Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

Jozy Altidore 8 (Reuters)

By FRANCO PANIZO

The new year is almost upon us and so too is the return of action in La Liga, meaning we could see Jozy Altidore make his third appearance this season in the opening days of 2011.

Altidore and Villarreal get back to work after a brief break by taking on struggling Almeria on Monday. Almeria is barely above the relegation zone and has won just once in its past 11 games, so Altidore could make a lengthy cameo off the bench should Villarreal take a multi-goal lead. Villarreal, currently in third place, needs a win because anything short of three points would likely squash any remaining title hopes.

Eric Lichaj and Aston Villa aren't thinking of winning their respective league, but they do need a win so as to further themselves from the drop zone. Aston Villa squares off with Chelsea this weekend, and that means Lichaj would be matched up against Flourent Malouda if the American were to start.

If you're a fan of the lower leagues in England then you'll likely enjoy this weekend as many teams in the Championship and League One play twice in two days. Conor Doyle and Derby County are one of those teams, battling Preston North End on Saturday before playing Millwall on Monday.

Here is a rundown of who the Americans Abroad play this weekend:

SATURDAY

Stuart Holden and Bolton Wanderers play Liverpool.

Tim Howard and Everton play Stoke City.

Clint Dempsey, Eddie Johnson and Fulham play Tottenham Hotspur.

Jonathan Spector and West Ham United play Marcus Hahnemann and Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Brad Guzan and Hull City play Leicester City.

Zak Whitbread and Norwich City play Queens Park Rangers. (Whitbread is out injured.)

Conor Doyle and Derby County play Preston North End.

Frank Simek, Mike Grella and Carlisle United play Huddersfield Town.

Jemal Johnson and Milton Keynes Dons play Bristol Rovers.

Anton Peterlin and Plymouth Argyle play Yeovil Town.

SUNDAY

Brad Friedel, Eric Lichaj and Aston Villa play Chelsea.

Maurice Edu and Rangers play Celtic.

Dominic Cervi and Dundee play Ross County.

MONDAY

Conor Doyle and Derby County play Millwall.

Zak Whitbread and Norwich City play Middlesbrough. (Whitbread is out injured.)

Brad Guzan and Hull City play Portsmouth.

Frank Simek, Mike Grella and Carlisle United play Tranmere Rovers.

Jemal Johnson and Milton Keynes Dons play Yeovil Town.

Jozy Altidore and Villarreal play Almeria.

—————-

Do you see Altidore getting a lengthy cameo against Almeria? How do you think Lichaj will fare against Malouda should the two square off? Think playing two games in two days like Derby County and Doyle are doing is a bit much?

Share your thoughts below.

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33 Responses to Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

  1. romanov says:

    Guardian squad sheets lists Holden out with injury. Doh.

  2. vik says:

    Are we not listing Guzan as representing Hull on Saturday?

  3. @badwolfdc says:

    Guzan is slated to start for Hull tomorrow

  4. SwerveZ says:

    wow, i must be out of it, I thought the Guzan listing was a typ-o! Never even knew he went to Hull. Full prchase or loan?

  5. @badwolfdc says:

    Zak Whitbread is no longer on Injury list – will start against QPR

  6. @badwolfdc says:

    1 month loan

  7. Jack says:

    Jeez, talk about being tossed head-first into the deep-end of the EPL for Eric Lichaj. I hope that he hasn’t let the Man City game (or the coach’s comments about him afterward, for that matter) get to him.

    Hope Holden’s not injured, but wouldn’t be surprised–he ran himself into the ground during their last game and was taken off early.

  8. Brent McD says:

    Spector on for Ilunga at 34th minute

  9. Brent McD says:

    Spector pinches in, gives up a goal at the far post. Not really his fault, the halfback didn’t come back to help

  10. Brent McD says:

    oops, just realized this is a replay :-P

  11. CrispyST3 says:

    what did the coach say about him after the Man City game?

  12. Don Pelayo says:

    ber ber ber

  13. federico says:

    Word has it in Europe that Jozy is a lazy stupid idiot, i have heard this from over 4 European scouts

  14. Robert Daniels says:

    Hey Fererico stop bashing Jozy. Like it or not he’s out future on the USMNT.

  15. Nick says:

    How do you guys feel about Gooch going to FC Zurich? I was really hoping for him to go to FC Twente in the Eredivisie, but playing time is playing time for that man. He needs it before the Gold Cup.

  16. Turgid Jacobian says:

    That he’d had a “nightmare” of a game, and that the loss was more or less all his fault.

  17. Gacm32 says:

    Over 4? Why can’t you just say the actually number? It’s not like you had to round it down or something. Maybe because you don’t actually know any European scouts.

  18. Jamie Z. says:

    His coach should know a thing or two about nightmares — he’s been a disaster this season. And I’m a Villa fan.

    If there is anything right with the world, Lichaj will outlast Houllier at Villa and grow into a steady player.

  19. Citronomics says:

    I think Gooch going to Zurich will be good if a)he plays regulary and gets his form/confidence back and b) Zurich kills it domestically to get into Champions or Europa league so he can face higher level competition. Not my first choice (would like to see him in Holland or Germany) so if this deal goes through hoping it is because they anticipate him challenging for or slotting in as a starter right away.

  20. Turgid Jacobian says:

    I didn’t watch the whole game, sadly, but what I saw he wasn’t remotely responsible for the loss–the team flubbed pretty comprehensively.

  21. Jamie Z. says:

    Without a doubt. Lichaj was directly responsible for the penalty (although Carlos Cuellar was out of position and left Lichaj with all the work to do), but Villa’s collapse was a team effort.

  22. Peter says:

    The only time he actually took the field for AC Milan was against Zurich in the Champions League, I think.

  23. vik says:

    thx. He was listed as playing for Villa when I first commented.

  24. Jack says:

    Yeah, I think that the fact that Houllier did something that unacceptable–scapegoating a young player on his third start to the press-says a lot about his current desperate position at Villa.

  25. PetedeLA says:

    Stuart Holden’s last goal and Dempsey’s goal against Juventus (was that this year?) were the American highlights this year for me.

    I wasn’t that impressed with our WC performance.

    Piotr Trochowski said it well..”We beat Algeria and we celebrated it as if we had won the World Cup.”

    Hopefully Holden continues to make progress, Altidore finally becomes consistent, and Agudelo proves he’s the real deal.

    But what I’d really like for Christmas is to see Freddy (had to be mentioned) do something interesting that’s related to soccer.

  26. PetedeLA says:

    BTW… thanks for the coverage Ives. Happy New Year.

  27. PetedeLA says:

    I’m on the wrong thread.

    I must be drunk already.

    Happy New Year!!!!!

  28. Phil says:

    agreed. when your greenest member of the backline is covering for a lapse at the centerback position and you call his perfromance (not the situation) a nightmare, you are a tool, plain and simple. or as the french would say “hee ees luh tewl”

  29. Phil says:

    how do you get to hang with Euro scouts?

  30. Phil says:

    For Ives is a jolly good feller
    for hives is a jobby god fether
    four eyes has me on holly and heather!

    and no nobby can knee high!

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  31. jayson says:

    +10. good shtuff

  32. GW says:

    Gooch has not played a first team game for Milan nearly a year or so and has yet to show he ever belonged there. Before that he was a standout for an okay, mid level European team, not exactly superstar material. He did poorly during a loan to Newcastle when they were in the Premiership

    He had a a couple of poor to mediocre games in the World Cup. He is coming off a serious injury. He will be 29 years old in May, 2011

    Gocch is not exactly what you would call in great demand by anyone.

    I have no idea what the current Milan management thinks of him or what kind of playing shape he is in but if they are willing to keep him around, he should stay and fight for his spot. He’ll never have a better shot at a big club. If they don’t want him he should make the best deal for himself that he can.

    Forget about the USMNT. He’s done his time and he needs to focus on getting his club career back on track. Goodson and Boca are probably our most reliable current centerback pair for the Gold Cup.

    A friendly against one or two international opponents every once in a while isn’t going to cut it.If Gooch makes a club comeback in the next few months he can always be recalled but unless and until that happens, I’m sure Bradley will forget about Gooch and focus on developing the next back four, whoever they may be.

  33. GW says:

    Most of you think BB is an idiot but he would never have blasted Lichaj like that. Watching Houllier “perform” makes you realize just how good a manager Martin O’Neill was.