After last week’s horrific display, thing could only improve for the Americans playing abroad. Things improved collectively, but one of the most important players, Jozy Altidore, hit a new low.
His low will draw all the headlines as he is expected to play a huge role in the USMNT‘s quest to get out of the group phase in the upcoming World Cup. Not only was he absent from the starting lineup during the Carling Cup finals at Wembley Stadium, but he also failed to make the substitutes bench.
Sunderland manager Gus Poyet has many attacking options, and Altidore now finds himself near the bottom with a number of players between him and the field. This does not signal a good sign for the America’s midweek friendly against Ukraine. Getting games is the most important thing for each American, and it now appears that Altidore is far from that.
Headlining the weekend was a performance by Tim Howard and Everton, who needed a goal in the 81st minute to put away West Ham. The win helped keep the Toffees in position to receive an Europa League bid. Howard has conceded the second-fewest goals in the EPL, and his shutout was the 11th of the season. Fellow American keeper Brad Guzan and Aston Villa bounced back after conceding a third-minute goal and coasted to an easy 4-1 victory. The win moved Villa into 11th place in the EPL.
Adding to the good results for Americans was Geoff Cameron and Stoke City’s 1-0 upset victory over Arsenal. Cameron started and went the full 90 for Stoke. In the Championship, Oguchi Onyewu and Sheffield Wednesday recorded their third straight shutout and moved into 15th place. Onyewu started and played the full 90. Tim Ream and Bolton won their third game in a row and moved nine points clear of the relegation zone. The start marks the 32nd of the season for Ream.
A duo of American’s started and played the full game for Birmingham City. Will Packwood and Jonathan Spector were unable to prevent a first half goal resulting in a 1-0 loss. Danny Williams also played the full match, but was unable to prevent Reading from dropping points against basement-dweller, Ipswich Town, in their 1-1 draw.
In the Bundesliga, Hoffenheim’s Fabian Johnson went 87 minutes in their 6-2 dismantling of Wolfsburg. The win marks a season-high steak on five games unbeaten for the 10th place squad. John Brooks was unable to get off the substitutes bench for Hertha Berlin.
Elsewhere in Europe, Aron Johannsson recorded an assist in AZ Alkmaar’s 4-0 win. Johannsson’s good form and Altidore’s struggles might be opening a door for him to start with the US Men’s National Team. Juan Agudelo was unable to get on the field during his team’s 1-1 draw. Terrence Boyd scored the lone goal for the Americans. His goal in Rapid Vienna’s 6-3 victory over Red Bull Salzburg marks his ninth in league and 14th in all competition.
If you are interesting in seeing how the American’s Abroad performed over the weekend, check back in every Monday to see who played, who scored and who did not make the substitutes bench.