KYLE SCHNITZER - Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Three Americans are set to compete in UEFA Europa League matches this week, as the competition enters its group stages.
Borussia Mönchengladbach - Villerreal
Fabian Johnson and Borussia Mönchengladbach will host La Liga's Villerreal on Thursday.
Johnson, who completed his transfer to Gladbach in the early summer, has become a regular for the German side. In their 4-1 victory over Schalke 04, Johnson was spotted in outside midfield position, rather than his US-patented left-back role. Midfielder Andre Hahn scored two goals, while highly touted attacker Max Kruse appeared in his first match of the season, adding his first goal in the 56th minute.
For Villarreal, they return to the Europa League for the first time since 2010. With a team that once featured players like Santi Cazorla, Giuseppe Rossi, and a young Jozy Altidore, they advanced to the Round of 32 before being defeated 6-3 on aggregate by Wolfsburg.
After financial troubles set the team back, Villarreal return to competitive competition. They currently sit 8th in the La Liga standings with four points.
Both teams feature in Group A, joined by Zurich, and Cyprus' Apollon.
The match is on Thursday at Stadion im Borussia-Park, with kick off set for 2:30 pm EST.
Everton - Wolfsburg
After a fifth-placed finish in the Premier League last season, Tim Howard and Everton return to European competition for the first time since 2010, as they host Wolfsburg from Goodison Park on Thursday.
Everton currently sit 11th in the Premier League standings, while Wolfsburg is 13th with only two points in the Bundesliga.
Howard and Everton are coming off their first victory of the season, a 2-0 victory over West Brom.
Wolfsburg is no easy task, with international players like Luiz Gustavo, Kevin De Bruyne and Ivica Olic potentially playing, this match gives fans a rare treat.
Some consider Group H one of the strongest groups in the Europa League, with Ligue 1's Lille and Russian Premier League's FC Krasnodar.
The match is set for 3 pm EST from Goodison Park.
Brad Friedel is not expected to play for Tottenham when it travels to Serbia to face Partizan