Altidore's AZ advances in Europa League

[AMERICANS ABROAD] Jozy Altidore went through to the knockout stage of the Europa League when Dutch club AZ's 1-1 tie with Group G winner Metalist Kharkiv was enough to secure place over Austria Vienna on goal difference. Jonathan Spector was the only other American in action on Thursday, but Birmingham's 1-0 win over Maribor of Slovenia wasn't enough as the Blues finished third in Group H behind Club Brugge and Braga.

Steve Cherundolo didn't play for Hannover 96, which was already assured of advancing before its 3-1 victory over Vorskla.

Brad Friedel has sat out Tottenham's Europa League campaign that concluded on Thursday. A 4-0 win over Shamrock Rovers wasn't enough to overtake Rubin Kazan, whose 1-1 tie at PAOK clinched second place in Group A.

Besides Altidore and Cherundolo, the other Americans whose clubs will be playing in the knockout stage of the Europa League are Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Oguchi Onyewu (Sporting Lisbon) and Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04).

Altidore played the full 90 for AZ and forced a diving save from Metalist keeper Oleksandr Goryainov.

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