By FRANCO PANIZO
The celebration is officially over and the focus for reigning Liga MX champions Club Tijuana is to start off their Clausura campaign with a win, but they will need to knock off a pair of Americans and their team in order to make that happen.
Xolos are set to visit Puebla on Sunday and their Clausura opener should pit the Tijuana trio of Edgar Casitllo, Joe Corona and Greg Garza against DaMarcus Beasley and Michael Orozco Fiscal in an big American showdown. Puebla finished the Apertura season poorly, so Beasley, Orozco Fiscal and the rest of Los Camoteros will be looking to appease their home crowd by grabbing a result against a Xolos team that is still considered to be one of the strongest in Mexico.
Serie A also resumes its action this weekend, and AS Roma will take on Napoli in the latest chapter of their Derby del Sole on Sunday. Having beaten Orlando City in a winter friendly in the United States on Wednesday and taken a long flight back home, Roma and Michael Bradley will need to fight off any lingering jetlag if they wish to pick up road points against Napoli.
Wondering what other interesting matches will be worth watching? Look no further than Tigres UANL’s duel with Jaguares de Chiapas, where Jose Torres is expected to make his debut for Tigres. Another intriguing game will come in the FA Cup, as Maurice Edu could end his playing time drought for Stoke City when the Potters face Crystal Palace.
Here is who the Americans Abroad play this weekend:
Brad Guzan, Eric Lichaj and Aston Villa play Ipswich Town in the FA Cup.
Tim Ream, Stuart Holden and Bolton Wanderers play Sunderland in the FA Cup.
Geoff Cameron, Maurice Edu and Stoke City play Crystal Palace in the FA Cup.
Conor Doyle and Derby County play Tranmere Rovers in the FA Cup.
Jonathan Spector, Will Packwood and Birmingham City play Leeds United in the FA Cup.
Zak Whitbread and Leicester City play Burton Albion in the FA Cup. (Whitbread is out injured.)
Robbie Findley and Nottingham Forest play Oldham Athletic in the FA Cup.
Clint Dempsey, Brad Friedel and Tottenham Hotspur play Coventry City in the FA Cup.
Sebastian Lletget and West Ham United play Manchester United in the FA Cup.
Robbie Rogers and Stevenage play Crewe Alexandra.
Mike Grella and Scunthorpe United play Shrewsbury Town.
Frank Simek and Carlisle United play Swindon Town.
Oguchi Onyewu and Malaga play Deportivo La Coruna.
Carlos Bocanegra and Racing Santander play Ponferradina.
Caleb Patterson-Sewell and Vitoria Setubal play Academica de Coimbra.
Ventura Alvarado and Club America play Monterrey.
Jose Torres, Jonathan Bornstein and Tigres UANL play Jaguares de Chiapas.
Herculez Gomez, Hector Joya and Santos Laguna play San Luis.
Michael Bradley and AS Roma play Napoli.
Tony Taylor and Estoril Praia play Benfica.
DaMarcus Beasley, Michael Orozco Fiscal and Puebla play Joe Corona, Edgar Castillo, Greg Garza and Club Tijuana.
Tim Howard and Everton play Cheltenham Town in the FA Cup.
Which of these games are you most looking forward to? Do you see Beasley and Puebla ruining the start of Tijuana’s title defense? Think Bradley and Roma are in for a rough game given their recent long-distance travel?
Share your thoughts below.