American Exports: Aron Johannsson & AZ Alkmaar unable to slow Eredivisie slide
AMSTERDAM – It was a rough Sunday for Americans playing in Europe, with only one American winning and Brad Guzan's Aston Villa on the wrong end of a 3-0 home decision against defending English Premier League champions Manchester United.
A lukewarm outing for the US netminder, he logged just two saves on the day. Though he could not be faulted for any of the goals, Guzan did suffer a hit-and-miss afternoon with his typically top-notch distribution. Having dropped two in a row for the first time since October, Villa slipped to 11th in the EPL table.
Across the North Sea in the Eredivisie, Aron Jóhannsson and his AZ Alkmaar teammates played out a frustrating 2-0 defeat at Heracles Almelo. After being oddly invisible for much of the first half, the forward warmed up and narrowly missed tying the game just past intermission. Jóhannsson, who has scored just once in his last 10 away contests across all competitions, also had a pair of late crosses that went begging for a proper finish.
Though still tentatively holding seventh place, the Cheese Farmers have now dropped three straight and are winless in five league matches.
Schalke midfield Jermaine Jones was Sunday's lone winning American, as he hopped off the bench to help the hosts record a 2-0 Bundesliga victory over Freiburg. The US international entered play with the Miners up one in the 58th minute. Having begun their first three-game Veltins Arena win streak of the league campaign, Schalke held firm in sixth place.
Turning to the Austrian top flight, Terrence Boyd worked the final 19 minutes to no avail as Rapid Vienna gritted their teeth through a galling 0-0 share with visiting Wiener Neustadt. The American nearly grabbed a winner eight minutes from time, only to have his header flash just wide of frame. Though they extended their home unbeaten streak to eight games across all competitions, the Green-Whites missed a golden opportunity to reclaim second place.