This has all the makings of a rough week for Yanks in England’s top flight.
USA’s pair of Premier League goalkeepers have road tests ahead of them, as Tim Howard and Everton look to hold on to their European dreams with a trip to Stamford Bridge early Saturday, while Brad Guzan’s Aston Villa side is off to play struggling Newcastle United on Sunday.
Jozy Altidore will look to shake the dust off his goal-scoring record with a trip to the Emirates to face Arsenal on Saturday, while Geoff Cameron caps off a silly road weekend for Yanks in England by bringing Stoke into the Etihad for a Saturday date with Manchester City. If Clint Dempsey finds his way back into Fulham’s team, it’ll be on Saturday at West Bromwich Albion.
Tim Ream and Bolton host mid-table Championship side Watford, while Danny Williams will look to build momentum after scoring last week when Reading welcomes Blackburn. Brek Shea’s Barnsley faces a huge six-point relegation battle with Milwall at the home of the Tykes.
Juan Agudelo’s FC Utrecht side is just two points ahead of the drop zone in the Eredivisie and they face a Sunday match with midtable Groningen.
Sacha Kljestan and Anderlecht are back in Jupiler Pro League action with a Saturday game at Lokeren, who sit in fifth place, five points back of No. 3 Anderlecht. Kljestan’s team is 15 points out of first and five points back of No. 2 Brugge.
Fabian Johnson continues his return for Hoffenheim when they try to steal three points at Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday. Elsewhere in the Bundesliga, John Anthony Brooks will look to get back into the lineup when Hertha Berlin faces relegation-scrapping Stuttgart on Saturday. He was an unused substitute last week after being a 37th minute pull three days earlier.
Jermaine Jones sent a message to Besitkas fans on Twitter that he plans to be ready for this weekend’s matchup with Galatasaray on Saturday at Noon.
Over in France, FC Nantes hosts Stade Rennes, and Canaries striker Ale Bedoya will try to keep the visitors from leapfrogging them in the table.
CARDIFF, Wales (AP) — Chris Coleman says he chose to remain as Wales manager despite interest from Premier League side Hull because he’s in a job that is “close to his heart.”
The Football Association of Wales rejected an approach for Coleman from Hull this month, with the Welshman deciding to stay on rather than resigning.
Coleman, who guided Wales to the European Championship semifinals against the odds, said on Wednesday that “if someone comes and it’s the Premier League, anybody, you kind of look at it sideways. Of course.”
But, Coleman added, managing your country “comes around once, if you’re lucky.”
Coleman has made no secret of his desire to manage in club football in the future, but says “what I’ve got here is something very special and close to my heart.”
Who’s going to join Porto, Monaco, Legia Warsaw, Ludogorets Razgrad and Celtic as playoff teams to join the UEFA Champions League group stage?
The biggest names of Wednesday’s slate are cruising after their first legs, with Manchester City and Borussia Monchengladbach putting five and three goals on the board, respectively.
[ MORE: Champions League Tues. roundup ]
Could the match be Joe Hart‘s last for City? The longtime backstop gets the call with the transfer window a week away.
In the other three cases, things are wide open. Rostov plays Ajax, Red Bull Salzburg faces Dinamo Zagreb, and APOEL lines up Copenhagen.
Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League slate — FOLLOW LIVE
Borussia Monchengladbach (3) vs. (1) BSC Young Boys
Rostov (1) vs. (1) Ajax
Red Bull Salzburg (1) vs. (1) Dinamo Zagreb
APOEL (0) vs. (1) Copenhagen
Manchester City (5) vs. Steaua Bucuresti (0)
The newly-renamed EFL Cup, formerly the League Cup, rolls on Wednesday with four more matches ahead of the evening’s third-round draw.
American attacker Lynden Gooch starts for Sunderland, while Tim Ream starts for Fulham and Luca de la Torre is on the Cottagers’ bench. Emerson Hyndman is on the bench for Bournemouth.
Tuesday’s action saw Premier League sides West Brom and Watford excused from the tournament.
Wednesday’s EFL Cup schedule — FOLLOW LIVE
Accrington Stanley vs. Burnley
Fulham vs. Middlesbrough
Morecambe vs. Bournemouth
Sunderland vs. Shrewsbury Town
Robbie Keane is ending a big chapter in his career.
Fear not, Galaxy fans, the 36-year-old living L.A. legend isn’t calling it quits on club soccer, but Keane is done with representing the Republic of Ireland.
Keane will play one more game for the Boys in Green, a friendly against Oman next week, before leaving the Republic to qualify for the World Cup without him.
[ MORE: Yedlin, Newcastle make it official ]
In a sprawling and understandably emotional — if not moving — statement, Keane says he isn’t going to stop playing for his club anytime soon, and that he hardly dreamed he’d get to this point.
No player has been capped (145) or scored (67) as many times for Ireland than Keane.