Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

By FRANCO PANIZO

As far as ending the year goes, Michael Bradley and AS Roma could not have asked for a better performance.

Roma closed out 2012 with a thorough 4-2 thumping of AC Milan on Saturday, and Bradley enjoyed a solid showing in the victory. Bradley went the distance in the game that saw Roma jump out to a surprising 4-0 lead before AC Milan scored two late. The win kept Roma in sixth place in Serie A, but put them just four points shy of second.

In England, Brad Guzan, Eric Lichaj and Aston Villa were humiliated at the hands of Chelsea. The Villans suffered an 8-0 loss to Chelsea on Sunday in one of the weekend’s most embarrassing results, and the defeat left them just three points clear of the relegation zone.

There was some good news for Americans in England, with Geoff Cameron turning in a solid effort in Stoke City’s 0-0 draw vs. Tottenham on Saturday. The result pushed Stoke’s unbeaten streak to eight matches. Clint Dempsey did not dress in the match for Tottenham due to a groin injury.

Here’s how the Americans Abroad did this weekend:

ENGLAND

Premiership

  • Tim Howard started, played 90 minutes and made one save in Everton’s 2-1 win vs. West Ham United on Saturday.
  • Brad Friedel dressed but did not play in Tottenham’s 0-0 draw vs. Stoke City on Saturday.
  • Clint Dempsey did not dress for Tottenham. He is recovering from a groin injury.
  • Brad Guzan started, played 90 minutes and made seven saves in Aston Villa’s 8-0 loss vs. Chelsea on Sunday.
  • Eric Lichaj started and played 56 minutes for Aston Villa.
  • Geoff Cameron started and played 90 minutes in Stoke City’s 0-0 draw vs. Tottenham on Saturday.
  • Maurice Edu did not dress for Stoke City.
  • Sebastian Lletget dressed but did not play in West Ham United’s 2-1 loss vs. Everton on Saturday.

Championship

  • Tim Ream dressed but did not play in Bolton Wanderers’ 5-4 loss vs. Peterborough United on Saturday.
  • Stuart Holden did not dress for Bolton Wanderers.
  • Jonathan Spector did not dress in Birmingham City’s 2-2 draw vs. Burnley on Saturday. He is recovering from an ankle injury.
  • Will Packwood started and played 90 minutes for Birmingham City.
  • Conor Doyle did not dress in Derby County’s 2-1 loss vs. Hull City on Friday.
  • Zak Whitbread started and played 90 minutes in Leicester City’s 1-0 loss vs. Cardiff City on Saturday.
  • Robbie Findley did not dress in Nottingham Forest’s 2-0 loss vs. Watford on Saturday.

League One

  • Frank Simek and Carlisle United’s match vs. Scunthorpe United on Saturday was postponed due to inclement weather.
  • Robbie Rogers and Stevenage’s match vs. Brentford on Saturday was postponed due to inclement weather.
  • Mike Grella and Scunthorpe United’s match vs. Carlisle United on Saturday was postponed due to inclement weather.

SPAIN

La Liga

  • Oguchi Onyewu dressed but did not play in Malaga CF’s 3-2 win vs. Real Madrid on Saturday.

Segunda Division

  • Carlos Bocanega started and played 90 minutes in Racing Santander’s 1-1 draw vs. Guadalajara on Saturday.

ITALY

  • Michael Bradley started and played 90 minutes in AS Roma’s 4-2 win vs. AC Milan on Saturday.

NETHERLANDS

  • Jozy Altidore started and played 90 minutes in AZ Alkmaar’s 3-0 loss vs. FC Twente on Friday.

BELGIUM

  • Sacha Kljestan started and played 90 minutes in RSC Anderlecht’s 4-2 win vs. Genk on Sunday.

—–

What do you think of these performances? How impressed were you by Bradley’s game against AC Milan? How proud are you to see Altidore honor the Newton, Conn. victims? Do you think Aston Villa will avoid the drop this season?

Share your thoughts below.

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66 Responses to Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

  1. Weston John says:

    Finally got Bein Sport through Advanced Cable and was able to watch the Roma game last night. Bradley looked very good, initiating the attack in several instances, in 2 cases leading to goals. His defense was very solid, except for one turnover that led to an El Sharaway breakaway, but Roma’s GK bailed out MB by making an excellent save. Exciting to see MB look like he belongs on an exciting Roma squad that is primed to make a run at a CL spot!

    • OC says:

      More and more Bradley is perfecting that ‘complete midfielder’ role. Every body on ZZ’s team has to be a ball player; it’s awesome what Roma’s style of play is doing for Bradley, on both ends of the pitch and also just technically. I’m pretty pumped to see him in the US midfield this year, he is maturing exponentially.

  2. Jayboy says:

    Packwood going the full 90 is great! Anyone know how close Lletget is to breaking through at West Ham? Also Robbie Rogers needs to come back to MLS.

    • Grubbsbl says:

      Hard to tell with Lleget. West Ham have numerous players injured at the moment, so it’s a little worrying he hasn’t appeared off the bench in any of these games. He may simply be filling out the numbers until other players get fit. And Big Sam isn’t necessarily known for developing youth.

  3. Tyler says:

    Really? 8 coals conceded, but still seven saves? Poor Guzan. Didn’t see it but it must have been quite the firing squad he faced.

  4. K-Town says:

    Shocking, but I think that was the best performance I have ever seen by a keeper beaten 8-0. The commentators had a lot of good to say about Guzan. They praised his quick reflexes and said he wasn’t at fault on any of the goals. His PK save was quite nice as well. The game could have easily been in the 10 to 12-0 range if not for Brad. Lichaj and the rest of the back five, especially Villa’s three center halves were terrible. Villa’s offense didn’t help matters. Every time they ventured forward Benteke was offside. One of the announcers made a joke and said, “He was born offside”. It would have been funny if not so true.

  5. nato says:

    remember when people said BRadley would ride the bench at Roma, well he’s not. He’s a first team regular over the past 3months

    • nato says:

      he will see CL football next season

    • ed - houston says:

      yea but look at some others that don’t dress or dress and don’t play. too many yanks riding the pine for my liking.

      • OC says:

        I was actually pretty pleased with the list this week save for the lack of goals; a lot of important guys going the full 90 or at least starting. I feel like this list has looked a lot worse in previous years!

    • Old School says:

      I remember being saying the same thing about Deuce.

      It’s odd, as Americans we normally have a bravado and innate confidence. I guess that doesn’t apply to our fellow fans and just resides with our athletes.

      Good thing they don’t take career advice from the likes of our fellow SBI posters.

      • Joamiq says:

        Deuce isn’t exactly quite automatic first choice for Spurs. Spurs’ midfield four is Bale, Sandro, Dembele, and Lennon. If AVB chooses to go with one in the hole then it’s Dempsey, but when he goes with two strikers it’s Adebayor and Defoe. Dempsey got a lot of playing time while Dembele, Bale, and Parker were out, but all are back now. It’ll be interesting to see what happens going forward. I think AVB probably does prefer to play with one striker, and Dempsey can also fill in for injured players all over the front 6, so he should probably be OK for playing time. Some more goals would certainly cement his case though.

      • beachbum says:

        from our fellow SBI posters???

        maybe from ‘some’ of those posters…don’t lump us all together please

        plenty of us believed and said so, right here on SBI

  6. loibra says:

    does Edu still play soccer?

    • Hogatroge says:

      Relax… he’ll be going out on loan in January for some PT. Almost certainly to a club where he’ll be an automatic starter, even if it’s in the Championship.

  7. Zeelite says:

    Clearly Kljestan is ready for a move to a bigger league. Ligue One or Portuguese League. But should he move this summer or after the WC?

    • MLSsnob says:

      I’ve heard that now a couple times, but I don’t agree. He’s putting in solid shifts, not lighting the world on fire for a CL side in a good league that will compete for the title every year. i think its a perfect fit for him. Remember when everyone said the same thing about Gooch?

    • Ryan says:

      You know, this might be crazy, but I’m not sure the Portuguese league is a step up from the Belgian League. I mean, Porto is head and shoulders above any other club in either league, but outside of them? French ligue un would probably be a nice step up though.

      • Felix says:

        I think the best clubs in Portugal are better than the top Belgian sides. But the rest of the league is probably a wash.

        • Isaac says:

          Agree. I think the French league would do Sacha a lot of good. I could easily see him working his way up the ladder to a really good French squad and spending the rest of his career there.

    • Dennis says:

      Sasha is a pretty smart player, he is big enough to assert himself and he can stru=ike a ball well. That said, he does not have the quickest feet and the last couple times I saw him play he still was not the strong defender he is capable of being. I don’t think there is much that will improve his quickness in tight spaces, but playing time in games that matter will help him mature and learn how to contribute to his team in the ways he can. I think it would hurt his game if he went somewhere else and did not play much. So I don’t think it is quite so clear-cut that a move would help him. If he starts getting picked as player of the match, or even becomes a great fan favorite, that would be evidence he is ready to move on, playing 90 minutes every week with few outstanding moments is not.

  8. Toucan says:

    Dempsey not in the 18? Wonder why

  9. Toucan says:

    Oh ok, groin injury. My fault.

  10. biff says:

    Tottenham’s feeble offensive performance Saturday shows how important Dempsey has become for the team. Without Dempsey in the line-up Tottenham had no bite and could only kick in crosses and hope to get lucky. And they didn’t get lucky.

    Nurnberg coach Dieter Hecking stepped down yesterday and was named coach of Wolfsburg and Klaas Jan Huntelaar finally signed a contract extension with Schalke (probably with a big fat bonus).

    • ld says:

      this is total BS…Dempsey is not even close to being Spurs best offensive player

      • Footballer says:

        Thanks Id. It’s so tiring to hear this “oh any American on a team is their best player.” Jermain Defoe, Emmanuel Adebayor command more weekly wages than Dempsey and expectations from them to perform is highly. Adebayor scored 17 goals league for Spurs last season, before then 24 goal for Arsenal in another season.

        • Shane says:

          Tranlation, anyone, Buehler? anyone

          Der Footballer, perhaps you havent been paying attention, but Americans in Europe get bashed, it’s a way of life there. So if someone points out that Tootingham Spurned didnt do much today and oh yeah Dempsey didnt play, take a chill pill. It is just desserts.

      • Ryan says:

        No one ever said Dempsey was Spurs’ best offensive player. All Biff said was it shows how important Dempsey is to the team, and it’s a fair point to make. Defoe and Ade up top together isn’t super effective because neither one of them is really a creator. Without Dempsey in the hole behind a forward, it was all about pushing the ball down the wings and throwing crosses in, which completely nullifies Defoe anyway.

        With that said, if you really want to try and rank offensive players, Dempsey is at least in the top 4, despite a lack of output this season. If you think Defoe or Lennon are better than Clint overall, you’re a complete lunatic.

        • biff says:

          Well put, Ryan. I was not saying Clint is the best on the team, but that he is no doubt an important spark plug for the offense. And I agree that pairing Defoe and Adebayor up top has been highly ineffective and AVB needs to choose one or the other and add a midfielder.

          All that said, I don’t take the comments of the trolls above seriously (or maybe its just one troll using different aliases). Especially when he is arguing that Adebayor is better than Dempsey because Adebayor scored 17 goals last season playing for Spurs. You know what I mean? ;-)

    • Jd says:

      Biff, it’s Stoke City… defensive football at its ‘finest’. Pack it in defensively and try to out muscle the other team. 9 clean sheets in 18 games!! It’s not Dempsey’s absence, Tottenham has more skill with or without Dempsey in the lineup, but rather a factor of Stoke’s scheme.

      • Andy in Atlanta says:

        Dempsey has a pretty good record of scoring goals against Stoke…… One was called an won goal last year but was strike from 30 yards that hit the bar and went in off the GK….

        Also scored against Stoke on a gorgeous volley a few years back…

        Spurs was missing him…make no mistake… all the Spurs Eurosnobs should now be figuring out that Clint is helpful in their line-up…

  11. Grubbsbl says:

    Hopefully Edu serves as a reminder to all young Americans dreaming of playing in Europe that going to Scotland is not the way forward. It shows how bad the SPL is that Edu isn’t good enough to make the bench on a team that can barely complete 6 passes in a row. Rangers were a mid table Championship side, at best, before they imploded. How Edu thought he could make the jump to the EPL I’ll never know.

    • Ross says:

      He thought he was good enough because he is a professional. The mental aspect is huge, and that’s why he is getting paid to play soccer and we aren’t. He may have known it would be more of a challenge to get playing time at Stoke but that probably was only one of the considerations. He’s most likely making way more money ridding the bench there then he could have made else where. And as a pro you go where you can make the most money. You never know how long your career may be. Ask CD9 about that.

      • Grubbsbl says:

        That’s fine and all, and I don’t necessarily mean my negativity towards him personally. I commend him for taking the risk and hope he gets the chance to preform / improve. I mainly aim the comment at all of the posters here who have routinely spoke of the SPL as a stepping stone to EPL. It isn’t, the league is garbage and limits player development. Heck I’m not even sure going to Scandenavia and playing in the first round of the Europa league is a higher level than MLS these days – more money for sure, and those players deserve that, but better play, I dunno.

        • Grubbsbl says:

          I’ll admit, my last sentence in the first post was rude. Ross, touché.

        • Felix says:

          I agree with your sentiments on the SPL. The last American whose career has benefitted from the SPL is probably Claudio Reyna. Edu was solid, and at times his Rangers form translated well to the national team, but that’s more of a function of how Edu fit the Bradley system than “learning” anything from Scottish football.
          I disagree with Scandinavia though, alot of national team players’ careers have developed from that part of the world. From guys like CD9 (before the accident), Bedoya (before Rangers), Heath Pearce, and Parkhurst to name a few.

    • j-style says:

      A little bird landed on my shoulder and told me that Edu had a chance to both play in Ligue 1 with a team I can’t remember (Rennes?) and in the Championship, but opted for Stoke because he views himself as an EPL level player. Basically, pride. Thus far, seems like a dumb move.

    • Gary Page says:

      A lot of times it is the coach. A number of ex-Rangers are playing fairly regularly in the EPL. Remember how Michael Bradley hardly saw the pitch at Aston Villa and was behind an absolutely horrible player named Makoun? Dempsey started many seasons on the bench because Fulham would bring in a new coach. Guzan rarely played until a new coach came in. Many similar examples. A year or two ago Rangers played Man U in the CL and Edu held his own against Man U. Edu should probably seek a loan or transfer.

      • Grubbsbl says:

        That CL game we keep throwing out there was one of the worst games I have ever witnessed. Rangers played a 5-4-1 and defended from their 35. Edu was used as their CAM and barely saw the ball, he just ran back and forth defending (well, to be fair).. If we are calling that “holding their own” I’d bet an in shape Houston Dynamo could do the same.

        • MidWest Ref says:

          Edu played fantastically in that Man Utd game. his role was to hold the ball in space where Rangers had overmanned Man Utd in the midfield. Rangers had one forward and a bunch of mids to slow down the Utd attack. That was a great game plan. Edu played his role magnificantly and saw a lot of the ball particularly at the end of the first half. He did great with holding the ball and letting his team catch up, and the distributing the ball to his teammates. The game may not have been great, but Mo was. too bad I haven’t seen him replicate it ever.

      • Grubbsbl says:

        And how many CMs from either Glasgow team have had successful spells in EPL? I understand PT has to do with coaching situations but there has been a trend of SPL players not succeeding south of the border over the past decade.

      • Addick says:

        “Dempsey started on the bench every time a new coach came to Fulham”…the lie that never dies…

        And Grubbsbl is exactly right about Edu’s much vaunted performance against Man U in the CL (though calling that formation a 5-4-1 almost gives Rangers too much credit, it was damn near a 9 man back line…).

        • GW says:

          Mr. Page and Mr. Addick,

          “Gary Page wrote- Dempsey started many seasons on the bench because Fulham would bring in a new coach.”

          In his first season at Fulham Clint had 12 appearances. After that he never had LESS than 40 appearances a season. . There are, of course 38 league games in an EPL season.

          In terms of appearances I believe that places him above Danny Murphy and below Brede Hangeland, two mainstays of the club, during his time there. This means Clint was a regular.

          I don’t know how many times he started the season on the bench but if he did he didn’t spend a lot of time there.
          Based on the evidence it is hard to conclude that Clint had to prove himself to managers any more than any other player would have.

    • Evan W says:

      Grubbsbl,
      You should really watch the SPL and know more about what you are talking about before making stupid posts like these. Steven Davis, Jelavic, Naismith, Osbourne, Bryson, Goodwillie, Maloney, and Hooiveld have all transferred from the SPL to the EPL within the last year or so and have played significant minutes in the EPL. Teams from the EPL sign several young Scots from the league every year. The reason Edu has not played is because Stoke has several midfielders who are as good or slightly better than him. He could easily be getting minutes on some of the other teams in the EPL.

      The SPL obviously is not the best league in the world and has been slowly declining in the last decade but it is still a good league to play in to eventually take a step to a top league. I don’t get why so many people bash the SPL, it is easily one of the best leagues in the world relative to the size and population of the country. How many leagues can you name that are better than the SPL with a population of less than 5 million?

      • Addick says:

        You should watch more Maurice Edu game tape before making silly posts like this, Evan. Maurice would struggle to find game time at ANY team in the EPL because he is a technically deficient player. Frankly, Stoke was just about the best EPL landing spot for him given the “style” of soccer they play, yet he still can’t crack the bench there. As I’ve said before, there’s a good reason that not a single other premier league club was rumored to be interested in him (and all the interest was from France/Turkey/Championship).

      • Addick says:

        In addition to watching some Edu game tape, you might also want to take a closer look at some of those names you’ve thrown out as having made moves to the EPL, as some of those players did no such thing.

        • Evan W says:

          Edu could easily get minutes at Reading and most likely at a few other teams as well. EPL is not La Liga in terms of technical play.

          I was off on one name, who has been a consistant starter in the Championship. Do you have anything against the point I made in general regarding the SPL being a better stepping stone league than is given credit for on here in general?

          • Addick says:

            Look closer, you’re off on more than just one name (here’s a hint, Derby and Blackpool are both Championship clubs). And you could be right, Edu might be able to get a few minutes at Reading, but that’s only because they’re a Championship quality side who will be back where they belong next season.

  12. Micah King says:

    Man, why is Gooch not dressing? He is not injured anymore. Ughhhh, I wish he would get back to his 2009 Confed cup form.

    • Josh D says:

      He did dress and has almost all season. The question better served is: Why hasn’t he gotten off the bench more. To which the answer is that there is too much competition in a team that is doing well so they have no reason to mess with their centerbacks.

      • Tim M. says:

        Malaga has the best defense in la liga

        Gooch is just cover for their 1st choice centerback pairing

      • Micah King says:

        I mean he has not been dressing a lot.

      • skyward says:

        It states that he did dress, AND, when on Earth has ANY American even been on a team that defeated Real Madrid? His career path has seen many competive experiences, and when he was in form for the CC in 2009, he may have been one of the most imposing players to ever don the jersey. He also played incredible against England in the WC, aiding our first place in the group finish.

  13. Micah King says:

    Also, Edu needs to leave Stoke he is to good to not be dressing.

  14. IMSYE says:

    LOL @ the blade of grass on Bradley’s head. WHAT A LOSER!

    • Footballer says:

      That was a joke right, cos I was about to say I’ll take that loser’s weekly salary. Call me a loser for making about $1.1m a year, I’ll take it, lol.

  15. Zeelite says:

    that really is a blade of grass

  16. Soccer Guy says:

    The pool of American players is getting worse and worse. No one seems to like to talk about it but the US has been going in the wrong direction for some time. Even Edu rides the bench all of the time now. Assuming we make it, this upcoming World Cup is going to be our worst since France.

    • Colin says:

      On what basis do you make this comment exactly??

      • Soccer Guy says:

        Uh…… perhaps you could read the first line of my post again. Then there’s the national team’s performance over the past few years. Then there’s the reports of Americans Abroad dominated by the phrases “did not dress” and “dressed but did not play”. On what basis do you disagree with this comment exactly?

        • beachbum says:

          the past few years??? let’s look at some facts

          at the last WC, the US won its group for the first time in 60 something years, right? also won the final group stage game for the first time…ever. in 2009, played in their first international final…ever. and in 2012, the USMNT posted it’s best record…ever.

          I’ll base my disagreement with your post based on those facts.

          cheers