Photo by Kieran McManus/ISIphotos.com
By FRANCO PANIZO
The final round of 2013 matches in England was a largely forgettable one for the Americans Abroad.
Only seven players saw time in their respective games this weekend and the one who drew the most attention was Jozy Altidore, though not for positive reasons. Altidore started and went the distance for Sunderland in their clash with Cardiff City, but missed a golden opportunity to score on a rebound from close range. That could have proved costly for Altidore and the Black Cats, but they rallied late to pick up a 2-2 draw that left them two points from safety.
Danny Williams and Reading also had a less-than-ideal ending to 2013. The Royals were handed a humbling 3-0 defeat by Middlesbrough on Sunday, a result that extended their losing streak to three games and dropped them to ninth place in the Championship. Williams played the complete 90 minutes.
Eric Lichaj was the one real exception. The versatile fullback started and went the distance for Nottingham Forest in a 2-1 home win against Leeds United on Sunday. Lichaj and the Reds are now in fifth place in the England’s second division with 39 points.
Another noteworthy performance came in that same game via Gboly Ariyibi. The 18-year-old winger, who recently signed a short-term deal with Leeds, made his professional debut by coming off the bench and playing 29 minutes in the Whites’ defeat.
Here is how the Americans Abroad performed during the final weekend of 2013:
- Tim Howard did not dress in Everton’s 2-1 win vs. Southampton on Sunday. He was serving a suspension.
- Jozy Altidore started and played 90 minutes in Sunderland’s 2-2 draw vs. Cardiff City on Saturday.
- Brek Shea did not dress for Stoke City.
- Maurice Edu did not dress for Stoke City.
- Brad Guzan started, played 90 minutes and made two saves in Aston Villa’s 1-1 draw vs. Swansea City on Saturday.
- Brad Friedel dressed but did not play in Tottenham Hotspur’s 3-0 win vs. Stoke City on Sunday.
- Cody Cropper did not dress in Southampton’s 2-1 loss vs. Everton on Sunday. He is recovering from an injury.
- Jonathan Spector did not dress in Birmingham City’s 3-2 win vs. Blackburn Rovers on Sunday. He is recovering from a thigh injury.
- Tim Ream started and played 90 minutes in Bolton Wanderers’ 5-3 loss vs. Leicester City on Sunday.
- Stuart Holden did not dress for Bolton Wanderers. He is recovering from a knee injury.
- Zak Whitbread dressed but did not play in Derby County’s 2-1 win vs. Barnsley on Sunday.
- Eric Lichaj started and played 90 minutes in Nottingham Forest’s 2-1 win vs. Leeds United on Sunday.
- Danny Williams started and played 90 minutes in Reading’s 3-0 loss vs. Middlesbrough on Sunday.
- Oguchi Onyewu did not dress in Queens Park Rangers’ 0-0 draw vs. Watford on Sunday.
- Duane Holmes came off the bench and played 13 minutes in Huddersfield Town’s 5-1 win vs. Yeovil Town on Sunday.
- Gboly Ariyibi came off the bench and played 29 minutes in Leeds United’s 2-1 loss vs. Nottingham Forest on Sunday.
What do you think of these performances? Think Altidore will have a better second half of the season? Expecting Lichaj to continue to perform for Nottingham?
Share your thoughts below.