Altidore scores two goals again, AZ wins first 3-1 over Almelo.
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
(Thursday, August 23, 2012) - United States striker Jozy Altidore has gotten off to a hot start for AZ Alkmaar of the Dutch Eredivisie.
Altidore scored a pair of goals for the second straight match Sunday as AZ defeated SC Heracles Almelo 3-1.
Both goals Sunday were worthy of a highlight reel. On the first, he ran down the right side of the penalty area while Roy Beerens carried the ball down the left. Altidore took a short cross and used his first touch to find net for a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute.
In second-half stoppage time, he picked up a loose ball, beat two defenders into the box, crossed in front of the net and deposited a shot behind goalkeeper Remko Pasveer to polish off the match.
Altidore also scored twice last week in a 2-2 draw with Ajax. He has the early Eredivisie goal-scoring. "I feel better than a year ago," Altidore told the AZ web site. "Meanwhile, I have developed and I know what is expected of a striker in our system, but there are still many things I can improve."
AZ is one of five teams at 1-0-1 with four points, trailing Twente, which is 2-0 with six points.
Today, AZ traveled to the Caspian Sea city of Kaspiysk, Russia, in the Dagestan republic which borders Georgia and Azerbaijan, and lost 1-0 to Anzhi Makhachkala with Altidore playing all 90 minutes of the first-leg, play-in match for the upcoming seasons Europa League.
"Anji" as it is known, is coached by Dutchman Guus Hiddink.
American midfielder Matt Taylor, who plays for Preussen Muenster of Germany's third division, had a game for the ages when he scored three goals and added an assist to lead his club to a stunning 4-2 upset over Werder Bremer to knock the Bundesliga team out of the first round of the DFB Pokal (German Cup).
The scored was level at 2-2 at the end of 90 minutes with the 30-year-old having scored both Muenster goals. In extra time, he assisted Dima Nazarov on the go-ahead goal and then polished things off with his third goal in the 118th minute..
American midfielder Alejandro Bedoya scored in his debut with Sweden's Helsingborgs IF. Bedoya opened the scoring in the 37th minute and later drew a yellow card, but it was for naught with Helsingborg losing 2-1 to host Elfbord.
It was Bedoya's first Allsvenskan goal since May 2011, before he left for Glasgow Rangers. He returned to Sweden after Rangers were dropped from Scotland's Premier League to fourth division because of their bankruptcy.
Going the distance for his new club at Olympia Stadion in Sweden, Bedoya went 90 minutes against an old foe, Celtic of Glasgow, the mortal rival of his former club Rangers. Things did not go well for the Swedish side Tuesday which fell 2-0, leaving Celtic a strong chance to advance from the European Champions League qualifying round to the group stage.
In the English Premier League, U.S. keeper Tim Howard posted a shutout Monday for Everton which edged visiting Manchester United.
Howard had four saves, including a pair on Wayne Rooney, as well as punching clear a ball that came off Rooney's head.
American keeper Brad Friedel had a tough start to the new season for Tottenham Hotspur in a 2-1 loss to Newcastle United.
In the 55th minute Demba Ba picked up a errant clearance outside the box and fired a rocket into the top corner, just beyond Friedel's reach. In the 80th minute, Hatem Ben Arfa blasted the winner from the penalty spot.
Aston Villa opened its season with a 1-0 loss to West Ham United. U.S. keeper Brad Guzanfound himself on the bench once again, a highly-paid backup to keeper Shay Given.
American defender Eric Lichaj dressed, but did not play for Villa.
U.S. defender Geoff Cameron is still in the U.S. waiting for his entry visa to come through and was not available for Stoke City in its 1-1 draw Saturday with Reading. It is hoped he will join his new club within the week.
U.S. midfielder Clint Dempsey did not dress for Fulham in its 5-0 victory over Norwich City. He is awaiting a transfer, probably to Liverpool, though Fulham seems to be interested in retaining him.
In the second-division League Championship, American Tim Ream played 90 minutes for Bolton Wanderers in a 2-0 loss to Burnley.
U.S. midfielder Stuart Holden is still recovering from a knee injury and unavailable for Bolton.
American midfielder-defender Will Packwood played the first 63 minutes for Birmingham City in a 1-1 draw with Charlton Athletic.
He was replaced by U.S. defender Jonathan Spector.
Irish-American striker Conor Doyle dressed, but did not play for Derby County in its 2-2 draw with Sheffield Wednesday.
American forward Robbie Findley did not dress for Nottingham Forest, midfielder Robbie Rogers did not dress for Leeds United and defender Zak Whitbread did not dress for Leicester City.
In the third-tier League One, American defender Frank Simek played the final minute for Carlisle United in a 1-1 draw with Stevenage.
In the English League Championship on Wednesday, Spector went 90 minutes for Birmingham City, a 3-2 loser to Sheffield Wednesday.
Packwood dressed, but did not play for City.
American forward Mike Grella went the distance and scored his first goal of the season for Scunthorpe United, but it was not enough in a 2-1 setback to Crewe Alexandria.
Ream remained on the bench for Bolton in a 2-0 decision over Derby. Doyle also sat the pine for Derby
In DFB Pokal first-round matches in Germany, U.S. Steve Cherundolo played the first 62 minutes for Hannover 96 of the Bundesliga in its easy 6-1 win over FC Nottingen of the fifth-division Oberliga.
German-American defender-midfielder Alfredo Morales played the second half for the Bundesliga's Hertha Berlin's in a shocking 2-1 loss to Wormatia Worms of the fourth-tier Regionalliga Südwest.
Many Bundesliga teams did not play their usual starters, especially those who saw midweek international friendly action.
U.S. midfielder Jermaine Jones did not dress for FC Schalke 04 of the Bundesliga in a 5-0 whitewash of FC Saarbrucken of the third-division Futbol Liga.
German-American defender-midfielders Fabian Johnson and Danny Williams, and midfielder Joe Gyau did not dress in for TSG 1899 Hoffenheim's 4-0 huge upset at the hands of fourth-division Berliner AK '07.
American defender Timmy Chandler played all 120 minutes for 1. FC Nürnberg of the Bundesliga in its 3-2 extra time loss to TSV Havelse of the fourth-tier Regionalliga Nord..
In Italy, U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley scored on a second-half header for Roma in its final preseason friendly, a 3-0 decision over Aris FC of Greece.
Bradley has played well for Roma in the preseason, but it's not clear if he has done enough to win a starting berth in the Serie A opener this weekend against Catania.
In Portugal, U.S. defender Oguchi Onyewu continues to nurse an injured knee and missed Sporting Lisbon's 0-0 draw with Vitoria Guimaraes.
In Austria, U.S. striker Terrence Boyd, back from the U.S. 1-0 victory over Mexico in Mexico City, dressed, but did not play in Rapid Wien's 3-0 triumph over Sturm Graz.
In Belgium, American midfielder Sacha Kljestan played the final eight minutes for RSC Anderlecht in a 2-1 victory over Mons.
Kljestan went the distance for Anderlecht, which fell yesterday to Cyprus champion AEL Limassol 2-1 in the first leg of European Champions League qualifying.
AEL's second goal was from long range in the 73rd minute and went through the goalkeeper's hands. Anderlecht might be helped by scoring an away goal.
In Denmark, American defender Michael Parkhurst scored his second goal in two matches for FC Nordsjællands in its 1-0 win over AGF Aarhus.
American defender Clarence Goodson was also a goal scorer, getting Brøndby IF's only tally in a 1-1 draw with FC Copenhagen.
His goal, a running header off a long cross, came in the final moments of the match. Otherwise, Brøndby would have suffered its fifth defeat in its first six games this season.
American midfielder Conor O'Brien went 90 minutes and scored a 56th-minute goal, but it was not enough for SønderjyskE, which fell to Odense BK 2-1 on Monday night in front of a sparse 3,650 fans.
American forward Charlie Davies continues to see action as a second-half substitute, playing the final 20 minutes of Randers FC's 1-0 decision over Silkeborg IF.
In Norway, the quarterfinals of the NM Cupen was played, but most teams employing Americans were not in action.
In the one that did, American flank defender Josh Gatt did not dress for Molde FK in its 2-1 triumph over Sandefjord.
In Mexico, U.S. midfielder DaMarcus Beasley went the distance for Puebla in a 3-0 loss Friday to Morelia on Friday, just two days after the U.S. match in Mexico City.
U.S. defender Michael Orozco Fiscal played 90 minutes and received a yellow card for San Luis in a 1-0 loss to Chivas. He had scored the U.S. winning goal over Mexico on Wednesday and was loudly booed by the crowd.
American forward Herculez Gomez played the first 51 minutes for Santos Laguna in a 2-1 loss to Pumas UNAM on Saturday.
American defender Edgar Castillo played 90 minutes and attacker Joe Corona the first 69 minutes for Club Tijuana in a 2-1 victory Friday over Tigres UANL.
American defender Greg Garza dressed, but did not play for Tijuana.
U.S. midfielder José Torres did not dress for Pachuca and its 1-0 loss to Toluca.
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.
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