by Dru Boyer
With seasons all across Europe coming to a close, many Americans abroad were battling for a chance at Champions League or Europa League births. Some made their dreams come true, and others will have to wait for next year. There are still some matches to play in the Premiership this weekend, but for the majority this week represents the close of business overseas. Player of the week honors to Mo Edu, for winning a title, and Jon Spector, because you deserve something when you get relegated.
Brad Friedel tallied 5 saves in a 2-1 victory for the Villans at Emirates Stadium. Darren Bent scored twice in the first 15 minutes to provide all of the offense for Aston Villa and Farve of Villa Park provided all the necessary defense. There was a Michael Bradley sighting…for the final 10 minutes of the match. MB10 committed a foul while in action. Aston Villa will travel to Liverpool on Sunday to conclude their season, coincidentally, Liverpool may be the leader for the Farve of (Anfield) Villa Parks’ services next season. Not to be outdone, MB90 has recently been linked to a potential move to AS Roma, who have also expressed interest in fellow USMNT midfielder, Landon Donovan. My money would be on neither player suiting up for the Serie A squad next season.
Jermaine Jones and Blackburn hosted the Man U and coronation of the Red Devils that followed the match. Jones made it nearly 20 minutes before picking up a yellow card and played 74 minutes total in the 1-1 draw.
Tim Howard made a pair of saves, but gave up a 10th minute goal in a disappointing 1-0 loss to West Brom. Howard took a break from his footballing schedule to meet with some WNBA players before their clash with the women of Great Britain. Howard said it was brilliant to meet someone like WNBA legend, Dawn Staley…I’ve never heard of her. Turns out she was the flag bearer for the 2004 US Olympic team in Athens and also appeared in an episode of Martin in 1996…you can guess what I believe is her finest moment.
Clint Dempsey missed what appeared to be a sure fire goal in the 2nd minute, shot 5 times, picked up an 88th minute yellow and was out in the 89th minute of a 2-0 win at Birmingham. Speculation abounds regarding Deuce, and it is widely believed that if a group of Qatari investors are successful in their take over of Paris Saint-Germain that Dempsey may be their #1 target. I touched on this subject last week, however I am intrigued by the prospect of some wealthy Arabs purchasing a French club and heavily pursuing an American player. But if their desire is to be a Champion’s League mainstay and they want Deuce to be a part of it, then I’m all for it.
Jon Spector put in 60 minutes in another futile effort from West Ham that will result in relegation for the Hammers. The big question now is whether Spector, who put in a memorable performance this year in a win over Manchester United, can use a relatively meager resume of other impressive showings and stay in first division football. Hard to know. The Gold Cup might matter, but if I were a betting man on these sorts of things I would guess Spector and West Ham’s youth academy will be battling the Championship together next year. I’ll just move on from West Ham as to avoid any further heartache for TYAC Senior Writer, Jon Levy.
Mo Edu went all 90 minutes in the Gers 5-1 victory over Kilmarnock, more importantly the win earned Rangers their third consecutive SPL title. It took all of 7 minutes for Rangers to get out to a 3-0 lead before finishing of Kilmarnock and the rest of the SPL. Kilmarnock sounds like a really delicious tasting beer. I bet to Rangers fans—it would taste like…championships. Edu has been suiting up for the Gers for 3 years and in that same period they have won 3 consecutive titles…not surprisingly, Edu became the first American to three-peat on European soil.
Carlos Bocanegra drew an 82nd minute yellow in 90 minutes of work for St. Etienne in a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Rennes, Boca’s former club.
Cpt. Steve and Hannover earned a 3-1 win over Timmy Chandler and Nurnberg. Cherundolo will be taking his talents to the Europa League next season, while Chandler and Nurnberg finished 9 points behind Mainz for the other Europa League spot. Nurnburg dropped their final 3 games and Mainz won their final 3 games…must close out strong.
Sacha Kljestan put in 180 minutes in a pair of losses for Anderlecht, 2-1 at Standard Liege and 4-3 to Lokeren. Anderlecht finished in 3rd place in the Jupiler league behind Genk and Standard Liege, and will find themselves in the Europa League next season after appearing destined for a run at the Champions League…disappointing.
Jozy Altidore played 15 minutes in a 3-0 win for Bursaspor.
Onyewu could only watch while nursing a sore abdominal muscle as Ajax defeated Twente 3-1 to take the Eredivisie title. Twente will be in Champion’s League qualifying.
Freddy Adu‘s Rizespor squad clinched a 4th place finish which provides a playoff opportunity to join the top Turkish league next season.
Feel free to ask me anything about anything below and I promise to provide an honest answer, maybe. Or hit me and my sweet avitar up on twitter @SwampJankins otherwise see you next week for the conclusion of the EPL. And if you are really wondering what I really think about Dawn Staley’s accomplishments…duh.