By FRANCO PANIZO
Jozy Altidore may not have found the back of the net against Fulham, but his Sunderland debut and return to the Premiership were impressive all the same.
Altidore enjoyed a strong first game with the Black Cats on Saturday, showing little to no semblance of the young forward that struggled with Hull City in the Premiership in 2009-10. Altidore kept opposing defenders busy throughout the 90 minutes with quality hold-up play and several aggressive dribbling runs, but unfortunately for him and Sunderland, that was not enough, as they were beaten at home, 1-0, by the Cottagers.
One player who was on the successful end of his season opener was Brad Guzan. The 28-year-old goalkeeper helped Aston Villa grab a shocking 3-1 victory at Arsenal on Saturday, making three saves in a game that saw the Villans go down early before responding with three straight goals.
There were also three different goal-scorers this weekend, as Aron Johannsson, Sacha Kljestan and Paul Arriola all netted in their respective matches. Johannsson extended his scoring streak to four games across all competitions with the opener in AZ Alkmaar’s 2-1 win over RKC Waalwijk, Kljestan made it two straight weeks in which he scored the first goal in a lopsided victory for RSC Anderlecht, and Arriola buried a clinical equalizer for his first professional goal before Club Tijuana conceded late to fall to Monterrey.
Here is how the Americans Abroad fared this weekend:
- Tim Howard started and played 90 minutes in Everton’s 2-2 draw vs. Norwich City on Saturday.
- Jozy Altidore started and played 90 minutes in Sunderland’s 1-0 loss vs. Fulham on Saturday.
- Geoff Cameron started and played 90 minutes in Stoke City’s 1-0 loss vs. Liverpool on Saturday.
- Maurice Edu did not dress for Stoke City. He is recovering from an injury.
- Brek Shea did not dress for Stoke City. He is recovering from an injury.
- Brad Guzan started, played 90 minutes and made three saves in Aston Villa’s 3-1 win vs. Arsenal on Saturday.
- Brad Friedel dressed but did not play in Tottenham Hotspur’s 1-0 win vs. Crystal Palace on Sunday.
- Jonathan Spector did not dress in Birmingham City’s 1-0 loss vs. Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday.
- Will Packwood did not dress for Birmingham City. He is recovering from a leg injury.
- Tim Ream dressed but did not play in Bolton Wanderers’ 3-0 loss vs. Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
- Stuart Holden did not dress for Bolton Wanderers. He is recovering from a knee injury.
- Zak Whitbread dressed but did not play in Leicester City’s 1-0 win vs. Derby County on Saturday.
- Eric Lichaj started and played 90 minutes in Nottingham Forest’s 3-0 win vs. Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.
- Danny Williams came off the bench and played 21 minutes in Reading’s 3-3 draw vs. Watford on Saturday.
- Fabian Johnson started, played 90 minutes and had an ASSIST in TSG 1899 Hoffenheim’s 5-1 win vs. Hamburg SV on Saturday.
- Joe Gyau did not dress for TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.
- Timmy Chandler came off the bench, played 32 minutes and received a yellow card in FC Nurnberg’s 2-2 draw vs. Hertha Berlin on Sunday.
- Michael Parkhurst did not dress in FC Augsburg’s 1-0 loss vs. Werder Bremen on Saturday.
- Jermaine Jones started, played 90 minutes and received a yellow card in Schalke 04′s 4-0 loss vs. VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday.
- Steve Cherundolo did not dress in Hannover 96′s 3-0 loss vs. Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday. He is recovering from a knee injury.
- John Anthony Brooks came off the bench and played seven minutes in Hertha Berlin’s 2-2 draw vs. FC Nurnberg on Sunday.
- Alfredo Morales started and played 90 minutes in FC Ingolstadt 04′s 1-0 loss vs. TSV 1860 Munich on Sunday.
- Andrew Wooten started and played 83 minutes in Kaiserslautern’s 2-1 win vs. FC Erzgebirge Aue on Saturday.
- Bobby Wood came off the bench and played 22 minutes in TSV 1860 Munich’s 1-0 win vs. FC Ingolstadt on Sunday.
- Alejandro Bedoya came off the bench and played 38 minutes in FC Nantes’ 2-1 loss vs. Lorient on Sunday.
- Aron Johannsson started, played 73 minutes and scored a GOAL in AZ Alkmaar’s 2-1 win vs. RKC Waalwijk on Saturday.
- Eugene Starikov dressed but did not play in FK Tom’ Tomsk’s 1-0 loss vs. PFK Samara Kryliya Sovetov on Sunday.
- Sacha Kljestan started, played 90 minutes and scored a GOAL in RSC Anderlecht’s 3-0 win vs. Waasland-Beveren on Sunday.
- Conor O’Brien started and played 90 minutes in FC Nordsjaelland’s 2-1 win vs. Aalborg BK on Saturday.
- Terrence Boyd did not dress in Rapid Vienna’s 2-0 loss vs. FC Trenkwalder Admira on Sunday. He is recovering from a shoulder injury.
- Brian Span did not dress in Djurgarden IF’s 1-1 draw vs. BK Hacken on Sunday.
- Mix Diskerud started and played 70 minutes in Rosenborg BK’s 0-0 draw vs. Valerenga on Saturday.
- Josh Gatt did not dress in Molde FK’s 1-1 draw vs. Odd on Saturday. He is recovering from a knee injury.
- Ethan Horvath did not dress for Molde FK.
- Steve Clark started and played 90 minutes in Honefoss BK’s 1-0 loss vs. Sandnes Ulf on Sunday.
- Michael Orozco Fiscal started and played 90 minutes in Puebla’s 4-2 win vs. Chivas de Guadalajara on Sunday.
- DaMarcus Beasley started and played 90 minutes for Puebla.
- Jose Torres started and played 90 minutes in Tigres UANL’s 3-0 loss vs. Santos Laguna on Friday.
- Jonathan Bornstein did not dress for Tigres UANL.
- Joe Corona started and played 85 minutes in Club Tijuana’s 2-1 loss vs. Monterrey on Saturday.
- Edgar Castillo started and played 90 minutes for Club Tijuana.
- Greg Garza came off the bench and played nine minutes for Club Tijuana.
- Paul Arriola came off the bench, played five minutes, received a yellow card and scored a GOAL for Club Tijuana.
- Herculez Gomez did not dress for Club Tijuana. He is recovering from a knee injury.
- Joaquin Alonso Hernandez dressed but did not play in Monterrey’s 2-1 win vs. Club Tijuana on Saturday.
- Freddy Adu did not dress in Bahia’s 0-0 draw vs. Santos FC on Sunday.
What do you think of these performances? How do you rate Altidore’s Sunderland debut? Which of this weekend’s goals impressed you the most, or was Kljestan’s ear celebration better than all of them combined?
Share your thoughts below.