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Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

Jozy Altidore of Sunderland


Jozy Altidore may have recently celebrated Sunderland’s advancement in the Capital One Cup, but he is still looking to break a scoring drought that dates back to early December.

He should have a good chance to do that this weekend.

Sunderland will turn their attention from one cup to another on Saturday, as they host Kidderminster Harriers of England’s fifth division in an FA Cup tilt. The Black Cats are coming off a penalty-kick win over Manchester United after 120 taxing minutes on Wednesday, so fresh legs like Altidore’s (he played just 34 minutes vs. the Red Devils) will likely be counted on to start and score against Kidderminster.

While Altidore will be attempting to snap his scoreless run of games, Aron Johannsson will be trying to add to his current goal-scoring streak. Johannsson has returned from the winter break in impressive fashion, scoring in two straight matches, and he will try and add to that when he and seventh-placed AZ Alkmaar take to the road to face underwhelming PSV Eindhoven.

The German Bundesliga will return from its winter break this weekend, and with it comes a potentially interesting match-up involving U.S. Men’s National Team pool players Timmy Chandler and Fabian Johnson. Chandler is aiming to help Nurnberg pick up three points in an effort to climb out of the relegation zone, but Johnson and Hoffenheim will look for a victory on the road, making the two players’ projected match-up on the flank all the more interesting.

In the Netherlands, Juan Agudelo secured his Dutch work permit on Friday and will be available for FC Utrecht’s match against Roda JC on Saturday.

Here is who the Americans Abroad battle this weekend:


Eric Lichaj and Nottingham Forest play Preston North End in the FA Cup.

Herculez Gomez, Joe Corona, Edgar Castillo, Greg Garza, Paul Arriola and Club Tijuana play Morelia.


Jonathan Spector, Will Packwood and Birmingham City play Swansea City in the FA Cup. (Spector is out injured.)

Tim Ream, Stuart Holden and Bolton Wanderers play Cardiff City in the FA Cup. (Holden is out injured.)

Duane Holmes and Huddersfield Town play Charlton Athletic in the FA Cup.

Oguchi Onyewu and Sheffield Wednesday play Rochdale in the FA Cup.

Cody Cropper and Southampton play Yeovil Town in the FA Cup.

Jozy Altidore and Sunderland play Kidderminster Harriers in the FA Cup.

Tim Howard and Everton play Stevenage in the FA Cup.

Zak Whitbread and Derby County play Blackburn Rovers.

Danny Williams and Reading play Ipswich Town.

Timmy Chandler and FC Nurnberg play Fabian Johnson and TSG Hoffenheim.

Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 play VfL Wolfsburg.

John Brooks and Hertha Berlin play Eintracht Frankfurt.

Alejandro Bedoya and FC Nantes play Stade de Reims.

Juan Agudelo and FC Utrecht play Roda JC Kerkrade.

Aron Johannsson and AZ Alkmaar play PSV Eindhoven.

Jose Torres and Tigres UANL play Pumas UNAM.


Clint Dempsey and Fulham play Sheffield United in the FA Cup.

Geoff Cameron, Maurice Edu and Stoke City play Chelsea in the FA Cup.

Jermaine Jones and Schalke 04 play Hamburg SV.

Sacha Kljestan and RSC Anderlecht play Club Brugge.

DaMarcus Beasley, Michael Orozco and Puebla play Jaguares de Chiapas.

Alonso Hernandez and Monterrey play Toluca.

Jonathan Bornstein and Atlante play Chivas de Guadalajara.


Which of these matches are you most looking forward to? Do you see Altidore starting and scoring? Think Johannssson will extend his goal-scoring streak to three games? Who will win between Chandler’s Nurnberg and Johnson’s Hoffenheim?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I believe Gooch has scored for Sheffield Wednesday Owls in the FA Cup. Sounds like it was a goal off a scramble in front of the net. Good news for Gooch,…the best way to endear yourself to the faithful.

    Wednesday are on a bit of a roll.

  2. Gedion Zelalem, the “next Cesc”, is in Arsenal’s squad today vs. Coventry City in the FA Cup. He turns 17 Sunday (when he’ll sign his first professional contract) and is eligible to play internationally for Germany, the US, and Ethiopia. Parents are Ethiopian, born in Germany, spent years 9-16 in the US (in the DC area). Klinsmann’s apparently already been in touch.

      • Oh my God, I hate it when USMNT “supporters” say stuff like this. Research about him and the other German-Americans before you comment on them. He’s trained with the U.S. youth squad, he considers himself American. Read some interviews with him, and some articles on him.

      • That doesn’t mean he can’t get citzenship, or that he can’t play for the US because he’s played for German youth sides in non-committal games.

      • Realistic expectations? You mean assumptions that he would choose a nation to represent due to prestige? Everybody is different, some players actually choose based on connection to the culture of that country, although I will acknowledge it’s atypical.

  3. I hope to see Cherundy is at least able to make the bench this weekend. Hearing that he was training alone this week is not good news for the hopes of his comeback.

    • I’ve watched every match Jozy has played except against Chelsea where he scored and the cup matches that weren’t on. He has only missed one chance you might call a sitter where the keeper push a shot wide towards him and he couldn’t get on the end of it. One other time he got a through ball he should have done better with but went far post and the keeper saved it. Now should he be getting into dangerous spots more or are guys not getting him service? I don’t know but to say he is missing all these clear chances just isn’t really true.

  4. I must confess my sick feeling about Jozy. That embarrassing dive last weekend? And in the Capital One Cup, coming on as a late late sub…and not being picked for PKs? You’re the lone striker on the pitch when the game goes to penalties…and you’re in the top five in line to take a PK? I don’t blame the guy for lacking confidence, and I have no doubt it will come back. I just worry about it coming back this season, or in time for the WC.

    The same, I fear, for Dempsey and Donovan.

    Talk me down….

    • Your fears about Jozy are completely justified.

      Dempsey and Donovan, however, are very important parts of their respective teams and will play the leading role in any success they have. Playing week after week in the MLS and being a leader on your team is a hell of a lot better for any player than being lucky to see a half in the EPL.

      • Mr. Rigg,

        You seem to be suggesting Jozy is a part time Sunderland player.

        The facts do not seem to support that.

        To date, Sunderland has played 22 League games, 6 Capital One Cup games and 1 FA Cup game for a total of 29 competitive games.

        Jozy has started 13 league games and subbed in 7 times, started 4 Capital Cup games and subbed in 2 times and started one FA Cup game

        Across all competitions he has started 18 games and gone in as a sub in 9 games for a total of 27 appearances

        The games that really matter are the league games. Jozy has started 60% of them and played in 91% of them.

        Jozy has played in 93% of Sunderland’s competitive games this season.

        So far in the transfer window Sunderland has brought in a keeper, a fullback and a center back.

        Unless they bring in a center forward in the next week or so, and they probably have to sell Fletcher before they can do that, it seems likely that Jozy, if he continues to do well, will continue to play quite a lot.

    • First Fletcher is also a striker and took a PK ( that he missed), second we only know he wasn’t in the top 4 because that’s as many as Sunderland took. Do you want your striker scoring goals? Of coarse but I think at least he isn’t putting his head down and giving up. I think his focus is just doing what he can to help the team now.

      If you really look at most of Jozy’s goals for the US they come from service from wide positions.That just doesn’t happen at Sunderland at all. Which is why Fletcher is struggling just about as much as Jozy.

      • Sunderland’s five non-jozy shooters:

        gardner (miss)
        fletcher (saved)
        alonso (make)
        ki (make)
        johnson (saved)

        There’s no evidence that jozy lacks confidence. Total speculation. There is evidence that poyet lacks confidence in jozy though, at least as far as penalties are concerned.

      • Yes, Poyet lacks confidence in Jozy and is deploying him in a way that doesn’t lead to a lot of scoring or play to Jozy’s strengths. Seems he wants Jozy to be a big hold up target man to lay off balls and absorb a beating from defenders. It’s not a good role for Jozy who’s game is much more versatile than that.

  5. As a supporter of the Whites, it warms my heart to see: “Clint Dempsey and Fulham play Sheffield United in the FA Cup.”


  6. So what’s the latest with Jermaine Jones? Did I miss a story or something? Last I heard he was super unhappy and wanted to leave Schalke. Is everything good now?

    • Last I heard he wasn’t training with the team so his could find a club and Schalke was ready to just let him walk. However the other day they said they wanted to bring back Holtby but needed to sell Jones to get the money to do so first. So who knows.

      • There are other reports that say they don’t want Holtby just on a loan but consider Tottenham’s asking price totally ridiculous, which it is.

      • There’s lots of rumors around Arsenal going after Draxler as well, so who knows. I never thought Holtby was that great at Tottenham, just seemed to run himself in circles.

    • The Kool-Aid drinkers think it’s just a slump but at some point he has to either swim or sink and that time has to be soon. I personally think he’s in over his head and if it weren’t for the fact that his club sux, he’d be loaned out or cut. Nobody is going to keep a forward that doesn’t score for very long.

      If another option on the NAT level appears this Spring (Magee, Agudelo, Aron) and starts scoring, Jozy may have to hit the bench. JK has given him far more time than the others and he has done little with it other than “hold up the ball” or “good work rate” We cannot go to the WC with forward(s) that don’t score unless JK considers 3 and out acceptable.

      I for one think it’s time to look at others

      • William,

        Just for the sake of historical accuracy, please stop with the Kool Aid references.

        Jim Jones’ followers died after being instructed to drink Flavor Aid, poisoned with Valium, chloral hydrate, cyanide, and Phenergan. There was no Kool Aid in Jonestown.

        Also you must be primarily a Sunderland fan because they are the ones who need to worry about Jozy’s performance, even though it has not been as bad as you make out.

        I’m a USMNT fan and in the latter half of 2013 in the run up to WC qualification Jozy has been scoring and playing well for the US. Based on his latest showings for the US, Jozy is a dead lock to start for the US.

        His form for Sunderland has been uneven, but if anyone has shown that club form does not necessarily translate, positively or negatively to the national team it is Mr. Altidore.

      • Let me update you on the Kool-Aid expression. Read and learn what it now means.

        “Drinking the Kool-Aid” is a metaphor commonly used in the United States that refers to a person or group holding an unquestioned belief, argument, or philosophy without critical examination.

        It absolutely fits those that think Jozy can do no wrong or is a lock to start.

        I am watching him now, even as I write this, and he has done absolutely nothing for Sunderland yet (80 minutes in) and there lies the problem. He also does little for the NATs and JK cannot go to the WC with a forward that can’t score. He has had ample chances with JK and produced little

      • Willaim, since you’ve raised the argument that Jozy failed to produce for the USMNT, did you realized that Jozy lead the USMNT in scoring in the Hexagonal?

      • William,

        Do yourself a favor and research that Kool Aid business just a little deeper.

        And research Jozy’s US record and performance just a little deeper as well.

        The World Cup is about four months away, plenty of time for people to get hurt or get better or get back in form or drop out of form.

        Unless Jozy gets a lot worse with Sunderland in the next few months , and he could also get better, he’ll be at Brazil.

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