Americans Abroad: Europa League Preview

Americans Abroad: Europa League Preview

Americans Abroad

Americans Abroad: Europa League Preview

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photo by Bill Barrett/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

A handful of Americans could be in action on Thursday afternoon as the knockout phase of the Europa League begins, including two who will be in direct competition with one another.

Jozy Altidore and Sacha Kljestan are set to battle in the first leg of their Round of 32 Europa League fixtures. Kljestan seems a safe bet to start for RSC Anderlecht as he looks to continue to produce in what has been one of his best seasons as a pro, while Altidore is likely to come off the AZ Alkmaar bench in the club's home fixture. If that alone does not make the match worth watching, the fact that both teams are near the top of their respective league's table should.

Appearing to have won back a starting role, Steve Cherundolo should also see time when Hannover 96 hosts Club Brugge. Cherundolo has started and gone the distance in each of the club's four games since the Bundesliga returned from its winter break, and a fifth consecutive start looks to be in the cards for him.

Here is who the Americans Abroad play in the Europa League on Thursday:

Jozy Altidore and AZ Alkmaar play Sacha Kljestan and RSC Anderlecht.

Oguchi Onyewu and Sporting CP play Legia Warsaw.

Jermaine Jones and Schalke 04 play Viktoria Pizen.

Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 play Club Brugge.

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What do you think of these matches? Who do you see winning between Kljestan's Anderlecht and Altidore's AZ? Expecting a big performance from Cherundolo?

Share your thoughts below.

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