Americans Abroad preview: Guzan benched, Friedel could make farewell appearance
As many soccer leagues across Europe will finish their season at the end of this month, time remains for Americans playing overseas to make headlines and bolster their national team aspirations with headline-grabbing performances.
In England, the Premier League will bid farewell to one of the United States’ greats, current Tottenham back-up goalkeeper Brad Friedel. The 44-year-old announced his retirement just over a week ago, and manager Mauricio Pochettino said that one last appearance for the longtime player is possible when Spurs face Everton on Sunday.
Fellow goalkeepers Brad Guzan and Tim Howard will see their respective sides encounter PL competition for the final time this season. However, following his severe blunder against Manchester City, Guzan was benched and is now set to ride the bench in Aston Villa’s tilt against Burnley.
Howard, on the other hand, knows that his job is safe in the near future after Everton boss Roberto Martinez made that sentiment known. The 2014-15 Premier League year hasn’t held great fortune for Howard and the Toffees, who sit in tenth place, back several spaces from the previous season’s top-five finish. The good news? Everton has won five of its last eight games, and Goodison Park will watch one last effort vs. Spurs.
Talking about a U.S. international in great form, AZ Alkmaar’s Aron Johnasson has scored four goals in his past four Dutch Eredivisie matches, including this spectacular long-distance strike from a May 10 contest and acrobatic bicycle kick. AZ’s season is over with a Europa League qualification in the books, and the window is open for Johansson to challenge Jozy Altidore on the U.S. national team.
Over to the Germany, Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Fabian Johnson has tallied two assists in four games and also witnessed his side qualify for the Champions League with a safe-bet third-place conclusion. The ultimate goal is to snag second place, though. The Foals need to beat FC Augsburg, and if all pans out well, VfL Wolfsburg will lose to FC Köln.
John Brooks (German Bundesliga) — Suspended, won’t play in Hertha BSC-Hoffenheim match on Saturday
Timothy Chandler (German Bundesliga) — Scored two weeks ago for Eintracht Frankfurt, face fourth-place Bayer Leverkusen
Geoff Cameron (Premier League) — Set to start again when Stoke faces Liverpool on Sunday
Coach Bob Bradley, Cole Grossman (Norwegian Tippeligaen) – Stabaek vs. Rosenborg