Oct 18, 2013, 7:35 AM EDT
After two victories to close out World Cup qualifying for the United States, its players dispersed back to their club teams again, ready for action again this weekend.
Those who did not have their names called by head coach Jürgen Klinsmann will also be prepared, with a full week of training and no transatlantic flights from which to recover. Crunch time starts now, with just eight months to impress and earn a World Cup roster spot.
Only 23 players will wear the red, white and blue in Brazil, so there is little time to waste.
If you’re looking for American soccer players on TV this upcoming week, here’s where you’ll find them:
• Jozy Altidore returns to his club after another successful outing with the national team when Sunderland takes on Swansea City (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Live Extra). He scored an insurance goal for the U.S. in its 2-0 win over Jamaica on Oct. 11, which was his first tally since a League Cup match on Aug. 27.
• Geoff Cameron and Stoke City return to action against West Bromwich Albion (Saturday, 10 a.m. ET, NBC Sports Live Extra). The question moving forward for Cameron will be whether he can work his way into a starting center back spot, as Klinsmann said he wants.
• Aston Villa hosts Tottenham Hotspur (Sunday, 10:30 a.m., NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra), and Brad Guzan will once again have to be in top form for his team to have a chance at three points. He made a rare start for the U.S. in Tuesday’s crazy 3-2 win in Panama.
• Michael Bradley is close to making his return from an ankle injury he suffered on national team duty. When AS Roma hosts Napoli on Friday (2:30 p.m., beIN Sport Español, replay at 4:30 p.m. on beIN Sport), he could be on the bench.
• Puebla’s American duo of DaMarcus Beasley and Michael Orozco play Club Atlas on Saturday (12:50 noon, ESPN Deportes).
• Edgar Castillo, Greg Garza, Joe Corona, Hérculez Gómez and Paul Arriola will all be available for Club Tijuana on Sunday against Toluca (12:50 noon, Univision).
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
• Jermaine Jones’ Schalke faces a stern test in Group E, hosting Chelsea (Tuesday, 2:45 p.m., FoxSoccer2Go). The Germans won their first two group games, while Chelsea has endured more of an up-and-down season in both league and continental play, losing to Basel before beating Steaua Bucharest.
• Anderlecht and Sacha Klještan host Paris Saint-Germain (Wednesday, 2:45 p.m., ROOT Sports and FoxSoccer2Go). Klještan started for the U.S. against Panama after coming off the bench against Jamaica, but that’s a far cry from facing Swedish superstar Zlatan Ibrahimović.
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