May 7, 2012, 9:25 AM EST
Good news all the way around for U.S. international Jozy Altidore, whose side finished the Dutch Eredivisie season on the rise Sunday with a 1-0 win – a triumph tied to some far-reaching implications.
AZ’s 1-0 win Sunday over Groningen is important because:
Altidore is OK, after all: The U.S. striker took a big spill last week, banging his head into a hard structure along the sideline. He reported feeling “out of it” for a few seconds but never lost consciousness, and was eventually diagnosed with nothing more than a back bruise. So his start in Sunday’s match says good things.
He assisted in the important game-winner: Altidore’s entry pass helped arrange Erik Falkenburg’s goal, so he can feel good about his part in the big day.
This means extra rest for the striker: This might be the most important element in the big picture. AZ’s win, combined with a loss Sunday by Heerenveen, gives Altidore’s club fourth place in the final Dutch Eredivisie table.
In this case, there’s a big difference between fourth and fifth.
At No. 4, AZ gets a berth in next year’s Europa League qualifying (in August). A loss Sunday would have given Heerenveen that No. 4 spot – and that would mean extra games in the Netherlands, which would have been extra work (and possibly even a delay) before Altidore reports to the U.S. national team camp set to begin next week in Orlando.
The United States’ summer schedule begins May 26 in Jacksonville against Scotland.
This means extra opportunity for Altidore and AZ: Assuming he stays (and there’s no reason at the moment to believe he will not), Altidore and AZ get a shot at Europa League play. That’s big stuff for a small Dutch club like this one – one that’s been built wisely by former U.S. international Earnie Stewart, by the way.
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Manchester United assistant Ryan Giggs thinks Chelsea’s the top dog, compares Louis van Gaal to Alex Ferguson
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Giggs calls the Stamford Bridge club “head and shoulders above the Premier League” on the strength of their back four.
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Berahino scored in the next match after his arrest, but has since gone cold.
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Rogers talked about how working with gay and lesbian youth organizations made him realize the impact he could make as an openly-gay player.
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City’s late show sets up pulsating clash in the Italian capital next month.
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Citizens grab last-gasp win to boost their chances of making the last 16.
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Five different players netted as Chelsea picked up its largest road Champions League win since 1999.
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Suarez is off and running for Barca with a goal of exceptional class. What else did you expect?
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The only other active players in the Top Ten are Chelsea’s Didier Drogba (44) and Thierry Henry (50), who obviously isn’t active with a UEFA Champions League club.
Nov 25, 2014, 3:10 PM EST
With top-quality players hardly ever available in January, the Portguese international could be a hot commodity in England.
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A urinary infection has Pele in the hospital just 10 days after being released following surgery.
Nov 25, 2014, 1:55 PM EST
Follow the latest batch of UEFA Champions League matches, right here.
Nov 25, 2014, 1:05 PM EST
To be completed in two phases,
Nov 25, 2014, 12:11 PM EST
“Air Marshall” not only earned his nickname, but helped to solidify an otherwise shaky back line.
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