Landon Donovan has enjoyed his share of quality performances since joining Everton on loan, but none has been as good or convincing has the one delivered on Wednesday when he helped lead the Toffees to a 2-1 win vs. Chelsea.
Donovan provided a dangerous threat down the right flank consistently, helped set up Everton's equalizer with a brilliant corner kick, while also drawing a penalty kick with a smart run in the penalty area.
He not only produced on the attacking side, Donovan also put in work defensively, helping Everton fullback Phil Neville overcome a shaky start as Chelsea finished the match frustrated and unable to break through. Chelsea looked as though it would punish Everton's right flank with a 4-3-3 that fielded the trio of Florent Malouda, Yuri Zhirkov and Ashley Cole on the left flank. That trio started strongly for the visitors, but Donovan's overall play on the right, coupled with the strong play of Diniyar Bilyaletdinov and Leighton Baines on the left wing, helped Everton gain control and eventually emerge victorious.
Donovan's performance drew praise from Everton manager David Moyes, who dampened hopes that Donovan might stay past the brief loan period previously agreed to with the Los Angeles Galaxy.
"That was Landon's best game for us," Moyes told the Guardian. "But I don't think we'll be able to keep him when his three-month loan expires unfortunately."
Tim Howard delivered two clutch second-half saves to make Louis Saha's second-half strike stand up as the winner to give Everton its first victory against Chelsea in ten years.
Here are the highlights:
Donovan and Howard weren't the only Americans in action on Wednesday.
American goalkeepers Marcus Hahnemann and Brad Friedel posted strong performances, with Hahnemann delivering a shutout in Wolverhampton's shocking 1-0 upset of Tottenham and Friedel putting together another stellar outing in Aston Villa's 1-1 draw vs. Manchester United.
Jonathan Spector didn't start, but he came off the bench as a halftime substitute in a 2-0 West Ham win vs. Birmingham. Spector did well at left back, helping containing Birmingham standout Craig Gardner.
Not all of the Americans Abroad enjoyed successful results. Jozy Altidore's Hull couldn't build on its weekend win vs. Manchester City, dropping a 1-0 decision to Blackburn. Altidore kept his starting role, going the full 90 minutes for the Tigers.
What did you think of Wednesday's performances? Excited to see Donovan get the better of Ashley Cole? Hoping Everton finds a way to keep Donovan?
Share your thoughts below.