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Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

Jonathan Spector (AP) 


It was a good overall weekend for American defenders in terms of playing time, but no defenders enjoyed better weekends than Jonathan Spector and Frank Simek.

The pair of American defenders returned after lengthy injury layoffs and each played a substantial amount in their respective club's games. Spector started at right back for West Ham and went 85 minutes against Bolton Wanderers while Simek played the entire game for Sheffield Wednesday in their 2-0 victory over Crystal Palace.

The defenders weren't the only Americans having fun this weekend either. Midfielder Michael Bradley and his club, Borussia Moenchengladbach, picked up a crucial 3 points against Hannover 96 on Saturday. Bradley played the entire game and was involved in the build-up to Moenchengladbach's game-winning goal. Although on the losing side, Steve Cherundolo and Sal Zizzo both entered the game for second-half cameos.

Preston Zimmerman enjoyed a solid performance with Kapfenberg SV as the team resumed its Austrian Bundesliga campaign. Zimmerman went 89 minutes against FC Karnten and scored the opening goal in the 2-1 victory.

Here is how the rest of the Americans Abroad performed this week:



  • Tim Howard started, played 90 minutes and made zero saves in Everton's 0-0 tie vs. Newcastle on Sunday.

  • Brad Friedel started, played 90 minutes and made five saves in Aston Villa's 1-0 loss vs. Chelsea on Saturday.

  • Brad Guzan dressed but did not play in Aston Villa's 1-0 loss vs. Chelsea on Saturday.

  • Clint Dempsey started and played 90 minutes in Fulham's 2-0 win vs. West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.

  • Jonathan Spector started and played 85 minutes in West Ham's 2-1 loss vs. Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.


  • Jay DeMerit started and played 90 minutes in Watford's 2-0 win vs. Blackpool on Saturday.

  • Eddie Johnson did not dress in Cardiff City's 2-2 draw vs. Wolverhampton Wandereers on Sunday.

  • Frank Simek started and played 90 minutes in Sheffield Wednesday's 2-0 win vs. Crystal Palace on Saturday.
  • Marcus Hahnemann dressed but did not play in Reading's 2-0 loss vs. Bristol City on Saturday.


  • Jemal Johnson started and played 90 minutes in MK Don's 1-1 draw vs. Tranmere Rovers on Saturday.
  • Zak Whitbread started, played 90 minutes and received a yellow card in Millwall's 1-0 loss vs. Brighton on Saturday.
  • Mike Grella came off the bench and played one minute in Leeds United's 2-0 win vs. Cheltenham Town on Saturday.
  • Ian Joyce dressed but did not play in Southend United's 1-0 win vs. Colchester United on Saturday.


  • DaMarcus Beasley did not dress in Rangers' 3-1 win vs. Kilmarnock on Saturday.

  • Maurice Edu dressed but did not play in Rangers' 3-1 win vs. Kilmarnock on Saturday.



  • Landon Donovan came off the benach and played 45 minutes in Bayern Munich's 2-1 loss vs. FC Cologne on Saturday.
  • Michael Bradley started and played 90 minutes in Borussia Moenchengladbach's 3-2 win vs. Hannover 96 on Saturday.
  • Steve Cherundolo came off the bench and played 4 minutes in Hannover 96's 3-2 loss vs. Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday.
  • Sal Zizzo came off the bench and played 28 minutes in Hannover 96's 3-2 loss vs. Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday.


  • Heath Pearce dressed but did not play in Hansa Rostock's 3-1 loss vs. Mainz on Friday.
  • Gregg Berhalter came off the bench and played 71 minutes in 1860 Munich's 4-1 loss vs. MSV Duisburg on Sunday.

  • Luis Robles and Kaiserslautern play St Pauli on Monday.

  • Matt Taylor came off the bench and played 10 minutes in TUS Koblenz's 3-0 win vs. SpVgg Greuther Furth on Sunday.

  • David Yelldell started, played 90 minutes and made three saves in TUS Koblenz's 3-0 win vs. SpVgg Greuther Furth on Sunday.

  • Grover Gibson did not dress in Ahlen's 3-1 loss vs. RW Oberhausen on Sunday.


  • Jozy Altidore did not dress in Xerez's 2-1 win vs. Cordoba on Sunday.


  • Danny Szetela did not dress in Brescia's 1-0 loss to Parma on Sunday.



  • Carlos Bocanegra started, played 90 minutes and received a yellow card in Rennes' 1-0 win vs. Nice on Saturday.

  • Freddy Adu did not dress in AS Monaco's 2-1 loss to Lille on Sunday.


  • Quentin Westberg dressed but did not play in Troyes' 1-0 loss vs. Clermont Foot on Friday.


  • Oguchi Onyewu started and played 67 minutes in Standard Liege's 4-0 win vs. Anderlecht on Sunday.
  • Jared Jeffrey did not play in Club Brugge's 2-0 loss vs. KVC Westerlo on Sunday.


The Danish First Division is on winter break until March.


  • Preston Zimmerman started, played 89 minutes, received a yellow card and scored a GOAL in Kapfenberg SV's 2-1 win vs. FC Karnten on Saturday.


  • Jose Francisco Torres started and played 54 minutes in Pachuca's 3-0 win vs. Indios de Ciudad Juarez on Saturday.
  • Michael Orozco did not dress in San Luis' 1-1 draw vs. Atlante on Saturday. He was serving a red card suspension.
  • Marco Vidal did not dress in Indios de Ciudad Juarez's 3-0 loss vs. Pachuca on Saturday.

  • Daniel Hernandez did not dress in Chiapas' 4-2 loss vs. Puebla on Saturday.

  • Jesus Padilla did not dress in Chivas de Guadalajara's 1-1 draw vs. Morelia on Saturday.

American-born Players Playing for Other Countries

  • Giuseppe Rossi (Italy) started, played 57 minutes and scored a GOAL in Villarreal's 2-1 win vs. Sporting Gijon on Saturday.

  • Edgar Castillo (Mexico) dressed but did not play in America's 3-2 win vs. UANL on Saturday. 

  • Brede Hangeland (Norway) started and played 90 minutes in Fulham's 2-0 win vs. West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.
  • Boaz Myhill (Wales) and Hull City play Tottenham Hotspur on Monday.


What do you think of these performances? Eager to see what Simek and Spector can do on the national team scene again? Think Michael Bradley and Borussia Moenchengladbach are going to make it out of the relegation zone this season? Happy to see both Steve Cherundolo and Sal Zizzo find playing time? Do you see Preston Zimmerman getting a call-up to the U.S. MNT sometime this year?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Click this link if anyone wants to see Clint Dempsey’s amazing shot from way out in the wilderness in today’s game of Fulham v. West Brom. It beats defenders, the keeper, and then knocks the woodwork’s top-right corner shaking the goal. Enjoy. (Dempsey’s amazing shot is in the 2:07 minute, right after Dickson Etuhu’s almost equally amazing volley. Both shots, by the way, are left footed).
    p.s. All of the highlight is good if you like attacking football.

  2. What is the story regarding Szetela? He appeared to feature quite frequently earlier in the season and even contributed a rare goal.

    I wish him well in Italy, precious few americans outside of Mr. Lalas have made a mark there.

  3. Donovan – I agree with NATO that Landon needs to step up, take some chances, and show some brilliance. Even if he is coming back to LA. As the best of the US he is representing everyone over here that plays soccer, and that is millions of adults and kids.

    Not sure about Jozy but I think the point to absorb is that players need to be ultra hungry to make it in top level soccer, and can’t afford to be patient. They can’t accept not getting in the first team, not getting dressed for the game, etc. Youth and soccer careers are fleeting, make it happen right now.

    I suspect kids that grow up in Europe have a different feel around this than kids that grow up in the US. Competition to advance is huge and chance of success nothing on the continent, and there is no “Everyone plays” as I understand it.

  4. you also need to swap dempsey and beas… why try to make it upside down where left is right when you could just do it where left is left??? i.e.

  5. Dolo is pure quality. Spector is just back from injury, besides Spector plays leftback. Pearce is only no.1 leftback because Spector was so injured and Bornstein is not worthy enough of taking over.

  6. Good point but AV are 1 point from 3rd. Arsenal is struggling and even if AV continue to struggle they are 5points ahead of the Gunners with 12matches left. I hope they can overtake Chelsea for 3rd.

  7. Don’t think it’s a shoe-in for friedal to get champions league games next year. Villa are still a small squad and have not been getting good results as of late.

  8. Friedel has made 1 of the best transfers in Yanks Abroad history. He transfered from a mid table team at best, that being Blackburn and now he’s assured of playing Champion’s League football next season. Congrats to him

    and here’s hoping Everton can take the 5th spot from Arsenal and get to play Uefa Cup football next season.

  9. How about a run of applause for Howard? Keeping his 11th league cleansheet of the season. He had a crappy start to the season with Everton’s backline screwing up each match but now they’re doing great.

    It may be Van Der Sar’s year as the best GK in england but Howard and Friedel are easily among the top5.

  10. Hahnemann is a pretty good GK not as great as Friedel/Howard but he was very good during his 2seasons in the PL.

    He lost his spot to his Australian understudy when he was injured.

    Hahnemann could be a GK for a number of mid table teams in any first division in Europe. His contract ends in June so i see him moving on to a newly promoted club in the PL or moving to Germany.

  11. ENOUGH with the “where is Jozy” comments! He is only 19, and will get his time to prove his worth.

    If anyone has any questions, visit the club website first.

    I am psyched to see Zizzo getting some time finally, albeit in a loss to a fellow Patriot. And I’m not sure what is going on in Munchen but they need to get their act together or heads will roll.

  12. EJ is heading to Malmö in the Swedish league. I think he would be a decent star here. Shame but you never know. Maybe he can have a decent career playing in Scandinavia over the next decade. Would always get him a free pass to show his stuff in the winter friendly.

  13. C’mon gofire, if you are going to use the movie analogy, at least get it right. Crash Davis was the Kevin Costner character, who was neither young nor going to the show. Tim Robbins character, “Nuke” Laloosh, was the young up-and-coming star. Ya got that, meat? 🙂

  14. My starting XI for the World Cup






    barring injuries. That is our dream team. If Beasley can just playing time and if Kljestan can get to a European team, then we’re great.

  15. Barry U, you bring up great points. It’s not been fair at all.

    Go back to the start of the 2007 season. Beasley was starting XI and doing a great job. Rangers was even holding its own in the group stages of the Champions League. Then he got major injured and was out for 6months.

    And it’s been horrible ever since. I read an opinion on bigsoccer that Beasley was only really brought there to help Rangers in the Champion’s League. The Scottish league itself is too rough for him.

    Beasley was perfect in 2004-05 for PSV. He helped them win the title and get to the semi-finals of the CL. I know he will bounce back, just not at Rangers.

  16. I am really sick of seeing the same Jozy question on every post. Take 10 seconds and read some of the others posts, please. I don’t know how many times I have had to explain it.

    Nice to see Zizzo…

  17. Donovan has been playing like a 5 out of 10 for Bayern. And they’ve been playing pretty much like crap as a team. It sucks but Donovan will have to give it all he has if he wants some serious consideration from other clubs. He can’t be afraid of making mistakes. He is our top player. He needs to prove it.

  18. I’m sure Zizzo is a long term option for Hannover as well. He is a good inspiring player but not good enough for the starting XI, but since they’re hovering around relegation, he will get his chance.

  19. An in form Spector will most likely get the call up over Pearce. Spector is getting PT at a mid-tabled PL team. Pearce is fighting for a space at a soon to be 3rd division German club.

    Cherundolo is no.1 rightback for the national team. Wynne and Parkhurst both are fighting to be behind him in that pecking order.

  20. I’ve been thinking about this for a while so here it is. How bad has DaMarcus Beasley been at Rangers? This is a guy that has played well for PSV, Man City and Rangers (IMO). He has a wealth of experience from going deep in the CL with PSV and did not look out of place at City. Has played in 2WC and played well (IMO).

    I mean guys like Steven Davis – Fulham got rid of him when they where at the foot of the table last year. Kenny Miller – played for a club that got the least points ever in the Prem. If not the least they got pretty darn close. Charlie Adam – Was loaned to Blackpool recently. All can get a game at Rangers.

    It just does not make sense. Is it the American thing? Can’t be since they got Mo Edu on the roster. Is it a race thing? Again Mo Edu. Did he do something to Walter Smith? Is it his size? Davis is 5’8. So is the DUI he had last year the reason why he can’t get a game at Rangers?

    Then Schalke 04 came in for him on loan and Rangers say no.

    Anybody got a clue?

  21. Beasley should head to Spain or France. I’m sure some mid-table team would love to have him. He’s fantastic and still has his speed and tons of Champion’s League experience. I know for sure he’s too good to be at Rangers and too fragile as well.

    But i hope the best for him. Edu has a long-term future for himself at Rangers. He will be a star there. Trust me.

  22. Good to see Ian Joyce there on the list. A Jersey kid who went to Don Bosco Prep before going off to try his luck in England. All the luck, Ian.

  23. Jozy has maybe 10matches or so to strut his stuff. Xerxes are 1 of the top teams in the division and they are scoring goals equivalent to Barca in La Liga. Hopefully Jozy can get in on a few. But don’t worry. Villareal has plans for him, he is a long-term thing.

  24. I’m banking on Bradley to help lead BMG out of relegation. They need a consistent goal scorer. Rob Friend only has 5goals in 22matches. Move Bradley up top.

  25. These are the ones that worry me:

    Danny Szetela did not dress in Brescia’s 1-0 loss to Parma on Sunday.

    Freddy Adu did not dress in AS Monaco’s 2-1 loss to Lille on Sunday.

    Heath Pearce dressed but did not play in Hansa Rostock’s 3-1 loss vs. Mainz on Friday.

    Marcus Hahnemann dressed but did not play in Reading’s 2-0 loss vs. Bristol City on Saturday.

  26. jddjsjsjdd- you think Dolo is starter over a healthy and in form Spector come WC 2010?

    I think it will be a dog fight unless Bradley’s mind is made up.

    Spector has a huge upside if he can stay fit.

    Same goes for Simek-shame neither is left footed.

  27. Barca is 7points ahead of Madrid but they will be going head to head for the title this season.

    Man U is 7points ahead of Liverpool especially since Man U is playing tight and Liverpool keep drawing every game. But I can see them making up for it. No more draws.

    InterMilan is running away with the league. Hoffenheim has Berlin and Hamburg on its heels.

  28. The team was jealous of the fanfare that greeted the arrival of Jozy. The top club officials made the deal with Villareal — not the coach. And with the team winning, the coach is sticking with his veteran strikers who got them into first place.

    Even as Xerez won again this weekend, it seems they played poorly and benefited from dubious officiating. Maybe this will open things up for Jozy.

    Both starting strikers, Calle and Antonito, are Bull Durham types, you know, pretty much career minor leaguers. Jozy is Crash — he’s headed to the show but still young. Maybe there’s some groupie ho in Jerez (ie Susan Sarandon character in the movie) who can teach him a thing or two about life on and off the pitch, ja ja.

  29. Dempsey is always so close to scoring. Good thing that he got an assist. He and AJ seem to play perfectly with 1 another. Finally Zamora scored a goal. 2nd in 23 matches.

    AJ has 6 in 21. That’s McBride’s stats. Even though AJ is faster and younger.

  30. Cherundolo has been at Hannover for a decade and was 1 of the reasons they were promoted to the Bundesliga back in 2002. It will take some time til he’s back to form but he always has his spot. Shame he’s so underrated.

  31. Ives this is very random but has there been any talk about Steve Zakuani maybe wanting to play for the US?hes stated he would like to play for his home country (DPR Congo) but is there any chance he can change his mind?he looks class and rejected an offer from preston north end

  32. Jozy is probably learning the ropes at Xerez. They paid to have bring him in so it’s only a matter of time before he hits the pitch.

  33. Cherundolo might have a tough time getting back in the Starting XI. Hannover’s fill in right back has scored 2 goals now in Cherundolo’s absence.

  34. Beasley was out because he got hurt in a cup game on a straight red horrible tackle by some moron.

    I sure hope he starts getting regular minutes because on merit he should start.


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