Yanks In England, Week 9: Tracking Back

Bolton extended its Premier League unbeaten run to five games with a 1-1 draw at Wigan on Saturday, and U.S. midfielder Stuart Holden was involved in Wanderers’ goal.

He sent in a cross from the right that was eventually put away by Johan Elmander for a 68th minute equalizer. Holden started again and went the full 90.

Fulham is still searching for its first win away from home this season, having fallen 2-1 at surprising West Bromwich Albion (they’re in sixth place) on Saturday. Clint Dempsey started, played 90 minutes and whipped a long-distance shot just wide in the early stages.

Eddie Johnson dressed but did not play for Fulham.

At White Hart Lane, Everton’s Tim Howard made an uncharacteristic mistake that led to Tottenham’s goal in a 1-1 draw. Three minutes after Leighton Baines had put the Toffees in front with a superb free kick, the U.S. keeper waved at an Alan Hutton cross, missing it completely, and Peter Crouch headed it back in front for Rafael van der Vaart to power home for his fifth goal in Spurs’ last five matches. That signing? Working out pretty well.

Howard made three saves in the match, including a fine stop of a worm-burner from Luka Modric at the top of the box.

Marcus Hahnemann and Wolves fell to top-of-the-table Chelsea 2-0 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday. The U.S. keeper played 90 minutes and made three saves.

Aston Villa and its trio of Americans faced Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Saturday. There was talk that young U.S. defender Eric Lichaj might get the start due to an injury to regular right back Luke Young, but as it happened, Lichaj did not even dress for the game.

Brad Friedel did, of course, but was foiled by a Richard Dunne own goal 24 minutes in that handed a 1-0 win to the hosts. Friedel made one save in the match.

Brad Guzan dressed but did not play. He’s expected to start Villa’s fourth-round Carling Cup tilt against Burnley tomorrow.

West Ham remained rooted to the bottom of the table after a disappointing 2-1 loss at home to Newcastle. The Hammers took the lead 12 minutes in on Carlton Cole’s first goal of the season, but surrendered one on either side of halfime to lose. Jonathan Spector did not dress for the game.

Liverpool’s American owners turned up at Anfield for the second straight week and surely enjoyed the proceedings a bit more this time, as the Reds picked up a much-needed three points with a 2-1 win over Blackburn. Fernando Torres hit the winner—only his second goal of the year—in the 53rd minute.

Quote of the Year Race Heats Up

We saw a new candidate enter the race this week in the person of West Brom coach Roberto Di Matteo, who offered the following after his promotion side* picked up yet another three points in the Premier League with a 2-1 win over Fulham:

“We try to play football and we believe that is the way to win games. It is quite simple actually.”

Indeed it is, Roberto. Maybe too simple.

We also enjoyed Blackpool manager Ian Holloway’s postgame comment on his team’s 2-0 defeat at Birmingham:

“I did not expect them to play a diamond in midfield. I felt I let the lads down a bit. But I shall also have a go at our scouting set-up because no one told me they would play with a diamond.”

Can Blackpool get a  “do-over”?

Non-Yank–Related Results

Manchester United bounced back from the Wayne Rooney U-Turn and picked up a vital away win against Stoke City, prevailing 2-1 on two goals by Mexican international Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez.

Rooney, who has a sore ankle, did not play. In fact, he took a trip to Dubai to celebrate his 25 th birthday (really).

The Red Devils trail Chelsea by five points after nine games.

In the weekend’s biggest game, Arsenal got the benefit of an early red card to Manchester City midfielder Dedryck Boyata en route to a 3-0 rout at the City of Manchester Stadium. The result leaves both teams clustered behind Chelsea (and around Man U) with 17 points. Arsenal is in second place on goal difference.

*West Brom’s nickname is the Baggies, but no one is sure where that name came from—only that it replaced the old-school and almost equally obscure name for the team, The Throstles.