There are just two weekends to go until the USMNT roster release, so players are running out of time to make a last impression or take the steps necessary for full match fitness. It should be a lively two weeks, though. Things get off to a slow start this weekend with a lack of activity on Friday, but there are some solid matches on Saturday and Sunday in Europe as well as the MLS conference finals on Sunday.
Valencia v FC Barcelona - 3p on ESPN Deportes and ESPN+
Yunus Musah has started three straight matches, but Valencia are looking for their first win since his return to the starting lineup and things won’t get any easier against a Barcelona team that is second to Real Madrid in the La Liga table. Barcelona could also be looking to make a statement this weekend, as they bounce back from their unceremonious exit from Champions League play. Valencia are still in 9th place in La Liga, despite their recent slide, with 15 points in a crowded middle of the table. They are three points out of European qualification and six points ahead of the relegation positions.
- Luca de la Torre’s Celta Vigo face Almeria at 8a on ESPN Deportes and ESPN+. Luca is out due to injury and will be out for 3 weeks. Will it cost him a World Cup roster spot?
- Christian Pulisic and Chelsea FC face Brighton and Hove Albion at 10a on USA Network. Pulisic started midweek and picked up an assist in Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Red Bull Salzburg in Champions League play, but has just two EPL starts for Chelsea this season.
- The Fulham duo of Tim Ream and Antonee Robinson look to continue their hot start to the season. Fulham have won two straight, currently sit in 7th place, and are halfway to staying up just 12 matches into the season. This weekend, the club will face Everton at 12:30p on NBC.
- Jesse Marsch, Tyler Adams, and Brenden Aaronson look to get things back on track this weekend and end a nine match winless streak against a Liverpool side that looks suddenly vulnerable, having lost to Nottingham Forest last weekend and falling to eighth in the league table. The match will be played at 2:45p on the USA Network.
- Kevin Paredes got his first start of the season for Wolfsburg last weekend in the team’s 2-2 draw with Bayer Leverkusen. This weekend, the team faces Bochum at 9:30a on ESPN+.
- Erik Palmer-Brown and Troyes face Ligue One leading Paris Saint-Germain at 11a on beIN Sports.
- Weston McKennie and Juventus have won their past two Serie A matches, but still sit in 8th place and are coming off a 4-3 loss to Benfica in Champions League play. They will face Lecce at Noon on Paramount+.
- Gio Reyna has started two straight for Borussia Dortmund, including midweek in their scoreless draw with Manchester City. Reyna picked up a goal last weekend and overall looked very strong, but given his recent usage, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get a bit of rest and come off the bench this weekend as the team faces Timothy Chandler’s Eintracht Frankfurt at 12:30p on ESPN+.
Union Berlin v Borussia Mönchengladbach - 10:30a on ESPN+
No two Americans have gotten more playing time this year in the Bundesliga than Union Berlin’s Jordan Pefok and Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Joe Scally, who will face off this weekend. Union Berlin is looking to maintain their hold on the top position in the Bundesliga and ‘Gladbach look to bounce back from a couple of recent losses, including last weekend’s 3-1 loss to Frankfurt and getting bounced from the DFB-Pokal by second tier SV Darmstadt. Pefok has started every match that he’s been available for Union berlin this season, missing just one league match due to injury. Berlin lost last weekend, just their second defeat of the season, to a Bochum side that had just one win previously and is sitting solidly in the relegation zone. It was a tough result for a Berlin side looking to maintain their top position. They will look to bounce back against a ‘Gladbach side that has been pretty inconsistent this season. They’ve drawn Bayern Munich and Schalke, and in back to back weeks ,they lost 5-1 to Werder Bremen and defeated Köln 5-2. Scally has been there for it all, starting every match and playing nearly every minute this season.
- LAFC host FC Austin in the MLS Western Conference final. Kellyn Acosta went 90 minutes for LAFC in their 3-2 win over the LA Galaxy last weekend.
- The Eastern Conference final between the Philadelphia Union and New York City FC will kick off at 8p on FS1. Sean Johnson had seven saves last weekend for NYCFC as they were heavily outshot by CF Montreal, but won the match 3-1.
- Sergiño Dest did not travel with AC Milan midweek for their 4-0 Champions League win over Dinamo Zagreb, as he has apparently picked up a minor injury. Milan face Torino at 3:45p in a match that can be seen on Paramount+.
- Timothy Weah saw another 25 minutes off the bench for Lille last weekend in their 4-3 win over Monaco. It was his third straight appearance. Lille face Olympique Lyonnais at 3:45p on beIN Sports.