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Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

Landon Donovan 5 (Getty Images)

By FRANCO PANIZO

Landon Donovan's much-anticipated English Premier League debut came with less than a week's worth of training, and even though he was unfamiliar with his new teammates and the English style of play, he did not disappoint.

Donovan made his presence felt 13 minutes into Everton's match vs. Arsenal, sending in a corner kick that midfielder Leon Osman headed home to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. Donovan, who was deployed as a right midfielder in the 2-2 draw, was more than just a threat on set pieces, as he continuously terrorized left back Armand Traore before being subbed out in the 69th minute with cramps.

Everton manager David Moyes was disappointed to take off the U.S. national team midfielder, but Moyes was delighted with Donovan's debut.

Donovan wasn't the only player to enjoy a strong performance this weekend. Jon-Paul Pittman netted his fifth league goal of the season, scoring the equalizer in a 90-minute performance against Leeds United.

Here is how the Americans Abroad did this weekend:

England

PREMIERSHIP

  •  Tim Howard started and played 90 minutes in Everton's 2-2 draw vs. Arsenal on Saturday.
  • Landon Donovan started, played 69 minutes and had an ASSIST in Everton's 2-2 draw vs. Arsenal on Saturday.

  • Jozy Altidore and Hull City's match vs. Chelsea on Satuday was postponed.
  • Clint Dempsey and Fulham's match vs. Portsmouth on Saturday was postponed.
  • Jonathan Spector and West Ham's match vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday was postponed.
  • Brad Friedel and Aston Villa's match vs. Wigan Athletic on Saturday was postponed.
  • Brad Guzan and Aston Villa's match vs. Wigan Athletic on Saturday was postponed.

  • Marcus Hahnemann and Wolverhampton Wanderers' match vs. West Ham on Sunday was postponed.

LEAGUE ONE

  • Zak Whitbread did not dress in Norwich City's 3-1 win vs. Exeter City on Saturday.
  • Ian Joyce and Southend United's match vs. Walsall on Saturday was postponed.
  • Mike Grella came off the bench and played 6 minutes in Leeds United's 1-1 draw vs. Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday.
  • Jemal Johnson and Milton Keynes Dons' match vs. Swindon Town on Saturday was postponed.
  • Jon-Paul Pittman started, played 90 minutes and scored a GOAL in Wycombe Wanderers' 1-1 draw vs. Leeds United on Saturday. 

Scotland

  • Maurice Edu dressed but did not play in Rangers' 3-3 draw vs. Hamilton Academical in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup on Sunday.
  • DaMarcus Beasley did not dress in Rangers' 3-3 draw vs. Hamilton Academical in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup on Sunday. He is recovering from a thigh injury.

Italy

  • Oguchi Onyewu did not dress in AC Milan's match vs. Juventus on Sunday.

France

  • Carlos Bocanegra dressed but did not play in Rennes' 2-0 win vs. Caen in the ninth round of the Coupe de France on Saturday.

Portugal

  • Kamani Hill did not dress in Vitoria de Guimaraes' 1-0 win vs. Maritimo on Saturday.

Greece

  • Eddie Johnson did not dress Aris Salonika's 4-2 win vs. Iraklis on Sunday. He is not yet available to play for the club.
  • Freddy Adu did not dress in Aris Salonika's 4-2 win vs. Iraklis on Sunday. He is not yet available to play for the club.

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What do you think of these performances? Impressed by Donovan's debut? Excited for the remaining weeks of his loan? Think Jon-Paul Pittman should get a call-up to the national team? How concerned are you by Bocanegra's benching?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. First off, why so angry, greencard? Anyway, although you missed the point of my post, I will answer your question on McBride. It was no different for McBride. In his first season at Fulham, there were English supporters who consistently claimed that he was not Premership quality. Over time, however, McBride earned the respect of the Fulham faithful. He played a traditional English target man role and he worked his socks off — both things that are admired in English football. He is considered a Fulham legend by many now and they’ve even named a pub at Craven Cottage after him. His performance, I believe, opened the doors for other Americans at Fulham. But, it was no different for him when he first got to Fulham.

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  2. If Dempsey is criticised harsher because he is an American, how do you explain the love affiar with Brian McBride?

    If the idea is that Americans must work twice as hard and be twice as good, well hell, you are going to their country to take their jobs and food out of their mouths,Yank. So yeah, Americans should be twice as good as a Brit.

    When foreigners come to America to take American jobs they are treated as scum; just watch FOX.

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  3. I get your point, DC Josh, but still, much of the world — particularly England — does not hold the same opinion as you do of US soccer players. I, too, believe Landon is one of the best, if not the best, US soccer has, but I also believe we need more of our players in top leagues in order to advance. Clint Dempsey has done very well, but, as you may know, there are plenty of people on the Fulham messageboard getting out the knives whenever Dempsey has a bad game. Based on the commentary I see, it is my opinion this is because he is American. With Clint’s production, if he were English, I believe he’d be considered a star. So, while there is some acceptance of Americans on an individual basis, we need our top players to impress over there and build up our reputation. If Landon can show well, then it may change opinions that matter and cause other teams to take a chance on other deserving Americans. He is being touted over there as the best America has to offer and if he does poorly, it may, rightly or wrongly, make it more difficult for other Americans in the future.

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  4. the point of the posting wasn’t to legitimize Donovan dude (or to change your hallowed opinion). any USMNT fan knows how good he is for us. but its still interesting to hear positive reviews for a loaned player who’s been with a team a short time and is already making an impact against a team as talented as Arsenal; especially from fans who actually saw the game in person. I’m worried about Boca too though. I’d rather see Demerit at CB in South Africa.

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  5. Not sure that Everton could afford him, though if he continues to play well they may find a way. Or they could try and extend the loan. Good Q about the work stoppage, though there would still have to be a renegotiated loan.

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  6. In some ways this whole Donovan thing is a little overblown.

    McBride, Dempsey and to a lesser extent, Bocanegra, have already proved that US outfield players can make a meaningful contribution on a long term basis to a decent EPL team. Donovan has played right alongside all those guys and a neutral observer could make the case that Donovan has already proved, over an extended period of time, to be as good or better a player than all of them. In addition, Moyes is known to be a very good judge of talent.

    It would have been a major upset if Donovan had not done well in a situation( supportive coach, supportive teamates[at least one], club in need of help,minor language barrier[Liverpudlian vs. american english], minor cultural differences) that could hardly have been more ideal for him.

    Still it’s good to see him do well.

    It’s a little early to worry about Boca’s PT re the World Cup. I’m sure if he feels he is in danger he will try to engineer some sort of loan or transfer.

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  7. Not really.

    If it stays this way till the the end of the season, then you worry but,. for now, as far as I’m concerned,it means he is getting rested for South Africa.

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  8. Not as thick as you, buddy boy.

    Intelligent people realize sarcasm and irony translate very, very poorly on a site like this, where no one knows you. It’s not like you are sending an e mail to your best friend.

    If you want to say something, say something straight up.

    It’s hard to develop a recognizable “style” on a blog like SBI unless you comment constantly on every single post and develop a recognizable oeuvre. Otherwise, you come off sounding like you are just too cute by half and far too precious.

    Reply
  9. I already said I was being facetious. ‘Facetious’ is a high school word for ‘not serious.’ It sometimes carries ironic or satirical connotations, as was the case in my post. (A couple of those words were also high school words. Feel free to look them up at your discretion.) See, it’s common practice on this site for readers to second guess every move made by a U.S. player, especially in view of injuries (e.g. Beasley) or lack of playing time (e.g. Adu et al.) in Europe. It’s a regular theme. I assumed that my suggestion that players not move to Europe due to recent match cancellations was ridiculous enough that it would be taken as it was intended–in jest. But then I forget some people are thick.
    And I’m from Upstate New York. I know what snow is.

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  10. Jamie Z.

    In England,they have this thing where it gets colder at certain times of the year. It is gets so cold that stuff that falls from the sky (you probably call it rain where you are from ) freezes up and is called snow. It gets all over everything and when enough of this happens it makes it hard to get around in cars and trains and bikes and sometimes even walking is hard. It certainly makes it hard to play what you call soccer. Actually, you might even be able to play but since the fans, who pay to watch, probably can’t make it to the stadium, it is hardly worth it to hold the game.

    They have the same thing here in America but I guess you probably live in Hawaii or Louisinia where they don’t have much of this sort of thing happening. I guess you don’t have the internet where you live either, huh? You could look it up on Google.

    But you should not worry about Rico and Stuart. This only happens a few times a year, usually at this time of the year. The sun comes out, it gets all warm, and then your boys can run and jump and play and be happy.

    Reply

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