By FRANCO PANIZO
If the U.S. Men’s National Team forwards play against Honduras on Feb. 6 as well as they did this weekend, Los Catrachos are in trouble.
Three Americans found ways to make impacts for their respective clubs, including Herculez Gomez. A day after his grandmother passed away, Gomez started for Santos Laguna and set up an insurance goal in their 2-0 win over Leon on Friday. Gomez made a well-timed run in behind the defense before selflessly heading the ball across goal instead of at it, and teammate Oribe Peralta finished the play off with a header of his own.
Jozy Altidore did not set up a goal, but he did find the back of the net for the 15th time in the Eredivisie campaign on Friday. Altidore tied his career-high for goals in a season when he got on the end of a through ball and clinically turned his hips before slotting home AZ Alkmaar’s third goal in a 4-1 triumph against VVV Venlo. Aside from marking the second consecutive game in which Altidore has scored, the tally was the 23-year-old’s 19th across all competitions.
Clint Dempsey also continued his stellar run of form, scoring his fifth goal in as many games since the start of the new year. Dempsey netted for the eighth time this season across all competitions when he cut Tottenham’s two-goal deficit against Leeds United in half on Sunday. Unfortunately for Spurs, they never found the equalizer and were bounced out of the FA Cup.
Here’s how the Americans Abroad performed this weekend:
- Tim Howard started, played 90 minutes and made five saves in Everton’s 2-1 win vs. Bolton Wanderers in the FA Cup on Saturday.
- Brad Friedel started, played 90 minutes and made fives in Tottenham’s 2-1 loss vs. Leeds United in the FA Cup on Sunday.
- Clint Dempsey started, played 90 minutes and scored a GOAL for Tottenham.
- Brad Guzan dressed but did not play in Aston Villa’s 2-1 loss vs. Millwall in the FA Cup on Friday.
- Eric Lichaj started and played 90 minutes for Aston Villa.
- Geoff Cameron did not dress in Stoke City’s 1-0 loss vs. Manchester City in the FA Cup on Saturday.
- Sebastian Lletget and West Ham United did not play this weekend.
- Tim Ream started and played 90 minutes in Bolton Wanderers’ 2-1 loss vs. Everton in the FA Cup on Saturday.
- Stuart Holden came off the bench and played nine minutes for Bolton Wanderers.
- Jonathan Spector did not dress in Birmingham City’s 2-1 win vs. Burnley on Saturday. He is recovering from an injury.
- Will Packwood did not dress for Birmingham City. He is recovering from a leg injury.
- Conor Doyle dressed but did not played in Derby County’s 3-0 loss vs. Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup on Saturday.
- Zak Whitbread did not dress in Leicester City’s 1-1 draw vs. Huddersfield Town in the FA Cup on Saturday. He is recovering from an injury.
- Frank Simek started and played 90 minutes in Carlisle United’s 1-1 draw vs. Scunthorpe United on Saturday.
- Mike Grella came off the bench and played one minute in Scunthorpe United’s 1-1 draw vs. Carlisle United on Saturday.
- Oguchi Onyewu did not dress in Malaga CF’s game vs. Mallorca on Saturday.
- Carlos Bocanega started, played 90 minutes and received a yellow card in Racing Santander’s 3-1 loss vs. Cordoba on Saturday.
- Michael Bradley started and played 90 minutes in AS Roma’s 3-3 draw vs. Bologna on Sunday.
- Steve Cherundolo did not dress in Hannover 96’s 2-1 win vs. VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday. He is recovering from knee pains.
- Jermaine Jones did not dress in Schalke 04’s 0-0 draw vs. FC Augsburg on Saturday. He is currently serving a three-game suspension.
- Fabian Johnson did not dress in TSG 1899 Hoffenheim’s 2-1 loss vs. Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday. He is recovering from a knee injury.
- Danny Williams dressed but did not play for TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.
- Timmy Chandler started and played 90 minutes in FC Nurnberg’s 3-0 loss vs. Borussia Dortmund on Friday.
- David Yelldell did not dress in Bayer Leverkusen’s 0-0 draw vs. SC Freiburg on Saturday.
- Michael Parkhurst dressed but did not play in FC Augsburg’s 0-0 draw vs. Schalke 04 on Saturday.
- Jozy Altidore started, played 90 minutes and scored a GOAL in AZ Alkmaar’s 4-1 win vs. VVV Venlo on Friday.
- Tony Taylor did not dress in G.D. Estoril Praia’s game vs. Olhanense on Sunday.
- Caleb Patterson-Sewell dressed but did not play in Vitoria Setubal’s 2-0 loss vs. CD Nacional de Madeira on Sunday.
- Maurice Edu started and played 90 minutes minutes in Bursaspor’s 4-1 loss vs. Istanbul Buyuksehir BSK on Saturday.
- Sacha Kljestan started and played 90 minutes in RSC Anderlecht’s 2-0 win vs. KSC Lokeren on Saturday.
- Herculez Gomez started, played 84 minutes and had an ASSIST in Santos Laguna’s 2-0 win vs. Leon on Friday.
- Hector Joya did not dress for Santos Laguna.
- Jose Torres started, played 70 minutes and received a yellow card in Tigres UANL’s 2-0 win vs. Queretaro on Saturday.
- Jonathan Bornstein did not dress for Tigres UANL.
- Edgar Castillo started, played 90 minutes and received a yellow card in Club Tijuana’s 2-0 win vs. Pachuca on Saturday.
- Joe Corona started and played 45 minutes for Club Tijuana.
- Greg Garza did not dress for Club Tijuana.
- DaMarcus Beasley started, played 45 minutes and received a yellow card in Puebla’s 4-0 loss vs. Cruz Azul on Saturday.
- Michael Orozco Fiscal did not dress for Puebla.
- Ventura Alvarado did not dress in Club America’s 2-1 loss vs. Atlas on Saturday.
What do you think of these performances? What was more impressive, Dempsey’s goal, Altidore’s finish or Gomez’s assist? Which forwards would you start against Honduras?
Share your thoughts below.
Demps is in trouble with holtby now at spurs
We need more American players in the Mexican league. Wondolowski for 1
Jozy is now without a doubt a world class striker
It is odd how some fans trash forwards for missing goals, but don’t seem to understand how difficult it is to get into positions so those goal chances can happen. For example,watching the Chelsea game, Chelsea was pretty poor in the first half, even at that, the opposing forwards presented themselves in spots that made getting a shot off difficult. I think a player like Denpsey, or Gomez, or even Wondo would have punished Chelsea’s poor marking by finding positions from which scoring would have been much easier than the positions the Brentford forwards found. (Of course some of that is due in part to poor service and in truth, it is hard to know for sure which is at fault, but in principle it is less demanding to be in a good spot than it is to serve a perfect ball.)
One thing to consider about Dempsey is his high strike rate per minutes played. Yes, he’s played alot of games this season for Tottenham however, many of those games have been coming off the bench.
So, Parkhurst “dressed but did not play” yet again for Augsburg, eh? His transfer to Germany has “Onyewu” written all over it! Go for the money, stay to keep the bench warm. What a brilliant career move…NOT!
Give him time. This is a new team, a new system. Learning the new game system, a new tactics, and the movements is very important before you play. Especially when you’re a defender.
Well said, deuceman. I think moving to Augsburg, taking a chance in a better league with a relegation-threatened team was the right move for Parkhurst. And what’s wrong, WorldCitizen, with Parkjust wanting to double or triple his salary?
I watched a big chunk of Augsburg vs Schalke (0-0) Saturday and this is team that plays with heart, plus they looked pretty darn good (two shots hitting the post that would have given them a win) and were able to take a point from the match. Augsburg is going to be battling hard against Hoffenheim to avoid the 17th slot (automatic relgegation). Both are now at 13 points, with Augsburg in 16th place on goal differential and Hoffenheim at 17th place. This is going to be a very interesting battle for USMNT fans, with Timothy Chandler’s Nurnberg now in 15th place at 21 points. If Augsburg can continue playing like they did against Schalke, I would not bet against them climbing to safety by the end of the season.
Anyone know how the signing of Eugen Polański will affect Williams at Hoffenheim? Polański can play as a traditional CM or as a DM. I wonder how Hoffenheim plans to use him.
I see that Polański played the full 90, while Williams didn’t play. Maybe that’s just a coincidence, though. I didn’t see the game.
Anyone see the Villa game?
I was randomly in England last week and went to this game at The Den. Villa had a couple chances, but overall they seemed lifeless and didn’t threaten very often. The home support for Millwall was amazing, so I definitely wasn’t surprised to see them pull out the win.
Randomly? LIke you just so happened to pay for a flight and just so happened to enjoy the 8 hr ride?
Random as in I was going to London and knew I wanted to catch a game, but the fact it was an FA Cup weekend didn’t leave me with many options. Millwall’s unique reputation and the chance that Guzan and Lichaj might play for Villa swayed my decision.
Despite the brilliant header, Clint needed to do better today … a couple of opportunities were of the “half-chance” variety but there was one in particular off a Lennon cross that he needed to bury. Not a performance that ought to be “ripped” however. The back four were and Huddlestone were quite bad. Lennon was quite invisible for the most part too.
dempsey played fairly poorly considering he got a goal. as the team’s striker, he didn’t contribute as much hold up play as i believe AVB is looking for. but a well taken goal can easily erase that sort of criticism.
he also did well when through balls were played over the top. Assou-ekotto and parker played some nice ones that he latched onto
It seems Dempsey and Bale really play well together. ive only seen the highlights tho, anyone watching the games notice the two linking well?
This is my feeling, too, that Dempsey and Bale are always seeking each other out. And watching them interact on the field it seems that on a personal level they both have a lot of respect for each other.
It makes sense that a player who crosses the ball as much as Bale does, would work well with a tireless runner, one who will always try to make contact with the ball like Dempsey does.
LOL spurs got dumped. leeds u. always dangerous in cup ties.
Clint had a couple of shots that went very wide, but had one great curling shot that the goalie made great save – too bad there wasn’t anyone to follow up as the goalie didn’t keep possession. All of the Spurs looked very lackadasial for most of the game. Leeds scored on terrific breakaways that left Friedel hanging out to dry.
Your name initially made me skip over reading your comment entirely, but then I realized that was wrong.
Thanks. My kids got me into soccer, and then I worked at a biomedical research facility where most of the scientists were post doctoral students from Europe so we all played in a pick up games every Wednesday afternoon and Saturday morning — so actually learned by playing with guys (and a few gals) who were interested in ball control, good first touch and good passing and ‘seeing the game’.
Does anyone now what position Edu is playing for his new squad?
I read somewhere that he is playing the #6 spot right in front of the defense.
Did anyone catch the Tottenham game? It’s good to see Dempsey score but the match report I saw implied he missed several opportunities. Did he have a good match or just partially redeem himself with a late goal?
I saw most of it, he had 2-3 opportunities, only one was a real clear cut chance really. But ‘Spurs defense just didn’t show up. And Leads was really determined.
A fair assessment based on what I saw. In addition to the DF, Spurs MF was really weak, especially in the 1st half. The drop off from Dembele to Todd Huddlestone is enormous.
I thought Brad F could have had the second goal, I think his reaction was just slow. He made a few good saves otherwise though.
Aside from the goal, he was left unmarked on a header but corner kick came in too high, had a nasty 20yd knuckleball that handcuffed the GK but no one to follow…also got a nice through ball from Lennon but shot was saved. 2nd half he had the goal and another goal bound volley from inside the box that D did well to block and keep out.
Overall, he was active and constantly trying. Could have maybe had one more on another day, but he’s taking and creating chances. Spurs D was really horrible.
I followed the game via BBC and unfortunately both Liverpool and Spurs fans were ripping on Dempsey. Say what they may but he’s the only one scoring for Spurs.
The most interesting part of that game, IMO, was Gareth Bale on the wing. He was dancing around defenders like they were cones. It is impressive to watch someone with great skill and strength do their thang…well, unless you’re the defender watching him tool you for 94 minutes.
Unfortunately I look at him and Shea and see, physically, the same player. It just goes to show how staying humble with a good head on your shoulders makes you ten times better. Even Robaldo is always the first too practice and last to leave.
Gareth Bale is much faster than break shea. Brek is wiry and strong, and semi fast, but Bale is a true specimen. its not even close….and obviously more skilled as well.
That said, Bale rubs me the wrong way, probably the play acting.
Yep – Bale is a much superior athlete in terms of speed and strength, but watching him dribble through traffic against Leeds was truly impressive.
Not physically the same at all. Bale is a significantly better athlete.
Any video on how Holden has been doing lately? i know its only been a few sub cameos. but any video of him playing would be great!
The coach of Bolton told that Holden needs 2-3 months before he’s reaching his real capabilities.
Good to see Mo playing 90 min again.
Will Churundolo be available in next week? Or will we actually witness the cap tie of Timmy Chandler?
Even if Dolo can play I bet Chandler wil get some cap tie…i meant to say meaningful minutes to helpnthe team late in the game,as a sub.
with no Landon, I’d like to see T. Chandler at RM.
Someone on here was commenting on how well Edgar Castillo has been playing. And that there won’t be much, if any, drop off if he is in there instead of Fabian.
I normally wouldn’t agree, but I do think something needs to be said for Castillo being more accustomed to the CONCACAF atmosphere and playing conditions.
So, in conclusion, I’m not completely sharting myself just yet.
Good, because that would be an extreme overreaction.
Edgar’s a good player, has grown. Fabian is in discussions for top at his position in the Bundesliga, arguably the top league in the world. It’s not that Edgar is not good.
If Castillo has to start I will be worried. Many games, Fabian has been our only width and our only reliable source of offense. I haven’t seen Castillo show the kind of skills that Fabian possesses.
People are counting out michael parkhurst. he didnt play this week but if he gets some games hes been solid whenever hes played. i could see chandler at LB and him at RB
As long as we have Michael Bradley, I’m not so worried about not having to rely on Fabian to be an engine for the attack.
Are Fabian Johnson and Steve Cherundolo out for the Honduras game?
Is Fabian Johnson’s injury serious ?, Will he recover for the Honduras match ?
Ditto on that concern. Plus we don’t know if Chandler is really, really going to commit to the U.S. and Cherundolo has knee pains… Worst case, we could be looking at a real problem across the entire back line instead of just the middle of it.
Hercs assist was the best play of the bunch. Beauty.
well, deuce’s was probably tougher, but i liked herc’s the best, just cause he made the smart choice under pressure.
I like that Herc is passing the ball. He sometimes gets a bit too selfish, though that’s not such a bad trait for most strikers. Deuce absolutely stole that goal by putting his head where few others would even try. My favorite goal was actually Santos’ first goal. That was a thing of beauty.
Yeah, Deuce’s header was simply spectacular. If we’re comparing, that’s the clear winner.
Hopefully Juergan finds a way to get Herc, jozy, and Clint on the field at the same time.
Anyone see how Bradley did?
I think he was good. He played like he always do, with great heart and huge lung. He made some crucial interceptions, and gave a great ball to Osvaldo, who missed the opportunity. Also I have to admit, he made two wrong decision in the final third, but nothing awful.
As a midfielder he played perfect, as an attacking player, he had better games. But If Osvaldo finishes the ball he gave him… Then everybody would applause his passing ability.
PS: I’m a hungarian supporter of the american soccer, and I watched the game on a hungarian channel. And the commentator was a guy, who practically hates Bradley, every time he do something good he is in silence. But when the american do something bad, he just can’t shut up about it. It was really annoying.
Yeah, he’s playing really well and creating lots of chances. The only recent shortcoming is his finishing. He and several of his Roma mates are missing a couple good chances per game.
Why the hate for Bradley? I would expect indifference more than anything.
What hate? Everyone said he played really well.
I believe he is referring to the Hungarian commentator mentioned above.
I think the commentator is thinking that Bradley is only playing because he’s american. You know the Roma has an american president, and this dude thinks that’s why Bradley is on the field. He doesn’t know nothing about him. It’s almost the same situation when Bob Bradley was the coach of the US Team and many people thought that Bradley is only playing because he’s his son. Poor Bradley, the same story again… 🙂