By FRANCO PANIZO
Two points are all that separate Jermaine Jones and Besiktas from landing a place in next season’s UEFA Champions League, and they have two matches left in the season to close that gap.
Jones and Besiktas currently trail second-place Galatasaray by one point, but will need a victory over Elazigspor and at least a draw between Galatasaray and fourth-placed Trabzonspor in order to jump into the spot with the automatic berth for the 2014-15 Champions League. A first-place finish would usually be required to do so, but already-crowned champions Fenerbahce are serving a two-year ban from European competition, leaving clubs like Jones’ Besiktas and Galatasary to frantically fight for second place.
Terrence Boyd and Rapid Vienna already locked up the runners-up spot in their respective league, but the U.S. Men’s National Team striker will be keen on extending his scoring streak to four games. Boyd has scored in three consecutive matches, and he will attempt to add to the five goals he has netted during that stretch when Rapid Vienna close out their season vs. SV Josko Ried.
Tim Howard and Everton have essentially nothing to play for in their final game of the regular season, but they have set their sights on ending their impressive season with a win. The Toffees are currently on a two-game losing streak and hoping to reverse their fortunes when they visit Hull City on a Sunday jampacked with games across Europe.
Here is who the Americans Abroad battle this weekend:
David Yelldell and Bayer Leverkusen play Werder Bremen.
John Brooks and Hertha Berlin play Borussia Dortmund.
Timmy Chandler and FC Nurnberg play Schalke 04. (Chandler is suspended due to yellow card accumulation.)
Fabian Johnson, Joe Gyau and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim play Eintracht Braunschweig.
Alejandro Bedoya and FC Nantes play St Etienne.
Zarek Valentin and FK Bodo/Glimt play Haugesund. (Valentin is out injured.)
Tim Howard and Everton play Hull City.
Sebastian Lletget and West Ham United play Manchester City.
Cody Cropper and Southampton play Manchester United.
Jozy Altidore and Sunderland play Swansea City.
Brad Friedel and Tottenham Hotspur play Brad Guzan and Aston Villa.
Geoff Cameron, Brek Shea and Stoke City play West Bromwich Albion.
Zak Whitbread and Derby County play Brighton & Hove Albion.
Alfredo Morales and FC Ingolstadt 04 play Energie Cottbus.
Bobby Wood and TSV 1860 Munich play FC Union Berlin.
Andrew Wooten and FSV Frankfurt play FC Cologne.
Jermaine Jones and Besiktas play Elazigspor.
Sacha Kljestan and RSC Anderlecht play Racing Genk in the Pro League playoff.
Terrence Boyd and Rapid Vienna play SV Josko Ried.
Conor O’Brien and Odense BK play Esbjerg.
Babajide Ogunbiyi and Viborg FF play FC Nordsjaelland.
Michael Stephens and Stabaek IF play Sarpsborg 08.
Josh Gatt, Ethan Horvath and Molde FK play Stromsgodset. (Gatt is out injured.)
Dennis Flores, Miguel Palafox and Club Leon play Toluca in the Liga MX playoffs.
Mix Diskerud and Rosenborg BK play Sandnes Ulf.
Which of these matches are you most anticipating? Do you see Jones and Besiktas moving into the Super Lig’s UEFA Champions League spot after this weekend? Think Boyd will score again?
Share your thoughts below.