Americans learn draws for Champions, Europa League final qualifying rounds

Cherundolo (Getty Images)

A handful of Americans learned the next steps of their quests for European glory Friday with the draws for the final qualifying rounds for the UEFA Champions League and Europa League being conducted.

For Sacha Kljestan to join fellow Americans Jermaine Jones and Michael Parkhurst in the Champions League group stage, his club, Anderlecht, will need to get by Cypriot side AEL Limassol. Argentine-American midfielder Bryan Gerzicich and Israeli side Hapoel Kiryat Shmona go up against 2011-12 UCL participant BATE Borisov with a place in the group stage on the line.

In the Europa League, Jozy Altidore's AZ Alkmaar goes up against big-spending Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala and Cameroonian striker Samuel Eto'o; Terrence Boyd and Rapid Vienna will face Greek side PAOK FC; Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 meet Polish side Slask Wroclaw; Oguchi Onyewu and Sporting Lisbon face Denmark's Horsens; Mix Diskerud and new club Rosenborg drew Polish side Legia Warsaw; and Josh Gatt's Molde, which was eliminated from Champions League qualifying Thursday, dropped down to Europa League and was paired with Dutch club Heerenveen.

The first legs of the Champions League qualifiers will be played Aug. 21-22, while the first legs of the Europa League matches will all be played Aug. 23. The group stage draw for the Champions League is set for Aug. 30, while the Europa League group draw will take place the following day.

Here are the full draws for the final qualifying rounds for the Champions League and Europa League:

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE 

FC Basel v CFR 1907 Cluj

Helsingborgs vs. Celtic

BATE Borisov vs. Hapoel Kiryat Shmona

AEL Limassol vs. Anderlecht

Dinamo Zagreb vs. Maribor

Braga vs. Udinese

Spartak Moskva vs. Fenerbahçe

Málaga vs. Panathinaikos

Borussia Mönchengladbach vs. Dynamo Kyiv

Lille vs. FC København

UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE

Anzhi Makhachkala vs. AZ Alkmaar

APOEL FC vs. Neftçi PFK

Atromitos FC vs. Newcastle United

Tromsø IL vs. FK Partizan

FC Vaslui vs. Inter Milan

Heart of Midlothian vs. Liverpool

Athletic Bilbao vs. HJK Helsinki

CS Marítimo vs FC Dila Gori or Anorthosis Famagusta

Molde FK vs. Heerenveen

Debreceni VSC vs. Club Brugge

FC Sheriff vs. Marseille

Trabzonspor vs. Videoton FC

FC Midtjylland vs. BSC Young Boys

WKS Slask Wrocław vs. Hannover 96

FC Dinamo Bucuresti vs. FC Metalist Kharkiv

AC Horsens vs. Sporting Lisbon

Hapoel Tel-Aviv vs. F91 Dudelange

Feyenoord vs. Sparta Praha

Motherwell vs. Levante

FK Crvena Zvezda vs. Bordeaux

KSC Lokeren vs. FC Viktoria Plzen

Lazio vs. ND Mura 05

AIK Solna vs. CSKA Moskva

Legia Warsaw vs Rosenborg

Bursaspor vs. FC Twente

FC Steaua Bucuresti vs FK Ekranas

FC Slovan Liberec vs. FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk

VfB Stuttgart vs. FC Dinamo Moskva

PAOK FC vs. Rapid Vienna

FC Luzern vs. Genk

FK Zeta vs. PSV Eindhoven

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What do you think of the draws? How do you see the teams featuring Americans faring? Do you like Kljestan's prospects of joining Jones and Parkhurst in the Champions League group stage?

Share your thoughts below.

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7 Responses to Americans learn draws for Champions, Europa League final qualifying rounds

  1. Toumba says:

    Terrence Boyd will be the next American to try his luck at Toumba against PAOK. In the 4 1/2 years that I have lived in Greece, no American has gotten the result they needed. Not Troy Perkins (Valarenga), Not Jozy Altidore (Villareal), Not Eddie Johnson and Freddy Adu (Aris).

    I will be at the game and I will keep a close eye on TB. I hope he does well but I also hope he loses.

  2. Girt says:

    I think both Gerzicich and Kljestan will join Jones and Parkhurst in the group stages of the Champions League.

    Bedoya is likely to sign with Helsingborg and I think they will make the group stages as well.

  3. segiomega says:

    Whoa some Americans in the CL. The last 1 was in 2010 with Edu at Rangers.

    Maybe next season Bradley will be playing in it with Roma and maybe Dempsey with a CL club.

  4. segiomega says:

    Can we all show some love for Steve Cherundolo? 14 seasons with the same club and they’re in the Europa League for the 2nd season running.

  5. THomas says:

    I think it’s good that more American’s are learning to draw while in Europe. Really embracing the culture.

  6. ManicMessiah says:

    Well, don’t know the team Newcastle play, but a pretty brutal start to the season. The first week they have to play Spurs at home, Europa qualifier in Greece on Thursday, then fly back to London to play Chelsea two days later.

  7. kmk says:

    You should write for Leno