American Exports preview: Jozy, McBride back in action
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: Jozy Altidore (AZ) - Last season's top scorer should be even more of a focal point for the AZ attack this term, what with deep-lying playmaker Rasmus Elm and wide threat Brett Holman off to new clubs. Altidore, who finished his "rookie" Dutch campaign with five goals in the last seven league games, has hit for three in limited time this preseason.
He's yet to tally in three tries against Ajax, who retained their championship this past spring despite losing the season series to AZ. Though the Cheese Farmers did post a KNVB Cup win at Amsterdam Arena last term, they have never won a league match there.
BELGIAN JUPILER LEAGUE
Cercle Brugge vs. Anderlecht (Sunday, 10:30 am)
American: Sacha Kljestan (AND) - The former Chivas USA ace will hope to retain a starting place in the aftermath of his star show in Champions League qualifying this week. The Mauves should be fully fit, with the exception of injured forward Matías Suárez.
The Belgian holders have dropped three straight 1-0 decisions at Cercle across all competition. The weekend hosts, meanwhile, are winless in four games dating back to last season.
Red Bull Salzburg vs. Rapid Vienna (Sunday, 10 am)
American: Terrence Boyd (Rapid) - Fresh off his first-ever Europa League goal, the US striker and friends will visit the defending champs and league leaders, who are perfect through three rounds.
A loss on Sunday at "the other" Red Bull Arena will drop Rapid six points back of the top spot – the same distance they fell short last season as runners-up. The Green-Whites lost in Salzburg last season, but had recorded five straight draws there prior to that.
Brøndby vs SønderjyskE (Sunday, 11 am)
Americans: Conor O'Brien (SE) - There will be no clash between compatriots, as Clarence Goodson will serve a yellow-card suspension for the home side. Per usual, O'Brien will act as a link man from defensive midfield in SønderjyskE 4-2-3-1 set.
The visitors, who stand three points away from the summit through four games, will arrive for the match looking to get well from their first loss in eight. However, they have not beaten Brøndby since 2006, a span of 12 league games where they collected only three points.
BEST OF THE REST
England (FA Cup):
Wembley FC (Brian McBride) vs. Langford - Sat. 1:45 pm
FC Nordsjaelland (Michael Parkhurst) vs. Silkeborg - Sun. 11 am
Aalesund FK vs. Molde FK (Josh Gatt) - Sun. 2 pm
Lillestrom vs. Honefoss (Steve Clark) - Sun. noon
Sogndal vs. Rosenborg (Mikkel Diskerud) - Sun. noon
Stabaek (Sean Cunningham) vs. Sandnes Ulf - Sun. noon
Scotland (Third Division):
Peterhead vs. Rangers (Carlos Bocanegra) - Sat. 7 am