Americans Abroad: Wednesday Rewind

By FRANCO PANIZO

Geoff Cameron took part in his first Boxing Day on Wednesday, and he surely will not forget it any time soon.

Cameron and Stoke City extended their undefeated run to nine games by defeating Liverpool, 3-1, at Britannia Stadium. Cameron went the distance in his latest outing for the Trotters, but his major hiccup in the match came four minutes in when he received a yellow card that will force him out of Stoke’s next game.

While Cameron and Stoke enjoyed a big win, Tim Ream and Bolton Wanderers were left ruing another tough defeat. Bolton suffered a 1-0 loss to Sheffield Wednesday and Ream was partially to blame for conceding the set-piece goal in what was his first start in six matches for the struggling club.

From a results standpoint, things were not much better for Brad Guzan and Aston Villa. The Villans suffered another lopsided loss, with Tottenham handing them a 4-0 defeat, but Guzan was strong in goal again. Guzan made five saves to prevent the match from being any uglier for an Aston Villa team that has now given up 12 goals in its last two games.

Here’s how the Americans Abroad contingent who were in action on Wednesday fared:

ENGLAND

Premiership

  • Tim Howard started, played 90 minutes and made two saves in Everton’s 2-1 win vs. Wigan Athletic.
  • Brad Friedel dressed but did not play in Tottenham’s 4-0 win vs. Aston Villa.
  • Clint Dempsey did not dress for Tottenham. He is recovering from a groin injury.
  • Brad Guzan started, played 90 minutes and made five saves in Aston Villa’s 4-0 loss vs. Tottenham.
  • Eric Lichaj dressed but did not play for Aston Villa.
  • Geoff Cameron started, played 90 minutes and received a yellow card in Stoke City’s 3-1 win vs. Liverpool.
  • Maurice Edu did not dress for Stoke City.

Championship

  • Tim Ream started and played 90 minutes in Bolton Wanderers’ 1-0 loss vs. Sheffield Wednesday.
  • Stuart Holden did not dress for Bolton Wanderers.
  • Jonathan Spector did not dress in Birmingham City’s 2-1 win vs. Barnsley. He is recovering from an ankle injury.
  • Will Packwood did not dress for Birmingham City.
  • Conor Doyle dressed but did not play in Derby County’s 2-0 loss vs. Burnley.
  • Zak Whitbread started, played 90 minutes and received a yellow card in Leicester City’s 0-0 draw vs. Hull City.
  • Robbie Findley did not dress in Nottingham Forest’s 4-2 win vs. Leeds United.

League One

  • Frank Simek started and played 90 minutes in Carlisle United’s 3-0 win vs. Hartlepool United.
  • Robbie Rogers did not dress in Stevenage’s 3-1 loss vs. Coventry City.
  • Mike Grella dressed but did not play in Scunthorpe United’s 3-0 loss vs. Sheffield United.

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What do you think of these performances? Impressed by how well Cameron has adapted to the Premiership? What do you attribute Ream’s problems to?

Share your thoughts below.

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26 Responses to Americans Abroad: Wednesday Rewind

  1. Sergio of SF says:

    Cameron was solid, wonder if Edu sees the field next game with Geoff out. What happened to Ream? He started fine when he transferred, maybe lack of playing time.

  2. Beto says:

    Good to see Ream and Whitbread back

  3. TonyDanzaArmy says:

    Tim Ream attributes his struggles largely to lack of regular starts and a different style of play further down the pyramid, outside of the Prem. Largely, I think that’s valid… but it’s also that Ream doesn’t have the physical qualities to play centre-back at a high level in England in my opinion. That has been shown before, and it was shown again yesterday by Mamady Sidibé.

    That being said, I think things are on the up for him. He’s finally getting regular starts after Mills’s injury, which keeps him in the XI for at least another month and a half, barring disaster (which isn’t always that far away for Tim, who seems to hate that grey area between brilliant and calamitous, but I reckon he’ll keep his place). Beyond that, Dougie Freedman reportedly likes him as an option at holding mid, which Bolton need badly because of their dearth of good passing midfielders in general (not to mention deep-lying distributors, which fits in line with Tim’s skill set).

    I don’t think he’s ever a holding midfield option for the USMNT, but I think Dougie is a great man manager who can identify the strengths and weaknesses of his players very well. He’s inherited a player in Tim who simply does not have the size, strength, and vert to start for them — and all three of those weaknesses paradoxically become more apparent in the Championship than they do in the Prem because of how much time the ball stays in the air and how clumsy the long-ball game gets. You look at the most successful strikers of the last few years in that division — Graham, Glenn Murray, Charlie Austin, etc. — they’ve all got Ream beat physically in my opinion.

    I think we’ll see him in the midfield before the end of the season.

    • Ryan says:

      This is the reason why i often take the time to slog through the comments, many of which are frivolous. Very insightful analysis. I never quite understood the knock that Ream lacks the requisite physicality to succeed at a high level. He’s not a small guy and he’s strong. But I would acknowledge thar he’s not strong in the air nor a strong physical presence like some of the giants that succeed in the English long ball game, eg Robert Huth. But your point is well taken that his qualities — skill on the ball, tidy passer, etc — have much less value in the Championship where most teams play kick and run. I still have hope for Ream and hope he takes advantage of his opportunity over the next few weeks.

      • TonyDanzaArmy says:

        Cheers, all. Appreciate the kind words. We’re fortunate to have an amazing blogosphere for US Soccer (one that doesn’t actually exist in a lot of other places — I live in England now, and there’s comparatively little in terms of both quantity and quality devoted to the national picture at large). I’m very thankful to have a level of online engagement with intelligent footy fans like yourselves… the comments section is always going to be a mixed bag for anything, but it’s nice knowing that people take the time to thoughtfully read and respond.

        Hit me up on the tweet machine — @TonyDanzaArmy

    • Josh D says:

      I would agree. I never though Ream would light up the world at CB. He needs to get stockier like Boca. I think the only way he still stays relevant at the top tier of soccer is if he moves to a defensive midfield position. He’s smart enough on the ball and his positioning is good enough. I think heading to the rough and tumble of second tier English soccer is the best thing for him. He needs to be roughened up to toughen up.

      But at only 25, he has years to prove me wrong!

    • Dainja says:

      Brilliant analysis Tony. Spot on! I remember seein Ream play against Newcastle last year and he got tossed around like a RAG DOLL. I know he is a finesse, smooth player, but the dude HAS to hit the weight room! Certainly won’t hurt his pace. Hehe

      • biff says:

        @TonyDanzaArmy: I will fourth or fifth that. Very interesting comment. I would love to see Ream given at shot at a Number Six slot.

    • GW says:

      Ream’s recent comments seem to back up your contention that he will be seeing more time at midfielder.

  4. Bobb says:

    AV with Lichaj in the last two games: 3 goals conceded in ~57 minutes
    AV without Lichaj in the last two games: 5 goals conceded in ~33 minutes, 4 goals conceded in ~90 minutes

    Clearly Lichaj is not the problem…

    Who will get regular playing time first, Lletget, Packwood, or Doyle?

    • Nate Dollars says:

      yeah, i was going to say, it’s a good thing villa removed the weak link in their defense…

    • Addick says:

      Eh, Lichaj certainly isn’t “the” problem. But he is part of the problem.

      • Nate Dollars says:

        well, yeah, the problem is they have an atrocious defense (and team, basically). just thought it was funny they pulled lichaj.

        good god, i feel bad for guzan. at least he’s getting press.

    • GW says:

      Villa has a crap team.

      Lichaj is not the only reason they are crap but your statistical comparison takes in too small a sample size to be very significant.

      He may not be their worst player but he also isn’t their best player and not being the worst of a bunch of mediocre players is hardly a great recommendation.

  5. manofthematch says:

    Poor Guzan. You gotta feel for the guy. Finally establishes himself as a started and gets put in front of a firing squad each game.

  6. ed - houston says:

    omar gonzalez to aston villa, anyone?

  7. Zeelitee says:

    So far he’s their Player of the year and only thing keeping them from relegation.

  8. Thomas says:

    Maurice Edu to Aston Villa WIn-Win-Win
    Edu: Gets PT hopefully
    Aston Villa: Experience Player
    USMNT: A player gets European PT

  9. wendellgee says:

    From a purely USMNT perspective, I think it’s time to put Whitbread ahead of Ream. He’s getting a lot more playing time on a better team. Hopefully he stays healthy.

  10. Micah King says:

    Edu needs to go to another team it is annoying he is getting no playing time.