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Americans in the UK: Howard Passes Goodison Legend

By Matthew Braine

Everton stopper Tim Howard forever etched his name into Everton folklore on Saturday, besting Neville Southall’s single season clean sheet record. The New Jersey native blanked Tottenham 0-0 and notched his 16th clean sheet of the campaign, breaking Southall’s club record which was set during the 1995/96 season. Howard came close to tying the record the last two seasons when he grabbed 14 shutouts a piece, but after going the last 270 minutes without allowing a goal, the keeper is now in rare company.

The match itself was a rather disappointing affair with both teams putting up poor performances. Spurs had a few chances in the first half, and the Toffees dominated possession in the second stanza, but neither team could make the breakthrough.

With the draw, Everton sits in sixth position on 57 points, and, with a seven point lead on Fulham, it has assured a top six finish and a European place.

Premiership:

Tim Howard, Everton

vs. Tottenham, 0-0, 90 minutes, 0 goals conceded, 0 saves.

(See Above)
Up Next: Saturday, home to West Ham.

Brad Friedel, Aston Villa.
vs. Hull, 1-0, 90 minutes, 0 goals conceded, 4 saves.
vs. Fulham, 1-3, 90 minutes, 3 goals conceded, 6 saves.


Villa regained its fifth place position on Monday, topping Hull City 1-0. John Carew scored midway through the first half as Friedel kept his 12th clean sheet of the Premiership campaign. The victory clinched Villa’s first automatic European place since the 1997/98 season. On Saturday, Friedel made some outstanding stops, but was beaten three times as the Cottagers ran off 3-1 winners. After Danny Murphy scored from the penalty spot six minutes in, Ashley Young equalized in the 14th. However, Diomansy Kamara unleashed a second half double to put down the Villains. Aston Villa will still finish in the top six this campaign, but it has to feel a bit let down as it certainly endured a second half slump. The Birmingham club’s win on Monday was actually its first in league play since February. The club has tied or lost 10 of its last 11 Premiership fixtures, a huge drop off from it previous 11, of which it won eight and drew three.
Up Next: Saturday, away to Middlesbrough.

Brad Guzan and Eric Lichaj, Aston Villa

Guzan backed up Friedel as usual, but the Reserves played their final match two weeks ago. The Villain Reserves, aided by Eric Lichaj, clinched the Barclays Premier Reserve League South title.

Clint Dempsey, Fulham
vs. Aston Villa, 3-1, 85 minutes.

While Dempsey didn’t score or hand out an assist on Saturday, he was involved in a few of the goals. On the first , he played the ball nicely to Kamara just outside the six-yard box, but the striker was brought down by James Milner. Danny Murphy scored the resulting penalty. On goal number two, Dempsey made a sparkling run down the center of the pitch. A Villain tackle sent the ball right to Kamara, just yards away, and he dispatched a fine 18-yard effort past Friedel. Fulham is embroiled in a tight battle for the seventh and final European spot. It currently holds the position, but lead Spurs and West Ham by just two points and Manchester City by three points.
Up Next: Saturday, away to Newcastle United.

Jonathan Spector, West Ham
vs. Liverpool, 0-3, DNP.

Spector was dressed for Saturday’s match but was lucky to not get on as Liverpool slaughtered the Hammers 0-3. Steven Gerrard had a first half brace and nearly grabbed a hat trick but missed a penalty kick in the 38th minute. Ryan Babel scored with just six minutes remaining to complete the drubbing.
Up Next: Saturday, away to Everton.

Championship Round-Up:

Marcus Hahnemann, Reading


The Royals played solidly against Burnley on the road Saturday but was dealt a killer blow in the 84th minute. Defender Andre Bikey was sent off after a dreadful challenge on Robbie Blake, which led to a spot kick try from Graham Alexander. The 37-year-old Scot put the penalty shot right past Hahnemann and sent the Royals home down a goal in their playoff matchup. Hahnemann, the Seattle native, was brilliant up until that point, stopping five shots as the visitors tried to grab a vital goal. They’ll have a shot to advance to the next round on Tuesday as the second leg brings everyone back to the Madejski Stadium.

Eddie Johnson, Cardiff

While Johnson should be heading back to Fulham next season, there is a chance that the striker could remain a Bluebird. He was certainly loved by the fans as he took home the “Magic Moment” trophy for his first goal in British football. He was also a close runner-up to Jay Bothroyd in the Cardiff City Media Department Player of the Year award, which is decided by text votes from supporters after every game.

Jay DeMerit, Watford

DeMerit had a tumultuous season but still bagged the Club Ambassador of the Year award for his work in the community.

Meanwhile Up In Scotland…

DaMarcus Beasley and Maurice Edu, Rangers
vs. Celtic, 1-0, (Edu played 90 minutes while Beasley earned a DNP.)

Edu continues to impress for Rangers. The midfielder played the entire contest on Saturday during the Old Firm derby, as teammate Stephen Davis scored the only goal of the contest in the 37th minute. There was a brief scare for the American just before halftime when he crumpled to the ground following a strong challenge from Glenn Loovens, but he stayed on and finished out the game strongly. The win at the Ibrox puts the Glasgow outfit in prime position to with the SPL title. With three contests remaining, Rangers lead Celtic by two points.
Up Next: Wednesday, away to Hibernian and Saturday, home to Aberdeen.

Pub Talk:

** Substitute Neil Harris scored late for Millwall as it won the first leg of their playoff matchup against Leeds United on Friday. Millwall's American defender Zak Whitbread helped to keep Leeds away from goal while Leeds striker Mike Grella did not get on. They’ll meet at Leeds on Thursday for the second leg.

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Matthew Braine's feature "Americans in the UK" appears every Monday on Goal.com. He can be reached at matthew.braine@hotmail.com