With the standard fall-to-spring European campaigns heading down the stretch, several Americans have much to play for overseas. We have a lot to get through, so let's ditch with the ceremony, and set the scenes.
DaMarcus Beasley and Maurice Edu of Rangers are on the inside lane and have the finish line in sight. With a game in hand on second place Celtic, the Light Blues lead their Glasgow arch rivals by 10 points with 10 to play. So barring a mighty collapse, they should raise championship silver in May.
Elsewhere, recovering AC Milan defender Oguchi Onyewu could return just in time for a San Siro Scudetto tussle. The Rossoneri are a mere point behind in-house rivals Inter, though they face an unenviable run-out featuring Sampdoria, Palermo, Fiorentina, Genoa and Juventus.
In Their Cups
Having already bagged the CIS Insurance Cup on the weekend, Rangers are in for a domestic treble. They visit Dundee United for a Scottish Cup quarterfinal replay on Wednesday.
A pair of Americans also remains in the FA Cup draw. Brad Friedel's Aston Villa await a semifinal date with Chelsea, while Clint Dempsey’s Fulham visit Tottenham for a quarterfinal replay on Wednesday.
Sochaux forward Charlie Davies could come back from injury with silver on the line if his teammates can top Coupe de France quarterfinal hosts Monaco on Wednesday.
The Aris duo of Freddy Adu and Eddie Johnson head to Kavala on Thursday holding a 3-1 lead in the Greek Cup semifinal. Advancement would likely see them face league leaders Panathinaikos for the whole gyro.
In Danish Cup quarterfinal play,
Michael Parkhurst's Nordsjælland
visit Silkeborg on April 8, the same day Euan
Holden and second flight Vejle BK host SønderjyskE.
A couple of Americans employed in second divisions are angling for the big time. With seven to play and two automatic promotion spots on offer, Luis Robles' Kaiserslautern are five points clear at the top and look good to jump to the Bundesliga.
In Portugal, Aves loan item Kamani Hill has begun seeing good time off the bench recently. The northerners stand just six points out of the second promotion slot and will face each of the five teams ahead of them in the table in the final seven matches.
Keep It Up
Let's start in England, where the fight to stave off relegation has the highest stakes. Based on Newcastle's books after being relegated from the Premier League last spring, the drop should cost three teams upwards of £35 million ($52.8M).
Hull City and striker Jozy Altidore are in the worst position: 19th and four points from safety. The good news is the Tigers still face three of the four teams ahead of them.
Jonathan Spector's West Ham United have lost four straight to fall to 17th, but remain three points clear of the danger zone. Five of their final eight matches at home.
Marcus Hahnemann and 16th-place Wolverhampton visit the Hammers on Tuesday with a one-point edge. They still travel to Arsenal and Fulham, but their remaining slate is kind.
In Germany, Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 currently reside in 16th, which would send them to a promotion/relegation playoff against the third place 2.Bundesliga side (currently St. Pauli). The Reds have a rough run-out. In between survival derbies with Cologne and Bochum, Hannover must face all three title contenders.
The fight for Champions League and Europa League spots is is where things get complicated, so pay attention.
With Milan and Rangers looking safe for Champions League berths, we start this look with Aston Villa.
Tom Hanks' favorite side, currently is seventh place, is five points shy of a Champions League invite. They have a game in hand on fourth-place Spurs and two on sixth-place Liverpool. Apart from trips to Chelsea and fifth-place Manchester City, their remainder is not so scary.
Meanwhile, Tim Howard and Everton are seven points out of the Europa League place currently held by city rivals Liverpool. Though they still must visit Man City and Villa, the Toffees won't play anyone else currently ranked above 10th.
In France's Ligue 1, Carlos Bocanegra and Rennes have won three straight to climb to within seven points of Europa League ball. Of their remaining nine games, the key contest looks a May 5th trip to fourth-place Marseille.
Both Eintracht Frankfurt's Ricardo Clark and Mainz 05's Jared Jeffrey are hoping for Bundesliga debuts en route to the Europa League. Each club sits eight points off pace with seven games left.
In Greece, Adu and Johnson are also chasing Europe for their loan employers. Aris stand in the final playoff spot, five points clear of Kavala. From the four-team round robin, one club will enter Champions League qualifying and two earn a Europa League consolation.
Finally, in Denmark, Chris Rolfe and Marcus Tracy can help fifth-place Aalborg BK get another Europa League qualifying-round spot. The team is seven points out of the berth, but still get one crack at third-place Esbjerg once and two at fourth-place Silkeborg.