Altidore, Kljestan go head-to-head; City, United tested after Europa League draw

Altidore, Kljestan go head-to-head; City, United tested after Europa League draw

European Soccer

Altidore, Kljestan go head-to-head; City, United tested after Europa League draw

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AltidoreAZ (Reuters Pictures)

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

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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.

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