Americans Abroad Rewind: Danny Williams keeps up World Cup push

Danny Williams scored his third goal in seven matches for Reading FC, helping the Royals to a key win that bolstered their hold on a League Championship promotion playoff place.
The competition for defensive midfield places on the U.S. World Cup team is heating up. Kyle Beckerman is in top form, Jermaine Jones is considered a lock to make the team, and Maurice Edu has been playing well since returning to MLS.

Danny Williams is intent on keeping his name in that conversation. His latest game-winning goal for Reading FC had to help his chances of earning one more look when the U.S. national team convenes in May for its final pre-World Cup training camp.

Williams has been a steady force for Reading, helping the Royals build a five-point lead for sixth place and the final spot in the English League Championship promotion playoffs. Williams has scored three goals in Reading’s past seven matches, a stretch made more impressive by the fact he hadn’t scored a single goal for Reading before that.

Aron Johannsson continued his own torrid scoring run in the Eredivisie, notching his 17th league goal and 26th goal in all competitions in AZ’s 2-2 tie with Roda JC. Johannsson also added an assist during the match, but fell short of playing the hero after squandering a late chance to score the winner against last-place Roda.

In England, Tim Howard and red-hot Everton continued their march toward a potential UEFA Champions League place by routing Arsenal 3-0. Howard made five saves as the Toffees climbed to within one point of the Gunners for fourth place in the English Premier League, with a game in hand.

Howard was the only Premier League-based American to enjoy success this weekend. Brad Guzan was on the wrong end of Aston Villa’s 2-1 loss to Fulham last Saturday, while Geoff Cameron played just 45 minutes in Stoke City’s 3-0 loss to Chelsea.

In the League Championship, Oguchi Onyewu saw his latest start for Sheffield Wednesday cut short by injury, as he left after 45 minutes in Friday’s 2-1 loss to Leicester City.

Jonathan Spector started and played the full match in Birmingham City’s 3-1 win against Doncaster Rovers on Saturday. Will Packwood made the bench, but did not play for Birmingham.

In Germany, John Brooks earned another start for Hertha Berlin, playing 62 minutes in a 1-1 tie with TSG Hoffenheim. Brooks has started three of Hertha’s past four matches, which could keep him on Jurgen Klinsmann’s radar despite his shaky showing in the U.S. national team’s loss to Ukraine.

In France, Alejandro Bedoya notched his fourth goal of the season in Nantes’ 3-1 loss to AS Monaco on Saturday.

In Turkey, Jermaine Jones went the full 90 minutes in Besiktas’ 2-1 win against Keyserispor on Saturday.

Bob Bradley’s stint as manager of Stabaek is off to a good start after posting a 2-1 win against SK Brann on Sunday. Michael Stephens started and played 71 minutes for Stabaek, which is now 2-0 on the young Norwegian season.

Zarek Valentin started and played 90 minutes in Bodo Glimt’s 3-1 loss to Valarenga on Sunday.

In Mexico, Joe Corona and Edgar Castillo both started in Club Tijuana’s 3-1 win against Toluca last Friday.

DaMarcus Beasley and Michael Orozco started in Puebla’s 0-0 tie with Atlas on Saturday. Orozco left the match after just 22 minutes with an injury.

Jose Torres saw the lone red card of the weekend for Americans Abroad, after being sent off in UANL Tigres’ 2-0 win against Atlante.