Get your Internet streams lined up and a spreadsheet ready to maximize anytime your boss walks by, because today’s going to be a great one for midweek soccer-viewing Yanks fans! Almost all of America’s English Premier League players will be in action, including all three goalkeepers (and maybe a fourth if Friedel takes a red card for punching Wayne Rooney and Brad Guzan gets to come in for Villa…I can only dream). The English soccer schedule for this weekend is chock full of FA Cup games, so the Prem is fitting in their fixtures during the week. Wednesday will be just like a Saturday except for the facts that all the matches are being played at the same time (choose wisely) and you probably have to be at work rather than your couch or the bar/pub…so basically the worst Saturday ever.
So who’s playing? The marquee matchup for USMNT fans once again features the Toffees of Everton, this time taking on title-challengers Chelsea on their home ground of Goodison Park. To say national team starters Tim Howard and Landon Donovan have their work cut out for them is an understatement. Meanwhile, Brad Friedel will start in goal as always when Aston Villa hosts a dangerous Manchester United squad. If both the former and current U.S. keeper can prevail, Arsenal just may have a fighting chance to re-enter the EPL title picture, but they’ll have to down surging Liverpool at the Emirates to do so.
But it’s not all top-of-the-table for England’s Yanks on Wednesday; Jozy Altidore is feeling it for Hull, getting starts and forming a nice partnership with Dutchman Vennegoor of Hesselink. Jozy just scored his first goal for the club after drawing penalties for them and setting the table for others to score. He should get the start at Blackburn’s Ewood Park. Meanwhile defender Jonathan Spector looks set to get another start at left back for West Ham United as they try to beat Birmingham City in London and improve their chances of staying in the league. And American third or fourth choice keeper Marcus Hahnemann will be striving to help Wolves achieve the same goal when they face Tottenham at home.
Outside of England, two teams with two Americans apiece will be in action. DeMarcus Beasley is still hurting but Maurice Edu may be available for Rangers when they take on Motherwell in the Scottish Premiership. And in the lone early game involving American players, Eddie Johnson and Freddy Adu may just link up again when Aris faces Xanthi in the Greek Cup. The two put together a great goal in the team’s last game, also against Xanthi. Adu is already tweeting about Wednesday’s affair, trying to get the fans excited for a game that he clearly is up for. Maybe somebody got a tip that he’s in the starting lineup?
Tune in tomorrow, and don’t let your boss catch you! The Greek Cup game is at 10AM/EST and all the UK games start at either 2:45PM/EST or 3:00PM/EST. Go West Ham and Go Yanks!
Note: Jay DeMerit helped Watford shutout Bristol City in the English Championship on Tuesday; it’s going to be great to see him back with the national side again in either late February or early March.
?Jon Levy is a senior staff writer and managing editor for The Yanks Are Coming. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.