Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

Jozy Alitdore Sunderland 2 (Getty Images)


Jozy Altidore may have capped a dream summer with the U.S. Men’s National Team with as impressive a performance as can be imagined, but he still has no time to rest on his laurels.

After all, Altidore is set to make his much-anticipated return to the Premiership on Saturday.

Three years removed from an ugly last game in England’s top flight in which he was sent off, Altidore will attempt to help his new club, Sunderland, get off to a flying start in the new campaign by taking all three points vs. Fulham. Altidore is surely riding a wave of confidence after his three-goal, one-assist performance in the Americans’ historic 4-3 victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina on Wednesday, and that spells nothing but trouble for the visiting Cottagers.

Another Premiership match that will likely be attracting a lot of eyeballs in the United States is Aston Villa’s road game against Arsenal. The Saturday match will mark the start of what Brad Guzan is hoping is his second year as the Villans’ full-time starter, and he will have his hands full against the likes of Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla.

FC Nantes might not be opening their new season this weekend like all the Premiership clubs are, but their match vs. Lorient on Sunday could see Alejandro Bedoya make his debut for the Canaries. Bedoya is coming off a 63-minute outing vs. Bosnia in which he showed some positive signs on both sides of the ball, so he may be deemed ready enough to either start or come off the bench for Nantes.

Here is who the Americans Abroad battle this weekend:


Jose Torres, Jonathan Bornstein and Tigres UANL play Santos Laguna.


Geoff Cameron, Maurice Edu, Brek Shea and Stoke City play Liverpool. (Shea is out injured.)

Brad Guzan and Aston Villa play Arsenal.

Tim Howard and Everton play Norwich City.

Jozy Altidore and Sunderland play Fulham.

Jonathan Spector, Will Packwood and Birmingham City play Brighton & Hove Albion. (Spector and Packwood are out injured.)

Zak Whitbread and Leicester City play Derby County.

Eric Lichaj and Nottingham Forest play Tim Ream, Stuart Holden and Bolton Wanderers. (Holden is out injured.)

Danny Williams and Reading play Watford.

Fabian Johnson, Joe Gyau and TSG Hoffenheim play Hamburg SV.

Jermaine Jones and Schalke 04 play VfL Wolfsburg.

Michael Parkhurst and FC Augsburg play Werder Bremen.

Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 play Borussia Moenchengladbach. (Cherundolo is out injured.)

Andrew Wooten and Kaiserslautern play FC Erzgebirge Aue.

Aron Johannsson and AZ Alkmaar play RKC Waalwijk.

Conor O’Brien and FC Nordsjaelland play Aalborg BK.

Josh Gatt, Ethan Horvath and Molde FK play Odd. (Gatt is out injured.)

Mix Diskerud and Rosenborg BK play Valerenga.

Alonso Hernandez and Monterrey play Herculez Gomez, Joe Corona, Edgar Castillo, Greg Garza, Paul Arriola and Club Tijuana. (Gomez is out injured.)


Brad Friedel and Tottenham Hotspur play Crystal Palace.

Timmy Chandler and FC Nurnberg play John Anthony Brooks and Hertha Berlin.

Bobby Wood and TSV 1860 Munich play Alfredo Morales and FC Ingolstadt 04.

Alejandro Bedoya and FC Nantes play Lorient.

Eugene Starikov and FK Tom’ Tomsk play PFK Samara Kryliya Sovetov.

Sacha Kljestan and RSC Anderlect play Waasland-Beveren.

Terrence Boyd and Rapid Vienna play FC Trenkwalder Admira.

Brian Span and Djurgarden IF play BK Hacken.

Steve Clark and Honefoss BK play Sandnes Ulf.

DaMarcus Beasley, Michael Orozco and Puebla play Chivas de Guadalajara.

Freddy Adu and Bahia play Santos FC.


Which of these matches are you most looking forward to? Think Altidore will start his time with Sunderland with a goal-scoring performance? How do you see Guzan and the Villans faring vs. Arsenal?

Share your thoughts below.

  • biff

    Quite frankly, I have absolutely no interest at all to watch Jozy play in the Premier League against Fulham, or Geoff Cameron against Liverpool, or Brad Guzan at Arsenal or any of the other Yanks over in Europe. What I’m excited about is watching Clint Dempsey play against Houston. That will be exciting stuff. Can’t wait.


    • Left Wing

      Does Apple TV have the NBC app? If so might have to stop off on the way home to get one for TV #2.


  • divers suck

    Dolo has missed a long, long time! Does anyone know what exactly happened to him?


  • Vincent

    Will Freddy ever get a decent chance at Bahia? I would love to see him get into the best form of his life to then earn a super-sub position with the NATS next summer in Brazil. The current game has developed a “symmetry between scoring and not conceding” (see Slate article below) which often calls for special, wonderkind moments (I am thinking of Jesus Navas impact on the WC final)
    I like Adu coming on in the 67th minute with the World Cup final resting in the balance ~



    • patrick

      you can’t be serious. The US in the WC finals? Oh, and Adu will never be an impact player at the national team level.


    • Hush

      I’m one that keeps hoping Adu gets called in,.. Sasha and a few others who are clowns in my opinion get called in for no apparent reason. So why not call the only player in our pool who performs well in a NT jersey without playing much for club.

      That Tiki Taka futbol has been going on in Mexico, C.A, and S.A for generations. Spain just refined and mastered it better than anyone in Futbol. Tiki Taka is the only Futbol played by Latin people in the streets across the country since for ever… “keep away”. AND1 sort away,.. that’s how they attract others to the game


      • Anthony

        eh.. Netherlands did a great job of it with their “Total Football” in the 70’s.

        New to football?


  • Judging Amy

    What are folks’ thoughts on how long it takes Jozy to bag his first goal? (I know, I know. These things are impossible to predict and just because he doesn’t score doesn’t mean he didn’t have a successful outing, etc. etc.. But just for fun. Humor me. Come on.)

    I say it takes him a couple games to settle in and get used to the speed of the Prem again and he scores in his 3rd game.


  • g-dub

    Totally OT – but does anybody know how the most recent turmoil in Egypt will affect soccer? Specifically, whether any upcoming qualifiers or training for Bob’s team are disrupted?


    • Justin

      The venue for Egypt’s final Round 2 match vs. Guinea is officially TBA (no longer Alexandria). Who can say how this plays out? I highly doubt they’ll play a game in Egypt – most likely move it to a “neutral location”, though whether that is a neighboring country (like Sudan or Libya) or someplace that is genuinely safer (like a Gulf state), who knows?

      To make some unfortunate comparisons:

      -Iraq played through much of the worst of the sectarian violence from 2006-2011, with some Fifa issues

      -Syria have continued to contest – they competed in the 2012 West Asia tournament and were only DQ’ed from the WC by player eligibility issues, not the withdrawal of the team

      I doubt the EFA will withdraw the team, but given all of the violence in the country (which has been spilling over into football for years now), I doubt they can play at home anymore. Egypt are through to the second round and would only have 2 more “home” dates on the schedule: the September game against Guinea and the home side of their Round 3 tie. I think they have a friendly set up in there but I can’t see how they’d play that at home.

      Things could change any day, but I imagine they’ll play out their campaign on schedule. This team is a strong bet for WC qualification and is probably the one institution in the country that currently enjoys universal support. There’s a documentary called “We Must Go” being filmed about this team’s progress to Brazil – I think it’ll be a must-watch.


  • Jamie

    Has there been any talk about a SBI fantasy Premier League Group? Wasn’t sure if I missed it.


  • thisten

    Has anyone been able to get the NBC Sports Live Extra app to work? It crashed everytime I launch it on my phone.


  • Sushant

    Anyone have updates on when the injured players will be back?
    Shea should now be 2-3 weeks away from returning and Holden is out for the year.

    What about: Gatt, Spector, ‘Dolo, Packwood and Gomez?


    • Lost in Space

      Gatt: Knee surgery for ligament damage. Soonest he’ll be available train would likely be March time frame.
      Spector: Facial Fractures. Likely out for another 2-4 weeks.
      Packwood: Broken Leg. Believe he is ahead of schedule, just getting back to ball work. Will be months before he sees the field (thinking Dec./Jan.)
      Gomez: Knee surgery to clean up. Expected to be out 6-8 weeks after surgery. So estimate 3-4 before he sees the field.
      Dolo: 2nd knee surgery. Heard he was back to light training. If true will be 2-4 weeks before he gets field time.


  • TomM

    After watching our team grow through qualifying and the Gold Cup, where do folks place Mo Edu on the USMNT depth chart? Just curious- have not kept up with his development….


    • louis z

      Edu has been injured.

      It’s sort like the guy going on vacation from work and when he gets back there is a pink slip on desk waiting for him.

      I think Edu still will make the team, in my opinion the odd man out is probably Beckerman.
      Even with a good GC I don’t think he will beat out Mix for one of the final roster spots.


    • Jeff Carter

      With Cameron having the ability to play D-mid at CB, both somewhat effectively, I think that makes Edu surplus to requirements. I’d rather see a wild card/attacker than a 4th D-mid on the WC squad.

      I’d also rather not see goalie pads in the NHL go smaller. I don’t want my goal totals from my wicked wrister to be padded due to equipment changes, so lame.


    • bryan

      well, he was always behind Bradley and Jones for that #6 role. i think with the emergence of Mix as a viable option in just about any CM role, he is now above Edu. you have to assume Kljestan is ahead of him as well. Holden would have been too. even Cameron might be ahead of him on the #6 depth chart. and of course, Beckerman is absolutely ahead of him now.


      • Anthony

        I don’t know how Kljestan is placed above him. Klinsman rated him above Kljestan before he was injured. Mixx is a different player (plays further upfield).

        However, I agree that he is below Jones, Bradley, and now Cameron. Cameron is his key competitor because he offers the same flexibility that Edu, but he is better at CDM and just as good at CB.


      • bryan

        like you said, before he got injured. i’m talking today, IMO, Kljestan is above Edu on JK’s list of CMs. also, like i said about Mix, he can play any CM role. he played the #8 like a boss in the Gold Cup. in my response I used #8s and #6s to build my depth chart, Mix fits that role so that’s why i mentioned him. if Edu can get some minutes and play well, then things change.

        either way, we both agree there are at least 3 players ahead of Edu.


      • Anthony

        yeah…I agree with.

        Is it me or is the US team a legit 30 guys deep (and young…we have a lot of sub 25 yr olds)

        Good time to be US Fan!!!


      • Travis in Miami

        Cameron is a jack of all trades and a master of none. could work to his advantage…could hurt him. He’s like a utility infielder that can’t crack the starting line up because he’s not consistent enough.

        Edu plays the 6. And in a pinch can play CB. It’s much easier to put him in the depth chart. He’s behind Bradley and Jones when healthy. His competition is mainly Cameron, Beckerman and Williams. I’m assuming Edu and Cameron are also in competition for that spot at Stoke as well. seeing that Cameron has played there for them as well. Watching where they line up will tell a lot about how that is going. If Edu continues to DND then Cameron is ahead of him period. But if Cameron in playing on the back line and Edu is in the midfield I would put Edu ahead of him. Williams is the wild card depending on how much PT he’s getting at Reading compared to Edu’s PT. I would think Beckerman is ahead of Williams but these 4 guys in the 6 position are all tightly grouped – in my opinion


      • Shawn


        I’d say versatility helps Cameron get in the squad. You want players who can cover several positions in a pinch. They can sub to provide cover, or altar tactics, without going ’round peg/square hole.’

        I don’t think Edu sits as high on the depth chart as you do. The fact that Cameron has been preferred to Edu at club level doesn’t help Maurice’s cause either.


    • zztoppppp

      Stoke has him listed as Questionable for this weekend, but I have not heard if he will be receiving any minutes any time soon.


      • Jay Bonds

        Even if he was fit, he is not starting over Nzonzi who is WAY better than him, plus only Cameron will see minutes at Stoke this season at right back. The rest subs here and there or better just go out on loan.


  • HooliganNYC

    Can’t be more excited to see Jozy play tomorrow, the form he is in, he could really be a new wave of USA Strikers.

    I also love that the list of American’s Abroad is growing in leaps and bounds. Still wish that Bedoya , Zuzi and Dempsey were in the EPL right now…

    Does anyone have the stats on how many Americans are in each European League???


  • jeffrey dame

    I’ve been watching Mexican Ligua MX this season for the first time and love it. 3-way balance between EPL, MLS and Ligua MX. You see at once watching the Mex league why Klinsman has MX players in the squad – they battle like crazy to win the ball, no giving up. I think Gomez influenced Altidore a lot in showing him how to aggressively run up top and chase down defenders, Jozy used to just laze and drift around when he did not have the ball. Liking Castillo these days, VamosXolos!
    [54 year old Anglo finds new league to love]


    • Iggy

      Interesting…’battling for the ball’ is not what comes to mind for me when thinking of Liga MX. For me its more about extremely technical players and nice passing. There is often next to no defense played in the midfield however. Guys have forever on the ball. Still entertaining to watch, especially Xolos.


      • jeffrey dame

        Maybe its just been the 4-5 games I’ve seen so far, but Xolos vs. Pumas last week was like a cage fight, 3 and 4 guys in a 5 yard area kicking and chopping like crazy. You could see a little of it when Castillo came in vs. Bosnia, he lost a couple of balls when driving forward then recovered and fought to win the ball back several times.


    • Mueller

      I absolutely love watching the Xolos. My Spanish is horrible so I don’t really understand the broadcast, but their games are so fast-paced, it is a real joy to watch.


  • Vincent

    I have a pic which has been hanging if my office cube since 2009 (most folks glance and have no idea what’s up). Jozy is smashing the Confed-Semi game winner with his right, while staving off Albert Poyols against his left….EPIC! It trust we will see him run over Jonny Evans and lay a hurt on Man-U this season ~


  • Left Wing

    Just back from vacation and able to watch the Bosnia game,
    I dare say either Dempsey or Landon on the right wing and the other sits.

    Fabian out left and Aron J up top ..


      • Falsify

        I fail to see how his comment is overreaction? Donovan coming in as a super sub isn’t exactly a bad idea considering the depth on our current roster. Stop being an insecure eurosnob.


      • John

        Donovan isn’t the type of player that’s really going to change the dynamic of a game with pace or power that’d you want with a “super sub”.


      • John

        Seriously after 30 mins of Aron Johannsson where he created maybe 2 chances and shot them both right at the keeper. Now he is starting over the 2 all time national team goal scorers.


      • louis z

        You are making it too simplistic, here is the reasons why I think he may be better fit to partner with Jozy…

        1. The scary part, he didn’t have a good game by his standards.
        2. He averages about a goal per game for more than a year.
        3. He is the quickest attacker that we got.
        4. Hold the record for fastest hat trick in his previous club league.
        5. He can create his own shot.
        6. He not only scores but gets his teammates involved with his excellent passing skills.
        7. Is faster than Dempsey and can defend better than him.
        8. He is 8 years younger and already playing at a high level.

        Now, Dempsey…
        1. He is bigger and stronger.
        2. Good in the air, better than Johannsson.
        2. Best pure scorer, second to Jozy in current talks.
        4. He will give you a score.
        5. Not a good defender.
        6. Not very fast.
        7. Tends to kill momentum by holding the ball too long on final third. Will look for contact instead of making the quick pass to continue the attack.
        6. Because of No. 3 and 4 he is not well suited to play the wing.

        We are talking current form here, not a history lesson.


  • Jay Bonds

    Let’s see you guys put their money where your mouth is. How many of you are ready to bet Jozy does not reach double figures at the end of the season? Please do not respond if you’re not talking with your money. I only talk with confident people not just talkers.


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