By FRANCO PANIZO
The competition for the U.S. Men’s National Team’s vacant starting goalkeeper spot is on, and Brad Guzan will attempt to help his cause by trying to move Aston Villa to a 2-0 start to the season.
After winning their season opener on the road against Stoke City, Aston Villa will open the home part of their schedule when they face an 0-1 Newcastle United side on Saturday. Guzan will have a chance to not only keep the Villans perfect through the first two weeks of the Premiership, but a strong performance in between the pipes would surely do him no harm in attempt to begin convincing U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann that he is the player most ready to fill in for Tim Howard.
Howard is the American involved in one of the weekend’s most intriguing contests, as he and Everton take on Arsenal on Saturday. The Toffees settled for a draw after letting a late lead slip away on opening weekend, but grabbing their first victory of the season at home against the 1-0 Gunners will not be easy and likely require Howard to turn in one of his usual impressive outings in goal.
Wondering what other matches are worth watching? Look no further than Herculez Gomez, Jose Torres and Tigres’ duel with Morelia on Friday, and Alejandro Bedoya and Nantes’ match against Monaco on Sunday.
Gomez will be hoping to have earned a starting spot for Tigres after his midweek goal-scoring performance in Copa MX play, and could make a very strong statement with another impactful outing. Bedoya, meanwhile, will be looking to return to Nantes’ lineup as the club takes on a talented Monaco side that is eager to bounce back from a surprising 0-2 start in Ligue 1.
Here is who the Americans Abroad lock horns with this weekend:
Julian Green and Bayern Munich play VfL Wolfsburg.
Bobby Wood and TSV 1860 Munich play Heidenheimer SB.
Terrence Boyd and RP Leipzig play FC Erzgebirge Aue. (Boyd is out injured.)
Andrew Wooten and SV Sandhausen play St Pauli.
Herculez Gomez, Jose Torres and Tigres UANL play Morelia.
Brad Guzan and Aston Villa play Newcastle United.
Cody Cropper and Southampton play West Bromwich Albion.
Tim Howard and Everton play Arsenal.
Jonathan Spector, Will Packwood and Birmingham City play Brentford.
Tim Ream and Bolton Wanderers play Brighton & Hove Albion.
Zak Whitbread and Derby County play Emerson Hyndman and Fulham.
Duane Holmes and Huddersfield Town play Charlton Athletic.
Eric Lichaj and Nottingham Forest play Danny Williams and Reading. (Williams is out injured.)
Timmy Chandler and Eintracht Frankfurt play SC Freiburg.
John Brooks and Hertha Berlin play Werder Bremen.
David Yelldell and Bayer Leverkusen play Borussia Dortmund.
Aron Johannsson and AZ Alkmaar play Willem II Tilburg. (Johannsson is out injured.)
Conor O’Brien and FC Magna Wiener Neustadt play FC Trenkwalder Admira.
Michael Stephens, Andrew Jacobson and Stabaek IF play Stromsgodset.
Freddy Adu and FK Jagodina play Radnicki Nis.
Jonathan Bornstein and Queretaro play Cruz Azul.
Alonso Hernandez and Monterrey play Michael Orozco and Puebla.
Edgar Castillo and Atlas play Pachuca.
Gabriel Farfan and Chiapas play Ventura Alvarado and Club America.
Geoff Cameron, Brek Shea and Stoke City play Hull City.
Brad Friedel and Tottenham Hotspur play Queens Park Rangers.
Jozy Altidore and Sunderland play Manchester United.
Fabian Johnson and Borussia Moenchengladbach play VfB Stuttgart.
Alfredo Morales and FC Ingolstadt 04 play SpVgg Greuther Furth.
Alejandro Bedoya and FC Nantes play AS Monaco.
Rubio Rubin and FC Utrecht play Feyenoord Rotterdam.
Sacha Kljestan and RSC Anderlecht play Waasland-Beveren.
Zarek Valentin and FK Bodo/Glimt play Haugesund. (Valentin is out injured.)
Mix Diskerud and Rosenborg BK play Sarpsborg 08.
Josh Gatt, Ethan Horvath and Molde FK play Aalesund. (Gatt is out injured.)
Joe Corona, Greg Garza, Paul Arriola, Alejandro Guido, Fernando Arce Jr, Amando Moreno and Club Tijuana play Pumas UNAM.
Which of these matches are you most anticipating? How do you see Guzan doing against Stoke City? Are Howard and Everton capable of knocking off Arsenal this weekend?
Share your thoughts below.