By FRANCO PANIZO
If the U.S. Men’s National Team’s World Cup qualifying loss to Honduras on Wednesday left a bad taste in your mouth, this weekend’s high-profile tilts might just be the perfect remedy.
Tim Howard, one of the better U.S. players on Wednesday, will be involved in one of those games, as Everton visits his former club, Manchester United, on Sunday. The Toffees are entering the match against the Premiership frontrunners riding a good run of form that has seen them go unbeaten in their last seven games across all competitions, and Howard will be aiming to try and help them extend that against a red-hot Manchester United side that has not suffered a loss since early December.
Jermaine Jones also has a mouthwatering match on tap. Schalke 04 visit Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich on Saturday, and a surprise win for Schalke could put them four points shy of a Champions League spot. Jones may not start the game given the quick turnaround from Wednesday’s qualifier in San Pedro Sula, but he might be one of the primary options off the bench.
Another battle in Germany that will draw some interest is Hertha Berlin’s home game versus FC Union Berlin on Monday. The Berlin derby should see John Anthony Brooks resume his starting role in Hertha’s back line as the club attempts to add to its 18-game winning streak in league play.
Here is who the Americans Abroad face this weekend:
Herculez Gomez, Hector Joya and Santos Laguna play Pachuca.
Clint Dempsey, Brad Friedel and Tottenham Hotspur play Newcastle United.
Geoff Cameron, Brek Shea and Stoke City play Reading.
Tim Ream, Stuart Holden and Bolton Wanderers play Burnley.
Jonathan Spector, Will Packwood and Birmingham City play Charlton Athletic. (Spector and Packwood are out injured.)
Zak Whitbread and Leicester City play Peterborough United.
Conor Doyle and Derby County play Sheffield Wednesday.
Frank Simek and Carlisle United play Stevenage.
Mike Grella and Scunthorpe United play Crawley Town.
Oguchi Onyewu and Malaga play Levante.
Carlos Bocanegra and Racing Santander play Huesca.
David Yelldell and Bayer Leverkusen play Borussia Moenchengladbach.
Timmy Chandler and FC Nurnberg play Eintracht Frankfurt.
Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 play Fabian Johnson, Danny Williams and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. (Cherundolo is out injured.)
Jermaine Jones and Schalke 04 play Bayern Munich.
Bobby Wood and TSV 1860 Munich play MSV Duisburg.
Tony Taylor and Estoril Praia play Vitoria de Guimaraes.
Maurice Edu and Bursaspor play Karabukspor.
Joe Corona, Edgar Castillo, Greg Garza and Club Tijuana play Ventura Alvarado and Club America.
DaMarcus Beasley, Michael Orozco Fiscal and Puebla play San Luis.
Brad Guzan, Eric Lichaj and Aston Villa play Sebastian Lletget and West Ham United.
Tim Howard and Everton play Manchester United.
Michael Bradley and AS Roma play Sampdoria.
Michael Parkhurst and FC Augsburg play Mainz.
Andrew Wooten and SV Sandhausen play Joe Gyau and St Pauli.
Jozy Altidore and AZ Alkmaar play Feyenoord Rotterdam.
Caleb Patterson-Sewell and Vitoria Setubal play Gil Vicente.
Sacha Kljestan and RSC Anderlecht play Waasland-Beveren.
Jose Torres, Jonathan Bornstein and Tigres UANL play Toluca.
Alfredo Morales, John Anthony Brooks and Hertha Berlin play FC Union Berlin.
Which of these games are you most looking forward to? Think Howard and Everton will get a result against Manchester United? Do you see Jones starting for Schalke?
Share your thoughts below.