AMSTERDAM – On a busy Sunday for Americans playing in Europe, Fabian Johnson and Hoffenheim strolled to a 6-2 victory over Bundesliga visitors Wolfsburg.
The US international worked right back, with much of his impact confined to the defensive end. Johnson rang up four tackles and a team-high four pass interceptions while his teammates ran wild at the other end. Having now won three straight at home by a combined 13-3 tally, 10th place Hoffenheim climbed to within a win of break-even.
2013 FabJo strike makes Top 10 Yank goals in Bundesliga
One level down in the 2.Bundesliga, USMNT call-up Alfredo Morales set up the opener as Ingolstadt settled for a 1-1 home draw with Dynamo Dresden. Only 49 seconds into the contest, the right midfielder crossed for opposite flanker Caiuby to put the hosts ahead. Despite extending their unbeaten run to four games, Ingolstadt slipped a spot to 12th.
The only American to score on Sunday was Rapid Vienna ace Terrence Boyd, who started a comeback bid that came apart late in their 6-3 loss at Red Bull Salzburg. The US forward buried his best chance of the game, cutting the home side's two-goal lead in half with a rebound header on 35 minutes. Rapid twice clawed back to tie the game before leaking three goals in the final eight minutes to suffer their fourth road loss in a row and fall to fourth place.
In England, a somewhat startling development saw Jozy Altidore completely dropped from the selection as Sunderland fell 3-1 in the Capital One Cup final to Manchester City.
In Premier League action, Brad Guzan notched four saves as Aston Villa halted a four-game win drought by rallying past Norwich City 4-1. The former Chivas USA star was at his best with a double-denial on Wes Hoolahan with Villa up one in the 35th minute. In the waning moments, he added a tidy low save on Gary Hooper to close out his third straight EPL victory over the Canaries. The result lifted Guzan & Co. seven points clear of the relegation mire in 11th place.
Meanwhile, Brad Friedel served as back-up keeper for Tottenham's 1-0 home win over Cardiff City. Spurs rebounded from last week's defeat to slice their deficit on the fourth Champions League slot to four points.
Across the North Sea, Aron Jóhannsson put a stamp on his strong outing with two assists as AZ Alkmaar cruised to a 4-0 win over guests RKC Waalwijk. In addition to feeding Steven Berghuis for each of his early second half strikes, Jóhannsson forced three saves from his five shots and his passing was repeatedly key to the Cheese Farmers attack. Winning for the first time in four league games, AZ rose to seventh place.
Juan Agudelo went unused as FC Utrecht posted a 1-1 share against visiting FC Twente. Undefeated in the last three, 13th-place Utrecht moved four points clear of the danger zone.
In nearby Denmark, Conor O'Brien was an unused sub as Odense BK slipped to eighth in the Superliga table with a 1-0 loss at Esbjerg.