Postcard from Europe: Bold predictions for the new season

Five prescient prognostications for Americans in Europe
Future Shock
Exports predictions

Postcard from Europe: Preseason predictions

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AMSTERDAM – The mainstream seasons are kicking off left and right in Europe, which means there's no better time to air a stack of bold (or perhaps crazy) predictions involving American exports.

We'll dispense with the ceremony and get straight to the show, ranked countdown style from least daring to most.

5) Repeat Offenders

American Exports: Gatt is back in training with Molde

The American winger is "not too far away" from return to lineup after hamstring injury
Gatt back in training for Molde

US youth international Josh Gatt of Molde FK

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AMSTERDAM – Recovering Molde FK winger Josh Gatt has resumed training with the Norwegian champs, but the club have not yet set a date for his return to action.

The 20-year-old injured his left hamstring shortly after scoring off the bench in a July 21 win over Tippeligaen visitors Viking.

"He'll be ready when he's ready," Molde physio Leif Arne Lystad told MLSsoccer.com. "It's a tricky [injury]. He's started training, so it's not too far away."

American Exports: Altidore's brace the Sunday highlight

AZ draw in season opener vs. Ajax; Kljestan, Anderlecht go top with 3-0 win
Altidore brace highlights weekend action
American Exports

Jozy Altidore scores against PSV

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AMSTERDAM – It was a rather successful Sunday for Americans playing in Europe, highlighted by a two-goal performance from Jozy Altidore as AZ Alkmaar drew 2-2 in their opening day matchup away to Eredivisie champions Ajax.

American Exports preview: Jozy, McBride back in action

Heavy weekend schedule awaits Yanks as European seasons return to full swing
AE preview: Jozy, McBride back in action

Jozy Altidore scores against PSV

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AMSTERDAM – It's that time of year again when the kids head back to school and the weekend schedule for Americans in Europe starts gaining weight.

Like the returning tide, we're back to help set your weekend pub raids. All times in ET.


Ajax vs. AZ Alkmaar (Sunday, 10:30 am on ESPN3)

American Exports: Yanks learn their fates in UEFA draws

Kljestan opens Champions League quest against AEL Limassol
Yanks learn their fates in UEFA draws

Sacha Kljestan with Anderlecht

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AMSTERDAM – Several Americans learned their playoff round fates in Friday's Champions League and Europa League draws.

Sacha Kljestan (above) and Anderlecht will kick off their Champions League playoff tie at Cypriot side AEL Limassol on Aug. 22, with the return set for Belgium the following Tuesday. Also facing an opponent for the first time that same day will be Bryan Gerzicich and Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona, who start the next round at Belarusian champs BATE Borisov.

American Exports: Boyd scores, Rapid move on in Europe

21-year-old the catalyst as Rapid seal advancement in dramatic fashion
Boyd leads Rapid forward in Europa League

Terrence Boyd with Rapid Vienna

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Courtesy of Rapid Vienna

AMSTERDAM – New recruit Terrence Boyd played the hero in Rapid Vienna's most recent Europa League win, earning the tie-deciding penalty kick in stoppage time on Thursday before firing home the another in a 2-0 win against third qualifying-round guests Vojvodina Novi Sad.

American Exports: Rough day for Yanks in Europa quals

Three Americans eliminated, but one advances to third qualifying round
Rough day for Americans in Europa League

Daniel Antunez of Inter Turku

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Tero Wester/FC Inter Turku

AMSTERDAM – Four Americans closed up Europa League second-round qualifying business on Thursday, with Etchu Tabe's KuPS moving on despite a 1-0 home defeat to Leo Krupnick and Maccabi Netanya.

The Finns held on the entire second half with the tie deadlocked at 2-2 to advance on away goals. Tabe & Co. will kick off the third round of qualifying with a trip to Turkish side Bursaspor next Thursday.

American Exports: Gerzicich, Hapoel continue solid form

Israeli champs advance to UEFA Champions League third qualifying stage
Gerzicich, Hapoel continue solid form

Bryan Gerzicich of Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona

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Photo courtesy of Maccabi Haifa

AMSTERDAM – Bryan Gerzicich and Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona pulled a big one out of the fire to reach the Champions league third qualifying round on Tuesday night, scoring twice in the final 20 minutes to flip their tie against Slovakian title-holders Zilina with a 2-0 home victory.

Canadian Exports: Hirschfeld's Valerenga picking up pace

Canadians abroad see more action as their teams climb their league ranks
Canadians abroad see more game time

Canada goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld

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Scott Riddell/MLSsoccer.com

Goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld is finally getting some help from his teammates.

Playing for Valerenga in Norway, Hirschfeld had been putting in good performances but wasn’t getting any scoring help. That’s changed of late as Valerenga have scored nine goals in their last four games — a span in which they’ve picked up three wins.

On Sunday, Valerenga knocked off Stabaek 3-1 to move up to fifth in the Norwegian Eliteserien table.

WFC: Di Matteo still in awe of CFC's European triumph

Chelsea manager proud of players for "making history" in Munich
Di Matteo still in awe
Special to MLSsoccer.com

SEATTLE – The miracle of Munich was not just that Chelsea managed to defeat Bayern in the UEFA Champions League final after their under-strength side was dominated for most of the game. It was that an interim manager who might have left just two months earlier succeeded where so many famous coaching names had failed.

Claudio Ranieri, José Mourinho, Luiz Felipe Scolari and Carlo Ancelotti all fell short of transforming Chelsea from English powerhouse into European champions. Roberto Di Matteo did it in a few short, unforgettable weeks.

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