Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

JonathanSpectorBirminghamCity2 (Getty)

By FRANCO PANIZO

A couple weeks after several players in the Americans Abroad contingent were bitten by the injury bug, a handful of others made their way back to the field.

One of those players was Jonathan Spector, who recovered from a pesky thigh injury that has kept him out of action for Birmingham City since early October. Spector started and went the distance as the club picked up a 2-1 victory over Blackpool on Saturday. The versatile veteran’s comeback could not have come at a better time, as U.S. Men’s National Team assistant coach Andi Herzog was in attendance to watch the match and scout Spector.

Another pair of defenders also made their returns. Oguchi Onyewu got back to full health after dealing with a calf knock by starting and playing 69 minutes in Sheffield Wednesday’s 2-0 triumph against Huddersfield Town and John Brooks played five minutes off the bench to help Hertha Berlin secure a 2-1 victory over VfB Stuttgart. Onyewu’s outing was his first in the Owls’ last four games, and Brooks’ was his first since suffering a knee injury during Hertha Berlin’s winter break.

As far as performances go, few players enjoyed better ones than Tim Howard and Duane Holmes. Howard made seven saves for Everton vs. Chelsea before succumbing to a stoppage-time goal from John Terry in a 1-0 defeat. Holmes, meanwhile, made his debut for Championship cellar dwellers Yeovil Town and contributed by drawing the game-winning penalty kick in a 77-minute showing in a 1-0 victory against Doncaster Rovers.

Here is how the Americans Abroad fared this weekend:

ENGLAND

Premiership

  • Tim Howard started, played 90 minutes and made seven saves in Everton’s 1-0 loss vs. Chelsea on Saturday.
  • Clint Dempsey did not dress in Fulham’s 1-1 draw vs. West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
  • Jozy Altidore started and played 45 minutes in Sunderland’s 4-1 loss vs. Arsenal on Saturday.
  • Geoff Cameron started and played 90 minutes in Stoke City’s 1-0 loss vs. Manchester City on Saturday.
  • Brad Guzan started, played 90 minutes and made four saves in Aston Villa’s 1-0 loss vs. Newcastle United on Sunday.
  • Brad Friedel dressed but did not play in Tottenham Hotspur’s 1-0 loss vs. Norwich City on Sunday.
  • Cody Cropper did not dress in Southampton’s 3-1 loss vs. West Ham United on Saturday.
  • Sebastian Lletget did not dress in West Ham United’s 3-1 win vs. Southampton on Saturday.

Championship

  • Zak Whitbread dressed but did not play in Derby County’s 1-0 win vs. AFC Bournemouth on Saturday.
  • Danny Williams started and played 90 minutes in Reading’s 1-0 loss vs. Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.
  • Will Packwood started and played 90 minutes in Birmingham City’s 2-1 win vs. Blackpool on Saturday.
  • Jonathan Spector started and played 90 minutes for Birmingham City.
  • Tim Ream started and played 90 minutes in Bolton Wanderers’ 2-0 win vs. Watford on Saturday.
  • Stuart Holden did not dress for Bolton Wanderers. He is recovering from a knee injury.
  • Eric Lichaj dressed but did not play in Nottingham Forest’s 3-1 loss vs. Burnley on Saturday.
  • Brek Shea came off the bench and played 27 minutes in Barnsley’s 1-0 win vs. Millwall on Saturday.
  • Oguchi Onyewu started and played 69 minutes in Sheffield Wednesday’s 2-0 win vs. Huddersfield Town on Saturday. Onyewu and Sheffield Wednesday play Charlton Athletic on Monday.
  • Duane Holmes started and played 77 minutes in Yeovil Town’s 1-0 win vs. Doncaster Rovers on Saturday.
  • Gboly Ariyibi did not dress in Leeds United’s 0-0 draw vs. Middlesbrough on Saturday.

GERMANY

Bundesliga

  • Steve Cherundolo did not dress in Hannover 96′s 4-0 loss vs. Bayern Munich on Sunday.
  • Fabian Johnson started and played 90 minutes in TSG 1899 Hoffenheim’s 2-2 draw vs. Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday.
  • Timmy Chandler did not dress in FC Nurberg’s 2-1 win vs. TSV Eintracht Braunschweig on Saturday. He is recovering from a knee injury.
  • John Brooks came off the bench and played five minutes in Hertha Berlin’s 2-1 win vs. VfB Stuttgart on Saturday.
  • David Yelldell dressed but did not play in Bayer Leverkusen’s 3-1 loss vs. VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday.

Bundesliga 2

  • Alfredo Morales started and played 90 minutes in FC Ingolstadt 04′s 2-0 win vs. Arminia Bielefeld on Friday.
  • Bobby Wood dressed but did not play in TSV 1860 Munich’s 2-2 draw vs. SC Paderborn 07 on Saturday.
  • Andrew Wooten came off the bench and played 19 minutes in FSV Frankfurt’s 2-0 loss vs. FC Union Berlin on Friday.

FRANCE

  • Alejandro Bedoya came off the bench and played 11 minutes in FC Nantes’ 3-0 loss vs. Stade Rennes on Sunday.

NETHERLANDS

  • Aron Johannsson started and played 90 minutes in AZ Alkmaar’s 4-0 loss vs. Ajax on Sunday.
  • Juan Agudelo started, played 90 minutes and received a yellow card in FC Utrecht’s 1-0 win vs. FC Groningen on Sunday.

TURKEY

  • Jermaine Jones did not dress in Besiktas’ 1-0 loss vs. Galatasaray on Saturday. He is recovering from a groin injury.

BELGIUM

  • Sacha Kljestan started, played 90 minutes and received a yellow card in RSC Anderlecht’s 2-1 loss vs. KSC Lokeren on Friday.

DENMARK

  • Conor O’Brien dressed but did not play in Odense BK’s 2-1 win vs. FC Midtjylland on Saturday.
  • Babajide Ogunbiyi did not dress in Viborg FF’s 1-1 draw vs. Randers FC on Sunday.

AUSTRIA

  • Terrence Boyd started and played 90 minutes in Rapid Vienna’s 0-0 draw vs. SV Grodig on Saturday.

MEXICO

  • Michael Orozco started, played 90 minutes and received a yellow card in Puebla’s 0-0 draw vs. Atlante on Sunday.
  • DaMarcus Beasley started and played 79 minutes for Puebla.
  • Jose Torres came off the bench and played 16 minutes in Tigres UANL’s 1-0 win vs. Veracruz on Saturday.
  • Jonathan Bornstein came off the bench and played eight minutes in Atlante’s 0-0 draw vs. Puebla on Sunday.
  • Edgar Castillo started and played 90 minutes in Club Tijuana’s 3-0 loss vs. Jaguares de Chiapas on Friday.
  • Joe Corona came off the bench and played 45 minutes for Club Tijuana.
  • Paul Arriola came off the bench and played 25 minutes for Club Tijuana.
  • Herculez Gomez came off the bench and played 12 minutes for Club Tijuana.
  • Greg Garza dressed but did not play for Club Tijuana.
  • Joaquin Alonso Hernandez did not dress in Monterrey’s 1-0 win vs. Atlas on Saturday.

—–

What do you think of these performances? Would you like to see Spector get another chance with the USMNT next month? Who has a better shot of making it to Brazil, Onyewu or Brooks?

Share your thoughts below.

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70 Responses to Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

  1. Josh D says:

    Overall, a good week but Dempsey not dressing, Altidore getting subbed at half, and Shea getting very poor reviews for his play mean there’s room for improvement.

    A week and a half out from the Ukraine game, I expect to see this as our starting lineup:

    —————–Howard————–
    Cameron-Packwood-Brooks-Ream
    ————-Jones–Mix————–
    Bedoya———Aron————–FJ
    —————-Altidore————–

    • John says:

      Where were the reviews of Shea? what did it say?

      • Josh D says:

        Bleacher Report had the story. Brian was the writer. He does recaps but with context. You’ll have to Google it; I don’t have a link on hand. Sorry.

        • Fair Observer says:

          he subbed on fro 27 minutes, received a 6.24 rating– 92% passing completion, 19 touches, 1 foul, 1 Key pass. Never trust B/R, their writers are no more “writers” than the casual fan. Barnsley won, all of their ratings were above the 6.0 mark which is basically the avg mark….. Brek did fine, didnt do badly but didnt score or create anything to write home about. nothing to worry about. Brek did not get “poor reviews”, so stop fabricating, you’re worse than a B/R writer simply reading an article online then reporting a “terrible game” for a player.

          Jozy played fine as well, 14 touches, 2 aerial duels won, 73% passing, 6.0 rating…. common AVG rating for a striker in a 4-1 loss, they barely had the ball in the attack…… he was subbed off at half along with AJ (75% passing, 11 touches, 5.6 rating). Yet the press continue to speak only of Jozy’s taking off at halftime and treated AJ’s as merely “resting him for the next game”. people are stupid sometimes……

        • GW says:

          Bleacher report has a lot of “bullet point articles” i.e

          ” 5 things Brek must do before he walks out the door”
          ” 10 reasons the US will not win the World Cup”
          “5 players the US cannot call up because they are not American but would like to”
          “5 Reasons soccer is better than Curling”

          That sort of thing.

          • Fair Observer says:

            haha exactly, B/R has fooled many people to thinking they’re reading actual articles when they’re just reading filler. biased, filler….. i consider it a way to keep abreast of breaking news, however, i do NOT think they are part of the associate press or that they’re journalists in any way. B/R employees are LITERALLY regular people, usually college students who want to get into journalism and think B/R is a way to do that….

            Im not sayin i dont pass the team swiping through B/R content to get “the sports news” but in no way to i take anything they say as being serious press…..

            simply put, no one should use B/R as a source….. what a joke, haha

    • alf says:

      Why Altidore? Run, maybe, maybe, kick, wrong place, wrong play HE SUCKS!

      • Nate says:

        You failed to mention that Poyet subbed off adam Johnson at the half along with Altidore. Perhaps it had something to do with the upcoming league cup match, rather than some statement about “how much Altidore sucks”? BTW, if you had bothered to watch after the half, Altidore’s replacement at CF barely got the ball and failed to score as well.

        • malkin says:

          While I agree with the rest of your post, unfortunately the last statement is untrue as Giaccherini came on for Altidore at half and scored in the 81st.

      • Altidore does not suck.

        In spite of his scoring record, his hold up play has been excellent. He wins the ball and dishes off nice passes in stride for his teammates.

        He had a great run that Borini ignored when he could have gotten behind the defense. And that is the problem, no one is helping him with good passes out of the midfield. He either has to make his own chances, or find a deflection to gather up a 2nd ball.

        His touches and passes are high quality.

        The reality is Sunderland sucks. There isn’t anyone that stands out on that team.

    • malkin says:

      I think/hope we’ll see Packwood called up, but I don’t see him starting over Brooks/Ream/Gooch.

      • malkin says:

        Ooops, you have Ream at LB and FJ on the wing. Yes that makes sense given Ream’s been playing LB, although I suspect FJ will play there. I think with all the midfield options with a full lineup, Klins should want FJ spending his time solidifying the LB spot.

      • Beckster says:

        Completely agree…he is coming off a huge injury and has only played a few games as a starter and center back. Before that, he was playing right back and defensive mid. Great young talent but don’t think he is ready this year.

    • rainORshine says:

      wouldnt put it past JK, but that is an awful line-up

      brooks has played all of 5 minutes this year
      diskerud and jones have yet to dress for a club game

      how bout play guys who are actually playing… gooch, williams, kljestan to name a few

      the perplexing fascination with diskerud continues. is he still in norway? what a joke

      • Nate Dollars says:

        “diskerud and jones have yet to dress for a club game”

        yeah, who cares if diskerud’s club isn’t in season right now? WHY ISN’T HE PLAYING???

        i’m assuming you were also annoyed at all the mls players called up for the s. korea friendly.

        • rainORshine says:

          really? you dont understand my point? i understand norway is not in season.

          i think guys that are in season for club should be starting in this game

          you disagree? what is the point of your post?

          • Nate Dollars says:

            yes, i disagree. i think that, for a friendly, it’s not really a bad idea to call up promising players who aren’t in season, assuming that they’ve been working hard in the off-season. if they come in and impress, then why not start them?

            and i apologize for thinking you were ignorant of the tippeligaen. i actually hesitated when i saw your screen name, because i don’t recall disliking your previous posts, but then i went on anyway…my bad.

            • rainORshine says:

              i dont have any issue with calling diskerud in to camp…

              just my opinion that give the nod to williams and/or klestan to start – they are in season and mix just got a chance in last camp

              not only that but mix had the entire gold cup, whereas williams and kljestan have not had many chances…

    • Ronniet says:

      Hard to see Jones being a starter given that he has yet to suit up for his new club. I think we will see a combination of klejstan and danny wiiliams in the midfield with mix playing underneath jozy and “ice, ice baby” coming off the bench! I like the centerback pairing but you’d have to think if gooch gets more 90 minute games than brooks does it’ll be gooch starting instead! Is ream still starting at left back for Bolton?

  2. Leo says:

    Franco sail Timmy’s performance was good! What will all the haters say?!

    • iggy says:

      That he had a great game, but blew it on the last play and as a result his team dropped a point

    • atd says:

      Looks like he turned off the broadcast after the 90th minute….

    • Nate Dollars says:

      they’ll just point to the FACT that he’s the reason we lost the 2006 world cup.

      • ZTom says:

        You don’t even know who we played in 2006, so go back to your mother”s basement.

      • GW says:

        Mr. Dollars,

        The USMNT did not make the final so you can’t say the Cup was theirs to lose.

        However, Timmy did not have a good game against Ghana who prevented the US from going further..

        • Nate Dollars says:

          2006.

          i was being sarcastic and poking fun at ZTom who has previously insisted that our exit from the 2006 world cup was due to michael bradley and tim howard, never mind that neither one actually played in that cup.

  3. orange says:

    whose had more success in Belgium? Gooch with 2 titles and loads of UEFA Cup games or Kljesta who has had 2 titles and 2 CL seasons, recently scoring 1 goal, 1 assist and 1 redcard in this past season’s tournament

  4. BrianK says:

    Good sign that Andy Herzog was checking out Spector.

  5. Don the Jewler says:

    And checking out Wil Packwood, too.

  6. Remi says:

    OUCH!!! Nothing says you suck as being subbed out at halftime.
    Time for Antiscore to come home

    • dube says:

      The game was 3-0 and poyet subbed Adam Johnson at half as well. I wouldn’t read too much into this.

    • Chicago Josh says:

      Sunderland are absolute sheit. They could barely get Jozy the ball, and on the handful of times that they did, he passed smartly and got himself into good positions, only for his teammates to give the ball away. I’m not a big fan of Jozy’s body language when he clearly gets exasperated with his teammates, but it’s easy to see why he gets so frustrated.

      • Kosh says:

        + 1

        I saw this several times in that game and stopped watching it. There were at least two times that I saw Jozy one-on-one with his defender and on the inside towards goal and all Borini (on one) and Ki (on the other) had to do was play him in and let him do his thing. They killed the play and you could see Jozy getting frustrated. In fact the announcers were poking fun at Borini for wanting to run all the way over a bridge or something.

        It’s tough and frustrating for me to watch (hence I stopped) and I can only try to imagine what it’s like for Jozy. The one good thing from it all (if there is such a thing in this) is he has waaaay more on his mind right now than the cheap shots from the cheap seats.

        • Grant says:

          Yeah I remember that play as well. Borini takes on two defenders and runs into one of them hoping for a call, when he could have easily played it to space for Jozy. That’s all I really needed to see.

    • Kosh says:

      Except if you’re saving the player for another game, chalking the one they are in as a lost cause. Not saying that’s exactly the deal but it’s an alternative to the easy, quick “conclusions” that soccer masters such as yourself avail us with.

      • Remi says:

        LOL. I guess you want to save your player in case you need zero goals from him next game.
        Considering what Poyet had to say about Antiscore before the game and how he got subbed out at the half I’d say the honeymoon is about over.

        • Nate says:

          which was what? that sometimes a player’s form for one team doesn’t necessarily transfer to a different team? Citing examples of quality players ( including himself)?

          does your “you got subbed at halftime, so you suck” principle also apply to Adam Johnson, cause he got subbed at halftime too.

          you make yourself sound silly with your half baked comments.

          • Nate Dollars says:

            it’s your life, but i’ve found it to be a waste of time to respond to people who use a derogatory (and not at all clever) nickname for the player in question.

            they’re pretty much troIIing by that point.

          • Fair Observer says:

            +1 Nate, this Remi guy is a hypocritical moron

  7. dcyank says:

    why was jozy subbed at half time?

    • Drewbles says:

      Presumably because Sunderland play in the Cup Final this week against ManCity, so both Altidore and Adam Johnson got subbed off at half time with Sunderland already being down 3-0 to Arsenal.

    • John says:

      You didn’t hear? He pulled off his shirt to show one underneath that said “pass me the damn ball” and then he just walked off the pitch before stoppage. He shoved Poyet as he tried to stop him from walking off it was a total melt down.

  8. DanO says:

    Bornstein lives!

    • Dennis says:

      Right, Is this his first minutes in a league game in 2 years? (I think he did did some action in a cup game, or whatever they are called in Mexico last season.)

      • Gary Page says:

        I saw him in a CONCACAF CL game I think two seasons ago and he actually looked good. I think it was when both he and Torres were at Tigres and Bornstein, I think, played the whole game. Forget what MLS team he was playing against.

  9. hudson says:

    It is hard to watch Jozy play with Sunderland when his only touches come from glancing headers off of goal kicks. His teammates, like Borini, are actively ignoring him even when he makes good runs in the box. He does shoulder part of the blame for going to Sunderland in the first place given their midfielders’ propensity for shooting from 30 yards out and limited passing or crossing ability. It would be interesting to know what his relationship is with the other players in the locker room–it can’t be too cordial at this point. On the rare occasions he gets the ball in decent positions, he should simply turn and shoot–enough with the layoffs,

    • Gary Page says:

      Talking about his relationship with other players reminds me of a story I heard Eric Wynalda tell once. He was in Germany (his first season there probably) and he missed an easy shot in front of goal and after the game in the locker room he tried to make light of it and make a joke about missing. One of his teammates threw his boot at him and the cleats drew a gash that required stitches. Wynalda hadn’t realized until then how seriously they take football in Germany. Re Jozy, you wonder what Poyet is saying to his players.

    • Brett says:

      On a team that doesn’t create many chances, selfish play is the quickest way off the pitch. Jozy’s problem isn’t his positioning or hold up play, or even his work rate which has improved thanks to regular minutes; his problem is that he misses more than he converts. He’s had chances and missed. If his teammates don’t like him it’s because he misses sitters and sucks in the air despite being strong and fast.

      He needs to be with a club that’s aggressive in attack.

      • Nate Dollars says:

        “On a team that doesn’t create many chances, selfish play is the quickest way off the pitch.”

        i guess that makes sense, but fabio borini and adam johnson beg to differ.

      • Miley says:

        The way he throws his hands up in the air when a teammate makes a mistake can’t be earning him too many lockeroom points.

        • Fair Observer says:

          players show frustration a lot, every single game. when they miss an open players they do that so the player will look up next time and make a better decision. this doesnt make players hate one another. that happens when a player has a bad attitude and begins to play selfishly, or begins to not give proper effort which Jozy does not do. He’s putting in work just not being passed to in good areas usually.

          im not giving him a free pass but just dont sit there and say he’s pissing his teamates off, no THEIR pissing him off and he’s still playing and trying hard to work. professional….

      • GW says:

        link to express.co.uk

        What could be more selfish than NOT passing to a team mate in a better position to score than you?

        None of you are in a position to know what Jozy’s teammates really think about Jozy unless they actually choose to speak about it and even then you can’t trust them or the manager.

        The only thing that you can trust is playing time and Jozy is getting a lot of that

        If he continues to play a lot,who cares what anyone says or thinks.

        If he sits, then who cares what anyone says or thinks?.

      • Fair Observer says:

        Brett, im curious if youve actually watched all Jozy’s games. do u say he’s missed “sitters” because the press has said that or because youve seen him miss sitters? how many “sitters” has he missed this season? because i know how many but im curious to what you’d call a “sitter”.

        to know what a real sitter is, please go watch Edin Dzeko’s missed sitter in their match vs Stoke a couple days ago….. THAT was a sitter. when a striker just has a shot and misses it, THAT’S NOT a sitter, that’s not great either but that’s not a sitter. before you mention how many shots Jozy’s missed please note that he leads the team in shot accuracy (shots on target/shots total). His problem is NOT being selfish enough and needing to take more shots(he avgs 1 shot per game). ill give you that, but his problem isn’t that he always misses sitters.. He average’s 1.2 TOs a game, 1.4 fouls drawn, 68% passing, 0.4 offsides per game, 17 passes per game, 6.48 avg rating. definately not numbers of a great striker but also not numbers of a terrible striker, let the man live…

        • Fair Observer says:

          fletcher, by contrast, only wins .3 more headers per game (2.8 vs 2.5), has a worse passing percentage (64% vs 68%), only gets off .5 more shots per game (1.5 vs 1.0) for an overall rating of 6.34 (vs 6.48 for Jozy……)

        • GW says:

          RE: SITTERS

          I’ve watched most, not all, of Jozy’s games and I would say he hasn’t really missed more than one or two sitters.

          A sitter is the proverbial “it was easier to score than to miss”.
          Jozy had a great chance against Newcastle where he should have rounded the keeper but that wasn’t exactly a sitter.

          There was another one in another game where the ball ran across an empty goal mouth and Jozy was alone in front of goal but I think that was a deflection that came on faster than Jozy realized.

          In other words no more than normal.

          Watch Clint Dempsey vs. Guadeloupe in the 2011 Gold Cup if you want to see a master class display of incompetency in front of goal. That game will also show people like Brett that sitters happen to everyone even a terminator like Dempsey.

          • Fair Observer says:

            GW, you and TomG are the brightest people that comment on here. you couldnt be more right, perfect two examples. I remember the second example you brought up and you’re right, the ball came off a stiff deflection and Jozy simply didnt have enough time to stretch his foot out and direct the ball in, it spun wide and high but that was NOT a sitter. your definition is precisely correct: “easier to score than to miss”. I would love for Brett to find credible, video examples of these “sitters” that Jozy has missed. Brett’s usualy pretty off in his commenting. I must say i get a kick out of intelligently proving him wrong with facts. good times…….. he still thinks M Alonso (Sund) is a worthy defender…. watch Arsenal’s 1st and 3rd goal and watch who decides to not play defense on both occasions…….. (the first goal, Alonso doesnt pinch in when his CB steps towards ball leaving giroud open– we’ll be nice, only HALF Alonso’s fault. the third goal, alonso is straight up marking rosicky, rosicky lays off ball to teamate and makes a cut in, alonso starts jogging and simply watches rosicky go around him, receive the ball back and shoot ….. all alonso’s fault, he cant say he thought Colback was supposed to help, alonso’s the defender…..)

  10. Gary Page says:

    Hey, has anyone see Gooch play while in the Championship? Is he more mobile? During the Gold Cup he really looked poor, but the couple of times I saw him play for Malaga he looked rather good. In one CL group game he did very well and drew very favorable comment from the match announcers.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      he looks good. very imposing, of course. but i’m not at all confident that his balance of strengths and weaknesses would translate to a higher level at this point.

    • joshw says:

      I haven’t but have been wondering the same thing. Has to be a good sign that he came right back into the team after his injury layoff. If he can move like he used to and is healthy in June, he could be in the starting 11. If I was a GM, I wouldn’t give him a 4 year contract, but realistically we’re just talking about a run of 5 games, plus or minus 2, right?

  11. DC Josh says:

    Oof. It has been a punch in the gut weekly with our European contingent. Jones injured, Jozy frustrated, Dempsey bored… Bright spots have been at Stoke with Rico Suave Cameron, in Oranjeland with Bacon, and with Timmy, Fabian, Sacha, and Terrance.

    I’m interested to see how next week’s camp pans out.