Former New York Red Bull striker Jozy Altidore is back from compassionate leave and will be eligible to play for Hull City when the Tigers host U.S. keeper Marcus Hahnemann and Wolverhampton on Saturday in a key game for both relegation-battling clubs. Altidore is still looking for his first Premier League goal.
In another Saturday meeting of EPL teams with Yanks on their rosters, Clint Dempsey’s Fulham and Brad Friedel and Brad Guzan’s Aston Villa square off at Craven Cottage. Unfortunately, Dempsey will sit out the game (which is on ESPN2 at 10:00 a.m. EST) with a knee injury.
Jonathan Spector looks to get his third consecutive start at left back (watch out, Jonathan Bornstein) for West Ham as the Hammers host Blackburn on Saturday, while Landon Donovan, Tim Howard and Everton travel to face Wigan.
There’s a new Yank in the Prem to keep tabs on, though he’s unlikely to see the field this weekend. Former Houston Dynamo midfielder Stuart Holden has signed with Bolton, but he is nursing a slight thigh strain, and will probably not play as Bolton visits Anfield to take on fifth-place Liverpool. Bolton is just one point above the drop zone.
The biggest game of the weekend, Arsenal v Manchester United, features no Americans, but it will be televised in the U.S., on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. EST, on Fox Soccer Channel (FSC). Clear your schedule, or set your DVR, for that one.
FSC is televising two games on Saturday as well: Birmingham v Tottenham at 10:00 a.m. EST, and Burnley v Chelsea at 12:30.
Sunday’s Manchester City-Portsmouth match is on Setanta, which, by the way, is transferring its U.S. rights to soccer broadcasts to FSC at the end of the month.
Week 24 continues into next week, and Americans will be involved then as well. On Tuesday, Feb. 2, Altidore and Hull will host Chelsea, and Dempsey’s Fulham will get a visit from bottom club Portsmouth the following day.
Enjoy the games.