Cherundolo agravates ailing shoulder, will miss at least month for Hannover.
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
(Monday, February 1, 2010) -- United States defender Steve Cherundolo will be sidelined for at least a month after further injuring his shoulder Sunday while training with Hannover 96, the relegation-challenged German Bundesliga club.
The practice was called the day after Hannover dropped a 3-1 decision to visiting 1. FC Nürnberg, a another club battling demotion.
Cherundolo was training because he sat out the Saturday match, serving a yellow-cards suspension. He was nursing what was called a minor shoulder problem, but aggravated it during training and X-rays revealed a tear that will require rest and rehabilitation.
American forward Sal Zizzo was injured and did not dress for Hannover.
Hannover is 4-11-5 with 17 points, standing 16th, a position that requires a relegation playoff. Nürnberg (4-12-4) trails by a point in 17th among the 18 teams, an automatic demotion spot.
Statistics now support what many Americans and other English Premier League fans have believed for some time -- American Brad Friedel is the best goalkeeper in the EPL.
After posting a shutout in Everton's 2-0 whitewash of host Fulham at Craven Cottage, Friedel is the leading keeper in league play, conceding 18 goals in 23 matches after being tied with Chelsea's Petr Cech a week earlier. The EPL's Actim index has Cech as the best keeper and 27th best Premier League player, while Friedel is second among keepers and 36th overall.
Villa prevailed on goals by striker Gabriel Agbonlahor in the 40th and 44th minutes, then clamped down defensively. Friedel finished with four saves, including a dandy denying Simon Davies in the eighth minute and a pair on Zoltan Gera in the second half.
Villa is in seventh place at 11-5-7 with 40 points, but only two points below fourth place that earns a position in European Champions League qualifying.
American Landon Donovan turned in another steady showing at right midfield, playing 75 minutes for Everton, which rolled 1-0 over host Wigan Athletic at DW Stadium.
In a somewhat defensive struggle, Donovan made several good passes that might have led to goals, but Everton was guilty of poor finishing. He was replaced by Victor Anichebe before striker Tim Cahill scored in the 84th minute to notch the victory.
American Tim Howard was solid in goal for Everton, earning his second straight clean sheet with two saves, including stopping Hugo Rodallega point-blank.
Two Americans faced off when Hull City twice wasted one-goal leads to draw 2-2 with visiting Wolverhampton at Kingston Communications Stadium.
U.S. striker Jozy Altidore played the first 75 minutes for Hull and his big contribution was being fouled in the penalty area in the 52nd minute, leading to Stephen Hunt's penalty kick and a 2-1 advantage.
U.S. keeper Marcus Hahnemann made three good saves for Wolves.
U.S. defender Jonathan Spector went the distance for West Ham United, under new ownership, played to a lackluster 0-0 draw at home with Blackburn Rovers.
U.S. midfielder Stuart Holden did not dress for Bolton Wanderers, who lost 2-0 to Liverpool. Holden reportedly was not ready because of a combination of waiting for his international paperwork to be completed and a slight thigh strain.
In the second-Tier English League Championship, American defender Frank Simek came on in the 66th minute for Sheffield Wednesday, which defeated Plymouth Argyle 2-1.
In the third-division League One, American striker Mike Grella did not play for Leeds United, which downed Colchester United 2-0.
In the Scottish Premier League, U.S. midfielders Maurice Edu and DaMarcus Beasley again did not dress for Glasgow Rangers, who beat Falkirk 3-0.
Beasley who has been out with a thigh strain, is expected to return for next week's League Cup match against St Johnstone.
Adu sets up Johnson goal for losing Aris
American midfielder Freddy Adu made his debut for Aris Thessaloniki of Greece and he teamed up with his one-time U.S. teammate, striker Eddie Johnson, who scored a late goal -- his first for Aris -- during in a 2-1 loss at Xanthi.
Aris Argentine coach Hector Raul Cuper inserted Adu in the 64th minute and Johnson six minutes later. In the 90th minute, Adu hit a long floater from just inside the center stripe over the defense. Johnson ran onto the ball and had his first-touch shot blocked by the goalkeeper, but he was first to the rebound and scored from a sharp angle.
Adu then had a good chance for a tying tally in stoppage time, but he shot wide.
Johnson picked up a yellow card in the 75th minute
Bradley, Mönchengladbach withstand late rally to win
In the Bundesliga, U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley went the distance for Borussia Mönchengladbach, which won a thriller 4-3 over visiting Werder Bremen at Borussia-Park. Mönchengladbach scored four times in the first half and took a three-goal margin into intermission, but needed to hold on for a much-needed win.
U.S. midfielder Ricardo Clark recently arrived at Eintracht Frankfurt and will likely not see action until he is considered match-fit. He did not dress when Frankfurt dropped a 2-1 decision to FC Cologne.
Orozco, Califf join Philadelphia Union
Several Americans who have been playing outside the U.S. are moving to Major League Soccer..
Two are going to the expansion Philadelphia Union. Michael Orozco, 23, a 2008 Olympian who has been with San Luis in Mexico's Premera Division since 2006 agreed to an MLS contract and was assigned to the Union, as was defender Danny Califf, formerly of FC Midtjylland of the Danish Superligaen.
Califf played six seasons in MLS (2000-20050), the first five for the Los Angeles Galaxy before a single season with the San Jose Earthquakes.
Goalkeeper Troy Perkins is returning to D.C. United after two seasons in the Norwegian Tippeligaen's Valerenga IF. Perkins played four years for United and was named MLS "Goalkeeper of the Year" in 2006.
Texas-born Attacker Lee Nguyen failed to work out a deal to join FC Dallas. He played for PSV Eindhoven of the Netherlands and Randers of Denmark before joining Hoang Anh Gia Lai in Vietnam last season.
MLS did not approve his proposed contract with Dallas, so Nguyen reportedly will return to HAGL, seek Vietnamese citizenship and attempt to join the country's national team.
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.
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