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5 to Watch This Weekend

Where is the Best USMNT Action? We Have It Here

Admit it: You're going to watch soccer this weekend. But with so many options, which ones should you pick? ASN's Jon Arnold offers up the five best USMNT-related matchups for your viewing pleasure.
BY Jon Arnold Posted
October 05, 2012
12:00 PM

Editor's Note: 5 to Watch This Weekend appears every Friday afternoon.

Schalke v. Wolfsburg
Saturday 11:30am ET
You always hear Jermaine Jones plays differently with his club than he does with the national team. With a pretty light match schedule Saturday, here’s your chance to see him do so. Believe it or not, the oft-carded Jones has only accumulated two yellows in five matches with Schalke this season to go along with a goal and an assist. His previous match was one of those in which he got a yellow and was probably his worst performance of the season. Struggling Wolfsburg could be just what the doctor ordered.

Tottenham v. Aston Villa
Sunday 10am ET
Live on FoxSoccer2Go, tape delayed at noon on Fox Soccer Plus
Clint Dempsey, Brad Friedel, Andre Villas-Boas, and friends will try to put a very uninspired performance in a 1-1 Europa League draw with Panathinaikos behind them when they welcome an Aston Villa side keen on proving they’re not relegation fodder. Not only will American soccer fans have the chance to see Dempsey continue to gel with his new side, but they’ll also watch goalkeeper Brad Guzan try to deny his countryman his second goal in as many league games. There’s also the possibility of an appearance by defender (and popular ASN Starting XI choice) Eric Lichaj, who came into Villa’s cup win against Man City last week but didn’t get off the bench in a Premier League draw against West Brom.

FC Twente v. AZ Alkmaar
Sunday 10:30pm ET
ESPN3, ESPN Deportes
AZ, as you no doubt know, features Jozy Altidore, an American striker who has more goals than he has appearances in the young Eredivisie season. Tune in to see if the forward can get the better of the league’s top team. After opening with six straight wins, Twente took its first defeat last weekend. Altidore will have to continue his hot streak for AZ to have any chance at pinning a second loss on the Dutch powerhouse.

Barcelona v. Real Madrid
Sunday 1:45pm ET
beIN Sport
Come on, it’s the Clásico. If you need an excuse to watch it, just watch the play and think about which U.S. player should style his game after Messi or Ronaldo. Or just imagine what one Barcelona-inspired California U-11 team will be doing in a decade. Like winning the Olympics. No pressure, though.

Seattle Sounders v. Portland Timbers
Sunday 9pm ET
ESPN, ESPN Deportes
During a weekend chock full of rivalry matches (El Clásico, Milan Derby, América v. Chivas), this one has the most bearing on the USMNT scene. Eddie Johnson looks to score against the Sounders’ Cascadia rival and further boost his claim to a spot on Jurgen Klinsmann’s October roster. On the other side, plenty of young Portland players could get a boost toward national team consideration.

Honorable Mention: New York Red Bulls v. Chicago Fire, Saturday 3:30pm ET, NBC; NASL semifinals on nasl.com; Atlético Madrid v. Malaga, Sunday 6:45 Eastern tape delayed beIN Sport

Jon Arnold (@ArnoldcommaJon) is a freelance writer based in Phoenix and the co-host of MLS in 30 on NASN.TV.

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