American Exports preview: Michael Bradley, Roma set for Serie A opener against Livorno
AMSTERDAM – It's another weekend chock full of flavorful European tilts involving Americans, including a Serie A season opener at promoted Livorno for Michael Bradley and AS Roma.
All times listed in ET.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Jozy Altidore – Sunderland at Southampton (Saturday, 10 am on NBC Sports Network)
The power forward will take aim at a new club target in Southampton, but he scored against Saints netminder Artur Boruc for the US national team in a 2-2 friendly draw with Poland in 2010. Though Sunderland have traditionally struggled mightily at St. Mary's, they have taken the last two league tilts there. Steven Fletcher remains out for the Black Cats, but midfielder Craig Gardner is back from a ban.
Brad Guzan – Aston Villa vs. Liverpool (Saturday, 12:30 pm on NBC)
After two road games to start the season, Guzan will attempt to backstop a home opening victory against a club he defeated in their building last season. As leaders Chelsea play on Monday, the Villans can at least temporarily go level on points with the top by winning. The Reds, who will arrive without suspended lightning rod Luis Suárez, still have an all-time losing record at Villa Park despite dropping only one of the last 15 meetings there.
John Anthony Brooks – Hertha Berlin vs. Hamburg (Saturday, 12:30 am on GolTV)
Given a breather from starting last weekend, Brooks reclaims his usual place to "welcome" an HSV side sure to be ornery following a 5-1 home spanking from Hoffenheim. Hamburg, who have a long injury list in the defensive positions, have won the last two in Berlin. Hertha went unbeaten at home in the second flight last season, but have lost five of their last six Bundesliga games in the friendly confines.
ITALIAN SERIE A
Michael Bradley – AS Roma at Livorno (Sunday, 2:45 pm on beIN Sport Play)
The General seems a safe bet to start the season opener, what with summer arrival Kevin Strootman on the mend. Bradley has never faced Livorno, who spent the last three seasons a league below. The risers have beaten Roma just once in 10 Serie A meetings, but have yet to do it at home. The Giallorossi, who sold top scorer Pablo Daniel Osvaldo to Southampton this week, lost only one of their last six road games in league play last season.
FRENCH LIGUE 1
Alejandro Bedoya – Nantes vs. Paris Saint-Germain (Sunday, 3 pm on beIN Sport Play)
The US international has been deemed fit after a calf knock in his Canaries debut, and manager Michel Der Zakarian has hinted that he could switch to right wingback in a five-man backline against the defending champs. Nantes have lost four straight to PSG by an 11-1 count and haven't beaten them since 2004. The Parisiens are also undefeated in their last seven Ligue 1 away matches.
Aron Jóhannsson – AZ Alkmaar at FC Utrecht (Sunday, 10:30 am)
The newest US forward will try to score in his sixth straight club match, which would mark the longest such streak for an AZ man since Mounir El Hamdaoui hit in eight straight back in 2008. Jóhannsson scored his first Eredivisie goal in a home rout of these same regional rivals last season. The Cheese Farmers have tallied multiple goals in six of seven at Alkmaar, where Utrecht have fallen seven straight times by a combined 20-2 margin.
BEST OF THE REST
Tim Howard – Everton vs. West Bromwich Albion, Saturday at 10 on Premier League Extra Time
Geoff Cameron, Maurice Edu (questionable) – Stoke City vs. Crystal Palace, Saturday at 10 am on Premier League Extra Time
Timothy Chandler – FC Nürnberg at Bayern Munich, Saturday at 9:30 am on GolTV
Fabian Johnson – Hoffenheim vs. Freiburg, Saturday at 9:30 am
Jermaine Jones – Schalke at Hannover 96, Saturday at 9:30 am
Michael Parkhurst – Augsburg vs. Stuttgart, Sunday at 11:30 am
Sacha Kljestan – Anderlecht vs. Charleroi, Sunday at noon
Conor O'Brien – FC Nordsjælland at Odense BK, Sunday at 7 am
Babajide Ogunbiyi – Viborg vs. Esbjerg, Sunday at 9 am
Steve Clark – Hønefoss vs. Sarpsborg 08, Sunday at noon
Mikkel Diskerud – Rosenborg at Sandnes Ulf, Sunday at 1 pm