Americans Abroad Wrap
Overall, it was a good weekend for many Americans plying their trade abroad.
Leading the charge were the performances of Clint Dempsey and Fabian Johnson—Dempsey with big contributions to two of Tottenham’s goals and Johnson scoring one of his own.
USMNT youngster Joe Gyau also got his first league start of the year for St. Pauli in Bundesliga 2.
And Jose Torres found himself a new club and has left Pachuca.
The Tottenham Two
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images
Clint Dempsey started at his customary withdrawn forward role for Tottenham and had his best game of the season so far with his new club.
Dempsey’s hold-up play was excellent, he found space in front of West Ham’s back line and combined well with his teammates—all of which contributed to two of Tottenham’s goals.
It was a much-needed performance for Dempsey who has not seemed his usual self this season since transferring from Fulham.
In the 56th minute, Dempsey hit a cracker of a shot that ricocheted off the crossbar and less than 90 seconds later produced one of the best assists of the season. Dempsey weaved through the West Ham midfield and provided Gareth Bale with a gorgeous chipped pass that Bale took down and put away.
Less than five minutes later, Dempsey was again involved as Tottenham scored their third goal to put the game away. With some nifty footwork in traffic, Dempsey was able to find a streaking Aaron Lennon behind the Hammers' defense. Lennon, after drawing out West Ham keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen, laid the ball across the six to Jermaine Defoe for the empty netter.
This was exactly the game Dempsey needed, to prove himself to the Tottenham faithful and Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas and because attacking midfielder Mousa Dembele is returning to full fitness.
Spurs won the game 3-1.
Brad Friedel did not feature again after being dropped from the team last week. Although last week Arsenal put five goals past Friedel’s replacement, Hugo Lloris, Lloris’ midweek performance in the Europe League was top-notch, and he rightfully kept his place in the lineup over Friedel.
The Boys at Stoke-on-Trent
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images
Geoff Cameron has locked down his starting position in Stoke City’s starting XI, this time appearing at left back instead of his usual right back position with the club.
Cameron played fairly well, although he was yellow-carded for a “professional” foul in the second half and was called for a handball just outside the box in the final minutes that gave Fulham one final dangerous chance.
Stoke won the game 1-0.
Maurice Edu was again not in the 18 for Stoke—a worrying sign for his future with the USMNT. Edu has only clocked 10 minutes for Stoke since arriving at the club during the summer transfer window.
Martin Stoever/Getty Images
Brad Guzan got the start as Aston Villa took on Arsenal. Surprisingly, Villa controlled their fair share of the possession, and the Gunners' attack rarely tested Guzan.
Guzan’s lone save of the match, however, was a spectacular one as he kick-saved a shot that had been been deflected right in front of him.
Eric Lichaj came on in the 51st minute and held his own while matched up against English international Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Russian international Andrey Arshavin.
Aston Villa and Arsenal shared the points as they tied 0-0.
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
In Everton’s match against Norwich, Howard had little to do in the first half.
However, the Canaries stepped up their attack in the second half keeping Howard busy.
In the 57th minute, Howard brilliantly pushed away a fantastic free kick that was headed toward the upper corner of his net.
In the 59th minute, Norwich forward Grant Holt was able to get behind the Toffees' defense, and Howard was left on his own. Howard came out strong, but was left swinging at air as he missed the ball. Luckily for Howard, the ball ricocheted off his thigh and fell harmlessly in front of him.
In the 69th minute, Howard was beaten on an open chance by Norwich, but Everton defender Johnny Heitinga recovered behind Howard to clear the ball off the line.
Then in the 85th minute, Howard did well to parry a low-driven header from eight yards out.
In the 90th minute, however, Howard was beaten on a header from a Norwich set piece. Howard was caught on his back foot on the play and was no doubt disappointed that he didn’t do better on the play.
The game finished 1-1 as the two teams each took a point.
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Jermaine Jones and Schalke tied Eintracht Frankfurt 1-1. Jones went the distance and, surprise, surprise, picked up his seemingly obligatory yellow card in the 26th minute.
Steve Cherundolo returned from injury, although he probably wished he had taken one more week off, as Hannover was plastered 5-0 by Bayern Munich.
Timmy Chandler started for Nurnberg and played 90 minutes as they tied Greuther Furth 0-0.
Fabian Johnson started for Hoffenheim as they lost 2-1 to Bayer Leverkusen. Despite the loss, Johnson got the goal for Hoffenheim as the left back continues to show that he is an attacking force out of the back. After a rough week for both club and country, Danny Williams was understandably dropped from Hoffenheim’s first XI and did not play.
John Anthony Brooks did not play in Hertha Berlin’s 4-0 win over Aue.
In a good sign for the American youngster and recent USMNT call-up Joe Gyau, he played 64 minutes for St. Pauli in their 4-1 win over Duisburg.
In the English Championship
Michael Steele/Getty Images
Jonathan Spector started and went the distance in Birmingham’s 3-2 loss to Derby. Will Packwood did not make the 18.
Tim Ream got the start and went 78 minutes in Bolton’s 1-1 draw with Brighton.
Zak Whitbread started again for Leicester as they beat Sheffield Wednesday 2-0. This marks the sixth consecutive week of appearances for Whitbread—an encouraging sign for the player, who suffered so many problems with injuries in the past.
Elsewhere in Europe
Paolo Bruno/Getty Images
Carlos Bocanegra is still recovering from a hamstring injury and did not feature in Santander’s 4-1 loss to Barcelona’s B side.
Oguchi Onyewu did not feature in Malaga’s 4-0 win over Valencia, however Onyewu did play all 90 minutes in Malaga’s midweek Champions League draw against Zenit St. Petersburg.
Michael Bradley started and played the whole match in Roma’s 1-0 win over Pescara.
Terrence Boyd was not in the 18 for Rapid Vienna who beat Adm/Modling 2-0.
Sacha Kljestan and Anderlecht won 4-0 over Beerschot. Klestan started and played 83 minutes.
Mix Diskerud’s Rosenborg, Josh Gatt’s Molde and Alejandro Bedoya’s Helsingborg are all done with league play until the spring.
Michael Parkhurst’s Nordsjaelland lost 1-0 to Esbjerg. Parkhurst started and went the distance.
Conor O’Brien’s SonderjyskE lost 2-1 to Copenhagen; O’Brien played the final 15 minutes of the game.
Clarence Goodson’s Brondby won 2-0 over AC Horsens, but Goodson did not see the field, another discouraging sign for Goodson’s future with the USMNT
South of the Border
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images
On Friday, Tijuana and Americans Greg Garza, Edgar Castillo and Joe Corona lost 2-0 to Leon in the first leg of their Liga MX playoff series. Castillo started and went the distance, Corona started and played 66 minutes and Garza did not feature. Tijuana plays the second leg of the series Sunday night.
Herculez Gomez’ Santos Laguna is done for the season.
Jose Torres left Pachuca this week and will play next season for Tigres.
Follow me on Twitter @AmerTouchline
Follow me on Facebook www.facebook.com/AmericanTouchline