By FRANCO PANIZO
Liga MX returns to the limelight this weekend with the first round of Clausura clashes, which includes a match-up that could involve up to three Americans.
Greg Garza and Club Tijuana start off the new year with a Saturday visit to Puebla, where Michael Orozco and Herculez Gomez await. For Gomez, the encounter could be special given that it could mark his comeback for the Camoteros. Gomez was at the club back in 2010 and his standout Clausura campaign back then served as a launching pad for his career, so he will be eager to get off to a strong start in his second stint there.
Jonathan Spector also has his eyes on making his way back to the field on Saturday. Spector has fully recovered from the torn thigh muscle he suffered in the fall, and played an hour for Birmingham City’s development team on Tuesday. Now, the 28-year-old defender will be trying to again earn minutes for the club’s first team when it takes on Wigan Athletic.
DeAndre Yedlin recently returned to training after enjoying his winter break, but still seems unlikely to make his debut for Tottenham this weekend. Tottenham battles Crystal Palace on Saturday, but Yedlin probably needs more time to regain his match fitness and sharpness in order to be in uniform for Spurs.
Here is who the Americans Abroad face off with this weekend:
Jozy Altidore and Sunderland play Liverpool.
Tim Howard and Everton play Manchester City. (Howard is out injured.)
Brad Guzan and Aston Villa play Leicester City.
DeAndre Yedlin, Brad Friedel and Tottenham Hotspur play Crystal Palace.
Zak Whitbread and Derby County play Ipswich Town. (Whitbread is out injured.)
Jonathan Spector, Will Packwood and Birmingham City play Wigan Athletic. (Packwood is out injured.)
Tim Ream and Bolton Wanderers play Leeds United.
Emerson Hyndman and Fulham play Cardiff City. (Hyndman is with the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team.)
Oguchi Onyewu and Charlton Athletic play Brighton & Hove Albion.
Eric Lichaj and Nottingham Forest play Sheffield Wednesday.
Danny Williams and Reading play Middlesbrough.
Ventura Alvarado and Club America play Leon.
Michael Orozco, Herculez Gomez and Puebla play Greg Garza, Joe Corona, Paul Arriola and Club Tijuana. (Corona is out injured and Arriola is with the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team.)
Jose Torres and Tigres UANL play Edgar Castillo and Atlas.
Geoff Cameron and Stoke City play Arsenal.
Alejandro Bedoya and FC Nantes play Metz.
Which of these matches are you most anticipating? Who do you see winning between Gomez and Orozco’s Puebla and Garza’s Tijuana? Expecting Spector to make his return for Birmingham City?
Share your thoughts below.