Americans Abroad Wrap: Jozy Altidore Continues to Struggle with Sunderland

John D. HalloranContributor IIDecember 29, 2013

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - AUGUST 17: Jozy Altidore of Sunderland looks dejected during the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and Fulham at the Stadium of Light on August 17, 2013 in Sunderland, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)
Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

With most of the European leagues on their respective winter breaks, most of the action for Americans playing abroad was in England, highlighted by a particularly disastrous performance from Sunderland striker Jozy Altidore.

There were also assists from Tim Ream and Duane Holmes and new transfer rumors regarding Aron Johannsson and Michael Bradley.

Here's how this week's action went down.


The Premier League Boys

It was a congested fixture schedule in the English Premier League with Boxing Day matches midweek, followed by a full slate of weekend games.

For Sunderland, Jozy Altidore came on as an 87th-minute substitute in their 1-0 Boxing Day victory over Everton. In the match, Tim Howard was red-carded for taking down Ki Sung-Yeung in the 23rd minute, and Sunderland's goal came off the ensuing penalty kick.

On Saturday, Altidore got the start in Sunderland's 2-2 draw with Cardiff, but he missed a golden chance from a yard out and struggled the entire match to get involved in any substantive way.

Due to his yellow card, Howard missed Everton's match on Sunday against Southampton, but he should have no worries about losing his starting place after Joel Robles let in a shockingly weak goal as Southampton equalized with 19 minutes to go. Everton went on to win 2-1. Cody Cropper was not in the 18 for either of Southampton's matches this week.

Brad Guzan's Aston Villa lost 1-0 to Crystal Palace on Boxing Day, and despite giving up the stoppage-time winner, Guzan was the highest-rated player in the match. On Saturday, Villa and Guzan tied Swansea 1-1.

Geoff Cameron and Stoke City got blown out twice this week, first losing to Newcastle 5-1, then Tottenham 3-0. Cameron went 90 minutes in both games and got a rare start at center-back against Spurs. Maurice Edu and Brek Shea did not make the 18 for either game.


Ze Germans

The Bundesliga is on their winter break, but Steve Cherundolo will have a new boss when play resumes. After losing their final game before the break, Hannover fired coach Mirko Slomka. 


In the English Championship

Eric Lichaj led Americans' performances in the English Championship this week with two starts for Nottingham Forest at left-back. The first start came in a 2-0 win over Queens Park Rangers and the second in a 2-1 win over Leeds.

Tim Ream put in two 90-minute efforts for Bolton this week, first at center-back in a 1-0 win over Barnsley, then at left-back in a 5-3 loss to Leicester. In the game against Leicester, Ream had both an assist and an own goal.

Danny Williams played 90 minutes in both of Reading's games this week in a 1-0 loss to Leicester and 3-0 loss to Middlesbrough. One bright spot for Williams was that he was the highest-rated player in the match against Middlesbrough.

Duane Holmes made two second-half substitute appearances this week for Huddersfield, first in a 1-1 draw with Derby and then in a 5-1 win over Yeovil. Holmes assisted the game-tying goal in the match against Derby.

Oguchi Onyewu was not in the 18 for either of Queens Park Rangers' games this week.

Neither Jonathan Spector nor Will Packwood made the 18 for either of Birmingham's matches this week.


Elsewhere in Europe

Most Americans playing in Europe were on winter break, but there were plenty of transfer rumors to keep things interesting.

Aron Johannsson fanned the flames of repeated rumors of a move to Scottish giants Celtic (via the Daily Record's Mark Guidi and the Daily Mail's Stephen McGowan) by Tweeting out a picture that appeared to be taken at the Glasgow airport. Shortly thereafter, Johannsson sent out another Tweet that revealed he was headed on vacation to Dubai.

Michael Bradley was also a part of the transfer talk this week with various rumors linking him to Fulham, Cardiff and Southampton (via's Teodor Handarov).

Sacha Kljestan was not in the squad for Anderlecht for their match on Boxing Day.

The rest of the Americans playing in Europe are on winter break.


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