Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

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The Yanks are, indeed, marching into many football grounds this weekend and we’re here to let you know where to keep your eyes trained to see Americans in action across the globe.

First off, the Stoke Sentinel is reporting that the loan destination for new signing Juan Agudelo is likely to be Dutch side FC Utrecht. They sit in ninth place in the Eredivise and their list of former players include international standouts Michel Vorm, Kevin Strootman and Dirk Kuyt.

Meanwhile, current defender Geoff Cameron and his Stoke City mates can get some breathing room from the bottom of the table teams breathing down their necks when they head into Selhurst Park for a date with Crystal Palace at 10am ET on Saturday (Watch live and online via  NBC Sports Extra).

Jozy Altidore and Sunderland will hope to continue flying high after a 4-1 win last with a home date against Southampton. The Black Cats have been terrible at home this year (2W-1D-7L), but to be fair they’ve been awful nearly everywhere outside of the League Cup.

Clint Dempsey’s back in a London derby when Fulham heads into the Emirates Stadium for a date with Arsenal which is not expected to go well. Hopefully, Dempsey can be a part of a Cottagers resurgence after they were thumped by Sunderland last week.

What about the keepers? Brad Guzan has famously labeled Luis Suarez a mere human as his Villans try to contain Liverpool on Saturday while Tim Howard and Everton need to wait til Sunday for their match at the Hawthorns versus West Brom.

More of a review than a preview, but a manager flip-flop had Jonathan Bornstein back on the pitch after a long spell out of favor for Atlante in Liga MX. Many other Americans playing in Mexico will be in action Saturday or are on the pitch as this post is published: DaMarcus Beasley, Michael Farfan, Jose Torres, Jose Villareral and more. Updates to come.

Ale Bedoya and Nantes have a huge Sunday road match-up against PSG. The Canaries sit No. 6 in Ligue 1 and a strong performance from Bedoya against a world class side could certainly further pique the interest of Jurgen Klinsmann.

Back to the Eredivise, where Aron Johansson is set to get right back on his high-scoring horse for AZ Alkmaar in their match-up with NAC Breda. He has 13 goals in 21 total appearances this season.

Sacha Kljestan leads No. 2 Belgian side Anderlecht into a road match with relegation scrappers KV Mechelen.

The Bundesliga won’t be back in action until next weekend.

Defoe walks out Bradley Lowery, scores in England win

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Jermain Defoe’s friendship with terminally-ill Bradley Lowery has been special to watch unfold, and the Sunderland striker brought his little buddy to Wembley today.

Then he notched a match-winner.

Lowery walked Defoe out onto the field in a replica England kit before Sunday’s World Cup qualifier against Lithuania, and then Defoe scored his 20th goal for country.

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It was his first since 2013, the last year Defoe was called up for the Three Lions.

Here’s the goal, which was followed by a second-half Jamie Vardy tally as England stayed atop Group F with a 2-0 win over Lithuania.

Two Russian soccer fans stabbed in Serbia

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BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) Two Russian fans have been hospitalized with serious injuries after being stabbed following a friendly soccer match between Red Star Belgrade and Lokomotiv Moscow.

Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said Sunday police were looking for the knife-wielding perpetrators who attacked a group of Lokomotiv fans in downtown Belgrade late Saturday.

Serbian media reports said the Russian fans were attacked by supporters of Red Star’s rival Partizan Belgrade.

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The match, which Red Star won 2-1, was meant to promote Serbia’s traditional friendship with Russia.

Stefanovic says “nobody should think they could hurt the Serbian-Russian friendship” with such attacks.

Serbia has seen a surge of fan violence inside and outside stadiums. In 2009, a French football fan was fatally beaten in Belgrade.

VIDEO: Gerrard’s juggle and finish leads Liverpool legends past Real Madrid

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Scoring at Anfield doesn’t get old, especially when your name is Steven Gerrard.

The English midfielder was playing in a friendly match between Liverpool and Real Madrid “legends” on Sunday, when he delivered this tasty goal (and assists to Michael Owen, Robbie Fowler, and John Aldridge).

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Gerrard redirects a cross over a lunging defender and into a place where he can lash a goal home to put the Reds up 4-0. He dedicated his Man of the Match performance to club legend Ronnie Moran, who died earlier this week.

Real’s comeback came up just short in a 4-3 final, with Fernando Morientes, Ruben de la Red, and Edwin Congo scoring for the visitors.

On a Sunday waiting for the international matches to begin, Gerrard supplies a nice highlight for the rest of us (Extended highlights free on Liverpool’s site).

Ozil bristles at talk of Arsenal selling him

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Mesut Ozil is on international break, and bristling at reports that Arsenal is going to sell him.

The midfielder’s absence from the lineup last week had plenty speculating on his future, even more than usual. His contract expires in 2018, and several reports claimed he’d join Alexis Sanchez as players destined for elsewhere.

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Ozil was not called up by Germany, and has missed four of his last nine Premier League matches. Three of those were for illness, and he missed last week’s loss to West Brom with a hamstring injury.

From Metro:

“And you think Wenger tells the journalist before he tells me? Then I know him differently,” Ozil told German outlet Welt.

“I have a contract until 2018 in London and I feel very comfortable there. We’ll talk soon and then make a decision.”

Metro notes that Ozil also said he wants to win the Champions League, something that can only happen with Arsenal remaining in the Top Four. We suppose you could make snarky inferences from his “comfortable in London” phrasing, but we’ll leave it there.