Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

Joe Corona, A.J. De La Garza

Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

After a rough few months, Joe Corona is starting to turn things around at Club Tijuana.

Corona has moved past his recent spell of inactivity with Xolos and strung together a few solid performances, with his freshest outing coming in Wednesday’s 1-0 CONCACAF Champions League loss to the LA Galaxy. The 23-year-old midfielder will now try to carry that form over into Tijuana’s challenging visit to first-place Cruz Azul, which will be desperate to bounce back from the first defeat of the Clausura campaign.

Brad Guzan also has a stern test ahead of him, as he leads Aston Villa into battle at Villa Park to take on Premiership leaders Chelsea. The Villans snapped a four game winless streak last weekend, and will try and carry that momentum over into a Saturday match they hope ends in an upset of the Blues.

Wondering what other matches might be worth watching? Look no further than Sunderland’s showdown with Crystal Palace, as it will provide a clearer picture as to where Jozy Altidore currently stands with the Black Cats. Another match of intrigue takes place on Sunday, with DaMarcus Beasley, Michael Orozco and Puebla welcoming Jose Torres and Tigres UANL in a clash of Americans.

Here is who the Americans Abroad play with this weekend:

FRIDAY

Alfredo Morales and FC Ingolstadt 04 play Andrew Wooten and FSV Frankfurt.

SATURDAY

Tim Howard and Everton play Cardiff City.

Cody Cropper and Southampton play Norwich City.

Geoff Cameron, Brek Shea and Stoke City play Sebastian Lletget and West Ham United.

Jozy Altidore and Sunderland play Crystal Palace.

Brad Guzan and Aston Villa play Chelsea.

Tim Ream, Stuart Holden and Bolton Wanderers play Brighton & Hove Albion. (Holden is out injured.)

Gboly Ariyibi and Leeds United play Burnley.

Eric Lichaj and Nottingham Forest play Doncaster Rovers. (Lichaj is out injured.)

Duane Holmes and Yeovil Town play Queens Park Rangers.

Danny Williams and Reading play Zak Whitbread and Derby County.

Oguchi Onyewu and Sheffield Wednesday play Jonathan Spector, Will Packwood and Birmingham City.

John Brooks and Hertha Berlin play Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96. (Cherundolo is out injured.)

Fabian Johnson and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim play Mainz 05.

David Yelldell and Bayer Leverkusen play Bayern Munich.

Bobby Wood and TSV 1860 Munich play FC Erzgebirge Aue.

Alejandro Bedoya and FC Nantes play Lille.

Jermaine Jones and Besiktas play Rizespor.

Sacha Kljestan and RSC Anderlecht play KV Oostende.

Terrence Boyd and Rapid Vienna play SV Josko Ried.

Herculez Gomez, Joe Corona, Edgar Castillo, Greg Garza, Paul Arriola, Alejandro Guido and Club Tijuana play Cruz Azul.

Alonso Hernandez and Monterrey play Morelia.

Gabriel Farfan and Jaguares de Chiapas play Club America.

SUNDAY

Brad Friedel and Tottenham Hotspur play Arsenal.

Timmy Chandler and FC Nurnberg play Hamburg SV. (Chandler is out injured.)

Aron Johannsson and AZ Alkmaar play Twente Enschede.

Juan Agudelo and FC Utrecht play NEC Nijmegen.

Conor O’Brien and Odense BK play Babajide Ogunbiyi and Viborg FF.

DaMarcus Beasley, Michael Orozco and Puebla play Jose Torres and Tigres UANL.

Jonathan Bornstein and Atlante play Pumas UNAM.

—–

Which of these matches are you most anticipating? Like the way Corona has been playing as of late? What are the chances that Guzan and the Villans grab a result vs. Chelsea?

Share your thoughts below.

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68 Responses to Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

  1. UclaBruinGreat says:

    Another year of having to read, “Stuart Holden and Bolton Wanderers play _____. (Holden is out injured.)

    • Costa says:

      At least it has Tim Ream in front of it, he’s been doing well.

      • ronniet says:

        I’m calling it now, Ream will make the WC roster if he continues to play well for Bolton! We all know JK loves versatility and with TR having the ability to play three positions(LB, CB, CDM) and being one of the better passers of the ball in the entire pool, I’d say he has a great chance!

        • ZZtoppppp says:

          Go home you’re drunk

        • John says:

          I think that could come down to how bad Klinsmann wants Fabian in the midfield.

          • GW says:

            Fabian in the midfield was originally at least partly induced by Landon being on hiatus. Of course, the Cambodian beach boy is now back.

            Now Fabian is logging time at right back and that might be more significant. I prefer he start there for the US with Cameron replacing Gonzo at center back.

            • Ryan SATX says:

              “I’d like the guy who doesn’t play centerback to replace the guy who plays centerback really well”-said the guy drinking paint thinner in the corner.

  2. Robbie says:

    Chelsea are effin unstoppable (in epl) this year. Losing at stam bridge to villa is unthinkable. C’mon you blues!

  3. MikeG says:

    Only a few stand out players playing in first divisions in Europe. The backbone of the USMNT is now MLS believe it or not. A majority of our best field players in Europe need to get out of England and go to continental Europe. This will cure many issues. Coaching in MLS needs to improve. Good improvement in player development in MLS over the years. Galaxy seem to do a lot more running and appear to play more compact. The shorter passing is really helping out the Galaxy. Playing more compact helps with 1-2 touch passing, give N go, etc…

    • MikeG says:

      Sorry for being shortsighted, but our players in Mexico are doing better than our players in Europe (minus a few standouts in Europe) despite hating the sportsmanship in Mexico.

    • arsenal says:

      I’m surprise more of our players haven’t sought out teams in France. I watch as many games as I can and there are always terrific. It is fast, technical, but they actually play fantastic defense as well. Ive watched several Nantes games and it was fun to watch Bedoya play and it looks like it is improving his game. It is a very underrated league and I think a good stepping stone for players. It was fun to watch Hazard play in ligue 1.

      • John says:

        Well Bedoya doesn’t have to worry about Nantes bringing in anyone to replace him for awhile.

      • GW says:

        arsenal.

        “I’m surprise more of our players haven’t sought out teams in France.”

        How do you know they haven’t ?

        “It is a very underrated league and I think a good stepping stone for players.”

        France is #6 in Europe. That is not underrated.

        UEFA rankings of the leagues

        1, Spain
        2, England
        3, Germany
        4, Italy
        5, Portugal
        6, France
        7, Russia
        8, Netherlands
        9, Ukraine
        10, Belgium
        11, Turkey
        12, Greece
        13, Switzerland
        14, Austria
        15, Czech Republic

        • MikeG says:

          What is the #1 criteria for UEFA, money spent, marketing, or TV deals? That list looks like a list of the leagues that waste the most money. From a Technical and fast fundamental approach to the game (Tactics at speed):
          1. Italy
          2. Germany
          3. Spain
          4. Netherlands
          5. France
          6. Portugal
          7. Belgium
          8. England
          9. Greece
          10. Turkey
          11. Russia
          12. Switzerland
          13. Austria
          14. Ukraine
          15. Czech Republic

          Just an opinion..not wrong or right..just a perspective

          • Birgit Calhoun says:

            The UEFA rankings go by the depth of league quality. From that viewpoint the Netherlands are way down because they are such a small country. If you compare the Eredivisie to another league you could say they are more comparable to the 2. Bundesliga.or maybe the Championship. That’s because they are such a small country. Same goes for the Belgium league. Anyhow, I think the UEFA has it right with its rankings.

          • slowleftarm says:

            It may be an opinion but it’s also wrong.

          • Jovins says:

            It’s based on past results in the Europa League and Champions League over the past 5 years.

          • GW says:

            link to uefa.com

            UEFA’s criteria

        • MikeG says:

          France plays some good ball. The French national team is either near the top of the world or at the depths of hell. You never know, but then again, when was the last time Paris was ever defended by frenchmen? The league is underrated and player development is good. The league does not have all the hype like England gets. Premier League is mostly commercial hype: just look at the Champions League teams from England and the amount of foreigners they have.

  4. MikeG says:

    I think Holden and Cherundolo are done with WC cycles.

    • Nostradumbass says:

      And furthermore, Bora Milutinović probably won’t coach another USMNT game…

      sorry… totally uncalled for. LoL

      Hopefully Holden makes liars out of everyone and they make a best seller biography turned feature-length best come-back story ever movie about his career.

  5. Dirk McQuigley says:

    Sad but I’m predicting that Jozy won’t even dress against the worst team in the EPL. As bad as he’s been, IMO Sunderland could have won the League Cup if they started him. He’s been the American Emil Heskie for the Black Cats. Not scoring at all but his hold up play has helped them during many of their wins or draws. If not for him, they would be last in the EPL. He has a chance to save them from the drop zone. They could drop while he pines away on the bench OR they could use him to avoid relegation. If they sit him, they deserve to end up in the Championship. Hull this season is a much better team. I think that Southhampton or Swansea would have been better fits for Altidore. Then again any team in England would have been. Worst. Transfer. Ever.

    • brad says:

      Dirk, have you watched Sunderland this year? Their whole team has been awful.. and the service to Jozy or any of the forwards has been nonexistent.

      • Fair Observer says:

        i put the over/under on “shots of 25+yds taken by a midfielder on Sunderland” at 12. i’d take the over still

    • Nate says:

      wasnt altidore sick last game?

    • Ryan SATX says:

      Every time I see Wilfried Bony suit up for Swansea I think about how much better Jozy could have done there with a team that would use him properly.

  6. Murray Braun says:

    Looks like Poyet is starting three forwards now, which still didn’t get Jozy on the field.
    Looking dim for him right now.
    If he’s stuck on the bench, the question come May will be whether he can start in the WC.
    I guess the Azerbaijan, Turkey and Nigeria matches will tell us whether he was benched for
    naught at Sunderland.

    • Ian says:

      Wonder if a loan is completely out of the question? Because otherwise, we’re going to have a rusty, out-of-form Jozy Altidore at the worst possible time come June.

      • Poly says:

        Who would want to take him? Strikers that can’t convert sitters aren’t in high demand.

        • Nate Dollars says:

          yep. luis suarez (and every other striker who misses “sitters”) just sucks.

          • Poly says:

            Suarez misses some sitters. Altidore misses all of them.
            It’s just plain ignorant to compare one with the other.

            • Nate Dollars says:

              it’s just as ignorant to say jozy ‘can’t convert sitters’ (and i’m now wondering exactly what “sitters” you’re talking about).

              at least my ignorant comment was made in jest.

        • Fair Observer says:

          please try and list any and all instances of Jozy missing “sitters”. the most talked about one (actually the only one close to a sitter) was Jozy’s attempt to hit a deflected shot steering quickly wide of the goal that he missed (december 28th vs Cardiff City). that wasnt really even a sitter because A) it was a deflection from a prior shot and B) the speed it came off the GKs gloves made it terribly difficult to hit it, it was just out of his reach. to see a real sitter google “Dzeko sitter vs stoke”. Thats a sitter. a pass right to feet that isn’t converted. aka the definition of a sitter “a failed attempt that is easier to score than to miss.” Jozy’s vs Cardiff City was a difficult try at a rebound goal with a lot of pace. Dzeko’s was a direct ground cross that he mishit.
          It’s amazing how fast the Jozy hate snowballs…. people read a comment about Jozy “missing a sitter” and it becomes “Jozy misses sitters all the time…….” either watch the games for yourself or listen to the people who have watched 85%+ of Sunderlands games. Ive missed about 3 games this season and Jozy doesnt miss sitters. he should have scored more, sure, but its not from missing sitters. its a combination of GK saves, bad crosses, not being selfish enough to turn and shoot, mids not passing to him on a run and shooting from distance instead, etc, etc…….

        • Fair Observer says:

          please try and list any and all instances of Jozy missing “sitters”. the most talked about one (actually the only one close to a sitter) was Jozy’s attempt to hit a deflected shot steering quickly wide of the goal that he missed (december 28th vs Cardiff City). that wasnt really even a sitter because A) it was a deflection from a prior shot and B) the speed it came off the GKs gloves made it terribly difficult to hit it, it was just out of his reach.

          • Fair Observer says:

            to see a real sitter google “Dzeko sitter vs stoke”. Thats a sitter. a pass right to feet that isn’t converted. aka the definition of a sitter “a failed attempt that is easier to score than to miss.” Jozy’s vs Cardiff City was a difficult try at a rebound goal with a lot of pace. Dzeko’s was a direct ground cross that he mishit.

            • Fair Observer says:

              It’s amazing how fast the Jozy hate snowballs…. people read a comment about Jozy “missing a sitter” and it becomes “Jozy misses sitters all the time…….” either watch the games for yourself or listen to the people who have watched 85%+ of Sunderlands games. Ive missed about 3 games this season and Jozy doesnt miss sitters. he should have scored more, sure, but its not from missing sitters. its a combination of GK saves, bad crosses, not being selfish enough to turn and shoot, mids not passing to him on a run and shooting from distance instead, etc, etc…….

              • Fair Observer says:

                for an example of a real sitter, watch Dzeko’s vs Stoke City. a sitter is most usually a pass to a player where it’s easier to score than to miss. usually when a player is in position waiting for the ball and mishits it. not when a player is trying to locate and convert a deflected shot with spin and pace

              • Fair Observer says:

                SBI keeps giving me this Cr ap: Your comment is awaiting moderation. my point is that an example of a sitter is Dzeko’s versus Stoke City

              • Fair Observer says:

                a sitter is when a PASS is made to a team mate open in front of goal and they miss it. when some one tries to score a rebound that’s spinning quickly out of bounds, its not a sitter

              • Gary Page says:

                I wonder of some of the people commenting here have ever even played soccer. I have seen balls with so much spin from deflections and the like that they will hit the ground and bounce 90 degree off from the direction in which they should be going. While I’m complaining, another thing that gets me is there will be a play between two players and someone will fall down and if it is in the box there is this immediate controversy of foul vs. diving. Gee, if you have played you know that sometimes when you are running at speed you can trip and fall down or go over with minimal contact and falling down without a foul is not necessarily diving. In short, too often I see people, even commentators who should know better, who assume a dive when a player goes down without a foul. In soccer players fall down a lot.

              • GW says:

                Mr. Page,

                “I wonder of some of the people commenting here have ever even played soccer”.
                “ I have seen balls with so much spin from deflections and the like that they will hit the ground and bounce 90 degree off from the direction in which they should be going. …..In soccer players fall down a lot.”

                That isn’t why you see the comments you do. Lalas and Twellman played a lot of soccer and make a lot of statements of questionable worth. Just because you played the game, it doesn’t mean you have a brain in your head.

              • John says:

                I agree I haven’t seen Jozy missing a ton of easy chances like some want to suggest. I’ve watch just about every match from Jozy this season and I bet he’s honestly only touched the ball in the box 6 or 7 times all year. There is zero service at Sunderland. However with that said his confidence has taken a major hit. Look at most of his goals he had for the US over the summer. They are almost all taken by striking the ball first touch. The last few friendlies for the US when he’s had chances he tries to gather the ball before taking his shot. We’ve all seen he has the ability but it’s gotten to the point where he doesn’t want to be the one who makes a mistake. He is too willing to pass it off and isn’t selfish enough.

              • Fair Observer says:

                john, i agree, he does seem like he’s so worried that people will hate on him that he’s “freezing up” and its causing people to hate on him, lol. he hasnt been scoring due to overthinking and non-shooting rather than not being a good player. we all know he’s good, just questioning himself currently. John’s right, let ‘er rip! first time shots! but i think the 6 or 7 touches inside the box is right on.

                let’s count during tomorow’s game: ground passes (near or in the box) that Sunderland’s mids play to Jozy

                vs

                shots taken outside of box by Sunderland Non-Forwards……

                i can almost guarantee the latter is the higher number.

              • ETGoodyman says:

                That’s a very fair observation. I couldn’t resist. But truthfully a very accurate summation of the situation.

          • Nate Dollars says:

            yeah, that’s the only one i could think of too–which, as you mentioned, wasn’t really a “sitter” at all. didn’t know if i missed one.

            • ETGoodyman says:

              That’s the only one I can remember as well. Jozy gets torn to shreds on the message boards in England and it seems to be ignorant bias towards an American. He has had so few chances and his teammates can’t seem to get him the ball. A lot of the fans are high on Borini, but that guy won’t pass the ball if he’s within 25 yards of the goal. If you’re an American on those boards, you’re opinion is automatically dismissed as “ignorant”. I’m sorry but I am 45 and I started playing in Northern Va, at age 8. I have played, refereed, and coached for over 25 years and I am now an avid fan. I think my futbol IQ is pretty darn high. Is Jozy a world-class striker? No, but he could be with a proper team supporting him.

              • Ryan SATX says:

                Recently spend four months on a British Navy ship, and those dudes got wrecked every time they tried to argue soccer with me.

              • GW says:

                “four months on a British Navy ship, and those dudes got wrecked every time”

                Proof that the Brits know nothing about soccer.

      • Birgit Calhoun says:

        He has been rusty for a while now. It’s hopefully temporary. But I am not holding my breath. He didn’t deliver at the Ukraine game. I am hoping he finds a way out of his slump.

        • Nate says:

          he delivered 8 times in 2013, and 21 times over his career. is your crticism that he doesnt score every game?

    • Dave says:

      considering he was listed as DNP Sick not DNP CD for the last game, I think you are reading too much into this.

  7. Dainja says:

    Can we list Bradley as an “American Abroad” since he plays in Canada??? cuz if so, he takes on Tottenham midfielder Clint Dempsey on saturday! WHAT A MATCHUP!

  8. biff says:

    I do think Poyet will give Jozy the start Saturday and, if so, Jozy will be in fired-up beast mode to prove his worth after missing the two Cup matches. I got a feeling he scores. A real strong feeling. Not once, but twice.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      i do not share your optimism. see, the problem is that he’ll still be playing for sunderland.

    • slowleftarm says:

      And then moves to Dortmund right?

      • biff says:

        lol. shut up!

      • biff says:

        But, seriously, no doubt in my mind that Jozy starting at Dortmund instead of Sunderland this season would be nearing double figures for goals, if not already there.

        • Expat4455 says:

          However, is there a little bit of doubt the Dortmund would even talk to Jozy, much less sign him, and play him on their starting team? You may as well say Jozy would have scored more if he played at Bayern.

          I mean really, that is some wild speculation there.

        • SBI TroII says:

          Is Brek Shea moving to PSG too? Lol get real I’m a huge Jozy fan but he’s not close to playing for Dortmund.

  9. biff says:

    Hoping for a strong showing this weekend from Joe Corona, whose top form IMO is substantially higher than Diskerud’s, who I also like but who I don’t think is ready for the jump from playing at the club level in Norway to playing against Ghana, Portugal and Germany. Corona is fearless and much tougher than Mix, I think, and could handle World Cup pressure.

    • 2tone says:

      They are not playing for the same position. Corona will be playing for a winger position with the USMNT. Mix a CM position. Corona has been playing LW for Tijuana.

      • biff says:

        Yeah, I see your point. Could be valid, but even the famous SBI poll a couple of days ago had Corona and Diskerud competing against each other for a spot. Actually, though, I find the thought of Corona on the wing and Diskerud in the midfield appealing. I like both of them. But I have more faith in Corona in Brazil.

    • Gary Page says:

      Hey, I want to comment on the top of this article on Corona which, IMO, was very misleading. It made it sound like he hadn’t been playing well and was fighting his way onto the team, which is unfair to Corona. When Xolos had their championship year, Corona started many if not most of the games and he played a lot of minutes. Last season the new coach didn’t play him as much and Xolos did not do very well. Maybe a coincidence, maybe not, but that coach got canned. This year Corona, after doing well in the Gold Cup, was starting most of the time and he played very well and was having a great game about 2 months ago when he got injured. He missed a bunch of playing time because of his injury, so it’s not like he wasn’t playing well, he was, but got injured.

      • GW says:

        Corona’s USMNT problem is that the US player pool have too many guys more or less like him i.e attacking midfielders who often get deployed on the wing but are not really wingers and are probably more comfortable playing centrally. That would include Zusi, Bedoya, Magee, and of course, Deuce and LD. In Landon’s case, it doesn’t matter where you deploy him he will do well.