Jozy Altidore and Sacha Kljestan have both enjoyed individual club success this season, which in turn has led to their teams turning in strong results both domestically and in Europe. All of that will come to a head in the UEFA Europa League Round of 32, when their two teams will square off.
AZ Alkmaar and Anderlecht were pitted against each other for the tournament's first knockout round, highlighting Friday's draw. As for other Americans, Oguchi Onyewu's Sporting Lisbon will face Legia Warsaw, Steve Cherundolo's Hannover 96 meets Club Brugge and Jermaine Jones' Schalke drew Viktoria Plzen.
Manchester United and Manchester City added plenty of starpower to the Europa League field after failing to get out of the Champions League group stage, and their first knockout opponents won't make getting to the next round very easy. Both drew other Champions League dropouts, with United getting paired with Ajax and City drawing defending champion Porto.
Because just the top four UCL entrants and Europa League group winners were seeded and all other teams were not, it became possible for UCL teams to play against each other in the first knockout round.
Here is the draw for the Round of 32 along with the pairings for the eventual winners in the Round of 16:
UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE DRAW
ROUND OF 32
Manchester City vs. Porto
Manchester United vs. Ajax
Athletic Bilbao vs. Lokomotiv Moscow
Metalist Kharkiv vs. FC Salzburg
Valencia vs. Stoke City
Olympiakos vs. Rubin Kazan
Anderlecht vs. AZ Alkmaar
Atletico Madrid vs. Lazio
FC Twente vs. Steaua Bucuresti
Schalke vs. Viktoria Plzen
Standard Liege vs. Wisla Krakow
Besiktas vs. Sporting Braga
PAOK Salonika vs. Udinese
PSV Eindhoven vs. Trabzonspor
Club Brugge vs. Hannover 96
Sporting Lisbon vs. Legia Warsaw
ROUND OF 16
Ajax/Manchester United vs. Lokomotiv Moscow/Athletic Bilbao
Porto/Manchester City vs. Sporting Lisbon/Legia Warsaw
AZ Alkmaar/Anderlecht vs. PAOK/Udinese
Schalke/Viktoria Plzen vs. Steaua Bucuresti/FC Twente
Hannover/Club Brugge vs. Standard Liege/Wisla Krakow
Lazio/Atletico Madrid vs. Braga/Besiktas
Rubin Kazan/Olympiakos vs. Salzburg/Metalist Kharkiv
Stoke City/Valencia vs. Trabzonspor/PSV Eindhoven
Who do you think takes the Altidore/Kljestan matchup? Do you see City and/or United getting booted in the Round of 32? Which other pairings do you have your eye on?
Share your thoughts below.