CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON - Friday, February 12, 2010
Freddy Adu, Eddie Johnson and the Gods of War return to Kleanthis Vikelides Stadium to put a halt to a three-game winless streak against Crete's only Super League squad.
Both Americans can expect to see action in a critical match with nine games left in the season, although Adu missed Friday's training session due to a cornea abrasion. The Aris squad has slipped into fifth with 32 points following two league losses, putting them close to losing a chance at European competition next season. The Black and Golds are a win ahead of Atromitos Athinon and Asteras Tripoli, and their Sunday guest occupies the eighth spot with 28.
Aris coach Hector Raul Cuper faces a familiar injury situation with Mehdi Nafti, Ian Daly and Dario Fernandez still on the road to recovery. The Argentine will certainly make use of recent French acquisition Camel Meriem, who made his debut in Wednesday's Greek Cup tie with Skoda Xanthi and set up the decisive goal in the closing seconds.
The Cretans are coming off a goal fest at home against Asteras Tripolis last Sunday. Brazilian substitute Beto notched the clinching goal in the 4-3 win, aided by strikes from Michail Frangoulakis, Croatian Mario Budimir, and Austrian Mario Hieblinger. Frangoulakis also picked up his seventh yellow of the season, meaning he will have to serve a two-match suspension, joining injured defenders Manolis Roubakis, Tomasz Wisio and Georgios Seliniotakis on the bench for Sunday.
In their previous meeting this season, the two played out to a scoreless draw in Heraklion.
American fans will recognize the name Ergotelis, the club where current LA Galaxy player Clint Mathis spent several months in 2008.