Howard makes big saves, leads Everton past Fulham in Premier League.
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
(Thursday, October 27, 2011) -- Two employers of high-profile Americans are off to less than stellar starts.
Everton, with Tim Howard in net traveled to Fulham, with star attacker Clint Dempsey, Sunday afternoon with both teams desperate to come away with three points from Craven Cottage in order to move further away from the relegation zone.
Both Howard and Dempsey had big games, but in the end it was Howard's big saves that were the difference with Everton coming away with a 3-1 victory.
Everton jumped ahead quickly, scoring in the third minute. Dempsey almost tied the score in the 12th minute with an overhead kick and, during a key four-minute stretch, Dempsey was thwarted twice.
In the 21st minute, his booming shot from the right side of the penalty area struck a defender and bounced away. Four minutes later, John Arne Riise fed Dempsey just outside the tight perimeter of the box, but his drive was turned away by Howard, who laid out full length to save it at his net's bottom left corner.
Fulham drew level at 1-1 in the 56th minute and the two teams went back-and-forth, trying to get the critical third goal. Fulham's Costa Rican international Byran Ruiz thought he had it in the 88th minute, but Howard made another amazing save. Two minutes later, after Bobby Zamora somehow managed to hit the crossbar after rounding Howard, Louis Saha scored from an impossible angle to put Everton ahead 2-1
Jack Rodwell added a third Everton tally in stoppage time.
United States goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann, competing to become Everton's backup, did not dress.
Everton (3-4-1, 10 points) pulled up into 13th place, while Fulham (1-4-4, 7 points) is mired in 17th place, one point and one position above the drop zone with more than 70 percent of the season remaining.
Dempsey was rested last Thursday for Fulham's 1-0 loss at Wisla of Poland in Europa League group play.
In other Premier League matches, American keeper Brad Friedel and Tottenham Hotspur visited struggling Blackburn Rovers Sunday and prevailed 2-1 at Ewood Park.
Disgruntled Blackburn fans held a vigil outside the main gate prior to kick-off, demanding the ouster of manager Steve Kean. Friedel did not help Kean's cause making four saves on the way to a 2-1 Spurs triumph, thanks to a pair of goals from Rafael van der Vaart.
Friedel's best save of the day came when he touched a Christopher Samba header over the crossbar.
Friedel was rested for Spurs' 1-0 win over FC Rubin Kazan of Russia in Europa League play last Thursday.
American Brad Guzan was Aston Villa's backup keeper in a 2-1 loss Saturday to West Bromwich Albion, while injured Eric Lichaj was not available to Villa.
U.S. defender Zak Whitbread also was sidelined by injury and was not available to Norwich City for its 1-1 draw with Liverpool.
In the second-division English League Championship, U.S. defender Jonathan Spector dressed, but did not play for Birmingham City in its 2-0 decision Sunday over Bristol City. Last Thursday, he played 90 minutes in midfield in a 2-1 road victory at Belgium's Club Brugge in the Europa League.
Irish-American striker Conor Doyle dressed, but did not play for Derby County' in a 2-0 loss Saturday to Middlesbrough.
U.S. forward Robbie Findley also dressed, but did not play for Nottingham Forest in its 2-1 victory over Blackpool.
In the third-tier League One, American midfielder Anton Peterlin went the distance for Walsall in a 2-1 loss Saturday to Tranmere Rovers.
American striker Mike Grella remained on the bench for Brentford Saturday in a 1-1 draw with Notts County.
American defender Frank Simek did not dress for Carlisle United, a 4-0 loser to Charlton Athletic.
In Scotland Premier League, U.S. midfielder Maurice Edu and defender Carlos Bocanegra went the distance -- Bocanegra registered an assist -- for Glasgow Rangers in a 2-0 win Sunday over Heart of Midlothian. U.S. midfielder Alejandro Bedoya dressed, but did not play for Rangers.
In the German Bundesliga, German-American midfielder Jermaine Jones is completely out of the doghouse and he started for Schalke 04 for the first time this season in a league match, going the distance and receiving a yellow card in a 1-0 triumph Sunday over Bayer Leverkusen.
Last Thursday, Jones played 68 minutes in a 5-0 rout at AEK Larnaca of Cyprus in Europa League play.
David Yelldell was Leverkusen's backup keeper.
U.S. defender Steve Cherundolo had an eventful day for Hannover 96 in its 2-1 decision over Bayern Munich on Sunday. He played 63 minutes, was fouled in the box drawing a penalty kick, but then was sent off after receiving a second yellow.
Last Thursday, he played 90 minutes in a 2-2 draw with Copenhagen of Denmark in the Europa League.
Twenty-one-year-old German American Timmy Chandler went the distance in midfield for 1. FC Nürnberg in a 2-2 draw Saturday with VfB Stuttgart.
Defender Danny Williams went 90 minutes and fellow American midfielder-defender Fabian Johnson played the first 68 minutes Saturday for TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, which edged Borussia Mönchengladbach 1-0.
Johnson is coming back from injury and is not yet fully fit.
Striker Terrence Boyd, a 20-year-old German-American, dressed for the first team for the initial time, but remained on the bench for Borussia Dortmund Saturday in a 5-0 whitewash of FC Cologne.
American midfielder Alfredo Morales did not dress for Hertha Berlin and a 0-0 draw with 1. FSV Mainz 05 on Saturday.
In the second-division 2. Bundesliga, U.S. striker Edson Buddle played the second half and scored his team's only goal Sunday in FC Ingolstadt 04's 3-1 loss to Alemannia Aachen.
American forward Matt Taylor played the final 20 minutes and received a yellow card for SC Paderborn 07's 1-1 draw Friday with TSV 1860 Munich. American striker Bobby Wood played the final two minutes for 1860.
American Luis Robles was the backup keeper for Karlsruher SC in a 0-0 draw Friday with VfL Bochum.
U.S. midfielder Ricardo Clark did not dress for Eintracht Frankfurt, a 3-0 winner Sunday over MSV Duisburg.
In Italy, American Michael Bradley had a strong match in the defensive midfield Sunday for Chievo Verona, which suffered a narrow 1-0 loss to Inter Milan.
In Portugal on Monday night, U.S. defender Oguchi Onyewu dressed, but didn't play for Sporting Lisbon, which defeated Gil Vicente 1-0. Last Thursday, Onyewu was held out as a precaution because of a groin strain of a 2-0 victory over Vaslui of Romania in the Europa League.
In the Netherlands, U.S. striker Jozy Altidore went 89 minutes and was issued a yellow card Sunday for AZ Alkmaar which slipped by Roda JC 1-0.
Last Thursday, he played the final 20 minutes of a 2-2 Europa League draw with Austria Wien. He did not start after being publicly called out by his coach Gertjan Verbeek for his lack of fitness and effort.
In Belgium, U.S. midfielder Sacha Kljestan played the first hour for Anderlecht in a 2-1 decision Sunday over KVC Westerlo. Last Thursday, he went the distance in a 2-0 Europa League victory at SP Sturm Graz of Austria.
In Denmark last weekend, U.S. striker Chris Rolfe had a big game, scoring a pair of goals for Aalborg in its 2-1 victory over Odense BK. He converted an early penalty kick and later won the match, hitting the game-winner six minutes from the end. He now has three goals on the season.
American defender Clarence Goodson went 90 minutes for Brøndby IF in a 2-1 loss Sunday to Silkeborg IF.
American defender Brad Rusin went the distance for HB Køge in its 1-1 draw Sunday with FC Midtjylland.
American midfielder Conor O'Brien played the final six minutes for SønderjyskE in its 4-1 loss Sunday to AC Horsens.
American defender Michael Parkhurst went 90 minutes Monday night for FC Nordsjælland in a 3-1 defeat of FC Copenhagen.
In Norway, American midfielder Mikkel Diskerud played 90 minutes for Stabæk IF in a 1-1 draw with Molde FK on Friday. American defenders Josh Gatt and Sean Cunningham dressed, but did not play for Molde.
In Sweden, Mjallby AIF defeated Halmstads BK 2-0 on Sunday. American defender-midfielder Ryan Miller did not dress for Halmstads, while American forward Samuel Petrone did not dress for Mjallby.
In Mexico, American striker Herculez Gomez continues his comeback season, scoring a pair of goals, his sixth and seventh of the Mexican League season, in just 68 minutes of play for Estudiantes Tecos in a 5-2 triumph over Santos Laguna.
U.S. midfielder DaMarcus Beasley went the distance for Puebla in a 4-3 loss to Toluca on Sunday.
American defender-midfielder Michael Orozco Fiscal remained on the bench for San Luis, which dropped a 3-1 decision Saturday to Jaguares de Chiapas.
U.S. midfielder José Torres has an injured foot and was sidelined for Pachuca, which tied Pumas 0-0 on Saturday.
U.S. defender Jonathan Bornstein did not dress for Tigres UANL in a 0-0 draw Saturday with Monterrey.
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.
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