American Exports preview: Howard, Friedel in EPL clash
AMSTERDAM — It's another weekend loaded with important club duties for Americans playing in Europe, including the 18th Premier League compatriot clash between Everton netminder Tim Howard and Tottenham counterpart Brad Friedel. All times listed in ET.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Everton vs. Tottenham (Saturday, 12:30 pm on Fox Soccer)
Americans: Brad Friedel (Spurs), Tim Howard (Everton) — The current US star goalkeeper is unbeaten in his last eight for the Toffees, while the former model arrives on a two-game losing slide. However, Friedel has not lost a game to Howard in their last six duels, with consecutive clean-sheet wins from the previous two.
Spurs, meanwhile, have just three draws to show for their last four at Goodison. They will miss key cogs Michael Dawson and Aaron Lennon, while Everton must go without Darren Gibson.
Bolton vs. Queens Park Rangers (Saturday, 7:30 am on ESPN2)
American: Tim Ream (BW) — After a fairly successful midfield debut against Manchester City, the US international is expected to slide back into defense for Zat Knight against QPR.
Bolton will try to halt a four-game losing streak and leap out of the drop zone in the process. Including a 4-0 walk at Loftus Road earlier this season, Wanderers have not lost to QPR in six meetings and have dominated the series for two decades.
Bayern Munich vs. Hoffenheim (Saturday, 9:30 am on ESPN3/My Sports Germany)
Americans: Joseph Gyau, Fabian Johnson, Daniel Williams (H'heim) — Edson Braafheid is fit again, so Johnson is slated to switch across to right back against the mighty Bavarians, meaning he'll draw the scary assignment of marking Franck Ribéry. Williams could be used off the bench this weekend, where he might be joined by Gyau.
Hoffenheim have yet to top Bayern in seven tries, and they've dropped all three meetings in Munich. They did manage a scoreless home draw in January, but that game also extended their goalless streak against "FC Hollywood" to 269 minutes.
Werder Bremen vs. Hannover 96 (Sunday, 10:30 am on GolTV)
American: Steve Cherundolo (H96) — The captain will start as Hannover make another attempt at taking a Europa league slot. This time, it can be a direct heist as nearby rivals Bremen currently hold the last one.
The Reds don't much like this road trip, with just one win in 22 games at Bremen. That came by rally back in 2003, with Cherundolo assisting on Hannover's equalizer. This matchup can get wild — 12 of the last 20 clashes ended with at least five goals between the sides.
Odense BK vs. FC Nordsjælland (Saturday, 11 am)
American: Michael Parkhurst (FCN) — One never knows for sure where the US international will be fielded, but he worked right back last week.
Parkhurst and the Wild Tigers have won three of the last four at Odense. The home side does enter having lost just once in five league games, but FCN — four points back of leaders FC Copenhagen — have fallen only once in their last 10.
BEST OF THE REST
Aston Villa (Brad Guzan, Eric Lichaj) vs. Fulham (Clint Dempsey) — Sat. 10 am on Fox Soccer 2Go
Mainz 05 vs. FC Nürnberg (Timothy Chandler) — Sat. 9:30 am on My Sports Germany
Schalke (Jermaine Jones) vs. Hamburg — Sun. 12:30 pm
De Graafschap vs. AZ Alkmaar (Jozy Altidore) — Sun. 11:30 am on Eredivisie.tv
Aalborg BK (Chris Rolfe) vs. Lyngby — Sun 9 am
Brondby (Clarence Goodson) vs. AGF Aarhus — Sun. 1 pm