Americans In The UK: Boxing Day Blues

A slew of average and poor performances saw just one American play for a winning team over the weekend.
By Matthew Braine

Maurice Edu made his return to Rangers on Sunday and helped the Glasgow outfit sew up an easy 4-1 win over Hibernian. However, his 16 minute cameo made him the only American to play for a winner as every other Yank lost, drew, or simply did not play in their club's winning match.

With a full slate of games coming up on Monday and an FA Cup weekend ahead, let's just put this weekend behind us and get to the facts.

Premiership:

Tim Howard, Everton.

Vs. Sunderland, 1-1, (90 minutes, 3 saves, 1 goal conceded)

Everton nearly dropped one at Sunderland on Saturday, but Marouane Fellaini struck late to settle the draw. Darren Bent hit a header into the net after 17 minutes and, despite the Toffees' hard work and control of possession, they could not make the breakthrough. But in the 85th minute, a scramble in the box led to Fellaini's equalizer, a deserved one for the visitors.
Up Next: Monday, home for Burnley, and Saturday, home for Carlisle United (FA Cup).


Anton Peterlin and Cody Arnoux, Everton.  


The Reserves don't play again until January 5 against Hull. 

Brad Friedel, Aston Villa
Vs. Arsenal, 3-0, (90 minutes, 6 saves, 3 goals conceded)

After holding up Arsenal at home in the first half, the Birmingham club faltered in the second, allowing three goals. Cesc Fabregas came on as a substitute and absolutely wreaked havoc on the opposition, scoring a double inside 16 minutes while putting away Villa. Friedel could not stop the Spaniard's 65th minute free kick nor his 81st minute effort from close range. Abou Diaby netted the third in stoppage time.
Up Next: Tuesday, home for Liverpool, and Saturday, home for Blackburn (FA Cup).


Brad Guzan, Aston Villa


Guzan backed up Friedel last week.


Clint Dempsey, Fulham

Vs. Tottenham, 0-0, (90 minutes)


Fulham were very aggressive on Saturday but could not capitalize on their chances, failing to score in the 0-0 draw. Dempsey hit the woodwork at one point and helped create a few other chances, but the breakthrough proved elusive.
Up Next: Monday, away to Chelsea, and Saturday, home for Swindon Town (FA Cup). 


Eddie Johnson, Fulham

Johnson did not appear for Fulham last week. 

Jonathan Spector, West Ham

Vs. Portsmouth, 2-0, (DNP)


West Ham defeated Portsmouth 2-0 on Saturday, but Spector did not get off the bench. The win lifted the Hammers out of the drop zone.
Up Next: Monday, away to Tottenham, and Sunday, home for Arsenal (FA Cup). 


Marcus Hahnemann, Wolverhampton
Vs. Liverpool, 2-0, (90 minutes, 6 saves, 2 goals conceded)

Hahnemann was sharp on Saturday, stopping early shots from Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres. But the reinstated Wolves 'keeper could not stifle the Reds for long as Liverpool rebounded in the second half to win 2-0. The key moment came when Stephen Ward was sent off in the 53rd minute, a curious decision by the referee, who had originally given the foul to Christophe Berra but changed his mind after taking the suggestion of Liverpool players and consulting a linesman. Nevertheless, Wolves were down to ten men and Liverpool took advantage, netting twice after Ward's dismissal.
Up Next: Monday, home for Manchester City, and Sunday, away to Tranmere Rovers (FA Cup). 



Jozy Altidore, Hull City

Vs. Manchester United, 1-3, (83 minutes)

Altidore played well on Sunday but Hull was simply out-classed by Manchester United and undone by the stunning play of Wayne Rooney. After Rooney scored the opener for United, Altidore set up the equalizer when he was brought down inside the box by Rafael. Craig Fagan netted from the spot before Rooney took charge of the match, forcing an own goal from Andy Dawson and setting up the third goal for Dimitar Berbatov.
Up Next: Tuesday, away to Bolton, and Saturday, away to Wigan (FA Cup).


Championship Round-Up:


Jay DeMerit, Watford

DeMerit played the full 90 minutes on Saturday but Watford could not grab the victory at home and drew 0-0 with Nottingham Forest.
Up Next: Monday, away to Bristol City, and Sunday, away to Chelsea (FA Cup).

Frank Simek, Sheffield Wednesday


Simek started and played the entire match as Wednesday drew 2-2 with Newcastle. The Owls trailed 1-2 going into halftime but James O'Conner equalized 14 minutes into the second stanza to settle the score.
Up Next: Monday, away to Blackpool, and Saturday, home for Crystal Palace (FA Cup).




League One:


Jemal Johnson, Milton Keynes Dons

Johnson was not involved in Saturday's 4-1 win over Stockport County.
Up Next: Monday, away to Huddersfield Town, and Saturday, home for Burnley (FA Cup).

Mike Grella, Leeds United

Grella did not come off the bench as Leeds defeated Hartlepool United 3-1 on Saturday.
Up Next: Monday, away to Stockport County, and Sunday, away to Manchester United (FA Cup).

Jon-Paul Pittman, Wycombe Wanderers

Pittman started but came off in the 73rd minute as Yeovil Town destroyed Wanderers 4-0. Three goals within the final 19 minutes closed the deal for the hosts.
Up Next: Monday, home for Brighton, and Saturday, home for Norwich City.

Ian Joyce, Southend United

Joyce, making his first start of the season in place of injured 'keeper Steve Mildenhall, gave up two second half goals as the hosts lost 1-2 to Colchester United. Joyce made three saves but the game winner came when a free kick sailed over the wall and past his dive. Joyce will start again on Monday.
Up Next: Monday, away to Leyton Orient.

League Two:

Eric Lichaj, Lincoln City


Lichaj did not feature for City as they defeated Chesterfield 2-1.
Up Next: Monday, away to Darlington, and Saturday, away to Bolton (FA Cup).


Seb Harris, Northampton Town


Harris was on the substitutes' list but did not get on as Northampton defeated Dag & Red 1-0 behind Bill McKay’s 88th minute winner. Mark Arber had missed a penalty for the visitors in the 80th and McKay made them pay.
Up Next: Monday, away to Barnet, and Saturday, away to AFC Bournemouth.

Meanwhile Up In Scotland…

DaMarcus Beasley and Maurice Edu, Rangers


Beasley was held out of action against Hibernian because of a thigh strain but Edu made his long awaited return, coming on as a late substitute in the 74th minute. Rangers rallied after going down 1-0 inside the first minute and scored four unanswered before Edu made his appearance, the first of the season. He looked solid in his limited run and will likely earn further playing time next week.
Up Next: Wednesday, home for Dundee United, and Sunday, away to Celtic. 

Matthew Braine writes the Americans in the UK piece every Monday. Contact him with your questions or comments at matthew.braine@hotmail.com or follow him on Twitter @MatthewBraine

For more on Americans abroad, visit Goal.com's dedicated page