By FRANCO PANIZO
Jermaine Jones may have a wealth of experience in marquee matches and tons of grit and tenacity, but all those qualities are about to be put to the test.
Jones and Schalke will host Bayern Munich in one of the more intriguing matches of the European weekend on Saturday. Schalke have not enjoyed as good a start to the season as they would have liked, going 2-2-1 in their five league fixtures, but they can make up for that if they pick up their fifth straight win across all competitions against a talented Bayern side that is currently undefeated at 4-0-1 and in second place in the Bundesliga.
Bayern will be be looking for three points in that road game while also rooting for another club with an American on it. Struggling Nurnberg and Timmy Chandler are set to receive a visit from league leaders Borussia Dortmund on Saturday, and could use a result of any kind against the perfect 5-0 team to help themselves in their early-season battle with relegation. Chandler assisted on Nurnberg’s lone goal last weekend, so expect him to be playing with plenty of confidence against Dortmund.
Not all of the fun will be had in Germany. Alejandro Bedoya and FC Nantes are in for a big game of their own over in France, as they visit a stacked Lyon side that is trying to make up for their disappointing start to the season. Bedoya fared well the last time he went up against one of Ligue 1′s top clubs in Paris Saint-Germain, so another good outing for the U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder is certainly not out of the question.
Here is who the Americans Abroad face off against this weekend:
Andrew Wooten and Kaiserslautern play FC Cologne.
Mix Diskerud and Rosenborg BK play Haugesund.
Alonso Hernandez and Monterrey play Morelia.
Herculez Gomez, Joe Corona, Edgar Castillo, Greg Garza, Paul Arriola and Club Tijuana play Cruz Azul. (Gomez is out injured.)
Brad Guzan and Aston Villa play Norwich City.
Jozy Altidore and Sunderland play West Bromwich Albion.
Tim Howard and Everton play West Ham United.
Jonathan Spector, Will Packwood and Birmingham City play Sheffield Wednesday. (Packwood is out injured.)
Zak Whitbread and Leicester City play Blackpool.
Tim Ream, Stuart Holden and Bolton Wanderers play Brighton & Hove Albion. (Holden is out injured.)
Danny Williams and Reading play Derby County.
Eric Lichaj and Nottingham Forest play Doncaster Rovers.
Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 play Michael Parkhurst and FC Augsburg. (Cherundolo is out injured.)
Timmy Chandler and FC Nurnberg play Borussia Dortmund.
Fabian Johnson, Joe Gyau and TSG Hoffenheim play VfL Wolfsburg.
Jermaine Jones and Schalke 04 play Bayern Munich.
Bobby Wood and TSV 1860 Munich play FC Erzgebirge Aue.
Steve Clark and Honefoss BK play Lillestrom.
Jose Torres, Jonathan Bornstein and Tigres UANL play DaMarcus Beasley, Michael Orozco and Puebla.
Geoff Cameron, Maurice Edu, Brek Shea and Stoke City play Arsenal. (Edu is out injured.)
Brad Friedel and Tottenham Hotspur play Cardiff City.
Michael Bradley and AS Roma play Lazio. (Bradley is out injured.)
John Anthony Brooks and Hertha Berlin play SC Freiburg.
Alfredo Morales and FC Ingolstadt 04 play FSV Frankfurt.
Alejandro Bedoya and FC Nantes play Lyon.
Aron Johannsson and AZ Alkmaar play NAC Breda.
Eugene Starikov and FK Tom’ Tomsk play FK Rubin Kazan.
Sacha Kljestan and RSC Anderlecht play Club Brugge.
Terrence Boyd and Rapid Vienna play SV Josko Ried.
Conor O’Brien and Odense BK play FC Copenhagen.
Brian Span and Djurgarden IF play Atvidabergs FF.
Josh Gatt, Ben Spencer, Ethan Horvath and Molde FK play Sandnes Ulf. (Gatt is out injured.)
Freddy Adu and Bahia play Botafogo.
Which of these matches are you most looking forward to? Do you see Jones and Schalke defeating Bayern? Think Chandler and Nurnberg stand a chance vs. Dortmund’s star-studded cast?
Share your thoughts below.