Its Crunch Time !!!
Welcome to this Weekends Thread. I am back from my winter break – hey if they can have one in Scandinavia why not here – it’s sunny today but it was snowing in Virginia two days ago. Seriously, a lot has been going on while I have been away, I know, but a little more than we can cover here. So lets just look at this week and the coming 4 – 5 weeks.
All of the major soccer leagues in Europe are reaching their conclusion over the next few weeks, US players are involved in either pushing their teams into Euro play next season, or battling to keep their clubs from relegation and it seems that US players are involved in every European league this weekend. A tough game for Dempsey and Co. on Sunday, and a critical game for Brad Guzan and Aston Villa, today in the EPL. In the Championship, Stuart Holden will be hoping for time and the opportunity to help Sheffield Wednesday avoid the drop, while his team Bolton is pushing for a playoff spot at the other end of the table. Leicester has been woeful of late and are fading from playoff contention, it may be to late for Zak Whitbread and his mates to turn things around.
In Italy, Roma and Michael Bradley still have a chance to catch the two teams above them for a Euro spot. Belgium’s weird playoff system still has Anderlecht in the drivers seat, but the loss last week opened the door and the Hounds are at their feet. Jozy and AZ are in a battle to avoid the drop, but look good, to me, to survive this year. Austria Bundesliga looks to go down to the wire, Rapid and Terrence Boyd are firmly in the mix for a Euro spot if they can avoid away losses for the rest of the season. Finally in Germany, the sad tale of Hoffenheim. Fabian Johnson and Danny Williams and the rest of the team are going to have to really push hard for Hoffenheim just to get in a relegation playoff (their only way to escape the drop) or they will be playing 2. Bundesliga soccer next season. Schalke are sitting on the cusp of UCL or Europa, as they say, their destiny is in their own hands, as is Mainz who are right on the doorstep of a Euro spot.
Lastly today. Sweden kicks off its second week in Allsvenskan, and Helsingborg with Alejandro Bedoya and team looking for their second win on Monday and also the Swedish Superettan gets underway. Norway is playing its third round of Eliteserien games, where Rosenborg lead the division and Mix Diskerud is having a great season so far, and in Denmark, the US could be represented by two teams in European play next season as Nordsjaelland (UCL) with Conor O’Brien and Charlie Davies with Randers (Euro League).
Our US players have lots to play for. So join in “The Thread” this weekend – we would be interested in getting your take on the ups – and downs of the European leagues. Chat, discuss or even (limited please) rant about everything SoccerOverThere. Join Me! and lets hope for some goals to cheer about.