American Exports preview: Jozy Altidore set to start in Sunderland debut, German-Americans face off
AMSTERDAM – The Premier League kicks off this weekend, with Jozy Altidore's Sunderland debut headlining the European contests involving Americans.
All times listed in ET.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Jozy Altidore – Sunderland vs. Fulham (Saturday, 10 am on Premier League Extra Time)
Fresh off a midweek hat trick for the US national team, Altidore will begin his second run at the EPL by hosting a club that's no stranger to American stars. The striker, who notched an assist in 98 minutes against Fulham while on loan to Hull City, will start with returning top gun Steven Fletcher recovering form injury. The Cottagers have been rude Stadium of Light guests in recent seasons, going unbeaten in their last five visits.
Brad Guzan – Aston Villa at Arsenal (Saturday, 10 am on NBCSN)
The Villa netminder often gives Arsenal all they can handle, with 15 saves and one scoreless draw to show for three winless games against the opening day visitors. To boot, both of those winning goals were scored by the Gunners in the final five minutes. The Villans have dropped their last three at the Emirates. Their last win in that building also marked the last victory there by any American goalkeeper, with Brad Friedel pulling the trick.
Tim Howard – Everton at Norwich City (Saturday, 10 am on Premier League Extra Time)
The US No. 1 would love to pick up where he left off last season, when he logged six wins and seven shutouts in the final 11 matches. Howard will be squaring off against former backup John Ruddy. However, he's winless in four career games against Norwich and has just one draw to boast from three games at Carrow Road. Even though transfer rumors continue to swirl around Everton stars Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini, they will arrive with a full squad.
John Anthony Brooks (HSCB), Timothy Chandler (FCN) – FC Nürnberg vs. Hertha Berlin (Sunday, 9:30 am)
Following an encouraging USMNT debut on Wednesday, the Hertha youngster will take his usual place when the early league leaders travel south. Brooks enters play carrying a two-game scoring streak for the Old Lady. Chandler, meanwhile, looks set for bench duty. Nürnberg have taken five of the last seven meetings, including two straight in Berlin. Should Hertha snap that streak, it will mark the first time they've opened Bundesliga play with consecutive wins since 2008 (a season that saw them finish fourth, by the way).
FRENCH LIGUE 1
Alejandro Bedoya – Nantes at Lorient (Sunday, 11 am on beIN Sport Play)
Canaries boss Michel Der Zakarian says Bedoya could see his club debut when they visit nearby rivals Lorient. Nantes are winless in the last five meetings and have won just one of four top-flight away derbies between the two. However, the visitors will show up with but one loss in their last eight games dating back to last season and a four-match unbeaten run away from home.
Aron Jóhannsson – AZ Alkmaar at RKC Waalwijk (Saturday, 1:45 pm)
Another recent USMNT debutant heads back to club life with a scoring streak to wager at RKC. Jóhannsson has hit in each of AZ's three competitive games thus far and should be licking his chops to face a team that has leaked 12 goals in their last five Eredivisie matches. The Cheese Farmers failed to defeat their weekend hosts last year, snapping their eight-game win streak in the series. The visitors remain without defender Dirk Marcellis.
BEST OF THE REST
Geoff Cameron, Maurice Edu (questionable) – Stoke City at Liverpool, Sat. 10 am on NBCSN
Fabian Johnson – Hoffenheim at Hamburg, Sat. 9:30 am
Jermaine Jones – Schalke at Wolfsburg, Sat. 9:30 am
Sacha Kljestan – Anderlecht at Waasland-Beveren, Sun. noon
Conor O'Brien – FC Nordsjælland vs. Aalborg BK, Sat. 11 am
Babajide Ogunbiyi – Viborg at SønderjyskE, Sun. 11 am
Michael Hoyos – OFI Crete vs. Panionios, Sun. noon
Mikkel Diskerud – Rosenborg vs. Vålerenga, Sat. noon
Terrence Boyd – Rapid Vienna at FC Admira Wacker, Sun. 10:30 am