Behind Friedel, Villa shuts out Newcastle, creates distance on relegation zone.
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
(Thursday, April 14, 2011) -- The English Premier League season is winding to a close and, with six matches left, things do not look good for West Ham United or Wolverhampton Wanderers, both employers of Americans. Both lost last weekend and both are now in the relegation zone and facing a drop to the second-tier League Championship.
Thanks to a strong match by American goalkeeper Brad Friedel on Sunday, Aston Villa can breathe a bit easier.
Friedel made three saves and kept a clean sheet in a 1-0 victory over Newcastle United in front of 37,090 at Villa Park. Friedel saved his best for last, holding onto a sharp header from Peter Lovenkrands in the dying minutes, then got down to block a low drive from Lovenkrands in injury time.
United States midfielder Michael Bradley did not dress for Villa, which climbed to 14th place, five points clear of the relegation zone and only two points out of ninth place in the unusually crowded standings.
Meanwhile, on the business side of things, Denver sports mogul Stan Kroenke increased his ownership share in Arsenal to 62.89 per cent. Under British corporate law, he must now make a mandatory offer to acquire the remaining shares in the Premier League club.
Kroenke Sports Enterprises has gradually built its stake in the Gunners since first buying 9.9 percent of shares in 2007. Kroenke's main problem will be purchasing the 27-percent stake owned by Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov, who had expressed interest of taking over the club.
KSE also owns Major League Soccer's Colorado Rapids, the St. Louis Rams (National Football League), Denver Nuggets (National Basketball Association), Colorado Avalanche (National Hockey League), and Colorado Mammoth (National Lacrosse League).
U.S. defender Jonathan Spector played the final 14 minutes in another dismal West Ham United performance, a 3-0 loss Saturday to Bolton Wanderers.
Stuart Holden, recovering from knee surgery, is finished for the remainder of Bolton Wanderers' season.
Wolverhampton had the misfortune to come up against a hot U.S. keeper Tim Howard, who had four saves for Everton in its 3-0 triumph over Wolves on Saturday. Marcus Hahnemann, who was a reserve behind Howard at the 2010 World Cup, was again Wolves' second-choice keeper.
U.S. midfielder Clint Dempsey went the distance, but Fulham's offense was bottled up by Manchester United and the Cottagers fell 2-0.
German-American midfielder Jermaine Jones went 90 minutes and received a yellow card for Blackburn Rovers in a 1-1 draw Saturday with Birmingham City.
In the League Championship, U.S. keeper Brad Guzan had one of his best matches while on loan to Hull City, making eight saves in a 2-1 win Saturday over Watford.
U.S. striker Eddie Johnson played 76 minutes and set up Preston North End's only goal in a 1-1 draw with Portsmouth on Saturday. On April 6, he went 83 minutes in a 2-1 loss at Reading.
American defender Zak Whitbread played 90 minutes for Norwich City in its 3-0 setback Saturday to Swansea City.
American Eric Lichaj played 90 minutes on defense for Leeds United, a 3-2 loser Saturday to Millwall.
American forward Conor Doyle, just back from the U.S. under-20 men's failure to advance from the CONCACAF world championship qualification tournament in Guatemala, did not dress Saturday for Derby County in its 2-2 draw with Coventry City.
U.S. striker Robbie Findley is still recovering from a thigh injury and was not available to Nottingham Forest in its 4-3 loss Saturday to Reading.
In the third-division League One, American defender Frank Simek was given a yellow card during a 90-minute performance Saturday for Carlisle United, a 3-2 loser to MK Dons.
American midfielder Anton Peterlin remained on the bench for Plymouth Argyle in a 2-0 victory Saturday over Walsall. On April 6, Peterlin played 90 minutes in a 2-0 road loss to Leyton Orient.
American forward Mike Grella did not dress for Swindon Town's 1-0 decision Saturday over Brentford.
In Scotland, U.S. midfielder Maurice Edu played the first 70 minutes and was issued a yellow card for a tired Glasgow Rangers squad which struggled to a 1-0 victory Sunday over Hamilton Academical.
On April 6, Edu went the distance for a 2-0 road win over St. Johnstone.
In the German Bundesliga, Steve Cherundolo received a yellow card during 90 minutes of play in Hannover 96's 2-0 triumph Saturday over 1. FSV Mainz 05.
U.S. midfielder DaMarcus Beasley did not dress for Hannover.
Twenty-one-year-old German-American defender Timmy Chandler started on the front line and played 90 minutes Saturday for 1. FC Nürnberg in its 1-1 draw Saturday with Bayern Munich.
U.S. midfielder Ricardo Clark dressed, but did not play for Eintracht Frankfurt Friday in its 1-1 draw with Werder Bremen.
German-American Daniel Williams remains out with a bad knee and unavailable to SC Freiburg for its 3-2 decision Saturday over TSG Hoffenheim.
In the 2. Bundesliga, American keeper David Yelldell had an eventful game in net for MSV Duisburg, making a pair of saves and earning his second yellow card of the season in a 3-2 win Friday over Alemannia Aachen.
Another American goalie, Luis Robles had three saves for Karlsruhe, which drew 1-1 with Erzgebirge Aue on Sunday. Karlsruhe outshot the visitor 15-5.
American striker Edson Buddle played the final 16 minutes for FC Ingolstadt 04 in its 1-1 draw Sunday with SC Paderborn 07.
American defender Amaechi Igwe is out with a knee injury for Ingolstadt.
American striker Bobby Wood, who was injured playing for the U.S. in the CONCACAF under-20 qualifying tournament, was not available to TSV 1860 Munich for its 4-0 victory Saturday over Energie Cottbus.
American midfielder Alfredo Morales did not dress for Hertha Berlin, which defeated VfL Bochum 2-0 on Monday.
In France, U.S. defender Carlos Bocanegra played 90 minutes for St. Etienne in its 2-2 draw Saturday with Auxerre.
In the Netherlands, U.S. defender Oguchi Onyewu, still not at full fitness, dressed, but did not play for Twente Enschede in a 1-1 draw Saturday with Roda JC Kerkrade.
In Belgium, U.S. midfielder Sacha Kljestan watched from the bench for RSC Anderlecht its 3-0 loss Sunday to Club Brugge.
In Turkey's Super Lig, U.S. striker Jozy Altidore had an interesting night for Bursaspor, which went down to defeat 3-2 at the hands of Antalyaspor on Friday.
First, Altidore was assessed an early yellow card, but came right back to score Bursaspor's first goal. He made a run from the right side and met a cross in full stride to put a header across the goal into the far corner of the net.. It was his first goal for his new Turkish team. He came out in the 89th minute.
In the second-division Bank Asya 1 Lig, American midfielder Freddy Adu played the first 65 minutes for Caykur Rizespor in a 1-0 victory Sunday over Kartalspor.
In the Danish Superliga, no American played this weekend. Forward Chris Rolfe dressed, but did not play for Aalborg BK in its 0-0 draw Sunday with Horsens. Striker Marcus Tracy, out with a bad knee, was not available for Aalborg.
American defender Clarence Goodson, back training after missing several weeks with a broken toe, dressed, but did not play for Brondby IF in a 1-1 draw Sunday with Odense BK.
American defender Michael Parkhurst did not dress for FC Nordsjaelland, a 2-0 winner Sunday over Sonderjyske.
In the second-tier First Division, U.S. midfielder Benny Feilhaber, returning from injury, came off the bench and played the final 25 minutes for AGF Aarhus, earning an assist by setting up his team's goal in a 1-1 draw Sunday with Vestsjaelland.
In Sweden, American midfielder Alejandro Bedoya notched his first goal in the young season and it was the winner in Orebro SK's 1-0 victory over Syrianska FC on Friday. Bedoya scored off a corner kick when the ball bounced to him and he used his first touch to steer it inside the near post. He came out in the 90th minute.
Twenty-year-old American midfielder Mikkel Diskerud played the first 65 minutes for Stabaek IF which defeated Valerenga 1-0 on Friday.
American defender Ryan Miller watched Monday from the Halmstads BK bench a 3-1 setback to Malmo FF.
American defender Gale Agbossoumonde returned from U.S. under-20 qualifying to sit out for Djurgardens IF and 0-0 draw Monday with AIK (Kalmar).
In Norway, American attacker Josh Gatt came on in the 59th minute for Molde FK, which drew 2-2 with Viking on Monday.
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.
Do you have a comment on this story or something to say about soccer in general? Send us a letter.
©Copyright 2011 SoccerTimes.com. All Rights Reserved.