By FRANCO PANIZO
After enjoying a Man of the Match performance to round out 2014, Danny Williams will now attempt to deliver again in tournament play.
The first weekend of 2015 is dominated with English soccer, as the FA Cup continues with its third round of action. Williams and the Royals will be among those involved, visiting fellow Championship club Huddersfield Town in one of the more evenly matched-up fixtures on Saturday. Given that the encounter is expected to be tough, Reading will likely go with many of its first-choice starters and Williams would appear a safe bet to be in the lineup after shining in this past Sunday’s 2-1 victory over Norwich City.
While Williams will want to build on his recent strong showing, Eric Lichaj will want to reward Nottingham Forest after signing a new contract this week. Lichaj and the Reds will also be involved in the FA Cup, traveling to take on Rochdale on Saturday. Rochdale might play in a lower division but is one of the better teams in League One, meaning Nottingham will probably need to be sharp and focused in order to avoid the all-too-common upsets that happen in this tournament.
England might dominate the weekend schedule, but it is not the only country with matches on the docket. The Coupe de France will resume with the introduction of Ligue 1 teams, including Alejandro Bedoya and FC Nantes. The Canaries will host sixth division outfit Club Franciscain, and anything less than advancement in the competition will be deemed a failure.
Here is who the Americans Abroad battle this weekend:
Jonathan Spector, Will Packwood and Birmingham City play Blyth Spartans in the FA Cup. (Spector and Packwood are out injured.)
Tim Ream and Bolton Wanderers play Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup.
Oguchi Onyewu and Charlton Athletic play Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup.
Zak Whitbread and Derby County play Southport in the FA Cup.
Emerson Hyndman and Fulham play Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup.
Danny Williams and Reading play Huddersfield Town in the FA Cup.
Eric Lichaj and Nottingham Forest play Rochdale in the FA Cup.
Alejandro Bedoya and FC Nantes play Club Franciscain in the Coupe de France.
Jozy Altidore and Sunderland play Leeds United in the FA Cup.
Brad Guzan and Aston Villa play Blackpool in the FA Cup.
Geoff Cameron and Stoke City play Wrexham in the FA Cup.
Brad Friedel and Tottenham Hotspur play Burnley in the FA Cup.
Which of these matches are you most anticipating? How do you see Williams and Reading faring vs. Huddersfield Town? Envision Lichaj having a strong outing for Nottingham Forest?
Share your thoughts below.
Spector no longer injured and I would not be surprised to see him in the 18 this weekend.
Has Zak Whitbread dressed for a single match in more than a month?