By FRANCO PANIZO
For Brad Guzan and Aston Villa, tapping into their most recent performance is what it is all about this weekend.
Aston Villa is set to continue its FA Cup title chase on Saturday when it hosts fellow English Premier League outfit West Bromwich Albion, and the Villans are hoping to replicate the outing and result that they enjoyed earlier this week. Aston Villa welcomed the Baggies in a league match on Tuesday, and picked up a 2-1 victory that ended a long winless streak in the Premier League that dated back to early December. A second win in five days would push Guzan and the Villans into the semifinals of the FA Cup, and that’s an achievement they could sorely use given how dire things have been recently.
Danny Williams is the other American still alive in the competition, and a place in the semifinals will also be on the line for him on Saturday. Williams and Reading will visit Bradford City in a match-up that will pit two lower-division clubs against one another, and the match is sure to be intense as both teams try to keep their respective Cinderella story alive. While League One’s Bradford City might have homefield advantage, Reading has the better squad on paper and many observes are expecting the Royals to advance in the tournament.
If you’re wondering what other match might be worth watching, look no further than the Eredivisie duel between FC Utrecht and AZ Alkmaar on Sunday. The match could pit attacking talents Rubio Rubin and Aron Johannsson against one another, but Rubin must snap a spell of inactivity at Utrecht in for that to happen. Rubin has not played in a league match since Feb. 15, and will be keen on ending that streak in front of his club’s home fans at Stadion Galgenwaard.
Here is who the Americans Abroad rumble with this weekend:
Emerson Hyndman and Fulham play AFC Bournemouth. (Hyndman is out injured)
John Brooks and Hertha Berlin play VfB Stuttgart.
Bobby Wood and FC Erzgebirge Aue play Alfredo Morales and FC Ingolstadt 04. (Wood is out injured.)
Jonathan Bornstein and Queretaro play Chivas de Guadalajara.
Brad Guzan and Aston Villa play West Bromwich Albion in the FA Cup.
Danny Williams and Reading play Bradford City in the FA Cup.
DeAndre Yedlin, Brad Friedel and Tottenham Hotspur play Queens Park Rangers.
Oguchi Onyewu and Charlton Athletic play Cardiff City.
Zak Whitbread and Derby County play Jonathan Spector, Will Packwood and Birmingham City. (Whitbread and Packwood are out injured.)
Eric Lichaj and Nottingham Forest play Middlesbrough.
Julian Green and Hamburg SV play Joe Gyau and Borussia Dortmund. (Gyau is out injured.)
Fabian Johnson and Borussia Moenchengladbach play Mainz.
Jann George and SpVgg Greuther Furth play VfR Aalen.
Alejandro Bedoya and FC Nantes play Stade de Reims.
Conor O’Brien and FC Magna Wiener Neustadt play FC Trenkwalder Admira.
Edgar Castillo and Atlas play Cruz Azul.
Greg Garza, Joe Corona, Paul Arriola, Alejandro Guido and Club Tijuana play Santos Laguna.
Ventura Alvarado and Club America play Pachuca.
Michael Orozco, Herculez Gomez and Puebla play Jaguares de Chiapas.
Timmy Chandler and Eintracht Frankfurt play FC Cologne.
Rubio Rubin and FC Utrecht play Aron Johannsson and AZ Alkmaar.
Jose Torres and Tigres UANL play Universidad de Guadalajara. (Torres is out injured.)
Andrew Wooten and SV Sanhausen play TSV 1860 Munich.
Gedion Zelalem and Arsenal play Manchester United in the FA Cup.
Terrence Boyd and RB Leipzig play Karlsruhe. (Boyd is out injured.)
Which of these matches are you most anticipating? See Guzan and the Villans knocking off West Bromwich Albion again? How will Williams and Reading perform against Bradford City?
Share your thoughts below.