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Americans Abroad: Midweek Rewind

Jozy Altidore of Sunderland and Calum Chambers of Southampton

Photo by Matt West/ISIphotos.com

By FRANCO PANIZO

Don’t look now, but Jozy Altidore and Sunderland are out of the relegation zone.

Finally.

The Black Cats jumped into safety on Wednesday by picking up a 1-0 victory at home over Stoke City, a result which gave Sunderland their sixth win in their last seven matches across all competitions (the match they lost was to Manchester United, but the Black Cats won the series on the ensuing penalty kicks). Altidore did not end his scoreless drought in that match against fellow U.S. Men’s National Team player Geoff Cameron and the rest of the Potters, but contributed to Sunderland’s cause with a 67-minute performance that saw the veteran forward draw a red card to Stoke’s Steven N’Zonzi.

The good result for Sunderland was bad for another club that currently employs an American. Clint Dempsey’s Fulham fell to 19th place after suffering a 2-0 defeat to Swansea City on Tuesday. Dempsey started and played 71 minutes in the match.

It probably felt even worse for Tim Ream after Bolton Wanderers’ match vs. Queens Park Rangers. Not only did the Trotters suffer a 2-1 defeat, but Ream was removed from the match at the five-minute mark after suffering an injury 15 seconds after the opening whistle. It was deemed after the match that Ream had a broken nose and he also needed stitches.

Here is how the Americans Abroad performed during the midweek action:

ENGLAND

Premiership

  • Tim Howard started, played 90 minutes and made five saves in Everton’s 4-0 loss vs. Liverpool on Tuesday.
  • Clint Dempsey started and played 71 minutes in Fulham’s 2-0 loss vs. Swansea City on Tuesday.
  • Jozy Altidore started and played 67 minutes in Sunderland’s 1-0 win vs. Stoke City on Wednesday.
  • Geoff Cameron started and played 90 minutes in Stoke City’s 1-0 loss vs. Sunderland on Wednesday.
  • Brad Guzan started, played 90 minutes and made two saves in Aston Villa’s 4-3 win vs. West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday.
  • Brad Friedel dressed but did not play in Tottenham Hotspur’s 5-1 loss vs. Manchester City on Wednesday.
  • Cody Cropper did not dress in Southampton’s 2-2 draw vs. Arsenal on Tuesday.
  • Sebastian Lletget did not dress in West Ham United’s 0-0 draw vs. Chelsea on Wednesday.

Championship

  • Zak Whitbread dressed but did not play in Derby County’s 2-2 draw vs. Yeovil Town on Tuesday.
  • Danny Williams started and played 90 minutes in Reading’s 5-1 win vs. Blackpool on Tuesday.
  • Will Packwood started and played 90 minutes in Birmingham City’s 2-1 loss vs. Leicester City on Tuesday.
  • Jonathan Spector did not dress for Birmingham City. He is recovering from an injury.
  • Tim Ream started and played five minutes in Bolton Wanderers’ 2-1 loss vs. Queens Park Rangers on Tuesday.
  • Stuart Holden did not dress for Bolton Wanderers. He is recovering from a knee injury.
  • Eric Lichaj started and played 90 minutes in Nottingham Forest’s 4-2 win vs. Watford on Thursday.
  • Brek Shea started and played 90 minutes in Barnsley’s 2-2 draw vs. Blackburn Rovers on Tuesday.
  • Oguchi Onyewu started and played 90 minutes in Sheffield Wednesday’s 1-1 draw vs. Millwall on Tuesday.
  • Duane Holmes dressed but did not play in Huddersfield Town’s 2-1 loss vs. AFC Bournemouth on Tuesday.
  • Gboly Ariyibi did not dress in Leeds United’s 1-1 draw vs. Ipswich Town on Tuesday.

—–

What do you think of these performances? Do you see Altidore and Sunderland staying out of the relegation zone? Think Dempsey can help Fulham get back to safety before he returns to MLS?

Share your thoughts below.

58 comments
  • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain

    I didn’t see the match but reviews of Jozy’s performance were good. That’s a relief. Hopefully he is getting back on track.

    Like

    • Hitch

      He looked almost competent out there. He even came close to scoring.
      Sunderland fans don’t ask for much from Jozy. A little effort goes a long way.

      Like

      • QuakerOtis

        He did look waaayy better than he did against Kiderminster (sp). Not saying much, but he seemed confident. Best chance in goal stopped by a good save, but he used his body and *gasp* feet to create the chance.

        Like

      • GW

        The Kidderminster match was a competitive game in name only. The FA cup is infamous for having such “trap” games and it would be hard to draw any serious conclusions from that game other than the fact that Sunderland is still a very new team.

        Jozy and Larsson were the only players from that game that started today.

        Like

      • Dennis

        Kidderminster did not even try to play soccer. They bunkered 10 men behind the ball with a single lone striker. 5 or 6 of the 10 defenders seldom got much past their own 18. That kind of strategy will make any team trying to attack them look bad. Breaking down that kind of packed defense is tough for even teams like Arsenal, for teams with the dearth of talent at Sunderland it is nearly impossible.

        Like

      • usaalltheway

        Please don’t use my name to ask other people not to use y name.

        Like

    • Gary Page

      Not seeing the match makes you as qualified as most of the posters on this site who commented on it. Not seeing it certainly didn’t stop some from making sweeping conclusions. I came originally to SBI to see some quality observations, but the posts, it seems to me, have gone down in quality the last year.

      Like

      • Rocco

        You’re too good for us Gary. It’s not you it’s us. We just need some time to work out a few things with out you, you know, be alone for a while, maybe travel a bit.

        Like

      • Lost in Space

        Jack Davis is particularly observant and factual in his comments.

        Like

    • danny

      I watched most of the game. He looked dangerous around the ball and caused a lot of problems for Stoke’s backline holding up the ball. He was responsible for the sending off putting Stoke at 10 men and that probably sealed it for Sunderland. He had one excellent chance at goal where he took a decent crack at it, but the goalie saved. Too bad cause if he makes that then he’s the hero of the game. Overall solid play and important contribution to the win… but still needs to find the back of the net.

      Like

      • curva sud

        Also Sunderland looked significantly worse after Fletcher came on for Jozy. Stoke controlled the game from that point despite being a man down

        Like

      • TomG

        Yes, he battled Shawcross all match and the commentators were very impressed that Jozy got the better of him.

        Like

      • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain

        Well that all sounds great. I was beginning to worry about him a bit.

        Like

  • Micah

    after the 2014 world cup I wanna see next cycle of Will Packwood and Michael Bradley in the middle.

    Like

    • Lost in Space

      Packwood has been (at least in the past) a CB, not a midfielder, so unless you’re thinking of having Bradley moved into the backline you’re not likely to see them paired together.
      2018 cycle will likely be:
      ———————–Jozy/Boyd—————–
      ——-Johannsson—————-Agudelo—
      ————————-Diskerud——————
      ————Williams——–Bradley————–
      FJ——-Brooks/Beasler—–Packwood/Gonzalez—-Chandler
      ————————Guzan————————–
      Bench:
      Gatt, Shea, Gyau, Yedlin, Lichaj, Hamid, S. Johnson, Kitchen, TBD
      (Extended Bench: Green, Trapp, Ferrell, Unknown Duel National TBD……)

      Like

      • KingGoogleyEye

        Nice list. That 2018 team is actually pretty good already, so that’s encouraging. Add Bedoya, Gil, and Harrington. Probably can expect some veterans to still be around too; e.g., Zusi.

        Like

      • Good Jeremy

        We have a youngish squad so we should have most of our key players still there in 2018. A couple will be pushing 30 so their legs may start to give a bit, but most of our key field players are 26 and below. Losing Donovan, Dempsey, and Howard + most likely Guzan will definitely be a big blow though.

        Like

      • John

        Guzan is 29 now so in 4 years will be 33. Howard will turn 35 just before the World Cup. So I think Guzan should be good to go.

        Like

      • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain

        I would be fully confident starting either Sean Johnson or Bill Hamid in 2018.

        Like

      • Lost in Space

        IMO we’ll likely lose/drop the following players from the pool after the 2015 Gold Cup: Donovan, Dempsey, Howard, Jones, Beasley, Goodson, Gomez, Dolo, Feilhaber
        Others to likely fall down the pecking order before the 2018 WC as younger options emerge: Zusi, Bedoya, Edu, etc… It’s not to say they’ll fall off completely, but with the talent coming up the ranks they’ll have to fight for a spot…and may lose out to someone who is their equal, but younger.

        Like

  • Good Jeremy

    The Tim Howard stat line is very misleading.
    He made several outstanding saves and commanded the box well before Liverpool got on the board (off a set-piece header that deflected off the player guarding the post), and the floodgates were open for Liverpool for the entire game.
    His outstanding save/preventable goal ratio was great.

    Like

  • usaalltheway

    Looks like some of you have taken to using my ID.

    Don’t do that.

    You don’t have to like or agree with the things I write but don’t use my screen name.
    And you guys call me immature.

    Like

  • MLS_Soccer_Talker

    What say you about Sunderland acquiring a new striker?? Jozy getting benched?

    Like

    • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain

      Actually they sort of acquired 2, because they signed one, and recalled Conor Wickham from a loan spell.

      Like

    • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain

      But to answer your question, I think it’s good. Jozy does better when he’s under pressure. Remember his history at AZ? He started off slowly there as well, but then after some benching, and a public comment or two from the coach…. Super Jozy!

      Like

  • AC

    Jozy doing all the right things as a good teammate but would be nice to see him get a little more selfish as a striker and take more shots. Test that goalkeeper even if from distance. He’s a striker and barely registering on the stat sheet in shots.

    Like

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