As usual, certain groups of matches overseas will feature USMNT regulars and hopefuls looking to make a splash abroad this weekend.
Against Aston Villa, goalkeeper Brad Friedel will appear as a backup between the pipes for Tottenham Hotspur, who have named American youngster DeAndre Yedlin to the provisional squad due to Kyle Walker’s absence. Meanwhile, netminder Brad Guzan, with a weak record against Spurs according to MLSsoccer.com’s Greg Seltzer, will lead Villa.
The other big U.S. goalie in the PL, Tim Howard, will aim to continue his triumphs against Swansea City when the two sides face each other on Saturday. The Toffees, trying to make up for a largely disappointing season in the league, have won three straight and will hope Howard can be the difference to protract their nice stretch of form.
Another footballer worth mentioning, with ties to NBC as a special correspondent, is Stoke City defender Geoff Cameron. The 29-year-old hailing from Massachusetts played all 90 minutes in Stoke’s latest league contest–a 2-1 loss to Chelsea–and held his ground well enough to warrant another start, this time against Big Sam’s West Ham.
In the Eredivisie, forward Aron Johansson hasn’t netted a goal for his club, AZ Alkmaar, since the beginning of March, the third goal he had scored in the past four games at the time. Scoring hasn’t been as easy for the 24-year-old as it was a season ago, with Johansson having only five league goals currently. He was a substitute in AZ’s recent 4-1 loss to Feyenoord after starting two straight games.
Eintracht Frankfurt’s Timothy Chandler will have arguably the toughest test of any U.S. player this weekend at the Allianz Arena even though Bayern Munich has absences that will influence the starting XI. Frankfurt is currently near a Europa League spot, just four points back, so this competition arrives at a fairly significant juncture.
Also of note, John Brooks cashed in an exceptional performance for Hertha BSC in Bundesliga earlier today when his side drew Hannover 96, 1-1.
Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes): Set to start against Saint-Etienne after burying goal in last league fixture
Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach): Taking on revitalized Borussia Dortmund in Bundesliga
Rubio Rubin (FC Utrecht): Looking to build off equalizer from last week vs. ADO Den Haag on Sunday