Americans Abroad Recap: Curtain closes on 2011-12 season

American goalkeepers finished the season on a high, but Tim Ream and Bolton failed to defeat Stoke and were relegated.
Dempsey absent for final game

Fulham played its final game of the season without its best player as Clint Dempsey missed the fixture against Tottenham due to an abductor muscle injury. Minus Dempsey, Fulham struggled a bit and ultimately fell 2-0 on the road, however, the London club still closed the campaign with a ninth place finish.

Toffees draw twice

Everton ended its season on a high note on Sunday, outclassing Newcastle 3-1 at Goodison Park. Tim Howard made three saves and only allowed a Tony Hibbert own goal after the defender inadvertently put one past Howard late. Everton was led by goals from Steven Pienaar, Nikica Jelavic, and John Heitinga while Howard kept out shots from Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse.

With the season now in the bag, the Merseyside outfit can brag about finishing in seventh, four points above bitter rival Liverpool. It’s the first time since the 2004-05 campaign that the Toffees placed higher in the table. That year, Everton finished fourth to Liverpool’s fifth.

Spurs do their part

Brad Friedel made five stops and Tottenham scored twice as the London club bested Fulham 2-0 at White Hart Lane. The win ensures Spurs a fourth place finish but does not guarantee them a Champions League spot. If Chelsea wins next week over Bayern Munich, then the Blues will earn the right to defend their title, denying another English team the chance to participate. For his part, Friedel did well to halt shots from Moussa Dembele and John Arne Riise.

Bolton relegated

Needing a win to stay up, Bolton drew 2-2 with Stoke on Sunday, finishing 18th in the table. The club ends an 11-year run in the top flight and will have to work its way back to the show in the Championship next season. Tim Ream played the full 90 as the Trotters blew a 2-1 lead against Stoke City. Keeper Adam Bogdan brought down Peter Crouch in the 77th minute and Jonathan Walters made no mistake as he added a second goal to knot the score-line.

Villains flop in finale

Eric Lichaj did not play particularly well on Sunday, as Aston Villa lost 2-0 at Norwich. The Villains defense was especially porous as the Canaries scored two goals inside the opening 25 minutes. They kept the pressure on as well, totaling 23 total shots while dominating possession.

The Birmingham club finished 16th in the table, its worst position since the 2005-06 season.

Rangers duo sharp in victory

Carlos Bocanegra was given the day off on the final day of the season, allowing fellow American Alejandro Bedoya the opportunity to start. Maurice Edu was also in the starting lineup as Rangers blew out St. Johnstone on the road 4-0 thanks to a Sone Aluko hat trick. Edu actually set up Lee McCulloch’s opening goal with a nifty flick which was controlled expertly by McCulloch. The crafty winger then set up Aluko’s first goal while Bedoya provided the assist on the following strike. Both Edu and Bedoya proved to be vital during the win.

Despite being docked 10 points in February after going into administration, the Glasgow outfit still managed a second place finish with 73 points.

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