Jones goes the distance for Blackburn, which drops Fulham 3-2.
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
(Wednesday, March 9, 2011) -- Quite a few Americans play in England's Premier League and many faced off against one another this past weekend.
On Saturday, German-American midfielder Jermaine Jones went the distance for Blackburn Rovers who came out on top of a 3-2 decision over Fulham, for which United States attacker Clint Dempsey also played 90 minutes.
The match was decided by Bobby Zamora's penalty kick in the 90th minute. Dempsey came close to scoring twice as a withdrawn forward-midfielder, while Jones received a yellow card.
In its prior outing, Fulham came from behind with a late goal to earn a 1-1 draw at Manchester City with Dempsey going 90 minutes.
U.S. midfielder Stuart Holden helped host Bolton Wanderes defeat Aston Villa 3-2 with American goalkeeper Brad Friedel making three saves in the losing effort.
Holden earned a yellow card, while Americans Brad Guzan, the backup keeper, and midfielder Michael Bradley populated the Villa bench.
Before that, Holden played 90 minutes in Bolton's 1-1 draw with Newcastle United.
Bradley did get his much-anticipated first start for Aston Villa last, going 71 minutes in a 3-0 FA Cup Round-of-16 setback against Manchester City. He played a defensive midfield role and had trouble all day with City's Gareth Barry and David Silva.
Friedel made five saves for Villa.
Guzan, it turns out, was back at Villa for a very short visit. He has been playing for Hull City in the second-tier League Championship for the past two months on a pair of 30-day emergency, injury loans. He made 11 appearances and earned four clean sheets. In the final match of his loan, Guzan was strong in a 1-0 road victory over Derby County. He made a stellar save early to thwart Tomasz Cywka and, as Derby surged in the final minutes, recorded fine stops, denying Daniel Ayala and Ben Davies.
The loan expired March 1, so he returned to Villa, but the FA granted Hull another 30 days of Guzan's services. The only other uninjured keeper on the Hull roster is Vito Mannone, who is on loan from Arsenal.
On February 26, Villa downed Blackburn 4-1. In the 23rd minute, Jones received a yellow card. In the 46th minute, he was sent in alone on Friedel by a Roque Santa Cruz through ball, but American keeper batted his low shot away.
Friedel deserved to have a clean sheet but, in the 81st minute, a shot from Nikola Kalinic took a wild deflection off defender Richard Dunne and dropped into the far side of the net.
Bradley remained unused on the bench.
U.S. keeper Tim Howard registered a pair of saves for Everton in a 2-1 triumph over Newcastle on Saturday.
That followed Howard's 2-0 shutout over Sunderland in which he had four saves, including a dandy on Stephane Sessegnon just before intermission.
On Saturday, U.S. defender Jonathan Spector dressed, but did not play for West Ham United in its 3-0 win Saturday over Stoke City. In the previous game, Spector came off the bench, replacing Frederic Piquionne, and played the final eight minutes-plus stoppage time in a 3-1 upset of Liverpool.
American Marcus Hahnemann served as Wolverhampton Wanderers' backup keeper in a 3-3 draw with Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. The previous Saturday, Wolverhampton played one of its stronger matches of the season in defeating Blackpool 4-0.
In the League Championship, American defender Eric Lichaj went the distance for Leeds United, a 5-2 winner over Doncaster Rovers on Saturday. In the prior outings, he also played 90 minutes and received a yellow card in a 3-0 loss to Swansea City and a 3-3 draw with Barnsley.
American defender Zak Whitbread started and played 56 minutes for Norwich City in a 1-1 draw Saturdaywith Preston North End. Before that, he went the distance in a 2-0 victory over Barnsley and a 1-1 deadlock with Doncaster.
American striker Eddie Johnson won a starter's role at Preston North End and played 90 minutes against Norwich. That followed his playing the first hour of a 2-2 draw at Nottingham Forest and a 21-minute relief performance in a Preston's 2-1 setback to Burnley.
Conor Doyle has been dressing for Derby County, but remaining on the substitutes' bench. On Saturday it was a 0-0 draw with Barnsley. Previously it was a pair of matches last week.
U.S. forward Robbie Findley is recovering from a thigh injury and was unavailable to Nottingham Forest
American Mike Grella has found a new home in the third-division League One for the remainder of this season. The 24-year-old striker was lent on an emergency basis by Leeds United to relegation-threatened Swindon Town.
Grella had not been getting playing time with Leeds and earlier had been loaned to Carlisle United of League One where he had three goals in 11 matches before his loan expired. Leeds then tried to loan him to Motherwell of the Scottish Premier League, but the league prohibited the move because Grella would have played for three of its teams in a season, which is not allowed.
Grella immediately started. Yesterday, he played 90 minutes in a 1-0 loss to Plymouth Argyle. On Saturday, he went 90 minutes in Swindon's 0-0 draw with Walsall after playing 90 minutes in a 4-1 road loss to Southampton.
American Frank Simek played 90 minutes on Carlisle United's back-line in a 4-3 loss to league-leading Brighton on Saturday. He also went the whole way in a 1-0 loss to Sheffield Wednesday and 2-2 draw with Exeter.
American midfielder Anton Peterlin has not been dressing for Plymouth Argyle, as was the case yesterday in a 1-0 defeat of Swindon Town yesterday and a 4-2 triumph over Sheffield Wednesday Saturday.
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.
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