With the USA’s sights now set on the World Cup qualifiers in March against Guatemala, the focus is firmly on the fitness and form of the National Team players vying for a spot on the roster. Since MLS will just be getting started, U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann indicated that the group for those critical games may shade towards players based in Mexico and Europe, shining an even greater spotlight on their club matches. Fortunately, you’ll be able to watch a host of them this weekend.
Ventura Alvarado and Club America take the stage in prime-time tonight, playing away against a Veracruz team that sits one spot above the bottom of the table. It’s a big opportunity for America, who hold the fourth place in the current season. (8:30 p.m., Univision Deportes Network).
The action kicks off bright and early, starting with a London derby as Tim Ream and the “FulhAmericans” visit Queens Park Rangers (7:30 a.m. — beIN Sports). Up north, Sunderland and on-loan defender DeAndre Yedlin hosting Manchester United (7:45 a.m., NBCSN) in a desperate bid for points. You can stay tuned to the tube straight away as Tim Howard looks set to return from injury as Everton welcome West Bromwich Albion (10 a.m., NBCSN). If you’re in the mood for the Bundesliga, FoxSoccer 2Go has you covered with a trio of U.S. internationals. John Brooks has cemented his starting role in the center of the Hertha Berlin defense. The side looks to hold onto third place in the league when they hit the road to face Klinsmann’s former club Stuttgart. (9:30 a.m., Fox Soccer 2Go). At the same time, Alfredo Morales – who has appeared in 19 of 20 league matches for Ingolstadt – travel for a mid-table clash with Wolfsburg. Just after noon, Timmy Chandler’s Eintracht Frankfurt head to Cologne. (12:30 p.m. — Fox Sports 2/Fox Sports Go/ Fox Soccer 2GO)
The hottest member of the MNT abroad is midfielder Alejandro Bedoya, who has deposited four goals in his last six matches. Nantes are riding a 14-match unbeaten run into this weekend’s tilt against Lorient. In the tightly packed Ligue 1, only five points separate teams 3-10, and Nantes sits in the middle on 36 total. (2 p.m. — beIN Sports Connect)
Sunday brunch begins early with Brad Guzan and Aston Villa facing an uphill climb when they welcome Liverpool. (9:05 a.m. — NBCSN). Coming off a 5-1 win against Werder Bremen, Fabian Johnson and Borussia Moenchengladbach hit the road to face Hamburg, the only club in Germany to remain in the top division since the Bundesliga began in 1963. In the afternoon, the due of Miguel Ibarra and William Yarbrough look to help fifth-place Club Leon hold steady at Chivas de Guadalajara. Omar Gonzalez leads the night cap, having started his career at Pachuca en fuego by recording a goal and assist in five starts. Now in second place, they welcome Puebla (8:30 p.m., NBC Universo).