ASN 100 Update
Mere Mortals Cannot Stop Jozy Altidore in Europe
The 23-year-old American forward keeps up his ridiculous scoring rate in the Netherlands; Clint Dempsey tries to match the run; Landon Donovan attempts to shake off the rust.
BY Josh Deaver PostedClint Dempsey—ASN rank #2
April 15, 2013
April 15, 2013
Dempsey returned to the score sheet this week in Europa League action, tallying twice in a 2-2 draw with FC Basel. His second in the 82nd minute drew Tottenham level with the Swiss club, but Spurs would ultimately fall 4-1 in penalties. Dempsey now has 10 goals in all competition for Tottenham this campaign, and while that total is lower than previous seasons, the Texan remains important as the club pushes for Champions League qualification. Jozy Altidore—ASN rank #3
The dream season continues. During a 6-0 victory over Utrecht on Sunday, Altidore netted three goals. He drew and converted two penalty kicks before adding another with a well-placed header—and it only took nine minutes. Just absorb some of these statistics: It was Jozy’s third hat trick and his eighth multi-goal game of the campaign; his three goals were the fastest in AZ Alkmaar history, breaking a 35-year old record. All told, Altidore has 28 goals in 34 appearances for the club this year, the seventh most in Alkmaar’s history. He's likely moving on, as AZ manager Gertjan Verbeek all but confirmed that the record-breaking American will be leaving the club in the transfer window.
Geoff Cameron—ASN rank #5
Stoke City is dropping like a stone. Cameron remains in the lineup—starting and playing 71 minutes this weekend—but thanks a 2-0 loss to Manchester City, the Potters are now winless in seven and have taken only six points in their last 14 matches. Once as high as eighth on the Premier League table, Stoke currently sits only three points clear of relegation in a frantic five-team scrap to avoid the drop zone. The good news is that the club takes on four teams mired in the battle during the final five weeks of the season and controls its own destiny. Once again, Brek Shea (ASN #21) did not make the game day roster for a goal-starved Stoke City. He is still recovering from a foot injury. Landon Donovan—ASN rank #8
Donovan made his long-awaited return to an MLS starting lineup on Saturday, playing 90 minutes in the Galaxy’s 1-0 loss to league-leading FC Dallas. Despite some bright spots, the U.S. all-time leading scorer is clearly trying to work himself back into top form and it showed throughout the match. After U.S. under-20 star Jose Villarreal drew a penalty in the 68th minutes, Donovan attempted to break the scoreless draw only to have his attempt easily saved by keeper Raul Fernandez. After the match Donovan commented on his current form, saying, "I need more practice. When you're in the run of a lot of games, you're confident and you're comfortable, then everything slows down." Brad Davis—ASN rank #37
The Dynamo captain certainly didn’t hurt his national team chances this weekend, picking up a goal and an assist in a 2-1 victory over Chicago Fire. In the 27th minute, Davis sent in a picture-perfect cross which found the head of Will Bruin (ASN #41) for the game’s opening goal. With the score level in the 80th minute, a long range cross by Davis somehow bounced through the box and past goalkeeper Sean Johnson (ASN #56) for the game winner. DaMarcus Beasley—ASN rank #51
Beasley came on at halftime against Jaguares and picked up his fifth goal of the season in Puebla's 2-1 loss. After the ball fell to his foot inside the box, Beasley struck a thunderous, right footed half-volley to level the score in the 69th minute. He has been in good form recently, picking up three goals in his last five appearances for the club. Defender Michael Orozco Fiscal (ASN #68) started and went 61 minutes for Puebla, seeing yellow. Aron Johannsson—ASN rank #53
Lost in the afterglow of Jozy Altidore’s record-setting hat trick was the fact that the Icelandic-American picked up his first goal of the season for Alkmaar in his second appearance for the club. Johannsson, who holds the record for the fastest hat trick in Danish League history, came on as a second half substitute and played 26 minutes in the 6-0 demolition of FC Utrecht. In the 90th minute, Johannsson took advantage of a defensive lapse in the box and calmly slid his shot past the keeper for his first Eredivisie goal. Alan Gordon—ASN rank #54
It wasn’t a good night for one half of San Jose’s resident “Bash Brothers.” Gordon started for San Jose on Sunday night against Portland, but he did not finish the match after picking up his second yellow card when his elbow bloodied the lip of defender Mikael Silvestre in the 68th minute. NBC cameras also caught Gordon directing a gay slur towards Timbers midfielder Will Johnson. After the match, Gordon issued a quick apology, but is not likely to escape a severe punishment from the MLS Disciplinary committee. George John—ASN rank #55
The FC Dallas defender picked up his second goal of the season, heading home a late game winner in the Hoops' 1-0 win over ten-man LA Galaxy on Saturday. The 26-year-old got free thanks to a long looping run that caught Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez ballwatching as John barreled toward the goal. The jubilation that should accompany a game-winner was marred when John was injured by a beer bottle thrown from the Dallas supporters section. Apparently meant for a vulnerable A.J DeLaGarza (ASN #65), the projectile made contact with John, opening a significant cut on the back of his head. Despite this unfortunate scene, the win leaves Dallas with the best record in MLS, sitting atop the Western conference with 16 of a possible 21 points. Jack McInerney—ASN rank #57
The young forward continues to find the back of the net during the 2013 campaign. In a 1-1 draw with Toronto FC on Saturday, the 20-year-old netted a dramatic last-minute equalizer, his fourth goal of the year, which moves him into second place on the league scoring chart. McInerney snuck in on the far post and was able to turn a mishit shot from Conor Casey into the back of the net to save a point for Philly. The rising star is putting himself in prime contention for a Gold Cup roster spot this summer. Greg Garza—ASN rank #85
The former U.S. under-20 defender continues to receive quality minutes for Club Tijuana. He started for the club in the final match of the Copa Libertadores group stage and went 90 minutes in a game that saw the Xolos secure a late 1-0 victory over Colombian side Millonarios. Tijuana will be seeded ninth when the 16-team knockout round begins. Congratulations are also in order for Garza, who became a first-time dad over the weekend. Bryan Gerzicich—ASN rank #94
The father of the Los Angeles-born midfielder, who is now featuring for Hapoel Kiryat Shmona in Israel, has confirmed a Washington Post report that his son is currently considering a move to MLS when his contract expires this summer. Gerzicich, 29, part of last season’s league-winning side, has extensive experience in European competition and would likely be a huge asset to many MLS clubs. He reportedly also has an offer to play in Belgium. Josh Deaver is a former academic turned soccer obsessive. Follow him on Twitter.