The Major League Soccer playoffs are in full swing now with the intensity kicking up once the Seattle and Real Salt Lake series began last night. The feel of the match was a great primer to the action around the world this weekend. U.S. Men’s National Team players are in action all over the world with some getting started tonight. Charles Kazlauskas scored for Helmond in the Eerste Divisie to give them a 3-1 win over Cambuur. It was their first win in the last seven matches. More of what’s to come this weekend after the break.
Jozy Altidore scored twice in midweek action and looks to continue his scoring touch against VV Venlo in Dutch
League action. Alkmaar is now two points outside of a Europa League spot. Despite his ability to score with AZ, Altidore still seems to be on the outside of the USMNT picture. Jurgen Klinsmann said Thursday that he has not talked to the striker.
Jermaine Jones and a surging Schalke squad face off with Hoffenheim featuring Danny Williams and Fabian Johnson. This match looks lopsided on paper with Hoffenheim fighting off relegation and Schalke moving toward the top of the standings.
Steve Cherundolo returned to the Hannover line up in DFB Pokal action this week after missing last weekend. Hannover takes on Augsburg as 96 seems to be back to full health.
Stoke City has nine points and only one win on the year. Geoff Cameron figures to slot in at right back while Maurice Edu playing would be a surprise. Edu has only played one time since going to the Potters. The opponents, Norwich City, are hoping to stay clear of the relegation zone.
Aston Villa is dangerously close to the bottom three. Brad Guzan has been able to keep his team in most games with his performance in goal, but they are unable to answer with much scoring of their own. Eric Lichaj has been the first call substitution even in the case of injuries or red cards, like last weekend.
Also in EPL action Everton and Tim Howard take on Fulham. Clint Dempsey and Brad Friedel with Tottenham look to rebound from midweek cup action against Wigan.