21914_isi_altidorejozy_bpi_jt_westham_sunderland_00319.2607457 Joe Toth/isiphotos.com

ASN Morning Read: A New Challenge for Jozy Altidore?

Jozy Altidore’s recent good form is encouraging, but the arrival of a new striker at Sunderland could pose a challenge. Also: Jerome Boateng, Kyle Beckerman, Jose Villarreal.
BY Josh Deaver Posted
February 19, 2014
9:50 AM
  • Jozy Altidore has been playing with a renewed vigor of late, as in-form Sunderland look to be engineering a great escape from the EPL relegation battle. Despite his improved play and a clear vote of confidence from manager Gus Poyet, however, one goal in 23 appearances still looms large. Enter: Connor Wickham. The England under-21 striker—who picked up eight goals in 11 appearances on loan to Sheffield Wednesday—is desperate to prove his worth for the Black Cats and is apparently in the plans for the Wearside boss. If there was ever a time to get back on the score sheet, Jozy, it’s this Saturday against Arsenal at the Emriates.

  • Along with your coffee and cornflakes this morning, make sure to digest Jack Bell’s New York Times interview with Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng. The 25-year-old German international discusses changes under new Bayern manager Pep Guardiola, going against his brother in Brazil, and the high expectations facing the Germans this summer. Boateng also touches on the U.S. national team and Bayern’s long-awaited stateside tour.

  • Each day, focus is turning more and more toward the World Cup (Only 112 days away!). However, for U.S. national team hopefuls, there is no reason to look too far ahead. “It’s just going to make me crazy,” Kyle Beckerman told USA Today. “So I just got to stay steady, keep trying to get better each day, and hopefully when May comes around, that call comes.”

  • Injury update: Oguchi Onyewu is out of the treatment room at Sheffield Wednesday, while Nottingham Forest’s Eric Lichaj is slated to return to action in the coming weeks. Will they be in the lineup when the Americans face Ukraine on March 5th? You decide!

  • Speaking of the upcoming friendly, U.S. Soccer continues to closely monitor the escalating protests in Kiev. While the scenes are harrowing in the capital city, it’s worth noting that Kharkiv, where the match will take place, has remained largely detached from the violence. And U.S. Soccer told ASN that the team will be avoiding Kiev during its visit, taking a charter from Frankfurt, Germany, directly to Kharkiv.

  • Likely to be included on the trip to Ukraine, Brek Shea was back in the lineup for Barnsley on Tuesday after missing the club’s last match with illness. Shea was subbed on at halftime, playing 45 minutes in a 2-0 loss to Wigan.

  • LA Galaxy forward Jose Villarreal—currently on loan to Cruz Azul—will join the club’s second-division affiliate Cruz Azul Hidalgo for the remainder of the season.

  • Fresh off a stint with the Sunderland reserves, American under-20 talent Lynden Gooch scored his 10th goal of the season for the U18 squad on Tuesday.

  • No Americans in action today—but the Champions League is back! Atletico Madrid takes on AC Milan while Bayern Munich battles Arsenal. Do you feel that same tickle in the back of your throat? Better take a sick day just to be safe.

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