Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

Landon Donovan 1 (Reuters)  

By FRANCO PANIZO

Landon Donovan's arrival at Goodison Park has been nothing short of successful for Everton, with the club losing just once in its last six league games since the American star's arrival. Donovan will look to extend that good run of results this weekend, as he faces Manchester United for the first time in his career.

Donovan and Everton host red-hot Manchester United, which has not dropped a league game since mid-December. A week after getting the better of Chelsea and England left back Ashley Cole, Donovan will have his chance to face off against another one of the world's top fullbacks in French defender Patrice Evra. If Donovan is deployed on the left flank, which he spent time on during Everton's recent Europa League win vs. Sporting Lisbon, he could face off against England right back Wes Brown. 

While Donovan will be aiming to terrorize Manchester United's back four, Tim Howard will have the seemingly harder task of shutting down Wayne Rooney, who is coming off a two-goal performance vs. AC Milan in Champions League play. Howard kept Rooney off the scoresheet the last time he played his former club (a 3-0 victory by Manchester United), and a repeat performance would raise Everton's chances of winning.

Wondering what other intriguing matches are on tap this weekend? Look no further than Jonathan Spector and West Ham United's tilt vs. Jozy Altidore and Hull City, which pits two relegation-threatened clubs against one another.

Here is a rundown of who Americans Abroad will be facing this weekend:

FRIDAY

Michael Bradley and Borussia Moenchengladbach play TSG Hoffenheim.

David Yeldell and TUS Koblenz play FC Union Berlin.

SATURDAY

Landon Donovan, Tim Howard and Everton play Manchester United.

Marcus Hahnemann and Wolverhampton Wanderers play Chelsea.

Jonathan Spector and West Ham United play Jozy Altidore and Hull City.

Kenny Cooper and Plymouth Argyle play Leicester City.

Jay DeMerit and Watford play Scunthorpe United.

Frank Simek and Sheffield Wednesday play Ipsiwch Town.

Ian Joyce and Southend United play Milton Keynes Dons.

Zak Whitbread and Norwich City play Southampton.

Jemal Johnson and Stockport County play Exeter City.

Mike Grella and Leeds United play Brighton.

Jon-Paul Pittman and Wycombe Wanderers play Millwall.

DaMarcus Beasley, Maurice Edu and Rangers play St Johnstone. 

Dominic Cervi and Celtic play Dundee United.

Steve Cherundolo, Sal Zizzo and Hannover 96 play Borussia Dortmund. (Cherundolo and Zizzo are out injured.)

Ricardo Clark and Eintracht Frankfurt play Hamburg SV. (Clark is out injured.)

Jose Francisco Torres and Pachuca play Chiapas.

Herculez Gomez and Puebla play Guadalajara.


SUNDAY


Stuart Holden and Bolton Wanderers play Blackburn Rovers.

Brad Friedel, Brad Guzan and Aston Villa play Burnley.

Clint Dempsey and Fulham play Birmingham. (Dempsey is out injured.)

Oguchi Onyewu and AC Milan play Bari. (Onyewu is out injured.)

Daniel Williams and SC Freiburg play Hertha Berlin.

Jermaine Jones and Schalke 04 play VfL Wolfsburg. (Jones is out injured.)

Matt Taylor and FSV Frankfurt play Karlsruhe.

Carlos Bocanegra and Stade Rennes play Lille.

Charlie Davies and Sochaux play Lyon. (Davies is out injured.)

Freddy Adu, Eddie Johnson and Aris Salonika play AEK Athens.

Marco Vidal and Indios de Ciudad Juarez play Cruz Azul.

Edgar Castillo and Tigres UANL play America.

MONDAY

Luis Robles and Kaiserslautern play St Pauli.

Michael Hoyos and Estudiantes La Plata play Huracan.

—————–

Which Americans Abroad match are you most looking forward to? Which players do you see having a big impact? Is Donovan capable of unlocking Manchester United's defense? Hoping to see a Spector-Altidore match-up?

Share your thoughts below.

 

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67 Responses to Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

  1. JSmiley says:

    Landy and Timmy on ESPN2, right? Go Toffees, beat MFU.

    Allez Sochauz aussi.

  2. John from Philadelphia says:

    this has absolutely nothing to do with anything….but I just watched a jermaine jones video on youtube and he is a complete psycho and I love it. we need this guy’s intensity. he and michael bradley together would be a nasty, nasty midfield. jones is also a good passer of the ball and quite fast. I think we could spread the ball well enough to where we could not say it was merely an empty bucket setup.

  3. Rngoldberg@aol.com says:

    Right, but first he has to play a game.

  4. John from Philadelphia says:

    what does that even mean? what with your childish desire to make such an obvious point. of course I know he hasn’t played for the Nats yet, just stating that he would be a massive upgrade. save us all from your poor attempts at wit and contribute something worthwhile and thought provoking instead. thanks.

  5. Aaron in StL says:

    Who’s Michael Hoyos?? CAP HIM!!!!

  6. ZacIndy says:

    woah woah woah. easy there, boys.

  7. DC Josh says:

    google “Hoyos yanks abroad” great article.

  8. DC Josh says:

    Rooting for Freddy to continue his hot streak in the land of Tzatziki and Ouzo.

    I’m also hoping Spector can’t retain his place on the starting squad. He’s had a tough time this season, but that should make him stronger.

  9. Nicole says:

    Fun picture. I guess Liverpool did their homework. Took 3 guys to defend LD.

  10. Mig22 says:

    As a Chelsea fan, I hope Mr. Donovan & Everton put in a similar performance this week vs. ManU. Talk about mixed emotions for me last week.

  11. Shark says:

    I think if you go back and read what Rngoldberg actually said, he meant that Jones needs to play a game for his club before we get excited about him playing for the USA. You need to chill out not him and before you post know what someone actually said. So take yorr own advice on posting…:)

    FWIW, Jones, in my opinion, will not be included in the side that goes to South Africa. You can’t take a guy sight unseen who has not played with the national side.

  12. Mig22 says:

    How is Clark coming along with his injury?

  13. Jorge says:

    Ives,

    I believe that Rio Ferdinand is suspended and will not play tomorrow.

  14. OmarVizquel says:

    Ives didn’t write that.

  15. south says:

    Well, I’m more thinking a game for his club would help, USMNT is secondary. I’m not sure if you’re being sarcastic or not with your reply, the guy has been injured for like 7 months. You do know this, correct?

    “of course I know he hasn’t played for the Nats yet”

    I don’t know man, just seems like you’re a little out of the loop on Jones’ chances of playing with club or country.

  16. war says:

    Wes Brown is gonna cry tomorrow. You heard it here first. I’d like to see Rooney track back to left back and go up against donovan. That’d be picture perfect

  17. Jorge says:

    My mistake. Sorry. Too early in the morning on the West Coast.

  18. Jorge says:

    For your delight and pleasure, here are pictures of Landon’s signing session:

    link to evertonfc.com

  19. AJ says:

    Aren’t there similar YouTube clips for just about every player in any sport?

    I don’t doubt that Jones is a terrific player (I haven’t seen him myself), but you shouldn’t be getting so hyped about a highlight reel.

  20. jim says:

    Sochau(x)- Correction.

    Go Sochaux also

  21. torporindy says:

    link to youtube.com

    The play he makes around 6 minutes of this video gives me chills every time.

  22. HoneyHell says:

    “Also hoping Spector Can’t retain his place…”? Are you actually rooting against Spector or did you fat finger it, since you were rooting for Freddy? Just wondering.

  23. John from Philadelphia says:

    I’m amused by all the comments.

    1) Of course he needs to be healthy to be able to play. This is just a stupid point to raise. I was just making the point that the possibility of him playing our midfield is a major plus.

    2) I am aware he is injured and has been out for a while. It’s not a secret. Ives posts on it regularly.

    FYI he is back and training and will play before season’s end. To me, and to anyone who knows the game, this is great news. the biggest obstacle we face against England or similar teams is that the own the midfield. Out of any possible midfielder we could play, he stands the best chance of neutralizing a gerrard, lampard type because he is a proven European player who won’t be intimidated.

    3) Sight unseen? Jones has a whole body of work (think film). If he is healthy in April and starting for Schalke or seeing time from the bench and Bradley passes him up then Bradley is a fool. He would have a few friendlies and a whole camp to integrate into the team. It’s not like learning the West Coast offense.

    4) Yes, there are lots of Youtube clips of different players. WTF point are you making? What else then footage of a player playing his trade do we have to go by when determining whether he is a quality player? Please do tell.

    Bottom line is Jones is a BEAST in the midfield, won’t get tossed around vs. top teams (like Torres or Benny) and has the touch befitting of a soccer player (unlike Edu, Jones). We should all pray he has a remarkable comeback and is in the team.

  24. HoneyHell says:

    John…I agree comepletely. And I believe that most everyone else does as well. IF JJ is actually playing for Shalke 04 in April then BB should have him on the roster. The problem being that BB sometimes does not make, what the rest of us would consider, logical decisions. The other problem that many have is that we’ve heard JJ is back training and is on the road to recovery a couple times now. We’ve become skeptical, and don’t want to get our hopes up to have them dashed again. Therefore until JJ is actually in matches with Shalke we have to use what players we can (Edu, Torres, Feilhabor, Clark) and prepair as if JJ isn’t available…because right now he isn’t.

  25. JSmiley says:

    Oopz

  26. John from Philadelphia says:

    agree 100%. we should all say a prayer for Jones. central midfield is where we the England game will get away from us. the friendly showed us that. I like our back four, wing play, forwards (is what it is), but without possession in the midfield and quality, quality tackling and marking it will be a long day.

  27. John from Philadelphia says:

    rooney is mental. donnie should stay far away. but would like to see a rooney v deuce square off. demps has the reach.

  28. Hokie_Futbol says:

    I don’t think if he is playing in April BB should have him on the roster. He had a broken leg and there was talk it could be the end of his career. I would have loved to have a Jones on the roster if he got a few USMNT in before the roster selection but missing the Netherlands game might be the nail in the coffin. It is my understanding that the preliminary roster before the Turkey Czech Republic games can be changed but only for injury. If I am wrong there, I would be ok seeing Jones there.

    I know I sound biased when it comes to ChuckD since he will be in similar form come the WC (starting to play club ball in April hopefully). There just aren’t as many quality replacements at forward as there are in the central midfield.

  29. John from Philadelphia says:

    JJ would be our best central midfielder if he plays at the level he did pre-injury. To deny that is a denial of reality.

  30. DCD says:

    John from Philly with the ridiculously disproportionate reaction. Yeesh.

    Anyway, given whom Jones plays for (Sche*sse 04), I’d prefer he not join the squad, but hey, if he’s healthy and in good form, maybe 2014 — how old is he?

  31. John from Philadelphia says:

    CD9 is replaceable. Put Donovan in his role. Tell him to run his a@@ off. Put holden on the wing. Simple. I love CD9 (and would love to see him back – would defy the odds and inspire the team for sure) and I curse the day he was almost taken from us but if he is not ready the team can cope.

  32. Aaron in StL says:

    That is pretty cool. But the way Maradona caps players…I wouldn’t be surprised to see the brothers Hoyos play for los albicestes.

  33. Mig22 says:

    The problem with Jones is a) he has never played with anybody on the USMNT b) even he starts playing again, will he REMAIN healthy. This ongoing injury is a bit unsettling. c) does it unsettle team chemistry to drop a guy into the lineup from nowhere?

    Just some thoughts.

  34. Shark says:

    The only thing amusing is your arrogence. You went after another poster for the wrong reason now your trying to back track because you got called out on it. Plain and simple and you don’t have the good grace to just apologize and move on with the discussion. You’d rather still throw mud at everyone else and try to make yourself look like a football expert. Your still not reading what others wrote and that is sad.

    Not worth having a discussion with a “know-it-all”. Which is the way you come across…the problem is you don’t know it all…nor do any of us for that matter.

  35. Shark says:

    Thank you and very well said…:)

  36. Chris says:

    Is the Everton game on TV?

  37. Shark says:

    That is simply your opinion. Until he plays a few games with the national team neither you, I or anyone else knows how good he will be at the international level for the United States.

    Reality? Really? In whose world? Awfully arrogent of you. FWIW, Can your 100% assure us that what you claim will be true? No I didn’t think so.

  38. Shark says:

    Yes on ESPN 2 at 7:30 AM EST on Saturday morning…:)

  39. r.benjamin says:

    I’m still hopeful. I mean if we still hope Charlie will make it, then there’s no reason Jones can’t. Last reports have Jones ball training and Charlie only strength training.

    I know Charlie is a more known quantity. But Jones’ resume and caliber are much higher. The coach’s job is to field the best team possible. IF either of these players are playing on a field anywhere 2 weeks before Bob selects his team he must fly out and make the observation.

  40. SBI Troll says:

    ESPN 2 at 7:30 AM ET. Set your DVR’s!

  41. r.benjamin says:

    For everyone commenting on chemistry.. let’s look no further than Landon D.

    He stepped onto the pitch and is Everton’s player of the month.

    I also argue that DM is the position on the field that needs the least chemistry. You bull dog the opponent and keep the distribution simple.

    As someone mentioned. Soccer isn’t Football. There isnt a West Coast offense. Quality supplants all else in this game.

  42. Thorpinski says:

    One of my favorite things about this site are the quality of the smack downs.

  43. Mig22 says:

    R.Benj:

    I agree that the chemistry thaaang can be overstated, sure. However, I was talking more about the David Regis effect of making an unhappy locker room. Some guy takes a middie spot when he only decided to play for the US when it was clear he wouldn’t make the German squad (it was Germany, right? I don’t want to mispeak on that).

    Regarding on the field chemistry, I’ll cheerfully disagree with you about DMid…I think the communication and familiarity that the defenders have with that position is critical. Forwards and wingers just don’t require much fitting in, just quality.

    Cheers!

  44. einar says:

    yay! Ives listed daniel williams for the first time

  45. John from Philadelphia says:

    he plays for a top 3 club in the bundesliga and figures very much in that teams plans. he has played for germany. for germany. yes reality. your spelling is offensive.

  46. Isaac says:

    Wait, what would fat fingering it have to do with him rooting for Freddy? Who isn’t rooting for Freddy?

  47. John from Philadelphia says:

    I don’t what that post meant, but let me rehash.

    1) Jones is the best central midfielder eligible to play for the US.

    2) If he is in our lineup we are much better suited to play with the big boys – without him Gerrard, Lamps and co. (Barry or Hargreaves) hold the ball and take the game from us.

    3) Landon Donovan can do what Charlie Davies does (and better) and Holden can come on sub for Donnie on the wing.

    Amusing? See your spelling.

    Going after posters? I woke up and posted something I believe and feel is correct. Someone takes a swipe at me and I believe it misses the point and is not in the spirit of constructive conversation and I let them know? No crime there.

    Good grace? What is there to be sorry for? Having an opinion?

    Expert, okay, guilty as charged.

  48. John from Philadelphia says:

    Amen. Quality is quality. I could care less if the get along. Plus our team has great leaders, are a loose bunch of strong willed guys and they would make it work in the spirit of getting a result. And if they didn’t see to that they are letting us down.

  49. Isaac says:

    I agree with Shark, mainly because I have that problem too.

    John, Donovan can run his a$$ off all day, but the fact is that we don’t have alot of guys like Donovan, Davies, and Bradley that can run their butt off all game and still have a huge offensive impact on the game. Case and point, Dempsey. He may not put in as much work as the two aforementioned players, but his impact on the game, offensively anyways, is still good. The point of having guys like Donovan, Davies, Bradley, and even Clark, is so that players like Jozy and Dempsey can have a good offensive game, i.e. Spain. That’s not to say those two don’t do good work, but it’s beneficial that they be as involved in the attack as possible.

  50. Isaac says:

    I think chemistry, even when overstated, can be vital, and may be something that wins teams matches. Look at Manchester United 05-09; There were of course excellent players there and that will get you places, no doubt, but Sir Alex Ferguson, knowing that improving them wasn’t as stressed as it is for lower level teams, could work on making the team work well together. Notice how United are always moving off the ball, switching positions, finding spaces, combining and working for eachother. That, along with the individual ability, is what wins them games. Will a team that understands eachother always beat a team that is more individually talented? No, but they have a better chance than if they are seperated and focused on themselves. The Spain game is another good example; The USA combined their individually talented players(Donovan, Davies, Dempsey, Altidore) with their athleticism, bite, swagger, and chemistry to beat a great team. That’s not to say that Spain don’t have chemistry, but more that if you play a team that utilizes individual talent and a team work ethic and chemistry, you’ll do well.

  51. John from Philadelphia says:

    Spain are favorites to win the World Cup. I’ll take their formula (sticking with the chemistry theme) any day of the week. The US victory (which had me happier than a pig in sh@t) had more to do with the physics involved in blocked shots and Tim Howard saves than chemistry (what chemistry was there really? Hey Jay, you stand in front of this part of the goal, I’ll be in front of this part – Chuck, I’m gonna boot it as far as I can you run after it. Come on?). Both our goals were the product of exceptionally poor plays by Spain.

  52. John from Philadelphia says:

    If Dempsey and Altidore don’t run their a@@es off at the World Cup, I will be shocked. I will personally greet them at the airport and give them some hair dryer treatment to make Sir Alex proud. I don’t know what else to say really other than I can’t disagree with you because I am not sure what this post means.

  53. DJ says:

    if wes brown plays right back i’ll get an “SBI” tattoo on my chest. it’s going to be rafael or neville

  54. Tom v says:

    a couple thoughts on JJ

    1 – i dont see how we can argue his quality. one of the best d mids in one of the hardest tackling leagues. also he’s gotten a cap for germany. only other player on our squad who would get close is howard.

    2 – chemistry is important, yes. but we arent changing the whole team if jones starts. just 1 player, and a player with boat loads of talent and experience (he played for germany). let’s not forget CD hadnt played much at all before he got the start against egypt and immediately gelled. chemistry matters definitely, but the core of our team would be the same – i dont think people (including rico or benny, the 2 guys likely to be replaced) would flip out or cause a riot of jones starts.

    3- it’s a risk worth taking. what he could bring to our team is much more than say sacha could bring, and therefore you gotta take the risk. a guy like sacha probably wont see time even if he’s on the bench, so might as well take someone that will either be our best player or hurt. WORTH IT

  55. Jayrod111 says:

    This is what the USMNT should have looked like…..

    Howard

    Cherundolo-Subotic-Onyewu-Boca

    Jones–Bradley

    Deuce—-Donovan

    Rossi

    Jozy

    Thants a pretty good squad if you ask me….to bad right?

  56. Hush says:

    Great games this weekend. I’m looking forward to the Everton vs Man u game. Aris vs AEK Athens is going to be a great challenge for my boy Adu. The Spector vs Altidore deal is also exciting, hopefully Spector makes the 11. Castillo vs his old club America will be fun to watch.

    For those that are married today is the day to start acting sick for the whole weekend.

  57. Hush says:

    It would of giving us more options, but I never considered Rossi a USMNT player, so it’s kind of pointless to me. I can safely say I take Davies over Rossi anyday. Subotic? Decent player, gets smashed almost every two games in the Bundes, but that’s normal for a CB. I’m happy with Demerit or Boca at CB. We also have young guns coming up in the system, so I don’t really care for cry baby Subotic. We are better than ok if you ask me. :)

  58. HoneyHell says:

    Spector to sub for Dolo

    DeMerit to sub for Subotic/Gooch

    Bornstein/Castillo to sub for Boca

    Edu/Clark/Benny/Torres subs for Jones/Bradley

    Holden Sub for Deuce

    Beasley/Castillo/Torres Sub for Donovan

    Davies Sub for Rossi

    Guzan, Perkins/Hahnemann for Howard

    good team with depth & experiance. Too bad it never came to be.

  59. John from Philadelphia says:

    Davies over Rossi? Hush, baby, you’re killing me.

  60. John from Philadelphia says:

    Tom speaks sense. Agree on all three accounts. On 2 and 3, I mean, it’s not like we have some magic formula that is beyond change. Jermaine Jones in no way would hurt our team. Hurt the other team, yes.

  61. Isaac says:

    Shark was right, you really don’t read the posts. I said ” That’s not to say those two don’t do good work, but it’s beneficial that they be as involved in the attack as possible.” This means that while they’re expected to run hard and do defensive work, their involvment in the attack is important and they don’t need to do so much that it completely tunes them out of the game offensively. When Dempsey put forth that excellent defensive effort against Mexico in Columbus last February, he didn’t really do a whole lot offensively. That comes down to him being fatigued from helping defensively so much, and his lack of pace. He can’t get forward and back as much as Landon, Charlie, and Michael. That’s why those three had such a great Confederations Cup, combined with their skills of course. Jozy needs to be pressuring the opposition’s back four and while he’ll track back, his presence against the more physical defenders in the world is vital. Case and point, his goal against Spain. Now, Capdevilla tried to get around Altidore and that was stupid, but it’s a prime example of him learning to use his physical ability.

  62. Hokie_Futbol says:

    Or man (or woman) up and get a pot of coffee (or something else to cure last night and watch it live

  63. Isaac says:

    pain nonwithstanding, I’d love that…

  64. Isaac says:

    It wasn’t just the blocking shots physically. It was the understanding the defenders had. The USA knew that on a technical level, Spain had them outmatched, but if they could find a chemistry on how to move and where certain players go when one challenges, they could win. Like one of the defenders said, I’m not sure which, when one guy went in for a tackle or blocked a shot, another guy was sliding to his position and backing him up. Sure, Spain made some mistakes, but to be perfectly honest, it was always going to take at least one part of Spain’s game to not work for the USA o win. A team with a 35 game unbeaten streak doesn’t lose to a team like the USA without some sort of mistakes on their end, but credit to the USA for having the ability and tactical savvy to take advantage of them.

    If I can be honest, I think both goals were tactically and technically great. Davies showed great technique to bring Bradley’s flanking pass down for Dempsey and the combination between the two was quick. The mistakes came with Capdevilla’s decision to try and round Jozy for the ball and ended up on his behind. Jozy did well to sort of lean his body to his left and give Casillas the idea that he was going far post and instead strike it near post. Casillas still got there, but you’d expect a world class keeper like him to do so.

    The second was technically well done by Benny. He did well to get to another pass by Bradley to the left flank and then round Pique to find Landon out wide. Pique didn’t really clear it but he was off balance and it would have been difficult to get it, much less control it. Ramos made the biggest mistake by delaying and trying to control it when he, is expected to clear it, but credit to Dempsey for good positioning.

  65. ThaDeuce says:

    Actually, there really are not. I have not seen many highlight reels with this much awesome stuff on it…indeed I would be surprised if any player including donovan on the USMNT has a highlight reel this good. That he is capable of this stuff is awesome. He would be a very exciting and rough player to have on our team. I like it.

  66. ThaDeuce says:

    His shot power is amazing!! I love his outside shots.
    His hardcore defense is awesome.