By FRANCO PANIZO
Jozy Altidore and AZ Alkmaar return to action this weekend as the Eredivisie kicks off its 2012-2013 season, and they could not have asked for a more challenging task to begin with.
Altidore and AZ will open their new campaign by visiting defending champions Ajax in quite possibly the most intriguing Eredivisie match of the weekend. Earning three points in of Amsterdam Arena will be a tall order for AZ, but Altidore will attempt to help his club pull off an upset in their quest to finish better than the fourth-place position they reached last season.
Mix Diskerud will not be participating in a season opener, but he might make his debut for his new club, Rosenborg BK. Having just transferred from Stabaek IF to Rosenborg on a deal that expires at year's end, Diskerud should have a chance to at least see the field for his new team when it travels to battle Sogndal in a match that could lift Rosenborg to second place in the league standings.
If you are craving some English soccer to hold you over until the Premiership campaign gets underway, you are in luck. The Capital One Cup (formerly known as the Carling Cup) starts this weekend and several Americans could be in action. Robbie Findley and Nottingham Forest take on Fleetwood Town in the opening round of the competition, while Robbie Rogers has an outside shot of seeing minutes for a Leeds United team that is considering selling him.
Here is who the Americans Abroad play this weekend:
Andrew Wooten and Kaiserslautern play VfR Aalen.
Brian Span and Djurgardens IF play Gefle IF.
Chad Barrett and Valerenga play Odd Grenland.
Sonny Guadarrama and Atlante play Chiapas.
Herculez Gomez and Santos Laguna play Leon.
Frank Simek and Carlisle United play Accrington Stanley in the Capital One Cup.
Robbie Rogers and Leeds United play Shrewsbury Town in the Capital One Cup.
Eugene Starikov and Zenit St. Petersburg play Spartak Moscow.
Michael Parkhurst and Nordsjaelland play Silkeborg IF.
Ventura Alvarado and Club America play Atlas.
Jose Torres and Pachuca play Joe Corona, Edgar Castillo, Greg Garza and Club Tijuana.
Jonathan Bornstein and Tigres UANL play Queretaro.
Michael Orozco Fiscal and San Luis play Monterrey.
Alfredo Morales, John Anthony Brooks and Hertha Berlin play FSV Frankfurt.
Jozy Altidore and AZ Alkmaar play Ajax Amsterdam.
Sacha Kljestan and RSC Anderlecht play Cercle Brugge.
Terrence Boyd and Rapid Vienna play SV Salzburg.
Clarence Goodson and Brondby IF play Conor O'Brien and SonderjyskE.
Steve Clark and Honefoss BK play Lillestrom.
Sean Cunningham and Stabaek IF play Sandnes Ulf.
Mix Diskerud and Rosenborg BK play Sogndal.
Josh Gatt and Molde FK play Aalesund. (Gatt is out injured.)
DaMarcus Beasley and Puebla play Cruz Azul.
Robbie Findley and Nottingham Forest play Fleetwood Town in the Capital One Cup.
Charlie Davies and Randers FC play Esbjerg.
Which of these games are you looking most forward to? Think Altidore and AZ will get a favorable result at Amsterdam Arena? Do you see Diskerud earning a start with Rosenborg? Happy to see English soccer return?
Share your thoughts below.