Last week’s result for Tottenham had some people questioning the worth of Clint Dempsey with the Spurs. It is doubtful that the media questioning put Dempsey on the bench today as his team faced Arsenal. U.S keeper Brad Friedel was also benched in favor of Hugo Lloris. The Spurs got out to a 1-0 lead but a red card to Emmanuel Adebayor half way through the first half changed the tied. Arsenal would take a 3-1 lead into halftime when Dempsey was brought in to transition the formation to a 3-5-1. The attacking change did not help as Arsenal would win 5-2. Tottenham now finds itself in the middle of the pack in the Premier League and looking for an answer after some sub-par performances of late.
How did other U.S. players fare on Saturday?
Tim Howard and Everton have to be disappointed giving up a lead to Reading. The Royals came into the matches without a win in Premier League play this year, but two second half goals by Adam Le Fondre saw the 1-0 lead slip away. After Steven Naismith scored in the 10th minute, it was almost level immediately as Le Fondre beat Howard to an attempted rushing long clearance, but could not find the net. Reading owned the second half with set pieces galore and Le Fondre scored his second on a penalty with ten minutes remaining as Howard went the wrong way. Everton is one point ahead of Arsenal for a Europa League birth.
Unfortunately the losing ways continue for U.S. players as Aston Villa was sent into a relegation spot with a 5-0 loss to Manchester City. The convincing victory, which could have been worse, but City in the top spot in the table. City sent 23 shots toward Brad Guzan with 10 of those on target. The defense was porous and Guzan faced far too many shots from close range, including a spot kick. City also had 11 corner kicks. Eric Lichaj was not in the 18 for Aston Villa who are now in a relegation spot on goal differential. The referees’ performance was called into question.
The losing trend continued in Germany for Jermaine Jones and Schalke as the second place squad lost 2-0 to Bayern Leverkusen. Jones went 73 minutes, but was recorded as having 64 intensive runs, more than any of his teammates, by the Bundesliga website. He also completed 41 of 46 passes on a regretful day for Schalke. It was one of the poorest performances of the year for Die Königsblauen.
Timmy Chandler and Nurnberg managed a draw with Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich despite being down a man for the last 14 minutes. The 185th Franconian-Bavarian derby was only the second time all year that Bayern had left points behind as they were equalized in the 46th minute. Chandler earned a yellow card in the 52nd minute as part of a six minute stretch that saw the referee reach into his pocket four times. Chandler was active winning 12 tackles and sending six crosses in as Nurnberg stayed out of a relegation spot.
German-American Shawn Parker was in the 18 for Mainz but did not play. Steve Cherundolo was still out for Hannover who lost 2-1 to Freiburg.
The best day for a U.S. player abroad goes to Terrence Boyd. Boyd scored for the first time on the road this season at Mattersburg as Rapid Vienna won 3-0. It snapped a foud match losing streak. Boyd now leads his squad with seven goals on the year. Unfortunately, Boyd will be suspended next week on accumulation of yellow cards. The win kept The Green-Whites in third place in the Austrian Football Bundesliga.