041413_isi_omargonzo_mlsmj030313237 Michael Janosz/isiphotos.com
5 to Watch This Weekend

Weekend TV Guide: USMNT Roster Preview Edition

Whether you need a Jozy Altidore fix or are wondering whether Clint Dempsey is going to heal in time for the Costa Rica match, American soccer fans have plenty of TV options this weekend.
BY John Godfrey Posted
March 15, 2013
3:55 PM
YES, WE KNOW there are plenty of compelling soccer matches to watch this weekend that have nothing to do with America or Americans.

And we don't care about any of them.

If you are a U.S. national team maniac, the next few days will revolve around tracking the American player pool, assessing form, and otherwise obsessing about the players Jurgen Klinsmann might call up for the Costa Rica (March 22) and Mexico (March 26) matches.

So we're not going to mess around with this post. All focus American. All times Eastern. All eyes on Brazil 2014.


Philadelphia Union v. New England
5 p.m., MLS Live, Univision Deportes
Yeah, we know all about the New York Bulls' home opener against arch-rival D.C. United, and sure, the 2013 edition of the Cascadia Cup begins this weekend with Seattle hosting Portland.

That's great.

In terms of intriguing U.S. national team players, however, we think the Philadelphia-New England tilt has more intrigue. With Jack McInerney (20 years old), Amobi Okugo (21), and Sheanon Williams (22) in the mix, the Union provide a glimpse into the future of the U.S. side—a future that could include the 2014 World Cup. Toss in New England's Kelyn Rowe (21) and the consistently under-rated Lee Nguyen (26), and this match is must-see TV for U.S. supporters.


Tijuana v. Monterrey
12 a.m., UniMas
We're not thrilled about the start time—does this match start late Saturday night or very early Sunday morning?—but we are excited to see how many Yanks make the starting lineup for the Xolos against one of the top teams in LigaMX. While Greg Garza is still on the outside looking in when it comes to the U.S. national team, both Joe Corona and Edgar Castillo are legitimate candidates to make Klinsmann's roster. This, despite Castillo's busted face. Who will get the start? Who will play well? Who will earn a call up? We'll be tuning in for prognostication purposes.

AZ Alkmaar v. Ajax
9:30 a.m., ESPN3
Jozy Altidore highlights are easy to come by these days—thank you, Internet—but live Dutch Eredivisie contests featuring New Jersey natives are not all that common. Fire up the laptop and enjoy. (And keep an eye on Altidore's off-the-ball movement while you're at it.)

Tottenham v. Fulham
11 a.m., Fox Soccer Plus
Clint Dempsey did not make the 18 for Tottenham's rollicking Europa League match on Thursday, which was a bit of a bummer both for U.S. fans and Andre Villas-Boas. But the Spurs snuck through to the quarterfinals without Deuce, and now American supporters will be watching on Sunday to see if/how Dempsey performs ahead of the two crucial World Cup qualifiers. If you are an American Outlaw, or just act like one, you will be glued to your TV during this match.

Los Angeles Galaxy v. Chivas USA
5 p.m., UniMas
Two deserving players—Chivas USA's Dan Kennedy and the Los Angeles Galaxy's Mike Magee—are unlikely to receive the call from Klinsmann. Man of the Moment Jose Villarreal is an even longer shot despite his undeniable skill and impressive composure. So this game is all about Omar Gonzalez and his form. Will OG keep former Captain America Carlos Bocanegra on the bench? Will Gonzalez bounce back from his poor-to-middling showing in San Pedro Sula, Honduras? We'll be tuning in to find out.


Nuremberg v. Schalke
10:30 a.m. Saturday

Is Timothy Chandler better than he showed in San Pedro Sula? Will Jermaine Jones ever stop drawing yellow cards? This match would have been fun to watch, but it won't be available to most soccer fans in the U.S., which totally blows.

John Godfrey is the founder and editor in chief of American Soccer Now, and he won't be writing this column next week.

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