AMSTERDAM — While a pair of American exports will return to league play on the continent, the weekend focus in England is the FA Cup third round. All times in ET.
ENGLISH FA CUP
Birmingham City vs. Wolverhampton (Saturday, 7:30 am on FoxSoccer.tv)
American: Jonathan Spector (B'ham) — While the manager is planning to dip deeper into his squad for this derby tie, the American seems likely to continue at right back with Steven Carr injured. The Brums have not lost at home to Wolverhampton since 2001, but five of the seven meetings there since have been draws. Birmingham have only beaten Wolves in the FA Cup once in five tries.
Everton vs. Tamworth (Saturday, 10 am)
Americans: Landon Donovan, Tim Howard, Marcus Hahnemann (EVE) — It's unclear whether the Galaxy loan star will appear after going 90 minutes on Wednesday, but the UK rags all seem confident Hahnemann won't be getting his first Toffees relief outing. Since arriving at Everton, Howard has won half his eight FA Cup starts at Goodison, but none of the last three. This will be the first competitive meeting between teams less than 80 miles apart. Side note: Tamworth boast a player with Galaxy ties, too: Kyle Patterson, who was drafted by the Galaxy in 2009 and made three appearances for the club, is a regular winger for the Lambs.
Sheffield Wednesday vs. West Ham United (Saturday, 10 am)
American: Danny Potts (WHU) — With potential new recruit George John as spectator, US youth international Potts is expected to take up left back for this 93rd meeting between the Hammers and Owls. League One side Wednesday have three wins and a draw from their FA Cup duels, but have won just one of the last six overall meetings at Hillsborough.
Bristol Rovers vs. Aston Villa (Saturday, 12:30 pm on FOX Soccer)
American: Brad Guzan (AV) — Various reports have Shay Given close to a return, but the US netminder should walk the line at Bristol with his lifetime 4-0 FA Cup record. These clubs have met just 16 times, with the Villans dropping just one. The underdog Pirates, who have but two draws from their five FA Cup against Villa, also come in with a four-game League Two losing streak.
ITALIAN SERIE A
AS Roma vs. Chievo (Sunday, 9 am)
American: Michael Bradley (CV) — The visitors will hope to continue the form revival that started just before the winter break. Now a midfield fulcrum, Bradley was not around for Chievo's sad recent memories of Rome; they have not won at Stadio Olimpico in seven and have not scored there in 320 minutes.
PORTUGUESE LIGA SAGRES
Sporting CP vs. FC Porto (Saturday, 3:15 pm on ESPN3)
American: Oguchi Onyewu (SCP) — Back line marshal Gooch gets his first taste of the unofficial north vs. south civil war in Portugal when the champs/leaders come to Lisbon. Sporting, who currently stand six points shy in third, have lost just once in the last six home derbies to Porto.
BEST OF THE REST
Derby County (Conor Doyle) vs. Crystal Palace - Sat. 10 am
Fulham (Clint Dempsey) vs. Charlton - Sat. 10 am
Norwich City (Zak Whitbread) vs. Burnley - Sat. 10 am
Nottingham Forest (Robbie Findley - questionable) vs. Leicester City - Sat. 10 am
Tottenham (Brad Friedel) vs. Cheltenham - Sat. 10 am
Arbroath vs. Rangers (Alejandro Bedoya, Carlos Bocanegra, Maurice Edu) - Sun. 7:45am
Raith Rovers vs. Greenock Morton (Dominic Cervi) - Sat. 10 am
Coupe de France:
Metz vs. Evian (Quentin Westberg) - Sun. 9 am
Beitar Jerusalem vs. Maccabi Netanya (Leo Krupnick) - Sat. 10:40 am
Hapoel Ironi Kiryat Shmona (Bryan Gerzicich) vs. Hapoel Ironi Rishon Lezion - Sat. 10 am