By FRANCO PANIZO
Bolton Wanderers took a step in the right direction in their efforts to avoid relegation by beating Aston Villa earlier this week, but grabbing another result this weekend could be vital if they hope to stay up.
Bolton begin their home stretch to the season with a visit to Sunderland, where a win could go a long way in helping Tim Ream and his team secure another season in the Premiership. Ream will go up against the likes of Sebastian Larsson and Nicklas Bendtner, so a tough test awaits the U.S. men's national team defender.
Another Premier League tilt to keep an eye on takes place at Goodison Park, where Tim Howard will look to halt Clint Dempsey's season-long run of form when Everton hosts Fulham in a meeting of two top-10 teams. Dempsey has yet to score on Howard in two meetings this season, but he did get one by the U.S. No. 1 keeper last March.
Freshly-crowned Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund may opt to take a look at some of their younger players this weekend, and that could open the door for Terrence Boyd. With Dortmund having nothing besides pride to play for when they face Kaiserslautern and rising German-American striker Andrew Wooten, Boyd could be rewarded with his professional club debut after enjoying a strong season with the second team.
Here is who the Americans Abroad square off against this weekend:
Sacha Kljestan and RSC Anderlecht play Racing Genk in the Pro League playoffs. (Kljestan is suspended due to yellow card accumulation.)
Samuel Petrone and Mjallby AIF play Helsingborg.
Tim Howard, Marcus Hahnemann and Everton play Clint Dempsey and Fulham.
Stuart Holden, Tim Ream and Bolton Wanderers play Sunderland. (Holden is out injured.)
Brad Guzan, Eric Lichaj and Aston Villa play West Bromwich Albion.
Zak Whitbread and Norwich City play Liverpool.
Jonathan Spector and Birmingham City play Reading. (Spector is out injured.)
Conor Doyle and Derby County play Peterborough United. (Doyle is out injured.)
Robbie Rogers and Leeds United play Leicester City. (Rogers is out injured.)
Robbie Findley and Nottingham Forest play Portsmouth.
Mike Grella and Bury play Oldham Athletic.
Frank Simek and Carlisle United play Exeter City.
Anton Peterlin and Walsall play Huddersfield Town.
Michael Bradley and Chievo Verona play Cagliari.
David Yelldell and Bayer Leverkusen play Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96.
Andrew Wooten and Kaiserslautern play Terrence Boyd and Borussia Dortmund.
Jermaine Jones and Schalke 04 play Alfredo Morales and Hertha Berlin.
Fabian Johnson, Danny Williams, Joe Gyau and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim play Timmy Chandler and FC Nurnberg. (Williams is out injured.)
Eugene Starikov and Zenit St Petersburg play Dynamo Moscow.
Mix Diskerud and KAA Gent play Club Brugge in the Pro League playoffs.
Michael Parkhurst and FC Nordsjaelland play AGF Aarhus.
Steve Clark and Honefoss BK play Tromso.
Ricardo Clark, Sean Cunningham and Stabaek IF play Odd Grenland.
Josh Gatt and Molde FK play Sogndal.
Adrian Ruelas and Jaguares de Chiapas play Morelia.
Jose Torres and Pachuca play Chivas de Guadalajara.
Jonathan Bornstein and Tigres UANL play DaMarcus Beasley and Puebla.
Herculez Gomez and Santos Laguna play Atlas.
Sonny Guadarrama and Atlante play Monterrey.
Brad Friedel and Tottenham Hotspur play Adam Henley and Blackburn Rovers.
Dominic Cervi and Celtic play Maurice Edu, Alejandro Bedoya, Carlos Bocanegra and Rangers.
Luis Robles and Karlsruher SC play Alemannia Aachen.
Bobby Wood and TSV 1860 Munich play Eintracht Frankfurt.
Matt Taylor and SC Paderborn 07 play FSV Frankfurt.
Villyan Bijev and Fortuna Dusseldorf play SpVgg Greuther Furth.
Charlie Davies and Sochaux play Bordeaux.
Jozy Altidore and AZ Alkmaar play Feyenoord Rotterdam.
Brad Rusin and HB Koge play AC Horsens.
Conor O'Brien and SonderjyskE play Clarence Goodson and Brondby IF.
Michael Orozco Fiscal and San Luis play Toluca.
Joe Corona, Edgar Castillo, Greg Garza and Club Tijuana play Pumas UNAM.
Oguchi Onyewu and Sporting CP play Academica de Coimbra.
Which matches are you most looking forward to? Do you see Ream and Bolton getting a result at Sunderland? Expect Boyd to get some playing time? Planning on watching the Old Firm derby or does it not matter to you with Celtic having already won the league?
Share your thoughts below.
300-games strait, under 5 different managers. Brad Friedel has played in EVERY EPL GAME SINCE THE STARTING DAY OF THE 2004/2005 season.
Nope…The American Derbys are played in the States
+1 I like your scenario.
“head cheeses” doesn’t mean what you think it does…
No, Especially if they Tie 3 – 3 and none of the goals were Howard’s fault.
They cover up the text on my BlackBerry. I just stopped going to the sight on my mobile which means I don’t visit the sight as much as I use to.
That is just when his contract was up. He signed a one year extension when his contract was up last year because he will be an overage reserve player after this year. He
if only LD was back in Merseyside
is it treason to desire Dempsey to score a hat-trick this weekend against a fellow Yank?
it’s good to hear about Andrew Wooten. Hope he plays well and adapts to the 2 Bundesliga and scores some goals
The Tim Ream advertisements are annoying.
I understand the need to maximize advertisement profits on a blog, but these pop-up videos are obnoxious.
Just want to note a good chance that Andrew Wooten, who scored his first Bundesliga goal last week, will start against Dortmund. Kaiserslauten’s new coach likes him a lot and the team, headed for the 2. Bundesliga next season, is trying to convince him to sign a new contract. Apparenlty, his current contratct expires in June, which seems either like very poor planning on Lautern’s part or that the previous coach did not have a lot of faith him.
In any case, this would be a great time for American players who dream of playing in Europe to scout out 2. Bundesliga teams with potential to do well enough next season to jump to the 1. Bundesliga. Kaiserslautern will definitely be a leading candidate to quickly jump back to the Bundesliga, as well four or five other teams.
Benfica and Sporting are the head cheeses in Lisbon but Sporting has a much nicer “urban” home stadium than the dump Benfica has a couple/three miles away. Work it Gooch!
With Howard and Dempsey being the two most prominent / successful / regularly playing Americans in the Premier League for a few years now, Everton vs Fulham has basically turned into “The American Derby”.
Timmy vs Dempsey babyyyyyy!
Sporting Lisbon have had a crazy roller coaster season-were 3rd for a long time, then 4th but not that far back, then almost out of Europa contention even at a distant 5th, then out of nowhere they are only 6 points back of Braga with 3 games to go playing them in the final game. Even better, the tiebreaker in Portugal is head to head, so if Sporting make up 3 points in their next two games(no easy task with one of them away @ Porto) and beat Braga 1-0, 2-1, or any winning margin of 2+ goals,they will amazingly qualify for the CL next year. Toss in their Sporting beating Man City en route to the Europa semis amidst a pretty weak domestic stretch, and a pretty crazy first season for Gooch.