The kickoff of the UEFA Europa League playoff round has a distinct U.S. Men's National Team flavor as several members of MNT hope to see their clubs start the first leg of the playoffs on a positive note. Among the U.S. internationals that could see action today, a red-hot Jozy Altidore and Terrence Boyd, fresh off his game-winning assist in Mexico, will hope to continue their run of good form.
There’s a full slate of games today (beginning at 12 p.m. ET), and here’s a look at the games featuring men of the MNT:
Anzhi Makhachkala vs. AZ Alkmaar (12 p.m. ET): Jozy Altidore is on a tear for AZ, scoring four times in two matches for the Dutch club to start the Eredivisie season. Altidore, who scored 22 goals across all competitions last season, scored four goals in the Europa League last year as AZ was bounced from the tournament in the quarterfinals by Valencia.
PAOK vs. Rapid Vienna (2:30 p.m. ET): Terrance Boyd is a big reason Rapid Vienna has made it this far in the competition. Boyd drew a penalty kick that was converted by Deni Alar in the first minute of second half stoppage time and added an insurance goal seven minutes later to lift Vienna to a 3-2 aggregate win against Vojvodina on Aug. 9 in the third qualifying round. The 21-year-old debuted for the club at the start of the Austrian Bundesliga season on July 21, scoring twice in his first match. Rapid Vienna currently sits atop the league table after five matches, ahead of Austria Vienna on goal differential.
Slask Wroclaw vs. Hannover 96 (2:45 p.m. ET): Hannover 96 was knocked out of last year’s edition of the tournament in the quarterfinals and team captain Steve Cherundolo looks to help the German side back into this year’s tournament starting today with a playoff match against Polish champions Slask Wroclaw. Cherundolo and Hannover 96 didn’t have much of a problem getting by St. Patrick’s of Ireland in the third qualifying round, breezing through 8-0 on aggregate, but the Polish side is set to pose a more serious challenge.