By FRANCO PANIZO
Repeating as champions is never an easy task, but Sacha Kljestan and RSC Anderlecht are making it look like it is.
Kljestan and red-hot Anderlecht are currently in first place in the Jupiler Pro League and they can add to their healthy eight-point lead when they visit Club Brugge on Sunday. Anderlecht have not tasted defeat in any competition since a UEFA Champions League loss to AC Milan in late November, so you can expect the steady Kljestan – who was recently handed a suspension in the Belgian Cup – to resume his role in midfield as the Belgian champs try to extend their unbeaten streak to 17 games.
Another consistent performer who many fans will be keeping tabs on is Jozy Altidore. The U.S. Men’s National Team striker upped his season total to 21 goals across all competitions this past weekend, and he will want to add to that as AZ Alkmaar attempts to jump back into the top half of the Eredivisie when they host NAC Breda on Sunday.
The top American vs. American match-up in Europe this weekend will take place in Germany, where Michael Parkhurst and Augsburg face off against Fabian Johnson, Danny Williams and Hoffenheim. With Parkhurst likely starting at right back for Augsburg and Johnson at left back for Hoffenheim, the U.S. teammates should see plenty of each other in a match with relegation implications.
Wondering what other match holds some intrigue? Look no further than Club Tijuana’s Saturday clash with Atlante. Joe Corona, Edgar Castillo and the rest of the Xolos are coming off a big Copa Libertadores win on Tuesday, but they will need to fight off any lingering jetlag if they are to overcome an Atlante side that has not lost in its last three games.
Here is who the Americans Abroad play this weekend:
Joe Gyau and St Pauli play FSV Frankfurt.
Tony Taylor and Estoril Praia play Sporting Lisbon.
Maurice Edu and Bursaspor play Gaziantepspor.
Herculez Gomez, Hector Joya and Santos Laguna play Ventura Alvarado and Club America.
Geoff Cameron, Brek Shea and Stoke City play Fulham.
Brad Guzan, Eric Lichaj and Aston Villa play Arsenal.
Tim Howard and Everton play Norwich City.
Zak Whitbread and Leicester City play Blackpool.
Tim Ream, Stuart Holden and Bolton Wanderers play Hull City.
Jonathan Spector, Will Packwood and Birmingham City play Peterborough United. (Packwood is out injured.)
Conor Doyle and Derby County play Watford.
Frank Simek and Carlisle United play Milton Keynes Dons.
Mike Grella and Scunthorpe United play Hartlepool United.
Carlos Bocanegra and Racing Santander play Mirandes.
Michael Parkhurst and FC Augsburg play Fabian Johnson, Danny Williams and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.
Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 play Hamburg SV. (Cherundolo is out injured.)
Timmy Chandler and FC Nurnberg play VfB Stuttgart.
Jermaine Jones and Schalke 04 play Fortuna Dusseldorf.
Caleb Patterson-Sewell and Vitoria Setubal play Beira Mar.
Jose Torres, Jonathan Bornstein and Tigres UANL play Cruz Azul.
DaMarcus Beasley, Michael Orozco Fiscal and Puebla play Monterrey.
Joe Corona, Edgar Castillo, Greg Garza and Club Tijuana play Atlante.
Oguchi Onyewu and Malaga play Real Betis.
Michael Bradley and AS Roma play Atalanta.
David Yelldell and Bayer Leverkusen play SpVgg Greuther Furth.
Andrew Wooten and SV Sandhausen play SC Paderborn 07.
Bobby Wood and TSV 1860 Munich play TSV Eintracht Braunschweig.
Jozy Altidore and AZ Alkmaar play NAC Breda.
Sacha Kljestan and RSC Anderlecht play Club Brugge.
Terrence Boyd and Rapid Vienna play SV Salzburg.
Sebastian Lletget and West Ham United play Clint Dempsey, Brad Friedel and Tottenham Hotspur.
Alfredo Morales, John Anthony Brooks and Hertha Berlin play Kaiserslautern.
Which of these games are you most looking forward to? Do you see Kljestan and Anderlecht beating Club Brugge? Expecting Altidore to score again this weekend?
Share your thoughts below.