By FRANCO PANIZO
Brek Shea started the new year with the kind of playing time he had long been yearning for, and he might not have to wait much longer to earn some more.
Shea could play in his second game in four days as Barnsley hosts Coventry City in an FA Cup match on Saturday. The U.S. Men’s National Team winger is coming off a reportedly solid 75-minute debut for the Tykes. Shea joined Barnsley on loan on New Year’s Day, and that performance might be enough to warrant another start despite the quick turnaround.
While Shea will aim to build on his start to 2014, several other Americans will be looking to get off on the right foot to their new years. Among those players are Herculez Gomez, Joe Corona, and Edgar Castillo, who are scheduled to take to the road to face Atlas in Club Tijuana’s Clausura season opener on Saturday. Fellow Americans Paul Arriola and Greg Garza are also available for the Xolos.
If you are wondering what else to watch during the first weekend of the new year, look no further than Michael Bradley and AS Roma’s return to action in Serie A on Sunday. Bradley and Roma visit Juventus in a battle of the top two teams in Italy’s top tier, and a victory for the undefeated Giallorossi would put them just two points behind the Old Lady in the standings.
Here is who the Americans Abroad battle this weekend:
Brad Guzan and Aston Villa play Sheffield United in the FA Cup.
Brek Shea and Barnsley play Coventry City in the FA Cup.
Tim Ream, Stuart Holden and Bolton Wanderers play Blackpool in the FA Cup. (Holden is out injured.)
Danny Williams and Reading play Brighton & Hove Albion in the FA Cup.
Tim Howard and Everton play Oguchi Onyewu and Queens Park Rangers in the FA Cup.
Duane Holmes and Huddersfield Town play Grimsby Town in the FA Cup.
Clint Dempsey and Fulham play Norwich City in the FA Cup.
Gboly Ariyibi and Leeds United play Rochdale in the FA Cup.
Cody Cropper and Southampton play Burnley in the FA Cup.
Geoff Cameron, Maurice Edu and Stoke City play Leicester City in the FA Cup.
Brad Friedel and Tottenham Hotspur play Arsenal in the FA Cup.
Jose Torres and Tigres UANL play Club America.
Alonso Hernandez and Monterrey play Cruz Azul.
Herculez Gomez, Joe Corona, Edgar Castillo, Greg Garza, Paul Arriola and Club Tijuana play Atlas.
Eric Lichaj and Nottingham Forest play West Ham United in the FA Cup.
Jozy Altidore and Sunderland play Carlisle United in the FA Cup.
Zak Whitbread and Derby County play Chelsea in the FA Cup.
Michael Bradley and AS Roma play Juventus.
Alejandro Bedoya and FC Nantes play Nice in Coupe de France.
DaMarcus Beasley, Michael Orozco and Puebla play Pumas UNAM.
Jonathan Bornstein and Atlante play Club Leon.
Which of these matches are you most looking forward to? How will Shea fare against Coventry City? Excited to see the Americans in Liga MX return to action? Do you see Bradley and Roma staying undefeated against Juventus?
Share your thoughts below.