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Friedel's future is unclear as Villa searches for replacement.

Howard concedes bad PK, goal; Everton still draws 1-1 with Chelsea.

Friedel considers return to Columbus Crew as player-coach.

Spector's first two goals in six years lead West Ham to shocking rout of Man. U.

Dempsey assumes Fulham lead in goals, provides draw with Birmingham.

Riding the bench in Greece, Adu tries to find home in Denmark.

Holden's scores first EPL goal, adds assist in Bolton triumph.

Edu's goal before early exit gives Rangers 1-1 draw with Inverness.

With Edu in midfield, Rangers down Celtic to stay atop Premier League.

Neck injury to disable Bocanegra for at least three weeks.

Dempsey strike helps Fulham to another draw, 1-1 with West Ham.

Feilhaber's four goals (two winners) lead to pair of Aarhus victories.

Dempsey's first goal allows Fulham to draw 1-1 with Rovers.

Howard helps Everton pick up surprise point from Manchester United.

Villa beats Everton; Friedel bests Howard in meeting of American keepers.

Hahnemann, Howard meet; Everton, Wolves draw 1-1.

Altidore scores for Villareal, hopes it's his ticket to stay.

Adu is looking for team after Benfica cuts him loose.

Bocanegra moves across France to Saint Etienne.

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Americans Abroad

Holden drills home winner, lifting Bolton to 2-1 decision over Rovers.

By Robert Wagman
   (in Washington, D.C.)
SoccerTimes

(Thursday, December 16, 2010) -- United States midfielder Stuart Holden's smash in the 88th minute found net, allowing the shorthanded Bolton Wanderers to quickly to a tying goal by Blackburn, good for a 2-1 victory over Rovers Saturday in the English Premier League.

Bolton was reduced to 10 men when Blackburn midfielder Mark Davies was sent off with a red card, apparently for throwing an elbow in the 56th minute.

Still, Bolton took a 1-0 lead nine minutes later on reserve midfielder Fabrice Muamba's goal. Rovers pulled level at 1-1 on a goal by midfielder Mame Biram Diouf in the 87th minute.

On the ensuing Wanderers kickoff , the ball was played back to a defender, who launched a long, high kick that came down to striker Kevin Davies. He in turn headed the ball back across to the right side where Holden ran onto it, controlled the ball and, in one motion, drilled his shot past goalkeeper Paul Robinson for the 2-1 final.

It was Holden's first league game after missing the past couple weeks with a thigh injury. The goal was his second this season, both match-winners.

Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce was fired after the game. Meanwhile, Bolton is in sixth place at 6-3-8 with 26 points, one point behind Tottenham Hotspur (7-4-6), which occupies fifth place and its attendant berth in the second-tier Europa Cup.


Cherundolo knee injury apparently not serious

In the German Bundesliga, U.S. defender Steve Cherundolo, the Hannover 96 captain, was taken off with a knee injury 23 minutes into a 2-1 triumph Friday over VfB Stuttgart.

Hannover is hoping he'll be fit for Saturday's visit to FC Nürnberg. "The info until now says he will miss a few days of training," the club's press officer Oliver Rickhof told MLSsoccer.com. "Normally, we would expect him to play on the weekend, but we'll check to see if there are any more problems."

U.S. midfielder DaMarcus Beasley did not dress for Hannover because of an ailing thigh. "He has some problems with his leg muscle," Rickhof said.

Hannover moved up to third place at 10-5-1 with 31 points, one point behind Bayer Leverkusen.


Lichaj impresses in first start

In England, U.S. defender Eric Lichaj received his first Premier League start for Aston Villa, a 2-1 winner over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

The 22-year-old back got the nod from new manager Gerard Houllier because of a groin injury to usual starter Luke Young. Lichaj had a strong match, making several fine defensive stops. His 90-minute performance is likely to win him more playing time.

U.S. keeper Brad Friedel needed one save in Villa's victory, boosting Villa (5-7-5, 20 points) into 14th place, four points clear of the relegation zone.

U.S. keeper Tim Howard had a pair of saves for Everton in its 0-0 draw Saturday with visiting Wigan Athletic.

U.S. midfielder Clint Dempsey went 90 minutes Saturday for host Fulham, which drew 0-0 with Sunderland. He had a couple of chances to score, but both fell short.

The English media has been filled with speculation that former Fulham manager Roy Hodgson, now at Liverpool, will move to buy Dempsey when the transfer window opens in January. But new Fulham manager Mark Hughes says the club will not listen to any offers for Dempey, who remains Fulham's top scorer with six goals this season.

U.S. forward Eddie Johnson came off the bench and played the final 18 minutes for Fulham.

U.S defender Jonathan Spector played 90 minutes for West Ham United, which dropped a 3-1 decision Saturday to Manchester City.

With American keeper Marcus Hahnemann benched three weeks ago by manager Mick McCarthy, Wolverhampton Wanderers recorded first clean sheet since last April in a 1-0 triumph over Birmingham City Saturday

Birmingham hit the woodwork twice, but for the most part did not challenge Wayne Hennessey in Wolves' net.

In the second-tier English League Championship, American striker Conor Doyle played the final four minutes for Derby County, which went down 2-0 Saturday to Bristol City.

In third-division League One, American defender Frank Simek went the distance and received a yellow card for Carlisle United, a 2-0 loser Saturday to Dagenham & Redbridge.

American forward Mike Grella played the final 22 minutes for Carlisle.

American midfielder Anton Peterlin did not suit up for Plymouth Argyle Saturday, as was the case for attacker Jemal Johnson for Milton Keynes Dons.

In Scotland's Premier League, U.S. midfielder Maurice Edu was again held out by Glasgow Rangers from its 1-1 draw Saturday with Inverness Caledonian Thistle on a poor field. Edu is still recovering from a knee injury, but had been expected to play.

In the German Bundesliga, U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley played 90 minutes in woeful Borussia Moenchengladbach's 3-0 loss to SC Freiburg on Sunday.

German-American defensive midfielder Daniel Williamsdid not dress for Freiburg. .

U.S. midfielder Ricardo Clark watched from the Eintracht Frankfurt bench a 1-0 loss Saturday to FC Cologne.

German-American midfielder Jermaine Jones' fourth-division match with Schalke 04's reserve team was postponed because of weather. He has yet to play since his demotion from the first team.

In the 2.Bundesliga, American keeper David Yeldell posted a shutout, needing to make a single save for MSV Duisburg, which drew 0-0 draw with SC Paderborn 07 on Saturday.

American keeper Luis Robles had a busier afternoon, making five saves while also keeping a clean sheet in Karlsruhe's 1-0 decision Friday over Arminia Bielefeld.

American striker Kenny Cooper is back in training after a long injury absence, but didn't leave the bench for TSV 1860 Munich, which drew 1-1 Sunday with FC Ingolstadt 04.

American defender Amaechi Igwe remains sidelined from a knee injury and did not dress for Ingolstadt.

In France, U.S. back Carlos Bocanegra helped spearhead a fine defensive effort for visiting Saint-Étienne, which defeated AS Monaco 2-0 on Sunday. Saint-Étienne's snapped a nine-match winless streak, going back to September 25.

Bocanegra found himself in the middle of some controversy early in the second half when his rather obvious hand ball in his penalty area went uncalled by the referee. Television replays showed the ball striking his arm, but no call was made to the dismay of the Monaco players and fans.

Saint Etienne climbed into a three-way tie for seventh place in the Ligue 1 standings at 6-4-7 with 25 points.

American keeper Quentin Westberg made his second start of the season for Evian of Ligue 2 and registered a 2-0 shutout over lower-division Semmoz Vieugy, advancing to the third round of the Coupe de France.

Evian had some problems with the club from the small town of Vieugy, near the Swiss border and needed a pair of second-half tallies to secure the win. Westberg made several good saves when the ball took crazy bounces on the frozen field.

In Spain, U.S. striker Jozy Altidore sat on the bench for Villarreal, which fell 1-0 Saturday to Getafe.

In Belgium, U.S. midfielder Sacha Kljestan started and played the first hour for RSC Anderlecht in its 0-0 draw with KSC Lokeren on Sunday.


Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.

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