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USA 2737 2341 Americans Abroad: May 3-5 31737306 Dream Chasers Dream+Chasers USA

The final stages of the season aren't just about positioning for next season and snatching a few more points for certain members of the Americans Abroad set. Several key players are in the midst of chasing a playoff berth or working their way through a tournament to determine their finish in the current campaign or their status for next year.

This week's edition of Americans Abroad assesses the plight of a handful of players involved in unorthodox conclusions to their seasons. Read on to learn more about Sacha Klještan's title challenge in Belgium and the fate of two playoff-chasing U.S. internationals in Liga MX.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports - USA TODAY Sports
USA 2737 2341 Americans Abroad: May 3-5 31737308 José Francisco Torres, Tigres UANL midfielder Jos%26eacute%3B+Francisco+Torres%2C+Tigres+UANL+midfielder USA

Tigres claimed the top seed in the upcoming Liguilla with a 2-0 victory at Club América on Saturday. Torres once again featured in the starting lineup as Ricardo Ferretti's side offered a reminder why it led the league for much of the Clausura. Danilinho and Lucas Lobos scored the decisive goals in the first 15 minutes of the second half to provide Tigres with the margin of victory.

Ferretti must now prepare his players for a quarterfinal tie with CONCACAF Champions League winners Monterrey.

Julio Cesar Aguilar/AFP/Getty Images - Getty Images
USA 2737 2341 Americans Abroad: May 3-5 31740187 Stuart Holden and Tim Ream, Bolton Wanderers midfielder and defender Stuart+Holden+and+Tim+Ream%2C+Bolton+Wanderers+midfielder+and+defender USA

Ream earned an unexpected recall as Dougie Freedman's side attempted to cinch a spot in the Championship playoffs with a final day victory over Blackpool. The former New York defender featured for the first 90 minutes of Wanderers' 2-2 draw with the mid-table side before making way for David Wheater in second half stoppage time.

Wheater's arrival – and the subsequent lumps toward the Blackpool penalty area in stoppage time – did not produce the winner required to maintain a playoff spot. Ream and unused substitute Stuart Holden must now wait until next season in order to mount another promotion push.

Action Images / Jason Cairnduff - Action Images/Reuters
USA 2737 2341 Americans Abroad: May 3-5 31737309 Hérculez Gómez, Santos Laguna forward H%26eacute%3Brculez+G%26oacute%3Bmez%2C+Santos+Laguna+forward USA

Santos slipped out of the top four Liguilla places with a 2-0 home defeat to Morelia on Saturday. Héctor Mancilla and Joao Rojas struck shortly before halftime to place the beaten CONCACAF Champions League finalists under significant pressure to respond during the second half. Carlos Darwin Quintero replied just after the hour mark to set up a grandstand finish, but Santos could not pull back the second goal required to snatch a draw.

The defeat sent Santos sliding down the Liguilla pecking order. Pedro Caixinha's side now faces a likely quarterfinal tie with third-placed Atlas when the postseason commences.

Armando Marin/Jam Media/LatinContent/Getty Images - Getty Images
USA 2737 2341 Americans Abroad: May 3-5 31737307 Fabian Johnson, TSG Hoffenheim defender Fabian+Johnson%2C+TSG+Hoffenheim+defender USA

Hoffenheim boosted its chances of climbing into the relegation playoff place or securing outright safety with a 2-2 away draw at Werder Bremen on Saturday. Johnson featured for the first 45 minutes, but his replacement, Andreas Ludwig, offered a greater influence on the match. Ludwig prompted Sven Shipplock's equalizer in second-half stoppage time to ensure Hoffenheim's late show ended with a share of the spoils.

Johnson's side now sits two points shy of 16th-placed FC Augsburg (2-0 losers at SC Freiburg on Sunday) and three points from confirmed safety (due to goal difference) with two matches remaining.

Oliver Hardt/Bongarts/Getty Images - Getty Images
USA 2737 2341 Americans Abroad: May 3-5 31740186 Sacha Klještan, Anderlecht midfielder Sacha+Klje%26scaron%3Btan%2C+Anderlecht+midfielder USA

Anderlecht remained on course for the Belgian title with a 2-0 home victory over Standard Liège on Sunday. Guillaume Gillet scored twice in the second half – including the critical second from the spot after 66 minutes – to provide the margin of victory. Klještan featured for the entire affair as his side snatched a first victory in three attempts.

Les Mauves entered the 10-game playoff slate – including home-and-away matches against the other top sides – with a two-point advantage in the revamped table (created by halving the number of points obtained in the regular season). Kljestan and his teammates now enjoy a similar lead over Club Brugge and Zulte-Waregem with three matches remaining.

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images - Getty Images
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