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2013 U.S. MNT Graham Zusi and Matt Besler

Weekend TV Schedule for Critical Matches Featuring MNT Players

As the sunlight begins to fade on the incredibly successful summer for the U.S. Men’s National Team, the attention on the form of the players with their clubs becomes that much more critical. And there’s no better place to show your stuff than in big-time matches like fighting for playoff spots in Mexico, going toe-to-toe with rivals in the MLS postseason, and meetings with top of the table clubs, all of which you can find on the television this weekend.

Matches featuring MNT players begin with a Friday night clash when Liga MX Apertura postseason hopefuls Club Tijuana host last place Atlante. Edgar Castillo, Joe Corona and Herculez Gomez have the opportunity to push the 12th place Xolos within three points of a playoff position with two rounds remaining in the regular season. The match kicks off at 11:25 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN.

Sunday afternoon DaMarcus Beasley, Michael Orozco and Puebla will also try to close in on an Apertura playoff spot when they host Pachuca at 1 p.m. on ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN.

North of the border, the MLS playoffs are already underway and Seattle’s MNT trio of Clint Dempsey, Brad Evans and Eddie Johnson have already made a mark on the MLS postseason by producing the goals that secured the 10-man Seattle Sounders a 2-0 victory against the Colorado Rapids in Wednesday night’s Western Conference Playoff Knockout Round. The win sent the Sounders through to face Cascadia rivals the Portland Timbers in the MLS Western Conference Semifinals, the first leg of which will be broadcast from CenturyLink Field on Saturday night at 10 p.m. on NBC Sports Network.

Leading into the Cascadia Derby will be the first leg of the Eastern Conference semis featuring Graham Zusi and Matt Besler leading Sporting Kansas City against the New England Revolution in match that can be seen at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Network and MLS Live.

In last Thursday’s Eastern Conference play-in game, Brad Davis and the Houston Dynamo scored a comfortable 3-0 win against the Montreal Impact and now set their sights on the 2013 Supporters Shield winners, the New York Red Bulls. The first leg of their Eastern Conference semifinal series can be seen Sunday at 3:30 p.m. on NBC. Also on Sunday, Landon Donovan, Omar Gonzalez and the LA Galaxy square off against Kyle Beckerman, Nick Rimando and Real Salt Lake in the first leg of the Western Conference semifinals, which will kick off at 9 p.m. on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.

Across the Atlantic, there are a bevy of Saturday morning matches, starting with Danny Williams and Reading taking on Sheffield Wednesday at 10 a.m. on beIN Sport. Fabian Johnson and Hoffenheim take on league leaders Bayern Munich at 10:30 a.m. on GolTV and there is also a trio of Barclay’s Premier League matches:

Jozy Altidore (Sunderland @ Hull City) 11 a.m. - NBC Sports Extra Time, NBC Sports Live Extra
Brad Guzan (Aston Villa @ West Ham) 11 a.m. - NBC Sports Extra Time, NBC Sports Live Extra
Geoff Cameron (Stoke City v. Southampton) 11 a.m. - NBC Sports Extra Time, NBC Sports Live Extra

The Premier League action continues Sunday as Tim Howard (and his beard) travel with Everton to take on fourth place Tottenham Hotspur in a match that can be seen on CNBC and NBC Sports Live Extra at 8:30 a.m.

*All times are Eastern.