[AMERICANS ABROAD] In his first season at Sunderland, Jozy Altidore is headed to Wembley. That's right, the Black Cats, mired in last place for much of the EPL season, reached the final of the Capital One Cup against Manchester City on March 2 thanks to a shootout win over Manchester United at Old Trafford. If he plays, Altidore will become the fourth American to play in the League Cup final.
Altidore came on for the injured Fabio Borini in the 85th minute of regulation with United leading 1-0 for the evening. The 2-2 aggregate score sent the game to overtime, where United would have prevailed if the score stayed the same thanks to its away goal, according to the League Cup tiebreaking rules.
Americans in League Cup final:
1991:Sheffield Wed. 1-0 winner over Manchester United.
1993:Sheffield Wed. 2-1 loser to Arsenal.
1997:Leicester City 1-0 winner over Middlesbrough.
1999:Leicester City 1-0 loser to Tottenham.
2002: Blackburn Rovers 2-1 winner over Tottenham.
2010:Aston Villa 2-1 loser to Manchester United.
Note:Keller (Tottenham, 2002) and Brad Guzan (Aston Villa, 2010) were backup keepers.
Phillip Bardsley put Sunderland ahead in the 119th minute when United goalie David De Gea failed to hold on to his shot, but Javier Hernandez rescued United seconds later with a goal that made the aggregate score 3-3 and sent the game to penalty kicks.
Only three of the 10 shooters converted, however, as Sunderland prevailed, 2-1. The first three shooters missed before Darren Fletcher converted. He'd be the only Red Devil to score as Sunderland keeper Vito Mannone saved shots by Adnan Januzajand Rafael and Phil Jones missed badly.
The game result went down as a loss, ending Sunderland's four-game unbeaten streak. It had lost only one of its previous 10 games after suffering back-to-back losses at home in early December.
The Black Cats are in a three-way tie with West Ham and Cardiff City at the bottom of the EPL standings, but they only five points separate the bottom 10 teams.