U.S. players learn their European fates; more Americans Abroad
And then there were four.
Four Americans remain alive in European competition after the group finales of the Champions League and Europa League concluded last week. Jermaine Jones (Schalke) and Oguchi Onyewu's (Malaga) clubs won their Champions League groups. Steve Cherundolo (Hannover) and Clint Dempsey (Tottenham) are through to the knockout round of the Europa League in a bid to add European silverware to their resumes.
Group-stage finales were not celebratory occasions for all Americans, though. They marked the end of European runs for Sacha Kljestan, Terrence Boyd, Josh Gatt, Michael Parkhurst, Mix Diskerud and Alejandro Bedoya. Big changes could be in the offing for the last three players.
Now that the teams and leagues in Scandinavia are on winter break, Parkhurst, Diskerud and Bedoya must address contract situations.
Parkhurst's Danish club Nordsjaelland, in its annual midseason stoppage, may have exited the Champions League, but it appears Parkhurst will be exiting the club as he becomes a free agent. His individual play in Nordsjaelland's otherwise brutal Champions League foray earned plaudits and helped his cause, both with Jurgen Klinsmann and with potential suitors for his services.
Diskerud's short-term contract with Rosenborg is reaching its conclusion, but the young Norwegian-American seems poised for a new deal there based on comments made to the team's official website and after showing well in his few months after leaving embattled side Stabaek.
Bedoya, meanwhile, who closed Helsingborg's run in the Europa League with a game-winning goal last week, is also going to be out of contract after his short-term deal with the club ends. All three could find themselves in Klinsmann's training camp next month that is mainly for MLS and Scandinavian-based players, but the teams they will be representing at that time may be different.
As the Champions League and Europa League get down to their knockout stages starting with next Thursday's draws, here is a look at how the Americans competing both domestically and across the European continent -- including goal-scorers Dempsey, Boyd, Bedoya and Conor O'Brien -- fared this past week (season statistics encompass all competitions):