By FRANCO PANIZO
A lost season for Sunderland and Jozy Altidore could be salvaged in a major way this weekend, but some stiff competition stands in the Black Cats’ way of lifting some silverware.
Sunderland are set to take on Manchester City on Sunday and all that is up for grabs is the 2013-14 Capital One Cup title. Altidore and the rest of the Black Cats will enter the final as severe underdogs, but their run to this point has been nothing short of impressive, especially given their league struggles. Altidore’s wealth of experience could be enough to earn him a start versus a stacked Manchester City side that will aim to avoid an upset and add to its trophy cabinet.
Besiktas will not be competing for any hardware this weekend, but their match against Antalyaspor could mark Jermaine Jones’ long-awaited debut for the club. Jones has been sidelined with a groin issue since joining the club, but his inclusion in the U.S. Men’s National Team roster for next week’s friendly against Ukraine seems to indicate that he will be healthy enough to play on Friday.
Wondering what other match might be worth watching? Look no further than Reading’s duel with Yeovil Town, which is likely to pit Danny Williams against Duane Holmes. The teenage midfielder will be looking to build on his promising debut for the relegation-threatened Glovers, but Williams and Reading will do their best to prevent that from happening as they look to bounce back from last week’s home defeat.
Here is who the Americans Abroad take on this weekend:
John Brooks and Hertha Berlin play SC Freiburg.
Alejandro Bedoya and FC Nantes play Evian Thonon Gaillard.
Jermaine Jones and Besiktas play Antalyaspor.
Jonathan Bornstein and Atlante play Morelia.
Tim Howard and Everton play Sebastian Lletget and West Ham United.
Geoff Cameron and Stoke City play Arsenal.
Cody Cropper and Southampton play Liverpool.
Gboly Ariyibi and Leeds United play Queens Park Rangers.
Tim Ream, Stuart Holden and Bolton Wanderers play Blackburn Rovers. (Holden is out injured.)
Zak Whitbread and Derby County play Burnley.
Brek Shea and Barnsley play Huddersfield Town.
Jonathan Spector, Will Packwood and Birmingham City play Ipswich Town.
Eric Lichaj and Nottingham Forest play Wigan Athletic.
Danny Williams and Reading play Duane Holmes and Yeovil Town.
Oguchi Onyewu and Sheffield Wednesday play Middlesbrough.
Timmy Chandler and FC Nurnberg play Borussia Dortmund. (Chandler is out injured.)
Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 play FC Augsburg. (Cherundolo is out injured.)
Bobby Wood and TSV 1860 Munich play SV Sandhausen.
Herculez Gomez, Joe Corona, Edgar Castillo, Greg Garza, Paul Arriola and Club Tijuana play Veracruz.
Alonso Hernandez and Monterrey play Club America.
Jozy Altidore and Sunderland play Manchester City in the Capital One Cup final.
Brad Guzan and Aston Villa play Norwich City.
Brad Friedel and Tottenham Hotspur play Cardiff City.
Fabian Johnson and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim play VfL Wolfsburg.
Alfredo Morales and FC Ingolstadt 04 play Dynamo Dresden.
Andrew Wooten and FSV Frankfurt play SpVgg Greuther Furth.
Juan Agudelo and FC Utrecht play Twente Enschede.
Aron Johannsson and AZ Alkmaar play RKC Waalwijk.
Sacha Kljestan and RSC Anderlecht play Racing Genk.
Terrence Boyd and Rapid Vienna play SV Salzburg.
Conor O’Brien and Odense BK play Esbjerg.
Babajide Ogunbiyi and Viborg FF play FC Nordsjaelland.
DaMarcus Beasley, Michael Orozco and Puebla Queretaro.
Jose Torres and Tigres UANL play Chivas de Guadalajara.
Which of these matches are you most looking forward to? Do you see Altidore and Sunderland lifting some hardware? Think Jones will finally get on the field for Besiktas?
Share your thoughts below.