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USMNT weekend viewing guide: Early returns and late dividends

Early drama in Europe and teams needing a push to the MLS playoffs.

Fulham FC v Brentford FC - Premier League Photo by Andrew Kearns - CameraSport via Getty Images

It’s early times in the European season, but things are already pretty interesting with some unexpected results early. Stateside, we’re down to the final quarter of the Major League Soccer season with several playoff perennials still on the outside looking in. Let’s start out West in Portland as we take a look:

Portland Timbers v Seattle Sounders - 10p on ESPN

The latest edition of the Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders rivalry gets the ESPN treatment on Friday night as the Cascadia Cup rivals meet for the 136th time. The two teams find themselves in an unfamiliar position, both looking to make a push in the last quarter of the season as they currently sit just outside the MLS playoff standings, trailing the LA Galaxy by a point.

The Timbers have lost two straight, a 4-1 loss last weekend to a Sporting Kansas City side that sit dead last in the standings, and a 3-1 loss two weeks ago to a Toronto FC side that are making a playoff push themselves but still sit well outside the qualification spots. Eryk Williamson got his first start in a month last weekend in the loss to SKC as he has struggled with injury this season.

Seattle is dealing with injuries of their own, as USMNT hopeful Cristian Roldan is set to miss 4-6 weeks with a goin injury which could keep him out until just before the World Cup roster is released in early November. Seattle are winless in their past three matches, though Jordan Morris did pick up one of his team’s three goals in last weekend’s draw with the LA Galaxy.

Other notes:

  • Luca de la Torre saw a handful of minutes off the bench last weekend for Celta Vigo in their 4-1 loss to Real Madrid. His side face Girona at 2p on ESPN+.
  • Tim Weah reportedly remains out as Lille look to bounce back from their 7-1 defeat to PSG when they face newly promoted AC Ajaccio at 3p on beIN Sports.


Arsenal FC v Fulham FC - 12:30p on NBC

Tim Ream, Antonee Robinson and Fulham picked up their first win of the season last weekend over Brentford and are undefeated through their first three matches. Ream and Robinson have gone the full 90 minutes in each of the three matches, including a shock draw with Liverpool in the opening weekend. The five points are a great start to the season for Fulham in what is likely to be a relegation scrap over the long haul, and the challenges will continue for them this weekend as they face first place Arsenal. The Gunners haven’t faced a murderers row of competition yet, but have won every match they’ve played in convincing fashion, racking up an aggregate scoreline of 9-2.

Other notes:

Streaming overseas:

  • Kevin Paredes made his season debut as a right winger last weekend for Wolfsburg in their scoreless draw with Schalke. The club will face a Bayer Leverkusen side that has lost its opening three matches. This one can be seen at 9:30a on ESPN+.
  • Ricardo Pepi and Augsburg face Hoffenheim at 9:30a on ESPN+. Pepi has found minutes hard to come by early on in the season.
  • Giovanni Reyna saw 30 minutes off the bench last weekend, but his Borussia Dortmund side was dealt an embarrassing loss as Werder Bremen stormed back from a 2-0 deficit and scored three goals in the 89th minute or later to win the match. Dortmund will look to bounce back when they face Hertha Berlin at 9:30a on ESPN+.
  • Jordan Pefok picked up a goal and an assist for Union Berlin last weekend in the team’s 2-1 win over RB Leipzig. They visit Schalke this weekend at 9:30a on ESPN+.
  • Christian Pulisic and Chelsea look to bounce back from their defeat to Leeds when they face Leicester City at 10a on Peacock. Pulisic appears to be solidly in a substitute role as questions continue to swirl about his future with the club.
  • Chris Richards and Crystal Palace look to build on last weekend’s victory over Aston Villa, but will have to do it against a Manchester City side that are already huge favorites to win the title again this season despite last weekend’s draw with Newcastle. This one can be seen at 10a on Peacock.
  • The stakes are upped this weekend for Joe Scally, whose Borussia Mönchengladbach side face a Bayern Munich team that look ready to steamroll the Bundesliga yet again. The match will be aired at 12:30p on ESPN+.
  • Weston McKennie and Juventus have an early season matchup with Roma that will have title implications. Kickoff is at 12:30p on Paramount+.

MLS mashup (all matches on ESPN+):

  • DeAndre Yedlin and Inter Miami travel to take on the New York Red Bulls at 7p.
  • Toronto FC and the Bradleys continue their late push for a playoff spot when they face Charlotte FC at 7p.
  • It’s the battle for the heart of USMNT country as Ohio’s FC Cincinnati and the Columbus Crew kick off at 7:30p. Brandon Vasquez looks to continue his push for a call up after a rough match last weekend.
  • The Philadelphia Union continue their quest for the Supporters’ Shield as they host the Colorado Rapids at 7:30p.
  • Gaga Slonina and the Chicago Fire face CF Montreal at 8p.
  • Sporting Kansas City host the San Jose Earthquakes at 8:30p.
  • Jesus Ferreira and FC Dallas close out the night by hosting Real Salt Lake at 9p.


Troyes v Angers - 9a on beIN Sports

Eric Palmer-Brown and Troyes have seen their season get off to a very rough start, as they are the only Ligue 1 side still looking for their first points of the season three matches into the season. Troyes defense has been porous, giving up 10 goals in three matches which seems like a bad sign for a centerback looking to make a roster push. Troyes face an Angers side that opened the season with two draws before suffering defeat at the hands of Brest last weekend.

Other notes:

  • Atlanta United face DC United at 4p on Univision in what might be the train wreck matchup of the season.
  • Orlando City host NYCFC at 7:30p on FS1. NYCFC looked like early season title contenders but have slipped an bit recently as Philadelphia widens the gap.

Streaming overseas:

  • Pellegrino Matarazzo and Stuttgart look for their first win of the season as they travel to Köln for a match at 9:30a on ESPN+.
  • Timothy Chandler’s Eintracht Frankfurt face Werder Bremen at 11:30a on ESPN+.
  • Sergiño Dest remains out of the picture for FC Barcelona, who face Real Valladolid at 1:30p on ESPN+.

Keep us up to date on USMNT club activity over the weekend and what you’re watching in the comments section below.