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Americans In The UK: FA Cup Blues

Aston Villa once again battled Chelsea bravely in the first half of a contest, only to be undone in the second stanza. Brad Friedel's side fell 0-3 in the FA Cup semi-final Saturday. Although the Villains were denied a clear penalty in the first half, their play late in the game was sketchy, along with the poor pitch at Wembley Stadium. Friedel stopped a nice shot from Joe Cole but Didier Drogba, Florent Malouda, and Frank Lampard all tallied late.

The Birmingham club made great waves this season, making the Carling Cup final and the FA Cup semis but a trophy was not to be had. They still have a shot at Europe next season, sitting only two points behind Liverpool for the sixth spot with two games in hand.

Premier League:

Tim Howard, Everton

No games last week.
Up Next: Wednesday, away to Aston Villa, and Saturday, away to Blackburn.

Brad Friedel and Brad Guzan, Aston Villa
Vs. Chelsea, 0-3 (90 minutes, 3 goals conceded, 3 saves)

See above.
Up Next: Wednesday, home for Everton, and Sunday, away to Portsmouth.

Clint Dempsey, Fulham
Vs. Vfl Wolfsburg, 0-1, (DNP)
Vs. Liverpool, 0-0, (DNP)

Fulham booked a place in the Europa League semifinals on Thursday with a 0-1 win over Wolfsburg in Germany. The London outfit will face Hamburg in the next round. On Sunday, Fulham held Liverpool scoreless as both sides played to a 0-0 draw. Unfortunately, Dempsey missed both contests last week with a thigh injury.
Up Next: Saturday, home for Wolverhampton.

Jonathan Spector, West Ham
Vs. Sunderland, 1-0, (90 minutes)

Spector played the entire contest, picking up a yellow card in the process, and helped the Hammers defeat Sunderland 1-0. Aruajo Ilan scored the only goal of the match in the 51st minute, netting West Ham a much needed three points. With just four games remaining, the club sits just four points out of the drop zone.
Up Next: Monday, away to Liverpool.

Marcus Hahnemann, Wolverhampton
Vs. Stoke City, 0-0, (90 minutes, 1 save, 0 goals conceded)

Wolves were able to grab a point against Stoke on Sunday but it was not a pretty affair. Chants of “boring” were heard at Molineux Stadium as neither side proved to inspire much of anything. Hahnemann notched his sixth clean sheet of the season. The team looks good heading into their final four games, sitting six points clear of the relegation zone.
Up Next: Saturday, away to Fulham.

Jozy Altidore, Hull City

Vs. Burley, 1-4, (90 minutes, 1 assist)

Altidore played the whole 90 on Saturday but Hull suffered a devastating 1-4 defeat at the hands of Burnley. Early on it looked as though Hull would be the aggressors as Altidore fed Kevin Kilbane for the opening goal just three minutes in. However, the Tigers picked up five yellow cards during the contest as they struggled to get their attack going, ultimately taking the lopsided loss. Hull is buried in 19th place, four points away from safety but they do have five games remaining.
Up Next: Saturday, away to Birmingham.

Stuart Holden, Bolton Wanderers

Bolton did not have any games last week but got some good news regarding Holden. The winger plans on resuming full training in two weeks in hopes of returning for the club’s final two contests.
Up Next: Tuesday, away to Chelsea and Saturday, away to Stoke City.


Jay DeMerit, Watford

DeMerit missed Monday's game against WBA but the Hornets drew 1-1 to salvage a point. On Saturday, the defender returned to the squad and helped Watford defeat Plymouth 1-0 behind Heidar Helguson’s winner.
Up Next: Saturday, away to Leicester City.

Frank Simek, Sheffield Wednesday

Simek did not get off the bench on Monday when the Owls fell 0-1 against Bristol City. It was same situation on Saturday as Middlesbrough defeated Wednesday 1-0.
Up Next: Sunday, home for Sheffield United.

Kenny Cooper, Plymouth

On Monday, Cooper did not get on as Plymouth fell 0-2 against Middlesbrough. Cooper came on in the waning moments of Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Watford.
Up Next: Monday April 19, home for Newcastle.

League One:

Jemal Johnson, Stockport County

Johnson played 68 minutes on Monday as Stockport lost 2-1 at Norwich City. Johnson tried his chances in the first half but his attempts fell short. On Saturday, Johnson was not used as the squad fell to Yeovil Town 1-3. Stockport will be relegated at season’s end after a dreadful campaign in which they’ve accumulated just 25 points from 41 contests thus far.
Up Next: Tuesday, away to Hartlepool United, and Saturday, away to Leyton Orient.

Mike Grella, Leeds United

Leeds continues to make a push for automatic promotion, picking up two big wins last week to move to within one point of second place Millwall. The squad defeated Yeovil Town 1-2 early in the week before dispatching Southend United 2-0 on Saturday. Grella did not feature in either contest.
Up Next: Tuesday, away to Carlisle United, and Saturday, away to Gillingham.

Jon-Paul Pittman, Wycombe Wanderers

Pittman played 90 minutes on Monday but his team fell 2-1 at Walsall. On Saturday, Pittman helped lead Wanderers to just their seventh win of the season when he scored from six yards out against Hartepool United. The 2-0 victory help boost the squad’s slender survival hopes. Wycombe sits seven points out of the 20th spot and with five fixtures remaining, each one is more important than the last.
Up Next: Tuesday, away to Tranmere Rovers, and Saturday, away to MK Dons.

Zak Whitbread, Norwich City

Whitbread got his first start in over 10 months on Monday, playing the entire match as Norwich defeated Stockport 2-1. The defender was rested during Saturday’s 1-1 draw with MK Dons.
Up Next: Tuesday, away to Leyton Orient, and Saturday, away to Charlton Athletic.

Eric Lichaj, Leyton Orient

Lichaj, on loan from Aston Villa, helped Orient grab a point against Exeter City on Saturday as the two clubs drew 0-0. On Monday, Lichaj also played 90 minutes but Southampton defeated the squad 2-1. Lichaj has now made four appearances for the League One outfit. He previously had a loan spell with Lincoln City earlier in the season.
Up Next: Tuesday, home for Norwich City, and Saturday, home for Stockport County.

Meanwhile Up In Scotland…

DaMarcus Beasley and Maurice Edu, Rangers

Edu started on Wednesday and helped to lead Rangers over Aberdeen 3-1. The midfielder was part of the build up to the first goal in the 24th minute and played very well overall during his 90 minutes. Beasley was on the bench but did not get on.
Up Next: Wednesday, away to Dundee United, and Sunday, home for Heart of Midlothian.

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

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