DAVID SMITH - Thursday, July 28, 2011
Clarence Goodson will get his first taste of European action since arriving in Denmark while Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore will watch their respective teams begin their Europa League campaigns from afar.
SV Ried - Bröndby IF
Clarence Goodson will get his first taste of international club competition on Thursday night when Brøndby head southeast to Austria to take on SV Reid in the first of two legs.
Brøndby begin their almost yearly foray into Europe with a trip to Austria with their sights set on reaching the group stage for the first time in six years.
They came close one year ago, blowing a 2-0 aggregate lead over Portuguese team Sporting CP to eventually fall out in the play-off round.
Their competition is considerably less daunting this time around, as they must beat Austrian Cup winners SV Ried, with the advantage of hosting the second leg in Brøndby Stadium in one week's time.
To their credit, Brøndby's Austrian opponents have done a good job of defending their home turf well during their occasional stints in Europe, with an eight-game unbeaten streak in home legs stretching back to 1998.
Both teams are already two games into their domestic campaigns; Brøndby picked up their first win on Saturday over Silkeborg to move into a multi-team tie atop the Superliga standings while Ried have only managed a lone point in their first two games and are in a five-way tie at the opposite end of the Austrian Bundesliga.
Brøndby will be without oft-injured striker Martin Bernburg, who injured his ankle in training and is out for several weeks. Additionally, midfielder Paul Jatta is currently in his home country of The Gambia on personal reasons.
Ried are currently reporting no injuries to their squad.
Having just rejoined the team after a post-Gold Cup break, Clint Dempsey will almost certainly be kept off the field for Fulham on Thursday when they travel to Croatia for their first-leg game against RNK Split.
Jozy Altidore is recovering from injury and will not take the field with his new team AZ Alkmaar on Thursday night when they host Czech team FK Jablonec in the first leg of Europa League qualifying.