Presumably either because they hate Americans generally, or because they hate Todd Boehly and his idea of an all star match specifically, the English have decided to respond by cancelling the most American matches of the weekend. Chelsea FC, Leeds United, and Crystal Palace will not play, with Fulham being the only team slipping through the cracks because neither of their Americans were called up. The joke is on them however, as this just ensures that Christian Pulisic, Brendan Aaronson, Tyler Adams, and Chris Richards will have a little extra break as they had into the final camp to prepare for the upcoming World Cup and their matchup with England, where the real payback will happen.
Regardless, there are still some solid matches to watch this weekend including the aforementioned Fulham matchup with Nottingham Forest that gets things started on Friday.
Nottingham Forest v Fulham F.C. - 3p on Peacock
Antonee Robinson is out injured and was left off the September roster, and Tim Ream remains on the outside looking in despite a strong start to the Premier League season. Manager Marco Silva hasn’t ruled out Antonee from appearing on Friday, but has said it is doubtful and would be difficult. Even that will be a positive for USMNT fans who might have been concerned by Gregg Berhalter’s comments that he was “hopeful” that Robinson would be starting at left-back come the World Cup in November. Ream will start and likely captain the Fulham side yet again as they look to win a crucial match early in the season against what seems likely to be a fellow relegation candidate in Nottingham Forest. Fulham have gotten off to a solid start, with eight points in their first six matches and currently sit 10th in the table but they have admittedly outperformed expectations thus far and seem likely to drop down the table a bit.
Meanwhile, Nottingham Forest, who was promoted with Fulham this summer and promptly overhauled their squad by bringing in some twenty new faces (that’s nearly two full starting lineups people) currently sit in the relegation zone, ahead of only Leicester City, and come in having lost three straight matches.
Borussia Dortmund v Schalke - 9:30a on ESPN2
Welcome back, Gio Reyna. Reyna saw his first start of the season, and just his fourth appearance of more than 35 minutes in over a year on Wednesday in Dortmund’s 2-1 loss to Manchester City in Champions League group play. It’s been a brutal year for the young man, and it seems likely the club will continue to take the cautious approach with him so he may not start right away this weekend as they face Schalke on Saturday in a match that is breaking through the Plus barrier to show up on network TV. Dortmund do need to get a result against Schalke this weekend after being thumped by RB Leipzig 3-0 last weekend. They still remain just two points back of league-leading Union Berlin and tied with Bayern Munich, but will rue the missed opportunities at the end of the season if they are unable to defeat the newly promoted side.
- Atlanta United cling to a sliver of playoff hope as they host a Philadelphia Union side that has been steamrolling their competition recently. This match will be at 3:30p on Univision and Twitter.
- Pellegrino Matarazzo’s Stuttgart snatched a point last weekend with a late goal against Bayern Munich and now face Timothy Chandler’s Eintracht Frankfurt at 9:30a on ESPN+.
- Joe Scally and Borussia Mönchengladbach face RB Leipzig at 12:30p on ESPN+. ‘Gladbach are coming off a scoreless draw with Freiburg last weekend.
- Yunus Musah has picked up a knock that has forced him to withdraw from the upcoming USMNT camp and he is unavailable for his club this weekend when they take on Luca de la Torre’s Celta Vigo at 12:30p on ESPN+.
- Timothy Weah remains sidelined for Lille who face Toulouse at 3p on beIN Sports.
MLS mashup (all matches on ESPN+):
- NYCFC and the New York Red Bulls (Aaron Long) face off in a battle for New York at 1p.
- The New England Revolution take on CF Montreal and Djordje Mihailovic at 7:30p.
- Gaga Slonina and the Chicago Fire take on Charlotte FC at 8p.
- Walker Zimmerman and Nashville SC head to Austin for a 9p kickoff.
- Real Salt Lake take on Cincinnati FC (Brandon Vasquez) at 9:30p.
- The Vancouver Whitecaps host Jordan Morris and the Seattle Sounders at 10p.
- Jesus Ferreira and FC Dallas take on the San Jose Earthquakes at 10:30p.
Union Berlin v Wolfsburg - 9:30a on ESPN+
The most surprising omission from Gregg Berhalter’s list of September call ups was Jordan Pefok, whose Union Berlin side continue to lead the Bundesliga six matches in to the season. It’s early days but still a surprising result for the Berlin side. Union defeated Köln 1-0 last weekend on the back of an own goal just three minutes into the match. Pefok had a chance to add to his Bundesliga goal tally several minutes later, but was unable to bury the opportunity from the penalty spot. Union Berlin will now take on a Wolfsburg side that finally picked up their first win of the season last weekend 1-0 over Eintracht Frankfurt. Kevin Paredes was an unused substitute in the match.
- Weston McKennie and Juventus have some work to do to get back on track coming off a 2-1 loss to Benfica in Champions League play and struggling to find the expected results in league play. They face a Monza side that picked up their first point of the season last weekend in a 1-1 draw with Lecce. The match will be played at 9:30a on Paramount+.
- Sergiño Dest and AC Milan face a tough matchup with Napoli at 2:45p on Paramount+. Dest has been seeing regular time off the bench for his new club. The two clubs are tied on points for the league lead with Napoli holding the top spot due to goal differential
MLS mashup (all matches on ESPN+):
- DC United have gone into play your kids mode with their season effectively over, which could lead to some opportunities. They face DeAndre Yedlin and Inter Miami at 5p.
- Kellyn Acosta and LAFC look to stay within striking distance of the Philadelphia Union in the Supporters Shield race when they take on the Houston Dynamo at 10:30p.