U.S. Men's National Team Abroad: Reviewing the Americans' Performances in Europe
As most European leagues gear up for the stretch run of their seasons, American players are playing prominent roles for clubs in relegation dogfights, battles for the title and everything in between.
England is an area of particular focus.
Clint Dempsey is rolling along in his sixth year of breaking his own scoring record at Fulham. Young full-back Eric Lichaj made an impression in his Premier League return for Aston Villa. Tim Ream continues to play consistently for Owen Coyle at Bolton despite his new-boy status.
Beyond Anglo shores, Michael Bradley did his usual yeoman's job in Italy. Most of the large contingent of Jurgen Klinsmann's team playing their club soccer in Germany—Steve Cherundolo, Jermaine Jones, Timothy Chandler, Fabian Johnson—went the distance for their teams.
Here's a review of how USMNT players doing their thing in Europe fared over the weekend.
For all his size and strength, Jozy Altidore doesn't score too many classic center forward-type goals.
Jozy's tally for AZ Alkmaar—the opener in a in a 2-2 draw with Vitesse on Saturday—was an exception to the rule.
Fighting for space between two defenders, Altidore got on the end of a Simon Poulsen cross to nod home a very fine goal.
Altidore now has 11 goals in the Eredivise this year.
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It's Clint Dempsey's world; most of the Premier League is just living in it.
Deuce added to his career high goal total against Norwich on Saturday, his 13th in the league and 19th in all competitions.
Every year at Fulham has seen Dempsey increase his goal tally. His 19 goals in Europe in 2011-12 set a new record for an American, passing Michael Bradley's Heerenveen total in the 2007-08 season.
His 13 league goals ties him with Louis Saha for the club record at Fulham.
It's rote at this point, which is actually a credit to him: Michael Bradley went 90 minutes in midfield for Chievo Verona.
With a 2-1 win over Fiorentina, Chievo moved into the top half of the Serie A table. Bradley has been a large part of that success for the Flying Donkeys.
Still hanging on at troubled Rangers, Maurice Edu went 85 minutes in a 2-1 win against Motherwell.
Edu's American compatriots at Rangers, Carlos Bocanegra (red card suspension) and Alejandro Bedoya didn't play.
Speaking of rote performances by Americans in Europe, Jermaine Jones did his usual thing for Schalke in a 1-1 draw with Hoffenheim: 90 minutes and a yellow card earned.
Kljestan's performance received mixed reviews, but the former Chivas USA midfielder continued as an integral part of Anderlecht's top-of-the-table campaign in Belgium with 85 minutes in a 1-1 draw against Kortrijk.
German-American midfielder Danny Williams made a late substitute appearance, playing nine minutes against Jermaine Jones and Schalke.
Rico Clark went 90 minutes for Stabaek in a 5-1 loss in the second week of the Norwegian league season.
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After a bout with injury, Lichaj is back in the fold at Aston Villa.
The right-back's first league start of the season saw him collect an assist from a throw-in and his first Premier League goal.
Villa ultimately lost, 4-2, to visiting Chelsea, and Lichaj showed some defensive shakiness, but his performance bodes well for playing time with the struggling Villains.
At his usual right-back spot for Hannover, Cherundolo went 90 minutes in a 2-1 win over fourth-place Moenchengladbach.
Goodson started and went the distance in a shutout win for Brøndby over Odense in Denmark. The clean sheet was Brøndby's eighth of the season.
A defender for the USMNT (at the moment), Chandler played 90 minutes on the right side of midfield for Nurnberg in a 1-0 loss at home to Bayern Munich.
Johnson went 90 minutes in the back line for Hoffenheim in a 1-1 draw with Schalke.
Bolton's relegation battle got a boost with a 3-2 win over Wolves at Molineux, a match in which Tim Ream went the distance and made a goal-saving tackle.
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The list of American goalkeepers who played in Europe this weekend begins and ends with Tim Howard.
The American No. 1 kept a clean sheet for Everton as the Toffees beat West Brom 2-0 at Goodison Park.
The shutout was Howard's ninth on the league season and third consecutive overall.