Photo by Brad Smith/ISIphotos.com
Photo by Brad Smith/ISIphotos.com
By FRANCO PANIZO
Jose Francisco Torres and Pachuca's confidence is likely at a high after having won the CONCACAF Champions League on Wednesday, and they will have to carry that momentum over into this weekend if they are to have a shot at finishing the Mexican season in similar style.
Torres and Pachuca take on top-seeded Monterrey in the quarterfinals of Mexico's Clausura campaign, and will need to do all it can to muster up a win at home in the first leg of this home-and-home series as the last time it visited Monterrey, the club was dismantled, 3-0. Along with being the underdog, Pachuca can take comfort in knowing that Monterrey's form has been subpar as of late, with the club winning just one of its last four matches.
Eddie Johnson and Freddy Adu are also in search of post-season success as they aim to help Aris Salonika in its quest to play in next season's UEFA Champions League. The pair of American attackers are coming off strong midweek showings, and will aim to put in repeat performances when Aris visits PAOK Salonika in the next fixture of the Greek playoffs.
Not as much will be on the line when Bolton Wanderers tackle Tottenham in the penultimate round of Premiership games, but the match should be of intrigue as Stuart Holden could possibly make his return from the broken leg he suffered back in early March. Holden resumed full training this week, and manager Owen Coyle may play him against Spurs if he is deemed healthy enough.
Here is a rundown of who the Americans Abroad will be playing this weekend:
Tim Howard and Everton play Stoke City.
Brad Friedel, Brad Guzan and Aston Villa play Manchester City.
Stuart Holden and Bolton Wanderers play Tottenham Hotspur.
Marcus Hahnemann and Wolverhampton Wanderers play Portsmouth.
Zak Whitbread and Norwich City play Bristol Rovers.
Eric Lichaj and Leyton Orient play Jon-Paul Pittman and Wycombe Wanderers.
Mike Grella and Leeds United play Charlton Athletic.
Jemal Johnson and Stockport County play Southend United.
DaMarcus Beasley, Maurice Edu and Rangers play Dundee United.
Dominic Cervi and Celtic play Motherwell.
Oguchi Onyewu and AC Milan play Fiorentina.
Steve Cherundolo, Sal Zizzo and Hannover 96 play Michael Bradley and Borussia Moenchengladbach. (Zizzo is out injured.)
Jermaine Jones and Schalke 04 play Werder Bremen. (Jones is out injured.)
Ricardo Clark and Eintracht Frankfurt play TSG Hoffenheim.
Jared Jeffrey and Mainz 05 play VfB Stuttgart.
Daniel Williams and SC Freiburg play FC Cologne.
Benny Feilhaber and AGF Aarhus play Silkeborg IF.
Jose Francisco Torres and Pachuca play Monterrey in the quarterfinals of the Clausura.
Clint Dempsey and Fulham play Jonathan Spector and West Ham United.
Jay DeMerit and Watford play Coventry City.
Frank Simek and Sheffield Wednesday play Crystal Palace.
Kenny Cooper and Plymouth Argyle play Peterborough United.
Matt Taylor and FSV Frankfurt play Ahlen.
David Yeldell and TUS Koblenz play Luis Robles and Kaiserslautern. (Yeldell is out injured.)
Carlos Bocanegra and Stade Rennes play Charlie Davies and Sochaux.
Gale Agbossoumonde and Sporting Braga play Pacos de Ferreira.
Eddie Johnson, Freddy Adu and Aris Salonika play PAOK Salonika in the Greek Super League Playoffs.
Michael Parkhurst and FC Nordsjaelland play Randers FC.
Marcus Tracy, Chris Rolfe and Aalborg BK FC Midtjylland. (Tracy is out injured.)
Ryan Miller, Michael Thomas and Halmstads BK play Brommapojkarna.
Alejandro Bedoya and Orebro SK play BK Hacken (Bedoya is serving a suspension for yellow card accumulation.)
Steve Clark and Honefoss BK play Molde.
Mikkel Diskerud and Stabaek play Haugesund.
Michael Hoyos and Estudiantes La Plata play Chacarita Juniors.
Jozy Altidore and Hull City play Wigan Athletic. (Altidore is suspended due to the ejection he received last week.)
Clarence Goodson, Hunter Freeman and IK Start play Aalesunds.
Which Americans Abroad match are you most looking forward to? Which players do you see having a big impact? Can Pachuca knock off Monterrey? How do you see Adu and Johnson faring against PAOK? Expecting Holden to make his return this weekend?
Share your thoughts below.