photo by Paul Greenwood/ISIphotos.com
By FRANCO PANIZO
Tim Howard and Everton have long dreamed of returning to the UEFA Champions League.
Now is the perfect time to position themselves to do so.
Currently sitting in fifth place and with a game in hand, Howard and Everton can close the four-point gap Arsenal have on them with a win at Goodison Park on Sunday. The Toffees have been eyeing Arsenal’s fourth-placed spot and UEFA Champions League qualifiers berth that comes with it for some time now, and a victory over the Gunners would go a long way in helping Everton obtain it.
Geoff Cameron is also preparing for a match against one of the Premiership’s best teams. Stoke City will attempt to play spoiler to second-place Chelsea’s title hopes by grabbing a result against the Blues at Stamford Bridge. Cameron is likely to be deployed at right back, and should be in for a tough test against talented star players like Oscar and Andre Schurrle.
Another player who could face his respective league’s runners-up is Alejandro Bedoya. FC Nantes are set for a visit to Ligue 1 powerhouse AS Monaco, and Bedoya is hoping to get on the field for the Canaries and repeat the type of impressive showing he had when these two teams last met in October. An upset victory for Bedoya and Nantes would be a big boost for them, and also surely would not hurt the midfielder’s chances of making it onto the U.S. Men’s National Team’s preliminary World Cup roster next month.
Here is who the Americans Abroad face this weekend:
Oguchi Onyewu and Sheffield Wednesday play Leicester City.
David Yelldell and Bayer Leverkusen play Hamburg SV.
Andrew Wooten and FSV Frankfurt play VfR Aalen.
Herculez Gomez, Joe Corona, Edgar Castillo, Greg Garza, Paul Arriola, Alejandro Guido, Fernando Arce Jr and Club Tijuana play Toluca.
Cody Cropper and Southampton play Manchester City.
Brad Guzan and Aston Villa play Fulham.
Geoff Cameron, Brek Shea and Stoke City play Chelsea.
Danny Williams and Reading play Charlton Athletic.
Jonathan Spector, Will Packwood and Birmingham City play Doncaster Rovers. (Packwood is out injured.)
Tim Ream, Stuart Holden and Bolton Wanderers play Duane Holmes and Huddersfield Town. (Holden is out injured.)
Zak Whitbread and Derby County play Middlesbrough.
Eric Lichaj and Nottingham Forest play Millwall. (Lichaj is out injured.)
Gboly Ariyibi and Tranmere Rovers play Colchester United.
Timmy Chandler and FC Nurnberg play Borussia Moenchengladbach. (Chandler is out injured.)
Jermaine Jones and Besiktas play Kayserispor.
Josh Gatt, Ethan Horvath and Molde FK play Odd. (Gatt is out injured.)
Mix Diskerud and Rosenborg BK play Aalesund.
Michael Farfan and Cruz Azul play America.
Alonso Hernandez and Monterrey play Santos Laguna.
DaMarcus Beasley, Michael Orozco and Puebla play Atlas.
Tim Howard and Everton play Arsenal.
Sebastian Lletget and West Ham United play Liverpool.
John Brooks and Hertha Berlin play Schalke 04 play Fabian Johnson and TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.
Bobby Wood and TSV 1860 Munich play Karlsruhe.
Alejandro Bedoya and FC Nantes play AS Monaco.
Juan Agudelo and FC Utrecht play ADO Den Haag.
Aron Johannsson and AZ Alkmaar play Roda JC Kerkrade.
Sacha Kljestan and RSC Anderlecht play Club Brugge in the Pro League playoff.
Terrence Boyd and Rapid Vienna play Austria Vienna.
Babajide Ogunbiyi and Viborg FF play Conor O’Brien and Odense BK.
Zarek Valentin and FK Bodo/Glimt play Valerenga.
Michael Stephens and Stabaek IF play Brann.
Gabriel Farfan and Jaguares de Chiapas play Pumas UNAM.
Jonathan Bornstein and Atlante play Jose Torres and Tigres UANL.
Brad Friedel and Tottenham Hotspur play Jozy Altidore and Sunderland.
Alfredo Morales and FC Ingolstadt 04 play SpVgg Greuther Furth.
Which of these matches are you most anticipating? Do you see Howard and Everton knocking off Arsenal? Think Cameron will turn in a good shift vs. the talented Blues?
Share your thoughts below.