Donovan joins Everton, sees Howard score from his penalty area.
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
(Wednesday, January 4, 2012) -- United States midfielder Landon Donovan arrived at Everton on a two-month loan from Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy and was immediately thrown into English Premier League action.
He went the distance tonight for host Everton, which fell 2-1 to Bolton Wanderers. Fitness did not seem to be a problem for Donovan, who last played on November 20 when the Galaxy edged the Houston Dynamo 1-0 for the MLS Cup championship. He played hard, though, at times, he was not on the same page with some of his teammates, easily understandable given he had one training session with them.
Extraordinarily, Everton's goal was scored by U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard. In the 63rd minute, his long punt was caught in a brisk wind and took a huge bounce over the head of Bolton keeper Adam Bogdan for a 1-0 lead.
Everton was done in when Howard conceded goals to striker David N'Gog in the 67th minute and defender Gary Cahill 11 minutes later.
Howard had a clean sheet, his third of the season, without making a save Saturday in a 1-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion.
U.S. keeper Marcus Hahnemann did not dress for Everton for either match.
American Brad Guzan might be making it hard for Aston Villa to decide whether to hand him the starting goalkeeper's role for the second half of the season or go looking for a keeper during this month's transfer window.
On Saturday, Guzan was in net for one of Villa's biggest wins in awhile, a 3-1 stunner over Chelsea. He was only credited with a single save, but he was solid through the 90 minutes while his defense rose to the challenge.
Then, in a negative turn on Monday at Villa Park, Villa came out completely flat and dropped a 2-0 decision to Swansea City 2-0.
Guzan, in his sixth league start, had three saves, but was at fault when his goal kick in the 47th minute went to a Swansea attacker and soon was put away by David Routledge for a 2-0 advantage.
Villa's U.S. defender Eric Lichaj remains sidelined with an injured hip.
American keeper Brad Friedel had a satisfying weekend for Tottenham Hotspur. On Saturday, he made three saves Saturday in a 1-1 road draw at Swansea City. Last night, he needed to make only one save for a 1-0 shutout of West Bromwich Albion.
U.S. midfielder Clint Dempsey went 90 minutes Saturday for Fulham in a 1-1 draw with Norwich City.
On Monday, Dempsey again went the distance at home on a freezing cold night as Fulham used goals in the 85th and 90th minutes for a 2-1 triumph over Arsenal.
The first Fulham goal came less than a minute after Dempsey grazed a goal-post with a hard header.
American defender Zak Whitbread went 90 minutes for Norwich City in the draw with Fulham. On Monday, Whitbread went the distance again in a 2-1 triumph over Queens Park Rangers, who went down a man in the 36th minute.
In the Scottish Premier League, U.S. defender Carlos Bocanegra went the distance for Glasgow Rangers, who rebounded from their critical loss to crosstown Celtic by beating visiting Motherwell 3-0 at Ibrox.
Maurice Edu started and went 76 minutes, while fellow U.S. midfielder Alejandro Bedoya did not dress for Rangers.
Rangers (16-3-3, 51 points) remained in second place, two points behind Celtic (17-3-2), a 3-0 winner over Dunfermline Athletic.
Celtic took over the top spot last Wednesday by edging Rangers 1-0 at Parkhead Stadium with Bocanegra playing 90 minutes and Edu 79. Rangers were denied three times by the woodwork in the game.
In the second-division English League Championship, U.S. striker Robbie Findley, making his first start in almost a month on Saturday for Nottingham Forest, went down in just the sixth minute with a shoulder injury against Cardiff City and had to come out of an eventual 1-0 loss.
Findley's shoulder has ailed him since last January and the injury looked serious. Manager Steve Cotteril says Findley might need surgery after the season, but he should not be out of the lineup long.
"According to the manager, it's a problem he's carried for awhile now," Reds press officer Fraser Nicholson told MLSsoccer.com. "He thinks Robbie will need surgery eventually, but he may be available for our FA Cup match on Saturday. . . Apparently, this shoulder pops out from time to time. Sometimes it pops back in and sometimes it's separated."
U.S. defender Jonathan Spector went 90 minutes for Birmingham City in its 3-0 victory Saturday over Backpool. Two days later, Spector again went the distance for a 1-1 draw with Peterborough United with City tying on a goal in stoppage time.
U.S.-eligible defender Daniel Potts went the distance for West Ham United in its 2-1 loss to Derby County on Saturday. Potts did not dress for Monday's 1-0 win over Coventry City.
American forward Conor Doyle did not dress for Derby County in the victory over West Ham. On Monday, he dressed, but did not play in a 1-0 decision over Hull City.
In the third division English League One, American midfielder Anton Peterlin went the distance for Walsall in a 0-0 draw Saturday with Rochdale. On Monday, Peterlin went 61 minutes in a 2-1 setback to Bury.
Frank Simek, out since the season-opener, could be close to playing for Carlisle United, but did not dress for the last two matches over the holiday weekend. He played in a recent reserve match.
American Mike Grella dressed, but did not play for Brentford in its 3-3 draw with MK Dons on Saturday. Grella did not dress for a 2-0 loss Monday to Charlton Athletic.
On Monday night in Portugal, U.S. central defender Oguchi Onyewu saved Sporting Lisbon from a major embarrassment in the League Cup by scoring a late goal for a 1-1 draw with Liga ZON Sagres foe Rio Ave.
Sporting, playing mostly reserves, found itself down 1-0 against Rio Ave when Onyewu pushed forward into the attack and scored the tying goal. The match was Sporting's first of three in the Cup's initial group stage, in which the winner of the each of the four-team groups advances to the semifinals.
American striker Eddie Johnson appears to be in trouble. He was set to join Puebla of Mexico for the second half of the season, but failed the physical and was denied a contract. According to Mexican media, he arrived for training out of shape and not near match fitness. Johnson has been out of action for eight months after refusing to sign a contract with MLS before the 2011 season.
In France, American forward Charlie Davies, who spent the past season with D.C. of MLS, is resuming training with Sochaux of France.
On loan from Sochaux, Davies had only a so-so 2011 season with United, which declined to exercise a multi-million purchase option for Davies.
Davies will spend the winter break training with Sochaux, which will decide whether to loan him out in Europe, see a transfer or have him remain with the first team.
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.
Do you have a comment on this story or something to say about soccer in general? Send us a letter.
©Copyright 2012 SoccerTimes.com. All Rights Reserved.