PREVIEW: WEEKEND GERMAN ACTION
A trio of Americans faces off when Hoffenheim hosts Schalke, while Joe Gyau is set to make another start for St. Pauli.
TSG 1899 Hoffenheim - FC Schalke 04
Two of the top United States Men's National Team defensive midfielders square off when Jermaine Jones and Schalke travel to Danny Williams, Fabian Johnson and Hoffenheim.
Both Williams and Jones have struggled at some point this season to start at the number six position for their respective teams, with Williams' problems coming at the beginning of the season and Jones' problems coming out of the last international break.
Both players have managed to crack back into the starting lineup though.
Along with the American aspect of this match, both teams need points from this one. Schalke finds itself in the Bundesliga title race, sitting in second place at the moment, and Hoffenheim is back the relegation battle, sitting in 14th place in the standings.
Hoffenheim's Sejad Salihovic continues to serve his suspension from a red card September 29, while midfielder Marco Höger is out for Schalke because of an ankle injury.
Hannover 96 - FC Augsburg
Steve Cherundolo is set once again to captain Hannover, as the team hosts Augsburg Saturday.
Cherundolo missed last Sunday's 3-2 loss to Mönchengladbach but returned to the starting lineup for Hannover's DFB Pokal win over Dresden, in which he played the full 120 minutes before the penalty shootout.
Augsburg also collected a win in its second round DFB Pokal matchup and will hope to carry that momentum to get the team out of the relegation zone.
Defender Paul Verhaegh is out for Augsburg due to a tendon tear in his ankle, while Hannover is not reporting any significant injuries at this time.
Hertha BSC - FC Ingolstadt 04
U.S. Under-20 defender John Anthony Brooks continues to earn more playing time, starting his fourth match in a row against Ingolstadt Friday.
Fellow American Alfredo Morales will not feature for Berlin, as he will play with Hertha's Under-23 team.
Berlin coach Jos Luhukay called out the young center back earlier this season, and Brooks has responded thus far. Though originally plugged into the starting lineup due to injuries, he has kept the starting job.
After being relegated from Germany's top tier for the second time in three years, Brooks' team is sitting pretty to once again return. Berlin sits in second place in the standings, five points behind leaders Braunschweig.
Ingolstadt will be no pushover for Hertha, though, as the Bavarian team has quietly climbed into fifth place in the 2. Bundesliga. It rides a four-match unbeaten streak into the Friday night's matchup.
Ben-Hatira Änis and Peter Niemeyer will be out for Berlin because of an ankle injury and yellow card accumulation, respectively, while Ingolstadt is not reporting any injuries at this time.
TSV 1860 Munich - St. Pauli
After making his first professional start in St. Pauli's 3-0 loss to Stuttgart in the midweek, Joe Gyau looks set to start again against 1860 Munich Saturday.
The American struggled against the Bundesliga team in the start, but he impressed St. Pauli coach Michael Frontzeck enough in the his team's come from behind win over Dresden to earn yet another shot at left midfield.
St. Pauli could use another inspired performance from Gyau, as the Hamburg team, who was picked as a possible promotion candidate before the season, sits in 13th place in the 2. Bundesliga.
Munich, meanwhile, has struggled recently, falling to seventh place after a three-match winless streak, but with a win over Berliner AK 07 on Wednesday, the team hopes to take that momentum against St. Pauli.
1860 will be without Guillermo Vallori because of yellow card accumulation, while St. Pauli is not reporting any injuries.
Preußen Münster - Rot-Weiß Erfurt
Matt Taylor and Münster look to take out their recent struggles against last place Erfurt Saturday.
The Eagles lost in the DFB Pokal to Augsburg 1-0, stretching the team's winless run to four matches across all competitions. Prior to the winless streak, Münster sat in first place in the German third division, and now the team sits in third.
In last place, Erfurt is struggling as well. The team is riding a five-match winless streak to Münster and boats the league's second worst goal differential at -14.
Erfurt will be without midfielder Marius Strangl, who is suffering from a shoulder injury. Münster is not reporting any injuries at this time.
SV Darmstadt 98 - Kickers Offenbach
Preston Zimmerman and Darmstadt look to turn their season around against fellow Hessian team Offenbach.
The Lilies seem set to fight off relegation for most of this season, as the team has hovered around the final four places in the standings through the first 15 matches. Right now, Darmstadt sits in 18th place, the last relegation spot.
Unlike Darmstadt, Offenbach has had a fine start to the season, currently sitting in eighth place in the league. After losing their first four matches, the Kickers have gone on an 11-match unbeaten streak.
Midfielder Danny Latza is out for the Lilies because of yellow card accumulation, while André Hahn is out for the Kickers because of a ligament strain.
Goalkeeper David Yelldell should make the bench for Bayer Leverkusen for Sunday's match at Düsseldorf.
American forward Andrew Wooten will hope to feature for Sandhausen in its Friday night matchup at league-leading Braunschweig.
Royal-Dominique Fennell will once again start on the bench for the Stuttgarter Kickers against Babelsberg Saturday.
Forward Jerome Kiesewetter will hope to make Stuttgart II's bench against Osnabrück Saturday.