MATHEW WAGNER - Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Sunday's FA Cup fifth round draw announcement came, and although no Americans will be pitted against each other like in the previous round, Yanks will find themselves in some tough matchups.
Jonathan Spector will face his second Premier League opponent in the FA Cup since leaving relegated West Ham United at the end of last season, as he and Championship club Birmingham City travel to Chelsea.
Birmingham easily dispatched Sheffield United in the fourth round 4-0, with Spector playing the full 90 minutes.
After leading the charge in Everton's 2-1 come-from-behind win against Clint Dempsey and Fulham, Landon Donovan and Tim Howard will lead Everton once more at home against either Blackpool or Sheffield United.
Donovan impressed against Fulham, recording an assist on both goals, and should feature once more for Everton as he nears the end of his loan stint.
Elsewhere, Zac Whitbread and Norwich City will play in the fifth round for the first time since 2007, hosing Leicester City. Whitbread played 90 minutes in their fourth round win over fellow Premier League team West Bromwich Albion and should feature in the back line again.
Other matchups see Brad Friedel and Tottenham heading to League One club Stevenage, although Friedel still has not played in the tournament. Also, Tim Ream could make his FA Cup premiere, as Bolton head to either Millwall or Southhampton.
The matches will be played on February 18th.
FA Cup fifth round
Liverpool - Brighton
Everton - Blackpool/Sheffield Wednesday
Chelsea - Birmingham
Crawley Town - Stoke
Stevenage - Tottenham
Norwich - Leicester
Sunderland/Middlesbrough - Arsenal
Millwall/Southampton - Bolton