American Exports: Battle between USMNT's Tim Howard, Brad Guzan highlights weekend action
AMSTERDAM – The weekend European card is littered with big bouts involving Americans, including Jozy Altidore's first Tyne-Wear away derby and the third EPL meeting between the US national team's top two netminders.
All times listed in ET.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Jozy Altidore – Sunderland at Newcastle (Saturday, 7:45 am on NBCSN)
Although Argentine forward Ignacio Scocco has arrived, Altidore will shoot for his third straight league start and fourth in five games overall. Earlier this season, the US striker set up Fabio Borini's late winner against Newcastle. Sunderland are unbeaten in their last five EPL road games and are an even 1-1-2 in their last four at St. James Park. The Magpies have a long list of absences, most notably suspended top scorer Loïc Rémy.
Geoff Cameron – Stoke City vs. Manchester United, Sat. 10 am on NBCSN/Mun2)
The Potters' right back, among their most consistent performers this season, has yet to taste anything but defeat in five career tries against the Red Devils (four in the EPL, one in the 2011 MLS All-Star Game). The closest he came was a tough 3-2 loss at Old Trafford in October, in which Stoke led with 12 minutes left. Cameron & Co. have dropped eight of a winless 10 EPL away games. They also have not beaten United at home since 1984, a span of six matches.
Tim Howard – Everton vs. Brad Guzan – Aston Villa (Saturday, 10 am on Premier League Extra Time)
One Everton win and a draw; that is the full history of clashes between US No. 1 Howard and longtime back-up Guzan. The Toffees, currently four points out of a Champions League slot, have lost just once across all competitions at home this term and Howard has six of his league-leading 10 shutouts there. Something has to give, because Guzan has lost but one of his last five road games and Villa have not fallen at Goodison Park in the last seven visits. Regulars will be missing from both sides: Romelu Lukaku and Bryan Oviedo are out for Everton, while the visitors will arrive without Libor Kozák and Charles N'Zogbia.
Timothy Chandler – FC Nürnberg vs. Hertha Berlin (Sunday, 9:30 am)
The Nürnberg right back has been making a fine case for USMNT attention, earning two straight Bundesliga Team of the Week nods. Having finally posted their first league win, Der Club now have a shot at escaping the bottom three with another. They have four wins and a draw in the last five against the visitors. This contest will come a bit too soon for Hertha defender John Brooks, who only recently returned to training.
Juan Agudelo – FC Utrecht vs. Ajax (Sunday, 6:30 am)
The Stoke City loan forward could see his first Dutch start, even if injury-hit Utrecht have just clinched the signing of former Toronto FC hitman Danny Koevermans. From the start or off the bench, Agudelo has publicly targeted a big goal against the nearby rivals/rampant league leaders. Ajax have conceded just twice during an eight-game Eredivisie win streak. Meanwhile, Utrecht will start this home derby on a five-game losing slide and have scored only one goal in the last four series meetings.
BEST OF THE REST
Clint Dempsey – Fulham vs. Southampton, Sat. 10 am on Premier League Extra Time
(Championship) Oguchi Onyewu – Sheffield Wednesday vs. Brek Shea – Barnsley, Sat. 10 am
Fabian Johnson (questionable) – Hoffenheim vs. Hamburg, Sat. 9:30 am
Alejandro Bedoya – Nantes at Sochaux, Sat. 2 pm
Aron Johannson – AZ Alkmaar vs Groningen, Sat. 2:45 pm