There was plenty of action this weekend for Americans playing abroad with a goalkeeping battle between Tim Howard and Brad Guzan, Jozy Altidore facing racist chants in the Netherlands and Brek Shea finally completing his transfer to Stoke.
Additionally, Geoff Cameron was deployed this weekend as an attacking midfielder, Jermaine Jones returned from suspension and Fabian Johnson returned from injury just in time for the U.S.’ World Cup qualifiers.
Check all that out and much, much more in this week’s edition of the Americans Abroad Wrap.
Jozy Altidore and AZ Alkmaar lost 1-0 to Groningen with Altidore going the distance. However, the real story for Altidore this week was his goal in Tuesday’s win over Den Bosch in which Jozy scored and endured racist chants.
Jozy’s post-game reaction showed a great deal of maturity, saying afterwards that he would “pray” for the supporters that abused him and that the behavior was “disappointing.”
The best news for USMNT fans coming out of Germany this weekend was Fabian Johnson’s inclusion in the starting XI for Hoffenheim. Johnson had been injured and was a legitimate doubt for both Hoffenheim and the U.S.’ game this week against Honduras.
Johnson played the full 90 minutes in Hoffenheim’s 2-1 win over Freiburg. His Hoffenheim and U.S. teammate Danny Williams came on for the final 14 minutes.
Timmy Chandler and Nurnberg beat Borussia Monchengladbach 2-1. Chandler started and went the distance. Chandler will reportedly accept his first cap-tying call-up for Honduras match this week after avoiding several such call-ups in the past. Chandler will likely start the Honduras match with Steve Cherundolo out injured.
Jermaine Jones finally returned from suspension and played 82 minutes in Schalke’s 2-1 loss to Greuther Furth.
Steve Cherudolo remains injured for Hannover and missed their 2-0 loss to Werder Bremen.
Michael Parkhurst again did not play for Augsburg for the third consecutive week. After playing so well for Nordsjaelland over the past year and seeing a subsequent revival of his international career, Parkhurst may have put his U.S. roster spot in jeopardy with his winter move to the German club.
John Anthony Brooks went the distance in Hertha Berlin’s 5-1 win over Regensburg.
Joe Gyau came on for the final minute of St. Pauli’s 0-0 draw with Cottbus.
Howard was beaten by Christian Benteke in the second minute as the Belgian ran past Johnny Heitenga on the dribble before coolly slotting his shot just inside the far post.
Everton then equalized when Victor Anichebe outmuscled Ciaran Clark and put his shot past Guzan in the 21st minute.
Aston Villa then went ahead again as Gabriel Agbonlahor redirected a point-blank header past Howard into the far corner in the 24th minute.
Christian Benteke then made it 3-1 for Villa in the 61st minute as he once again beat Johnny Heitinga, this time in the air, and headed the ball off the far post and in past Howard.
Marouane Fellaini brought Everton back within one in the 69th minute as he beat Guzan with a shot to the far post. Guzan may have been able to do better with Fellaini’s shot, but it went through a crowd, and Guzan likely didn’t see the ball until it was too late.
In the 93rd minute, Fellaini scored once again, this time on a header, to help Everton find the tie.
Overall, Guzan, despite giving up three goals, had a good game. He had four punches on crosses in traffic including one on which he was being wrestled to the ground by Victor Anichebe. Guzan also had a nice save on a shot by Anichebe early in the first half and came off his line well to stop a chance by Kevin Mirallas in the first half.
Eric Lichaj did not make the 18 for Villa.
Tony Pulis’ defensive obsession reached a new high on Saturday against Arsenal as he deployed Geoff Cameron in the No. 10 role underneath Peter Crouch.
Cameron’s role appeared to be to try to mark Mikel Arteta out of the game, and while Stoke held out bravely for 78 minutes behind good defending and excellent goalkeeping, Arsenal eventually broke through for a goal and won 1-0.
Cameron wasn’t bad in the No. 10 role keeping possession neat, but it’s also safe to say a permanent position switch isn’t on the cards.
In other news on the Stoke City front, the on-again, off-again Brek Shea transfer went through on deadline day. The English media was so impressed with the American youngster that as the Arsenal-Stoke rosters were being announced on the television broadcast, it was noted that new signing “Ben” Shea had not made the 18 for Stoke.
Clint Dempsey had a fairly anonymous game for Tottenham on Sunday as Spurs beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0.
Dempsey started out on the left but was moved up top when Jermaine Defoe picked up an ankle injury.
To be fair, Dempsey saw little service as Gareth Bale made a number of “hero” runs blasting away from no angle rather than crossing the ball. However, Bale did somewhat vindicate his selfish play as he scored the game-winning goal on a terrific blast from just outside the penalty area.
Carlos Bocanegra played the full match in Santander’s 2-1 win over Gijon.
Oguchi Onyewu made the 18, but did not play in Malaga’s 1-1 draw with Zaragoza.
Maurice Edu continued to make an impact with his new club, getting another 90-minute effort with Bursaspor in their 1-1 draw with Galatasaray.
Sacha Kljestan played 70 minutes in Anderlecht’s 2-2 tie with Standard Liege.
In a battle of Americans, Jose Torres’ Tigres took on Edgar Castillo and Joe Corona’s Tijuana. All three started in the 2-2 draw with Castillo going the distance, Torres playing 81 minutes and Corona 69 minutes. Greg Garza did not play for Tijuana.
The name on the back of Torres' jersey with his new club Tigres reads "Gringo"—picture here.
Herculez Gomez and Santos Laguna tied Pumas 0-0 with Gomez playing 72 minutes.
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