Americans Abroad: Boyd emerges as scoring threat in Austria
If not for Jozy Altidore's record-setting exploits, we might be on Boyd Watch.
Terrence Boyd's first season as a first-team professional has been successful. Boyd has netted 15 goals in all competitions for Rapid Vienna after moving from Borussia Dortmund's reserve team this summer, . His latest helped the club back from a 2-0 deficit over the weekend to salvage a draw and maintain position for a place in next season's Europa League.
As for Altidore, he broke Clint Dempsey's record of 23 goals for an American international in a club season abroad and continues to set the new standard. But Boyd, 22, is rapidly approaching the old mark. He has a pair of goals in the five games since the Austrian Bundesliga resumed from its winter break, and he has at least 12 games remaining, with the possibility for a couple more if Vienna can advance past the quarterfinals of its domestic cup competition. A 20-goal campaign, which is a rarity for Americans on the European club circuit, is within reach and would be an extraordinary accomplishment this early in Boyd's career.
Boyd's goal haul has been a welcome early return on Vienna's three-year investment. It also plays into his favor that he does not have the weight of being the national team's savior on his shoulders. With Altidore, Dempsey and Herculez Gomez continuing to produce, Boyd can go about his development at a normal pace while still playing his way onto the national team radar during the World Cup qualifying cycle.
While Boyd helped his club over the weekend, so did Gomez, who kept his hot run going with a deadly free kick in Santos Laguna's triumph over Atlante. The other American goalscorer last weekend was winger Alejandro Bedoya, who scored in his second consecutive Swedish Cup match to kick off his second go-around with Helsingborg. On the defensive side, U.S. men's national team starting goalkeeper Brad Guzan put on a strong show in his first match following the announcement that Tim Howard is out indefinitely with broken bones in his back, aiding Aston Villa to a crucial win that pulled the club out of the relegation zone.
Those were the highlights among the U.S. international contingent during a week in which Jermaine Jones and Michael Bradley were out because of suspensions and Howard, Dempsey and Fabian Johnson were sidelined because of injury. Here is how the active Americans abroad fared (season statistics encompass all competitions):