Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

AronJohannssonAZAlkmaar5 (Getty)

By FRANCO PANIZO

Aron Johannssonn went on an absolute tear during the first half of the Eredivisie season, finding the back of the net in bunches and almost always proving to be a threat against opposing defenses.

Now, he will look to do more of the same.

Johannsson and AZ Alkmaar return from their winter break and kick off the remainder of their campaign on Saturday with a home game against NAC Breda, and the U.S. Men’s National Team striker will surely be aiming to add to his 11 goals in league play (18 in all competitions). The Cheese Farmers could use a victory so as to get back into the Europa League picture, as they currently sit nine points back of fourth-placed Feyenoord.

Clint Dempsey and Fulham will also be looking to move up their respective league’s table, but have a more daunting task ahead of them. The relegation-threatened Cottagers will go on the road to take on Premiership leaders Arsenal, and will need a strong performance from Dempsey and the rest of their players in order to have a chance at picking up a result.

Wondering what other matches are worth keeping an eye on? Look no further than Sheffield Wednesday’s tilt vs. Burnley on Saturday, as it could mark Oguchi Onyewu’s debut for the Owls, or Alejando Bedoya and FC Nantes’ Sunday clash against star-studded Paris Saint-Germain.

Here is who the Americans Abroad play this weekend:

FRIDAY

Jose Torres and Tigres UANL play Morelia.

DaMarcus Beasley, Michael Orozco and Puebla play Santos Laguna.

SATURDAY

Jozy Altidore and Sunderland play Cody Cropper and Southampton.

Clint Dempsey and Fulham play Arsenal.

Geoff Cameron, Maurice Edu and Stoke City play Crystal Palace.

Sebastian Lletget and West Ham United play Newcastle United.

Brad Guzan and Aston Villa play Liverpool.

Gboly Ariyibi and Leeds United play Leicester City.

Brek Shea and Barnsley play Blackpool.

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

Oguchi Onyewu and Sheffield Wednesday play Burnley.

Zak Whitbread and Derby County play Brighton & Hove Albion.

Eric Lichaj and Nottingham Forest play Blackburn Rovers.

Duane Holmes and Huddersfield Town play Queens Park Rangers.

Danny Williams and Reading play Tim Ream, Stuart Holden and Bolton Wanderers. (Holden is out injured.)

Aron Johannsson and AZ Alkmaar play NAC Breda.

Alonso Hernandez and Monterrey play Queretaro.

Herculez Gomez, Joe Corona, Edgar Castillo, Greg Garza, Paul Arriola and Club Tijuana play Pachuca.

Jonathan Bornstein and Atlante play Atlas.

SUNDAY

Brad Friedel and Tottenham Hotspur play Swansea City.

Alejandro Bedoya and FC Nantes play Paris Saint-Germain.

Sacha Kljestan and RSC Anderlecht play KV Mechelen.

MONDAY

Tim Howard and Everton play West Bromwich Albion.

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Which of these matches are you most looking forward to? Think Johannsson gets off to a hot start in the second half of the Eredivisie season? How do you see Dempsey and Fulham faring vs. Arsenal?

Share your thoughts below.

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18 Responses to Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

  1. Dan says:

    [obligatory "We still have Americans abroad?" joke]

    • Joe A. says:

      Soon it’ll only be the germans over there.

      • USMNT Fan says:

        Sadly, this is true.

      • John says:

        Was anyone other then Bradley and Dempsey (who now is in Europe) that has come back, getting minutes anyway? Just going to be a few less did not dress in the weekend recap. Also Agudelo will be some where on loan soon so that’s something.

        • Laszlo says:

          I think any young American player that desires to play in Europe should take note of the path taken by Bedoya. Decent Scandinavian team to mid level team in France. He gets playing time, does well, gets noticed by JK and will likely be in Brazil this summer. Better than rotting on the bench in the BPL, Bundesliga, etc.

          • usaalltheway says:

            Excellent observation.

            I agree with you. Many more of our players could be playing in better leagues with this mentality.

            Cheers!

            • CroCajun1003 says:

              What about the Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, Tim Howard, Geoff Cameron route?

              I’m not arguing that the MLS route is superior to the Scandinavia route or vice-versa, I’m saying that different things work for different players. We shouldn’t be overly critical if a player opts for MLS. The league has produced arguably our best players heading into 2014 WC.

              • usaalltheway says:

                Yeah, I see what you are saying.

                I still am not bought on the MLS, AT ALL.

                I am going to give it much more time this coming season. The only games that I watched last season that had any energy were from my Timbers. The rest were very meh.

      • Joe says:

        German-Americans (minus Jermaine Jones).

      • usaalltheway says:

        Joe A. makes a good point.

        It’s sad really.

        Seems like money always talks louder than everything else in this life. No wonder the human race is where it is.

        • Steven C says:

          …because people have only been desiring money/material things for the past 30 years…

          • usaalltheway says:

            Did you hear that?

            That was the sound of my point completely going over your head.

            Jesus, there always has to be “that” guy.

  2. usaalltheway says:

    Will Jozy start? If so, will he get as assist? Perhaps a goal?

    Any one on here regularly watch N. Forest and Lichaj? I haven’t seen but one game and I wonder if his playing is something that really deserves attention. Given the paucity of competent fullbacks available for the USMNT, it’s important to know if he can serve a role in Brazil.

    Here is hoping to a great football weekend!!

  3. Dainja says:

    Random, but I would really like to see Reading vs Bolton…two guys facing off who still have an outside shot of this WC, but I bet we will see in the 2018 WC (ream and D-Will). Good luck to em both!

  4. 2tone says:

    Have to point out that you’re missing Cruz Azul with Farfan and Villarreal.

  5. Jon says:

    I miss the one and only Serie A line with Bradley’s upcoming game…