Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

TimHowardEverton1-Arsenal (Getty)

By FRANCO PANIZO

If a short turnaround did not already make things difficult enough for Tim Howard, his opponent this weekend surely will.

Coming off a strong performance in the U.S. Men’s National Team’s 2-0 defeat to Ukraine on Wednesday, Howard will look to lead Everton into battle as the Toffees visit Arsenal in the quarterfinals of the FA Cup. The talented and (as we were recently reminded) very vocal Howard is likely to be tested against a Gunners team attempting to keep its hopes of lifting some silverware this season alive. He will probably need to turn in another performance like the one he had against the Ukrainians earlier this week if the Toffees are to have a shot at pulling off the upset at the Emirates.

Howard is not the only American still in the FA Cup. Jozy Altidore remains in the tournament as well, and he will hope to earn some minutes for Sunderland after not dressing in last weekend’s Capital One Cup final defeat to Manchester City. Altidore has extra motivation for this showdown, too, as the game is against his former club, Hull City.

DaMarcus Beasley is not competing in any tournament matches, but the chances that he makes his way back into Puebla’s starting lineup for a league game should be improved after delivering a winner in last week’s triumph over Queretaro. Beasley has been in and out of the starting XI for the past month, but Friday’s clash with Toluca could present him another opportunity to further cement his place as a starter.

Here is who the Americans Abroad square off with this weekend:

FRIDAY

Bobby Wood and TSV 1860 Munich play VfR Aalen.

DaMarcus Beasley, Michael Orozco and Puebla play Toluca.

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

SATURDAY

Tim Howard and Everton play Arsenal in the FA Cup.

Cody Cropper and Southampton play Crystal Palace.

Geoff Cameron and Stoke City play Norwich City.

Brad Friedel and Tottenham Hotspur play Chelsea.

Brek Shea and Barnsley play Eric Lichaj and Nottingham Forest. (Lichaj is out injured.)

Jonathan Spector, Will Packwood and Birmingham City play Queens Park Rangers.

Danny Williams and Reading play Brighton & Hove Albion.

Zak Whitbread and Derby County play Millwall.

Gboly Ariyibi and Leeds United play Tim Ream, Stuart Holden and Bolton Wanderers. (Holden is out injured.)

Duane Holmes and Yeovil Town play Oguchi Onyewu and Sheffield Wednesday.

Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 play David Yelldell and Bayer Leverkusen. (Cherundolo is out injured.)

Fabian Johnson and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim play Schalke 04.

Timmy Chandler and FC Nurnberg play Werder Bremen. (Chandler is out injured.)

Alfredo Morales and FC Ingolstadt 04 play FC Union Berlin.

Alejandro Bedoya and FC Nantes play AC Ajaccio.

Aron Johannsson and AZ Alkmaar play SC Heracles Almelo.

Juan Agudelo and FC Utrecht play PSV Eindhoven.

Sacha Kljestan and RSC Anderlecht play OH Leuven.

Alonso Hernandez and Monterrey play Pachuca.

Jose Torres and Tigres UANL play Cruz Azul.

SUNDAY

Jozy Altidore and Sunderland play Hull City in the FA Cup.

John Brooks and Hertha Berlin play Mainz 05.

Andrew Wooten and FSV Frankfurt play St Pauli.

Jermaine Jones and Besiktas play Eskisehirspor.

Terrence Boyd and Rapid Vienna play FC Wacker Tirol.

Babajide Ogunbiyi and Viborg FF play Esbjerg.

Conor O’Brien and Odense BK play FC Copenhagen.

Jonathan Bornstein and Atlante play Queretaro.

—–

Which of these matches are you most looking forward to? How will Howard and Everton fare against Arsenal?

Share your thoughts below.

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43 Responses to Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

  1. usaalltheway says:

    Will Jozy play?

    If not, what will happen with him?

    Anyone have any news?

    • Connan says:

      Last I heard he wasn’t even training with the first team anymore.

    • Chicago Josh says:

      Even if he were on form, I’d doubt he would play since he went 84 minutes on Wednesday and most coaches tend to rest players coming back from international duty.

      • AcidBurn says:

        I’m sure Jozy is exhausted from his jogging around against the Ukraine on Wednesday.

        Maybe if we are lucky he can make the 18. How far he has fallen.

        • quozzel says:

          The dude is ice-cold, and his confidence is obviously not high right now.

          When Jozy’s up and feeling it, he looks like a different guy. When he’s in a slump, his body language and energy seem bad. Such is the life of a striker, and Jozy seems more prone to this than most.

          Jozy’s a very good striker, but he’s just not quite a Ballotelli or Didier Drogba in terms of size/speed combo. Nor is he really a poacher, or a top-tier, natural finisher. He does have a wicked shot from distance.

          When he’s at his best, he’s a physical handful and he bounds around without much apparent worry, and his touch seems good and you’ll see the periodic rocket from distance, mixed with well-timed runs into the box, and you see him getting the defender turned and going at people. When he’s cold – like he is right now – his touch seems suspect, his shot from distance goes away, and his work rate and enthusiasm seem to drop off.

          Honestly, he seems like a guy who needs to figure out what his level is, and stay there. Sunderland obviously isn’t working out for him so far. Hull didn’t work out for him. Unlike Clint Dempsey (or, rather, like Clint Dempsey used to be) Altidore just doesn’t seem to have the mental toughness to fight it out off the bench for years at a club like Fulham and put them on his back.

          Doesn’t mean he’s useless or a bad player, just means he’s a striker out of form and a bit over his head. Obviously he’s a great striker in the Dutch league. He’d be a great striker in MLS. He’ll find his way, and his level…but it might not be in time to save Aron Johanssen from taking his starting spot in a couple months.

          • John says:

            Someone had an interesting stat where Boyd actually has a better goal to minute ratio then Johannsson. Also had 5 goals in Europa and Aron only had one. I’d like to see Boyd in the hold up role and Aron in the spot under the striker. It’d at least send a message that there’s other player going for those spots.

  2. biff says:

    If anyone watches Puebla vs. Toluca please give us a report on how Beez and Orozco play and in what positions. Both of them were two huge winners of the USMNT vs Ukraine debacle. The door to WC 2014 is now wide open for Orozco, who is light years beyond John Anthony Brooks, who has done absolutely nothing since September at the club level to merit a USMNT call-up, yet Klinsmann has been wasting time with Brooks (and others) when he could have been doing more to integrate Orozco (and others) into the team. Less than 100 days and counting.

    • arsenal says:

      I’m not trying to be a jerk, but you do realize you have to evaluate all your options multiple times. Yes, despite JAB huge potential, he is not really at the level to be at the world cup, but still have to evaluate him along with other players. There is a good chance a player(s) could get injured and you need to know what players bring what and how versatile they are. If you only play probable starters who is going to fill in for them? You need to find viable replacements for positions. Plus, places like RB are still up for grabs, I think. Cameron, despite his play in the EPL doesn’t fit. I think he should be paired with Besler. His crossing has always been suspect and he doesn’t have the pace to push forward, but definitely has excellent ball skills that would make him an excellent cb choice.

      • biff says:

        Why are you prefacing your comment about not wanting to be a jerk? Hey, Arsenal, I am open to opposing opinions.

        Yeah, I agree options needs to be explored. But it was clear to me way back in August that Brooks does not yet have the right stuff to be considered for WC 2014 and certainly after hardly playing since September he should not have been brought in for Ukraine 100 days before the World Cup beings. My point is, Klinsmann could and should have last autumn been testing a more mature and experienced player like Chris Schuler. But, no, he would rather waste valuable time on Brooks. Why? Well…

        As for Cameron at CB, I see that as an option only in an extreme emergency. I saw Cameron play CB for Stoke a couple of months ago in an emergency situation, I think one Stoke CB got a red card and another was already injured. And Geoff did not show well at CB. As for Cameron at right back, what does the guy have to do to convince doubters that he is currently the best right back in the player pool, with previous club left back and now club right back Fabian Johnson a very close second. Cameron was extremely solid defensively against Ukraine and served a peach of a cross to Jozy. Yeah, he did have two or three dud crosses. Stuff happens. I think he shows better with the A-team, because he is excellent at RB with Stoke players.

      • biff says:

        *Posting again because first post with j*rk spelled out in moderation.*

        Why are you prefacing your comment about not wanting to be a j*rk? Hey, Arsenal, I am open to opposing opinions.

        Yeah, I agree options needs to be explored. But it was clear to me way back in August that Brooks does not yet have the right stuff to be considered for WC 2014 and certainly after hardly playing since September he should not have been brought in for Ukraine 100 days before the World Cup beings. My point is, Klinsmann could and should have last autumn been testing a more mature and experienced player like Chris Schuler. But, no, he would rather waste valuable time on Brooks. Why? Well…

        As for Cameron at CB, I see that as an option only in an extreme emergency. I saw Cameron play CB for Stoke a couple of months ago in an emergency situation, I think one Stoke CB got a red card and another was already injured. And Geoff did not show well at CB. As for Cameron at right back, what does the guy have to do to convince doubters that he is currently the best right back in the player pool, with previous club left back and now club right back Fabian Johnson a very close second. Cameron was extremely solid defensively against Ukraine and served a peach of a cross to Jozy. Yeah, he did have two or three dud crosses. Stuff happens. I think he shows better with the A-team, because he is excellent at RB with Stoke players.

        • whoop-whoop says:

          Brooks being called in and started had much more to do with the lack of CB options in Europe than anything else… I didn’t see any of them making Brazil before this match and of course, I still do not… x10. Unfortunately, their play combined w/ SKs atrocious showing made evaluating the rest of the team almost impossible. Not only did SK offer nothing going forward, he lent zero cover to an already precarious central defense. Designed for disaster. You want to play that high a line with such large CBs… you best have your mids ultra aggressive/applying instant pressure on the ball or…. well… what we saw.

          Probably my biggest regret about this game is that Williams wasn’t put in sooner to shore up the middle.

          All that said… I was hoping for better, but had a pretty good inkling coming in/looking at the roster it could be a little ugly. Merely confirmed what I already suspected about this group. oesn’t really change my overall impressions of USMNT one way or the other.

          • biff says:

            I agree, and also think Cameron suffered also from a weak SK and other players. Cameron made several runs expecting the ball and did not get it.

            Yeah, I also had a good feeling about Williams in his few minutes against Ukraine. I have always liked him, but not at right wing and I did feel when he slumped before his awful Honduras showing in — was it really so long ago? — February 2013 that Klinsmann should have quit calling him until he got it together, which he appears to be doing now at Reading. A strong and in-form Daniel Williams could be a huge boost to the WC roster.

            • whoop-whoop says:

              Yeah… Williams definitely hasn’t shown well playing out wide. Ultimately, Cameron appears to be needed/the guy at RB which negates him at DM and/or CB. Williams seems a good fit primarily to back up Jones. Beckerman has been very solid/serviceable in qualifying against CONCACAF competition, but I fear his lack of speed/cement feet are begging to be over run and/or giving up multiple dangerous free kicks right in front of goal or in the box.

        • GW says:

          “what does the guy have to do to convince doubters that he is currently the best right back in the player pool, ”

          Play a convincing game at RB for the US. He’s never done that let alone two in a row.

          Good club form does not necessarily translate to the national team.

          • biff says:

            !!!!!WARNING!!!!!

            GW is a long-time Geoff Cameron hater. Always giving him a rough time. Don’t take seriously any criticisms he makes about Geoff.

            • GW says:

              “long-time Geoff Cameron hater. ”

              I resemble that.

              To be fair my reservations about Geoff pale in comparison to your long standing Bradley family values thing or lack thereof.

              It is more accurate to say that I am unimpressed by how you slavishly overrate Cameron’s abilities and make him out to be some super star who is being unfairly denied his place in the sun.

              Geoff is a fine player and may be, because of his versatility and his extreme effort no matter where he is played, one of the most valuable pieces JK will have going to Brazil.

              But he is not a great right back and when he plays there the team is not fluid.

              Admittedly, my standard is Dolo, so it is not an entirely fair comparison but it does explain why JK keeps looking for alternatives to Cameron at right back.

              Geoff probably starts against Ghana but I doubt JK will be happy about it.

              You make it sound as if there is some great conspiracy to deny Geoff his just reward. While I did find it curious that JK did not name him one of the spine players, Geoff’s just reward will be a place in Brazil, which is a big very big deal. He is a close to a lock as there is.

              Of course, most of this is in how you look at it.

              You are not a fan of the USMNT but rather a fan of your pet players and, it seems, would like to see the USMNT configured to feature them and give them what you see as their just reward.

              And if you were a true fan of the USMNT you would not glory in the misfortune of your non-pet players, players such as Chandler. A true USMNT fan hopes for the strongest possible player pool.

              I am a fan of the USMNT, not of the individual players and my only interest is how they fit into the context of the team and make it better, though I would like it if Frankie Hedjuk were still playing.

              Good or bad, Frankie was never indifferent and endlessly interesting.

              .

              • Expat4455 says:

                Besides that GW, your so-called (by biff) Cameron hatred pales, by orders of 10, to biff’s feelings towards Timothy Chandler. To the point biff gives (or more likely makes up) quotations by his coach, Verbeek, that he won’t, or can’t support.

          • John says:

            I thought he’s been pretty good the last 2 matches for the US. Should have had a goal against Austria and created the best chance against Ukraine. Solid on the defensive end as well.

    • slowleftarm says:

      I’m sure Orozco will be called in for the Mexico game.

      • biff says:

        If Orozco keeps playing 90m per game, there is a chance he could move up to Number 2 on the CB depth chart. I personally think he is a better passer and better on the ball than both Gonzo and Besler. Defending might be a different story. I wonder if Klinsmann will call in a fifth CB for Mexico for a look behind behind Gonzo, Besler, Orozco and Goodson. It could be Klinsmann is satisfied with the choices he now has to choose from for the WC. But it would not hurt to see what Chris Schuler can do in a US shirt, although pretty late in the game to be testing new faces.

        • whoop-whoop says:

          I think Orozco is definitely more calm on the ball, a more positive distributer out of the back, but not by enough of a margin to displace the better defender Besler whose role/qualities he most duplicates. I thought he showed VERY well in Gold Cup and has carried that into his club play. Very good shot he makes Brazil.

        • Gary Page says:

          As Klinsmann repeatedly points out, the international game is much faster and more difficult than most all league play. We need to be careful about concluding that someone will fit in well internationally because of club play, especially when the play is in a lower tier league like Mexico. If you are playing well in a top 4 European league, then your success is much more transferable. Thus, a Chandler doing well is more likely a success than an Orozco doing well. Not assuredly so, but more likely because game in and game out Chandler faces a higher level of competition.

          • whoop-whoop says:

            I see your point and agree in principle, but it doesn’t really apply as we are speaking CBs and saw our primary options at that position playing outside MLS MX… none starters in a top 4 Euro league. Unfortunately, we have to judge available players in our pool where they play club and primarily against CONCACAF teams and bring the best of what we’ve got. Cameron hasn’t played CB in years and this late in the game have to think he is pretty much out so… our top 4-5 CBs play soccer in this hemisphere. Maybe next cycle?

    • bryan says:

      they’ll play their usual positions. in a backline of 5, Beasley will be a LWB and Orozco will be a RCB. Orozco having a solid season even if Puebla can’t win games. like Ives said in his podcast, Puebla’s defense hasn’t been the issue.

    • John says:

      Looks like it was a pretty rough night for Orozco as he gives up a PK and is pulled a few minutes later in a 3-0 loss.

  3. brandon says:

    been trying to keep up to the latest on Jozy and this sunderland fan page seems to get some good insights….
    link to a-love-supreme.com

    • Gary Page says:

      My favorite part was what Ki said–any team that wants him is a big team. A good way to look at it.

    • GW says:

      Great link .thanks.

      Perhaps Poyet finally talked to Verbeek and JK and took a page out of their books.

      Both made a big deal about dropping Jozy and both got good comeback results from that. I’m pretty sure Verbeek even called Jozy stupid in print once.

      I always suspected Poyet did not do this sooner because he needed Jozy more than Verbeek and JK did.

      It should be fun to see what happens..

      • Nate Dollars says:

        if poyet is taking pages out of klinsmann’s book, it would also be great (and more important) if he stopped playing him in a hold-up role.

        • GW says:

          I was referring more to the motivational aspects rather than the tactical side of things but you have a point.

          At this point Poyet would be happy if Jozy takes on the Hull center backs and drags them all over the field leaving openings for Johnson and Borini.

          Jozy sometimes thinks too much. He just needs to go out there really angry and take it out on somebody..

          link to soccerly.com

  4. John says:

    Has there been any news on Brek Shea story? I believe Barnsley was suppose to address it today.
    From what it sounded like to me is Dawson got into a fight with someone and Brek went to break it up and gave the one guy a middle finger. Then everyone ran with the story that it was directed at all the Barnsley supporters. Either way it seems like Brek is often getting himself indirectly or directly caught in these type of stories.

  5. biff says:

    Here is link to the press release from the Club…

    link to barnsleyfc.co.uk

  6. Expat4455 says:

    The Arsenal match is an important one for Everton. Tim Howard will be in goal!

    btw Biff. What you said about Chandler: His (Chandler’s) coach, Verbeek, was saying in December Chandler did not do enough to help Nürnberg and wanted to bring in a better right back.

    I am still waiting for you to give us a link, or anything whatsoever, that would confirm that Verbeek actually said what you quoted him as saying.

  7. John says:

    Looks like Poyet had some words on Altidore today.

    link to telegraph.co.uk

    “I went to see him with the national team. He’s playing in a slightly different system, but in the game against Scotland he didn’t score and this week he didn’t score. It’s up to him, not me.”

  8. bryan says:

    Corona and Garza starting