American Exports: Clint Dempsey, Brad Friedel chase Champions League spot vs. Manchester City
STUTTGART, Germany – The chase for Champions League berths takes focus on the weekend card involving American exports, including Tottenham ace Clint Dempsey's crack at breaking a personal win drought against Manchester City. All times listed in ET.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Clint Dempsey, Brad Friedel – Tottenham Hotspur vs. Manchester City (Sunday, 8:30 a.m.)
Standing two points shy of a Champions League place, Spurs will "welcome" Man. City to White Hart Lane. Dempsey has three goals in 12 career games against Citeh, but hasn't tasted victory over them in seven games. Friedel, who has an 8-8-7 lifetime record against the Citizens, could continue in goal ahead of the recovering Hugo Lloris. Tottenham, who've lost four straight in the series, are hoping to return star man Gareth Bale and Jermain Defoe to attack.
Tim Howard – Everton at Sunderland (Saturday, 10 a.m. on Fox Soccer)
The Toffees are four points shy of a Champions League slot as they head north to face Howard's favorite EPL opponents. The US netminder has never lost when crossing paths with the Black Cats, logging nine wins and seven clean sheets in 13 meetings. Everton, who will arrive completely fit and on a five-game unbeaten run, have not tasted defeat at the Stadium of Light in nearly 12 years.
Steve Cherundolo – Hannover 96 vs. Bayern Munich (Saturday, 9:30 a.m. on GolTV)
The Reds captain will try help the hosts get their Europa League drive back on course against an unconscious Bayern side that has won 12 straight league matches by a combined 39-6 count. Cherundolo and 96 have taken three straight home contests against FC Hollywood, who will be without midfield engine Bastian Schweinsteiger for this tilt.
Jermaine Jones – Schalke at Eintracht Frankfurt (Saturday, 9:30 a.m.)
The Miners will be going after some breathing room in the last Champions League place when visiting the club from which they extracted sure starter Jones back in 2007. The US midfielder has never lost to Eintracht, though half of his six games against them ended in draws. Schalke, who've lost just once in their last eight at Frankfurt, are still missing Ibrahim Affelay, Jefferson Farfán, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar from attack.
Jozy Altidore – AZ Alkmaar vs. PSV Eindhoven (Sunday, 2:45 p.m. on ESPN3.com)
The US striker and his teammates can both secure their Eredivisie status and knock PSV out of the title race with a victory on Sunday. Altidore has scored a goal in two of his three clashes with the Farmers, who could be in an ornery mood after falling at home to rivals Ajax last weekend. The clubs have produced an even 1-1-1 split in the last three meetings at AFAS-Stadion.
Charlie Davies (RFC), Conor O'Brien (FCN) – Randers FC vs. FC Nordsjælland (Sunday, 7 a.m.)
If the Horses wish to retain any hope of galloping into their first ever Champions League in the fall, they must score a win over Nordsjælland; a defeat would put them 10 points behind the second place Wild Tigers with but five games left. Both Americans will dress, but have been in and out of the lineup so far this month. Randers have dropped only one of the last six league meetings at home.
BEST OF THE REST
Geoff Cameron, Brek Shea – Stoke City at Queens Park Rangers, Sat. 10 a.m. on Fox Soccer 2Go
Timothy Chandler – FC Nürnberg vs. Greuther Furth, Sun. 11:30 a.m.
Fabian Johnson, Daniel Williams – Hoffenheim at Bayer Leverkusen, Sat. 9:30 a.m.
Michael Bradley – AS Roma vs. Pescara, Sun. 9 a.m.
Sacha Kljestan – Anderlecht at Zulte Waregem, Sun. 2:30 p.m.
Maurice Edu (questionable) – Bursaspor at Antalyaspor, Sun. 1 p.m.
Terrence Boyd – Rapid Vienna at Austria Vienna, Sun. 10 a.m.
Mikkel Diskerud – Rosenborg at FK Haugesund, Sun. 1 p.m.
Josh Gatt – Molde FK at Odd Grenland, Sat. 9:30 a.m.
Alejandro Bedoya – Helsingborg at Brommapojkarna, Sun 1:30 p.m.