photo by ISIphotos.com
By FRANCO PANIZO
Another month of Premiership action is near its end, and for a quartet of Americans, the race to avoid relegation is a little too close for comfort.
Jozy Altidore is in the lowest position, as Hull City sit in 19th place. But the Tigers can boost their chances of leaping out of the drop zone when they play Marcus Hahnemann and Wolves, who only sit two spots ahead of them with just one more point.
The match should be interesting not just because of the relegation implications, but because of the Altidore-Hahnemann matchup as well. Altidore is returning from compassionate leave, and is still in search for his first league goal, while Hahnemann will aim to keep him scoreless en route to posting his fourth shutout of the season.
A spot above Wolves in 16th place stand Jonathan Spector and West Ham United. With Spector starting the past two games at left back, the Hammers have pulled out consecutive draws, surrendering only one goal in the process. Playing against Blackburn this weekend, West Ham will need another stingy defensive performance from Spector and co. to continue ascending up the standings.
The American who finds himself in the best situation with a relegation-threatened club, however, is recent Bolton Wanderers signee Stuart Holden. Holden and 15th-place Bolton battle Liverpool.
Here is a rundown of who the Americans Abroad play this weekend:
David Yeldell and TUS Koblenz play Fortuna Dusseldorf. (Yeldell is out injured.)
Jonathan Spector and West Ham United play Blackburn Rovers.
Clint Dempsey and Fulham play Brad Friedel, Brad Guzan and Aston Villa. (Dempsey is out injured.)
Landon Donovan, Tim Howard and Everton play Wigan Athletic.
Jozy Altidore and Hull City play Marcus Hahnemann and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Stuart Holden and Bolton Wanderers play Liverpool.
Frank Simek and Sheffield Wednesday play Plymouth Argyle.
Jay DeMerit and Watford play Swansea City.
Jon-Paul Pittman and Wycombe Wanderers play Bristol Rovers.
Zak Whitbread and Norwich City play Hartlepool United.
Jemal Johnson and Stockport County play Southampton.
Ian Joyce and Southend United play Swindon Town.
Mike Grella and Leeds United play Colchester United.
Dominic Cervi and Celtic play Hamilton Academical.
DaMarcus Beasley, Maurice Edu and Rangers play Falkirk.
Steve Cherundolo, Sal Zizzo and Hannover 96 play Nurnberg. (Zizzo is out injured.)
Michael Bradley and Borussia Moenchengladbach play Werder Bremen.
Ricardo Clark and Eintracht Frankfurt play FC Cologne.Jermaine Jones and Schalke 04 play TSG Hoffenheim. (Jones is out injured.)Carlos Bocanegra and Stade Rennes play Grenoble.Kamani Hill and Vitoria de Guimaraes play Benfica.Edgar Castillo and Tigres UANL play Chiapas.
Jose Francisco Torres and Pachuca play Atlante
Michael Orozco and San Luis play Morelia. (Orozco is linked with a move to MLS and the Philadelphia Union.)
Oguchi Onyewu and AC Milan play Livorno. (Onyewu is out injured.)Charlie Davies and Sochaux pay Valenciennes. (Davies is out injured.)Matt Taylor and FSV Frankfurt play SC Paderborn 07.
Kenny Cooper and TSV 1860 Munich play Karlsruhe. (Cooper is linked with a move to Plymouth Argyle.)
Which match-ups are you most looking forward to? What match would you attend in person if you could? Glad to see Charlie Davies back on the list?
Share your thoughts below.
Freddy Adu, Eddie Johnson and Aris Salonika play FC Xanthi.
Herculez Gomez and Puebla play Queretaro.
Marco Vidal and Indios de Ciudad Juarez play America.
Luis Robles and Kaiserslautern play Alemania Aachen.
Which Americans Abroad match are you most looking forward to? Which player(s) do you see having a big impact? Think Altidore will help Hull avoid relegation with a goal this weekend, or will Hahnemann blank him? Do you hope Spector gets tried out at left back for the national team? Will Holden make his debut this weekend?