With many of the European seasons coming to an end in the next couple weeks, I thought I would take a look around to see what Americans are fighting for promotion or relegation in their last few games.
English Premier League
Jozy Altidore and Hull City are already officially relegated, but I doubt you will see Jozy in the League Championship next season. In my opinion, there is little chance he will be back at Hull City next year, as Hull City was already getting an advance on their parachute payments.
English League Championship
Kenny Cooper and Plymouth Argyle finished the season in 23rd place and will be relegated to League One, but who knows if Kenny Cooper, who was barely playing, will be on the team next year.
Finishing a spot above Plymouth Argyle, but still getting relegated, was Sheffield Wednesday and Frank Simek. Simek has not seen a lot of playing time this season, but has been with the club since 2005.
English League One
League One has one more round of games left on the schedule and a few Americans still have things to play for. Mike Grella and Leeds United currently sit in second place, one point ahead of Millwall and Swindon Town. If they can finish the season in second, they will be automatically promoted to the League Championship. If not, the teams ranked #3-#6 meet in a playoff for the last promotion spot.
On loan from Aston Villa, Eric Lichaj looks like he has helped Leyton Orient survive relegation, although they are not officially safe even though all signs point to safety. They currently have 51 points and sit in 18th place (#21-#24 get relegated). But Gillingham (#19- 50 points), Exeter City (#20 – 48 points) and Tranmere Rovers (#21 – 48 points) could all win their last games while Orient loses and there would be three teams tied with 51 points. If that were to happen, it would come down to goal differential and this is where they should be safe. Leyton Orient is -9 and Exeter City is -13, while Tranmere Rovers holds down a -30. I doubt they make that up.
Two Americans on teams that will be relegated include Jon-Paul Pittman (Wycombe Wanderers) and Jemal Johnson (Stockport County). Johnson is currently on loan from Milton Keynes Dons, so I am guessing he would be loaned out to another League Championship or League One side, unless the Dons want him back next year.
The Bundesliga has one game left and Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 will be looking to avoid relegation. In the Bundesliga, the two teams at the bottom (#17-#18) automatically get relegated, while the #16 spot faces the third place team from the second division in a two-legged playoff for the last spot, while the loser gets relegated or stays in the second division depending who wins.
Hannover 96 are in 15th place and two points above Nuremberg (#16) and Bochum (#17). Hannover 96 faces Bochum this weekend and a win keeps them safe. A draw and a Nuremberg win means it would come down to goal differential and both teams sit at -27, meaning Nuremberg would be safe.
German 2. Bundesliga
Even though there is still one game left, Luis Robles and Kaiserslautern have already clinched an automatic promotion spot and will be playing top-flight German soccer next season.
On the flip side, David Yelldell and TUS Koblenz have already clinched a relegation spot and will be in the third division next year.
Dutch Eerste Divisie
Charles Kazlauskas and Helmond Sport are already in the promotion playoffs after finishing the season in eighth place. They are currently in the second round and face Sparta Rotterdam, a team that finished in 16th place in the Eredivisie. A win over the first division team and they would have one more round to go before potentially playing in the highest soccer league in the Netherlands next season.
Benny Feilhaber and AGF Aarhus currently sit one spot away from the relegation zone with three games to play. With the bottom two teams getting relegated, AGF Aarhus have 35 points while Randers FC has 34 points and both teams have a -8 goal differential. One spot above AGF Aarhus is SønderjyskE, who also have 35 points, but have a -5 goal differential, so it is coming down to the wire. One of AGF Aarhus’ last games is against SønderjyskE, so that will be an important six-pointer.
Hopefully that shines a light on what is going on in the last few weeks of the season.