Veteran keeper will once again try to push Everton into Premier League top six.
August 27, 2012
U.S. captain likely on the move (along with Maurice Edu) after bankrupted Rangers demoted to Scottish fourth tier.
Longtime Hannover captain begins 15th campaign with club, which finished seventh in Bundesliga last season.
Big chance for 25-year-old, who impressed at Chievo, earning a move to Italian capital.
Coming off career season, biggest U.S. star abroad missed EPL opener as he awaited transfer to a bigger club.
JOZY ALTIDORE AZ
Nineteen goals in all club competitions last season, and netted twice in each of two opening '12 games. Finally settling in Europe.
Starts alongside five Danish nationals; will play in Champions League group stage after '12 league title.
Nationalized German gains versatility as a MF for Hoffenheim, which finished 11th in '11--12.
Champions League group stage (and a sweet seeding) awaits German-American plagued by yellow cards.
Expert marker and star of U.S. win over Mexico is latest to get EPL call-up; will play further up for Stoke after visa issue scuppered Week 1 debut.
Promising 21-year-old German-American scored twice in his debut after a transfer from Borussia Dortmund.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE POWER RANKINGS
While the clubs with Americans slog through the quagmire of qualifying, these five powerhouses are eyeing Wembley in May
1 REAL MADRID
Coach José Mourinho brings the experience of two Champions League crowns, and Cristiano Ronaldo is on a hot streak like no other (71 goals in 67 games last season). That could spell Real Madrid's first crown since 2001--02.
New coach Tito Vilanova, a Pep Guardiola protégé, will maintain tiki-taka with a roster almost wholly unchanged, though it's fair to wonder whether vets Xavi and Carles Puyol have another elite season in them. After being knocked off Spain's top perch last season, the Blaugrana are plenty motivated to take down Real in a dream final.
3 MANCHESTER UNITED
The unthinkable happened last season when United failed to get out of the group stage. It's hard to envision the same this time, especially with last year's leading EPL scorer, Robin van Persie (30 goals), joining Wayne Rooney, who finished second (27).
4 MANCHESTER CITY
They, too, failed to advance, a slipup unforgotten even after a dramatic EPL title win. But a peaking Mario Balotelli (star of this summer's Euro) and a resurgent Carlos Tevez (who's made nice with manager Roberto Mancini) make City a contender.
5 BAYERN MUNICH
Finalist in two of the last three years, Bayern seems built for European success. Transfer trophies Mario Mand≈æukic (who scored three times at Euro 2012) and Xherdan Shaqiri (two assists when Basel FC bounced Manchester United last season) should help Bayern forget the painful PK loss at home to Chelsea in last May's final.