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Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

Jozy Altidore Sunderland 15

By FRANCO PANIZO

If you like seeing members of the Americans Abroad contingent face off against one another, this weekend could be a real treat for you.

Several potential match-ups involving compatriots might be on display in foreign leagues, and the one that is arguably the biggest will be between Tim Howard’s Everton and Jozy Altidore’s Sunderland. Howard is a lock to start in goal for the visiting Toffees, but Altidore is not as safe a bet to be included in the Black Cats’ lineup on Sunday. Still, a late Altidore cameo like last weekend could see the two former U.S. Men’s National Team teammates do battle in what would be must-see TV for American soccer fans.

In Mexico, Edgar Castillo should lock horns with some of his former teammates. Castillo and Atlas are set to host Club Tijuana on Saturday, pitting the veteran fullback against his previous team and familiar players like Greg Garza and Paul Arriola. Castillo and the Zorros will be looking to get back to winning ways after getting routed in their last match vs. Club Leon, but the Xolos will be keen on preventing that following a recent poor spell that has seen them win just once in their last six games.

Another possible American duel could come in England’s second division. Danny Williams and Reading will welcome Oguchi Onyewu and Charlton Athletic, and both veterans will be hoping to see the field after recently making their way back to the field in a competitive game. Williams and Onyewu each saw time in their respective side’s midweek match, and the duo will be eager to build on those performances in order to try and secure more minutes in the weeks to come.

Here is who the Americans Abroad take on this weekend:

FRIDAY

Tim Ream and Bolton Wanderers play Wigan Athletic.

John Brooks and Hertha Berlin play Hannover 96.

Andrew Wooten and SV Sandhausen play Nurnberg.

Rubio Rubin and FC Utrecht play Excelsior.

Jonathan Bornstein and Queretaro play Morelia. (Bornstein is out injured.)

SATURDAY

Cody Cropper and Southampton play Leicester City.

Brad Guzan and Aston Villa play West Ham United.

Zak Whitbread and Derby County play Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Jonathan Spector, Will Packwood, Brek Shea and Birmingham City play Cardiff City. (Spector is out injured.)

Emerson Hyndman and Fulham play Huddersfield Town.

Eric Lichaj and Nottingham Forest play Norwich City.

Danny Williams and Reading play Oguchi Onyewu and Charlton Athletic.

David Yelldell and Bayer Leverkusen play Mainz.

Timmy Chandler and Eintracht Frankfurt play Bayern Munich.

Terrence Boyd and RP Leipzig play SV Darmstadt 98.

Alejandro Bedoya and FC Nantes play Caen.

Aron Johannsson and AZ Alkmaar play NAC Breda.

Conor O’Brien and FC Magna Wiener Neustadt play FC Trenkwalder Admira.

Freddy Adu and FK Jagodina play Rad Beograd.

Alonso Hernandez and Monterrey play Gabriel Farfan and Jaguares de Chiapas.

Michael Orozco and Puebla play Club Leon.

Edgar Castillo and Atlas play Joe Corona, Greg Garza, Paul Arriola, Alejandro Guido, Fernando Arce Jr, Amando Moreno, John Requejo and Club Tijuana. (Corona is out injured.)

SUNDAY

Jozy Altidore and Sunderland play Tim Howard and Everton.

Brad Friedel and Tottenham Hotspur play Geoff Cameron and Stoke City.

Julian Green and Hamburg SV play VfL Wolfsburg.

Joe Gyau and Borussia Dortmund play Fabian Johnson and Borussia Moenchengladbach. (Gyau is out injured.)

Alfredo Morales and FC Ingolstadt 04 play FC Union Berlin.

Jann George and SpVgg Greuther Furth play Karlsruhe.

Sacha Kljestan and RSC Anderlecht play KAA Gent.

Zarek Valentin and FK Bodo/Glimt play Viking.

Josh Gatt, Ethan Horvath and Molde FK play Odd. (Gatt is out injured.)

Mix Diskerud and Rosenborg BK play Jeb Brovsky and Stomsgodset.

Michael Stephens, Andrew Jacobson and Stabaek IF play Sogndal.

Ventura Alvarado and Club America play Toluca.

Herculez Gomez, Jose Torres and Tigres UANL play Chivas de Guadalajara.

MONDAY

Bobby Wood and TSV 1860 Munich play Fortuna Dusseldorf.

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Which of these matches are you most anticipating? Do you see Altidore and Howard going up against one another even for a few minutes this weekend? How do you see Castillo doing vs. his former club, teammates?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. quozzel, I hear you

    Ian, I’m not disagreeing with you, but interestingly Wenger just spoke about what I would call grit in today’s game and how it’s a missing ingredient in striker development at euro academies

    “”Maybe in our history, street football has gone. In street football when you are 10 years old, you play with 15-year-olds, so you have to be shrewd, you have to show that you are good, you have to fight, to win impossible balls. When it is all a bit more formulated, then it is less developing your individual skill, your fighting attitude. We have lost that a little bit in football. We have to ask ourselves, what we can add to our academies [to get it back].”

    it was an interesting read
    http://www.espnfc.us/blog/espn-fc-united-blog/68/post/2125800/arsene-wengers-belief-highlights-the-flaw-with-the-academy-system

    Reply
  2. I’m increasingly of the mind that if we’re going to have it, we’re going to have to build it in MLS. There is just too much pushback in Europe.

    Our guys, except for the Latin players and German-American contigent, speak English. The EPL and Championship are increasingly hard to get into if you don’t have a European passport. Americans rarely seem to do well in the EPL anyhow unless they’re a keeper. I can name just four non-keepers who have prospered in the EPL: Brian McBride at Fulham, Dempsey at Fulham, Stuart Holden at Bolton, and (kinda) Geoff Cameron at Stoke, though Cameron’s now struggling for minutes. I guess you can also kind of count Donovan’s two loan stints at Everton, but aside from that, I’m struggling to remember anyone else from the US of A who regularly saw the field in the EPL.

    Bringing in Americans is just not going to happen in places like France and Eastern Europe for the most part. Bedoya starts regularly and gets a remarkable amount of hate in France; Charlie Davies was on and off the bench for Sochoux. Anti-American sentiment is very real in France. And Serie A plays a very tactical style that is not particularly well-suited to Americans, who tend to be long on athleticism but are rarely as tactically polished as their European counterparts. Baby Bradley did pretty well with Chievo and then got buried on the bench at Roma. Onyewu rode the pine at AC Milan for awhile.

    Altidore had some luck in the Dutch League, and Steve Cherundolo did very well with Hannover 96. A in the Bundesliga. Michael Bradley also played well for Borussia Monchengladbach.

    Other than that, there aren’t a whole lot of success stories for Americans in Europe, at least, American-born Americans. I see a handful of guys rattling around in the Championship. I see a few others like Klejstan in lower Scandanavian/Swedish leagues. But if you were born on this side of the pond, your odds seem to somewhere between Slim and None once you get Over There.

    Maybe our players are just that bad, though recent World Cup performances would suggest otherwise. If the Euro leagues are so incredibly good, why did England and Italy get eliminated by the likes of Costa Rica? Italy’s actually bowed out in the group stage two straight World Cups…at some point, when does someone say: “hey, maybe they’re just not that good?”

    Nobody is lining up to buy American on the other side of the pond. Not players, not coaches. Which is why Bob Bradley is the only US-born coach coaching in Europe, and this was after taking the USMNT to the Round of 16, and losing all of one game in qualifiers for Egypt – when Egypt was in the middle of astounding turmoil, with their domestic league shut down. Does anyone else think Bruce Arena would be in over his head in the EPL? I certainly don’t. But he’ll never even get a look. Pep Guardiola didn’t even deign to shake Caleb Porter’s hand at the MLS All-Star game AFTER LOSING TO HIM; if that’s not institutional contempt I don’t know what is.

    If I’m an American soccer player, unless I’m walking into a durn good situation, I’d be less and less inclined these days to give Europe a go. These lists are just depressing.

    Reply
    • the sad truth is that American players are, at best, average in terms of individual talent. Our NT has always played better than the sum of it’s parts thanks to grit but at the end what matters to coaches in european leagues is your talent, grit and workrate are nice extras but not what they are looking for.

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    • OMG, crawl into bed and pull the covers over your head, all is lost. Yes, American players will never get better and it’s all hopeless. Geez, what an attitude. I will agree that Italian football seems to be over rated. Serie A teams have not done well in either the Champions League or the Europa League for a couple of years and the national team seems to under achieve. Actually, you could say the same thing about English players right now, too.

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    • Reyna, and Bocanegra were pretty successful in the EPL. Reyna for Man City and Boca for Fulham
      Cobi Jones had some moments in the EPL, but not on the level of the others mentioned.
      Wynalda found success in Germany (as did Reyna).
      Joe Max Moore did well in the German 2nd division leading two clubs in scoring and had a good start at Everton in the EPL until injury took its toll
      Beasley did well in Holland, had a stint at Man City and was a solid player for Rangers (as were Boca, Reyna, Edu)

      The picture of US born players in europe is not as bleak as some portray it, however, Issues with work permits, and uncertainty in how they will handle the culture and language differences conspire against european teams trying very hard. Present players leaving MLS and a decent (if unspectacular) paycheck for an uncertain welcome abroad is also part of the equation. Those non-soccer and reality-based concerns will ensure that most players who leave the US for europe might struggle.

      The success rate of Brazilians and Argentines in europe is actually pretty low, they are cheap so some big clubs just sign a bunch to see if any of them stick and we hear about the successes, but FIFA cracked-down on signing under-age players because some european clubs were using the lure of fame to attract many players who would be discarded pretty quickly. At least most US players are not moving to a meat market where the real chance of success is quite small no matter ethnicity or nationality.

      The only way US soccer will improve is for MLS to improve. Some of the MLS stars will get a chance to show what they can do on a bigger stage, but that is something that will effect only the very best players and even for those only after they have demonstrated their potential on a professional team in a decent league. Those players will benefit from the better competition, but almost by definition, those players will be 19 or older with the major portion of their skill set already developed, or not.

      It will not be until after MLS seriously spends money on youth teams and I don’t mean having the fringe players coach the local kids, but real focused effort at finding, nurturing and improving the coaching and talent in the US. Right now for most players that kind of help exists only from local club teams that while mostly well-intentioned lack the expertise and facilities necessary. if a player is good enough some colleges do a good job, but…

      College, of course, has as its primary role academic not athletic achievement. It could, I think, do a much better job of helping soccer development in the US by allowing both spring and fall seasons and more winter training without seriously jeopardizing academic goals. (Football and basketball programs in major schools are examples where the NCAA has lost its way and uses athletes to make money and weeding out those players who could never make it in the NFL or NBA, while failing in its primary objective of education. It is a tricky path to follow.)

      Reply
  3. also, rubin starting for utrecht (currently 1-1 at half), brooks on the bench for hertha berlin, and ream about to start for bolton.

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  4. Bornstein getting injured without playing in a league game
    Onyewu playing striker last week
    Kljestan causing the second goal against Arsenal
    Freddy Adu not even seeing the field (understand the situation but…it’s killing me man!!!)
    Altidore having little playing time for a bottom team
    Gatt still hurt
    Gyau still hurt
    …….and a whole lot of “dress but didnt play”. I hope this week is filled with breakout plays and good highlights

    Reply
      • Charlton picked him up on Oct 31 on a short term deal through January…. the manager threw him on up top in the 78th min down 2-1 to Leeds to see if he could help get an equalizer. Eventually Charlton did get level, though Gooch was not involved.

      • Look on the bright side…. in most weeks, Jozy would not have been able to keep pace.

        Now I’m depressed

      • Here’s a question if Altidore drops a brace on Timmay tomorrow, would we all be happy or seriously concerned Tim is losing it.

      • Only if you are an Everton fan.

        Unless there is a serious injury crisis,Timmy probably will never play for the USMNT again.

      • he’s done it before, when chasing a goal at the end of games.

        he’s not going to dribble around anyone, but he’s got a knack for putting the ball in the net, and at the very least, he can occupy a couple of defenders.

    • The only game I saw Gooch play for AC Milan (and it might have been his only game for them period) they put him at striker.

      Reply

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