AMSTERDAM – The new Championship season got off to a rough start for reigning Bolton MVP Tim Ream and his teammates with a 3-0 opening day defeat at Watford on Saturday afternoon.
Though he tied for the lead among all players in clearances with five, the Wanderers center back was beaten midway through the first period. Ream allowed Udinese loan forward Metaj Vydra to pull down a long ball and fire Watford's second in the 23rd minute.
Fulham youngster Emerson Hyndman worked a decent if unspectacular full shift on his Championship debut, a 2-1 opening day loss at Ipswich Town on Saturday evening.
Wearing the No. 28 shirt, the grandson of former FC Dallas boss Schellas Hyndman became the ninth American to play for the Cottagers, following in the boot-steps of Carlos Bocanegra, Clint Dempsey, Marcus Hahnemann, Eddie Johnson, Kasey Keller, Eddie Lewis, Brian McBride and Texas-born Norway international Brede Hangeland.
Hyndman completed 59 of 66 passes on the day, excelling most at moving the ball forward through central park. He also enjoyed a few quality dribble drives and performed one helpful pocket pick in his own area. However, his best chance to make a play in attack saw the US youth international cut back a centering feed just behind strike target Moussa Dembele while Fulham still trailed by one shortly after the break.
Nottingham Forest wingback Eric Lichaj made his injury return with a brief cameo at the end of a 2-0 win against visiting Blackpool.
Meanwhile, Zak Whitbread watched on from the home dugout as Derby County opened with a leave-it-late 1-0 victory over Rotherham United.
In preseason friendly action, US striker Jozy Altidore saw his first action since injuring his hamstring in the first group stage of the World Cup on June 16, logging 29 minutes off the bench in Sunderland's 2-0 win over Serie A side Udienese at Heritage Park. Altidore came on for Conor Wickham in the 61st minute after the Englishman scored the second of the Black Cats' goals in the 58th.
In other preseason action, winger Brek Shea scored two goals in the first half for Stoke City's Under-21 side, who rolled to a 3-0 win over Welsh side Rhyl.
In the German third division, midfielder Joe Gyau scored two goals as Borussia Dortmund earned an easy 5-1 win over Jahn Regensberg.
Over in Austria, Conor O'Brien remained in the stands waiting for his work permit as Wiener Neustadt hosted a see-saw 2-2 share with Austria Vienna. Despite the result, they stayed bottom of the table after four games.
It was also season kick-off day for Alejandro Bedoya and Nantes, who scored a 1-0 home victory over Lens. The US attacker was clean on the ball during his 88 minutes of action without making a big offensive impact.
Turning to Norway, Strømsgodset loan defender Jeb Brovksy went unused as the visitors missed a chance to grab second place in the Tippeligaen by falling 1-0 to Odds BK.