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Americans Abroad: Weekend Rewind

Maurice Edu 3 (Reuters) 


When Maurice Edu was in the midst of recovering from his lengthy knee injury, he targeted to return in Rangers' first match of the new year, the Old Firm showdown. Edu made his season debut earlier than expected, playing briefly last week, but he saw his most significant playing time since last season vs. Celtic, clocking 77 minutes in Rangers' 1-1 draw.

Edu entered the Old Firm derby early in the first half after Nacho Novo went down with an injury. The U.S. national team midfielder's appearance was his longest since May 2009, and helped keep Rangers seven points clear of Celtic in the Scottish Premier League.

Edu's performance came on a weekend where the FA Cup grabbed most of the headlines. A plethora of Americans played in the third round of the tournament, including Brad Guzan, who helped Aston Villa to a 3-1 win over Blackburn. Mike Grella did not see the field, but Leeds United also won its match this weekend, shocking Manchester United, 1-0. 

Here is how the Americans Abroad fared this weekend:


FA Cup

  • Tim Howard started, played 90 minutes and made five saves in Everton's 3-1 win vs. Carlisle United on Saturday.
  • Jozy Altidore came off the bench and played 11 minutes in Hull City's 4-1 loss vs. Wigan Athletic on Saturday.
  • Clint Dempsey started and played 90 minutes in Fulham's 1-0 win vs. Swindon Town on Saturday.
  • Jonathan Spector did not dress in West Ham's 2-1 loss vs. Arsenal on Sunday.
  • Brad Friedel dressed but did not play in Aston Villa's 3-1 win vs. Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.
  • Brad Guzan started, played 90 minutes and made three saves in Aston Villa's 3-1 win vs. Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.

  • Marcus Hahnemann dressed but did not play in Wolverhampton Wanderers' 1-0 win vs. Tranmere Rovers on Sunday.

  • Jay DeMerit started and played 90 minutes in Watford's 5-0 loss vs. Chelsea on Sunday.
  • Frank Simek started and played 90 minutes in Sheffield Wednesday's 2-1 loss vs. Crystal Palace on Saturday.

  • Mike Grella dressed but did not play in Leeds United's 1-0 win vs. Manchester United on Sunday.
  • Jemal Johnson dressed but did not play in Milton Keynes Dons' 2-1 loss vs. Burnley on Saturday.

  • Zak Whitbread did not dress in Millwall's 1-1 draw vs. Derby County on Saturday.


  • Jon-Paul Pittman started and played 90 minutes in Wycombe Wanderers' 1-0 loss vs. Norwich City on Saturday. 


  • Maurice Edu came off the bench and played 77 minutes in Rangers' 1-1 draw vs. Celtic on Sunday.
  • DaMarcus Beasley did not dress in Rangers' 1-1 draw vs. Celtic on Sunday. He is recovering from a thigh injury.
  • Dominic Cervi did not dress in Celtic's 1-1 draw vs. Rangers on Sunday.


What do you think of these performances? Think Edu is ready to reclaim his starting role in Rangers' midfield? Do you see Guzan displacing Friedel by the end of 2010? Upset that Grella did not play in Leeds' shocking win over Man. United, or are you happy enough with the result?

Share your thoughts below. 


  1. Ives, I’ve been avid reader for a long time now and i really enjoy the website.

    i have to express my one beef though. in these american abroad updates, you never, ever describe how the player did. the reason we come to this website is because we appreciate and respect your opinion, thus would believe you if you said “edu was lackluster. he gave the ball away too often” or “edu was solid. kept it simple and smart.” i understand it would be impossible to watch every match every american abroad plays in, but what is the point of having other people write posts and they don’t even watch the games either?

  2. Isn’t Dominic Cervi the 4th team GK at Celtic? Is he even on the main team’s roster? If not, why bother to list him?

    (SBI-Cervi dressed for a handful of matches when Boruc was sidelined after surgery, so it would seem he’s No. 3 on the depth chart.)

  3. Did you watch the game? They are deeper than US. They have not even unveiled their French-born imports that was the reason US will benefit with Jermaine Jones coming over. They did not bunker against Egypt.

  4. i don’t think they’re deep anywhere, but especially uptop. viewers of the egypt-algeria 2nd leg playoff game said algeria nothing going forward, and just bunkered for 90 minutes to hold off egypt and advance to the WC.

  5. Also good news for Eddie Johnson and perhaps Freddy as well.

    Sebastian “El Loco” Abreu, Aris FC’s leading goal scorer has left the team and signed with Botafogo of Brazil.

  6. Looks like Adu has made his decision based on his latest tweet. Looks like he is just waiting for it to made official before announcing it.

    And according to reports out of Greece, he picked Aris.

  7. He was very good when he was young and deserved hype, for better or worse. He was better at a younger age than any other American soccer player I can think of. Don’t blame him for the media paying attention to him when he was a teenage pro athlete, probably the youngest to play in a top-flight American pro league in the modern era.

  8. It’s ok, Ives, just a little further up this person was asking why Maurice Edu hadn’t scored many goals for Rangers since being bought. I think it’s fair to say they’re not an award winning soccer observer.

  9. Kinda off topic but……Algerian forward Kamel Ghilas has been left off the African Cup of Nations. Is that an indication of how deep Algeria is in the forward role? Or are they giving him a rest?

  10. Apparently Adu (the Great American soccer hype or hope) is going to Arias- a second division team in Greece. Does this team even exist? Who in the USSF is responsible for this? You could take any amateur soccer player from the LA area, and he could play in the 2nd division in Greece. And Eddie Johnson headed for the graveyard of soccer- 2nd division Greece. There is a serious serious serious problem in MLS /USSF selection. Will we continue to err? Will we continue to hustle european soccer with our garbage?

    (SBI- The club is Aris FC, or Aris Salonika. The club is in the Greek first division. Haven’t heard that the deal is done, but that’s the club he’s linked with.)

  11. Mexican premier league side Puebla FC signs Herculez Gomez from Kansas City…and no that’s not a joke…..good for KC, they get money for somebody who was far from a star

  12. Altidore, Adu, Edu, Eddie Johnson: money spent 30 million. Total goals: 2. Thats 15 million US $’s per goal. Can you say, dismal failure? Colossal failure? Who would buy another US player or should I say “playa”?

  13. He has a sore hamstring right now so he didn’t dress. The bench was so thin today the next choice would have been to dress a supporter from the crowd.

  14. That would be the same Puebla whose players threatened to not show up for Interliga if they didn’t get their overdue paychecks(they did get ’em).

  15. Spector’s minutes have been spotty for a while, and he really struggled playing on the left against Tottenham. It was seriously hard to watch. It was a tough spot for him to be put in, but he really struggled. He’s going to have some work to do, or rely on more injuries in order to get minutes.

  16. Maybe (being optimistic here) Zola elected to save Spector and not risk injuring him in a cup game, reckoning that he was more valuable during the Premier League season.

  17. This doesn’t say anything about Edgar Castillo who got the full 90 for Tigres in a 4-1 loss against Puebla.

    Former MLSer Carlos Ruiz scored twice.

  18. Thought Jozy and Spector would get a chance to prove themselves. Thought wrong. Good for Guzan, he’s the only real positive.

  19. Disagree. Think Bradley, Clark, and Edu are all locks on the plain, provided that they are healthy (we’re going to be playing with two defensive midfielders, whether fans like it or not).

  20. thats harsh… was a safe performance from him, everyone is timid when coming back from injury(maybe not some)

    it wasnt really dissapointing though….he wasnt that involved to say it was dissapointing

  21. i dont know, if Clark gets with a club soon then Edu is really going to have to battle for his place….If Clark were to sign with Celtic and Burnley and get regular playing time it might be quite difficult for Edu…..Bradley and Feilhaber are in the depth as well for now

    BB would probably bring Altidore, Casey, Ching, and Cunningham(AS OF NOW) for strikers so its a good chance for Edu but not a lock if Jones doesnt heal in time

    and i dont know if BB would bring 4 CM’s along with Jones if he is healthy

    who knows, you really cant predict Bradley’s decisions

  22. Maurice Edu came on in the twelfth minute after Nacho Novo hobbled off with a deep thigh bruise, but he had little effect on the afternoon’s proceedings.

    He was largely anonymous, collecting short passes and then relieving himself of possession with safe jabs to his left or right. His only noteworthy scene involved a mistimed midfield challenge in the first half which freed Samaras; had Fortune not kept his cool and put himself into an offside position, Celtic may have made something of it.

    This was only Edu’s second match of the season and thus his timidity could be understood (in his defense, he was more confident in the last 20 minutes), but still, it was a disappointing performance from the young American.

  23. Beckford will most likely be transferring soon so hopefully that opens up some playing time for Grella (especially if they can clinch a promotion spot early…

  24. if Jones doenst make it then I’d say Edu is also a lock.

    bradley will probably bring only 3 pure forwards tops with a few other midfielders capable of playing up top (donovan, dempsey) so they’re going to be room for an extra midfielder or 2

  25. demerit is pretty close to a lock right now for the WC roster. Edu is going to have to get into, and stay in form. There’s a clutter in the MF, so he’s going to have to shine.

  26. Happy to see Edu back and playing.

    Ives; What are his chances of making the US National Team for the WC. Same question for DeMerit ?


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