By FRANCO PANIZO
John Brooks has not played in a competitive game since scoring the dramatic winner in the U.S. Men’s National Team’s World Cup opener vs. Ghana, but an injury to one of his club teammates may change that.
Brooks is poised to earn his first start of the season for Hertha Berlin after Sebastian Langkamp was ruled out for up to a month earlier this week. The young U.S. centerback has not made an official appearance for club or country since his heroic second-half cameo in the Americans’ 2-1 win over Ghana on June 16 in Natal, but could make a good case for himself to regain a starting spot on his club with a solid performance against Bayer Leverkusen.
While Brooks is searching for his first minute of the season on Saturday, Tim Howard’s hunt for Everton’s first victory will continue. The Toffees have demoralizingly settled for late draws to start the Premiership season, and things will not get any easier as they host a star-studded Chelsea side that has won both its games by a combined scored of 5-1.
For Eric Lichaj, Nottingham Forest’s road trip to Sheffield Wednesday could mark another appearance for the Reds. Lichaj has played in each of Nottingham’s four games in the Championship, and is eyeing his latest start in order to help keep the club remain undefeated and at the top of the Championship standings. The fullback will, however, need to show he is physically ready to get the start for Nottinham after going the distance in Tuesday’s Capital One Cup victory.
Here is who the Americans Abroad do battle with this weekend:
Terrence Boyd and RP Leipzig play FSV Frankfurt. (Boyd is out injured.)
Jonathan Bornstein and Queretaro play Alonso Hernandez and Monterrey.
Joe Corona, Greg Garza, Paul Arriola, Alejandro Guido, Fernando Arce Jr, Amando Moreno and Club Tijuana play Universidad de Guadalajara.
Geoff Cameron, Brek Shea and Stoke City play Manchester City. (Cameron is out injured.)
Jozy Altidore and Sunderland play Queens Park Rangers.
Cody Cropper and Southampton play West Ham United.
Tim Howard and Everton play Chelsea.
Eric Lichaj and Nottingham Forest play Sheffield Wednesday.
Zak Whitbread and Derby County play Ipswich Town.
Emerson Hyndman and Fulham play Cardiff City.
Tim Ream and Bolton Wanderers play Leeds United.
Danny Williams and Reading play Middlesbrough. (Williams is out injured.)
Duane Holmes and Huddersfield Town play Watford.
Jonathan Spector, Will Packwood and Birmingham City play Wigan Athletic.
David Yelldell and Bayer Leverkusen play John Brooks and Hertha Berlin.
Timmy Chandler and Eintracht Frankfurt play VfL Wolfsburg.
Julian Green and Bayern Munich play Schalke 04.
Alejandro Bedoya and FC Nantes play Montpellier.
Aron Johannsson and AZ Alkmaar play Dordrecht ’90. (Johannsson is out injured.)
Rubio Rubin and FC Utrecht play SC Heerenveen.
Conor O’Brien and FC Magna Wiener Neustadt play Wolfsberger AC.
Jeb Brovsky and Stomsgodset play Aalesund.
Zarek Valentin and FK Bodo/Glimt play Valerenga. (Valentin is out injured.)
Freddy Adu and FK Jagodina play Vojvodina.
Ventura Alvarado and Club America play Pumas UNAM.
Michael Orozco and Puebla play Morelia.
Herculez Gomez, Jose Torres and Tigres UANL play Gabriel Farfan and Chiapas.
Edgar Castillo and Atlas play Santos Laguna.
Brad Guzan and Aston Villa play Hull City.
Brad Friedel and Tottenham Hotspur play Liverpool.
Fabian Johnson and Borussia Moenchengladbach play SC Freiburg.
Sacha Kljestan and RSC Anderlecht play Club Brugge.
Andrew Wooten and SV Sandhausen play Alfredo Morales and FC Ingolstadt 04.
Bobby Wood and TSV 1860 Munich play SV Darmstadt 98.
Mix Diskerud and Rosenborg BK play Viking.
Michael Stephens, Andrew Jacobson and Stabaek IF play Sandnes Ulf.
Josh Gatt, Ethan Horvath and Molde FK play Brann. (Gatt is out injured.)
Which of these matches are you most anticipating? See Brooks starting for Hertha Berlin? Think Howard and Everton surprise the Blues or is there another late draw in store for the Toffees?
Share your thoughts below.