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Americans Abroad: New Year’s Day Rewind

BradGuzanAstonVilla2-Liverpool (Getty)

Brad Guzan and Aston Villa ended 2013 in disappointing fashion, going winless in their past five, but they have started the new year in style with an important victory to kick off 2014.

Guzan made one save on the day as Aston Villa posted a 1-0 victory on the road against Jozy Altidore and Sunderland. The result snapped Sunderland’s own four-match unbeaten streak to keep the Black Cats in last place in the Premier League.

Just three days after playing 90 minutes against Cardiff City, Altidore came off the bench against Aston Villa, playing 23 minutes in the loss.

Another clash of Americans saw Tim Howard and Everton tie Geoff Cameron and Stoke City. The match ended 1-1 after Leighton Baines converted a late penalty to earn the Toffees the point. Howard made three saves in the match while Cameron put in a solid showing at right back for the Potters.

In the League Championship, another battle of Americans saw Eric Lichaj and Nottingham Forest earn a 1-1 draw against Danny Williams and Reading. Both Lichaj and Williams played the full 90 minutes.

Tim Ream was in the starting lineup again, going 90 minutes in Bolton’s 2-2 tie vs. Middlesbrough. Teenage midfielder Duane Holmes came off the bench and played 38 minutes in Huddersfield Town’s 3-2 loss vs. Burnley.

What did you think of the New Year’s Day action? Starting to like the idea of Cameron starting at right back for the U.S. Men’s National Team? Think Sunderland can avoid relegation in 2014?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. What’s with the Dempsey situation? I thought he would be eligible come today but he didn’t even come on as a substitute. Since I didn’t see the game, did he even dress? Anyone know what the story is? As for Jozy and Sunderland, OMG, but Sunderland are awful. So many unforced give aways, terrible crosses. I think Jozy actually is one of the better passers on the team (maybe faint praise given the team) and his big problem is that he should turn and shoot more often than just holding up and passing off. Yes, he has missed some good goal opportunities, but every Sunderland attacker has missed several this season. As far as the national team goes, I think he’ll be okay if he keeps playing since he has shown he can score with the national team so I don’t think he needs to score a lot for Sunderland.

    • “his big problem is that he should turn and shoot more often than just holding up and passing off.”

      That is exactly what everyone else on that team does. Jozy is the only guy who seems to remember that he is on a team.

    • The Dempsey loan deal was announced pre-January 1st but the actual paperwork could not even be submitted until the 1st, therefore there was no way it could be ready for Dempsey to play on New Years Day. He couldn’t and didn’t dress but expect to see him at least on the bench in Fulham’s next game.

    • From the VERY little I’ve seen and read, he’s a versatile, play everywhere type a la Landon rather than a true winger despite his ample speed. Every clip I’ve seen, he is coming up the middle of the pitch and looking to create and be a playmaker. Take with a giant grain of salt, but that’s what I’ve seen.

  2. You know who would actually be a cheap option to help Sunderland? They desperately need a ball winning, athletic DM who can make smart, safe passes. Mo Edu actually is a pretty good fit for that profile.he would at least be a nice upgrade over Gardner, Colback, etc.

  3. Since Oct. I said Jozy would be benched in favor of Fletcher if he didn’t bury his chances and now what do you know…

    His situation will only worsen since Poyet is desperate to bring in another striker.

    You can only hope that Fletcher gets sold or goes down with injury. Probably the latter because it would be extremely unwise to sell someone who’s been through this sort of thing with wolves and burnley and always scored and I’m sure everyone from the fans to the board feel that way about the situation too.

  4. Like Everton a lot, but, man, today against Stoke several of the players were diving a lot, the sort of dives that would trigger headlines if it had been Luis Suarez instead of English players. Really bad, and the ref was giving them free kicks, and also letting Everton get away with a lot of clear fouls. That said, the penalty call for Everton’s equalizer in the 91st minute was correct.

  5. What I learned from watching Jozys minutes today:

    1) Sunderland is awful
    2) Hard to evaluate Jozy because nobody passes him the ball
    3) Jozy is really trying to create and is making some plays, but see #1
    4) Sunderland prefers shooting from 35 yards out rather than passing to Jozy
    5) see point #1

      • Please refer to AcidBurn’s comments: Any other questions refer to the winning AV goal.

        Also see #1 and repeat whenever you have questions about Jozy’s quality.

      • LOL Who is this fictional player receiving the ball that doesn’t suck? Your theory only works if there is a more capable/productive option to pass the ball to. Long shots aren’t coming close to going in and certainly no one else is lighting it up. Jozy CAN do better, but so can the entire team. In fact, I’d say most are floundering much harder than he. If they have any chance at avoiding relegation, it is to hit the open man, play the game the right way. There have been short bursts of hope…. mostly with Fletcher and Jozy both up top. One can hope.

      • No, players at Sunderland don’t pass Jozy the ball because they cannot even trap the ball. See Cattermole.

      • TRUE! Cattermole is a disaster!

        MB90 is rumored to be headed to Sunderland to be an upgrade to the mess that is their midfield. I wish they could get someone else over there like Zusi or any other midfieler who can trap a ball and then pass to a forward. That would help!

    • I forgot that criticizing Jozy is not allowed on this board. You are only allowed to say on of the following:
      1. jozy is always the best player on the pitch for sunderland
      2. jozy never plays bad, the other 10 players on the pitch for sunderland always suck
      3. jozy is really really good, way too good for a lowly club like sunderland
      4. when jozy doesnt start it is because of an anti-american bias, it has nothing to do with his performance
      5. every sunderland loss is because the other players wont pass jozy the ball, if they did pass them the ball he would score every game
      6.if jozy has a bad performance, its always the fault of the other 10 players on the team, not his own.

      Did I miss anything?

      • There’s a difference between criticism and saying he sucks. One is being bringing welcomed opinions, the other is being ignorant and obnoxious. So yes, you will be probably challenged for the former and rebuked for the latter.

      • Jozy doesn’t suck, though he has some dreadful moments here and there. And he isn’t world class either, though he has some fine moments here and there. Sunderland are shite. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t be at the bottom of the table.

        The Jozy-hater who does the player ratings on the roker report had this to say after giving him a 5: “Did okay after coming on. Another victim of the midfield’s private game of ‘who can be the biggest and most wasteful knob-head?'”

    • Yes, his teammates seem to be avoiding passing to him anywhere in the vicinity of the goal, unlike with Fletcher. They have no faith in Jozy, so he may have to make his own magic.

  6. anybody see how altidore played? just from the commentary, looks like he created a bunch of chances in his limited minutes.

      • Would Hughes really loan out Shea for 28 days to the last (24th) place team in the hope of bringing him back to play in the Premier League? Doubt it. It’s possible Hughes was not able to get a very good loan deal to meet either his or Shea’s expectations so Shea accepted a loan to Barnsley to raise his profile in the hope of a better loan — or possible a permanent deal — in the remaining last three days of the January transfer window.

      • re: raising profile for a better loan: it may well work out, since he’s already started and played pretty well in what was a positive result for barnsley.

      • I hope he doesn’t return to Stoke, Arnautovic and Assaidi are Hughes’ guys and as long as they are fit Shea isn’t getting in a line up. The US’ lack of real wide players gives him just as good a shot at making the team to Brazil while playing in the Championship. I mean some were saying Danny Williams should get called in while we are far deeper in the middle.

    • @Shawn: I’m intelligible and I don’t think Chandler is good enough at right back to be Cameron’s back-up…

      Gertjan Verbeek, current Nurnburg coach and Jozy’s old AZ coach said a week ago that he is not satisfied with Chandler’s performances and wants to bring in a right back “who makes us better.”

      (Last Paragraph)

      Not sure what will happen in January with Michael Parkhurst, who I think if he would get some playing time in the last half of the season would be more beneficial on the field for the USMNT in Brazil and most certainly in the locker room than Timothy Chandler. But I think a move to Nurnberg is a possibility for Parkhurst.

      • “But I think a move to Nurnberg is a possibility for Parkhurst.” Is this based on something? Or did you just make this up? Are Bundesliga clubs lining up for a player who cannot even make the bench at mighty FC Augsburg?

      • Is it based on something? Not sure what you mean. I said I think it is possible. It is fact that Parkhurst wants out of Augsburg. And, yes, Nurnberg is a Bundesliga club, a cr*p Bundesliga club in 17th place and facing a relegation battle and whose coach is not happy with the current right back and is looking for someone better.

        As for Parkhurst being frozen out of the Augsburg game-day squad, there are two possible reasons for that. 1) the coach thinks he sux or 2) for one reason or another he landed in the coach’s doghouse. It could be the coach was not happy with Parkhurst accepting the call-up to the Gold Cup last summer when he should have been fighting to win a spot with Augsburg. I think it was a huge mistake for Klinsmann to call up a healthy Bundesliga player to play in the Gold Cup and I would not blame the Augsburg coach for being peeved that Parkhurst agreed to it.

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