MNT Weekend Recap
With most of the European seasons heading for their climactic conclusion, members of the MNT still have plenty to play for. Here’s a snapshot of the weekend activity that saw some clubs move closer to places in Europe next season, others battling to avoid relegation and league titles left on the line.
Clint Dempsey kept Tottenham Hotspur’s Champions League hopes alive with a goal and an assist in its 2-1 victory against Stoke City. With one game remaining, Spurs sit in fourth place in the Premier League and would currently qualify for Champions League Qualifying. There’s still room to move up as they are three points behind Chelsea, and also room to drop with Arsenal just two points behind and a game in hand.
In a week that he was voted Aston Villa Player of the Year, Brad Guzan made a trio of saves in the 2-1 loss to Chelsea on Friday. Currently in 16th place and five points clear of relegation, the season finale against Wigan Athletic this Sunday could turn into a winner-take-all.
Michael Bradley and AS Roma played to a 0-0 draw against third place AC Milan at the San Siro. While spoiling Milan’s opportunity to clinch Champions League Qualifying, the result left Roma outside of qualifying for the Europa League through league play. They still have a shot with a win in the Coppa Italia Final on May 26 against Lazio.
Steve Cherundolo set a new appearance record for Hannover 96, playing in his 299th Bundesliga game for the German club in a 3-1 loss to Bayer Leverkusen. “The Mayor of Hannover” is in his 14th season, having joined Hannover in 1999.
Jermaine Jones and Schalke are still in the running for the Champions League Qualifying despite a 2-1 loss to VfB Stuttgart. Jones played 90 minutes as he continues to reach full fitness after recovering from an ankle injury suffered in the 1-0 win against Costa Rica on March 22 in Denver.
Fabian Johnson came off the bench and picked up an assist in Hoffenheim’s 2-1 loss to Hamburg SV, leaving the side in 17th place and needing a win on the final matchday to have a shot at avoiding relegation. Danny Williams didn’t dress for the match, still on the mend from an ankle injury.
Jozy Altidore completed his record-breaking season for AZ Alkmaar against Willem II. His 31 goals in all competitions is a new record for most goals scored by an American in Europe, surpassing the mark set by Dempsey last season.
Clarence Goodson scored the opening goal of the match for Brondby in their 1-1 draw against Aalborg BK. Brondby sits in 10th place in the Danish Superligaen with 33 points, just two points away from relegation. Goodson’s goals have proved fortuitous in Denmark, the team having never lost when Goodson’s name is on the scoresheet (3-0-2)
Herculez Gomez and Santos Laguna beat Atlas 3-1 and advanced to the semifinals of the Liga MX playoffs. Santos will face Cruz Azul in the first leg Thursday, with Monterrey and Club America paired in the other semifinal. Gomez could have a second shot at a trophy this season, having previously reached the finals of the CONCACAF Champions League.