Dempsey excels in Fulham's 2-1 triumph over Everton and Howard.
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
(Wednesday, September 16, 2009) -- Many of the American players competing at higher levels in Europe returned from two United States World Cup qualifiers weary and many sat out their club's matches this past weekend.
Two who didn't were at Fulham Sunday. Midfielder Clint Dempsey had one of his best matches of the young season in a 90-minute performance for the home team, which prevailed 2-1 over Everton in the English Premier League.
In the first half, Dempsey pushed forward on the left side and forced his U.S. teammate Tim Howard into three saves in goal. Late in the match, as Everton desperately tried for the equalizer, Dempsey made several key clearances before shots could be taken.
Howard was busy, making eight saves, several of which were gems. He was beaten by Paul Konchesky in the 57th minute on a shot that ricocheted off a defender and completely changed direction. In the 79th, minute, Damien Duff scored, cutting in from the right side and triggered a curving blast that a diving Howard could only get his finger tips on.
American striker Eddie Johnson was not dressed for Fulham.
On Sunday, American goalkeeper Brad Friedel made three key saves for a clean sheet as Aston Villa blanked host Birmingham City 1-0 at St Andrews Stadium. Villa won on a late goal from Gabriel Agbonlahor.
On Saturday, U.S. striker Jozy Altidore came on for Kamel Ghilas in the 64th minute of visiting Hull City's 4-1 loss to Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. Sunderland dominated the action and Altidore could do little.
Two of the four Sunderland goals were scored after Altidore entered, one being an own goal. Hull was back on its heels for much of the match.
The arrival of veteran Dutch striker Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink from Celtic for Hull might limit Altidore's minutes.
U.S. defender Jonathan Spector was not dressed for West Ham United's 1-0 road loss at Wigan.
American Marcus Hahnemann was on the bench, but did not play in Wolverhampton's 3-1 setback at Blackburn Rovers.
DeMerit remains sidelined with groin strain
In the second-division League Championship, U.S. defender Jay DeMerit, nursing a groin strain, was not dressed for Watford's 1-0 win over Barnsley. Likewise, American defender Frank Simek was not dressed for Sheffield Wednesday's 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest.
In the third-division League One, American forward Mike Grella played the final eight minutes of Leed United's 0-0 draw at Southend.
On Monday, American striker Jemal Johnson went the distance for Milton Keynes (MK) Dons who came from behind at home to defeat Norwich City 2-1. Norwich had gone ahead in the first minute.
Beasley sits, Cherundolo goes 90 minutes
In Scotland, U.S. midfielder DaMarcus Beasley was not dressed for Glasgow Rangers' surprising 0-0 draw at Motherwell.
In the German Bundesliga, U.S. defender Steve Cherundolo went 90 minutes in Hannover 96's 0-0 draw at Werder Bremen.
Michael Bradley remained on the bench for Borussia Mönchengladbach in a 1-0 road loss at 1FC Nürnberg.
In the second-tier 2.Bundesliga, American goalkeeper David Yelldell went the distance, but TuS Koblenz was unable to take advantage of being a man up and fell 2-1 to Hansa Rostock for its third straight loss.
U.S. forward Kenny Cooper started for 1860 Munich against SpVgg Greuther Fürth and came out after a scoreless half which 1860 went on to triumph 3-1, snapping a three-match winless run.
U.S. keeper Luis Robles was again on the bench as backup in Kaiserslautern's 4-1 decision over Duisburg.
American striker Matt Taylor was not dressed for FSV Frankfurt's 3-2 loss to St. Pauli.
In France, Charlie Davies seemed tired after his U.S. service and was lifted after 59 minutes in Sochaux's 1-0 loss at Lille.
U.S. defender Carlos Bocanegra, also back from the two Cup qualifiers, managed 80 minutes in Rennes' 1-0 win over Saint-Etienne.
In Italy, Oguchi Onyewu returned from teh qualifiers and did not dress for AC Milan's 0-0 draw at Livorno.
Feilhaber goes distance in Aarhus loss
In Denmark, U.S. midfielder Benny Feilhaber went 90 minutes in Aarhus' 1-0 loss at Brondby. He picked up a yellow card.
American midfielder Jeremiah White did not dress for Aarhus.
Danny Califf did not play for Midtjylland and his fellow American defender Michael Parkhurst did not see action for Nordsjælland with Nordsjælland coming away with a 2-0 shutout victory.
American attacker Marcus Tracy was not included in the traveling squad for Aalborg BK's 3-0 triumph on a visit to Randers Monday.
In Norway, American defenders Clarence Goodson and Hunter Freeman went the distance in IK Start Kristiansand's 1-1 draw with Bodo-Glimt.
American Troy Perkins went the distance in goal for Valerenga in a 3-1 loss at Fredrikstad. Valerenga, which ended a seven-match losing streak last week, thought it could do better against relegation-challenged Fredrikstad, but fell far short.
In Mexico, U.S. midfielder Jose Francisco Torres played the second half of Pachuca's 2-1 win at Pumas.
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.
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