(Monday, January 15, 2007) -- American goalkeepers faced off yesterday with each culpable for a goal allowed in the 1-1 draw in the English Premier League match between Reading and host Everton.
After American Marcus Hahnemann made good saves on Lee Carsley and Tim Cahill for Reading in the first 20 minutes, his Royals took a 1-0 lead in the 28th minute, partially as a result of Tim Howard's error in the Everton net. Reading midfielder Stephen Hunt shed his marker and hit a header that came off Howard's foot, then caromed off Everton defender Joleon Lescott over the goal-line for a own goal.
Everton tied the game at 1-1 in the 81st minute after Everton defender Joseph Yobo's long pass was flicked forward by Cahill. Hahnemann went for the ball, but found his way partially blocked by a defender. Everton striker Andrew Johnson got to the ball first and headed it over Hahnemann for the equalizer.
United States midfielder Bobby Convey, who saw his first action since November knee surgery in Reading's 3-2 decision over Burnley in the FA Cup third round Tuesday, was held out of yesterday's game as a precaution because of soreness.
Hahnemann ended up with seven saves, while Howard made four.
Everton (8-7-8, 32 points) is tied with Tottenham Hotspur (9-9-5) for seventh place, the two clubs one point ahead of Reading (9-10-4).
Convey nearly gave Reading a quick lead Tuesday against visiting Burnley when he hit a post with a shot in the fifth minute. Reading used mostly reserves, while also getting Convey and striker Leroy Lita back into the lineup following injuries.
Lita, coming back from a broken ankle, put the Royals ahead 1-0 in the 28th minute, while tallies from Shane Long in the 37th minute and Sam Sodje in the 55th increased the margin to 3-0.
Hahnemann was given the day off and a mistake by his replacement Adam Federici allowed Burnley to close to 3-1 in the 68th minute. Garreth O'Connor pulled Burnley to within 3-2 in the 90th minute, causing a few anxious moments in stoppage time for the Royals.
U.S. forward Brian McBride's contributed his team-leading eighth goal of the season to help visiting Fulham to a 3-3 draw Saturday against London rival West Ham United at Upton Park. An extremely physical match saw West Ham reduced to 10 men when Bobby Zamora was sent off in the 76th minute with his second yellow card for a foul on Fulham's American defender Carlos Bocanegra.
Bocanegra was one of eight other players to be shown yellow, including six from Fulham, when he was cautioned in the 77th minute
McBride tied the game at 2-2 in the 59th minute, heading home defender Matin Volz's right-side cross from eight yards past keeper Roy Carroll.
Bocanegra's error in judgment allowed Yossi Banayoun to score his second goal of the match for a 3-2 advantage in the 64th minute. Bocanegra hesitated as a long ball went into the penalty area, allowing Benayoun to collect it, beat a defender and find net.
Defender Philippe Christanval saved Fulham with his tying goal in the 90th minute against the shorthanded Hammers.
Tomasz Radzinski put Fulham ahead in the 16th minute, while Zamora answered in the 28th minute. Benayoun put West Ham back ahead 2-1 in the 46th minute and United might have had a two-goal advantage four minutes later if not for a great play by Bocanegra. He raced in and used a slide tackle to take a ball off the foot of Carlton Cole as he wound up to strike from 25 yards out.
McBride dove for a low cross from Radzinski, but collided with Carroll in the 56th minute with Carroll requiring treatment before he could continue.
American defender Jonathan Spector remains in West Ham manager Alan Curbishley's doghouse, starting on the bench for a second match, but seeing early action. A week earlier, he came on for the injured Anton Ferdinand. On Saturday, he was inserted in the 11th minute when James Collins, Ferdinand's replacement, was hurt.
Fulham (6-7-10) is tied with Blackburn Rovers (8-10-4) for 12th place with 28 points, though Rovers hold a game in hand. West Ham (5-14-4, 19) remains in the relegation zone in 18th place, three points from escape.
Visiting Arsenal, a man short for most of the match, still handled Rovers 2-0 Saturday with an exceptional effort by Thierry Henry leading the Gunners.
U.S. keeper Brad Friedel played well for Blackburn, but Rovers could not fashion much of an attack despite Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva being banished with a red card issued by referee Rob Styles in the 13th minute..
Henry placed a free kick from about 35 yards directly on the head of Kolo Toure, who elevated past two defenders and left Friedel no chance as he nailed a shot off a post and in for a 1-0 lead in the 37th minute.
Friedel made several saves before Henry put an exclamation point on the victory in the 71st minute. Henry picked up the ball deep in his own end, beat two Rovers up the sideline and passed inside to French countryman Cesc Fabregas. Henry took a quick return pass, cut diagonally across the field to the top of the box. In one motion, he laced a wickedly curving blast that eluded Friedel, who extended fully and managed to get a hand on the ball, but could not keep it out of the net.
With Claudio Reyna having joined Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls, Manchester City still has an American midfielder with on-loan DaMarcus Beasley. Despite a depleted midfield, City manager Stuart Pearce did not Beasley in Saturday's 0-0 road draw at Bolton Wanderers' Reebok Stadium because Stephen Ireland came back from injury.
City (8-9-6, 30) sits in 10th place.
Watford's visit to the Premier League certainly will be limited to one season and a return to the second-tier League Championship next season appears imminent. The last-place Hornets are winless (0-7-3) in their last 10 EPL outings after entertaining Liverpool, but coming away on the wrong side of a 3-0 score line Saturday at Vicarage Road Stadium.
Craig Bellamy opened the scoring for Liverpool in the 34th minute, before towering striker Peter Crouch added a pair of tallies in the 40th and 48th minutes.
American defender Jay DeMerit is a fixture in Watford's beleaguered back-line and played his usual 90 minutes.
With only one victory for the season, Watford is 1-11-9 with 12 points in 20th place, deep in the relegation zone, three positions and 10 points from safety with 17 matches left to play.
Simek's strong effort is wasted
In the League Championship, American Frank Simek and his Sheffield Wednesday defensive mates turned in a strong effort, but watched in horror when David Jones' free kick in stoppage time allowed host Derby to escape with a 1-0 triumph at Pride Park Stadium Saturday.
Simek was issued a yellow card in the 34th minute.
Wednesday (11-10-7, 40) is in 11th place, but only four points from sixth place which brings one of four berths in the promotion playoffs.
Leeds United, employer of U.S. midfielder Eddie Lewis, has been spiraling downward, but got the weekend off when its visit to Birmingham City was postponed after referee Rob Styles ruled that the new turf laid at St Andrews did not take and the field was unplayable.