Americans Abroad: Altidore, Dempsey ending seasons with big goals
When U.S. national team camp kicks off in a week out in California prior to a five-game slate that includes three World Cup qualifiers, Jurgen Klinsmann will be overseeing a full complement of players who will either coming off landmark appearances or will have been playing for some major accolades.
Jozy Altidore is not expected to be with the national team for the start of the camp, with his club reportedly refusing to release him in a timely manner (in AZ Alkmaar's defense, it is not required to) despite its season ending this past Sunday, but based on how Altidore closed the season, Klinsmann should be eager to reintegrate him into his lineup. Altidore's Dutch Cup-winning goal was the perfect cap to his remarkable campaign, with his 31st goal in all competitions securing his first trophy on the club level and raising his potential transfer value even more.
Elsewhere in the attack, Clint Dempsey has taken matters into his own hands to aid Tottenham's quest to reach the UEFA Champions League, with his goal and game-winning assist on Sunday keeping Tottenham in the hunt for fourth place in England as the season approaches its final day. Herculez Gomez, meanwhile, is playing for a second straight Liga MX Clausura title, with Santos Laguna reaching the semifinals in riveting fashion over the weekend.
Michael Bradley's Roma may not have had the Serie A success it would have hoped for, but it can still land a place in the Europa League by capturing the Coppa Italia on May 26. That means Bradley will also be a late-comer to U.S. camp, but joining Altidore in the pantheon of silverware winners would be well worth it for the star U.S. midfielder, especially because it would come at the expense of Roma's rival, Lazio.
Further back in the formation, Steve Cherundolo set Hannover's record for Bundesliga appearances, with the captain appearing in his 299th top-flight contest. With Hannover set for another season in the Bundesliga and Cherundolo reportedly closing in on a contract extension, the veteran right back should eclipse the 300 mark and then some in his 15th season with the club.
The goalkeepers had their moments too. Tim Howard notched his third straight shutout for Everton, and his fifth in six games, to send soon-to-be Manchester United manager David Moyes off as a winner in his Goodison Park finale. Brad Guzan, who filled in so admirably for Howard in the March qualifiers with two clean sheets of his own, secured Aston Villa's Player of the Year honors (as voted on by his teammates and club supporters), joining the likes of Dempsey and Stuart Holden as Americans to earn highest team recognition in the Premier League in the last three seasons.
The second level, and perhaps Gold Cup-tier, of U.S. players fared well, too. Alfredo Morales notched his first first-team goal at Hertha Berlin, Clarence Goodson scored in important goal in Brondby's relegation fight in Denmark and Alejandro Bedoya maintained his form with an assist for his Swedish club Helsingborg. As for those still vying for regional glory, the Tijuana trio of Edgar Castillo, Joe Corona and Greg Garza look to keep their Copa Libertadores dreams alive when facing Palmeiras in Brazil in the second leg of their round of 16 tie on Tuesday (after playing to a 0-0 draw in the home leg), a game that Klinsmann has said he will be attending.
As U.S.-eligible players look to close out their seasons with a bang and make a final impression at the club level before an incredibly busy summer internationally, here is how the Americans abroad contingent fared (season statistics encompass all competitions):
Geoff Cameron, D/M, Stoke City -- In the 18, came on as a 74th-minute substitute in Stoke's 2-1 loss to Tottenham on Sunday.
SEASON: 37 games, 31 starts
Cody Cropper, GK, Southampton -- Not in the 18 for Southampton's 1-1 draw with Sunderland on Sunday.
SEASON: 0 games
Clint Dempsey, M/F, Tottenham -- In the 18, came on as a 70th-minute substitute in Tottenham's 2-2 draw with Chelsea on Wednesday. Dempsey started, played 83 minutes, scored a goal and assisted on the winner in Tottenham's 2-1 victory over Stoke City on Sunday.
SEASON: 42 games, 31 starts, 12 goals
Brad Friedel, GK, Tottenham -- In the 18, did not play in Tottenham's 2-2 draw with Chelsea or 2-1 victory over Stoke City.
SEASON: 20 games, 20 starts, 30 goals allowed, 2 clean sheets
Brad Guzan, GK, Aston Villa -- Started, played 90 minutes and made five saves in Villa's 2-1 loss to Chelsea on Saturday.
SEASON: 36 games, 36 starts, 64 goals allowed, 6 clean sheets
Tim Howard, GK, Everton -- Started, played 90 minutes, made two saves and earned the clean sheet in Everton's 2-0 victory over West Ham on Sunday.
SEASON: 39 games, 39 starts, 41 goals allowed, 10 clean sheets
Eric Lichaj, D, Aston Villa -- Started, played 90 minutes in Villa's 2-1 loss to Chelsea.
SEASON: 23 games, 14 starts
Brek Shea, M, Stoke City -- Not in the 18 for Stoke's 2-1 loss to Tottenham.
SEASON: 2 games
Zak Whitbread, D, Leicester City -- Not in the 18 for Leicester City's 1-0 victory over Watford in the first leg of the promotion playoff semifinals on Thursday or for Leicester City's 3-1 loss to Watford in the second leg on Sunday, in which the club had a penalty kick saved and then conceded the decisive goal deep into stoppage time to see its attempt at being promoted to the Premier League come to an end.
SEASON: 17 games, 15 starts, 1 goal
Timmy Chandler, D, FC Nurnberg -- Not in the 18 for Nurnberg's 2-1 victory over Fortuna Dusseldorf on Saturday.
SEASON: 31 games, 30 starts, 1 goal
Steve Cherundolo, D, Hannover 96 -- Started, played 90 minutes in Hannover's 3-1 loss to Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday. Cherundolo set Hannover's all-time record for Bundesliga appearances with his 299th game in Germany's top flight.
SEASON: 32 games, 31 starts
Fabian Johnson, D, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim -- In the 18, came on as a halftime substitute in Hoffenheim's 4-1 loss to Hamburg SV on Saturday.
SEASON: 29 games, 28 starts, 3 goals
Jermaine Jones, M, FC Schalke 04 -- Started, played 90 minutes in Schalke's 2-1 loss to VfB Stuttgart on Saturday.
SEASON: 32 games, 27 starts, 2 goals
Michael Parkhurst, D, FC Augsburg -- Not in the 18 for Augsburg's 3-0 loss to Bayern Munich on Saturday.
SEASON: 23 games, 21 starts, 2 goals (21 games, 20 starts, 2 goals with FC Nordsjaelland)
Danny Williams, D/M, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim -- Not in the 18 for Hoffenheim's 4-1 loss to Hamburg SV.
SEASON: 21 games, 17 starts, 1 goal
John Anthony Brooks, D, Hertha Berlin -- Started, played 90 minutes in Berlin's 2-1 victory over FC Cologne on Sunday.
SEASON: 28 games, 25 starts
Joe Gyau, M, St. Pauli -- Not in the 18 for St. Pauli's 5-1 victory over Eintracht Braunschweig on Sunday.
SEASON: 15 games, 6 starts
Alfredo Morales, D/M, Hertha Berlin -- Started, played 90 minutes and scored the game-winning goal in Berlin's 2-1 victory over FC Cologne.
SEASON: 10 games, 6 starts, 1 goal
Bobby Wood, F, TSV 1860 Munich -- In the 18, came on as an 85th-minute substitute in Munich's 2-0 loss to SC Paderborn 07 on Sunday.
SEASON: 15 games, 5 starts, 2 goals
Andrew Wooten, F, SV Sandhausen -- Started, played 90 minutes in Sandhausen's 3-0 loss to Energie Cottbus on Sunday.
SEASON: 28 games, 20 starts, 7 goals
Michael Bradley, M, AS Roma -- In the 18, came on as a 78th-minute substitute in Roma's 1-0 loss to Chievo on Tuesday. Bradley started and played 90 minutes in Roma's 0-0 draw with AC Milan on Sunday.
SEASON: 33 games, 27 starts, 2 goals
Oguchi Onyewu, D, Malaga -- In the 18, came on as a 76th-minute substitute in Malaga's 6-2 loss to Real Madrid on Wednesday. It was just Onyewu's second league appearance of the season (his first since a 90-minute outing against Real Sociedad on Nov. 11) and his first minutes since a Jan. 8 Copa del Rey match. Onyewu was in the 18 but did not play in Malaga's 0-0 draw with Sevilla on Sunday.
SEASON: 9 games, 7 starts, 2 goals
Carlos Bocanegra, D, Racing Santander -- Started, played 90 minutes and picked up a yellow card in Racing Santander's 1-0 victory over Real Madrid II on Sunday.
SEASON: 26 games, 26 starts (7 games, 7 starts with Rangers)
Jozy Altidore, F, AZ Alkmaar -- Started, played 88 minutes, picked up a yellow card and scored the eventual game-winning goal in AZ's 2-1 victory over PSV Eindhoven in the final of the KNVB Beker (Dutch Cup). AZ won the domestic tournament and clinched a place in the Europa League for next season. Altidore also started and played 73 minutes in AZ's season-ending 2-0 loss to Willem II in league play on Sunday.
SEASON: 43 games, 43 starts, 31 goals
Sacha Kljestan, M, RSC Anderlecht -- Started, played 90 minutes in Anderlecht's 2-1 victory over Genk in the Belgian playoffs on Sunday. Through eight of 10 games, Anderlecht sits atop the playoff table by two points.
SEASON: 47 games, 40 starts, 3 goals
Terrence Boyd, F, Rapid Vienna -- In the 18, came on as a 14th-minute substitute in Rapid Vienna's 0-0 draw with Wolfsberger AC on Saturday.
SEASON: 39 games, 31 starts, 16 goals
Maurice Edu, M, Bursaspor -- Not in the 18 for Bursaspor's 0-0 draw with Eskisehirspor on Monday.
SEASON: 14 games, 12 starts (1 game with Stoke City)
Caleb Patterson-Sewell, GK, Vitoria Setubal -- Not in the 18 for Vitoria Setubal's 2-1 loss to Moreirense on Saturday.
SEASON: 5 games, 5 starts, 12 goals allowed, 1 clean sheet
Tony Taylor, F, Estoril Praia -- In the 18, came on as a 77th-minute substitute in Estoril's 2-1 victory over Beira Mar on Saturday.
SEASON: 18 games, 4 starts, 1 goal
Jonathan Bornstein, D, Tigres UANL -- Not in the 18 for Tigres' 1-0 loss to Monterrey in the first leg of their liguilla quarterfinal matchup on Wednesday or for Tigres' 1-1 draw with Monterrey in the second leg on Saturday. Tigres, the top seed in the Liga MX playoffs, was eliminated on a 2-1 aggregate.
SEASON: 1 game, 1 start
Herculez Gomez, F, Santos Laguna -- In the 18, came on as an 82nd-minute substitute in Santos Laguna's 0-0 draw with Atlas in the first leg of their quarterfinal matchup on Thursday. Gomez started, played 90 minutes and picked up a yellow card in Santos Laguna's 3-1 victory over Atlas in the second leg, advancing to the semifinals against Cruz Azul on a 3-1 aggregate.
SEASON: 25 games, 20 starts, 6 goals
Jose Torres, M, Tigres UANL -- Started, played 31 minutes in Tigres' 1-0 loss to Monterrey in the first leg of their quarterfinal matchup. Torres also started and played 54 minutes in Tigres' 1-1 draw with Monterrey in the second leg.
SEASON: 19 games, 19 starts
Charlie Davies, F, Randers FC -- In the 18, did not play in Randers' 1-0 loss to Esbjerg in the final of the DBU Pokalen (Danish Cup) on Thursday. Davies was also in the 18 but did not play in Randers' 3-0 loss to FC Midtjylland in league play on Sunday.
SEASON: 25 games, 3 starts
Clarence Goodson, D, Brondby IF -- Started, played 64 minutes and scored the opening goal in Brondby's 1-1 draw with Aalborg BK on Sunday.
SEASON: 20 games, 19 starts, 2 goals
Conor O'Brien, M/F, FC Nordsjaelland -- In the 18, came on as a 78th-minute substitute in Nordsjaelland's 4-1 victory over Odense BK on Friday. Nordsjaelland secured a second-place finish in the Superliga with the result and will play in the UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds next season.
SEASON: 30 games, 18 starts, 5 goals (22 games, 12 starts, 5 goals with Sonderjyske)
Alejandro Bedoya, M, Helsingborg IF -- Started, played 87 minutes and assisted on the final goal of Helsingborg's 5-0 victory over Hacken on Monday.
SEASON: 11 games, 11 starts, 5 goals
Brian Span, M, Djurgarden IF -- In the 18, did not play in Djurgarden's 3-2 victory over Malmo FF on Sunday.
SEASON: 7 games, 2 starts
Steve Clark, GK, Honefoss -- Started, played 90 minutes in Honefoss' 2-1 victory over Valerenga on Wednesday and in Honefoss' 2-1 loss to Rosenborg on Monday.
SEASON: 10 games, 10 starts, 15 goals allowed, 2 clean sheets
Mix Diskerud, M, Rosenborg BK -- In the 18, came on as a 60th-minute substitute in Rosenborg's 2-1 victory over Tromso on Wednesday. Diskerud started and played 87 minutes in Rosenborg's 2-1 victory over Honefoss on Monday.
SEASON: 9 games, 8 starts, 2 goals
Josh Gatt, M, Molde FK -- In the 18, came on as a 68th-minute substitute in Molde's 4-1 victory over Aaelsund on Thursday.
SEASON: 7 games, 5 starts