By Matthew Braine
Friedel was very impressive on Saturday, holding powerhouse Chelsea down as the Villains got a big 2-1 win at Villa Park. Richard Dunne cancelled out an early Didier Drogba strike before James Collins netted the winner in the 52nd minute. After the Ivory Coast product scored early, Friedel was stellar the rest of the match, stopping strong strikes from Deco and Frank Lampard.
Last Monday, the Villains were heading for a victory after Richard Dunne scored in the 15th minute. However, Craig Bellamy scored in the 67th minute when he powered a strong strike in from 12-yards out. Friedel made some valuable saves to preserve the draw, halting Emmanuel Adebayor late.
Villa are now on the cusp of the top four, sitting just two points behind fourth place Arsenal and one point behind fifth place Manchester City.
Tim Howard, Everton
Vs. Wolverhampton, 1-1, (90 minutes, 3 saves, 1 goal conceded)
Everton got a late equalizer from Russian winger Diniyar Bilyaletdinov and secured a draw at Goodison Park Saturday. Howard made notable saves to shut down Kevin Doyle and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake but in the 76th minute Doyle found the breakthrough. Wayne Hennessey delivered a long goal kick which was poorly covered by the Everton defense, allowing Doyle to easily slot one past Howard. However, 12 minutes later, Bilyaletdinov converted a superb cross to level the score.
Up Next: Thursday, away to Benfica (Europa) and Sunday, away to Bolton.
Anton Peterlin and Cody Arnoux, Everton.
Vs. Manchester United Reserves, 0-1, (Peterlin played 90 minutes and Arnoux DNP)
Peterlin got the start against the Manchester Reserves and played well, however the pace and talent of Federico Macheda was too much for Everton as he scored the lone goal in the 55th minute.
Up Next: Monday, away to Bolton Reserves.
Brad Friedel and Brad Guzan
Vs. Manchester City, 1-1, (90 minutes, 3 saves, 1 goal conceded)
Vs. Chelsea, 2-1, (90 minutes, 6 saves, 1 goal conceded)
Up Next: Saturday, away to Wolverhampton.
Eric Lichaj, Aston Villa
Vs. Wolverhampton Reserves, 1-1, (90 minutes)
Lichaj played the entire contest as the Villains extended their unbeaten streak to five matches to start the season. Craig Gardner scored the equalizer for the hosts after Michael Kightly struck early on for Wolves.
Up Next: Monday, away to Stoke Reserves.
Clint Dempsey and Eddie Johnson, Fulham
Up Next: Monday, 10/19 home against Hull City, Thursday, home against AS Roma (Europa), and Sunday, away to Manchester City.
Jonathan Spector, West Ham
Vs. Stoke City, 2-1, (DNP)
Spector was dressed for Saturday’s game but was relegated to the bench as James Beattie scored a double to best Matthew Upson’s strike.
Up Next: Sunday, home against Arsenal.
Marcus Hahnemann, Wolverhampton
Vs. Aston Villa Reserves, 1-1, (90 minutes, 1 goal conceded)
Vs. Everton, 1-1, (DNP)
The keeper grabbed some Reserves action a few weeks ago, holding Villa to one goal in a 1-1 draw. The burly American was solid between the posts but would obviously like to be getting some first team action instead. Hahnemann played the backup role on Saturday.
Up Next: Saturday, home against Aston Villa.
Jozy Altidore, Hull City
Up Next: Monday, 10/19 away to Fulham and Saturday, home against Portsmouth.
Jay DeMerit, Watford
Vs. Middlesbrough, 0-1, (DNP)
DeMerit had his eye operation on Saturday to correct a scratched cornea. Originally thought to be out three-four months post surgery, the defender is now on track to return within one-two months. On Saturday, DeMerit’s squad got an early goal from Tom Cleverley which turned out to be the match winner.
Up Next: Tuesday, away to Ipswich Town and Friday, home against Sheffield Wednesday.
Frank Simek, Sheffield Wednesday
Vs. Coventry City, 2-0, (DNP)
Simek was dressed for Saturday’s contest but did not play as the Owls walked off 2-0 winners at home thanks to strikes from Darren Purse and Leon Clarke.
Up Next: Tuesday, home against Preston North End and Friday, away to Watford.
Jemal Johnson, Milton Keynes Dons
Vs. Southend United, 2-0, (90 minutes)
Vs. Wallsall, 1-0, (75 minutes)
Vs. Gillingham, 2-0, (14 minutes)
In Johnstone Paint Trophy action, the Dons beat up on Southend United. Although the score line was only 2-0, the domination on the pitch was obvious. Johnson unleashed seven shots on his own as the team tried 14 attempts at goal compared to Southend’s measly two. Last Saturday, Johnson played for the majority of the contest but didn’t do much damage as Jermaine Easter’s lone strike gave the hosts the victory. The Dons continued their run over the weekend as they defeated Gillingham. Johnson came on late and helped the Dons sure up the win.
Up Next: Saturday, away to Southampton.
Mike Grella, Leeds United
Vs. Darlington, 2-1, (70 minutes)
Grella got the start and helped power Leeds into the quarterfinals of the Johnstone Paint Trophy tournament. Grella was aggressive, uncorking a handful of shots but did not score.
Up Next: Monday, home against Norwich City and Saturday, away to Millwall.
John-Paul Pittman, Wycombe Wanderers
Vs. Gillingham, 3-2, (90 Minutes)
Vs. Colchester United, 1-1, (36 minutes, 1 goal)
Wycombe dropped a tough one to Gillingham last Saturday but got a quality draw over the weekend against fourth placed Colchester. Kayode Odejayi gave the visitors a lead early on but Pittman equalized in the 87th minute to secure a point. Craig Woodman threaded a nice ball to the American who slid home the ball past Ben Williams. It was Pittman’s third league goal of the season.
Up Next: Saturday, away to Exeter City.
Ian Joyce, Southend United
Vs. MK Dons, 2-0, (DNP)
Vs. Southampton, 1-3, (DNP)
Vs. Bristol Rovers, 2-1, (DNP)
Joyce suited up as the back up for each contest but did not get on.
Up Next: Saturday, away to Carlisle United.
Meanwhile Up In Scotland…
DaMarcus Beasley and Maurice Edu, Rangers
Vs. St. Johnstone, 1-2, (DNP)
While Edu is still working his way back from injury, Beasley was left off the squad for Saturday’s win over St. Johnstone. Kris Boyd and Sasha Papac tallied for Rangers.
Up Next: Tuesday, home against Unirea Urziceni (Champions League) and Saturday, home to Hibernian.
Celtic keeper and Oklahoma native Dominic Cervi has yet to see any first team action with Scottish giants Celtic. The 23-year-old was signed in the summer but has been relegated to Reserves action thus far. He is rumored to be looking for a loan deal in January.
Matthew Braine writes the Americans in the UK piece every Monday. Contact him with your questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more on Americans abroad, visit Goal.com's dedicated page