By FRANCO PANIZO
Talk about redeeming yourself.
A week after committing an egregious error that led to a loss, Brad Guzan bounced back with a heroic performance that rescued a result for a shorthanded Aston Villa side. Guzan shone brightly in the Villans’ clash with Manchester United on Saturday, making eight saves to thwart the star-studded attack repeatedly and preserve a 1-1 draw. The impressive outing, which came in a game that saw Aston Villa finish with 10 men, pushed Guzan into a tie with Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Robert Green for the Premiership lead in saves (60) this season.
For John Brooks, things went in the other direction. After enjoying a pair of headline-grabbing performances in the past few days, Brooks came back down to earth as he and Hertha Berlin conceded five times in a shutout loss to Hoffenheim on Sunday. If that was not bad enough, Brooks scored a first-half own goal that wound up being the decisive tally and also conceded a penalty kick.
Rubio Rubin had no such struggles. The U.S. Men’s National Team prospect finished 2014 by continuing to impress, assisting on the second goal in FC Utrecht’s 3-0 victory over AZ Alkmaar on Saturday. Rubin got the nod, lasted until the 82nd minute and should’ve had a second assist in the triumph that snapped a two-game losing streak for Utrecht. Meanwhile, compatriot Aron Johannsson went the distance for AZ in the two clubs’ final match before the Eredivisie’s winter break.
Here is how the Americans Abroad did this weekend:
- Tim Howard started, played 90 minutes and made one save in Everton’s 3-0 loss vs. Southampton on Saturday.
- Jozy Altidore dressed but did not play in Sunderland’s 1-0 win vs. Newcastle United on Sunday.
- Brad Guzan started, played 90 minutes, made eight saves and received a yellow card in Aston Villa’s 1-1 draw vs. Manchester United on Saturday.
- Brad Friedel did not dress in Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-1 win vs. Burnley on Saturday.
- Geoff Cameron and Stoke City play Chelsea on Monday.
- Cody Cropper did not dress in Southampton’s 3-0 win vs. Everton on Saturday.
- Jonathan Spector did not dress in Birmingham City’s 1-0 win vs. Huddersfield Town on Saturday. He is recovering from a thigh injury.
- Tim Ream started and played 90 minutes in Bolton Wanderers’ 1-0 win vs. Millwall on Friday.
- Eric Lichaj started, played 90 minutes and received a yellow card in Nottingham Forest’s 1-1 draw vs. Leeds United on Saturday.
- Danny Williams started, played 90 minutes before being substituted and received a yellow card in Reading’s 1-0 loss vs. Watford on Saturday.
- Emerson Hyndman dressed but did not play in Fulham’s 4-0 win vs. Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.
- Zak Whitbread did not dress in Derby County’s 2-2 draw vs. Norwich City on Saturday.
- Oguchi Onyewu dressed but did not play in Charlton Athletic’s 2-0 loss vs. Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.
- Will Packwood did not dress in Colchester United’s 1-0 loss vs. Yeovil Town on Saturday.
- Fabian Johnson came off the bench and played 12 minutes in Borussia Moenchengladbach’s 2-1 loss vs. FC Augsburg on Saturday.
- John Brooks started, played 90 minutes, conceded a penalty kick and scored an OWN GOAL in Hertha Berlin’s 5-0 loss vs. TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on Sunday. You can see the own goal and penalty kick foul here.
- Timmy Chandler started, played 90 minutes and received a yellow card in Eintracht Frankfurt’s 1-1 draw vs. Bayer Leverkusen on Saturday.
- David Yelldell did not dress in Bayer Leverkusen’s 1-1 draw vs. Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.
- Julian Green dressed but did not play in Hamburg SV’s 0-0 draw vs. Schalke 04 on Saturday.
- Joe Gyau did not dress in Borussia Dortmund’s 2-1 loss vs. Werder Bremen on Saturday.
- Alfredo Morales started, played 90 minutes and received a yellow card in FC Ingolstadt 04’s 2-2 draw vs. SV Darmstadt 98 on Sunday.
- Terrence Boyd and RB Leipzig play TSV 1860 Munich on Monday.
- Bobby Wood and TSV 1860 Munich play RB Leipzig on Monday.
- Andrew Wooten did not dress in SV Sandhausen’s 1-0 loss vs. Kaiserslautern on Sunday.
- Jann George did not dress in SpVgg Greuther Furth’s 0-0 draw vs. FC Nurnberg on Saturday.
- Alejandro Bedoya started and played 90 minutes in FC Nantes’ 2-1 win vs. Lorient on Saturday.
- Aron Johannsson started and played 90 minutes in AZ Alkmaar’s 3-0 loss vs. FC Utrecht on Saturday.
- Rubio Rubin started, played 82 minutes and had an ASSIST in FC Utrecht’s 3-0 win vs. AZ Alkmaar on Saturday.
- Sacha Kljestan dressed but did not play in RSC Anderlecht’s 2-0 win vs. Waasland-Beveren on Saturday.
What do you think of these performances? How impressive was Guzan’s game vs. Manchester United? Surprised that Brooks had such a rough day at the office? Consider Rubin the top prospect abroad?
Share your thoughts below.