Altidore impresses in his first two outings with Hull City.
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
(Tuesday, August 25, 2009) -- United States striker Jozy Altidore scored his first goal for Hull City in the 42nd minute of a 3-1 triumph over Southend United of the third-tier League One, helping his new club advance to the third round of the Carling Cup tonight.
Playing with a side consisting mostly of reserves, Altidore scored on a drive from 30 yards out. Midfielder Nick Barmby rolled a free kick into his path and Altidore's powerful blast beat keeper Steve Mildenhall low to his left.
Altidore was a hero in his debut Saturday for Hull, newly promoted to the English Premier League. He assisted the game's only goal as a second-half substitute for the club which edged the visiting Bolton Wanderers 1-0 Saturday in the EPL.
Altidore entered in the 60th minute and four minutes later he used his first touch to put right midfielder Kamel Ghilas in on goal. The newly-signed player from Celta Vigo of Spain's Segunda División waited for the ball to bounce and then drilled a powerful shot past Bolton keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen.
Near the end, Altidore missed opening his scoring account when he collected a ball in space and lifted it over Jaaskelainen, only to see it roll inches wide.
Altidore was sent to Hull on a season-long loan from his Spanish club Villarreal in a deal that allows Hull to buy him outright at the end of the loan period. He was granted a work permit several weeks ago, but sat in New York waiting for a visa to allow him to travel to England and start work.
It was said the problem was "red tape," but it turns out to be another case of H1N1 flu hysteria in Europe. Altidore had theoretically been exposed when his teammate with the United States men Landon Donovan contracted the infection and Altidore could not gain admission to the United Kingdom until he passed a series of medical tests in New York, where he trained with the Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls while he waited.
It was an up-and-down week for U.S. midfielder Clint Dempsey and Fulham. Dempsey provided a goal and an assist for the Cottagers Thursday in a 4-1 home victory over Amkar Perm of Russia in Europa Cup qualifying, followed by a 2-0 setback to West London rival Chelsea in the Premier League.
Four minutes into the match against Amkar, Dempsey found Bobby Zamora, who laid the ball off to fellow forward Andrew Johnson for the opening goal.
Twice in the half, Dempsey was stopped by goalkeeper Sergei Narubin., but in the 51st minute, Dempsey collected a loose ball just outside of the penalty area and, given space, he curled a shot into the top left corner of the net for a 2-0 lead.
For the first time since Fulham's preseason Australian tour, American striker Eddie Johnson was dressed, but he didn't play.
On Sunday, it was a different story against Chelsea in league action. Dempsey went the distance, but the whole team seemed tired.
U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard and Everton recovered from a disastrous 6-1 loss to Arsenal to open league play by easily defeating Sigma Olomouc (Czech Republic) in their first game of the Europa League, Europe's new second-tier tournament.
Howard had to make only one save in a one-sided match.
On Sunday, Everton dropped to 0-2 in the EPL by dropping a 1-0 decision at Burnley.
Everton striker Louis Saha missed a second-half penalty kick that would have allowed the Toffees to escape with a draw. Howard had to make a pair of saves, but one was a dandy. Chris McCann sent a cross that unmarked Martin Paterson headed off the crossbar. The ball dropped to Steven Fletcher, whose low point-blank drive was turned away by Howard.
Lest anyone think American keeper Brad Friedel's skills have eroded at age 38, they need only look at yesterday's Aston Villa's 3-1 triumph over visiting Liverpool at Anfield. It was the first time Liverpool had lost at home in over two years (31 matches) and the first time West Ham had beaten the Reds in eight years.
In his 192nd consecutive Premier League start, Friedel was sensational, making 12 saves, several of which denied what appeared to be sure Liverpool goals. He stopped striker Steven Gerrard twice from point-blank range in the first half and made an amazing block on his short-range blast a minute after intermission.
In the Europa Cup Thursday, Villa used U.S. keeper Brad Guzan in a 1-0 loss to Rapid Vienna. Guzan made three saves, but Villa was unable to muster much of an attack.
U.S. defender Jonathan Spector filled in for injured left back Herita Ilunga and went 90 minutes in West Ham United's 2-1 home loss to Tottenham Hotspur.
Spector did not have one of his better days. In the 79th minute, he slipped while marking Aaron Lennon, who resultantly rifled the decisive tally into a bottom corner of the net.
Spector went the distance tonight for West Ham United in a 3-1 decision over Millwall of the third-tier League One in the second round of the Carling Cup.
Amid rioting outside the stadium, resulting in a huge police response, a large numbers of fights inside the stadium and a major invasion of the field by unhappy Millwall fans, West Ham leveled the match in the 87th minute on a goal by Junior Stanislas and went on to win in extra time on a penalty kick by Stanislas in the 98th minute and a tally by Zavon Hines two minutes later.
At one point, both teams fled the field until police could bring the crowd under control.
American keeper Marcus Hahnemann continued in the role of backup for Wolverhampton Wanderers and did not play in a 1-0 loss at Manchester City.
DeMerit goes distance in Watford win, draw
In the second-tier English League Championship, U.S. defender Jay DeMerit and Watford emerged from two contests last week with a victory and draw.
On Tuesday, Watford easily defeated Nottingham Forest 4-2 and then played to a hard-fought 2-2 draw Saturday with Blackpool. DeMerit went the distance in both matches.
American defender Frank Simek received his first start of the season for Sheffield Wednesday tonight in a 2-0 setback to Port Vale of the fourth-tier League Two in the second round of the Carling Cup.
Simek continued to not dress for Wednesday in League Championship play as was the case in Saturday's 4-0 win over Scunthorpe and last Tuesday's 1-0 loss to Newcastle United.
In the third-division League One, American attacker Jemal Johnson went 81 minutes in MK Dons' 2-1 victory over Colchester.
American forward Mike Grella played the final six minutes of Leeds United's 3-0 victory over Tranmere.
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.
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