The first weekend of the new year was a disappointing one for the Americans Abroad contingent, with more enduring rough times than those who experienced good ones.
On the bright side of the ledger, Jozy Altidore recorded an assist in helping Sunderland post a 3-1 victory over Carlisle United in FA Cup third round action on Sunday. Clint Dempsey made his Fulham return by starting and playing the full 90 in a 1-1 tie against Norwich City on Saturday.
One of the more encouraging signs of the weekend came in an ugly loss, with young midfielder Sebastian Lletget making his professional debut for West Ham in a 5-0 defeat against Nottingham Forest. Lletget went the full 90 and while the Hammers were thoroughly out-classed, the 21-year-old held his own in his first appearance for West Ham. Fullback Eric Lichaj was on the winning side for Nottingham Forest, with a 58-minute showing cut short by a minor injury.
Other Americans to play in FA Cup wins over the weekend included Geoff Cameron for Stoke City, Tim Ream with Bolton and Duane Holmes for Huddersfield Town.
On the negative side of the coin in FA Cup action was the fact that several Americans failed to see the field. Maurice Edu again failed to make the bench for Stoke City, making it look all the more likely that he will be leaving the club in January. Oguchi Onyewu made the bench for Queens Park Rangers in a 4-0 loss to Everton, but still hasn’t played for the club he joined in October. Tim Howard was rested for the match, much like Brad Guzan was in Aston Villa's 2-1 loss to Sheffield United on Saturday.
Another disappointing development took place in Italy, where Michael Bradley failed to play a minute in Roma’s 3-0 loss to Juventus in a battle of first versus second in Serie A. Bradley was on the bench for the match, but with Juve taking control of the match early on, the American was left out in favor of more attack-minded subs.
The Liga MX Clausura season kicked off this weekend and Club Tijuana’s American contingent played a key role in a 0-0 tie against Atlas. Greg Garza, Joe Corona and Herculez Gomez all started for the Xolos to help them earn an important road point, while Edgar Castillo played 19 minutes after replacing Corona in the lineup. Paul Arriola was the only one of the Club Tijuana Americans not to see the field.
DaMarcus Beasley kicked off the new season with a start and 90-minute performance in Puebla’s 2-2 tie against UNAM Pumas on Sunday. Michael Orozco Fiscal wasn’t as fortunate, failing to play for Puebla.
Jonathan Bornstein’s loan spell with Atlante isn’t off to a great start. The former U.S. World Cup defender failed to make the bench in his team’s 1-1 tie against Club Leon on Sunday. Jose Torres didn’t make the bench either, failing to play for UANL Tigres in a 3-0 loss to Club America on Saturday.
The “Did Not Play” bug also bit in France, where Alejandro Bedoya didn’t feature in Nantes’ 2-0 loss to Nice on Sunday.
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- Jozy Altidore
- Carlisle United