Americans In The UK: Howard, Everton Back On Track

Tim Howard recorded two clean sheets last week to help Everton get out of the Premiership gutter and gain a leg up in the Europa League.
By Matthew Braine

Everton looked like the Everton of old last week, scoring seven goals while conceding zero as they defeated both AEK Athens and Blackburn handily. First, on Thursday, the Toffees got a real team effort in their Europa contest, as Joseph Yobo, Sylvain Distin, Steven Pienaar, and Jo all tallied for the hosts. Howard wasn’t troubled too much and notched a clean sheet, his second in Europa League competition this season.

On Sunday, Louis Saha got things rolling early, scoring a double before Joseph Yobo added a third at Goodison Park. Howard kept his second straight shutout and helped propel Everton out of the bottom and back into the middle of the table. The big New Jersey native had a sparkling clean sheet record last year and finally got his name on the charts this year in the Premiership after opening the campaign with four straight below average efforts.

Premiership:

Tim Howard, Everton

vs. AEK Athens, 4-0, (90 minutes, 3 saves, 0 goals conceded)
vs. Blackburn, 3-0, (90 minutes, 4 saves, 0 goals conceded)

See above.
Up Next: Wednesday, away to Hull (Carling Cup) and Saturday, away to Portsmouth.  

Anton Peterlin and Cody Arnoux, Everton.
vs. Hull Reserves, 2-0, (Both DNP)

Hull ran off 2-0 winners last Monday as George Boateng and Ryan Kendall each scored to put the Everton Reserves away. Arnoux and Peterlin were both in the squad but did not get on.
Up Next: Tuesday, September 29th, home to Blackburn Reserves.  


Brad Friedel, Aston Villa
vs. Portsmouth, 2-0, (90 minutes, 6 saves, 0 goals conceded)

Friedel continues to impress for Villa. The 38-year-old 'keeper kept his third straight clean sheet on Saturday, blanking Portsmouth 2-0. Friedel has allowed just one goal in his last four matches and is clearly at the top of his game right now. The hosts got it going early on Saturday, with James Milner converting from the penalty spot 34 minutes in. Gabriel Agbonlahor scored a second Villa goal just nine minutes later to settle the score line.
Up Next: Wednesday, home to Cardiff City (Carling Cup) and Saturday, away to Blackburn.

Brad Guzan, Aston Villa
vs. Portsmouth, 2-0, (DNP)

As usual, Guzan played the back-up role Saturday.  

Eric Lichaj, Aston Villa
vs. Portsmouth Reserves, 2-0, (90 minutes)

Lichaj helped the Villa Reserves preserve their spotless record thus far as they defeated Pompey 2-0 last Monday. Barry Bannan and Chris Herd each tallied for the hosts while Lichaj aided a defense that has only allowed one goal in three full matches this campaign.
Up Next: Tuesday, September 29, away to Fulham Reserves.  

Clint Dempsey, Fulham
vs. CSKA Sofia, 1-1, (DNP)
vs. Wolverhampton, 2-1, (62 minutes)


Manger Roy Hodgson went with a mostly second tier squad for Thursday’s Europa contest with CSKA and came up with a quality draw on the road thanks to Diomansy Kamara’s 65th minute equalizer. The gaffer was likely looking for a strong league performance on the weekend but got the exact opposite despite the extra rest for the regulars. Fulham had one of their worst performances of the season on Sunday, falling to Wolves 2-1. Dempsey, along with the rest of the squad, looked ragged from the start and found themselves down 1-0 after 18 minutes when Kevin Doyle struck a header from close range. By the 50th minute it was 2-0 when David Edwards scored a nifty goal after some nice build up play from Andrew Keogh. The Cottagers pulled one back in the 66th when Danny Murphy converted from the penalty spot, but that was the lone bright spot for the visitors. Dempsey was taken off after a lackluster 62 minutes.
Up Next: Wednesday, away to Manchester City (Carling Cup) and Saturday, home to Arsenal.

Eddie Johnson, Fulham
vs. Birmingham City Reserves, 1-1, (90 minutes, 1 goal)
vs. CSKA Sofia, 1-1, (DNP)
vs. Wolverhampton, 2-1, (DNP)



Johnson was not dressed for Thursday or Sunday’s contest, but did play for the Reserves last Monday against Birmingham City. After Gary McSheffrey gave the home side a lead in the 69th minute, Johnson secured a point for the visitors just 10 minutes later with a sharp low strike. After playing extensively for Cardiff last season and gaining a cult following, Fulham were keen on bringing him back to London this season, most likely to bolster their squad for their Europa run. However, Johnson has only featured twice for the first team this season, for a total of 24 minutes. Perhaps he can impress on the Reserves front and draw some attention going forward.  

Jonathan Spector, West Ham
vs. Liverpool, 2-3, (DNP)

An extra brilliant Ferando Torres scored twice on Saturday as Liverpool out-classed a gritty West Ham United squad. Spector was available on the bench but did not get on. Torres got it going early with a close range flick. Alessandro Diamanti netted from the penalty spot just nine minutes later. Dirk Kuyt regained the lead for the visitors in the 41st minute before Carlton Cole equalized just before half. Finally it was Torres who secured the full three points in the 75th minute.
Up Next: Tuesday, away to Bolton (Carling Cup) and Saturday, away to Manchester City.

Marcus Hahnemann, Wolverhampton
vs. Fulham, 2-1, (DNP)

Hahnemann played the back-up role as Wolves defeated a shaky Fulham squad on Sunday.
Up Next: Wednesday, away to Manchester United (Carling Cup) and Sunday, away to Sunderland.

Jozy Altidore, Hull City
vs. Birmingham City, 0-1, (64 minutes)

Altidore had several good chances on the day and nearly scored twice but neither he nor anyone on Hull could muster a goal as the home team fell 0-1. Gary O’Connor scored the winning goal in the 75th minute to put the Tigers away.
Up Next: Wednesday, home to Everton (Carling Cup) and Saturday, away to Liverpool.  

Championship Round-Up:

Jay DeMerit, Watford

vs. Plymouth, 0-1, (DNP)
vs. Leicester City, 3-3, (DNP)


DeMerit was eligible to return to action last week following a spell with a groin strain, but was not included in either of Watford’s matches last week. On Tuesday, the visitors got an early winner from Tom Cleverley to secure the points, and on Saturday, Watford battled in a wild 3-3 shootout and looked to have a victory in sight after battling back from down 0-2 to leading 3-2. However, Leicester’s Dany N’Guessan scored a vital equalizer in stoppage time to break the home fans' hearts.
Up Next: Saturday, away to Reading.  

Frank Simek, Sheffield Wednesday
vs. Middlesbrough, 1-3, (DNP)
vs. Sheffield United, 3-2, (DNP)


Wednesday got going early on Tuesday as Luke Varney scored for the hosts just two minutes in, but the jubilation was short-lived as 'Boro notched three unanswered goals after that to bury the Owls. On Friday, the Owls lost the Sheffield derby 3-2. Despite falling behind 3-0 in the first half, the visitors fought back, scoring twice in the second stanza but could not get that third goal and ultimately had to settle for nothing at all. Simek was on the substitutes list for both contests but did not get any playing time.
Up Next: Saturday, home to Cardiff City.  

League One:

Jemal Johnson, Milton Keynes Dons

vs. Norwich City, 2-1, (90 minutes)
vs. Wycombe, 0-1, (90 minutes)

Johnson and the Dons had a solid week, winning both contests by a goal each. On Monday, they dispatched Norwich 2-1 behind goals from Jason Puncheon and Peter Leven. On Saturday, Mathias Doumbe scored just before halftime to give the visitors the win.
Up Next: Saturday, home to Leeds United.  

Mike Grella, Leeds United
vs. Gillingham, 4-1, (10 minutes)

Grella got on late for Leeds but by that point the game was in hand thanks to Bradley Johnson’s double combined with goals from Jermaine Beckford and Jonathan Howson. The win marks Leeds 15th consecutive home league win.
Up Next: Tuesday, home to Liverpool and Saturday (Carling Cup), away to MK Dons.

John-Paul Pittman, Wycombe Wanderers
vs. MK Dons, 0-1, (45 minutes)

Pittman, an Oklahoma City native who holds dual citizenship with England, has already scored twice for Wycombe this season including an August 29 winner against Bristol Rovers. On Saturday, Pittman got on for the entire second half but did not score as the Dons defeated Wycombe in a tight match.
Up Next: Saturday, away to Swindon Town.  

Ian Joyce, Southend United
vs. Brighton, 2-3, (DNP)

Francis Laurent scored the winner for Southend. Joyce was on the bench, playing the back-up role.
Up Next: Saturday, home to Oldham.

Meanwhile Up In Scotland…

DaMarcus Beasley and Maurice Edu, Rangers

vs. Vfb Stuttgart, 1-1, (Both DNP)
vs. Killmarnock, 0-0, (Both DNP)


Beasley was included in the Champions League affair with Stuttgart was did not get on as Madjid Bougherra equalized in the 77th minute to cancel out Pavel Pogrebnyak’s opener. Rangers drew 0-0 with Kilmarnock on Saturday.
Up Next: Wednesday, away to Queen of the South (CIS Insurance Cup) and Saturday, home to Aberdeen.

Matthew Braine writes the Americans In The UK piece every Monday for Goal.com. Contact him with your questions or comments at matthew.braine@hotmail.com

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