If you’re looking to kill some time this weekend as we wait for Thursday’s rivalry matchup with Mexico in the decisive March window, perhaps I can interest you in watching some club soccer with a sense of deep foreboding? Before the roster for the window could even be announced, the USMNT was already dealing with potential injury issues as Sergiño Dest came up lame Thursday afternoon and had to be subbed out of FC Barcelona’s Europa League matchup with Galatasaray. Here are the other matches you can dread-watch this weekend to see if everyone else is able to stay healthy.
Bochum v Borussia Mönchengladbach - 3:30p on ESPN+
If Joe Scally hasn’t been called in by now, it seems unlikely that he will be, even if the injury to Sergiño Dest does keep him out for the upcoming window. There has been some precedent though, with Walker Zimmermann being brought in as a late injury replacement only to now become a regular starter for the team. Scally had gone through a stretch where he was seeing minimal minutes, but now is back to a regular role with Borussia Mönchengladbach as they look to put some space between themselves and the relegation teams.
‘Gladbach currently sit seven points out of the relegation zone with five teams below them in the table. They have a mid-table battle with Bochum on Friday, who sit two spots ahead of them in the standings. Bochum lost last weekend to Eintracht Frankfurt and have lost three of their past four matches.
- Jesse Marsch saw Leeds to their first victory in two months and his first as manager of the club last weekend in a 2-1 win over Norwich City. The task gets notably harder against Wolverhampton Wanderers, who have won their past two matches. This one will be at 4p on USA Network.
Stuttgart v Augsburg - 10:30a on ESPN+
While for several players it might be best if they just saw some rest this weekend, in the case of Ricardo Pepi, who has not seen the field in three weeks and has just over 90 minutes played in the past two months, it would be most excellent if he would see the field this weekend when Augsburg face Stuttgart. There have been multiple factors for Pepi’s lack of minutes recently, including Augsburg's match last weekend with Mainz being postponed due to COVID concerns. But it is also fair to say that the splash signing hasn’t had the impact the team was hoping for when they acquired him in January. The club is currently in 14th place, just three points ahead of Hertha Berlin and Stuttgart, this weekend’s opponent who happens to sit in the relegation playoff spot. Pellegrino Matarazzo’s side are coming off a 1-1 draw with Union Berlin and can vault Augsburg with a home win.
- The LA Galaxy will face Orlando City at 3:30p on Univision and Twitter.
- Sebastian Saucedo and Pumas UNAM had an epic comeback against the New England Revolution midweek in CCL play. Saucedo scored a goal in the three goal aggregate comeback. His club now now face Necaxa at 7p on Univision.
- Matt Miazga’s Deportivo Alavés face Granada at 9a on ESPN+. Miazga’s last start was four matches ago against Real Madrid.
- Chris Richards remains out and was not included in Thursday’s roster release. His Hoffenheim side continue their push for Champions League play when they face a Hertha Berlin side gazing into the relegation void. The match will be at 10:30a on ESPN+.
- Julian Green, Timothy Tillman and Gruether Fürth face Freiburg at 10:30a on ESPN+.
- George Bello continues to see his minutes for Arminia Bielefeld increase and was mentioned by Gregg Berhalter as a potential injury replacement for Sergiño Dest. Bielefeld face Mainz at 10:30a on ESPN+.
- Yunus Musah had started 7 of 8 matches for Valencia before missing last weekends match due to yellow card suspension. He should return this weekend for the team’s matchup against Elche at 11:15a on ESPN+.
- Christian Pulisic’s Chelsea FC face Middlesbrough in the FA Cup quarterfinals at 1:15p on ESPN+. Dear Thomas, feel free to rest our boy.
- Timothy Weah continues to be used sparingly for Lille, who face Nantes at 4p on beIN Sports, but he will undoubtedly be a key figure for the USMNT in the upcoming window.
MLS matches (all on ESPN+):
- At 1p FC Cincinnati face Inter Miami and DeAndre Yedlin who could see a sudden uptick in minutes if Dest is indeed out.
- New York City FC face the Philadelphia Union at 1p. The Union’s young Americans haven’t seen a ton of early season play but are getting some substitute minutes.
- Toronto FC and DC United kick off at 3p. Toronto are looking for their first result of the season, while United took their first loss last weekend to the Chicago Fire.
- Miles Robinson and Atlanta United face Djordje Mihailovic and CF Móntreal at 4p.
- Gaga Slonina has not allowed a goal through three matches this season and lead the Chicago Fire as they now face Sporting Kansas City at 6p. The Fire reportedly turned down a request to release Slonina for the U20 camp.
- Minnesota United face the San Jose Earthquakes and Cade Cowell at 7p.
- Jesús Ferreira, Paxton Pomykal and FC Dallas take on the Portland Timbers at 8:30p.
- The Houston Dynamo face the Colorado Rapids at 8:30p.
- Walker Zimmerman and Nashville SC take on Real Salt Lake at 9:30p.
Southampton v Manchester City - 11a on ESPN+
Zack Steffen has typically started Manchester City’s cup matches, so this weekend could be an important one for him. Steffen has been dealing with injuries, and in fact he missed Man City’s last FA Cup match. But, he returned to City’s bench last weekend and seems to be available for selection on Sunday. Steffen is the clear favorite to start the USMNT’s decisive three matches in the upcoming window, so getting some playing time this weekend against Southampton would be huge, as he hasn’t seen any competitive action in six weeks. Southampton currently sit middle of the table in the EPL standings but are looking for their first win in four matches.
- Jordan Morris, Cristian Roldan and the Seattle Sounders face Austin FC at 4:30p on FS1. Seattle are coming off a midweek 4-1 aggregate win over Leon in CCL play and have been rotating heavily, so it’s possible Danny Leyva or 16-year-old Obed Vargas see some more time.
- Gianluca Busio has returned to the fold for the USMNT, but before he joins up he’ll take the field with Venezia, who face Sampdoria in a pretty significant matchup for the relegation battle. Venezia currently sit three points away from safety and need to start finding results against lower level teams such as Sampdoria, who are four points ahead of them. The match can be seen at 7:30a on Paramount+.
- Matthew Hoppe was not included in Mallorca’s squad on Monday as they lost to Real Madrid. They face Espanyol at 9a on ESPN+.
- Tyler Adams and RB Leipzig face Timothy Chandler’s Eintracht Frankfurt at 10:30a on ESPN+. Adams has seen a dip in minutes recently, with some reports that there are ongoing injury concerns.
- John Brooks was left out of the call up list again for the USMNT and continues to handle it publicly as well as anyone could hope. His Wolfsburg side face Bayer Leverkusen at 12:30p on ESPN+.
- After a long absence, Ethan Horvath could have a significant impact on the upcoming window if Zack Steffen is unable to make it through the three matches. Thankfully, he has recently taken over the starting role for Nottingham Forest, who have a difficult FA Cup matchup with Liverpool this weekend at 2p on ESPN+.
- Giovanni Reyna is back in action and his Borussia Dortmund side face Köln at 2:30p on ESPN+.
- It seems likely that Sergiño Dest will miss El Clásico this weekend due to the injury picked up midweek. Real Madrid and Barcelona will kick off at 4p on ESPN+.
MLS matches (all on ESPN+):
- The New York Red Bulls face the Columbus Crew at 2p. Gyasi Zardes has been dropped from the starting lineup for Columbus and was not included in the USMNT roster.
- Kellyn Acosta and LAFC will face the Vancouver Whitecaps at 10p. It seems likely that Acosta will see an uptick in minutes for the USMNT with Weston McKennie missing the upcoming window.