For Altidore, the goals keep coming; his pair leads AZ to rout of Heerenveen.
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
(Thursday, May 2, 2013) -- United States striker Jozy Altidore remained red hot, scoring two goals and adding an assist for visiting AZ Alkmaar, which easily defeated SC Heerenveen 4-0 Friday in the Dutch Eredivisie at Abe Lentra Stadion.
Altidore now has 30 goals across all competitions this season and AZ’s road victory guarantees the club will escape relegation and remain the top division.
He opened the match with a free kick, bending the ball precisely into the top right corner of the net in the 29th minute.
Altidore’s assist in the 62nd minute might have been his best effort of the match. As he carried the ball diagonally left to right at full speed, he back-heeled the ball to overlapping for fellow forward Johann Berg Gudmundsson, who put it away for a 3-0 advantage..
Three minutes later, Altidore finished the scoring as he settled a ball on the dead run, took two strides and blasted his shot into the net
Two starters for the U.S. men faced each other Saturday in the German Bundesliga.
In the second-tier English League Championship, the only American to play was U.S. midfielder Stuart Holden, who played the final minute for Bolton Wanderers in a 1-1 draw with Cardiff City.
Meanwhile, Holden received good news from U.S. coach Jürgen Klinsmann, who told ussoccer.com, he will be called in to the national-team camp in May-June that will precede five international matches and then the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Holden, who had a bright future with the U.S. men, has missed more than two years in the program because of knee injuries.
“We’ve been in touch with Stuart throughout this whole injury period,” Klinsmann said. “The last couple of months have given us a lot of positive signals. I spoke to his coach at Bolton and spoke to his coach at Sheffield Wednesday where he played some very important minutes and games while on loan. He’s on his way back. That being said, we want to have him back in our picture. We are going to bring him for the May-June camp and also for the Gold Cup. . .
“He’s a tremendous character. He’s a positive thinker. He’s a giver and you need givers on your team. When you go toward the World Cup, you always need to look out for people who are able to suffer and be there for their teammates. Stuart is a role model in that. At the end of the day, it still depends on how good he is and how strong he comes back, and we are excited to see how he does.”
American defender Tim Ream dressed, but did not play for Bolton.
Normally a defender, German-American Fabian Johnson was moved into the left side of midfield for TSG Hoffenheim’s crucial 2-1 home win over 1. FC Nürnberg, employer of German-American defender Timmy Chandler.
Both went the distance. German-American midfielder Danny Williams has fallen out of favor with Hoffenheim and did not dress.
Johnson assisted midfielder Tobias Weis’ goal in the 11th minute for a 1-0 lead and Hoffenheim never relinquished its lead.
Even with its triumph, Hoffenheim is on the cusp of relegation, in 17th place in the 18-team league at 7-18-6 with 27 points. The bottom two teams are automatically relegated, while placing 16th earns a berth in a two-match playoff series with No. 16 club in the second-tier 2. Bundesliga with the winner earning a spot next season in the top division and the loser playing at the second level.
Fortuna Düsseldorf and FC Augsburg are tied for 15th at 7-15-9 with 30 points though Düsseldorf is three better in goal differential at minus-12. Hoffenheim is minus-23 and certainly will lose in the first tiebreaker, should one be needed
On a weekend that saw both Reading and Queens Park Rangers relegated from the English Premier League, Aston Villa recorded its biggest victory since 2008, a 6-1 trouncing of Sunderland behind a hat trick from Christian Benteke.
U.S. goalkeeper Brad Guzan made only a single save for Villa, (9-16-10, 37 points), which moved five points clear of the relegation zone with three matches returning. Villa, is in a three way tie for 15th place with Norwich City (8-13-14) and Newcastle United (10-18-7), but is 16th when considering goal differential
Wigan Athletic is currently in 18th place, the third relegation spot, at 8-18-8 with 32 points, but has a game in hand on the three clubs above it.
Elsewhere in the Premier League, U.S. keeper Tim Howard kept a clean sheet without having to make a save for Everton, which defeated visiting Fulham 1-0 in a relatively listless match.
U.S. midfielder Clint Dempsey went 90 minutes for Tottenham Hotspur in a 2-2 Saturday draw with Wigan.
The draw did not help Spurs’ hopes of capturing a European Champions League berth next season with the club falling to fifth place. Third place earns a berth and fourth place a spot in the qualifying round of the Champions League.
Chelsea (19-7-8, 65) is third, Arsenal (18-7-10, 64) is fourth and Tottenham (18-8-8, 62) is fifth. Chelsea and Spurs have four matches left, Arsenal three.
American Brad Friedel was again Spurs’ backup keeper.
U.S. defender Geoff Cameron played the final 28 minutes for Stoke City in its 1-0 decision win over Norwich City.
U.S. midfielder Brek Shea did not dress for Stoke.
In the English League Championship, American defender Zak Whitbread dressed, but did not play in Leicester City in a 2-1 loss to Watford. Irish-American forward Conor Doyle dressed, but did not play for Derby County in its 2-1 loss to Blackpool.
U.S. defender Jonathan Spector is still sidelined with an ankle injury and did not dress for Birmingham City in its 3-1 loss to Ipswich Town.
No American played in the third-tier League One. American defender Frank Simek dressed, but did not play for Carlisle United, while American striker Mike Grella dressed, but did not play for Scunthorpe United.
In the German Bundesliga, German-American midfielder Jermaine Jones played the first 82 minutes for FC Schalke 04 in its easy 4-1 victory over FC Hamburg.
U.S. defender Steve Cherundolo dressed, but did not play for Hannover 96 in its 3-2 win over SpVgg Greuther Fürth.
U.S. defender Michael Parkhurst did not dress for FC Augsburg in its 3-0 shutout of Stuttgart.
German-American forward Shawn Parker went the distance Sunday for 1. FSV Mainz 05 in its 0-0 draw with Eintracht Frankfurt. His father was an American soldier stationed at the U.S. Air Force base in Wiesbaden and Parker, 20 still lives with his parents in the city.
Parker, who has represented Germany on six youth levels from under-15 to U-21, is on Klinsman’s radar for the U.S. men. He scored 25 goals in 44 youth international matches.
He had eight goals in 26 appearances last season for the Mainz reserves and has played in 13 games this year for the first team with two goals. He also was sent off twice, once with two yellow cards and another time with a straight red.
Parker is second oldest of four brothers. The younger two are highly rated members of the Mainz youth system. Devante, 17 , is a member of the German under-17 men; Jermaine is a member of the U-13s.
In the 2. Bundesliga, German-American defender John Anthony Brooks and midfielder Alfredo Morales both went 90 minutes for Hertha Berlin BSC in its 3-2 triumph over FC St. Pauli.
American midfielder Joe Gyau played the final 18 minutes for St Pauli.
German-American forward Andrew Wooten played 90 minutes for SV Sandhausen in a 1-0 loss to VfL Bochum.
American forward Bobby Wood played the final seven minutes for 1860 Munich in a 1-1 draw with Cologne.
In Italy, U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley played 90 minutes for AS Roma in a 4-0 whitewash of AC Siena.
In Spain’s La Liga, U.S. defender Oguchi Onyewu did not dress for Málaga CF in a 2-1 victory over Getafe CF.
In the Segunda Division, U.S. defender Carlos Bocanegra played 90 minutes and received a yellow card for Racing Santander in its 2-1 loss to Barcelona 2.
In Belgium, U.S. midfielder Sacha Kljestan went the distance for RSC Anderlecht in its 2-1 loss to Club Brugge.
In Austria, German-American striker Terrence Boyd played the final 20 minutes for Rapid Wien in its 3-1 loss to Red Bull Salzburg.
In Turkey, U.S. midfielder Maurice Edu went the distance for Bursaspor in a 1-1 draw with Akhisar Belediye.
In Brazil, Bahia continues to play in the Campeonato Baiano group stages. Last week, U.S. midfielder Freddy Adu played the final eight minutes for Bahia in its 0-0 draw with Bahia De Feira.
On Sunday. he dressed but did not play in a 2-1 loss to Vitoria.
In Sweden, U.S. midfielder Alejandro Bedoya played 81 minutes and scored a goal for Helsingborg IF in a 5-1 decision over Gefle IF.
Bedoya scored Helsingborg’s first goal from a difficult angle, erasing an early Gefle lead. It was his second league goal of the early season and his fourth overall with two coming in Cup competition.
American midfielder Brian Span played the final nine minutes for Djurgårdens IF in a 1-0 loss to Syrianska.
In Denmark, American forward Charlie Davies played the final 14 minutes for Randers FC in a 1-0 loss to AC Horsens.
U.S. defender Clarence Goodson did not dress for Brøndby IF, while American midfielder Conor O’Brien did not dress for FC Nordsjælland.
In Norway, Mix Diskerud played the opening 73 minutes for Rosenborg BK in a 1-0 loss to Sandnes Ulf.
American keeper Steve Clark played 90 minutes for Hønefoss BK in a 1-1 draw with Sarpsborg 08.
American midfielder Josh Gatt went the distance and received a yellow card for Molde FK in its 2-1 loss to Strømsgodset IF.
In Mexico’s Liga MX, U.S. defender Michael Orozco Fiscal and midfielder DaMarcus Beasley each played 90 minutes for Puebla in its 1-1 draw with Atlas.
U.S. midfielder José Torres played 90 minutes for Tigres UANL in its 1-0 loss to Monterrey.
American defender Jonathan Bornstein did not dress for Tigres.
U.S. striker Herculez Gomez played 90 minutes and received a yellow card for Santos Laguna in its 1-0 loss to Cruz Azul.
Mexican-American midfielder Benji Joya did not dress for Santos Laguna.
Both U.S. defender Edgar Castillo and midfielder Joe Corona served red- card suspensions and sat out for Club Tijuana, which fell 1-0 to San Luis.
American defender Greg Garza did not dress for Club Tijuana.
On Wednesday, Castillo and Corona returned to the lineup for host Tijuana in a 0-0 draw with Brazil’s Palmeiras in the first leg of their Copa Libertadores Round-of-16 series. The return leg is in two weeks in Brazil.
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.
Do you have a comment on this story or something to say about soccer in general? Send us a letter.
©Copyright 2013 SoccerTimes.com. All Rights Reserved.