Featured, March 2011

Cherundolo and the Champions League, and Other Yanks Abroad

Steve Cherundolo, steady for club and country, edges closer to a Champions League berth with Hannover 96.

By Dru Boyer

Not a very exciting week for the Yanks Abroad, although we did witness some hot Yank on Yank action in the EPL.  I’ll give my player of the week honors to Steve Cherundolo for being part of a 3-1 smack down of Bayern and having Hannover on pace for a Champions League birth.

Stu Holden and Bolton hosted Brad Friedel, MB90 and Aston Villa on Saturday.  Bolton snuck in an 86th minute winner to send the visitors home disappointed, 3-2.  Bradley did not see the pitch for Villa, so I’m sure he was the most disappointed of all.  There’s an excellent write-up in The Shin Guardian from last week on MB 90 and his quest to fit in at Villa Park—I think you should read it. These things take time but his form is a concern. As for the man with the golden fleece–Holden recorded one of the five yellows dished out to the Wanderers.  His former MLS club, the Houston Dynamo, are attempting to bring Holden home this summer for a friendly. As long as Nigel de Jong isn’t involved for Dynamo—that sounds terrific.

Clint Dempsey and Jermaine Jones each put in 90 minutes of work when Blackburn came calling to Craven Cottage on Saturday.  Damien Duff scored a pair and Bobby Zamora sealed the Fulham victory 3-2 on an 89th minute penalty.  Although Dempsey typically (at least the last few months) would have been the man on the pitch to attempt the PK, he passed this chance to Zamora.  Zamora was thankful for the chance, but this display may evidence Clint is still feeling the hangover from failing to convert against Chelsea from the spot.  During the other 88 minutes, Deuce took a couple shots and drew 4 fouls while Jones committed his fair share of fouls and earned a late yellow for the visitors. Jones played a pretty active match and was accurate in his passing (highest percentage on team), but couldn’t stabilize a Rovers midfield that for large swaths of the match was outclassed.

Tim Howard made 4 saves in a 2-1 victory at New Castle on Saturday.  Howard and Everton then played host to Birmingham on Wednesday in a match that ended with a 1-1 draw.  Although Timmy H did not find himself on the winning side it did mark his 6th consecutive match without allowing more than 1 goal, and his kick save and a beauty in the seventh minute probably prevented slow-starting Everton from falling behind 2-0. Everton is 3-2-1 in the six matches in a row where Howard has only conceded once—they’ll need more from him with Marouane Feillani, Tim Cahill, Mikel Arteta and Phil Neville all on the injury table (that’s the equivalent of an NFL team missing its entire first-team offensive line).

Mo Edu played all 90 minutes in Rangers’ 1-0 victory at St. Mirren.  Edu and his mates now prepare for a tough match-up with PSV Eindhoven in Holland.  Considering the ‘Gers recent history of dust ups, perhaps they can rough up the PSV squad a bit to help Gooch and Twente take over the top Dutch league spot.

Carlos Bocanegra and St. Etienne gave up a goal 2 minutes into stoppage time to drop their 4th consecutive Ligue 1 match at Caen. Dreams of Europe are all but officially over now as St. Etienne now sit in 10th place after coming out of the gates hot…similar to every horse that I have ever bet on.

Steve Cherundolo went 90 as Hannover put the whoop on Bayern Munich 3-1. The Mayor of Hannover and his side didn’t win possession, but they did win goal mouth chances. Cherundolo, who earned a yellow card, was as active as ever, posting his team’s second-highest passing percentage and looking menacing throughout the first half when Hannover grabbed the match by the throat. It was a convincing win, and for me, Hannover continues to demonstrate their Champions League worthiness. They are now 4 points clear of Mainz for 3rd place.  According to my brief research this would mark the first time that Hannover would have earned a Champions League invite…correct me if I am wrong.

Oguchi Onyewu played 90 minutes as Twente picked up a 1-0 victory against NAC Breda.  The victory allowed Twente to keep pace with the table leading PSV.

Jon Spector was an unused substitute for West Ham in their 3-0 win.

Ricardo Clark was also an unused substitute for Eintracht Frankfurt.

Sacha Kljestan was not active for Anderlecht.

Brad Guzan made a pair of saves in a 1-0 loss.

Conor Doyle played 76 minutes of a 1-0 defeat for Derby.

Eric Lichaj played 180 minutes in 4 days and put a shot on goal in a pair of wins for Leeds.

Eddie Johnson also went 180 minutes in 4 days in a draw and a loss for the cellar dwelling Preston.

Jozy Altidore started and went 75 minutes for the Turkish club, Bursaspor in a 1-1 draw.

Dru Boyer is a staff writer for The Yanks Are Coming when he isn’t a very powerful attorney. He can be reached at dru@yanksarecoming.com. You should follow him on Twitter at @SwampJankins.


Dru Boyer

  • Eddie Johnson has been playing a lot. Not really playing great, but clearly playing well enough to stay on the field. Wonder if he’ll get a look in the next couple of months….

  • dan

    Freddy Adu with the game winner last week! Can’t believe you missed him on here! You’re not keeping an eye on him?? Future of American soccer! The next Pele!

  • Dru

    I quit trying to track Adu when he began covering his own tracks in Greece.