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Friedel, Aston Villa fade in English Premier League despite unbeaten streak.

After long layoff, Dempsey scores decisive goal, Fulham edges Juventus in Europa Cup.

Donovan's highly successful Everton tenure ends on quiet note.

Both succeeding in Greece, Johnson gets critical U.S. call, Adu does not.

'Player of Month' Donovan, Howard help Everton stun Chelsea, Man. United.

Friedel streak ends, but Villa draws with Manchester United 1-1.

Altidore goal helps Hull defeat Manchester City 2-1.

Beasley's car is destroyed in Scotland racial incident.

Cherundolo agravates ailing shoulder, will miss at least month for Hannover.

Donovan scores first, sparks Everton past Sunderland in Premier League.

Howard, Donovan go down with Everton, eliminated from FA Cup.

Dempsey avoids surgery, his World Cup hopes remain intact.

Donovan is impressive, helping Everton draw with Arsenal in his debut.

Busy Dempsey continues to make his mark with Fulham.

Adu joins Johnson as loan acquisitions by Aris of Greece.

Friedel posts three more shutouts as Aston Villa climbs in English Premier League.

Beasley finally gets starts and he responds for Rangers in big way.

Howard stops penalty kick, rallies slumping Everton to victory, draw.

Dempsey finds net twice, Fulham blanks Blackburn 3-0 in EPL.

Setback in recovery from shin injury casts doubt on Jones joining U.S. team.

Dempsey runs his EPL scoring streak to three games, helping Fulham tie Wigan 1-1.

Mönchengladbach, Bradley experience improved play in Bundesliga.

Dempsey regains scoring touch, helps Fulham drop Liverpool.

Davies improves, but faces several surgeries, long road back.

Dempsey, injured in England, will miss at least one U.S. qualifier.

Injury problems continue for DeMerit who hurts eye in accident.

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Americans Abroad

Friedel, Aston Villa suffer 7-1 rout at hands of Chelsea.

By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
SoccerTimes

(Monday, March 29, 2010) -- Aston Villa has taken pride this season in having one of the stingiest defense in the English Premier League. That came to an end Saturday.

Entering the weekend just behind league-leading Manchester United, having conceded 25 goals in 30 matches (United allowed 25 goals in 31 games), Villa was thrashed 7-1 by host Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, one of the worst outings in the long career of American goalkeeper Brad Friedel.

Chelsea was smarting from its Champions League failure and is now focused on winning the Premier League, where it trails Manchester United by one point.

After demolishing Portsmouth 5-0 Wednesday, Chelsea hosted Villa with the same determination. Friedel did well to stop a sharp, low drove from Frank Lampard in the 14 th minute, but a minute later Lampard found net with the first of his four goals.

Chelsea scored its goals on nine shots on frame.

Villa remained in seventh place at 13-6-12 with 51 points.

In a Saturday meeting between U.S. gpalkeepers, Everton and host Wolverhampton played to a 0-0 draw. While the score was even, the performances by the keepers were in no way comparable. Tim Howard was not called on to make a save for Everton, while Marcus Hahnemann was sensational, making 10 stops. Wolves were outshot 24-10, but Hahnemann was up to the task, making excellent saves on Leon Osman, Leighton Baines and Louis Saha.

Wolves manager Mick McCarthy said Hahnemann was "terrific" and added: "He has been since getting into the side, but (the whole team) have all had to work hard. It has been workmanlike, full of desire, effort and honesty."

Everton (13-9-10, 49 points) maintains an outside chance of earning a Europa League berth next season. If England is awarded a third spot in the second-tier European competition, it will go to the seventh-place Premier League finisher. Aston Villa currently is in seventh, two points and a game in hand ahead of Everton.

Wolves (8-16-8, 32) are tied for 14th place, five points clear of the relegation zone.

Hull City (6-16-9, 27) is in 18th place and in the relegation zone, tied on points and with a game in hand with West Ham United (6-17-9), but behind by 16 in the tiebreaking goal differential after surprising visiting Fulham 2-0 at Kingston Communications Stadium. Hull snapped a five-game losing streak.

U.S. striker Jozy Altidore started for Hull and had an impressive afternoon. In the 15th minute, Altidore took a pass in the penalty area box, settled, turned and was taken down by defender Chris Smalling. Jimmy Bullard converted the penalty kick.

Altidore, who picked up a yellow card in the 36th minute, was replaced in the 79th minute.

U.S. forward Clint Dempsey made his first start since coming back from a knee injury and went the full 90 minutes in a lineup that featured a number of reserves. Several starters were held out in anticipation of Fulham's Europa Cup match Thursday at home against Germany's VfL Wolfsburg.

U.S. defender Jonathan Spector went the distance for West Ham United, which suffered its sixth straight defeat 1-0 to visiting Stoke City at Upton Park.

Despite West Ham taking 19 shots, only three were on goal, and none came close to beating Stoke keeper Thomas Sorensen.


Watford stays just above relegation zone.

In the second-division League Championship, Watford continued to cling to a perch just above the relegation zone after earning a much-needed point in a 1-1 home draw with Middlesbrough.

As usual, Watford's American captain Jay DeMerit was in the center of a Watford defense that held up well over 90 minutes. Watford (11-17-10, 43) is now four points clear of the relegation zone, ahead of Crystal Palace (12-14-13, 39) with a game in hand.

U.S. forward Kenny Cooper again spent the afternoon on Plymouth Argyle's bench in a 2-0 loss to Blackpool.

American defender Frank Simek was also on the bench, but did not play for Sheffield Wednesday in its 1-1 draw with Coventry City.

In the third-tier League One, American forward Mike Grella came on in the 15th minute for injured Luciano Becchio and Leeds United could not recover from losing its top striker, losing to Norwich City 1-0.

Norwich is in first place at 25-6-7 with 82 points, 11 ahead of Leeds (20-7-11), which is tied for second with Milwall (20-11-7). In its previous outing, Leeds lost to Milwall 2-0.

The top two teams are promoted with the next four going into a playoff with the winner moving up to the League Championship. Trailing Leeds and Milwall are Swindon Town (19-6-13) with 70 points and Charlton Athletic (18-6-14) with 68 points. Eight matches remain.


Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.

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