photo by ISIphotos.com
By FRANCO PANIZO
The end of last year's club season was one to forget for Jozy Altidore, but he is hoping to make the start of the upcoming campaign one to remember.
Altidore will seek his first minutes in league play with Villarreal since 2008 when the club opens its season at Real Sociedad. Altidore has received playing time in Villarreal's pre-season friendlies and Europa League matches, so a cameo off the bench could be in the cards. If Altidore were to play and find the back of the net, it would be his first official goal since the Turkey friendly back in May.
Another forward with an intriguing match on the horizon is Herculez Gomez. Along with teammates Jose Torres and Marco Vidal, Gomez will look for his first goal of the season when Pachuca visits Puebla, the club where Gomez shone at and tied the league lead in goals last season. The match will be Gomez's first against his former club, and it should be interesting to see what kind of reception he gets.
There are also a pair of American duels to keep an eye on. Tim Howard and Brad Friedel look to do battle when Everton and Aston Villa face off, while Jermaine Jones and Schalke 04 will go up against Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96.
Here is a rundown of who the Americans Abroad will be playing this weekend:
Frank Simek and Carlisle United play Colchester United.
Matt Taylor and FSV Frankfurt play RW Oberhausen.
Sammy Ochoa and Estudiantes Tecos U.A. de G. play Morelia.
Clint Dempsey, Eddie Johnson and Fulham play Blackpool.
Marcus Hahnemann and Wolverhampton Wanderers play Newcastle United.
Jonathan Spector and West Ham United play Manchester United.
Conor Doyle and Derby County play Queens Park Rangers.
Mike Grella and Leeds United play Watford.
Zak Whitbread and Norwich City play Nottingham Forest. (Whitbread is out injured.)
Anton Peterlin and Plymouth Argyle play Peterborough United.
Maurice Edu and Rangers play St Johnstone.
Ricardo Clark and Eintracht Frankfurt play Hamburg SV.
Daniel Williams and SC Freiburg play Nurnberg.
Jermaine Jones and Schalke 04 play Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96.
David Yelldell and MSV Duisburg play Amaechi Igwe and FC Ingolstadt 04. (Igwe is out injured.)
Carlos Bocanegra and St Etienne play Lens.
Sacha Kljestan and RSC Anderlecht play Zulte-Waregem.
Alejandro Bedoya and Orebro SK play Helsingborg.
Edgar Castillo and San Luis play Sonny Guadarrama and Atlante.
Stuart Holden and Bolton Wanderers play Birmingham.
Brad Friedel, Brad Guzan, Eric Lichaj and Aston Villa play Tim Howard and Everton.
Dominic Cervi and Celtic play Motherwell.
Jozy Altidore and Villarreal play Real Sociedad.
Oguchi Onyewu and AC Milan play Lecce.
Michael Bradley and Borussia Moenchengladbach play Bayer Leverkusen.
Kenny Cooper and TSV 1860 Munich play VfL Osnabruck. (Cooper is out injured.)
Luis Robles and Karlsruhe play Alemania Aachen.
Charlie Davies and Sochaux play Paris Saint-Germain.
Freddy Adu and Aris Salonika play Kavala.
Michael Parkhurst and FC Nordsjaelland play Marcus Tracy, Chris Rolfe and Aalborg BK. (Tracy and Rolfe are out injured.)
Ryan Miller and Halmstads BK play Kalmar FF.
Steve Clark and Honefoss BK play Aalesunds.
Mikkel Diskerud and Stabaek IF play Lillestrom.
Clarence Goodson, Hunter Freeman and IK Start play Rosenborg.
Jose Torres, Herculez Gomez, Marco Vidal and Pachuca play Puebla.
What kind of role do you see Altidore having this weekend? Do you see Gomez coming off the bench and scoring against Puebla? Which goalkeeper is more likely to keep a cleansheet, Howard or Friedel? Expecting Jones and Schalke to defeat Cherundolo and Hannover?
Share your thoughts below.