In a battle of forwards who could be called up for next month's U.S. national team friendly against Ukraine, it was Aron Johannsson who out-dueled Juan Agudelo this weekend.Aron Johannsson returned from a brief injury layoff to score his 22nd goal of the season in all competitions on Saturday, helping AZ Alkmaar earn a 1-1 draw against Juan Agudelo and FC Utrecht.
The battle of American strikers didn't quite play out as hoped, with both forwards struggling to get involved in the action. Johannsson delivered the opening goal of the match on a first-half header. Agudelo never really got going as the target forward in the Utrecht attack, playing 74 minutes before being subbed out.
The weekend was much better for European-based Americans than the last, with two other members of Jurgen Klinsmann's player pool joining Johannsson in the scoring column. Danny Williams scored his second goal in three matches in a big 3-1 Reading FC win against Queens Park Rangers. The victory helped keep Reading four points ahead of Brighton & Hove Albion for sixth place in the League Championship.
Sacha Kljestan also found the net this weekend, scoring the opening goal and setting up a second in Anderlecht's 2-0 win against Mons. Kljestan hadn't started since December, and hadn't played in three matches. He made the most of his return to the starting lineup though, helping Anderlecht stay within two points of Club Brugge for second place in the Jupiler Pro League.
Johannsson wasn't the only American forward to score this weekend in Europe. Terrence Boyd celebrated his 23rd birthday with a late stoppage-time consolation goal in Rapid Vienna's 2-1 loss to Admira.
Five teams in the FA Cup round of 16 had Americans on their rosters, but none of those players saw action. Jozy Altidore sat out Sunderland's 1-0 victory against Cody Cropper's Southampton squad. Tim Howard enjoyed a rest in Everton's 3-1 win against Swansea City. Eric Lichaj's recovery from injury continued as he missed Nottingham Forest's 3-1 loss to Sheffield United. Oguchi Onyewu is still recovering from his own injury, but his Sheffield Wednesday side saw its FA Cup match against Charlton Athletic postponed due to a waterlogged field.
Also in England, Tim Ream started and went the fill 90 minutes in Bolton's 1-1 tie at Millwall. The draw helped Bolton push six points clear of the League Championship relegation zone.
Bolton also pulled within three points of Will Packwood and Birmingham City, which dropped a 2-1 decision to Huddersfield Town. Packwood went the full 90 minutes for Birmingham. The appearance marked Packwood's fifth straight start, and he put in a solid showing. If he keeps it up, Packwood could earn a call-up from Klinsmann for the March 5 friendly against Ukraine.
In France, Alejandro Bedoya started in Nantes' 0-0 tie with Nice, a result that halted a two-match losing skid, but didn't stop Nantes from slipping to 12th place in Ligue 1.
In Mexico, only one of Club Tijuana's contingent of Americans started in Friday's 3-2 loss to Santos Laguna. Edgar Castillo went the full 90 minutes for the Xolos, while Joe Corona and Herculez Gomez came on as second-half substitutes. Paul Arriola did not dress for the Xolos.
Michael Orozco started and went 90 minutes in Puebla's 1-0 loss to Cruz Azul, a painful defeat caused by a stoppage-time winner from Marco Fabian. DaMarcus Beasley came off the bench and played 45 minutes for Puebla.