Adams vs. Brooks, LAFC vs. Philly, upstart Montreal vs. Dallas kids top weekend games for Americans
March 06, 2020
WITH ANY LUCK, the news from Americans abroad will be better that it was last weekend because it will be hard to be any worse. Domestically, the second week of the MLS season will get underway with some decent games after a decent opening weekend.
Injuries are still a problem for American players abroad as the following players are sidelined
- Tim Weah
- Antonee Robinson
- Christian Pulisic
- Eric Lichaj
- Duane Holmes
- Zack Steffen
- Julian Green
- Jonathan Amon
But the real problem is those who are struggling. Of course, Weston Mckennie, Josh Sargent, and Sergino Dest are in tough moments with their clubs but at least they are getting minutes. DeAndre Yedlin, Jordan Siebatcheu, Bobby Wood, and Sebastian Soto are all among those struggling to see time.
The good news in Americans abroad is the return of Tyler Adams who should be able to play this weekend. His return along with Matt Miazga last weekend are steps in the right direction.
In MLS, there are several matchups that will be good ones. Thierry Henry is off to a strong start leading Montreal and now he will face an FC Dallas team buzzing after an opening day weekend over Philadelphia. Meanwhile, Philadelphia will attempt to rebound against a strong Los Angeles FC. Also, how will Atlanta United respond without Josef Martinez?
But with all that said, here are the top 10 games for American fans to follow this weekend.
Wolfsburg - RB Leipzig
Saturday, March 7: 9:30am EST
Tyler Adams will make his return to the RB Leipzig lineup on Saturday against a tough VfL Wolfsburg team that should start John Brooks. If RB Leipzig wants to stay in the hunt for the Bundesliga title, this is a game where it will need to win.
For Brooks and Wolfsburg, it is knocking on the door of moving into the Europa League spot of sixth and only needs to overtake a struggling Schalke team that is one place ahead of it.
Los Angeles FC - Philadelphia Union
Sunday, March 8: 9:30pm EST
Los Angeles FC is flying high right now after defeating Leon in the CONCACAF Champions League and winning its MLS opener vs. Inter Miami. But LAFC might have to consider squad rotation with a midweek Champions League matchup. That could open the door for Philadelphia.
For American fans, Philadelphia is friendly to young Americans with U.S. U-23 defender Mark McKenzie and attacking midfielder Brenden Aaronson likely to head to Olympic qualifying afterward. 2019 U.S. U-20 left back Matt Real also got the start last weekend with Anthony Fontana coming off the bench. The team’s captain is also U.S. national team veteran Alejandro Bedoya.
LAFC might be the best club team in the United States although Bob Bradley uses a mostly foreign team. Tristan Blackmon, however, is emerging as one to watch in central defense for the future.
Frosinone - Cremonese
Saturday, March 7: 9:00am EST
Andrija Novakovich is one of the most in-form American players at the moment and is trying to play a big role in getting second-place Frosinone promoted. He has two goals, two assists, and a drawn penalty in his last four games. The club only drew last-place Livorno midweek and will try to get back onto the winning path vs. a Cremonese team in a relegation battle in 17th place.
Frosinone will be without its home support as there is a closed-door mandate throughout the country.
FC Dallas - Montreal Impact
Saturday, March 7: 3:00pm EST
This is a game that should be a lot of fun. FC Dallas is buzzing after a strong showing in its 2-0 season opening win over a good Philadelphia team. But Thierry Henry and Montreal have been surprising after advancing past Saprissa in the Champions League and winning its league opener vs. New England Revolution.
Dallas has many young American players that everyone knows well and last week Tanner Tessman and Jesus Ferreira picked up assists while Paxton Pomykal added very nice goal. Midweek, Dallas also inked Reggie Cannon to a new contract.
These are two optimistic teams at this early stage and it should make for a good game.
Borussia Monchengladbach - Borussia Dortmund
Saturday, March 7: 12:30am EST
Will Giovanni Reyna make his first Bundesliga start? It’s probably unlikely but certainly not impossible. This is a big game between third place Borussia Dortmund away at Borussia Monchengladbach. Reyna has been a steady player for Dortmund but his minutes have been uneven while coming off the bench. He’s made big strides but his next major step will be a start.
Playing away at Gladbach will be tough and it’s certainly possible that even if Reyna doesn’t start, he will be needed for his offense off the bench.
SC Heerenveen - Ajax
Saturday, March 7: 2:45am EST
It’s been an awful three weeks for Ajax which has been eliminated from the Dutch Cup and the Europa league while also seeing its lead atop the Eredivisie standings evaporate down to goal differential after consecutive losses. Sergino Dest has started all of the recent run and hasn’t played well – along with most of his teammates.
Ajax needs to win the Eredivisie this year to salvage its season and this away matchup vs. 10th place Heerenveen is critical to reversing the momentum.
Toronto - New York City FC
Saturday, March 7: 5:00pm EST
Two teams who are among the favorites to finish in the top five of the Eastern Conference will meet up in Toronto and it should make for a good game. Toronto, without Michael Bradley, played San Jose to a 2-2 away draw where it should have won if not for conceding a late equalizer. With the March international window approaching, it will be interesting to see how Jozy Altidore plays and if he can open his 2020 scoring account.
New York City, meanwhile, lost its opener to Columbus 1-0 but was done in by an early red card to Maxime Chanot. Can Keaton Parks make a late push to make the U.S. U-23 team? He is certainly one to watch. The same can be said for James Sands. But both Parks and Sands have struggled to get into the U-23 picture.
Schalke – Hoffenheim
Saturday, March 7: 9:30am EST
It is well-known how poorly Schalke is playing at the moment but here is a brief summary:
Schalke right now— Brian Sciaretta (@BrianSciaretta) February 29, 2020
-1 goal over last 6 Bundesliga games
-outscored 14-1 over last 572 Bundesliga minutes
- 4 of the 6 opponents in that stretch have been among league's weaker teams: Koln, Mainz, Paderborn, Hertha #S04
Weston McKennie remains an important American player but can he be part of the team’s solution. Of course Schalke needs more forwards but can McKennie help create? Can he help open the game up? His strengths so far this season have been defensively where he has done a lot of dirty work, won balls, and been a physical presence. But can he help the team in the area where it is struggling.
Hoffenheim will be a tough opponent. Sixth-place Schalke is two places higher than Hoffenheim – which is also struggling. But it is tough to say Schalke has the edge over anyone at the moment.
Seattle vs. Columbus
Saturday, March 7: 10:00pm EST
In a matchup of two teams that both won their respective opening games, Seattle will host Columbus Saturday night. Columbus is improved but getting a result over Seattle away will be very tough.
Seattle was on the verge of finishing with a brutal week last weekend after an upset loss in the CONCACAF Champions League to Olimpia. The Sounders were also trailing Chicago at halftime. But Jordan Morris came into the game at halftime and transformed the game with two goals for a 2-1 win. Seattle’s Champions League loss still stings but the team should rebound nicely in MLS as the team is typically a slow starter. Once it gets wind at its back, it typically is a contender.
Columbus spent a lot more than expected in the offseason and the additions of Lucas Zelarayan and Darlington Nagbe were strong in the opening win over New York City FC. This will be a harder test for both teams than the opponents each faced in the opening weekend.
Hobro – Esbjerg FB
Sunday, March 8: 6:00am EST
If Hobro want any chance of avoiding relegation, this is a game it really needs to win. Sitting in 12th place, a home matchup against the league’s 13th best team is one of the few times it is favored to win a match.
The reason to watch or follow this game is because Hobro has two solid American prospects: Christian Cappis and Emmanuel Sabbi who are both on the U.S. U-23 preliminary roster for Olympic qualifying. Both players have done well this season, but can they help deliver the wins. Hobro has only lost nine games but has been done in by 12 draws and just two wins over 23 games. Can the two Americans help the club deliver wins down the stretch? This game is critical.