Howard helps Everton pick up surprise point from Manchester United.
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
(Thursday, September 16, 2010) -- Four games into the English Premier League season, Everton sits 19th out of 20 teams with two points from its 0-2-2 record. While it's too early to write off the season, it's not to soon to be worried.
The low standing comes despite a stirring come-from-behind 3-3 draw Saturday with Manchester United, made possible by goals from striker Tim Cahill and midfielder Mikel Arteta in stoppage time.
Yet, it was United States goalkeeper Tim Howard who kept the match within reach with two brilliant saves in the first half. First, a powerful drive from United midfielder Paul Scholes deflected off Cahill, but Howard, diving in the opposite direction, somehow diverted the ball over the crossbar with his foot.
Four minutes later, Howard palmed away a point-blank shot from forward Ryan Giggs on a United counterattack.
Howard was beaten three times after Everton took an initial one-goal lead on midfielder Steven Pienaar in the 39th minute.
In the 43rd, United striker Luis Nani fed midfielder Darren Fletcher, whose first-time volley easily beat Howard for a 1-1 tie. Two minutes after the restart, Nani hit a perfect cross that defender Nemanja Vidic headed down past Howard. Finally, United made it 3-1 in the 66th minute when Everton defender Sylvan Distin was turned by Manchester forward Dimitar Berbatov, who sprinted in on Howard and found a far corner of the net.
U.S. striker Eddie Johnson made his season debut for Fulham Saturday, replacing fellow American Clint Dempsey for the final seven minutes of Fulham's 2-1 victory over Wolverhampton, which used American Marcus Hahnemann in goal.
Both Fulham goals were provided by newly-arrived forward Moussa Dembele. In the 49th minute, he hit a strong shot that deflected off a defender and past Hahnemann for a 1-1 tie. In the 90th minute, after Wolves were reduced to 10 men, Dembele sent a free kick through the defensive wall and past a diving Hahnemann for the win.
Fulham suffered a major loss when striker Bobby Zamora was carried off on a stretcher with a broken leg that will likely keep him out for months. That injury should guarantee that Dempsey will remain in the starting lineup.
Stuart Holden has clearly won a place in Bolton Wanderers's starting side. Playing in the central midfield, he started and went the full 90 minutes in Bolton's 4-1 loss at powerful Arsenal.
Despite seven saves by U.S. keeper Brad Friedel, Aston Villa fell 2-1 Monday at host Stoke City on a stoppage-time goal from defender Robert Huth. Just when it looked as if Friedel had held the home side at bay, reserve midfielder Jermaine Pennant's free kick dropped to midfielder Matt Etherington whose shot was deflected in by Huth past a stranded Friedel.
American keeper Brad Guzan and defender Eric Lichajremained on the Aston Villa bench.
U.S. defender Jonathan Spector did not dress for West Ham United in its 3-1 loss at Chelsea Saturday.
In the second-tier English League Championship, American forward Conor Doyle came off the bench and played the final nine-plus minutes forDerby County in a 1-0 loss Saturday to Sheffield United.
With an injured calf, American defender Zak Whitbread did not dress for Norwich City, which defeated Barnsley 2-1 Saturday.
American striker Mike Grella did not dress for Leeds United in a 2-1 triumph Saturday over Swansea City.
In the third-division League One, American defender Frank Simek played 90 minutes for Carlisle United in its 1-0 decision Saturday over his old team, Sheffield Wednesday.
American defender Anton Peterlin went the distance, drawing a yellow card for Plymouth Argyle, which drew 1-1 with Colchester United Saturday.
American attacker Jemal Johnson played the final seven minutes for Milton Keynes Dons in a 2-0 loss Saturday to Brighton.
Cherundolo booked in Hannover draw
In the German Bundesliga, U.S. defender Steve Cherundolo captained and went the distance, receiving a yellow card for Hannover 96 in a 2-2 draw Saturday with Bayer Leverkusen.
U.S. midfielder DaMarcus Beasley dressed, but did not play for Hannover.
Borussia Moenchengladbach has had an up-and-down beginning to the season and was dreadful Saturday, losing 4-0 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt. U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley went the distance and received a yellow card.
U.S. midfielder Ricardo Clark played the final minute plus stoppage time for Eintracht.
German-American midfielder Jermaine Jones played 90 minutes and received a yellow card in Schalke 04's 2-0 loss to TSG Hoffenheim on Friday.
In the 2Bundesliga, American David Yelldell went the distance in goal for MSV Duisburg in a 2-1 win Saturday over TSV 1860 Munich.
American striker Kenny Cooperm with an injured ankle, did not dress for 1860.
American defender Amaechi Igwe has an injured knee and did not dress in FC Ingolstadt 04's 2-1 loss to RW Oberhausen on Friday.
American Luis Robles was the backup keeper for Karlsruhe, which fell 6-5 Monday to Energie Cottbus.
In France, U.S> defender Carlos Bocanegra went the distance for St Etienne in a hard-fought 1-0 triumph Saturday over Toulouse.
U.S. forward Charlie Davies is still not dressing for Sochaux, which lost 2-1 to Stade Rennes.
In Scotland, U.S. midfielder Maurice Edu went the distance for Glasgow Rangers in a 2-1 victory over Hamilton Academical Saturday.
On Tuesday, Edu also went 90 strong minutes in the right center of the midfield in rangers' improbable 0-0 draw with Manchester United in the European Champions League.
In Spain, U.S. striker Jozy Altidore dressed, but did not play for Villarreal in its 4-0 win Sunday over Espanyol.
In Italy, U.S> defender Oguchi Onyewu did not dress for AC Milan, which was stunned 2-0 Saturday by Cesena. According to media reports, Onyewu is fifth or sixth for Milan on its depth chart for central defenders.
In Greece, Freddy Adu still on Aris Thessaloniki's roster, but did not dress for a 1-0 setback to Panathinaikos Saturday.
In Belgium, U.S> midfielder Sacha Kljestan did not dress for Anderlecht in its 2-0 win over St. Truiden Friday.
In Denmark's Superliga, American defender Michael Parkhurst did not dress for FC Nordsjælland, which prevailed 1-0 over Odense BK Saturday.
American strikers Marcus Tracy, sidelined by a knee ailment, and Chris Rolfe did not dress for Aalborg BK, which fell 3-2 to Horsens Sunday.
In the second-tier Viasat Division, newly relegated AGF Aarhus is clearly the class of the division, beating Hvidovre 7-1 Sunday. U.S. midfielder Benny Feilhaber, who tried but failed to leave Aarhus, had a pair of assists and forced an own goal while playing 90 minutes.
In Sweden, American midfielder Alejandro Bedoya played 90 minutes for Örebro SK, which dropped a 2-1 decision Sunday to Djurgården.
American defender Ryan Miller played 90 minutes for Halmstads BK in its 2-0 loss Friday to Häcken
In Norway, American defenders Clarence Goodson and Hunter Freeman went the distance for IK Start in a 3-2 loss to Lillestrom Sunday.
American midfielder Mikkel Diskerud played 90 minutes for Stabæk IF in its 3-2 loss to Vålerenga on Sunday.
American keeper Steve Clark dressed, but did not play for Hønefoss BK in its 2-0 loss to Haugesund Sunday.
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.
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