[AMERICANS ABROAD]To say the least, Jozy Altidore's first season at Sunderland was a nightmare.
One goal in 31 games was his output in league play for the Black Cats. He didn't dress for Sunderland's Wembley appearance in the Capital One Cup final, and at one point he was sent to play with the U-21s.
But Altidore is ready to put all that -- and the disappointment of his injury at the World Cup -- behind him for the second season that kicks off Saturday at West Bromwich Albion.
“It was a tough year for me last year," he told the Newcastle Chronicle. "I struggled, everybody struggled. When things don’t go well, you analyze what you can do better. I’ve done that and hopefully this season I can start out on the right foot. The first year was difficult but it is out of the way now. We stayed up and now it is a new start for everybody and we just have to try and affect the game every time you play. When the team is playing well, you are going to see individuals playing well.”
Altidore joined the Black Cats part way through training camp after going on vacation following the World Cup.
He called his hamstring injury that he suffered in the first half of the opener against Ghana and that kept him out of the World Cup "the worst thing so far in my career. But these things happen in sport and in life. You accept these challenges and you just have to respond to them.
He came on as a substitute in Sunderland's match next weekend against Udinese but won't start on Saturday in the EPL opener against at West Bromwich Albion. The No. 1 priority for Sunderland will be to avoid the start of last season. It won't be hard: the Black Cats earned just one point in their first eight games.
“We started so terribly last season," he told the Chronicle. "It put us behind all along. But that’s why West Brom is a huge game for us, because we have to make sure we start well with three points."
England, Premier League
Jozy Altidore, Sunderland, at West Bromwich Albion
Geoff Cameron, Stoke City, vs. Aston Villa
Brad Guzan, Aston Villa, at Stoke City
Tim Howard, Everton, at Leicester City
Brek Shea, Stoke City, vs. Aston Villa
The 2014-15 season for German Bundesliga clubs kicks off this weekend with the DFB Pokal. Timmy Chandler and Fabian Johnson could make their debuts at their new clubs, Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Moenchengladbach, respectively. Both are on the road as is the tradition for Bundesliga clubs in their cup openers.
Germany, DFB Pokal
Timmy Chandler, Ein. Frankfurt, at Viktoria Berlin
Fabian Johnson, Bor. M'Gladbach, at Homburg
Terrence Boyd, Red Bull Leipzig, vs. Paderborn
Royal-Dominique Fennell, Stuttgarter Kickers, vs. Borussia Dortmund
Julian Green, Bayern Munich, at Preussen Muenster
Marc Heider, Holstein Kiel, vs. 1860 Munich
Bobby Wood, 1860 Munich, at Holstein Kiel
Andrew Wooten, Sandhausen, at Arminia Bielefeld
Alfredo Morales, Ingolstadt, at Kickers Offenbach
VIDEO. Timmy Chandler hit two of three attempts in the Bundesliga crossbar challenge. That was as many as his four Eintracht Frankfurt teammates hit combined. They helped put Eintracht in a tie for second place.
Bob Bradley's Stabaek moved into the semifinals of the Norwegian Cup after beating Haugesund, 1-0, on Wednesday. Michael Stephens and Andrew Jacobson both went the distance.
Youth Front ...
VIDEO. U.S. U-20 Andrija Novakovich, the former Wisconsin prep star, scored a hat trick for the Reading U-21s in their 4-0 over Wimbledon's U-21s. He scored with his left foot, right foot and his head.