Scouring the European schedules, there are a handful of potential clashes where Americans might face off against each other on the soccer fields of Belgium, Germany and even Scotland.
Here at YA, we occasionally find a few minutes between writing articles to watch a game or two, so we’ve decided to highlight the occasional YA-relevant game (or games) that we are excited about seeing; whether it’s some steamy Yank-on-Yank action, a top-billed battle between two powerhouses, a heated derby, or a David vs. Goliath battle that catches our fancy.
For this week’s GOTW, we focus on several potential battles between Americans happening in Germany, Scotland, France and Belgium this weekend.
Greuther Fürth (Julian Green) – TSG Hoffenheim (Chris Richards)
Having just signed a contract extension that will see him stay at Fürth until the summer of 2024, Julian Green will be eager to get on the field to put in a solid performance and show the team that they made the right decision. The attacking midfielder obviously has not been attacking enough, having yet to score or assist this season in the Bundesliga. Furthermore, Fürth is currently holding the wooden spoon as they hold up the rest of the table with one point from 12 games.
On loan from his parent club, Bayern Munich, Richards hasn’t cemented a starting 11 place in the Hoffenheim line-up yet, and has been relegated to being a bench option lately. He still has made nine appearances so far this season, however the young man surely expects more from himself.
The team that plays at the Rhein-Neckar Arena are obviously higher up the standings than their adversaries this weekend, holding down the tenth spot, and will be favorites to move up after the final whistle on Saturday afternoon’s kick-off at 3:30 pm German time, or 9:30am East Coast US time.
Celtic (Cameron Carter-Vickers) vs Aberdeen (Christian Ramirez)
On Sunday afternoon, Christian Ramirez and his Dandies of Aberdeen will head west to take on Cameron Carter-Vickers and second place Celtic in Scottish Premiership action.
Ramirez has been knocking the goals in for Aberdeen in his first season in Scotland thus far. In 13 appearances, the former Houston Dynamo striker has found the back of the net on six occasions, with his most recent coming late October in Glasgow, albeit against the other occupants of the city, league leaders Rangers.
Carter-Vickers, who is on loan from Tottenham Hotspur and plays in the middle of the defense, just may have his hands full against his fellow American who is yet to get a national team call-up. The English-born American, who has been putting in some solid performances for the Bhoys, will look to continue doing just that against his compatriot.
The game will kick off at 10 a.m. on the East Coast.
KRC Genk (Mark McKenzie) – Club Brugge (Owen Otasowie)
This could very well be one of those Yank vs. Yank fixtures where neither of the guys get off the bench, if even both show up at the stadium.
Mark McKenzie has been used sparingly by the Smurfs this season, but to be fair, he has been playing and although he makes the occasional errors in judgement, coach John van den Brom knows that he has a diamond in the rough on his hands.
The former Philadelphia Union defender has made nine appearances thus far. Owen Otasowie, on the other hand has not played a competitive game yet for Club but was on the 23 man roster for the Belgian champions’ last Champions League game against RB Leipzig. In the end however, he was not called into action against the Germans. Considering his inaction, a big plus for the young man would be to simply make the bench, and playing some minutes would be the icing on the cake.
This matinee will kick off in Belgium at 1:30 p.m. local time, which is 7:30 a.m. back at McKenzie’s former MLS home Philadelphia.
Marseille (Konrad de la Fuente) vs Troyes (Eric Palmer-Brown)
This is, or should I say, could have been an attractive Yank vs. Yank game on Sunday night, but based on the fact that Eric Palmer-Brown has only featured twice for Troyes thus far, it is highly unlikely that he will step onto the field down in Marseille. ESTAC has been struggling this season and are just above the drop zone, with just goal difference keeping them out of a relegation spot. For all their defensive woes, giving up seven goals in their last three games, the Manchester City journeyman still cannot get a look in the defense.
On the other hand, de la Fuente, who has not been a regular started and has yet to find the back of the net for Olympique, has been getting playing time. He came off the bench in midweek to face DeAndre Yedlin in their Europa League clash against Galatasaray.
This night game in France will get underway in mid-afternoon US East Coast time, with kickoff at 2:45 p.m.