Americans Abroad Preview: Altidore faces City searching for first goal

The striker still hasn't scored his first Sunderland goal, but will look to find it against the same Manchester City side he scored against in 2010 with Hull City.
Jozy Altidore’s quest to score his first English Premier League goal will take him up against the team he scored his lone EPL goal against the last time he was playing in England.

The beleaguered U.S. national team striker enjoyed arguably his best match in a Sunderland uniform on Wednesday in Sunderland’s Capital One Cup victory against Southampton. He had a hand in both goals to lead the Black Cats to the quarterfinals.

Sunday’s task will be much tougher against a Man City side in dire need of a win to jump back into the race for a top-four spot in the EPL. Altidore enjoyed his best game for Hull City, scoring a goal and being an overall terror against the Citizens on Feb. 6, 2010.

Almost three years later, Altidore is a better, more seasoned player, but he has found similar struggles to find the net. Altidore has provided good link-up play and has been a solid figure as a target forward, but until he finds that first goal there will be questions about his productivity.

One American forward having no trouble finding the net is Terrence Boyd, who continued his torrid season with two Europa League goals for Rapid Vienna on Thursday. Boyd is currently the fourth-leading scorer in the Austrian League and will look to keep compiling goals ahead of this month’s U.S. national team friendlies when Rapid Vienna faces Grodig on Sunday.

The other English Premier League-based U.S. regular will hit the road this weekend, with Tim Howard taking Everton to face Crystal Palace on Saturday, while Geoff Cameron and Stoke City take on Swansea on Sunday.

In the Netherlands, Aron Johannsson and AZ will have their hold on first place in the Eredivisie put to the test when the Cheese Farmers take on fourth-place Feyenoord. Only two points separate the clubs as the teams set to face off in Alkmaar, with Johannsson looking to break his own mini-goal scoring slump.

Sacha Kljestan had a rough week in UEFA Champions League, drawing a red card after registering an assist in Anderlecht’s draw against Paris St. Germain. The sixth-leading scorer in Belgium, Kljestan and Anderlecht face Genk on Sunday.

Michael Bradley and Roma dropped points for the first time all year last time out, but Bradley will look to hold onto his starting place when Roma faces Sassuolo on Sunday. Bradley started and went the full 90 minutes in the team’s draw against Torino.

In Mexico, Club Tijuana is holding on to faint playoff hopes as the Xolos face Club Leon on the road. Tijuana needs a win and some help - namely losses by Queretaro and Tigres - to sneak into the Apertura playoffs. Head coach Jorge Almiron will have to decide which of the American contingent to turn to, though lately he has been using Joe Corona and Paul Arriola less and less.

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