American Exports preview: Dempsey returns to Fulham
AMSTERDAM – The European card brings another tasty buffet of matches involving Americans, including Clint Dempsey's first return to face former employers Fulham. All times listed in ET.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Clint Dempsey, Brad Friedel – Tottenham at Fulham (Saturday, 10 am on Fox Soccer 2Go)
Dempsey (above) is likely to receive a mixed reception, at best, as he drops in at the Cottage for a crosstown derby. The US star has gone five games without a goal, something he did not do with Fulham last year. Friedel is likely to remain a spectator as Spurs try to run their league unbeaten streak at Craven Cottage to five. The home side, who will be missing Costa Rica winger Bryan Ruiz, haven't won in seven games.
Tim Howard – Everton at Manchester City (Saturday, 10 am on Fox Soccer)
The Everton backstop will make the short trip to face one of his favorite opponents, who also happen to be nearby rivals and the defending champs. Though Howard dropped a 2-0 decision at City of Manchester Stadium last season, he still has won of eight of his last 10 against the men in blue. Hot hand Marouane Fellaini has four goals and three assists for the Toffees in the last five games, but has never scored on Citeh.
Jermaine Jones – Schalke vs. Borussia Mönchengladbach (Saturday, 9:30 am on GolTV)
While it's not one of the more heated rivalries in that region, 'Gladbach will drive less than an hour to battle Jones' crew. The US midfielder should get a good look at Venezuela veteran Juan Arango, who already has seven goals and 10 assist across all competition this term. Schalke come in winless in three, but they have 10 wins from a 12-game home unbeaten streak against the Foals.
Fabian Johnson, Daniel Williams – Hoffenheim vs. Werder Bremen (Sunday, 9:30 am on GolTV)
Both US internationals have struggled defensively of late, but they should remain in the lineup when Bremen come to town for a duel of early Bundesliga disappointments. Along with their teammates at the back, the Americans need to find a sealant; Hoffenheim have leaked 21 goals in the last nine games. Sunday's visitors have often been rude at the Rhein-Neckar, with two wins and a draw from four clashes there.
Jozy Altidore – AZ Alkmaar at FC Utrecht (Sunday, 8:30 am)
The power forward will attempt a net invasion against one of the seven Eredivisie teams he's not scored on to date. It's not been a happy short trip for AZ in recent years, with three straight Galgenwaard losses by a combined 9-1 count. The Cheese Farmers could use a nice surprise, what with but one victory in their last nine Eredivisie matches.
BEST OF THE REST
Geoff Cameron – Stoke City vs. West Bromwich Albion, Sat. 10 am on Fox Soccer 2Go
Brad Guzan, Eric Lichaj – Aston Villa at Queens Park Rangers, Sat. 10 am on Fox Soccer 2Go
Sebastian Lletget – West Ham United vs. Chelsea, Sat. 7:45 am on ESPN2/ESPN3.com
Michael Bradley – AS Roma at Siena, Sun. 9 am on beIN Sport
Oguchi Onyewu – Málaga at Getafe, Sat. 10 am on beIN Sport en Español
Timothy Chandler (questionable) – FC Nürnberg at Bayer Leverkusen, Sat. 9:30 am
Steve Cherundolo – Hannover 96 at Mainz 05, Sat. 9:30 am
Sacha Kljestan – Anderlecht vs. Cercle Bruges, Sat. 2 pm
Michael Parkhurst, FC Nordsjælland vs. Clarence Goodson, Brøndby – Sun. 1 pm
Terrence Boyd – Rapid Vienna vs. Ried, Sat. 12:30 pm