American Exports: Altidore moves up Eredivisie goal charts
AMSTERDAM – It was another eventful Saturday for Americans playing overseas, headlined by Jozy Altidore setting a new personal best with his 16th league goal in AZ Alkmaar's 2-2 share at Roda JC.
Having already missed wide on one chance to cancel the home side's early lead, Altidore pulled AZ level five minutes before the break. Receiving with his back to the edge of the area toward the left, the US forward expertly turned his defender to slam home one quick step later.
Besides setting a new career high for a single season, the goal lifted Altidore into a second-place tie on the Eredivisie scoring chart, two behind frontrunner Wilfried Bony of Vitesse. Despite snapping a two-game losing skid, AZ slipped a pair of rungs to 11th.
Over in England's FA Cup, Tim Howard got his first bitter taste of Everton's troubles with nearby mites Oldham, who rallied at the death for a 2-2 home draw (watch the highlights here).
The US netminder made 10 saves on the day, but came up short when 6-foot-6 Latics striker Matt Smith headed the equalizer from a corner kick deep into stoppage time (WATCH IT HERE). League One outfit Oldham, who bounced Liverpool in the last round, must now head to Goodison Park a week from Wednesday for the round-of-16 replay.
One flight down in the Championship, Jonathan Spector watched on in horror as Birmingham City were routed 4-0 by rude guests Watford. By suffering their third loss in the last four at St. Andrews, the hosts slipped to 17th place.
Derby County forward Conor Doyle also was an unused sub in his team's 0-0 stalemate with visiting Wolverhampton. The ninth-place Rams pulled to within seven points of the promotion playoff zone.
Turning to Serie A, Michael Bradley came on for the final 22 minutes as AS Roma blanked league leaders Juventus 1-0.
The US midfielder helped his side close out the match, which saw the champs shut out for the first time since November. The win halted a five-game Giallorossi drought against Juventus, lifting the club two spots to seventh place.
Bundesliga action saw Jermaine Jones and Schalke fight back twice for a 2-2 share at Mainz 05.
The midfielder picked up an "NHL assist" on the Miners' first equalizer near the break. Jones' low drive from above the area forced a rebound, which Raffael squared across the goalmouth to set up Michel Bastos for his first Schalke goal.
The American went whistle-to-whistle as Schalke remained winless in four and docked in eighth place.
Elsewhere, Augsburg right back Michael Parkhurst worked all but the final moment of added time in his first Bundesliga start, a 2-1 defeat at Bayer Leverkusen.
The American was at fault on the first half opener, misjudging his attempt to nod clear a long free kick, which Bayer forward Stefan Kiessling promptly deposited. Parkhurst nearly had a game-tying assist in the 77th minute, only to have his cross fired over by André Hahn.
The loss, Augsburg's first since the winter break, kept them a point behind Hoffenheim for the survival playoff spot and 10 points adrift of the safety zone.
A league below, John Anthony Brooks went the distance in defense and Alfredo Morales matched him in midfield as second-place Hertha Berlin kept up the title pace with a 1-0 victory at Aalen. The Old Lady won their sixth straight road game in 2.Bundesliga play to stay within two points of leaders Braunschweig.
Finally, in La Liga, Oguchi Onyewu went unused in Málaga's 1-0 home win over Athletic Bilbao. Now without a loss in five league outings, the Anchovies tentatively moved clear for Spain's last Champions League slot.