With Edu in midfield, Rangers down Celtic to stay atop Premier League.
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
(Wednesday, October 27, 2010) - United States midfielder Maurice Edu had quite a week last week, playing key roles for Glasgow Rangers in two hugely important matches.
On Sunday, Rangers traveled across Glasgow to Celtic Park and defeated arch-rival Celtic 3-1 in this year's first Old Firm match to remain unbeaten (9-0-0, 27 points) and alone in first place in the Scottish Premier League. Edu went the distance.
Celtic is now 8-1-0 with 24 points.
Last Wednesday, Rangers hosted Valencia of Spain in an important European Champions League match and came away with a 1-1 draw at Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow. Edu scored into both nets.
Rangers put pressure on the visitors almost from the opening whistle. In the 34th minute Vladimir Weiss whipped a corner kick into the penalty area and Edu rose above two defenders to send a firm header into the net for a 1-0 advantage.
Just before halftime, Edu was again fighting in the box when Valencia keeper César Sánchez Dominguez tried to punch a ball away. Instead of connecting with the ball, he hit Edu's head sending the American to the ground where he needed several minutes of treatment before he could resume.
The second half had just begun when Edu scored equalized the score by finding his own net. Trying to clear a free kick from Tino Costa, Edu instead sent it into his own goal.
"The first goal I didn't have time to celebrate because I took a knock on the head and was laid on the ground for a while," Edu told reporters after the match. "The own goal, I saw it late and the next thing I know it hit me and it was in. 'I was trying to mark the guy in front of me and it looked like he was going to get it and at the last minute it hit me. That was obviously disappointing, but we kept going and created more chances.''
In the English Premier League, U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard's mistake coast Everton a victory in a 1-1 draw at Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.
Three minutes after Everton had taken a 1-0 lead, Howard whiffed trying to clear Alan Hutton's cross. It went instead to Peter Crouch, who nodded the ball back along goal line for Rafael van der Vaart to blast it in from two feet.
Howard ended up with three saves.
U.S. keeper Brad Friedel suffered disappointment, playing solidly for Aston Villa, which could not finish numerous chances and dropped a 1-0 decision Saturday to Sunderland.
Friedel was only beaten by an own goal when teammate Richard Dunne steered Steed Malbranque's 25th-minute cross past Friedel to hand Sunderland its first Premier League victory in six attempts
American Brad Guzan, as usual, was Friedel's backup. American defender Eric Lichaj did not dress for Villa.
U.S. keeper Marcus Hahnemann also suffered through a disappointing day, turning in a strong effort to keep Wolverhampton Wanderers in the match against league-leading Chelsea, but coming out on the short end of a 2-0 score.
Unmarked Florent Malouda put Chelsea in front in the 23rd minute when he finished off a cross from Yury Zhirkov. Three good saves from Hahnemann kept things close, but in the 81st minute, Salomon Kalou slipped Michael Essien's pass under Hahnemann to add the insurance goal.
American Clint Dempsey played minutes on the front line for Fulham, a 2-1 loser Saturday to West Bromwich Albion. American forward Eddie Johnson dressed, but did not play for Fulham.
U.S. midfielder Stuart Holden once again started and played 90 minutes for Bolton Wanderers in a 1-1 draw Saturday with Wigan Athletic.
U.S. defender Jonathan Spector did not dress for West Ham United, which suffered a 2-1 loss Saturday to Newcastle United.
In the second-tier League Championship, American striker Conor Doyle dressed, but did not play for Derby County in a 2-0 victory over Millwall.
American defender Zak Whitbread has an injured calf and cannot play for Norwich City, which defeated Middlesbrough 1-0.
In the third-division League One Saturday, American defender Frank Simek and attacker Mike Grella went the distance Saturday for Carlisle United, which dropped a wild 4-3 decision to Charlton Athletic.
Down 3-0, Grella started a Carlisle comeback with his first goal of the season. Carlisle added two more to pull even, but the effort went to waste when Charlton came up with a last-minute winner.
In the German Bundesliga, U.S. defender Steve Cherundolo went the distance for Hannover 96, which defeated FC Cologne 2-1 Saturday. American midfielder DaMarcus Beasley dressed, but did not play for Hannover.
On Saturday, German-American midfielder Jermaine Jones played 90 minutes, earning a yellow card for Schalke, which tied 0-0 with Eintracht Frankfurt.
U.S. midfielder Ricardo Clark did not dress for Eintracht.
Last Wednesday, Jones went 75 minutes in Schalke's 3-1 Champions League triumph over Israel's Hapoel Tel Aviv.
U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley played 90 minutes and received a yellow card for Borussia Moenchengladbach, a 4-1 loser to Werder Bremen on Saturday.
German-American midfielder Daniel Williams dressed, but did not play for SC Freiburg, which fell 2-1 Saturday to Kaiserslautern.
In the 2.Bundesliga, American keeper David Yeldell had a quiet afternoon, making only one save in MSV Duisburg's 3-0 win Sunday over Karlsruhe.
Fellow American Luis Robles had the busier afternoon, making four saves in net for Karlsruhe.
American striker Kenny Cooper has a bad knee and is out of action for 1860 Munich and defender Amaechi Igwe has a ankle injury and is sidelined for FC Ingolstadt 04
In Belgium, U.S. midfielder Sacha Kljestan made his first start in a league match for RSC Anderlecht since August 21 and he went the distance in a 2-0 victory Sunday over KVC Westerlo. The league start was the result of a solid 90-minute performance victory over AEK Athens Thursday in the Europa League.
In Spain, U.S. striker Jozy Altidore dressed, but did not play for Villarreal in its 2-0 decision Sunday over Atletico Madrid.
In Italy, U.S. defender Oguchi Onyewu did not dress for AC Milan's Monday match against Napoli.
In France, Carlos Bocanegra has a neck injury is not available to St Etienne', which drew 1-1 Saturday with Caen.
In Greece, American midfielder Freddy Adu did not dress for Aris Thessaloniki, which lost 1-0 Sunday to Olympiakos.
In Denmark, U.S. defender Michael Parkhurst went 90 minutes and received a yellow card for FC Nordsjaelland, which dropped a 2-0 decision Sunday to Aalborg BK.
Aalborg has two injured Americans: forwards Marcus Tracy, who has a bad knee, and Chris Rolfe, suffering from an ailing hamstring.
In the second-tier Viasat Division, U.S. midfielder Benny Feilhaber played 51 minutes for AGF Aarhus in its 2-0 triumph Sunday over Skive.
In Sweden, American midfielder Alejandro Bedoya played 90 minutes for Orebro SK in its 1-1 draw Monday with Brommapojkarna.
American midfielder\defender Ryan Miller dressed, but did not play for Halmstads BK in its 2-1 loss Monday to AIK.
In Norway, American defender Clarence Goodson played 90 minutes for IK Start, which edged Stabaek IF 3-2 on Sunday. American defender Hunter Freeman is injured for Start.
American midfielder Mikkel Diskerud went the distance for Stabaek.
American keeper Steve Clark dressed, but did not play for Honefoss BK, which suffered a 4-1 loss Sunday to Stromsgodset..
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.
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