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: John Harkes 1991:
Sheffield Wed. 1-0 winner over Manchester United. 1993:
Sheffield Wed. 2-1 loser to Arsenal. Kasey Keller 1997:
Leicester City 1-0 winner over
Leicester City 1-0 loser to Tottenham. Brad Friedel 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
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 Januzaj
and Phil Jones
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.