Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

Oguchi Onyewu 3 (Getty Images)

By FRANCO PANIZO

If Oguchi Onyewu wants to show U.S. men's national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann he is ready for World Cup qualifying, this weekend likely provides the American centerback his best opportunity to return to Sporting CP's lineup.

With the Portuguese club having played in the Europa League semifinals on Thursday, Onyewu could get his first start since February when Sporting takes on CD Nacional de Madeira on Sunday. The short turnaround may benefit Onyewu, who is looking to return to the field for the first time since suffering a knee injury in the club's 1-0 win over Pacos de Ferreira on February 19.

Another American who is hoping to impress Klinsmann in order to earn a spot on this summer's World Cup qualifying roster is Sacha Kljestan. The former Chivas USA midfielder has a vital match on Sunday, as he and RSC Anderlecht take on Club Brugge in the Pro League playoffs. Only one point seperates the two clubs, so a result is needed if Anderlecht are to remain in first place in the standings.

Wondering what other match is worth keeping an eye on? Look no further than the battle of Mexican-Americans when San Luis and Club Tijuana battle in a match that could solidify the latter's playoff spot. The game should pit Edgar Castillo and Joe Corona against Michael Orozco Fiscal, making it a game with plenty of interest for American fans.

Here is who the Americans Abroad face this weekend:

FRIDAY

Samuel Petrone and Mjallby AIF play Djurgarden IF.

Sonny Guadarrama and Atlante play Morelia.

SATURDAY

Brad Guzan, Eric Lichaj and Aston Villa play Sunderland.

Adam Henley and Blackburn Rovers play Zak Whitbread and Norwich City.

Stuart Holden, Tim Ream and Bolton Wanderers play Swansea City. (Holden is out injured.)

Clint Dempsey and Fulham play Wigan Athletic.

Brad Friedel and Tottenham Hotspur play Queens Park Rangers.

Robbie Rogers and Leeds United play Cardiff City. (Rogers is out injured.)

Jonathan Spector and Birmingham City play Brighton. (Spector is out injured.)

Robbie Findley and Nottingham Forest play Hull City.

Conor Doyle and Derby County play Portsmouth. (Doyle is out injured.)

Mike Grella and Bury play Notts County.

Anton Peterlin and Walsall play Exeter City.

Frank Simek and Carlisle United play Sheffield Wednesday.

Maurice Edu, Alejandro Bedoya, Carlos Bocanegra and Rangers play Heart of Midlothian.

Michael Bradley and Chievo Verona play Udinese.

Alfredo Morales and Hertha Berlin play Andrew Wooten and Kaiserslautern.

Timmy Chandler and FC Nurnberg play Hamburg SV.

Fabian Johnson, Danny Williams, Joe Gyau and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim play David Yelldell and Bayer Leverkusen.

Terrence Boyd and Borussia Dortmund play Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Bobby Wood and TSV 1860 Munich play FC Ingolstadt 04.

Quentin Westberg and Evian Thonon Gaillard play Toulouse.

Eugene Starikov and Zenit St Petersburg play Kuban Krasnodar.

Mix Diskerud and KAA Gent play KV Kortrijk in the Belgian playoffs.

Michael Parkhurst and FC Nordsjaelland play Aalborg BK.

Michael Orozco Fiscal and San Luis play Joe Corona, Edgar Castillo, Greg Garza and Club Tijuana.

Herculez Gomez and Santos Laguna play Jonathan Bornstein and Tigres UANL.

Jose Torres and Pachuca play Monterrey.

SUNDAY

Tim Howard, Marcus Hahnemann and Everton play Manchester United.

Dominic Cervi and Celtic play Motherwell.

Jermaine Jones and Schalke 04 play FC Augsburg.

Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 play SC Freiburg.

Villyan Bijev and Fortuna Dusseldorf play FC Union Berlin.

Luis Robles and Karlsruher SC play Matt Taylor and SC Paderborn 07.

Charlie Davies and Sochaux play Paris Saint-Germain.

Jozy Altidore and AZ Alkmaar play VVV Venlo.

Oguchi Onyewu and Sporting CP play CD Nacional de Madeira.

Sacha Kljestan and RSC Anderlecht play Club Brugge in the Belgian playoffs.

Conor O'Brien and SonderjyskE play Brad Rusin and HB Koge.

Clarence Goodson and Brondby IF play FC Midtjylland.

Ricardo Clark, Sean Cunningham and Stabaek IF play Sandnes Ulf.

Steve Clark and Honefoss BK play Aalesund.

Adrian Ruelas and Jaguares de Chiapas play Pumas UNAM.

DaMarcus Beasley and Puebla play Club America.

MONDAY

Josh Gatt and Molde FK play Lillestrom.

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Which matches are you most looking forward to? Think Onyewu will make his return to Sporting CP's lineup this weekend? Do you see Kljestan and Anderlecht defeating Club Brugge? Who do you think will win between San Luis and Tijuana?

Share your thoughts below.

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19 Responses to Americans Abroad: A Look Ahead

  1. Pd says:

    What was the nature of onyewu’s injury? Was it the same knee he injured in the USA friendly or the other one? Also what is Omar Gonzalez’s prognosis? Finally I heard Parkhurst was injured? What’s his projected timeline for return?

  2. 2tone says:

    Gooch was in todays 18 man roster, but didn’t see the field. I am sure he will get on the field this weekend.

  3. Dimidri says:

    Pretty cool 3 Mexican teams with 5(or 6 if you count Guido)total Americans on them in line to make the playoffs.

  4. John says:

    The Disciplinary Committee’s power are too broad and it is being overused. It should only be able to give out suspensions/fines for infractions the actual game ref spotted and issued a card for. In society, you don’t expect to be convicted of a crime without being caught and charged by police. If the police aren’t catching the crimes, improve the police department. You can’t possibly implement this system fairly. Players aren’t going to want to come play in this league. Fans, eventually, are not going to want to watch the league. You are messing with the very competitive balance of the game. This will quickly make MLS look like the USSR of soccer leagues.

  5. jlm says:

    That is the FA’s stance on it, but I don’t agree. The ref is not going to see everything and even if he did, he is not going to get everything right. If a camera sees something that the ref didn’t or got wrong, why shouldn’t that be punished.

    This is an important time for the league as it takes strides to improve the quality of play. I am sure the league office has rabbit ears when it comes to hearing things about how the league is perceived, so the many comments about the physicality along with the injuries that occurred last season are red flags that must be addressed NOW.

    I like that they are using retroactive punishment to clean up infractions. Look at the NFL — they are doing the same thing now because it is impossible for the refs to get everything right. The important thing is that the game itself is not being effected. If there were replay challenges with stoppages during the game, that would have a serious negative impact. I am in favor of how it is being done, and although it is not perfect, it should have a positive effect on how games are played and ultimately how the league is perceived.

    I would go further and reject the notion that the review process does not undermine referees, but supports them. They cannot be expected to see everything that happens on the field, and this should take some of the pressure off of them by making games easier to officiate. If players know that everything they do is being monitored post game, and not just by the 6 eyes that are present, it makes them less likely to commit stupid/dirty infractions.

  6. BSU SC says:

    Hopefully Gooch regains his form and is on the road back to being the defensive beast he was prior to his injury in 2010.

    I respect Sacha Kljestan, but he does not belong anywhere near the national team.

  7. Sean says:

    Morales is out injured.

  8. RFK says:

    Dempsey plays Wigan on Saturday. Safe bet to say he’ll score a goal or 2.

  9. NE Matt says:

    Disagree. He has more right to a spot with the Nats than Kyle Beckerman does – especially when Klinsy consistently calls in in 6 DM’s and hardly any guys who can connect the defense to the attack.

  10. RFK says:

    dear lord let Altidore score a hat trick this weekend

  11. NE Matt says:

    Are you kidding? How about someone gets murdered, but no one physically sees the crime – there is just a body on the ground. So the police use a traffic surveillance system or an atm camera that happens to be in the vicinity to help find the suspect.

    How is this any different to the ref not seeing the attack on shea salinas? He didn’t see the act, but the league (police) used a camera to bring the perpetrator (Marquez) to justice (if you call a 3 game suspension justice)

  12. Northzax says:

    I will go so far as to say that review has the possibility of making good refs better. There don’t seem to be repercussions, yet, for being overruled. A bad ref will be paranoid about being overruled, like it’s a flaw to not see everything. A good, confident red can now focus on the run of play without worrying about players doing stuff behind his back. He can call the game as he sees it, knowing that an honest mistake on his part will be fixed later.

  13. data from star trek says:

    Clint Dempsey is the best American soccer player in the world. Prove me wrong.

    If he has a kick-butt WC in 2014, he will undoubtedly be the best American player ever

  14. data from star trek says:

    who’s gonna be the next MLS star to head abroad? Is Bunbury or Agudelo ready for a club in Denmark or Holland?

  15. BSU SC says:

    Disagree. Beckerman is not one of the top 4 central midfield options, but he has looked sharper with the Nats than Kljestan ever has. I don’t think that Sacha playing overseas makes him a superior option to Beckerman.

    But Edu, Bradley, Jones, and Torres are all clearly better options so I guess it’s not very important to distinguish between #4 & #5 on the depth chart

  16. Brian S. says:

    I think Holland would do wonders for Aguedelo. They seem to have a knack for developing young talent there. Even if he doesn’t start out playing much, the training he would get would be invaluable.

  17. elgringorico says:

    Bro I don’t think anyone is going to argue with you at this point! LD and Timmy obviously are the competitors but neither are as good as Clint RIGHT NOW. Wooooo!

  18. NE Matt says:

    Yea that’s true. I hope our #4/#5’s aren’t on the field in important matches anyways.

  19. JG13 says:

    1) No need to post this in multiple threads, especially as this has no relation to Americans Abroad.

    2) I think your tin foil hat is a little too tight… maybe take it off for a day?