AMSTERDAM – A handful of Americans suited up for some Wednesday night football in England, with Jozy Altidore helping Sunderland climb out of the Premier League danger zone with a 1-0 home victory over Geoff Cameron's Stoke City.
The US striker was a handful in his 65 minutes of action, drawing three yellow cards, including Charles Nzonzi's second of the night shortly after the break. Three minutes after being hauled down from behind on that breakaway, Altidore created his only scoring chance of the game by picking the ball out of a scramble. However, Stoke 'keeper Asmir Begovic produced a fine kick save to rob the man who netted three on him in last year's US-Bosnia friendly.
Cameron, meanwhile, was among the visitors' standouts at right back. His best two crosses set up Stoke headers, one of which compelled a terrific Vito Mannone save before the break and one after it that dinged the crossbar. The former Houston Dynamo defender also had a free header of his own in the first half, but put it over.
Now unbeaten in seven straight games across all competitions and in their last five at home, Sunderland jumped up to 17th place. The Potters stand one rung above them after their fifth loss in six winless EPL matches.
Around the league, Brad Guzan and Aston Villa survived a wild home derby by edging West Bromwich Albion 4-3.
The former Chivas USA star notched two saves, including a handcuff job on Morgan Amalfitano's 53rd-minute dipper from long range. Villa won at home for the first time since November 9 to reach the better half of the standings.
Also, Brad Friedel served as back-up netminder in Tottenham's 5-1 home loss to new table toppers Manchester City. Fifth-place Spurs saw their four-game win streak screech to a halt.