Howard wins faceoff with Friedel; Everton edges Spurs 1-0.
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
(Monday, March 12, 2012) -- American goalkeepers Tim Howard and Brad Friedel faced off in the English Premier League Saturday with Howard coming out on top.
With Howard making five saves, Everton stretched its unbeaten streak to nine matches (5-0-4) over all competitions with a 1-0 home victory over Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park.
Newly acquired striker Nikica Jelavic provided the decisive goal in the 22nd minute. Everton striker Marouane Fellaini forced Friedel into a marvelous leg save. Almost immediately, midfielder Leon Osman broke into the penalty area, drawing two defenders before cutting a pass back to an unmarked Jelavic, who fired a first-time shot past a stranded Friedel.
Friedel made four saves. Everton was the clearly the dominant team and moved into a tie for eight place at 10-10-7 with 37 points, even with Sunderland (10-11-7) though Everton holds a game in hand. Everton visits Liverpool tomorrow with a chance to move ahead of its opponent into seventh place with a triumph. The Toffess also have an FC Cup quarterfinal meeting at home with Sunderland on Saturday
Spurs (16-7-5, 53 points), meanwhile, remained in third place, which has an attendant invitation to next year's European Champions League.
American striker Herculez Gomez scored twice and assisted another goal in the second half for Santos Laguna, which rallied from a one-goal halftime deficit for a 3-1 over Puebla in Mexico's Primera División
U.S. midfielder DaMarcus Bealsey put Puebla ahead 1-0 in the 42nd minute.
Santos' Mexican international goalkeeper Oswaldo Sánchez made a lazy clearance pass headed for one of his defenders, bu Beasley pounced on the ball and rifled his shot past the frantic, diving Sánchez.
In the 48th minute, Gomez drilled a sharply-angled shot from near the right end-line into the far corner of the net to tie the affair. After assisting Oribe Peralta's tally in the 71st minute, Gomez closed the scoring three minutes into stoppage time.
Beasley came out in the 78th minute.
In the English Premier League, U.S. midfielder Clint Dempsey, who has been on a hot, goal-scoring streak, had a less than stellar match Saturday for Fulham in a 1-0 loss to Aston Villa.
American Brad Guzan, as usual, was Villa's backup keeper, while defender Eric Lichaj dressed, but did not play.
U.S. defender Tim Ream helped Bolton Wanderers climb out of the relegation zone with a 2-1 win over Queens Park Rangers.
In his fourth game for Bolton since joining the club in January, he went the distance and recorded an assist on a cross that resulted in Bolton's opening goal.
American defender Zak Whitbread went 90 minutes and received a yellow card for Norwich City in its 1-1 draw with Wigan Athletic.
In the second-division English League Championship, U.S. defender Jonathan Spector was the only American to play, going 90 minutes Saturday for Birmingham City in a 1-1 draw with Coventry City.
American midfielder Robbie Rogers (concussion) did not dress for Leeds United, American forward Robbie Findley did not dress for Nottingham Forest, Irish-American striker Conor Doyle did not dress for Derby County and American defender Daniel Potts did not dress for West Ham United.
In the third-tier League One, American forward Mike Grella played 90 minutes for Bury in its 4-1 setback to Carlisle United.
American defender Frank Simek went the distance for Carlisle.
American midfielder Anton Peterlin did not dress for Walsall in its 0-0 draw with Hartlepool.
In Scotland, Glasgow Rangers had the weekend off. It looks like the three Americans on Rangers -- midfielder Maurice Edu, defender Carlos Bocanegra and midfielder Alejandro Bedoya will stay with the bankrupt club for the remainder of the season.
After Rangers' four highest-paid players agreed to a 75 percent pay cut, the trustee for the bankrupt club announced there would be no further player dismissals. Under the agreement, all players will be considered out of contract at season's end and will be free to move to other clubs. One plan being discussed would have had the current team disband to be succeeded by a "new" debt-free Rangers.
In the German Bundesliga, German-American defender-midfielder Danny Williams played 90 minutes for TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in its 7-1 drubbing Saturday by Bayern Munich on Saturday.
German-American defender-midfielder Fabian Johnson pulled a thigh muscle in pre-game warm-ups and was scratched by Hoffenheim, while American striker Joe Gyau did not dress.
German-American midfielder Jermaine Jones went the distance Sunday for Schalke 04 in its 3-1 decision over Hamburg and picked up yet another yellow card.
U.S. defender Steve Cherundolo went the distance for Hannover 96, which fell to Werder Bremen 3-0.
German-American Timmy Chandler, playing midfield, went 64 minutes for 1 FC Nürnberg in its 2-1 loss to 1. FSV Mainz 05 on Saturday.
American midfielder Alfredo Morales dressed, but did not play for Hertha Berlin in its 1-0 loss to FC Cologne.
German-American forward Andrew Wooten dressed, but did not play for 1. FC Kaiserslautern in a 0-0 draw with VfB Stuttgart.
German-American forward Terrence Boyd did not dress for Borussia Dortmund in its 0-0 draw with FC Augsburg.
American keeper David Yelldell did not dress for Bayer Leverkusen in a 3-2 loss to VfL Wolfsburg.
In the 2. Bundesliga, American striker Matt Taylor went 90 minutes for SC Paderborn 07 in a 0-0 draw with VfL Bochum.
American forward Bobby Wood remains out with a knee injury and missed 1860 Munich's 3-1 loss to FSV Frankfurt.
In Italy, U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley played 90 minutes Friday for Chievo Verona in its 2-0 loss to Inter Milan.
In France, American striker Charlie Davies did not dress for Sochaux, a 3-2 winner over Evian Thonon Gaillard on Saturday.
In the Netherlands, U.S. forward Jozy Altidore played the first 65 minutes for AZ Alkmaar 2-0 victory Sunday over De Graafschap.
In Belgium it was a Cup weekend and neither Sacha Kljestan and Anderlecht nor Mikkel Diskerud and Gent played.
In Denmark, U.S. defender Clarence Goodson went the distance for Brøndby IF in its 0-0 draw Sunday with AGF Aarhus.
American defender Michael Parkhurst went the distance for FC Nordsjælland in a 1-0 win Saturday over Odense BK.
Three other Americans did not dress: midfielder Conor O'Brien (SønderjyskE), striker Chris Rolfe (Aalborg BK) and defender Brad Rusin (HB Køge).
In Mexico, American defender-midfielder Michael Orozco Fiscal went the distance for San Luis in a 0-0 draw with Pachuca.
U.S. midfielder Jose Torres went the distance for Pachuca.
American defender Edgar Castillo played the first 82 minutes for Club Tijuana in its 1-1 draw with Club America on Friday.
Mexio\can-Salvadoran-American winger Joe Corona played the first 67 minutes for Tijuana, while defender Greg Garza played the final eight minutes.
U.S. defender Jonathan Bornstein dressed, but did not play for Tigres in a 2-2 draw with Jaguares de Chiapas.
Mexican-American forward Adrian Ruelas did not dress for Jaguares.
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.
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