Americans Abroad review: Altidore shines, “Lex Luthor” wins it late
With league play back in full swing and international breaks on the back burner for the moment, a number of Americans made their mark in play across the globe, but particularly in Europe.
Not as many Americans scored as we saw last week, but their teams continued to win and our boys were at the forefront of many.
In Premier League play, Jozy Altidore was on point as Sunderland picked up their first win of the season in the ever-important Tyne-Wear derby. In a match that featured enough stripes to give anyone a headache, Altidore used his strength on multiple occasions to harass Newcastle and help his team. He won the corner that led to their opening goal by warding off a defender, and he teed up Fabio Borini for the winner as time wound down.
What appeared a simple lay-off by Jozy to Borini was actually a brilliant bit of play. Altidore caught the Newcastle defenders completely off-guard with the move, giving Borini ample space for the shot. It appeared that even the striker himself wasn’t aware of Borini’s presence until the last second, when he slammed on the brakes and set the ball up for the Italian to smash it home.
Tim Howard had a busy weekend in the Barclays Premier League. The USMNT #1 shotstopper outdueled his international teammate Brad Guzan as Everton triumphed over Aston Villa 2-0, sending the Toffees up to fourth in the Premier League table. Howard was at the forefront of his team’s activity, saving a Christian Benteke penalty and denying the Belgian a host of other times during the match.
The 34-year-old then swapped his cleats for a headset, making his way to the broadcast booth where he paired up with Arlo White to commentate the Chelsea vs. Manchester City match for NBCSN. It took the goalkeeper a few minutes to get comfortable behind the mic, but he performed nearly as admirably as he had on the pitch the day before. Arlo appropriately extended an open invitation for Howard to return, noting the excitement of the match was clearly due to the USMNT star’s presence.
Geoff Cameron started for Stoke City but the visitors couldn’t hang onto a 2-1 lead at Old Trafford as Stoke fell 3-2 thanks to Mexican international Javier Hernandez’s late winner. Brek Shea did not make the matchday squad, strengthening his desire to go out on loan.
Over in Italy, Michael Bradley made an enormous stride towards returning to the starting lineup after returning from his ankle injury. On as a 78th minute substitute, Bradley scored the winner for Roma with his first goal of the season as the Giallorossi stayed perfect through nine matches.
Maybe the greatest thing the goal brought this world is an absolutely outstanding new nickname for Bradley, dubbed by an Italian radio broadcaster calling the game. Amid the broadcaster’s ear-piercing, high-pitched shrieks following Bradley’s goal, he refers to the American as “Lex Luthor.” If this doesn’t stick, I’m not sure what will. Help us out USMNT fans, we here at ProSoccerTalk need to make this one permanent.
Under new manager Gertjan Verbeek, Timmy Chandler started at right-back and assisted FC Nurnberg’s only goal as they held Stuttgart to a draw and earned a valuable point on the road. The club was not able to get out of the relegation zone with the point earned but they gained ground on 15th-place Ausberg who fell to Bayer Leverkusen. Chandler picked a good time to play well - USMNT assistant Andy Herzog was in attendence, could Timmy be on his way back?
Jermaine Jones could do nothing to stop Borussia Dortmund as his Schalke side fell 3-1 to the reigning Champions League runners up in the Rurh derby. Jones was a 74th minute substitute, and he came on after all the scoring had taken place.
Red-hot Aron Johannsson didn’t score but his team AZ Alkmaar had a fruitful week of traveling. The youngster assisted Johan Berg Gudmannsson in their 1-1 with Shakhter Karagandy in during midweek Europa League play. AZ then defeated 5th-placed PEC Zwolle on the road in the Eredivisie 2-1. The win put AZ into a tie for first place with Twente and Ajax.
Club Tijuana remained undefeated at home with their 0-0 draw against Tigres in Liga MX play. However, the sole point may not be enough to propel Tijuana to the postseason. Joe Corona, Edgar Castillo, and Paul Arriola all started for Club Tijuana, with Hercules Gomez coming on as a substitute.
DaMarcus Beasley and Michael Orozco both started in Puebla’s 3-1 loss to Club America at Estadio Azteca.
Sasha Kleijstan needed just a single minute to net his first goal for Anderlecht in a 1-1 draw with table-toppers Standard Liege. It’s a good bounceback from their 5-0 drubbing at the hands of PSG in the Champions League.
Timmy Chandler netted the winner for Rapid Vienna in the 88th minute as they beat Austria Vienna 1-0 in the Austrian Bundesliga.