Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

JozyAltidoreSunderland2-CarlisleUnited (Getty)


Conor O’Brien will not soon forget this debut.

Playing in his first match for Austrian outfit FC Magna Wiener Neustadt, O’Brien helped lift the club to its first win of the season by scoring a goal in a wild and much-needed 5-4 victory over FC Trenkwalder Admira. The 29-year-old midfielder started the thrilling play by netting the opener in the 26th minute of his last-placed side’s home game, but the goal was quickly negated. Still, it was O’Brien and Magna Wiener Neustadt who emerged victorious thanks to an action-packed second half that now has them on four points through six games in the Bundesliga.

Jozy Altidore may not have found the back of the net or seen the kind of playing time that would have pleased most of his observers, but he did get on the field as Sunderland club grabbed a good early-season result against a talented foe. Altidore came off the bench and played the final 13 minutes of the Black Cats’ home opener, a 1-1 draw against Manchester United on Sunday, and the result moved Sunderland to 0-0-2 in the Premiership campaign.

Brad Guzan was one of the top performers from the Americans Abroad pool, posting a cleansheet in Aston Villa’s scoreless draw against Newcastle United. Guzan made four saves in the match that opened the Villans’ home schedule, and he has now posted back-to-back shutouts to start the season.

As is the case with almost any weekend, there were some negatives. Geoff Cameron was unable to earn any minutes for Stoke City in a 1-1 draw with Hull City despite being in uniform, the German Bundesliga-based Americans struggled to see much time, and Tim Howard and Everton allowed a two-goal lead against Arsenal to slip away late in a 2-2 tie at Goodison Park.

Here is how the Americans Abroad performed this weekend:



  • Tim Howard started, played 90 minutes and made one save in Everton’s 2-2 draw vs. Arsenal on Saturday.
  • Jozy Altidore came off the bench and played 13 minutes in Sunderland’s 1-1 draw vs. Manchester United on Sunday.
  • Brad Guzan started, played 90 minutes and made four saves in Aston Villa’s 0-0 draw vs. Newcastle United on Saturday.
  • Brad Friedel dressed but did not play in Tottenham Hotspur’s 4-0 win vs. Queens Park Rangers on Sunday.
  • Geoff Cameron dressed but did not play in Stoke City’s 1-1 draw vs. Hull City on Sunday.
  • Brek Shea did not dress for Stoke City.
  • Cody Cropper did not dress in Southampton’s 0-0 draw vs. West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.


  • Jonathan Spector started and played 90 minutes in Birmingham City’s 1-1 draw vs. Brentford on Saturday.
  • Will Packwood did not dress for Birmingham City.
  • Tim Ream started and played 90 minutes in Bolton Wanderers’ 2-1 loss vs. Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday.
  • Eric Lichaj came off the bench and played 45 minutes in Nottingham Forest’s 4-0 win vs. Reading on Saturday.
  • Danny Williams did not dress in Reading’s 4-0 loss vs. Nottingham Forest on Saturday. He is recovering from a knee injury.
  • Duane Holmes did not dress in Huddersfield Town’s 1-1 draw vs. Charlton Athletic on Saturday.
  • Emerson Hyndman dressed but did not play in Fulham’s 5-1 loss vs. Derby County on Saturday.
  • Zak Whitbread dressed but did not play in Derby County’s 5-1 win vs. Fulham on Saturday.



  • Fabian Johnson came off the bench and played 17 minutes in Borussia Moenchengladbach’s 1-1 draw vs. VfB Stuttgart on Sunday.
  • John Brooks dressed but did not play in Hertha Berlin’s 2-2 draw vs. Werder Bremen on Saturday.
  • Timmy Chandler dressed but did not play in Eintracht Franfkurt’s 1-0 win vs. SC Freiburg on Saturday.
  • David Yelldell did not dress in Bayer Leverkusen’s 2-0 win vs. Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.
  • Julian Green dressed but did not play in Bayern Munich’s 2-1 win vs. VfL Wolfsburg on Friday.

2. Bundesliga

  • Alfredo Morales started and played 90 minutes in FC Ingolstadt 04’s 2-0 win vs. SpVgg Greuther Furth on Sunday.
  • Terrence Boyd did not dress in RB Leipzig’s 1-0 win vs. FC Erzgebirge Aue on Friday. He is recovering from a knee injury.
  • Bobby Wood started and played 83 minutes in TSV 1860 Munich’s 2-2 draw vs. Heidenheimer SB on Friday.
  • Andrew Wooten came off the bench and played six minutes in SV Sandhausen’s 2-1 loss vs. St Pauli on Friday.


  • Alejandro Bedoya started and played 90 minutes in FC Nantes’ 1-0 loss vs. AS Monaco on Sunday.


  • Aron Johannsson did not dress in AZ Alkmaar’s 3-0 loss vs. Willem II Tilburg on Saturday. He is recovering from an ankle injury.
  • Rubio Rubin did not dress in FC Utrecht’s 2-1 win vs. Feyenoord Rotterdam on Sunday.


  • Sacha Kljestan dressed but did not play in RSC Anderlecht’s 1-0 win vs. Waasland-Beveren on Sunday.


  • Conor O’Brien started, played 90 minutes and scored a GOAL in FC Magna Wiener Neustadt’s 5-4 win vs. FC Trenkwalder Admira on Saturday.


  • Mix Diskerud started and played 90 minutes in Rosenborg BK’s 2-0 win vs. Sarpsborg 08 on Sunday.
  • Andrew Jacobson started and played 90 minutes in Stabaek IF’s 3-2 win vs. Stromsgodset on Saturday.
  • Michael Stephens started and played 90 minutes for Stabaek IF.
  • Ethan Horvath did not dress in Molde FK’s 5-0 win vs. Aalesund on Sunday.
  • Josh Gatt did not dress for Molde FK. He is recovering from a knee injury.
  • Zarek Valentin did not dress in FK Bodo/Glimt’s 2-1 win vs. Haugesund on Sunday. He is recovering from an Achilles injury.
  • Jeb Brovsky did not dress in Stromsgodset’s 3-2 loss vs. Stabaek IF on Saturday.


  • Freddy Adu did not play in FK Jagodina’s 3-1 win vs. Radnicki Nis on Saturday.


  • Michael Orozco started, played 90 minutes and received a yellow card in Puebla’s 1-0 loss vs. Monterrey on Saturday.
  • Edgar Castillo started, played 90 minutes and received a yellow card in Atlas’ 3-1 loss vs. Pachuca on Saturday.
  • Jose Torres dressed but did not play in Tigres UANL’s 5-1 win vs. Morelia on Friday.
  • Herculez Gomez did not dress for Tigres UANL.
  • Ventura Alvarado did not dress in Club America’s 0-0 draw vs. Jaguares de Chiapas on Saturday.
  • Jonathan Bornstein did not dress in Queretaro’s 2-1 loss vs. Cruz Azul on Saturday.
  • Joe Corona started and played 90 minutes in Club Tijuana’s 1-1 draw vs. Pumas UNAM on Sunday.
  • Greg Garza started and played 90 minutes for Club Tijuana.
  • Alejandro Guido came off the bench and played three minutes for Club Tijuana.
  • Paul Arriola dressed but did not play for Club Tijuana.
  • Amando Moreno did not dress for Club Tijuana.
  • Fernando Arce Jr did not dress for Club Tijuana.
  • Joaquin Alonso Hernandez came off the bench and played 28 minutes in Monterrey’s 1-0 win vs. Puebla on Saturday.
  • Gabriel Farfan did not dress in Jaguares de Chiapas’ 0-0 draw vs. Club America on Saturday.


What do you think of these performances? How much success will O’Brien have in Austria this season? Think Altidore and Sunderland are in store for a much better campaign? What negative development most concerned you?

Share your thoughts below.

    • Josh D

      I don’t blame them. And although Hyndman seems to have lost his position, his ability to help dictate and keep possession has to now put him on a higher pedestal.


  • Luke

    Leading with Conor O’Brien and a 13 minute sub appearance for Jozy? The Americans abroad have seen better weekends.


  • quozzel

    Americans are treated like crap abroad. This is getting ridiculous.

    Honestly, unless you’re getting offered just huge dollars to move, you’re better off, as an American, in MLS.

    We’ve got a team that’s made it to the Round of 16 in two straight World Cups…and 75% of our guys can’t get significant minutes anywhere in Europe? Really?


    • Mike R

      Lack of technical ability. If Jozy would finish his chances he would play. He might not get much service but when he does he doesn do much. Suarez would finish many of the chances Jozy flubs. Most premiership starters would. Your not going to improve your game much in MLS. Your reach a certain level than stay there. You never become world class staying in MLS. The current Americans abroad simply aren’t good enough. Shea tore up MLS yet his lack of soccer acumen has been discovered abroad. Either he would step up his game like Dempsey Holden or Bradley… Or crash out like many others like EJ. So far he is doing the latter


      • quozzel


        Altidore is a carbon-copy clone of Lukaku…albeit one with a confidence problem. Even Klinsmann shakes his head about what they’re doing with Altidore…with the USMNT he plays lights out and finishes, with AZ he played lights-out, with confidence, and finished (with Ernie Stewart working to develop him)…and then all of a sudden he hits the EPL and he’s pensive, tight, and can’t hit the broad side of a barn? If you wanna know what Altidore’s problem is, check the Sunderland fan forums sometime…the venom they spew there is…loathsome, sometimes, and 95% of it is the tired old “Americans are sh*t” variety. It takes a rare bird like Dempsey, who’s got a chip on his shoulder the size of, well, Texas, to stand up to that kind of abrasiveness…and way too many players who would otherwise be stars fold up under it.

        Anti-American bias is real, at every level of the game of soccer.

        Shea is not a good example, either. He had one good season with FC Dallas and otherwise underachieved. His “lack of soccer acumen”, as you call it, is largely due to the fact that he’s a paycheck guy who really has never trained hard or been any sort of student of the game. Ask people familiar with him and they say the same: fun guy, good with the kids…and indifferent on the training field.

        Contrariwise, let’s see what happens with DeAndre Yedlin. We watched him turn the opposition inside out in the World Cup. We watched him tie Tottenham’s guys inside out this summer (which is why they bought him)…we saw Bayern Munich double him, and still not stop him, in the MLS All-Star game. If was European or South American he’d be a 20-million-pound transfer…Tottenham got him for $3.5 million. You think he’ll get any meaningful playing time with Spurs, though? Me either.

        Forbes released a list of the total transfer value of all players in the World Cup. The USMNT ranked #28 out of 32 teams. Mexico ranked #26. Costa Rica was #31. All three advanced out of their groups…and with the exception of Yedlin and Costa Rica’s Joe Campbell – who had been Arsenal property already – no players from any of those squads really bumped up their transfer stock despite the fact that they were beating Euro and South American teams allegedly worth as much as ten times more on the world transfer market than the CONCACAF players.

        Soccer is one of the most subjective sports in the world…and as a coach, I can tell you that true talent evaluation starts with ignoring “perception” and simply using your eyes. When DeAndre Yedlin is shredding Bayern Munich, it’s time to say: “hey, there’s something legit there”…and trust what your eyes are telling you. If a guy that talented fails with Spurs, it’s because he wasn’t coached worth a flip…but given what he’s likely to face, I also think it’s entirely possible.


      • JayAre

        Well written and I completely agree with you about the Anti-American bias in Europe. I was surprised when the Crew got $5m for Gonzalez and Yedlin only went for $3.5m, I’m glad Besler and Gonzo stayed home and didn’t accept any low ball offers. From what I’ve seen this season all 3 of our guys have had a better season than him. It’s no longer Americans can’t play its now we don’t want to accept that Americans can play.


      • Josh D

        Yedlin has a ton of work to go before he reaches a consistent level. Gonzalez started more games in the World Cup and is a much more reliable player.

        Yedlin was bought for the future. Gonzalez was bought to start immediately.


      • Dank

        That’s ridiculous, he played over thirty games last season and had ZERO goals. He isn’t producing for Sunderland, why would you expect the fans to get behind him? And his level of play isn’t determined by what fans say on forums, it’s up to him. He’s nowhere near as good as Lukaku, and the difference is more than mental, and it’s more than subjective. He is still young, and has shown great potential, but he needs to improve against top defenders.


      • quozzel

        I disagree. He has every physical attribute Lukaku has and has shown – at least with the USMNT – very similar technical and finishing skills.

        When’s he’s confident, that is.

        Lukaku, though, is playing for Roberto Martinez. Altidore played for Hull City and whoever was in charge at Sunderland.

        When he’s played for managers (and even player directors) who believed in him – i.e.: Jurgen Klinsmann, Ernie Stewart at AZ – and been in a locker room that supported him, he’s looked like a completely different guy. Jozy showed us, many times, he has similar quality to Clint Dempsey (though they are very different styles of players)…and Dempsey’s a guy who’s scored as many as 20 goals a season in the EPL.

        There’s times Lukaku looked EXACTLY like Altidore looks now. He was NOT a fan-favorite with the Belgian national team and wouldn’t have seen the field at the World Cup if Benteke – Belgium’s golden boy – hadn’t been hurt…even then, they ran Lukaku in off the bench and are looking to replace him with Oribe. He also couldn’t get a sniff with Chelsea; Mourinho didn’t like him.

        But his trash is Roberto Martinez’s treasure. Give Jozy similar treatment and he’ll respond the same way. He’s SHOWN us that with the USMNT and at AZ.


      • Josh D

        Lukaku is a far better player than Jozy is. Lukaku knows how to create opportunities from nothing; Lukaku would have scored at least a few times during the whole of last season for Sunderland; and Lukaku hustles his butt off. One of my biggest complaints about Jozy is his inability to come off the bench and sprint around for 10 minutes, creating chances by chasing them. After 90 minutes Wickham chased a ball down for 30 yards. I didn’t see Jozy make that effort once, except for the break away when he did everything right (pulling three defenders to him) except the finishing (passing it to an open Wickham).

        I like Jozy. He has the technical skills and the physique. He just doesn’t seem to have the aggression needed in the EPL or the smarts.

        Lukaku is an elite striker in the making and still only 21.


      • Pete

        Doesn’t have the smarts LOL!!!! Look whose talking. Altidore would have torn it up if he didn’t hurt himself in the WC. You are a joke as usual.


      • bryan

        I do think there is some bias, but give me a break about Jozy being the same as Lukaku just without the confidence. Until Jozy puts up Lukaku type stats and still gets shafted can you make that comparison.

        Jozy was always going to be brought back into a potential starting role after a few games. Poyet has repeated this. Once Jozy is starting, we all just have to hope he takes his chances.


      • MIdwest Ref

        Lukaku was benched for Belgium because he wasn’t scoring. He came off the bench against the US in extra time, but Lukaku didn’t do much at all in the World Cup. Sounds a lot like Jozy at Sunderland


      • bryan

        32 EPL goals to 1 EPL goal. that’s all that matters in this conversation.


      • michael f. sbi Mafia Original

        Altidore = Lukaku? And you’re talk about ‘opening your eyes’? C’mon. Jozy has gotten better based on articles we read in terms of his work rate and attitude. But until he scores regularly in the EPL or even the USMNT (lately) he’s just another good player in the Eredivisie who couldn’t make the step up. And there’s nothing wrong with that. How many of you would kill to play in the Eredivisie and be near the top of the scoring chart, make a big transfer and try your best? Just because your best may not be good enough, doesn’t mean we all have to sit here and condemn the guy every week. Jozy will get his shot, Poyet said so. If he puts away his chances, great. If he doesn’t so be it. He’ll just have to find a league that’s at his level where he can compete. It’s really simple. Nothing wrong with that…


      • petro4ever

        I think there’s probably room for nuance here. Any of the big 4 leagues is a pronounced step up from the Eredivise, so no one was realistically expecting him to come over and immediately replicate his production there, but when a player drops from 31 goals in one league to 1 (or 2) in another, there are probably more factors at play than just the player. It’s certainly not true that Altidore isn’t technical — that may have been true 5 years ago, but he’s improved by leaps and bounds there — and he has always had the physical tools to be more productive than 2 goals across all competitions. He’s not Lukaku, but he’s something more than he was last season.

        I think what Altidore’s situation highlights is that, while there is a clear hierarchy of soccer leagues in the world, going to a better league isn’t always the best choice if the club you’re going to in that league doesn’t have a good management structure in place. Altidore was bought from AZ while Di Canio was still manager and Di Canio’s plan going into last season was to play a more offensive and open style that, quite frankly, he probably didn’t have the personnel for. A bunch of losses and 2 managers later, they were in a relegation fight which they just barely managed to win. Through most of the season, none of the strikers were really scoring (suggesting the problem was bigger than just Altidore) and Wickham only really caught fire at the very end in less than a handful of games. Then in the off season, management did nothing to address their pronounced weakness in the midfield, putting the team in arguably a worse spot going into this season than they were going into last.

        If you’re a player who cares about your development then you have to look closely at who’s running the teams that are bidding for you. As is the case with most professional sports leagues, all EPL teams aren’t created equal. Altidore pushed to return to England after a couple of very good seasons in Holland, but I think he was so blinded by the idea of getting back to the EPL that he didn’t look closely at where he was going. Sometimes, you’re actually better off staying in a worse league at a well-managed club than making the big jump to a big-league trash heap. Hopefully other players will take the lesson to heart.


      • GW

        It is a mistake to say Jozy represents all US soccer players. He represents Jozy.

        What Altidore’s situation highlights is that Jozy is mentally fragile, something everyone has known for a long time. He found a nice niche for himself AZ and and is just going to have to rebuild that all over again in Sunderland. He has the ability and Poyet seems to be giving all the chances in the world but we will see if he has the mental toughness like Clint had to make a place for himself.

        His situation has nothing to with him being an American and everything to do with him being Jozy. It’s all up to him at this point.
        You do do him no favors by making up all these puerile excuses for him.

        “Sometimes, you’re actually better off staying in a worse league at a well-managed club than making the big jump to a big-league trash heap. Hopefully other players will take the lesson to heart.”

        That depends on what your priorities are.

        What you say may be true for US players if they want to star for the USMNT.

        But how many guys can do that?

        And how many guys want to stay at home? How much better off would Jay Demerit have been if he had decided to stay a Cheeshead? Of look at JOB who went abroad when he was a teenager.

        Some guys like to travel and see the world.

        Your prescription will give the USMNT a bunch of automatons, all about the same skill level, all playing the same way, in other words just like the English who all stay at home.

        If the USMNT ever wants to be a serious top ten team, they will need a mix of MLS and players from elsewhere.


      • Nate

        dont forget that Clint was 24 when he got to Fulham, after having spent 3 years with the Revs. (Jozy is 24 now) In addition, Fulham had a tradition of fielding quality US players, including McBride AND Bocanegra, both of whom were on the squad when Clint joined. Maybe it wasnt so tough for Clint “mentally” as folks would like to think, in hindsight.


      • GW


        Jozy and Lukaku are both powerful forwards and both play in the EPL.

        Beyond that comparing Jozy’s situation to Lukaku’s is way off the mark.

        Jozy is 24, Lukaku is 21, that is a very big difference.

        At 21, this was Lukaku’s record before this season:

        2009-2011 73 appearances for Anderlecht with 33 goals
        2011-2014 10 appearances for Chelsea with 10 goals
        2012-2013 35 appearances for WBA with 17 goals
        2013-2014 31 appearances for Everton with 15 goals

        In other words, in three EPL seasons, Lukaku has 76 appearances and 42 goals

        In two EPL seasons (Hull and Sunderland), Jozy has about 66 league appearances and two league goals.

        This is not to say that Jozy won’t do well going forward but every player is different and it is on every player to produce in a particular time frame .

        If you are going to tell me Martinez would have gotten the same performance out of Jozy he got out of Lukaku last season than I will say Lukaku already had a track record of success much superior to Jozy’s BEFORE Martinez ever got a hold of him.

        If you paid any attention to Poyet, he gave Jozy every chance possible to snap out of it. He gave him lots of love in the media but Jozy failed to come through. Jozy had 38 appearances. In a normal year Clint used to average 42 appearances for Fulham across all competitions so please don’t tell me Jozy did not get lots of chances .

        As for the Sunderland fans being nasty to Jozy, American fans are just as bad if not worse than Sunderland fans in their treatment of Jozy. If he looks to SBI for moral support he will wind up committing suicide.

        News flash, If you don’t produce Brit fans hate you. Big surprise huh?

        The EPL is a cut throat place for all nationalities, quozzel, and if Jozy does not come up big this season he will be gone.


      • Gary Page

        It is hardly fair to compare Jozy to Suarez who is one of the best strikers in the world. More telling to me is that when the US played Serbia in Serbia Jozy outplayed Dzeko, who is a regular for Man City. As for this weekend’s game, Wickham, who is starting in place of Jozy, had an open shot on goal in the first half and scuffed it. Had Jozy done that he would have been pulled at half time and the haters would have been out in full force. Instead Wickham stayed in, even when Jozy came on he replaced another player. Every time Dempsey had a new coach he found himself relegated to the bench at the start of the season and had to play his way back into the starting lineup, even the year after he had 10 goals from midfield. Look at all the English players starting in the EPL, many at top 5 teams. And where has their national team finished the last two world cups?


      • Sam

        Wickham saved their butts last year with big goal after big goal. That’s why he gets to stay in the game.

        Learn something next time before you open your mouth and look foolish doing so.


      • Nate

        he scored 5 goals at the end of the season. wasnt like he was lighting it up. in his first run with the team, before being loaned out, he was even more woeful than altidore.


      • Josh D

        False. Jozy earned time over Wickham because Jozy cost a fortune.

        And you fail to mention that Wickham’s goals meant that he had five times the amount of goals Jozy had all season, at the tail end of the season when pressure was mounting, against incredibly tough defenses – and that most of his finishes were self-made, because he was still playing with the terrible players Jozy-excusers point to for Jozy’s woeful season.


      • Nate

        Wickham had been on the team since 2011. Are you saying he had shown quality prior to the last two months of the 2014 season? Of course you aren’t.

        what’s funny is you claim to be a US fan yet come up with a line like”Jozy excusers” while going on to invent heroic facts about Conor Wickham and his “mostly self-made” finishes.

        Did you actually watch those matches? One, at most, was arguably self made… his second against City, where Giaccherini (who had seen very little time up to then and had set up Wickhmas first on a platter for a one time finish) took the ball from his own half, dribbled into the attacking third and found wickham on the run just outside the box. Wickham shot the ball on his second touch and beat Joe Hart near post. His next goal, against Chelsea was a rebound tap in. The next, against the “incredibly tough” defense of relegated Cardiff was off a corner where he headed the ball OFF THE BOUNCE which looped into the upper nine. The second and final goal against the “incredibly tough” Cardiff defense was also off a header from a corner ( one in which he did not even leave his feet). So, 5 goals, 6 touches. Interesting definition of “self made.” You really damage your credibility when you just make stuff up…


      • go_usa

        Gary, well written. Wickham was impressive after joining the team at end of the last season. But, he did very little up to now this season.
        English players always got preference treatment in EPL, But most English players, specifically forwards, are bunch of overpaid rejects in European Market.


      • Josh D

        Wickham was loaned out for half the season scoring 9 times in the Championship in 17 games. It wasn’t like he spent the season he benched.

        He earned his opportunity to start and took it, riding in on a white horse of Sunderland-saving grace.


      • GW

        Mr. Page,

        Clubs are a much bigger deal in Europe than the national teams. It is more or less the reverse in the US.

        “Every time Dempsey had a new coach he found himself relegated to the bench at the start of the season and had to play his way back into the starting lineup, even the year after he had 10 goals from midfield. “

        If you throw out Clint’s first year at Fulham he averaged 42 appearances across all competitions for Fulham. In other words, Clint was a regular. Guys like Hageland, and Danny Murphy were in the same ball park for appearances. There are 38 league games by the way.

        So if Clint had to win a job every year, he didn’t take too long to do so. If the manager respects you and feels you are contributing, the most sincere way of telling you that is by playing you . All of Clint’s managers at Fulham played him a lot.

        It’s a little insane to think that there are very many guaranteed spots on any EPL team. Clint had one exceptional year but was otherwise a good solid player for Fulham . Given that for much of his USMNT career Clint was despised by US fans and seen as lazy and selfish why is any one surprised that Clint felt he always had to win a job every year everywhere he played?


      • Nate

        I would agree that clubs are bigger deals in europe than they are here in the states, but european clubs are not bigger than the european national teams….the popularity of the world cup is the entire reason they created the European Championship to dovetail every 2 years. The European Championship is the third most attended sporting event in the world next to the World Cup and the Olympics.

        Also the biggest heroes in Europe for the most part have excelled for their nation. Everyone remembers Schillaci, but not Vialli…Baggio, but not Zola? Rummenigge, but not Schuster? Lineker but not Wright? just my take on it; I could be convinced otherwise…


      • Nate

        “many of the chances that Jozy flubs…” I can think of 3 at most. The big difference between Suarez and Jozy, aside from them being two different types of players, are chances, skill and confidence. Liverpool generates way more chances, and allows for Suarez and Sturridge to get into positions that are dangerous. Sunderland doesnt set up for a forward to score a lot of goals. For the most part, they play with one guy up top, and rely on their midflieders to score. Borini was their top scoring forward with what, 10 goals? Look up the statistics on shots taken last year by the two teams and youll see the diffference. its staggering. Plus, sunderland still has yet to have a forward score for them this season.

        Clearly Suarez is a superior player in terms of technique, but not only that, his confidence allows him to take half chances, which in many cases for him result in goals. Jozy never shoots unless he has a clear chance, which doesnt come around often at Sunderland. If he took more chances like his second goal against Nigeria, where he decided to take on the defender and shoot as soon as he saw daylight, he might sneak a goal or two from that, and build his confidence. He definitely looked more lively and sharp yesterday than I had seen him show previously for Sunderland. May not be long before you see him replace fletcher, but if Borini comes back, hard to see him other than super sub.


      • Increase0

        It should be noted that Borini scored those goals from left wing.

        Johnson and Borini are both shoot first players. Its just midfielders spamming shots and some go in. Jozy isn’t really there to score.


      • Vic

        Some of our best players are in MLS (Dempsey, Donovan, Bradley and Besler). We do have other players other than Altidore.


    • Ali Dia

      After reading this article, and then this post as well as the many follow up comments/replies, I think there is a theme and it is running through many of the transfer window stories involving both established and potential/future USMNT players.

      I am seeing that people are not entirely happy with the way in which our players are choosing to make moves. I myself am actually quite baffled if not outright angry. Is anybody happy with it? WTF is going on with Juan Agudelo, for example? Does any other country have a player with this situation– just floating around Europe because his work permit got denied and nobody but himself was held responsible? Who is his agent and how did he land a promising American talent in this joke situation where at — the age of 21 — he is not even training, let alone playing? HOW COULD THIS BE?!? Nobody at Stoke will answer of course, but it would be nice if they could at least send us a “proof of life” photo of Brek Shea. (Yes it’s fine if he’s flicking off the camera… that’s our boy, alright)

      But we’ve seen this plot many times now haven’t we? What on earth was Villareal’s plan with Jozy? In hindsight it was financial speculation– barely soccer related. Eddie Johnson managed to throw a big chunk of his prime floating around the garbage backwaters of Europe. Even Bradley was striking out and facing an ominous future until he caught on with Chievo. Few players seem to find a home where they are wanted right away, and the ones who eventually salvage success seem to be doing so by luck more than design. What is the process? Is there one?

      Understand — I don’t really care if any of us — as fans — experiences big throbbing b0ners when a US player gets a European offer or doesn’t. Over-hyping and speculation are in our job descriptions. Unfortunately this seems to be exact position shared by the young players…. “Just get me into Europe ASAP!” seems to be the theme, with the responsibility of making it happen falling to a bunch of totally misaligned people and organizations, most of whom evaporate once the deal closes. Our players do not know what they are doing when it comes to moving outside of the country– not a crime and certainly common for athletes with little real-world life experience…. but the people who are advocating for them are apparently lost at sea… inexperience I guess? Should they even be moving at this age? Too late for the academies, too early to expect meaningful minutes…. “European Latchkey Kid” seems like the most likely outcome doesn’t it?

      Who can say when the last “good” USA transfer abroad was? Seriously? Bad ones are everywhere… Doesn’t seem to faze anybody. Yedlin barged right into a “move” to Spurs that may or may not turn out well for him, but was heavily structured in Spurs favor. I can think of a dozen ways it turns out to be a disaster before he ever sets foot in London (though not for Spurs), and and 2-3 in which it is brilliant for the player (and also Spurs). It should be the player who is protected here, not the purchasing club. Much as it should’ve been with Agudelo/Stoke.

      I guess it could be worse… Club Tijuana is currently grinding US players into meat patties and serving them to tourists.


  • bryan

    Not the greatest weekend as a whole. Still early, things will change once transfer windows are closed and things settle.

    On another note, what is up with Liga MX attendance? Just watched all the highlights and almost every game had half empty, or more, stadiums. Big stadiums, small crowds like NE? Or just dropping attendance?


    • beto

      really hot and beginning of the season.. plus you probably saw Veracruz or Chiapas’ (less popular teams) highlights.

      Liga MX is still the 5th best attended league in the world, (Bundesliga #1 MLS #9) and has enjoyed big seasons in the ’14 Spring and ’13 Fall tournaments averaging near 25,000


  • Mark from LA

    Jozy is going to continue to get chances since the other strikers are no better. Steven Fletcher in particular should leave to revive his career, he looks out of place. The wild card is a transfer for another striker, and in my opinion Sunderland really should be looking into options beyond Borini who is overpriced. At the end of the game Poyet gave Javier Hernandez a sizable hug and I couldn’t help but wonder if Hernandez would say yes to a transfer to Sunderland. Welbeck is obviously available, although I’m not very high on him.

    Bottom line is Altidore’s work rate is now superb, and that’s a huge improvement from two years ago, he’s immensely talented, and he’s played in both fixtures so far this season.

    It really is a career year for Altidore, hope he does well.


    • Josh D

      Jozy’s hope is that Wickham gets a transfer because at the moment, next season he’s walking out on a free. Fletcher is a poor striker, but his work rate earns him the start.


      • Diego's Maradoughnuts

        Fletcher is an ugly stain of a striker, it’s true. But he’s perfect for the chemical dump that is Sunderland. He has proven he can process the dog-meat chances Sunderland “create” into goals with some efficiency, so he gets the nod for now.

        It’s not a competition worth winning really, but it would be nice to see Jozy play more, even if he becomes the first top pro to celebrate a goal by sprinting out of the stadium and never coming back.


    • beto

      can you imagine; frijolito and jozy both on the sunderland bench watching fletcher and wickham struggle all year.. sunderland, and most of the bottom table epl teams, just looks like a downright depressing place to exist.


  • Sam

    This is what is wrong with American fans. They think they are victims and don’t want Americans to earn anything and use this false narrative of bias.

    Altidore sucks at the Premier League level. That is a proven fact. Strikers score goals and he cannot.

    Yedlin has potential but Spurs are a terrible club for him. Too many players and high expectations.

    Some American players have done well overseas. Dempsey,McBride and Dolo and Bradley come to mind. They all performed for mid-table teams. None of them could hack it at a big club – look at Dempsey at Spurs and Bradley and Roma and they had to run back to MLS with their tails between their legs.

    You saw the value of the USMNT team was low despite beating European and South American teams? Last I checked, the U.S. failed to win a match against teams from those regions on the World Cup.

    Who were the best U.S. players in the Cup? Howard – so why can’t he play in Champions League then. Who else? Jones and Johnson – those guys as of now have never played for MLS. Yedlin too.

    But the rest of these guys? You expect Euro teams to throw money at Bradley, Dempsey, Crappy English teams wanted Zusi and Besler.

    The bar is set so low for U.S. players and these guys can’t still clear it. A Mexican player has already scored in the Champions League this season. When will an American do so?


    • ilikefreddyyesadu

      Explain the Geoff Cameron situation. I don’t know if it is bias but I also know he was a very good player for Stoke last season. Now he doesn’t see the field. This doesn’t happen to many European established starters. I’ve read the reports about him wanting a transfer or new position but that’s not reason enough to have him dress and not play. He was a consistent performer for Stoke and now he can’t get a sniff.


      • Vic

        Cameron has asked for a transfer because he wants to play centrally and not RB. Thats why he’s not playing.


      • Josh D

        That happens to players all the time. Cameron was never a RB and they brought in one who offers a far more attacking threat. He said he wants to play centrally. O’Shea was another like Cameron who is a master of none, but good at many positions. He too earned the shaft eventually and moved on.

        This is what’s going to happen: United want Vlaar. Villa will sell because United are desperate enough to throw stupid money at him. Villa will then turn to Cameron to fill in the vacant tall CB role.


      • beto

        this i like; cameron playing in front of guzan on a decent epl team. — hope it happens


    • Ravishing Rick Rude

      It must be really convenient to revise history the way you see fit. Dempsey and Bradley left their teams because they wanted more money period, there was no running there was no tails and they could surely “hack” it. You contradict yourself in one paragraph saying they did well overseas but they ran home, so your opinion seems to have issues.


      • That_Guy

        Bradley wanted to be the focal point of a team, not more money. Its why he went to the states and didnt sign again in Europe. He also has a kid now and I would be shocked if he did not think of that when he moved.

        Dempsey was a similar boat. Wasn’t playing at Spurs, wanted more playing time, and had kids he wanted to grow up in the USA.


      • GW

        “It must be really convenient to revise history the way you see fit. Dempsey and Bradley left their teams because they wanted more money period, there was no running there was no tails and they could surely “hack” it”

        Revising history? As I remember it. When Dempsey left Spurs his future with them was uncertain. AVB was on shaky ground soon to be fired, and there was all this Bale money buring a hole in Spurs’ pocket.
        So it seemed pretty certain that at best Clint was going to have to fight off a a wave of high priced challengers for playing time. All of this going into a WC year. Clint’s move gave him more or less guaranteed playing time leading up to Brazil and financial security for his family.

        It was pretty much the same thing with Mikey, PT in a World Cup year and financial security.

        Neither guy was going to get that same deal anywhere in Europe.


    • Clover362

      Was there a single game at the World Cup where besler looked not of the same class at the players he was defending? The guys he was defendaing and doing well against play in champions league. Was there a single time yedlin was on the field at the World Cup where he didn’t terrorize the opposition? Those guys play on top European teams. I guess yedlin and besler couldn’t hack it at a higher level if given a fair shake. Put altidore on a team that gives him service and he scores period. He has demonstrated that consistantly, if he is so terrible why does he score on the national team? Simple he gets service from good players like Michael Bradley, Dempsey, jones, Johnson,and Donovan (all of whom would be an upgrade for Sunderland).


      • GW

        Clover 362,

        It is one thing to do really well in 4 games in a World Cup.

        It is an entirely diferent thing to do well over, in the EPL’s case, 38 league games and who knows how many FA and League Cup games along with however many European games if the club is that good.

        Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure Besler would do well in Europe, but don’t act as if 4 games in the World Cup is an absolute guarantee of success in the EPL.

        As for Jozy the fact is Sunderland pays him a lot of money to score goals for THEM not the USMNT . What he does for the USMNT is irrelevant to them. They know he can score or they would not have bought him in the first place. Getting him to score for THEM is the idea.

        There were a lot of mitigating factors for Jozy’s poor season but Sunderland apparently feel he is worth keeping around and giving another chance so he should be grateful for that regardless of why they have given him another chance.

        I’ve seen better players than Jozy get fewer chances than Jozy has gotten and then get cut loose.

        There are a lot of players who would kill for the chances Jozy has already gotten. No sense whining and crying about it.


  • Bill

    A bit worried for Cameron now; the only reason I watched Stoke play last season was to see Geoff play. His place now seems to be taken by Bardsley, which I feared would happen once he transferred from Sunderland.


    • Diego's Maradoughnuts

      It has come to pass, unfortunately… Hughes is a fool who is attempting to execute the Sunderland blueprint at Stoke, for whatever reason. Bardsley is the beneficiary for the moment, and really Cameron is being wise not to wait until Hughes’ inevitable midseason resignation– not while there are other teams that actually want him now.

      Seriously… that “versatility” is killing him though. No good deed…


  • Rob

    Hard to argue with coaches not starting our players since our own national team coach prefers those that learned to play outside the US.


    • away goals

      Ahem. You mean the coach who included beckerman, besler, beasley, zusi, yedlin, omar, cameron, bradley, bedoya, dempsey, davis, altidore, howard, guzan, rimando and wondo?

      Clearly that coach despises guys who learned to play here in the states.


  • Hayes

    A couple of things. I think Poyet likes Altidore especially at the end of matches when they are trying to hold on to a lead or even a tie. If he knocks a goal or two in, I expect Poyet will get him in the lineup. Also, compared to their other forwards Altidore did not have a full preseason and could not play until about 10 days ago due to his hamstring injury.

    As far as Yedlin goes, I think he will get his chances. Pochettino really likes to attack and defend with speed. The fans on the Spurs boards are actually pretty optimistic about Yedlin. Much more so than when Dempsey was signed.


  • Josh D

    This is a bit disheartening, but come on Green earned a role on the bench. That’s massive. Not since Howard at United have we had a USMNT player that close to playing for such a massive club, if not the best club in the world at the moment.

    Mix and Corona playing bodes well for us since their position was a sore spot for us during the World Cup.

    Shea and Cameron need move. In time, Chandler, FJ, and Brooks will earn starts again. Jozy will get time. Most people forget he didn’t have a proper pre-season so Poyet is right to slowly bring him into the fold. He’s also lucky that so far none of the Sunderland strikers have impressed. Then we have guys like Wood and (mostly) Hyndman who are now starting when they weren’t last season.

    Packwood is this season’s biggest mystery. He goes from a starter to not making it on the bench. Injury? Move away?


  • Dennis

    The other American Abroad, Bob Bradley, saw his team Stabaek FC win, now 3-1-1over the last 5 games including a tie with league leaders Molde and a win that puts them into the semifinals of the MC Cupen where they will face Molde for a shot in the finals. In league play the newly promoted team is now in 8th place.


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