American Exports preview: Howard eyes streak
AMSTERDAM – Our dossier on the top tilts involving Americans in Europe is here to help you all plot weekend viewing schedules. All times are ET.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Everton vs. Blackburn
Saturday, 10 am on FoxSoccer.tv
Americans: Tim Howard (EVE), Jermaine Jones (BLA)
Howard, the man who can't possibly get homesick, will be facing off against an American for the third straight round and 10th time this season as Everton look to extend their six-game unbeaten streak. Jones was not around for 1-0 Rovers win that opened the league slate, but he should remain in the lineup for this one. Be warned, Jermaine: Timmy has conceded only one EPL goal to a compatriot over the last three seasons.
Blackburn – who fell 3-0 at Goodison last season – will arrive without former D.C. United ace Ryan Nelsen, if not also in-form Canadian forward David Hoilett. The Toffees come in with a five-game unbeaten streak despite missing Mikel Arteta, Tim Cahill, Marouane Fellaini, Jack Rodwell and Louis Saha of late.
Hamburg vs. Hannover 96
Saturday, 9:30 am on ESPN3.com/Dish German Sports
American: Steve Cherundolo (H96)
Another weekend, another absolute crunch clash for Captain Cherundolo and his "Go where no Red has gone before" crew. Hannover stand a point above Bayern Munich for the last Champions League invite with a minus-24 goal differential disadvantage, leaving no underdog margin for error over the final five games.
This time, they will try to invade nearby rivals HSV, which has recently become a fairly happy mission. Hannover have posted two wins and four draws on their last six visits. The visitors will still be missing Leon Andreasen, while US international DaMarcus Beasley remains in wait just to dress. Hamburg, who have won just one of seven, will most notably go without midfielders Änis Ben-Hatira and Tomas Rincon.
De Graafschap vs. FC Twente
Sunday, 8:30 am on Eredivisie.tv/ESPN3.com
American: Oguchi Onyewu (TWE)
The US defender should retain his place, what with back-line mates Bart Buysse, Douglas and Roberto Rosales all joining midfield general Theo Janssen in the sin bin this weekend. The hosts, meanwhile, have ruled out veteran cogs Youssouf Hersi, Muslu Nalbantoglu and Jan-Paul Saeijs.
This game may seem like an easy three points for the league leaders, but the visit's context would make it tricky even if the Super Farmers haven't been a major headache to deal with at home this season. Since going top, Twente have settled for a home league draw and been wiped off the Europa League map in the span of eight days. Now, with two chasers breathing down their neck, Twente must go where three top seven clubs have already lost and PSV was held at nil.
TURKISH SÜPER LIG
Trabzonspor vs. Bursaspor
American: Jozy Altidore (BURS)
The title repeat and a Champions League return seem out of reach, but that doesn't mean that Altidore and the visitors can start vacationing. They can still play spoiler to the current table-toppers and are not yet assured of a European place for next season. In any event, Bursaspor will want to end a winless drought dating back to February.
The trick is, they must do so away to a team on five straight wins with but one home loss all season. What's more, Bursaspor will be facing one of their least favorite opponents. They haven't beaten Trabzonspor since 2008 and have lost 10 of the last 11 away meetings, seven by shutout. The largely fit visitors could be boosted by the return of unsold strike ace Sercan Yildirim.
Best of the rest:
EPL: West Ham United (Jonathan Spector) vs. Aston Villa (Michael Bradley, Brad Friedel) - Sat. 10 am on Fox Soccer Plus/Fox Soccer Premium
Bundesliga: Kaiserslautern vs. FC Nürnberg (Timothy Chandler) - Sat. 9:30 am on Dish German Sports
Bundesliga: Hoffenheim vs. Eintracht Frankfurt (Ricardo Clark) - Sat. 9:30 am on Dish German Sports
Ligue 1: Saint-Étienne (Carlos Bocanegra) vs. Nancy - Sat. 1 pm on FoxSoccer.tv
SPL: Rangers (Maurice Edu) vs. St. Mirren - Sat. 10 am
Tippeligaen: Molde FK (Josh Gatt) vs. Stabæk (Mikkel Diskerud) - Sun. noon
Ligat Ha'al: Maccabi Netanya (Leo Krupnick) vs. Maccabi Haifa - Sun. 1:45 pm
Championship: Leeds United (Eric Lichaj) vs. Watford - Sat. 10 am
Championship: Preston North End (Eddie Johnson) vs. Sheffield United - Sat. 10 am
Bank Asya 1.Lig: Boluspor vs. Rizespor (Freddy Adu) - Sun 7 am