American Exports: Tim Howard faces Chelsea, John Brooks in line for Hertha Berlin start
AMSTERDAM – While most of the Americans gearing up for weekend league action overseas will be hitting the road, Everton netminder Tim Howard looks to extend his Goodison Park mastery over Chelsea.
All times listed in ET.
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Jozy Altidore – Sunderland at Queens Park Rangers (Saturday, 10 am on Premier League Extra Time)
Fresh off a good midweek cup shift, Altidore will fight for pitch time and his first career crack at QPR. Sunderland have not fared well in Premier League play at Loftus Road since the '60s, dropping five of their last six such contests there. Few may have noticed, but the Black Cats are on a 4-1-3 EPL run, dating back to last season.
Brad Guzan – Aston Villa vs. Hull City (Sunday, 8:30 am on Premier League Extra Time)
If the former Chivas USA custodian can post his third straight shutout to begin the season, he will become the first Villa man to do so in their 114 top-flight campaigns. The Villans have won six straight home meetings with Hull by a combined 21-1 tally, and have not lost this fixture there since 1967. Guzan & Co. remain without top strike threats Christian Benteke and Libor Kozák.
Tim Howard – Everton vs. Chelsea (Saturday, 12:30 am on NBC/Mun2)
The US star has grown to love facing the Blues in the friendly confines, where he is on a 3-1-1 EPL series run that includes three shutouts. Last season, Howard notched five saves and got some rescue help from Gareth Barry to edge a 1-0 victory. The Toffees keeper may hope to avoid Chelsea returnee Didier Drogba, who scored on him six times in his previous stint wearing the west Londoners' shirt.
John Anthony Brooks – Hertha Berlin at Bayer Leverkusen (Saturday, 9:30 am on GolTV)
Early injuries have hit the Hertha defense, so Brooks is expected to get his first start of the season next to summer capture Johnny Heitinga. The US center back will need to help control Bayer forward Stefan Kießling, who has hit four times in the last three clashes between the two. The capital crew were swept by Leverkusen last season, and have not won in the series for seven games.
Rubio Rubin – FC Utrecht at SC Heerenveen, Saturday, 2:45 pm
After sitting out last weekend to build his fitness, the USMNT call-up could be back in the selection against Heerenveen. He is needed; not only are Utrecht still missing four attackers due to injury, but skipper and top playmaking engine Jens Toornstra moved to Feyenoord this week. Though they have traditionally struggled at the Abe Lenstra, Utrecht have taken two of the last three there.
BEST OF THE REST
Timothy Chandler – Eintracht Frankfurt at Wolfsburg, Sat. 9:30 am on MyGermanTV+
Julian Green – Bayern Munich at Schalke, Sat. 12:30 am on GolTV
Fabian Johnson – Borussia Moenchengladbach at Freiburg, Sun. 11:30 am on GolTV
Alejandro Bedoya – Nantes vs. Montpellier, Sat. 2 pm on beIN SPORTS Connect
Sacha Kljestan – Anderlecht at Club Brugge, Sun. 8:30 am
Coach Bob Bradley, Andrew Jacobson, Michael Stephens – Stabæk vs. Sandnes Ulf, Sun. noon
Mikkel Diskerud – Rosenborg at Viking, Sun. noon
Conor O'Brien – Wiener Neustadt at RZ Pellets WAC, Sat. 11 am
Freddy Adu – FK Jagodina vs. Vojvodina, Sun. 11 am