We asked before the start of the Round of 32 how many Yanks you thought would last another round. We knew one— either Jozy Altidore with AZ or Sacha Kljestan with Anderlecht— would advance, but would the final tally be 1, 2,3, or 4?
The actual tally was the maximum possible.
While captain Steve Cherundolo did not travel to Belgium, Hannover 96 defeated Brugge 1-0 to cruise to a 3-1 aggregate victory. Hannover will continue their quest to crush Belgian dreams in a manner not seen since the Guns of August in a series with Standard Liege. Liege will host March 8 with action returning to Hannover on March 15.
Oguchi Onyewu was unfortunately unable to partake, but an 84th-minute free kick spending Sporting past Legia Warsaw, 1-0, to propel them to a 3-2 aggregate victory. Sporting will now take on the minor task of facing Manchester City. Can the Leones of Portugal deny football’s richest club European semi-glory? A strong start at home on March 8 may prove critical.
A deflected goal proved to be enough to give AZ its second straight 1-0 win over Anderlecht in this Benelux Derby. As a reward for their fine efforts (including an injury-to-Charlison Benschop-inspired longer-than-usual Jozy Altidore sub cameo), AZ will host Serie A’s second-oldest club, Udinese, in the first leg on March 8.
Finally, a Jermaine Jones-less Schalke 04 used a Klaas Jan Huntelaar hat trick to earn a 3-1 (AET) victory that gave them a 4-2 aggregate win over Czech club Viktoria Plzen. Schalke will travel to the Netherlands on March 8 in a bid to eliminate FC Twente.
Which Yanks will tailor on into the quarterfinals?