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Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

Maurice Edu 1 (Reuters) 


2009 has been an up-and-down year for the Americans Abroad, but two of the younger players made sure to end the final weekend of the year with solid outings.

Maurice Edu completed his recovery from the lengthy knee injury that has sidelined him since May by making an appearance in Rangers' 4-1 victory over Hibernian. Edu came off the bench and played 16 minutes in his first appearance of the season.

Jozy Altidore also enjoyed a good performance, starting and playing 83 minutes in Hull City's 3-1 defeat to Manchester United. Altidore drew a penalty in the second half that would pull Hull level, but the Tigers would eventually fall, surrendering two goals in a nine-minute span.

Here is how the Americans Abroad did this weekend:



  • Tim Howard started, played 90 minutes and made three saves in Everton's 1-1 draw vs. Sunderland on Saturday.
  • Jozy Altidore started, played 83 minutes and drew a penalty kick in Hull City's 3-1 loss vs. Manchester United on Sunday.
  • Clint Dempsey started and played 90 minutes in Fulham's 0-0 draw vs. Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
  • Eddie Johnson did not dress in Fulham's 0-0 draw vs. Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
  • Jonathan Spector dressed but did not play in West Ham's 2-0 win vs. Portsmouth on Saturday.
  • Brad Friedel started, played 90 minutes and made six saves in Aston Villa's 3-0 loss vs. Arsenal on Sunday.
  • Brad Guzan dressed but did not play in Aston Villa's 3-0 loss vs. Arsenal on Sunday.

  • Marcus Hahnemann started, played 90 minutes and made six saves in Wolverhampton Wanderers' 2-0 loss vs. Liverpool on Saturday.


  • Jay DeMerit started and played 90 minutes in Watford's 0-0 draw vs. Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
  • Frank Simek started and played 90 minutes in Sheffield Wednesday's 2-2 draw vs. Newcastle United on Saturday.


  • Zak Whitbread did not dress in Millwall's 2-0 loss vs. Norwich City on Saturday.
  • Ian Joyce started, played 90 minutes and made three saves in Southend United's 2-1 loss vs. Colchester United on Saturday.
  • Mike Grella dressed but did not play in Leeds United's 3-1 win vs. Hartlepool United on Saturday.
  • Jemal Johnson did not dress in Milton Keynes Dons' 4-1 win vs. Stockport County on Saturday.
  • Jon-Paul Pittman started and played 73 minutes in Wycombe Wanderers' 4-0 loss vs. Yeovil Town on Saturday. 


  • Maurice Edu came off the bench and played 16 minutes in Rangers' 4-1 win vs. Hibernian on Sunday.
  • Dominic Cervi did not dress in Celtic's 2-0 win vs. Hamilton Academical on Saturday.


What do you think of these performances? Do you see Edu starting for Rangers soon? Did you like Altidore's 83-minute performance? Hoping Beasley's injury is minor?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Jozy would prefer not to play back to goal. I think it’s why as a youth he liked playing with Freddy Adu so much because Adu is central attacker always looking to slip Jozy the ball on the run. But he’s chosen to go to a team without a midfield that plays the ball to him back to goal so he’s going to have to learn to play like that. It was never going to be different at a recently promoted English team. And Bob Bradley likes to do that too anyways so it’s not a foriegn concept.

    He doesn’t suck but i think criticism when fair is going to make him better. When he starts scoring like Jermaine Defoe or Bent we can blow smoke up his ass. He needs time, luck and hard work.

    Athletes in all American sports get criticized for having ineffective games. TO doesn’t have a 90 yards receiving and a touchdown he hears it. We shouldn’t expect it any different cause it’s soccer and cause he’s a countrymen in a foreign land. i just think when it’s fair it’s not a big deal at all. Doesn’t mean the end of the world. just shows there is something to work on.

  2. there is no requirement that only one person take free kicks though. Like Drogba takes free kicks that are close enough to score but when there is a free kick just inside the opponents half he doesn’t go back to take it. He rarely takes corners too. And to continue to talk about a team i don’t like Chelsea, it’s common to see both Lampard, Drogba, Ballack, and Deco all over the ball for free kicks. No offense to LD but it’s not like he’s Beckham at a free kicks and driven balls. I’ve seen LD certainly have a run of games where his delivery on set piece crosses has been less then good. So he’s not always great on those.

  3. If defenders are screaming for the forward to show for the ball, maybe they should try building through the midfield like a real football team.

    Jozy seemed to shy away from the ball during moments in attack. I don’t know how they train or what they envision his role being, but he was not fighting across defenders and asking for the ball at his feet.

  4. Birch- those other guys are right, Jozy can’t score a hat trick against the second best club in the world then he sucks. Cut him!!! Call in Ricky Davis or Kirovsky!! If the US has no Messi or CR they shouldn’t even go to South Africa.

  5. Having watched 60+ minutes of Hull v. ManU, I can now weigh in on Altidore. To me, it’s astounding how raw he truly is. He does not look comfortable at all with his back to goal and his first touch let’s him down virtually every time, even if he manages to keep possession. He has great assets — strength, speed — but he’s so clearly the unfinished product. I’n also consistently disappointed by his work rate. At this point, I don’t believe it’s fitness. I’m sure it’s frustrating to play with Hull; he truly gets no service. But he should be chomping at the bit to make an impression. He’s not earning himself a look with any other top flight club playing like he is. In fact, I don’t think a stint in the Championship would be a bad thing for him at all.

  6. Did anyone else notice how many of Jozy’s teammate’s were screaming at him? Defenders were yelling at him to show for the ball, midfielders disappointed with his runs… I was hoping I was misreading their lips, but they all seemed disappointed in him. He only saw the field because of the quick turn around schedule. Just like a Villareal when he would start the game before champions league match,….

  7. Spector came in as a sub in the first half against Tottenham.

    Did as good a job of trying to contain Lennon as could posibly be expected.

  8. He probably runs up to take them because the coaches decided before the match that he would take them … thus, blame the coaches. Also, a really good fk specialist has to be able to put a fk in the net, yes, but he also must be able to serve up a dangerous pass … and LD certainly has solid assists stats.

  9. Im sorry but Jozy played horrible. Believe me I am a fan, but he simply looked like an amateur player. He was not hustling to the ball and his touch was off. Yes, he had a great shot going into halftime, but nothing spectacular. The commentators where also frustrated with his play on the field and were suggesting that he be replaced by another player going into the second half.

  10. Jozy has disappointed me so far in the PL. He’s 20 and starting which says something beyond what people are giving him credit for, however, he looks lost out there and isn’t at a team that will improve him. Game time will but his training is unlikely to.

    Jozy’s main problem is his inability to hussle and his lack of awareness about the play. He rarely sprint. Yesterday they had a break away with maybe two defenders, and instead of running with his striking partner he jogged!! Secondly his positioning is terrible. When players are running at him with the ball, instead of running to either A. make space or B. get open, he stands next to the defender with his arms near his crotch asking for the ball. He does this with crosses as well, instead of making near post runs or any run, he stands there waiting for the ball.

    He needs to be playing for a contract because at Villareal he won’t be playing much and will inevitably be sold. Playing better means finally scoring one (given his starting ratio you would expect that to have happened by now, no matter how poor they are playing), learning to hussle like his teammates and learning to read the game as a striker.

    Hopefully he will learn, just hope it isn’t too long and he gets lost in Europe’s soccer system.

  11. Almost feels pointless to leave this comment with all the posts, but here are my opinions:

    1. What has happened to Spector? It’s very unfortunate he has to battle with Faubert, who is a good fullback. I’m hoping he can fight and win this battle with the Frenchman.

    2. Jozy played very well considering A: his youth, B: the cast around him and C: the center backs he had to face for 83 minutes.

    3. Feel very bad for Beasley. He just can’t catch a break can he?

    4. Stoked Edu is back on the pitch.

    5. Don’t know why I woke up at 5:30 this morning when I’m off all week.

  12. I agree with you..
    However I think this is more an indication of bmb’s frailties in general and of a guy maybe not yet in peak shape pushing it further than his body can currently sustain. Probably because he’s fired up at how he’s been playing and wants to do more.

    Man.. I can’t believe I’m talkin about practice. Must be a wc year

  13. Guess what guys… Jozy Altidore is nowhere near the American savior… He is just average but is young and may learn someday..has very very poor touch, jogs most of the match, topples over looking for fouls and whines when he does not get them.. the only thing he actually does well is get into a good hold up position much like Fulham’s Zamora but his touch always lets him down… I see people bag on Eddie Johnson all the time for his touch and laziness but right now… EJ is actually a better player than Jozy…EJ runs now as he learned in Cardiff and with Fulham that it is required.. Jozy looks disinterested most of the match and actually I am starting to think that he has such bad fitness that the reason he walks so much is to make sure he can last 65 minutes… Charlie Davies was miles ahead of him when it comes to being a valued striker in Europe… shame really but until Jozy grows up and takes everything about football serious… he will never reach is extremely raw but loaded potential… also… there was no way he was going to finish that header chance, was going to go way over the bar just from the timing of his jump.. got very lucky with the foul and Fagan is the one that earned it..

  14. I only watched the first half of the game…i am a jozy fan but he had a mediocre first half today…the problem is his shortcomings will remain so until he leaves hull…..the coaching is awful, which was in evidence by the sheer disorganization of the defense…the only problem is we have to hope that villareal will be willing to keep him in pamplona next season…he is better sitting on the bench at villareal than he is playing at hull…..yes, few game time opportunities but his skills would have improved….

  15. Look guys it’s all about context. Jozy hasn’t gotten a huge amount if minutes this year as you know. Playing 83 mins and showing some good things is a good outing at this point.

    I thought the announcers were fair (aside from a little harsh on the knock he took but theylater did rectify it). Jozy is a raw talent that has improved. He lost the ball a few times by being overly ambitious but that’s what want to see. He lost the ball a few times with stone feet but he’s getting better. He lost the ball a few times on field length balls in but few in that spot consistently maintain it.

    He’s not as good at this point as my high hopes had for him but I can still see him being dangerous with Dempsey in the recessed role giving him dimes the way he has been for zamora.

  16. Derrick is absolutely correct.

    Gary — not so much.

    This is the issue with American fans. Derrick hit it on the head — critique, but don’t jump off the deep end. Jozy didn’t play well. There have been flashes of brilliance, but there are still glaring issues with his game.

    To say he’s “just another mediocre product from our broken system” is awfully ridiculous. Actually, it’s downright stupid. This isn’t some second rate league where the kid is struggling to get minutes in. He’s playing in one of, if not THE best league in the world, at the age of 20. He scored in a major FIFA tournament against the best team in the world, and Gary over here is acting like the kid doesn’t even know what soccer is.

    Gary is an example of the hugely passive-aggressive American fan base. The fans need to be smarter. He’s not the worst player in the history of soccer and he’s not the next coming of Zidane.

    Jozy hasn’t given Hull much, but they’re awful. He’s raw, 20 years old, and starting to make an impact and the highest level. Let’s quit getting so crazy and realize there’s way too much time left before this kid even hits his PEAK, before we can declare him “mediocre” or a stud.

  17. The only way Jozy doesn’t play in the EPL or another major European league next season is if Hull gets relegated and still thinks they can afford him, not likely. Sack up and quite whining, how many 20 year old forwards are getting minutes in the Premier League?

  18. It’s funny how people are so extreme in their opinions of Altidore’s game today against Man U. I thought he was alright, he was able to hold up play at times and was able to get a couple of shots on goal, he also DREW THE PENALTY which tied the game, something the critics are forgeting to mention. At the same time, he did lose possession and made some errant passes, plus his fitness did seem poor. He wasn’t the player of the week, but he wasn’t a dog out there either (as some are claiming). A decent, not great but not bad, performance against mostly Nemanja Vidic and Wes Brown.

  19. The announcer mentioned fitness for when he cramped, but I’m not so sure. It was about the 60th minute and he’d just taken a foul to the back of his leg. It’s either 1) a cramp due to injury, or 2) cramping due to lack of fitness. Cramping due to fitness persists the rest of the game. In Altidore’s case, he was limited for a few minutes, but was back to speed soon thereafter… meaning it was likely due to having been kicked.

  20. I agree, he doesn’t trust his team mates and who blames him, even the announcers said he shot the ball when he gets it because he doesn’t get the ball enough, Hull need a new coach its ridiculous the team they have.

  21. >> According to Sky, “He lacks confidence” he got a 5 rating from Sky. <<

    I'd say just about average for this game is a fair assessment.

  22. The Uhaul (because it is a truckload of crap) vs Manchester United game was ugly and a snore. I would not say Jozy had a descent game at all. It was pretty mediocre. The most troubling aspect is that his shortcomings have not improved since he moved from Spain to England. His first touch is bad and he does not know how to play in the pivot role up front and use his massive physique. He still thinks too much when given time and is easily disposed by defenders.

    But the worst part is his body language. He was criticized for it in the Spanish media and some Xerez fans that saw him practicing. He looks lackadaisical and does not seem to be hustling and the fact that he gets gassed pretty early do not help.

    Yes he is young and has talent and potential, but at this point in his development he should be working on his game technique, not basic skills.


  23. Jozy was subpar at best. You clearly don’t understand the game if you truly feel that Jozy was “easily Hull’s best player on the evening.”

    I love rooting for Altidore, but he had brick feet throughout the match. His poor fitness level showed earlier than it should have for a young player, trying to be a regular in the starting XI. He was lucky to have earned a penalty, as he likely would not have scored.

  24. Derrick,

    Bravo man! This is the greatest and truest comment ever!

    C’mon people, you need to be more critical of our players. If you don’t concede there is a problem, then how is US Soccer to get better?

    Jozy is just another mediocre product from our broken system. This is the guy we’re relying on in 2010? Jesus!

  25. Good one, even if not Ives.

    So many here dumbfound me! How on earth can anyone say Altidore had a good game? Did you watch?

    He was a turnover machine! The truth is he belongs in MLS. Hull will get rid of him, and neither Spain nor any other European country will sign him – at least not for any appreciable amount.

    Come back to the States Jozi, at least here you will be able to score! Sheeesh!

  26. I’m in agreement. Rangers want to extend his contract with the way he’s been playing. I say, when he gets his fitness back he plays, plays hard and makes like he wants to sign (just in case they decide he shouldn’t play if he doesn’t), then bolts in free agency back to Holland or Spain.


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