By Dru Boyer
The Yanks returned to their club teams over the weekend after a pair of USMNT matches on US soil. No goals, a few saves, and an assist or two later, the boys were back into the swing of things off the continent. The best news of the week? Club team coaches showing some love for their US players.
Brad Friedel and Tim Howard met in a duel of American goal keepers at Goodison park on Saturday, a match that finished with a 2-2 draw. Friedel made a pair of saves for Villa, but more importantly may be close to signing a new deal to remain the man in the net for the Villans. Which is great news for me, as I can continue to call him the Farve of Villa Park. Howard did not record a save and Michael Bradley did not appear. That’s becoming a disturbing trend…
Jermaine Jones went off in extra time and was on the receiving end of 5 fouls in a 0-0 draw at Arsenal. Jones’ recent form makes him a hot commodity, as both his former and current club want him on their pitch. Schalke has changed managers since Jones’ spat with Felix Magath and the new boss, Rolf Rangnick wants to bring Jermaine back. However, Blackburn’s head honcho, Steve Kean has been very pleased with both Jones’ on field play and desire to perform. It is always a good thing to be wanted, especially for a guy banished for “not wanting it enough”, and even more so after being demoted by Schalke earlier this season for not being a team guy…quite a turn around for Mr. Jones.
Clint Dempsey played 90 minutes and put a shot on goal in a 3-0 victory at the Cottage against Blackpool. After being the most active man on the field (in this blogger’s opinion) for the USMNT, Deuce continued his fine form for Fulham…almost netting a 72nd minute header. Dempsey’s confidence this year, in large part, is due to the faith that Fulham’s boss, Mark Hughes has shown in him. In other Fulham news, they erected a statute of Michael Jackson outside of Craven Cottage. Hee-hee, Shamone!!
Mo Edu put in 90 minutes in a 3-2 loss on Saturday to Dundee United, at home. The ‘Gers rebounded with a 2-0 win at St. Johnstone on Tuesday to take control of the SPL. Edu again contributed 90 minutes while putting a pair of shots on goal, one of which was a header blocked by a defender. Celtic scored a victory on Wednesday to reclaim the top of the SPL table; this will be a race to watch…per usual.
Carlos Bocanegra played the full 90 in a 1-1 draw in St. Etienne’s match against Valenciennes. The draw leaves St. Etienne 10 points away from the top four and a birth in the Europa League. Valenciennes scored the first goal of the game a mere 4 minutes after the second half began, but St. Etienne was able to equalize 9 minutes later…would have sucked to be late returning from a whiz and a beer at the half.
Steve Cherundolo went 90 minutes as Hannover was groin kicked 4-1 at table leading Dortmund. The loss drops Hannover one point behind Bayern Munich for a potential Champion’s League birth. That also makes 8 goals conceded in their last 2 losses, both on the road. Thankfully, their next match is at home as they will square off against Mainz…who currently sit 5 points behind them. As Neil W. Blackmon wrote earlier today, that’s a must win if European football of the Champions League variety is in Cherundolo and DaMarcus Beasley’s future.
Ricardo Clark played 90 minutes for Frankfurt in a 1-1 draw with Wolfsburg. Frankfurt will play at home against Bayern in a couple weeks, perhaps Ricardo and crew could provide a little help for Hannover…don’t hold your breath though, they have only managed 1 home win since the calendar flipped to 2011.
Brad Guzan made 5 saves and picked up a yellow in a 1-0 loss.
Eric Lichaj played 90 minutes and delivered an assist in a 4-1 win.
Eddie Johnson played 140 minutes, put a shot on goal, and accounted for an assist in a pair of matches for Preston, who suck. And I mean—they are terrible. St. Louis Rams sans Sam Bradford terrible.
Jozy Altidore was an 86th minute sub in a 0-0 draw. He did, however, score on a snazzy header this afternoon for Bursaspor—who look sharp in their green and white kits, and he was one of two Americans to net this afternoon, joining The Shin Guardian’s homeboy, Alejandro Bedoya.
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