By FRANCO PANIZO
If there was an equivalent to WWE’s Royal Rumble in the Americans Abroad circles, it might look something like Sunday’s duel between Puebla and Club Tijuana.
As many as seven Americans could be in action in Sunday afternoon’s fixture at Estadio Cuauhtemoc, where DaMarcus Beasley and Michael Orozco face the likes of Edgar Castillo, Joe Corona and Paul Arriola. Making the match even more interesting is the fact that both teams are trying to make up for their subpar starts to the Apertura campaign and will likely come out flying from the onset as they search for three much-needed points in Liga MX play.
Brad Guzan will not be going up against any compatriots, but that does not mean he is in for an easy day at the office. Guzan and Aston Villa are set to host star-studded Manchester City on Saturday, and the U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper will probably need to come up with a stellar performance for the second straight week in order to give the Villans a shot at grabbing a result.
Jozy Altidore might also be facing one of the bigger clubs in England. Sunderland will receive a visit from Liverpool on Sunday, and Altidore may be given a start by Black Cats interim head coach Kevin Ball after showing well during a Capital One Cup match this past Tuesday.
Here is who the Americans Abroad take on this weekend:
Michael Parkhurst and FC Augsburg play Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Jose Torres, Jonathan Bornstein and Tigres UANL play Queretaro.
Brad Friedel and Tottenham Hotspur play Chelsea.
Brad Guzan and Aston Villa play Manchester City.
Eric Lichaj and Nottingham Forest play Derby County.
Tim Ream, Stuart Holden and Bolton Wanderers play Yeovil Town. (Holden is out injured.)
Zak Whitbread and Leicester City play Barnsley.
Danny Williams and Reading play Jonathan Spector, Will Packwood and Birmingham City play Sheffield Wednesday. (Packwood is out injured.)
Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 play Bayer Leverkusen. (Cherundolo is out injured.)
John Brooks and Hertha Berlin play Mainz. (Brooks is out injured.)
Fabian Johnson, Joe Gyau and TSG Hoffenheim play Jermaine Jones and Schalke 04.
Aron Johannsson and AZ Alkmaar play PSV Eindhoven.
Terrence Boyd and Rapid Vienna play Wolfsberger AC.
Steve Clark and Honefoss BK play Viking.
Alonso Hernandez and Monterrey play Pumas UNAM.
Geoff Cameron, Maurice Edu, Brek Shea and Stoke City play Norwich City. (Edu is out injured.)
Jozy Altidore and Sunderland play Liverpool.
Michael Bradley and AS Roma play Bologna. (Bradley is out injured.)
Timmy Chandler and FC Nurnberg play Werder Bremen.
Alfredo Morales and FC Ingolstadt 04 play St Pauli.
Andrew Wooten and Kaiserslautern play Bobby Wood and TSV 1860 Munich.
Alejandro Bedoya and FC Nantes play Stade Rennes.
Sacha Kljestan and RSC Anderlecht play Lierse SK.
Conor O’Brien and Odense BK play FC Midtjylland.
Brian Span and Djurgarden IF play Halmstad.
Josh Gatt, Ben Spencer, Ethan Horvath and Molde FK play Haugesund. (Gatt is out injured.)
Mix Diskerud and Rosenborg BK play Sarpsborg 08.
DaMarcus Beasley, Michael Orozco and Puebla play Herculez Gomez, Joe Corona, Edgar Castillo, Greg Garza, Paul Arriola and Club Tijuana play Cruz Azul.
Freddy Adu and Bahia play CR Vasco da Gama.
Tim Howard and Everton play Newcastle United.
Eugene Starikov and FK Tom’ Tomsk play Lokomotiv Moscow.
Which of these matches are you most looking forward to? Which American do you think will have the best performance in Puebla’s clash with Tijuana? Do you see Guzan faring well against Manchester City? Expecting Altidore to start?
Share your thoughts below.