KYLE SCHNITZER - Wednesday, August 20, 2014
UEFA Europa League qualification starts again on Wednesday featuring three Americans, all of whom hope to gain an early lead in this two-leg competition.
Borussia Mönchengladbach - Sarajevo
Fabian Johnson and Borussia Mönchengladbach face Bosnia's Sarajevo, who currently sit atop the Premier Liga table with seven points. For Gladbach, they are coming off a 3-1 victory against Homburg in the DFB-Pokal.
Johnson, who joined the side this summer after leaving Hoffenheim on a free transfer, was on the bench for the cup competition but did not play in the game. Their Bundesliga season kicks off on Sunday August 24 when they face off against Stuttgart.
The first leg will be in Sarejevo on Thursday.
Stjarnan - Inter Milan
After pushing past Lech Poznan on 1-0 aggregate, Stjarnan face a much bigger test, against Serie A powerhouse Inter Milan. American midfielder Pablo Punyed played the entire game in the 0-0 draw against Lech Poznan, but this is a much tougher opponent than Punyed and the Icelandic side has faced.
After finding out Stjarnan would be facing Inter Milan, head coach Runar Pall Sigmundsson expressed excitement over the tough test. The first leg will be at home for Stjarnan on Wednesday.
Tottenham - AEL Limassol
43-year-old goalkeeper Brad Friedel and Tottenham play Cyprus side AEL Limassol on Thursday.
Although Friedel did appear in domestic cup matches last season, it may be tough for the American keeper to see time this season. Earlier this summer, Tottenham signed Dutch international Michael Vorm from Swansea, who currently serves as the backup for Hugo Lloris.
Earlier this summer, Friedel signed a one-year contract with the Spurs, where the goalkeeper will serve as a club ambassador for Tottenham in the United States. If Friedel finds time this season, he will be the oldest player to ever appear in the Premier League, which is currently held by former Manchester City goalkeeper John Burridge.
The game is set to kick off from Stadio Antonis Papdopoulos in Larnaca.