A number of Americans played overseas this weekend, but one who hasn’t was the most notable of all. A key member of the USMNT returned to action after a long injury layoff, a great sign for the young winger.
Aron Johannsson played his first full 90 minutes of the season and started for the first time as AZ Alkmaar drew 3-3 with Exelsior in Eredivisie play. Johannsson has groin surgery two months ago and was also shut down for a lingering ankle problem, and has finally gotten back to match fitness. You can read more on his return by clicking the link below.
In the Premier League, Tim Howard held Swansea to a clean sheet, but got no help from his attack as Everton settled for a 0-0 draw. Jonjo Shelvey picked up his second yellow card 15 minutes from full time to make Howard’s job easier, but Romelu Lukaku and Samuel Eto’o couldn’t take advantage on the other end.
The American goalkeeper made his best appearance early on a big save to keep Wilfried Bony out.
Brad Guzan was handed an early 1-0 lead, but Aston Villa couldn’t hang on as the home side couldn’t pad their home lead and Spurs scored twice in the final six minutes to sink Guzan’s side. Nacer Chadli struck one into the bottom corner that Guzan had no chance at to pull even at 1-1 in the 84th minute, and then Harry Kane wrong-footed the American a minute from full-time with a chipped free kick. It appeared that Guzan may not have seen the ball off the free kick, and by the time he saw it heading for the opposite side of the net it was too late.
Jozy Altidore was a second-half substitute for Sunderland against Crystal Palace, coming on in a tie game as Sunderland went on to win 3-1. The three points pulled the Black Cats out of the relegation zone and caused giddy manager Gus Poyet to smile throughout his entire postmatch interview.
Geoff Cameron made his second Premier League start in a row in Stoke City’s 2-2 draw with West Ham, but suffered a setback in his look towards a permanent central role.
Mark Hughes played him at right-back, a position Cameron said he’s willing to deputize at, but that he’d prefer to play in the middle, either in defense or midfield. Stoke built a 2-0 lead but weren’t able to hang on as Enner Valencia and Stewart Downing hit back.
In the English Championship, Tim Ream played the full 90 for Bolton and picked up a yellow card in a 2-1 loss. Eric Lichaj was cautioned and removed after an hour in Nottingham Forest’s 3-0 loss at Huddersfield that sees them fall to 10th in the table after just one point in their last four matches. A match after bagging 8 goals, Birmingham City was held to a 0-0 draw with Jonathan Spector and Will Packwood both missing from the squad, while Brek Shea appeared off the bench. Oguchi Onyewu was on the bench and unused for Charlton Athletic in a 1-1 draw with Sheffield Wednesday.
In Germany, Fabian Johnson and John Brooks were both unused substitutes for Borussia Monchengladbach and Hertha Berlin respectively. Julian Green wasn’t in Hamburg’s squad for their match with Bayer Leverkusen, five days after popping up on the bench in their DFB Pokal loss to Bayern Munich. Timmy Chandler started and went the whole distance in a 1-0 Frankfurt loss to Hannover.
Alejandro Bedoya came off the bench for Nantes, but couldn’t influence the game as the 1-1 scoreline held. He completed 13-14 passes and completed all three of his attempted tackles.
Back to the Netherlands, Rubio Rubin went the distance for FC Utrecht in a 3-1 win over Vitesse to jump their opponents in the table.