Americans Abroad Rewind: Johannsson shines for new manager

The USA striker followed his first national team goal with a two-goal effort in an AZ victory in the debut of his new club manager, Dick Advocaat.
He may have a new manager at AZ, but Aron Johannsson still hasn’t stopped scoring.

The U.S. national team striker continued his torrid season for AZ Alkmaar, scoring two goals and assisting on another in his club’s 3-1 victory over Cambuur Leeuwarden on Sunday. The goals, which came in a winning debut for new AZ manager Dick Advocaat, pushed Johannsson’s season total to 12 in all competitions, most among Americans playing overseas.

Fellow U.S. striker Jozy Altidore is still looking for his first league goal for Sunderland, and his first match under a new manager didn’t go quite as well. Altidore came off the bench and played eight minutes in Sunderland’s 4-0 loss to Swansea City on Saturday. New Sunderland manager Gus Poyet started Steven Fletcher over Altidore as the Black Cats’ lead striker, but Fletcher finished the match with only an own goal to his record.

Two other U.S. national team players found the net this weekend overseas, with Alejandro Bedoya netting his first goal for Nantes, striking a game-winner to lead his team to a 1-0 victory versus Ajaccio. Bedoya came off the bench to beat Mexican national team goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa on the winning goal, which helped Nantes climb into fourth place in Ligue 1.

Terrence Boyd joined the scoring column with his seventh goal in all competitions for Rapid Vienna, converting a second-half penalty kick that completed a comeback in a 2-2 tie versus Sturm Graz on Sunday.

Michael Orozco’s good week continued as the U.S. defender, who scored the opening U.S. goal in Tuesday’s 3-2 win at Panama, started and played 90 minutes in Puebla’s 2-0 victory versus Atlas on Sunday. The win pushed Puebla into ninth place in the Liga MX Apertura standings.

U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard followed up his shutout of Jamaica with a comfortable zero-save effort in Everton’s 2-1 victory against Hull City. Howard has helped the Toffees get off to an impressive start that has them tied for sixth-place in the English Premier League.

Fellow American goalkeeper Brad Guzan had a four-save showing in Aston Villa’s 2-0 loss to Tottenham.

In Mexico, young standout Paul Arriola continues to win the battle for playing time at Club Tijuana, earning a start in the Xolos’ 0-0 tie versus Toluca on Sunday. Edgar Castillo joined Arriola in the starting lineup for Club Tijuana, while Greg Garza and Herculez Gomez made appearances off the bench. Joe Corona failed to get off the bench yet again, raising more questions about his future at Club Tijuana.

Several players who came off U.S. national team duty failed to make appearances over the weekend. Geoff Cameron missed Stoke City’s 0-0 tie versus West Bromwich Albion, injured U.S. regular DaMarcus Beasley missed Puebla’s win versus Atlas, Jermaine Jones sat out Schalke 04’s 3-2 win over Eintracht Braunschweig, and Sacha Kljestan missed Anderlecht’s 2-0 victory against Mons on Friday.

Another American who didn’t see playing time despite being in uniform was Michael Bradley, who was on the bench for AS Roma’s big 2-0 victory against Napoli. The match marked Bradley’s first time in a Roma uniform since injuring his ankle while on U.S. national team duty in September.

Bradley has the tough task of trying to break back into the starting lineup for a team that is currently a perfect 8-0-0 in Serie A, with midfielders Daniele De Rossi and Kevin Strootman playing well in Bradley’s place.

Mix Diskerud was brought on as a 61st-minute substitute in Rosenborg’s 1-0 victory versus IK Start on Sunday. The victory helped keep Rosenborg in a tie for first place in the Norwegian League, even with Stromsgodset.