By FRANCO PANIZO
Tim Howard surely did not envision Boxing Day going like this.
Taking on Sunderland in a Premiership fixture, Howard was ejected in the 23rd minute after it appeared that he brought down Ki Sung-Yueng on a clear chance in the penalty area on Thursday. The red card was Howard’s first since playing for the New York/New Jersey MetroStars back in September 2002, and it paved the way for a 1-0 defeat to the Black Cats (Sung-Yueng converted the penalty kick) that ended Everton’s nine-game unbeaten run and marked their first home loss of the campaign.
While the result was a positive for Sunderland in their quest to avoid relegation this season, there was more bad news from an Americans Abroad perspective as Jozy Altidore did not start for the club. Steven Fletcher was chosen to start the match instead of Altidore, and the U.S. Men’s National Team striker played just three minutes as a substitute.
It wasn’t all negative. Duane Holmes had arguably the biggest day of the American bunch, coming off the bench for Huddersfield Town and helping them pick up a 1-1 draw with Derby County. The 19-year-old Holmes entered the game just before the hour-mark and set up an 86th-minute equalizer to end Derby’s seven-match winning streak.
Here is how the Americans Abroad performed on Boxing Day:
- Tim Howard started, played 23 minutes, made one save and received a RED CARD in Everton’s 1-0 loss vs. Sunderland.
- Jozy Altidore came off the bench and played three minutes in in Sunderland’s 1-0 win vs. Everton.
- Brad Friedel dressed but did not play in Tottenham Hotspur’s 1-1 draw vs. West Bromwich Albion.
- Cody Cropper did not dress in Southampton’s 3-0 win vs. Cardiff City.
- Jonathan Spector did not dress in Birmingham City’s 0-0 draw vs. Wigan Athletic. He is recovering from a thigh injury.
- Tim Ream started and played 90 minutes in Bolton Wanderers’ 1-0 win vs. Barnsley.
- Stuart Holden did not dress for Bolton Wanderers. He is recovering from a knee injury.
- Zak Whitbread dressed but did not play in Derby County’s 1-1 draw vs. Huddersfield Town.
- Eric Lichaj started and played 90 minutes in Nottingham Forest’s 2-0 win vs. Queens Park Rangers.
- Danny Williams started and played 90 minutes in Reading’s 1-0 loss vs. Leicester City.
- Oguchi Onyewu did not dress in Queens Park Ranger’s 2-0 loss vs. Nottingham Forest.
- Duane Holmes came off the bench, played 32 minutes and had an ASSIST in Huddersfield Town’s 1-1 draw vs. Derby County.
- Sacha Kljestan did not dress in RSC Anderlecht’s 1-0 win vs. Zulte-Waregem. He is recovering from a calf injury.
What do you think of these performances? Did Howard deserve a red card? Do you see Holmes earning more playing time in the coming weeks?
Share your thoughts below.