American Exports: Julian Green, Sacha Kljestan learn UEFA Champions League fates
AMSTERDAM – Three clubs with Americans on the payroll found out their UEFA Champions League group-stage pools on Thursday evening, with Julian Green's Bayern Munich drawing scary Group E assignments AS Roma, CSKA Moscow and English Premier League kings Manchester City.
Five-time winners Bayern are certainly no strangers to the Citizens, having already been drawn into a group with the Manchester side twice in the last three Champions League tournaments. The teams have evenly split the four previous tourney meetings, with the home sides achieving a sweep in 2011 and the visitors pulling the same trick last year.
Green and Bayern are also somewhat familiar with CSKA and Roma. The US winger made his first team debut with a late cameo as the Bavarians completed a sweep of the Russian holders in the group stage last fall.
Roma also has some recent history against Bayern, as the clubs split their group-phase matches in 2010. The fixture schedule will be announced later, with Matchday 1 games set for September 16-17.
Meanwhile, Sacha Kljestan and Belgian champs Anderlecht were drawn into Group D with Joe Gyau's Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal and Galatasaray.
The Mauves have met all three group foes in European competition before, but none since edging a UEFA Cup round of 16 tie on away goals back 23 years ago. Back in 1970, Anderlecht lost the final of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup (among the early predecessors to the current Europa League) against Arsenal on a heartbreaking 4-3 aggregate score.
They last met Turkish giants Gala in the 1977 Cup Winners Cup, dominating their second-round tie with a pair of 5-1 routs.