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Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

Landon Donovan 1 (Reuters)  


Landon Donovan's arrival at Goodison Park has been nothing short of successful for Everton, with the club losing just once in its last six league games since the American star's arrival. Donovan will look to extend that good run of results this weekend, as he faces Manchester United for the first time in his career.

Donovan and Everton host red-hot Manchester United, which has not dropped a league game since mid-December. A week after getting the better of Chelsea and England left back Ashley Cole, Donovan will have his chance to face off against another one of the world's top fullbacks in French defender Patrice Evra. If Donovan is deployed on the left flank, which he spent time on during Everton's recent Europa League win vs. Sporting Lisbon, he could face off against England right back Wes Brown. 

While Donovan will be aiming to terrorize Manchester United's back four, Tim Howard will have the seemingly harder task of shutting down Wayne Rooney, who is coming off a two-goal performance vs. AC Milan in Champions League play. Howard kept Rooney off the scoresheet the last time he played his former club (a 3-0 victory by Manchester United), and a repeat performance would raise Everton's chances of winning.

Wondering what other intriguing matches are on tap this weekend? Look no further than Jonathan Spector and West Ham United's tilt vs. Jozy Altidore and Hull City, which pits two relegation-threatened clubs against one another.

Here is a rundown of who Americans Abroad will be facing this weekend:


Michael Bradley and Borussia Moenchengladbach play TSG Hoffenheim.

David Yeldell and TUS Koblenz play FC Union Berlin.


Landon Donovan, Tim Howard and Everton play Manchester United.

Marcus Hahnemann and Wolverhampton Wanderers play Chelsea.

Jonathan Spector and West Ham United play Jozy Altidore and Hull City.

Kenny Cooper and Plymouth Argyle play Leicester City.

Jay DeMerit and Watford play Scunthorpe United.

Frank Simek and Sheffield Wednesday play Ipsiwch Town.

Ian Joyce and Southend United play Milton Keynes Dons.

Zak Whitbread and Norwich City play Southampton.

Jemal Johnson and Stockport County play Exeter City.

Mike Grella and Leeds United play Brighton.

Jon-Paul Pittman and Wycombe Wanderers play Millwall.

DaMarcus Beasley, Maurice Edu and Rangers play St Johnstone. 

Dominic Cervi and Celtic play Dundee United.

Steve Cherundolo, Sal Zizzo and Hannover 96 play Borussia Dortmund. (Cherundolo and Zizzo are out injured.)

Ricardo Clark and Eintracht Frankfurt play Hamburg SV. (Clark is out injured.)

Jose Francisco Torres and Pachuca play Chiapas.

Herculez Gomez and Puebla play Guadalajara.


Stuart Holden and Bolton Wanderers play Blackburn Rovers.

Brad Friedel, Brad Guzan and Aston Villa play Burnley.

Clint Dempsey and Fulham play Birmingham. (Dempsey is out injured.)

Oguchi Onyewu and AC Milan play Bari. (Onyewu is out injured.)

Daniel Williams and SC Freiburg play Hertha Berlin.

Jermaine Jones and Schalke 04 play VfL Wolfsburg. (Jones is out injured.)

Matt Taylor and FSV Frankfurt play Karlsruhe.

Carlos Bocanegra and Stade Rennes play Lille.

Charlie Davies and Sochaux play Lyon. (Davies is out injured.)

Freddy Adu, Eddie Johnson and Aris Salonika play AEK Athens.

Marco Vidal and Indios de Ciudad Juarez play Cruz Azul.

Edgar Castillo and Tigres UANL play America.


Luis Robles and Kaiserslautern play St Pauli.

Michael Hoyos and Estudiantes La Plata play Huracan.


Which Americans Abroad match are you most looking forward to? Which players do you see having a big impact? Is Donovan capable of unlocking Manchester United's defense? Hoping to see a Spector-Altidore match-up?

Share your thoughts below. 


  1. Actually, there really are not. I have not seen many highlight reels with this much awesome stuff on it…indeed I would be surprised if any player including donovan on the USMNT has a highlight reel this good. That he is capable of this stuff is awesome. He would be a very exciting and rough player to have on our team. I like it.

  2. It wasn’t just the blocking shots physically. It was the understanding the defenders had. The USA knew that on a technical level, Spain had them outmatched, but if they could find a chemistry on how to move and where certain players go when one challenges, they could win. Like one of the defenders said, I’m not sure which, when one guy went in for a tackle or blocked a shot, another guy was sliding to his position and backing him up. Sure, Spain made some mistakes, but to be perfectly honest, it was always going to take at least one part of Spain’s game to not work for the USA o win. A team with a 35 game unbeaten streak doesn’t lose to a team like the USA without some sort of mistakes on their end, but credit to the USA for having the ability and tactical savvy to take advantage of them.

    If I can be honest, I think both goals were tactically and technically great. Davies showed great technique to bring Bradley’s flanking pass down for Dempsey and the combination between the two was quick. The mistakes came with Capdevilla’s decision to try and round Jozy for the ball and ended up on his behind. Jozy did well to sort of lean his body to his left and give Casillas the idea that he was going far post and instead strike it near post. Casillas still got there, but you’d expect a world class keeper like him to do so.

    The second was technically well done by Benny. He did well to get to another pass by Bradley to the left flank and then round Pique to find Landon out wide. Pique didn’t really clear it but he was off balance and it would have been difficult to get it, much less control it. Ramos made the biggest mistake by delaying and trying to control it when he, is expected to clear it, but credit to Dempsey for good positioning.

  3. Shark was right, you really don’t read the posts. I said ” That’s not to say those two don’t do good work, but it’s beneficial that they be as involved in the attack as possible.” This means that while they’re expected to run hard and do defensive work, their involvment in the attack is important and they don’t need to do so much that it completely tunes them out of the game offensively. When Dempsey put forth that excellent defensive effort against Mexico in Columbus last February, he didn’t really do a whole lot offensively. That comes down to him being fatigued from helping defensively so much, and his lack of pace. He can’t get forward and back as much as Landon, Charlie, and Michael. That’s why those three had such a great Confederations Cup, combined with their skills of course. Jozy needs to be pressuring the opposition’s back four and while he’ll track back, his presence against the more physical defenders in the world is vital. Case and point, his goal against Spain. Now, Capdevilla tried to get around Altidore and that was stupid, but it’s a prime example of him learning to use his physical ability.

  4. Tom speaks sense. Agree on all three accounts. On 2 and 3, I mean, it’s not like we have some magic formula that is beyond change. Jermaine Jones in no way would hurt our team. Hurt the other team, yes.

  5. Spector to sub for Dolo

    DeMerit to sub for Subotic/Gooch

    Bornstein/Castillo to sub for Boca

    Edu/Clark/Benny/Torres subs for Jones/Bradley

    Holden Sub for Deuce

    Beasley/Castillo/Torres Sub for Donovan

    Davies Sub for Rossi

    Guzan, Perkins/Hahnemann for Howard

    good team with depth & experiance. Too bad it never came to be.

  6. It would of giving us more options, but I never considered Rossi a USMNT player, so it’s kind of pointless to me. I can safely say I take Davies over Rossi anyday. Subotic? Decent player, gets smashed almost every two games in the Bundes, but that’s normal for a CB. I’m happy with Demerit or Boca at CB. We also have young guns coming up in the system, so I don’t really care for cry baby Subotic. We are better than ok if you ask me. 🙂

  7. Great games this weekend. I’m looking forward to the Everton vs Man u game. Aris vs AEK Athens is going to be a great challenge for my boy Adu. The Spector vs Altidore deal is also exciting, hopefully Spector makes the 11. Castillo vs his old club America will be fun to watch.

    For those that are married today is the day to start acting sick for the whole weekend.

  8. This is what the USMNT should have looked like…..







    Thants a pretty good squad if you ask me….to bad right?

  9. a couple thoughts on JJ

    1 – i dont see how we can argue his quality. one of the best d mids in one of the hardest tackling leagues. also he’s gotten a cap for germany. only other player on our squad who would get close is howard.

    2 – chemistry is important, yes. but we arent changing the whole team if jones starts. just 1 player, and a player with boat loads of talent and experience (he played for germany). let’s not forget CD hadnt played much at all before he got the start against egypt and immediately gelled. chemistry matters definitely, but the core of our team would be the same – i dont think people (including rico or benny, the 2 guys likely to be replaced) would flip out or cause a riot of jones starts.

    3- it’s a risk worth taking. what he could bring to our team is much more than say sacha could bring, and therefore you gotta take the risk. a guy like sacha probably wont see time even if he’s on the bench, so might as well take someone that will either be our best player or hurt. WORTH IT

  10. If Dempsey and Altidore don’t run their a@@es off at the World Cup, I will be shocked. I will personally greet them at the airport and give them some hair dryer treatment to make Sir Alex proud. I don’t know what else to say really other than I can’t disagree with you because I am not sure what this post means.

  11. Spain are favorites to win the World Cup. I’ll take their formula (sticking with the chemistry theme) any day of the week. The US victory (which had me happier than a pig in sh@t) had more to do with the physics involved in blocked shots and Tim Howard saves than chemistry (what chemistry was there really? Hey Jay, you stand in front of this part of the goal, I’ll be in front of this part – Chuck, I’m gonna boot it as far as I can you run after it. Come on?). Both our goals were the product of exceptionally poor plays by Spain.

  12. I think chemistry, even when overstated, can be vital, and may be something that wins teams matches. Look at Manchester United 05-09; There were of course excellent players there and that will get you places, no doubt, but Sir Alex Ferguson, knowing that improving them wasn’t as stressed as it is for lower level teams, could work on making the team work well together. Notice how United are always moving off the ball, switching positions, finding spaces, combining and working for eachother. That, along with the individual ability, is what wins them games. Will a team that understands eachother always beat a team that is more individually talented? No, but they have a better chance than if they are seperated and focused on themselves. The Spain game is another good example; The USA combined their individually talented players(Donovan, Davies, Dempsey, Altidore) with their athleticism, bite, swagger, and chemistry to beat a great team. That’s not to say that Spain don’t have chemistry, but more that if you play a team that utilizes individual talent and a team work ethic and chemistry, you’ll do well.


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