By FRANCO PANIZO
Brad Guzan has received most of the starts for Aston Villa in the club's run to the Carling Cup final, but it could be incumbent Brad Friedel who gets the nod against Manchester United.
Friedel has been red hot as of late, and that, coupled with his experience, may be the reason he replaces Guzan in the Villans' Carling Cup lineup. No matter which goalkeeper starts, stopping Wayne Rooney will likely prove to be pivotal if Aston Villa is to win its first major final in nearly 15 years.
Maurice Edu and DaMarcus Beasley also have an important match this weekend for Rangers. Edu and Beasley have a chance to play Celtic in the Old Firm derby, and a win for the pair of American midfielders could serve as a boost in confidence before returning to the U.S. national team . A victory would also push Rangers ten points clear of Celtic for the top spot in the Scottish Premier League.
Wondering what other intriguing matches are on tap? One of them will be when Borussia Moenchengladbach goes up against SC Freiburg, as Michael Bradley will likely face U.S.-eligible Daniel Williams.
Here is a rundown of who Americans Abroad will be playing this weekend:
Ian Joyce and Southend United play Charlton Athletic.
Jermaine Jones and Schalke 04 play Borussia Dortmund. (Jones is out injured.)
Matt Taylor and FSV Frankfurt play Energie Cottbus.
Michael Hoyos and Estudiantes La Plata play Boca Juniors.
Stuart Holden and Bolton Wanderers play Marcus Hahnemann and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Frank Simek and Sheffield Wednesday play Reading.
Kenny Cooper and Plymouth Argyle play Sheffield United.
Jay DeMerit and Watford play Newcastle United.
Mike Grella and Leeds United play Huddersfield Town.
Zak Whitbread and Norwich City play Oldham Athletic.
Jon-Paul Pittman and Wycombe Wanderers play Jemal Johnson and Stockport County.
Michael Bradley and Borussia Moenchengladbach play Daniel Williams and SC Freiburg.
Ricardo Clark and Eintracht Frankfurt play VfB Stuttgart.
David Yeldell and TUS Koblenz play FC Augsburg.
Charlie Davies and Sochaux play Lorient. (Davies is out injured.)
Carlos Bocanegra and Stade Rennes play Montpellier.
Jose Francisco Torres and Pachuca play Pumas UNAM.
Edgar Castillo and Tigres UANL play Morelia.
Brad Friedel, Brad Guzan and Aston Villa play Manchester United in the Carling Cup final.
Landon Donovan, Tim Howard and Everton play Tottenham Hotspur.
Clint Dempsey and Fulham play Sunderland. (Dempsey is out injured.)
DaMarcus Beasley, Maurice Edu and Rangers play Dominic Cervi and Celtic.
Oguchi Onyewu and AC Milan play Atalanta. (Onyewu is out injured.)
Steve Cherundolo, Sal Zizzo and Hannover 96 play VfL Wolfsburg. (Cherundolo and Zizzo are out injured.)
Luis Robles and Kaiserslautern play Karlsruhe.
Freddy Adu, Eddie Johnson and Aris Salonika play Larissa.
Herculez Gomez and Puebla play Chiapas.
Marco Vidal and Indios de Ciudad Juarez play Toluca.
Which Americans Abroad match are you most looking forward to? Which players do you see having a big impact? Think Friedel or Guzan will get the start? How do you think Edu and Beasley will do against Celtic? Who do you see winning, Bradley and Moenchengladbach or Williams and Freiburg?
Share your thoughts below.