Featured, March 2011

MB 90 Lackluster for Villa, Is Tim Howard Underappreciated and Other Yanks Abroad News

From FA Cup heroics to a recent string of fine performances, Tim Howard is putting in another strong EPL campaign despite a shaky start.

Welcome back to your weekly Yanks Abroad update.  I took an informal poll of all of my loyal readers last week regarding a change in format and after a tight 5-3 vote, I have decided to make a slight change.  Not a very exciting week for our European based heroes, but that doesn’t stop my information train from delivering knowledge straight to your brain.

Brad Friedel only needed a single save against Jermaine Jones and Blackburn in a 4-1 victory.  However, 4 days later, Friedel would face a barrage of shots from Man City.  The Villans would fall in that FA Cup match 3-0, The Favre of Villa Park recorded 5 saves.  The FA Cup match also saw MB90 get his first Aston Villa start against the strong to very strong midfield for City. In all honesty, the young American starlet looked a bit overwhelmed, turning the ball over too frequently and looking lost defensively. Bradley was pulled in the 71st minute, unfortunately he did not appear against Blackburn.  In addition to providing the assist to Friedel for his lone save, Jones picked up a yellow in the 23rd.  It appears that Friedel will be one of 11 Villa players to get the axe this summer, as they look to cut the payroll.  That comes at a great time for Brad, who was forced to declare bankruptcy earlier this year. When it rains it pours.

Stu Holden put in 90 minutes work at Newcastle on Saturday, a match that finished in a 1-1 draw.  Holden is confident in his club and feels like the best is yet to come from Bolton.

Tim Howard collected 4 saves as Everton cruised past Sunderland 2-0 on the strength of Jermaine Beckford’s first half brace.  Unfortunately the Toffes turned around and dropped their FA Cup match to Reading, at home.  Again, Howard made 4 saves…but Matt Mills’ 1st half goal proved to be all Reading needed to reach the FA Cup quarterfinals.  That loss aside, let’s give some credit to Mr. Howard who isn’t getting enough nowadays.  With all the talk about Van der Sar and Cech’s performances this season, Howard has truly recovered from a bit of a shaky beginning. One can only wonder how long he’ll be at Everton—but perhaps the lack of fanfare for the American star makes him a lifer. Your thoughts?

Clint Dempsey and Fulham visited Man City on Sunday and earned what seems like their 100th draw of the EPL season, 1-1.  The result virtually assured City will not claim the EPL title and may put them on a path heading straight out of the top 4.  It felt like Deuce was going to find a way to hit a game winner…and the Cottagers certainly were looking for him late, but his best headed attempt sailed wide of the net.

Jon Spector saw the final 8 minutes of action in West Ham’s 3-1 win over Liverpool at Upton Park.  It will be interesting to watch the Hammers’ financial situation as the EPL season winds down and the planned move to the new Olympic Stadium (and the potential legal action, possibly involving a suit against the EPL itself).

Mo Edu went 180 combined minutes in Rangers’ 4-1 victory v. St. Johnston at Ibrox and a 1-0 loss at Celtic park on Wednesday.  The loss puts Celtic on the fast track to the SPL championship, the good news for Edu is that he was one of 9 men left on the pitch for Rangers at the final whistle.  And after the final whistle, shit got chippy.

Bocanegra and St. Etienne lost 2-0 at home to Nice.  Carlos went all 90 minutes in a match that featured a pair of second half goals from the road team…that sat in 16th place at kickoff.  Boca now finds himself 9 points out of a potential Europa League bid.

In a dramatic match featuring an 89th minute goal to snatch away three points for the visiting team, Captain Steve found himself on the winning side.  Hannover’s whistle beater came off of a set piece header from Christian Schultz.  Beasley was not active.  Hannover remains extremely relevant in the Champions League picture, especially having now received the extra berth thanks to the monumental collapse of Serie A. Silly league should have kept…

Oguchi Onyewu who went 90 minutes in Twente’s 2-1 loss at AZ Alkmarr.  Twente gave up a stoppage time winner after scoring an 89th minute equalizer with both teams down a man.  Sounds like an exciting finish, maybe we should start a petition to begin airing Eredivisie matches in the States.  Should go over like a lead balloon.  Twente avenged their weekend loss with a 1-0 Dutch Cup victory on Wednesday that will propel them to the Cup Final.  Gooch did not appear in the match…they probably wanted to save him for the championship.

In other Yanks Abroad action:

Lichaj went 90 and earned a yellow in a 3-0 defeat.

Guzan recorded a pair of saves in a 2-0 loss.

Eddie Johnson put a shot on goal in 69 minutes of a 1-0 loss.

Dru Boyer is a staff writer for the Yanks Are Coming. He can be reached at dru@yanksarecoming.com and you can follow him on Twitter at @SwampJankins.