American Exports preview: Dempsey stares down Guzan
AMSTERDAM – There are several key weekend tests on tap for European clubs employing Americans. All times listed in ET.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Aston Villa (Sunday, 10 am on Fox Soccer 2Go)
Americans: Clint Dempsey, Brad Friedel (Spurs), Brad Guzan, Eric Lichaj (AV) - It will be full circle day for away netminder Guzan, who will be facing former mentor Friedel for the first time. World Cup 2010 teammate Dempsey, meanwhile, has not scored on the former Chivas USA man since both were in MLS back in 2005.
It remains to be seen if Lichaj will reclaim a place in front of Guzan in the effort to end Fridel's three-game win streak. Spurs will also wager a seven-match unbeaten run against Villa.
Bayern Munich vs. Hoffenheim (Saturday, (9:30 am on GolTV)
Americans: Fabian Johnson, Daniel Williams (H'heim) - With the visitors still worried over comatose teammate Boris Vukcevic, both Americans should start against the perfect-start league leaders.
Hoffenheim, who will also arrive without goalkeeper Tim Wiese and suspended playmaker Sejad Salihovic, have lost all four previous Bayern visits by a combined 15-2 tally – including a 7-1 beating last season.
Hannover 96 vs. Borussia Dortmund (Sunday, 10 am on GolTV)
American: Steve Cherundolo (H96) - Fresh off another great night in Europe, the Reds captain and mates return to league play with the task of protecting a 21-game unbeaten run at home against the champs.
However, Dortmund has yet to win in three road contests this season, and just once in their last six in Hannover.
Schalke vs. Wolfsburg (Saturday, 9:30 am)
American: Jermaine Jones (S04) - After missing out in midweek, the US midfielder is expected to be back in the lineup when the Miners host a Wolfsburg side that hasn't won since opening day.
The home team has lost only one of the last eight meetings, but the Wolves occasionally make some noise in Gelsenkirchen. Last season was not one of those times, though, as Schalke cruised to a 4-0 win without Jones.
FC Twente vs. AZ Alkmaar (Sunday, 10:30 am on ESPN3.com)
American: Jozy Altidore (AZ) - While there is no hotter American on the planet than the current Eredivisie top gun, his side has been lukewarm so far this season. Despite four goals and two assists from the US striker in the last three games, AZ only managed an even 1-1-1 split.
Altidore hit twice in the more recent home meeting with Twente, but was shut out along with his team in Enschede last term. The Cheese Farmers have one win against five losses on their last seven trips to the Dutch far east.
BEST OF THE REST
Liverpool vs. Stoke City (Geoff Cameron, Maurice Edu) - Sun. 10 am on Fox Soccer Plus
Wigan vs. Everton (Tim Howard) - Sat. 10 am on Fox Soccer Plus
AS Roma (Michael Bradley - probable) vs. Atalanta - Sun. 6:30 am on RAI
Atlético Madrid vs. Málaga (Oguchi Onyewu) - Sun. 3:30 am
Real Murcia vs. Racing Santander (Carlos Bocanegra) - Sat. 2 pm
Freiburg vs. FC Nurnberg (Timothy Chandler) - Sat. 9:30 am
Standard Liège vs. Anderlecht (Sacha Kljestan) - Sun. 8:30 am
Rapid Vienna (Terrence Boyd) vs. Wiener Neustadt - Sun. 12:30 pm
SonderjyskE (Conor O'Brien) vs. AGF Aarhus - Sat. 11 am
Molde FK (Josh Gatt) vs. Sandnes - Sun. noon
Odd Grenland vs. Rosenborg (Mikkel Diskerud - probable) - Sun. 1 pm
Mjällby vs. Helsingborg (Alejandro Bedoya) - Sun. 9 am