Altidore 2 goals, assist for AZ stun Ajax 3-0, tie Dempsey record.
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
(Wednesday, February 27, 2013)-- United States striker Jozy Altidore scored twice and added an assist, allowing AZ Alkmaar to stun host Ajax Amsterdam 3-0 in a meeting of divergent Eredivisie teams in today's KNVB (Dutch) Cup semifinals before 35,609 at Amsterdam ArenA.
"It's good for the confidence," Altidore told the media. "We have a young team. This is good for them, to play in a final, when it matters. It's important for the city also."
While Ajax (13-2-9, 48 points in league play) is in second place, two points behind PSV Eindhoven, AZ (6-11-7, 25) is battling to avoid relegation from the top tier. AZ stands 13th in the 16-team league, three positions and three points ahead of the drop zone with 14 matches remaining.
Altidore now has 23 goals this season, tying U.S. teammate, midfielder Clint Dempsey's single-season record for most goals by an American playing abroad. Dempsey, who now plays for Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premier League, scored his 23 in 2011-12 for the EPL's Fulham. Altidore has 11 matches left to surpass Dempsey.
"When you believe and you stay positive, good things will happen eventually." Altidore said.
AZ, which scored all three goals from the 74th minute on, will face PSV May 9 in Rotterdam in the KNVB final.
AZ's only Cup title came in 1982 and a victory over PSV would qualify AZ for 2013-14 UEFA Europa League, Europe's second-tier competition. AZ could qualify for the Europa League even with a loss in the KNVB final should PSV hold on to first place and capture the Eredivisie title.
Altidore put AZ ahead for good in the 74th minute when he beat a defender to put away Adam Maher's cross with a short header.
Altidore fed Johann Berg Gudmundsson for a strike to make it 2-0 in the 88th minute. In stoppage time, Altidore sent a 40-yard chip Ajax goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen to finalize the scoring.
"It's something we've struggled on throughout the season in terms of finishing chances, but today we did it. The team as a whole, we played really well," Altidore told Eredivisie Live.
In league play Sunday, Altidore played 90 minutes in a 1-0 setback to NAC Breda.
It was quite a week for German-American midfielder Jermaine Jones at FC Schalke 04 of the German Bundesliga. On Thursday, in a first leg of a European Champions League Round-of-16 road match against Galatasaray in Turkey, Jones scored Schalke's equalizer in the 45th minute of a 1-1 draw.
Jones put way his shot on a ball squared Jefferson Farfan to him in front of the goal. Jones also was given a yellow card for dissent in the 35th minute and that will keep him out of the March 12 return leg in Germany.
"The action which led to my yellow card was dumb from me," Jones told the media.
(Schalke has officially protested the match saying Galatasaray should not have been allowed to play newly-arrived Didier Drogba, who walked away from his Chinese team under disputed circumstances.)
On Sunday in the Bundesliga, Jones laid off a ball in the penalty area, allowing teammate Joel Matip to score his first of a pair of goals in a 2-1 victory over Fortuna Dusseldorf. Again, Jones was shown a yellow card.
Another German-American with a good showing this past weekend was striker Terrence Boyd at Rapid Vienna in Austria. He headed in his 10th league goal (14th in all competitions) in a 3-3 draw with Red Bull Salzburg.
In the German Bundesliga, German-American defender Timmy Chandler had an eventful afternoon Saturday, setting up 1. FC Nürnberg's only goal in a 1-1 draw with Stuttgart. He also received a yellow card.
German-American defender Fabian Johnson played 90 minutes for TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in its 2-1 loss to FC Augsburg.
German-American midfielder Danny Williams, in and out of the starting 11 lately, dressed but did not play for Hoffenheim. U.S. defender Michael Parkhurst did not dress for Augsburg.
U.S. defender Steve Cherundolo, recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, did not dress for Hannover 96, a 5-1 winner over Hamburger SV.
In the second-division 2. Bundesliga, German-American defender John Anthony Brooks played the first 61 minutes for Hertha Berlin in a 1-0 victory over 1. FC Kaiserslautern on Monday night.
German-American defender Alfredo Morales dressed, but did not play for Hertha.
German-American striker Andrew Wooten played the first 71 minutes and received a yellow card for SV Sandhausen's 3-1 loss to SC Paderborn 07.
American forward Bobby Wood played the final 35 minutes for TSV 1860 Munich in a 2-1 triumph over Eintracht Braunschweig.
American midfielder Joe Gyau played the closing eight minutes for FC St. Pauli, a 3-0 winner over FSV Frankfurt.
In Italy, Michael Bradley played 90 strong minutes and set up the decisive tally for AS Roma, which defeated Atalanta 3-2.
In Belgium, U.S. midfielder Sacha Kljestan played the opening 78 minutes for RSC Anderlecht in its 2-2 with Club Brugge.
In Turkey, Maurice Edu was sent off after receiving two quick yellow cards Friday midway through the second half for Bursaspor in its 2-1 loss to Gaziantepspor.
Edu was playing well when, in the 77th minute, he was in the center of a defensive was when a free kick deflected into his hand and he was shown yellow. Gaziantepspor converted the subsequent penalty kick for the eventual winner. Two minutes later, Edu received a second yellow and was ejected, a seemingly harsh decision, ruling he fouled Bekir Ozan, who took a theatrical tumble and Edu was sent off.
In Spain La Liga, Oguchi Onyewu did not dress for Málaga in its 3-0 loss to Real Betis.
In the Segunda Division, U.S. defender Carlos Bocanegra, dealing with a leg problem, dressed, but did not play for Racing Santander in a 2-0 whitewash over Mirandes.
U.S. defender Edgar Castillo and midfielder Joe Corona each , scored for Mexican champion Club Tijuana won its first home game ever in the Libertadores Cup 4-0 over Bolivia's San José.
Tijuana is now 2-0 to commence its first appearance in the South American tournament.
Castillo laced a left-footer past keeper Carlos Lampe to put Tijuana up 1-0 from just inside the box in the fourth minute. He took a return back-heel on a give-and-go with striker Alfredo Moreno
Castillo, who assisted the winning tally in the opening victory over Millonarios of Colombia, started the sequence on Corona's goal, making it 3-0 in the 49th minute, two minutes after Pablo Aguilar found net. Castillo led forward Fidel Martinez, whose pass was converted by Corona.
In Mexico's Liga MX, Corona played the final three minutes of a 2-0 decision over Atlante.
American defender Greg Garza dressed, but did not play for Tijuana, while Castillo was serving a red-card suspension.
U.S. striker Herculez Gomez went the distance for Santos Laguna in a 1-0 win over Club América.
Mexican-American midfielder Hector Joya was absent for Santos Laguna, with the U.S. under-20 men in Puebla Mexico, where a 4-2 victory over Canada qualified the Americans for the world championship tournament this summer in Turkey. Mexican-American defender Ventura Alvarado, born in Phoenix, dressed, but did not play for América.
U.S. defender Michael Orozco Fiscal played 54 minutes before receiving a red card for Puebla in its 3-0 loss to Monterrey.
U.S> defender DaMarcus Beasley played the first half for Puebla.
U.S. midfielder José Torres played 63 minutes for Tigres UANL, which edged Cruz Azul 2-1
American defender Jonathan Bornstein did not dress for Tigres.
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.
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