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Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

Jozy Altidore Sunderland 33

By FRANCO PANIZO

Jozy Altidore was given his longest cameo of the season on Saturday, and he did not disappoint.

Altidore delivered a strong 28-minute shift for Sunderland, helping the Black Cats grab a valuable point in a scoreless home draw with Chelsea. The U.S. Men’s National Team forward — essentially playing to impress other clubs’ scouts these days — was a handful for Chelsea defenders, and had a couple of chances to break the deadlock. The outing was Altidore’s longest since his 23-minute season debut in September, but those two appearances are his only showings of 20 minutes or more in league play this campaign.

Rubio Rubin also closed out November by finding some success, albeit on a different level. Rubin opened his professional goal-scoring account on Saturday, netting an insurance tally in FC Utrecht’s 5-1 rout of NAC Breda. The 18-year-old forward scored late in the road game, alertly reacting to a loose ball and drilling a low shot home from a tight angle.

It was not anywhere near as good of a weekend for Will Packwood, who endured a disaster debut for League One side Colchester United. Packwood earned a start for the club he just joined via an emergency loan, but lasted just 67 minutes on Saturday before receiving a straight red card. Adding insult to injury was that Packwood and Colchester were on the wrong end of a 6-0 mauling against Milton Keynes Dons, a result that extended the U’s current losing streak to three games.

Here is how the Americans Abroad fared this weekend:

ENGLAND

Premiership

  • Tim Howard started, played 90 minutes and made four saves in Everton’s 2-1 loss vs. Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
  • Jozy Altidore came off the bench and played 28 minutes in Sunderland’s 0-0 draw vs. Chelsea on Saturday.
  • Brad Guzan started, played 90 minutes and made three saves in Aston Villa’s 1-1 draw vs. Burnley on Saturday.
  • Brad Friedel did not dress in Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-1 win vs. Everton on Sunday.
  • Geoff Cameron started, played 90 minutes and received a yellow card in Stoke City’s 1-0 loss vs. Liverpool on Saturday.
  • Cody Cropper did not dress in Southampton’s 3-0 loss vs. Manchester City on Sunday.

Championship

  • Brek Shea did not dress in Birmingham City’s 2-1 win vs. Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
  • Jonathan Spector did not dress for Birmingham City. He is recovering from a thigh injury.
  • Tim Ream started and played 90 minutes in Bolton Wanderers’ 1-0 win vs. Huddersfield Town on Saturday.
  • Eric Lichaj started and played 90 minutes in Nottingham Forest’s 2-1 loss vs. Birmingham City on Saturday.
  • Danny Williams started and played 84 minutes in Reading’s 2-1 win vs. Norwich City on Saturday.
  • Emerson Hyndman started and played 63 minutes in Fulham’s 2-1 win vs. Brighton & Hove Albon on Saturday.
  • Zak Whitbread did not dress in Derby County’s 2-0 loss vs. Leeds United on Saturday.
  • Oguchi Onyewu dressed but did not play in Charlton Athletic’s 1-0 loss vs. Ipswich Town on Saturday.

League One

  • Will Packwood started, played 67 minutes and received a red card in Colchester United’s 6-0 loss vs. Milton Keynes Dons on Saturday.

GERMANY

Bundesliga

  • Fabian Johnson did not dress in Borussia Moenchengladbach’s 1-0 loss vs. VfL Wolfsburg on Sunday.
  • John Brooks started and played 90 minutes in Hertha Berlin’s 1-0 loss vs. Bayern Munich on Saturday.
  • Timmy Chandler started and played 90 minutes in Eintracht Frankfurt’s 2-0 win vs. Borussia Dortmund on Sunday.
  • David Yelldell did not dress in Bayer Leverkusen’s 5-1 win vs. FC Cologne on Saturday.
  • Julian Green came off the bench, played 15 minutes and received a yellow card in Hamburg SV’s 3-1 loss vs. FC Augsburg on Saturday.
  • Joe Gyau did not dress in Borussia Dortmund’s 2-0 loss vs. Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday.

2. Bundesliga

  • Alfredo Morales did not dress in FC Ingolstadt 04’s 3-0 win vs. VfL Bochum on Saturday. He was suspended due to yellow card accumulation.
  • Terrence Boyd started and played 90 minutes in RB Leipzig’s 0-0 draw vs. SV Sandhausen on Sunday.
  • Bobby Wood did not dress in TSV 1860 Munich’s 2-0 loss vs. FSV Frankfurt on Sunday.
  • Andrew Wooten started and played 88 minutes in SV Sandhausen’s 0-0 draw vs. RB Leipzig on Sunday.
  • Jann George did not dress in SpVgg Greuther Furth’s 0-0 draw vs. Heidenheimer SB on Friday.

FRANCE

  • Alejandro Bedoya dressed but did not play in FC Nantes’ 2-0 loss vs. Olympique Marseille on Friday.

NETHERLANDS

  • Aron Johannsson started and played 66 minutes in AZ Alkmaar’s 2-0 win vs. Cambuur Leeuwarden on Saturday.
  • Rubio Rubin started, played 90 minutes and scored a GOAL in FC Utrecht’s 5-1 win vs. NAC Breda on Saturday.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zb90IUzaAGE]

BELGIUM

  • Sacha Kljestan came off the bench and played 34 minutes in RSC Anderlecht’s 2-2 draw vs. Club Brugge on Sunday.

AUSTRIA

  • Conor O’Brien started and played 90 minutes in FC Magna Wiener Neustadt’s 3-0 loss vs. Rapid Vienna on Saturday.

SERBIA

  • Freddy Adu did not play in FK Jagodina’s 2-1 win vs. Radnicki 1923 on Saturday.

MEXICO

  • Edgar Castillo started and played 90 minutes in Atlas’ 2-0 loss vs. Monterrey in the second leg of their Liguilla quarterfinals series on Sunday. Atlas were eliminated via a 2-1 aggregate score.
  • Jose Torres started and played 90 minutes in Tigres UANL’s 1-1 draw vs. Pachuca in the second leg of their Liguilla quarterfinals series on Saturday. Tigres UANL advanced via a 1-1 aggregate score.
  • Herculez Gomez came off the bench and played 31 minutes for Tigres UANL.
  • Ventura Alvarado did not dress in Club America’s 1-0 win vs. Pumas UNAM in the second leg of their Liguilla quarterfinals series on Saturday. America advanced via a 1-1 aggregate score.
  • Joaquin Alonso Hernandez did not dress in Monterrey’s 2-0 win vs. Atlas in the second leg of their Liguilla quarterfinals series on Sunday. Atlas advanced via a 2-1 aggregate score.
  • Gabriel Farfan did not dress in Jaguares de Chiapas’ 1-1 draw vs. Toluca in the second leg of their Liguilla quarterfinals series on Sunday. Jaguares de Chiapas were eliminated via a 2-2 aggregate score.

—–

What do you think of these performances? Were you encouraged by Altidore’s showing against Chelsea? Could Packwood’s debut have gone any worse?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. Brad Guzan started, played 90
    Tim Ream started and played 90 minutes
    Eric Lichaj started and played 90 minutes
    John Brooks started and played 90 minutes
    Danny Williams started and played 84 minutes
    Timmy Chandler started and played 90 minutes
    Terrence Boyd started and played 90 minutes
    Andrew Wooten started and played 88 minutes
    Aron Johannsson started and played 66 minutes
    Rubio Rubin started, played 90 minutes
    Conor O’Brien started and played 90 minutes
    Edgar Castillo started and played 90 minutes
    Jose Torres started and played 90 minutes

    I hope Klinsmann will take into consideration the players in higher leagues (better than MLS) starting and playing more than 60 minutes for their clubs. Its crazy how more than 6 players that started in the NATIONAL TEAM friendlies came off the bench, didn’t even dress or had already started their off season for their clubs.

    Reply
      • Castillo was a regular starter for one of the better teams in Liga MX this go around. while i don’t want to see Castillo at LB, i would be 100% ok with him coming into a camp to provide an option at LM. how would that be bad?! look at the state of our LM options right now:

        FJ – not playing, or dressing, for ‘Gladbach
        Gyau – recovering from injury
        LD – retired
        Green – not getting enough time and not impressing when he does
        Shea – nothing more needs to be said

      • It’s interesting to see all the weeping and gnashing of teeth and people jumping off of bridges over the fact that much of the USMNT pool is not in the best form or injured, as of today.

        It has been a long hard year so a lot of this is more or less to be expected.

        The next competitive games for the USMNT will be the Gold Cup in July of 2015 over six months from now.

        If SBI’s Americans Abroad still looks this sketchy 4 months from now then maybe it would be time to worry.

        Firing the coaching staff and/or banning players from ever wearing the US shirt at this point is something of an overreaction.

    • Williams just got back from injury…. AJ too. Boyd guess what also fresh off an injury.
      Rubin was called in and started! Ream showed up too.(Meh)

      I don’t get what you are saying. Maybe Torres can have another try at some point. Dunno.

      Reply
      • say what you will about Torres, but the guy got regular playing time with Tigres and just helped his team advance in the Liga MX playoffs. there are worse options and when discussing depth to have in a camp, i would be okay with Torres in there. he underwhelms with the US, but at least he’s playing regularly at the club level.

      • I think that slowleftarm is probably referring to Boyd, because he is not aware that Boyd is now playing in Germany.

      • To answer your question Slow, yes I’d like to see Torres and Castillo again. If and only if, Torres is played in central-mid and Castillo as a left-winger.

        The Edgar Castillo part is easy for me. With F. Johnson actually being a defender, and not receiving any playing time right now for club, and looking bad in the last two USMNT games; I don’t consider him an option at left-mid. So with Donovan being retired and Gyau injured, WHO I ASK is a better option at left-wing than Edgar Castillo!? I pitty the foo that disagrees with me.

        As far as Torres is concerned, he would be a descent option. With idiot JK using J Jones as a defender now, that only leaves Bradley as our top central midfielder. You can throw in Beckerman but I only see him as a defensive-midfielder, lacking in the offensive part of central-mid.

        Depth Chart:

        J Jones (two way midfielder) but eliminated by JK.
        Bradley (two way midfielder)

        Then you have a bunch of players that are relatively equal to each other:

        Beckerman (defensive)
        Mix (offensive)
        Torres (offensive/possession)
        Bedoya (just runs alot/is he even a real center-mid?)
        Nguyen (offensive)
        Morales (defensive)
        D Williams (defensive for now)
        Hyndman (don’t know)
        Gil (don’t know)
        etc.

        How do you guys rank em?

      • To answer your question Slow, yes I’d like to see Torres and Castillo again. If and only if, Torres is played in central-mid and Castillo as a left-winger.

        The Edgar Castillo part is easy for me. With F. Johnson actually being a defender, and not receiving any playing time right now for club, and looking bad in the last two USMNT games; I don’t consider him an option at left-mid. So with Donovan being retired and Gyau injured, WHO I ASK is a better option at left-wing than Edgar Castillo!? I pitty the foo that disagrees with me.

        As far as Torres is concerned, he would be a descent option. With idi0t JK using J Jones as a defender now, that only leaves Bradley as our top central midfielder. You can throw in Beckerman but I only see him as a defensive-midfielder, lacking in the offensive part of central-mid.

        Depth Chart:

        J Jones (two way midfielder) but eliminated by JK.
        Bradley (two way midfielder)

        Then you have a bunch of players that are relatively equal to each other:

        Beckerman (defensive)
        Mix (offensive)
        Torres (offensive/possession)
        Bedoya (just runs alot/is he even a real center-mid?)
        Nguyen (offensive)
        Morales (defensive)
        D Williams (defensive for now)
        Hyndman (don’t know)
        Gil (don’t know)
        etc.

        How do you guys rank em?

      • UCLA, I would definitely echo what u said about Gringo Torres, except for maybe the position… The times I watched him this year he looked like a player reborn on the left side… I was really happy for him. I think he was MOTM a few times.
        I swear he looked faster than I’d ever seen him (saw 6-8 times I think- when he played right mid he wasn’t as impactful)
        I don’t speak spanish but I could correlate when they said “Griiiiiiiiiiingo” a lot and seemed excited.
        Haven’t seen enough of Edgar but would also agree I’d like to see him get a run out at left wing also.

      • “Haven’t seen enough of Edgar but would also agree I’d like to see him get a run out at left wing also”

        In his first game for the USMNT BB played Castillo on the left side of midfield.

        I’d say he has played somewhere between 40-60% of his time with the USMNT on the left wing.

        They’ve seen quite a lot of him in that role.

        When it comes to the USMNT, while he is no Angel Di Maria, he has his moments of brilliance but he has not been consistent enough.

      • GW,
        I could have been more clear re Castillo…
        In response to UCLA, I meant IF he gets a Jan call up to camp I’d like to see him on the wing as opposed to LB…. that’s what I meant

      • Ultimately will depend on what formation the coaches use. For instance in the 4-3-3….a high motor CDM and 2 Technical Box-to-Box CM’s work really well. My current choice would be (FJ, DW, MB). But this relies on 2 overlapping Outside Backs and Wing forwards willing to drop deeper to collect & maintain possession.
        In a 4-2-3-1 you’d want a dedicated CDM paired with a Box-to-Box CM as the 2…or 2 Box-to-Box types. Bradley & Jones is a good fit….but may age out. I’ve got high hopes for Williams & Bradley…but a Mix & Williams combo could be good too.
        As far as ranking the guys able to play CM (either CDM or ACM) I’d rank them as follows:
        1) Bradley 2) Williams, 3) Cameron, 4) Nguyen/Diskerud
        5) Morales/Torres, 6) Hydman 7) Trapp/Kitchen 8) Canouse,
        9) Stanko, 10) Gil
        (Beckerman & Jones are aging out…Bedoya & Zusi are place holders….Good locker room guys with heart, but fall a little short.)

      • I too really like Castillo as a left midfielder. I like him going forwards, a lot, I like his skill on the ball, and he’s audacious and will have one from unexpected spots. He just doesn’t have the catch-up speed to recover when he gets beat, which kind of makes him a defensive liability at left back.

        Really like Nguyen, and I think Bedoya is better than a lot give him credit for, though nobody will ever mistake him for a German midfielder. Michael Bradley, is his dip in form was caused by a foot injury he just had surgery for – his touch turned to brick this past year, possibly because of a nerve injury – is another guy. After that? See a lot of question marks. Big hole open for the likes of Gedion Zelalem to drive right into, if they want it.

      • Castillo doesn’t have recovery speed in your opinion? i think the exact opposite. i think the only reason he has cut it as a LB in Liga MX is because of his recovery speed. he’s not a good defender, he’ll even tell you that, but makes up for getting beat by being very fast.

        i have to say, i really like the idea of having Castillo and Yedlin on the wings. assuming they can be consistent. that speed is extremely tempting. and with other quick guys like Gyau and Green behind them, we could have some solid wingers. but i’m sure FJ will have something to say about that given his preference for midfield.

      • I’ve been keeping up with Castillo and Torres thanks to Unimas and telemundo and they are looking really good right now. Good passing, ball control, tracking back…..they look fit and sharp (yeah castillo…lol). Boyd and RB Leipzig I get to see if I’m lucky on FOX2, BEIN or ONE world sports and he looks good. What the hightlights don’t show is him getting by players, shots on goal, build up plays and his passing up top…he is very active when in the game. Tim Ream and Danny williams I just go off hightlights and their regular inclusion on their teams fighting to make it to the EPL….which means they are worth a look.

      • bizzy,

        JK has always liked Castillo. The Mexican media used to call him Cement Head because of his pointless dribbling, but hopefully he has matured with age.

        He is a left back only on an emergency basis or until he gets older and wiser and becomes the next DMB. His problem is competition for the left sided midfielder/winger spot is getting crowded but that’s a good thing.

        Paco is a left sided holding midfielder/emergency left back and he has the same problem with a lot of competition for USMNT spots. Again this is a good thing.

        It would not surprise me if you never saw either of them in a USMNT shirt ever again but if so then it would mean the competition was that good, since JK likes both of them.

  2. Jeff, Jozy recorded high marks from just about everywhere actually. Personally I thought he did well but wasn’t perfect.

    Glad to see that Williams appears to be the go-to guy again. Bummer that FJ continues to struggle for playing time.

    Reply
  3. I heard some Sunderland fans were hoping to see Jozy up top next to Wickham in the next match, and that he looked good during his cameo.

    Reply
  4. I watched the game and became frustrated everytime Jozy got the ball and seemed to not know what to do with it. He bungled the few chances he had and showed poor decision making. I wouldn’t call that a strong performance by any means. His team did well, Jozy not so much.

    Reply
      • Jeff, you are one tough dude to please – even English press was complimentary of Jozy’s performance in that game.

      • @URnoApro – just b/c someone gives their opinion about a player and it happens to be a criticism does not mean they are “hating.” People use that word too loosely.

        For example, if your plumber is supposed to fix a pipe but it still leaks a little after he finishes and then you complain, should the plumber say, “Stop Hating” and then walk away?

        The irony here is you are “hating” on Jeff’s analysis and insightful opinion. You were just being negative to his comments b/c you didn’t like them.

    • Doesn’t matter what team Jozy is playing, until he moves he’s just another forgettable body that failed in the PL.

      Reply
    • I saw it very differently. I thought he took good touches and put the ball in useful positions on a number of occasions. Nothing I saw looked like “bungling” at all, rather they appeared very solid efforts against a very strong defense. From what I could tell he was the second or third best performer on his side for the entire match, and that assessment was corroborated by many in the football press, on both sides of the ocean.

      Reply
  5. And what about Gedion Zelalem? 🙂

    But really…is he getting his citizenship or not? Birthday is January 26.

    My holiday season will be decidedly more cheerful if Zelalem gets his passport! USA. USA.

    Reply

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