Americans Abroad Wrap
It was a good week for Americans playing soccer abroad, with a number of Americans putting in strong performances.
Terrence Boyd picked up a goal and an assist for Rapid Vienna, and Clint Dempsey and Joe Corona also picked up assists.
Most prominently, however, Corona, Edgar Castillo and Greg Garza all won the Liga MX playoffs with Tijuana on Sunday night.
Here is a recap of them in action.
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Since losing to Arsenal 5-2 two weeks ago, Tottenham has been on a great run of form, picking up three straight victories.
Clint Dempsey was again key as Tottenham beat Fulham 3-0. The win against his former club in front of the Craven Cottage faithful (who booed Dempsey’s every touch) must have been especially satisfying.
Demspey continues to look more and more comfortable each week with his new teammates at Tottenham, and he picked up an assist on a beautiful through ball that Jermaine Defoe put away for Spurs' third goal of the night.
Unfortunately for Brad Friedel, Hugo Lloris picked up another shutout and Friedel looks increasingly unlikely to win back his spot in the Spurs net anytime soon.
A January transfer for Friedel is certainly a possibility. The American keeper was in top form when he was dropped from the lineup by Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas, and Friedel definitely still has more top-flight football in him.
The Stoke Duo
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Like Dempsey at Tottenham, Geoff Cameron’s Stoke continued their good run of form winning their third game in a row.
Cameron took up his customary right-back role for Stoke who won 1-0 over West Bromwich Albion.
Maurice Edu did not make the original 18 for Stoke yet again, but when Cameron Jerome injured himself during the warmup, Edu was added to the game-day roster. Edu, however, was an unused substitute in the match.
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Aston Villa kept QPR winless on the season, but QPR did manage a point as the two teams tied 1-1.
Both Brad Guzan and Eric Lichaj started for Villa, with Guzan in the net and Lichaj at left-back.
Guzan was beaten by an early first-half header, but after that he was fantastic.
He stoned Shaun Wright-Phillips on a breakaway in the 29th minute, made a fantastic reaction save on a chance by Ryan Nelsen in the 54th minute and did well to hold onto a hard shot by Samba Diakite in the 55th minute.
Guzan made a strong save on a wide-open chance just inside the Villa penalty area from Park Ji-Sung in the 58th minute, made a terrific push on a Clint Hill header in the 80th minute and held onto a low-driven blast from Armand Traore in the 82nd.
At one point in the match, Guzan’s performance had QPR manager Harry Redknapp visibly frustrated.
Although Villa is certainly not having a great season, there is no doubt that without the outstanding performances of Guzan, they would certainly be in the relegation zone.
He was named The Guardian’s Man of the Match.
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Tim Howard had several good saves in the match and could do little about the goal that Everton did concede.
Howard had a great catch coming out on a Maicon serve in the ninth minute. Howard went through Edin Dzeko to get the ball, and both players got up slowly from the collision.
In the 37th minute, Howard had a good save stopping a Carlos Tevez header that was heading toward the far post.
In the 42nd minute, Howard had a save that is often typical for him, awkwardly saving an Edin Dzeko shot with his quadriceps.
Howard made his last save of the match in the 63rd minute, pushing away a powerful blast from Maicon.
The only goal Howard conceded on the day was from the spot as Carlos Tevez converted a penalty given after Marouane Fellaini dragged down Dzeko on a corner kick in the second half.
Jermaine Jones and his club Schalke tied Michael Bradley’s old club Borussia Monchengladbach 1-1. Jones started, played 90 minutes and, shockingly, was not cautioned.
Steve Cherundolo and Hannover lost 2-1 to Mainz. Cherundolo started and played the entire match.
Timmy Chandler started and went the distance at right-back for Nurnberg, who lost 1-0 to Bayer Leverkusen.
Danny Williams and Fabian Johnson both got the start for Hoffenheim, but they were beaten soundly by Werder Bremen 4-1. Of particular interest to USMNT fans, Williams played the game at center-back instead of his usual defensive midfielder position.
John Anthony Brooks and Hertha Berlin tied Cologne 1-1 on Thursday and play Cottbus on Monday. Brooks played the entire match against Cologne.
Joe Gyau’s St. Pauli beat Kaiserlautern 1-0, but Gyau did not make it off the bench.
In the English Championship
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Jonathan Spector and Birmingham City beat Middlesbrough 3-2, with Spector starting and going the distance. Will Packwood did not make the bench for Birmingham.
Also in the match, USMNT eligible center-back Seb Hines played the entire match for Middlesbrough.
Tim Ream’s Bolton lost to Ipswich 2-1. Ream made the bench, but did not play.
Zak Whitbread and Leicester beat Derby 4-1 and Whitbread picked up a goal. It’s doubtful that Jurgen Klinsmann will give him a call-up, but he remains a dark-horse candidate for the center-back position in the minds of many USMNT fans.
Elsewhere in Europe
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Carlos Bocanegra is still recovering from the hamstring injury he picked up in the Russia friendly and was not a part of Santander’s 4-3 loss to Almeria.
Oguchi Onyewu did not play in Malaga’s 1-0 loss to Getafe.
Michael Parkhurst’s Nordsjaelland beat Clarence Goodson’s Brondby 3-0. Parkhurst played the entire match; Goodson did not play.
Michael Bradley’s Roma is on a three-game winning streak as they beat Siena 3-1. Bradley went the distance.
Jozy Altidore and AZ Alkmaar lost 2-1 to Utrecht. Altidore played 90 minutes.
Terrence Boyd and Rapid Vienna won 4-3 over Ried. Boyd scored the opening goal.
Sacha Kljestan and Anderlecht beat Cercle Bruges 2-1. Kljestan went the distance.
Conor O’Brien and SonderjyskE beat AC Horsens 3-1. O’Brien started and played the full 90.
Josh Gatt’s Molde, Alejandro Bedoya’s Helsingborg and Mix Diskerud’s Rosenborg all are finished with their league seasons.
South of the Border
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Greg Garza, Edgar Castillo and Joe Corona’s Tijuana won the Liga MX playoffs on Sunday night in just their second year in the top flight of Mexican football. They defeated Toluca 4-1 on aggregate over the two legs.
Herculez Gomez and Jose Torres’ teams are done for the season.
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