BRIAN SCIARETTA - Monday, May 13, 2013
Lost in all of last week's drama of Sir Alex Ferguson, Roberto Manchini, & David Moyes was series of milestones for Americans in Europe.
Last Thursday, Jozy Altidore capped a fantastic season after scoring the winner for AZ Aklmaar in a 2-1 victory over PSV Einhoven. Altidore's 31 goals across all competitions is a new record for an American player in Europe but his scoring in the Dutch Cup was staggering. Altidore scored in each of AZ's six cup games and had eight goals in total for the whole tournament, including the winner in the finals.
Second, Steve Cherundolo further enhanced his legendary status at the club playing his 299th Bundesliga game for the club. The "Mayor of Hannover" as he is known now has more appearances than any other Hannover player in the top flight action. Cherundolo, 34, joined the club in 1999 after his college years at University of Portland. He has served as the team's captain since 2010.
Clint Dempsey's heroics on Sunday kept Tottenham's chances alive for a spot in the UEFA Champions League. Currently in a neck and neck battle with Arsenal for England's fourth and final Champions League spot, Dempsey scored Tottenham's goal and assisted on a late winner for a 2-1 victory over Stoke. Long regarded as the best American player in Europe, Dempsey has never played in the Champions League but his effort have put Tottenham in strong contention. Tottenham have a two point lead over Arsenal with the Gunners playing today against FA Cup champs Wigan.
Aston Villa's Brad Guzan has long been the second choice keeper for the United States national team but his outstanding season has not gone unnoticed by his Villa teammates. Last week, Guzan was voted as Villa's Player of the Year award by the club's players. Villa is not entirely safe from relegation heading into the last week but the odds are in their favor of playing in the Premier League again next year. It was a rough year for Villa's young squad but Guzan was a steady force in the final two months of the season as the team picked up crucial points. Guzan began the year as Villa's second keeper behind Shay Given but now is viewed as one of the better keepers in the Premier League.
Finally, Alfredo Morales scored his first professional goal for Hertha Berlin on Sunday in the club's 2-1 win over Cologne. It was a difficult year for Morales who struggled for playing time in the first half of the season. In the second half of the year, however, he began to earn more minutes with Hertha as the cruised to promotion back to the Bundesliga.