Orlando City, though rumors of a nagging injury may mean they choose to rest him a bit.
- The Columbus Crew and Atlanta United meet up with Gold Cup standout Miles Robinson returning to Atlanta along with George Bello. Atlanta could certainly use a shot in the arm, as they are looking for their 1st win in 13 tries.
- James Sands will likely slot right back in with NYCFC, who face Toronto FC at 8p Saturday evening. Jozy Altidore remains outside of the USMNT picture, but has been working his way back into Toronto’s side following Chris Armas’ departure.
- Minnesota United and Hassani Dotson face the Houston Dynamo at 8p. Minnesota are undefeated in their last four matches, while the Dynamo are coming off a 3-2 loss to Austin FC.
- FC Dallas have seven points from their last three matches, including a 1-1 draw with Western Conference-leading Seattle Sounders their last time out. This weekend, they will face Austin FC at 8:30p.
- Cole Bassett remains with the Colorado Rapids and Kellyn Acosta returns as the team faces a Gianluca Busio-less Sporting Kansas City at 9p.
- David Ochoa is reportedly filing a switch to represent Mexico, so we won’t be tracking him moving forward. This means we apparently get to watch Bobby Wood when Real Salt Lake face the Portland Timbers at 10:30p.
Metz v Lille - 11a on beIN Sports
Timothy Weah played 14 minutes off the bench last weekend as Lille defeated Paris Saint-Germain for the Trophy of Champions. It was a second straight trophy for Lille over PSG, and now the teams will kick off their 2021-22 regular season campaigns. With rumors flying that PSG are making a move for Lionel Messi, Lille will have a razor-thin margin if they are to defend their league title. This weekend, Lille face a Metz side that finished last season in 10th place. Lille won both of their matchups against Metz last season, though both matches were tightly contested affairs.
Other network notes:
- Konrad de la Fuente and Olympique de Marseille begin their campaign with a matchup against Montpellier at 2:45p on beIN Sports. Marseille finished in fifth place last season, qualifying for Europa League play, while Montpellier finished in eighth.
- Ethan Horvath and Nottingham Forest face Coventry City at 11:30a on ESPN+ in Championship action.
(all games on ESPN+)
- Caden Clark and the New York Red Bulls face the Chicago Fire, who started homegrown 17-year-old keeper Gabriel Slonina last weekend in their scoreless draw with NYCFC. The NYRB v Chicago game will be at 6p.
- Inter Miami and Nashville SC face off at 6p. Indiana Vasilev made a substitute appearance for Miami last weekend.
- League-leading New England Revolution and goalkeeper Matt Turner face the Philadelphia Union at 6p.
- Cade Cowell and the San Jose Earthquakes play Bob Bradley’s LAFC at 7p.
- DC United take on CF Montreal at 8p. Moses Neyman, Kevin Paredes, and Griffin Yow have been seeing regular time for DC.
- Julian Araujo and the LA Galaxy face the Vancouver Whitecaps at 8p. The Galaxy have won two straight, while the Whitecaps have drawn three straight matches.
Bonus Monday content:
- Joe Scally could reportedly see his competitive debut with Borussia Monchengladbach on Monday when the club face 3rd tier FC Kaiserslautern in DFB-Pokal action. The match will be available on ESPN3.