photo by Niki Jargren and Helsingborgs IF
The Europa League draw may not have drawn the same type of attention that the UEFA Champions League draw did but that does not mean it was any less interesting, especially to American fans who will get the chance to see some of their favorite players do battle against one another in this season's group stage.
The 48 teams competing in this year's Europa League were drawn into 12 groups of four on Friday morning, but no group could see more battles between Americans than Group K. Terrence Boyd and Rapid Vienna, Mix Diskerud's Rosenborg BK and David Yelldell and Bayer Leverkusen were all drawn together along with Metalist Kharkiv of Ukraine for what should be one of the more entertaining groups.
Group L also has multiple Americans in it, as Steve Cherundolo's Hannover 96 and Alejandro Bedoya's Helsingborgs IF were paired together along with Spain's Levante and Twente Enschede of the Netherlands.
The other three Americans competing in the tournament were drawn into sepearate groups. Josh Gatt and Molde FK fell into Group E with VfB Stuttgart (Germany), FC Copenhagen (Denmark) and Steaua Bucharest (Romania). Brad Friedel and Tottenham Hotspur landed in Group J and Oguchi Onyewu's Sporting CP was selected to partake in Group G.
Here is the full list of Europa League groups following Friday's draw:
Group A: Liverpool (ENG), Udinese (ITA), Young Boys (SUI), Anzhi (RUS)
Group B: Atletico Madrid (SPN), Hapoel Tel-Aviv (ISR), Viktoria Plzen (CZE), Academica (POR)
Group C: Marseille (FRA), Fenerbahce (TUR), Borussia Monchengladbach (GER), AEL Limassol (CYP)
Group D: Bordeaux (FRA), Club Brugge (BEL), Newcastle United (ENG), Maritimo (POR)
Group E: VfB Stuttgart (GER), FC Copenhagen (DEN), Steaua Bucharest (ROU), Molde FK (NOR)
Group F: PSV Eindhoven (NED), Napoli (ITA), Dnipro (UKR), AIK Solna (SWE)
Group G: Sporting CP (POR), FC Basel (SUI), Genk (BEL), Videoton (HUN)
Group H: Internazionale (ITA), Rubin Kazan (RUS), Partizan Belgrade (SRB), Neftci (AZE)
Group I: Lyon (FRA), Athletic Bilbao (SPN), Sparta Prague (CZE), Hapoel Kiryat Shmona (ISR)
Group J: Tottenham Hotspur (ENG), Panathinaikos (GRE), Lazio (ITA), Maribor (SVN)
Group K: Bayer Leverkusen (GER), Metalist Kharkiv (UKR), Rosenborg BK (NOR), Rapid Vienna (AUT)
Group L: Twente (NED), Hannover 96 (GER), Levante (SPN), Helsingborgs IF (SWE)
What do you make of these groups? Which is the Group of Death? Which Americans do you think have the best chance of advancing?
Share your thoughts below.