Brad Friedel earned his first English Premier League start of the season on the same weekend fellow American goalkeepers Tim Howard and Brad Guzan posted shutouts.It was a good weekend for American goalkeepers in the English Premier League, with all three earning starts, and two posting shutouts.
Brad Friedel earned his first league start of the season for Tottenham, playing in place of Hugo Lloris, who is recovering from a concussion. The 42-year-old netminder turned in a commendable shift, making three saves, but Newcastle’s Tim Krul stole the show with one of the best goalkeeping performances in recent memory to lead the Magpies to a 1-0 victory against Tottenham.
U.S. national team goalkeepers Tim Howard and Brad Guzan enjoyed better weekends, with each posting shutouts in good outings. Guzan’s two saves and clean sheet helped Aston Villa post a 2-0 victory against Cardiff City. Howard also made two saves, but Everton’s attack failed to find a goal in a 0-0 draw against last-place Crystal Palace.
The Premier League’s weekend action also saw Geoff Cameron and Stoke City record a 3-3 tie against Swansea City. Cameron played the full match, including the six minutes of stoppage time that saw Charlie Adam’s last-minute penalty kick salvage a point for the visiting Potters. The draw kept Stoke out of the relegation zone, ahead of Fulham on goal difference.
In Germany, Steve Cherundolo took a step toward returning to action by making the substitute’s bench in Hannover’s 0-0 tie against Eintracht Frankfurt on Friday. After having a recent injury scare, the veteran defender is close to returning to action and still has to be considered a possible World Cup participant for the U.S. national team.
The Bundesliga weekend also saw the return of Fabian Johnson to action. After missing five weeks with a calf injury, Johnson came off the bench and played 45 minutes in Hoffenheim’s 3-2 loss to Hertha Berlin on Saturday. John Brooks is still struggling to play his way back into the starting lineup, but did make the substitutes’ bench for Hertha.
In the Netherlands, Aron Johannsson returned to his goal-scoring ways, but his two goals weren’t enough to keep AZ from losing its grip on first place in the Eredivisie. The Cheese Farmers settled for a 2-2 tie against Feyenoord, which opened the door for Vitesse Arnhem to jump into the top spot, one point ahead of AZ.
In France, Alejandro Bedoya helped Nantes return to the win column in a comprehensive 3-0 dismantling of Bordeaux. The road victory helped Nantes close the gap on second-place Lille and third-place Monaco in the Ligue 1 standings.
In Norway, Mix Diskerud and Rosenborg fell short in their bid for a 23rd league title for the club. Rosenborg posted a 3-0 victory against Lillestrom, but first-place Stromsgodset also won, beating Haugesund 4-0 to win the Norwegian League crown.
In Austria, Terrence Boyd and Rapid Vienna edged ahead of Ried for second place in the Austrian Bundesliga, though Ried has a game in hand. Boyd started in a 2-2 draw with Grodig, but did not find the net in his 74 minutes of action.
In Belgium, Sacha Kljestan and Anderlecht closed the gap on first-place Standard Liege with a 1-0 victory against Genk. The win moved Anderlecht within two points of the league leaders.
In Mexico, Club Tijuana’s late push for a playoff spot crashed in ugly fashion as a Xolos red card opened the door for Club Leon to put on a 5-0 mauling. The defeat not only ended the Xolos’ season, it cost coach Jorge Almiron his job.
Edgar Castillo was the only American to start for Club Tijuana in the loss, with Paul Arriola the only other American to appear in the match, coming on as a 55th-minute substitute. As disappointing as the Apertura season was for Joe Corona and Herculez Gomez, the club’s coaching change could help revive both their careers.