Despite Friedel's best efforts, Spurs defense is no match for Chelsea in 4-2 loss.
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
(Wednesday, October 24, 2012) -- When Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas started French national goalkeeper Hugo Lloris two weeks ago, ending American Brad Friedel's consecutive match streak at 310, Villas-Boas said not to consider Lloris his first-choice keeper. Still, it was surprising Saturday to see Friedel back in Spurs net in a 4-2 loss to visiting North London arch-rival Chelsea at White Hart Lane in what was the home club's biggest match of the season.
It was clear that Lloris was unhappy to be sitting on the bench.
Friedel was mostly sharp, but could do little when his defense kept collapsing, including allowing a pair of goals from Spaniard Juan Mata, who scored twice in two minutes.
Spurs defender William Gallas had an awful match and was victimized on three of the goals by English Premier League-leading Chelsea. Of the four goals allowed, Friedel was helpless on three and the fourth came on a beautiful finish by Daniel Sturridge in stoppage time.
Twice Friedel stopped Mata's bid for a hat trick with top-flight saves.
United States midfielder Clint Dempsey was sharp for Spurs over the first 50 or so minutes. He fired a half dozen shots that were blocked or were handled by Chelsea keeper Petr Cech. The effects of two appearances for the U.S. and the long trip back from Kansas City, Kan., started to show on Dempsey and he was replaced in the 72nd minute.
U.S. keeper Tim Howard had a day more than Dempsey to rest after playing for the U.S. in the World Cup qualifiers and was brilliant in net for Everton, which played a man down for the last half hour, but still held on for a 1-1 draw Sunday with Queens Park Rangers.
Howard had five saves, including stopping a pair on shots from David Hoilett, who put QPR ahead in the second minute on a shot that deflected off defender Leighton Baines and changed direction into the net.
After Steven Pienaar was sent off for Everton with his second yellow card in eight minutes in the 61st minute, QPR vainly tried for the winner, but could not beat Howard.
In other Premier League matches, American defender Tim Ream finally made it back into Bolton Wanderers' starting back-line after more than a month on the bench, but was badly at fault when his clumsy challenge resulted in a penalty-area foul and subsequent converted penalty kick in a 3-2 victory over Bristol City.
U.S. midfielder Stuart Holden still has not returned to Bolton from knee surgery.
U.S. keeper Brad Guzan again started in net for Aston Villa and was sharp in making four saves in a 1-0 road loss to Fulham.
American defender Eric Lichaj played the final 28 minutes for Villa and received a yellow card.
U.S. defender Geoff Cameron played 90 minutes for Stoke City in its 4-2 loss to Manchester United.
U.S. midfielder Maurice Edu did not dress for Stoke.
In the second-division English League Championship, U.S. defender Jonathan Spector had an odd day while playing 90 minutes for Birmingham City in its 1-1 draw with Leicester City.
In stoppage time, Spector received two yellow cards and was sent off in the final moments.
American defender Will Packwood dressed, but did not play for Birmingham. American defender Zak Whitbread went the distance for Leicester City and earned a yellow card.
Irish-American striker Conor Doyle did not dress for Derby Countym which drew 1-1 with Blackburn Rovers.
In the third tier League One, American defender Frank Simek went the distance for Carlisle United in a 2-0 loss to Colchester United.
American midfielder Robbie Rogers played the final seven minutes for Stevenage in a 1-0 win over Milton Keynes Dons.
American forward Mike Grella dressed, but did not play for Scunthorpe United in a 1-1 draw with Swindon Town.
In the German Bundesliga, German-American defender Fabian Johnson, whose flu-like illness kept him out of the U.S. lineup for the two recent World Cup qualifiers, was well again and played 90 minutes for TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in a 3-3 draw with SpVgg Greuther Furth on Friday.
German-American midfielder Danny Williams sat out the match with a yellow-cards accumulation suspension.
Once again, Hannover 96's American captain and defender Steve Cherundolo went the distance in a 3-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt.
German-American defender Timmy Chandler played 90 minutes for 1. FC Nürnberg in a 0-0 draw with FC Augsburg.
German-American midfielder Jermaine Jones played the final12 minutes for Schalke 04 in its 2-1 triumph over Borussia Dortmund.
American David Yelldell is still the third keeper and did not dress for Bayer Leverkusen in a 2-2 draw with FSV Mainz 05.
In the second-tier 2. Bundesliga, U.S. under-20 men's German-American defender John Anthony Brooks went 90 minutes for Hertha Berlin in its 2-0 decision over VfL Bochum.
German-American defender Alfredo Morales did not dress for Hertha.
German-American striker Andrew Wooten played the first 80 minutes for SV Sandhausen in its 3-1 loss to 1. FC Kaiserslautern.
American midfielder Joe Gyau played the final 15 minutes for St. Pauli in its 1-1 draw with SC Paderborn 07.
In the Netherlands, U.S. striker Jozy Altidore served a one-match, red-card suspension and was not available to AZ Alkmaarm which fell 2-0 to NEC Nijmegen
In Italy, U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley played only the final few minutes and helped kill off the match for AS Roma, a 4-2 winner over Genoa.
In Belgium on Friday, U.S. midfielder Sacha Kljestan dressed, but did not play for Anderlecht in its 2-0 victory over Waasland-Beveren. He had just returned from the U.S. men in Kansas City.
In Austria, German-American forward Terrence Boyd played the second half and received a yellow card for Rapid Wien in its 2-0 loss to Austria Wien.
In Italy's La Liga, U.S. defender Oguchi Onyewu once again dressed, but did not play for Malaga in its 2-1 win over Valladolid.
In Italy's Segunda Division, U.S. defender Carlos Bocanega played 90 minutes a was issued a yellow card for Racing Santander in a 0-0 draw with Lugo.
In Norway, American midfielder Mikkel Diskerud went the distance for Rosenborg BK, 2-0 winner over Sandnes.
American keeper Steve Clark went the distance for Hønefoss BK in a 0-0 draw with Stabæk IF.
American defender Sean Cunningham has an injured hip and was sidelined Stabæk.
American wing Josh Gatt played the first half abd received a yellow card for Molde FK in its 1-1 with Strømsgodset IF.
American forward Chad Barrett dressed, but did not play in Vålerenga in a 3-1 loss to Aalesund.
In Sweden, American midfielder Alejandro Bedoya went 90 minutes and assisted on Helsingborg's goal in a 1-1 draw with Örebro SK.
In Denmark, American midfielder Conor O'Brien played 90 minutes for SønderjyskE in its 2-1 loss to Aalborg BK.
U.S. defender Michael Parkhurst, also back from qualifiers in Kansas City, played the final 17 minutes for FC Nordsjælland in a 3-0 whitewash Friday over Silkeborg IF.
U.S. defender Clarence Goodson did not dress for Brøndby IF in its 1-0 loss to FC Copenhagen.
American striker Charlie Davies played the final six minutes for Randers FC, which drew 1-1 with AGF Aarhus on Monday night.
In Mexico, American defender Greg Garza played 90 minutes and midfielder Joe Corona the final 25 minutes for Club Tijuana in a 2-2 draw with Cruz Azul.
U.S. defender Edgar Castillo has an injured foot and was not available to Tijuana.
U.S. midfielder José Torres went the distance for Pachuca in a 1-1 draw with Monterrey.
U.S. striker Herculez Gomez played the second half for Santos Laguna in its 4-1 loss to Tuluca.
U.S. midfielder DaMarcus Beasley has a rib injury and was out for Puebla, a 2-0 loser to Jaguares de Chiapas.
American defender Michael Orozco Fiscal did not dress for San Luis in its 3-2 decision over Atlas.
American defender Jonathan Bornstein did not dress for Tigres UANL in its 5-0 rout of Pumas.
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.
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