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Americans Abroad Preview: Altidore faces another chance for Cup glory

Jozy Altidore and Sunderland already booked passage to one cup final this week, and Saturday will offer another opportunity for the U.S. national team striker to enjoy cup glory.

Sunderland faces English fifth division side Kidderminster Harriers in FA Cup action on Saturday, just four days after a dramatic Capital One Cup semifinal triumph against Manchester United. Altidore came on as a substitute late in that second-leg victory, and should feature as a starter on Saturday, which could offer him a good opportunity to wrack up some goals and break out of the drought he has been enduring since joining the Black Cats.

The FA Cup should offer plenty of opportunities for Americans this weekend, including Oguchi Onyewu, who will look to make his second straight start for Sheffield Wednesday against Rochdale on Saturday. Onyewu enjoyed a good debut for Wednesday a week ago, but will need to repeat it to keep his place in the lineup, and build some momentum toward a potential national team return.

Eric Lichaj and Nottingham Forest knocked an English Premier League rival in the previous round of the FA Cup, routing West Ham United, and will be heavily favored against Preston North End in the next round of the competition, on Friday. Forest is unbeaten in 10 matches in all competitions, and looks a good bet to extend that to 11 against a Preston North End side currently sitting in fourth place in League One.

Geoff Cameron will be facing the toughest challenge of any American in this weekend’s FA Cup action, as Stoke City takes on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. Stoke is coming off consecutive losses and must try to stop a Chelsea side that is riding high in the Premier League. Whether or not Jose Mourinho will rest key players remains to be seen, but it is a safe bet the Blues will field a team capable of testing Cameron and Stoke.

Tim Ream and Bolton suffered an embarrassing loss last time out, surrendering seven goals to Reading, but that will be forgiven with an FA Cup win against Premier League side Cardiff City. Young midfielder Duane Holmes will be looking for some playing time for Huddersfield Town in its FA Cup match against Charlton Athletic.

Danny Williams and Reading can pull even with Nottingham Forest on points in the League championship with a win against Ipswich Town. The Royals posted an emphatic 7-1 win against Bolton last weekend, and will look to post a third straight win in league play.

In Germany, a pair of U.S. national team fullbacks will square off, and will likely see a lot of each other, when Fabian Johnson and Hoffenheim take on Timmy Chandler and Nuremberg. Both players have been starting for their club teams, with Johnson manning a left wing role for Hoffenehim and Chandler playing his customary right back for Nuremberg, which will look to snap its five-match winless streak and move a step closer to escaping the Bundesliga relegation zone.

In the Netherlands, Aron Johannsson and AZ will look to build on their 2014-opening win by beating PSV Eindhoven. AZ jumped past PSV in the Eredivisie standings just a week ago, and a win can help the Cheese Farmers put a tighter grip on a Europa League playoff place.

In Mexico, the American contingent at Club Tijuana returns to action Friday against Morelia. Herculez Gomez and Edgar Castillo have featured as regular starters for new Xolos manager Cesar Farias, but Joe Corona, Paul Arriola and Greg Garza have also been earning minutes and all five could see the field against the Monarcas.

DaMarcus Beasley and Michael Orozco will try to help keep Puebla unbeaten with a win or draw against Jaguares. Puebla has registered three draws so far in the Clausura season, with Beasley and Orozco manning a defense that has allowed just three goals in those matches.

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