It was a weekend to forget for Americans Abroad, with a plethora of players injured, suspended or simply not used. Club Tijuana's win on Friday offered one of few bright spots.A weekend that had been shaping up to be a promising one for Americans Abroad turned into a nightmare, with almost all of the Americans playing overseas falling short in their quests for victories or missing matches because of injuries, suspensions or simple failure to be chosen.
Club Tijuana delivered as close to a bright spot as there was for Americans Abroad, with Herculez Gomez and Edgar Castillo starting in the Xolos’ 2-1 win against Monterrey on Friday. The two goals came after Gomez left the match in the 61st minute, but the win did help Club Tijuana climb into a four-way tie for fourth place in the Liga MX Clausura standings. Also of note was Joe Corona’s return from injury, with the U.S. midfielder playing 13 minutes.
The number of Americans who failed to take the field was pretty staggering. Clint Dempsey didn't make the bench in Fulham’s 2-2 tie against Manchester United, which raises some questions about just what sort of role he will play in the remaining weeks of his loan spell. Fabian Johnson, Alejandro Bedoya, Jermaine Jones, Aron Johannsson, Sacha Kljestan, Terrence Boyd, John Brooks, Oguchi Onyewu and Eric Lichaj all failed to make appearances this weekend for a variety of reasons.
Timothy Chandler did play Saturday, but his start against European champion Bayern Munich lasted only 10 minutes before he was forced out of the match with a torn meniscus that could force him to miss up to 10 weeks, and rules him out of consideration for the U.S. national team’s friendly against Ukraine on March 5.
In England, Tim Howard and Everton were on the losing end of a tough 1-0 decision against Tottenham that dropped them further off the pack in the race for a top four place in the Premier League. Jozy Altidore and Sunderland saw their eight-match unbeaten streak in all competitions ended in a 2-0 loss to Hull City. Altidore played the full 90 minutes against his former club.
Geoff Cameron and Stoke City earned a 2-2 tie against Southamption on Saturday, with the U.S. defender playing the full 90 minutes.
In the League Championship, Danny Williams and Reading suffered a 2-0 loss to a Sheffield Wednesday side playing without the injured Onyewu, who missed the match with a calf injury. The victory extended Wednesday’s unbeaten streak to five matches and pushes the club nine points clear of the relegation zone.
Young American defender Will Packwood was one of the few Americans to experience a victory in a start, going 90 minutes in Birmingham City’s 2-0 victory against Charlton Athletic on Saturday. The 20-year-old central defender has stepped in a re-established himself as a regular starter after overcoming a broken leg suffered last season.
Brek Shea started but played just 45 minutes in Barnsley’s 2-2 tie against Ipswich Town on Saturday.
In Germany, Andrew Wooten scored the lone goal among Americans based in Europe, netting the winning goal in the 70th minute to help FSV Frankfurt post a 2-1 win against VfL Bochum on Friday.
In the Netherlands, Juan Agudelo earned another start, but his club continued to surrender goals in bunches as FC Utrecht suffered a 5-2 loss to RKC Waalwijk. Agudelo played the full 90 minutes for a third straight match, but couldn’t help Utrecht snap a five-match winless skid that has the club sliding toward the relegation zone.
Back in Mexico, Michael Orozco and DaMarcus Beasley both started for Puebla in a 1-0 loss to Chivas Guadalajara on Sunday.