Monday, March 31, 2008

Weekend Wrap

Fulham's hopes of beating the drop took a hit on Saturday, when they drew 2-2 with Derby County. Kasey Keller and Brian McBride were in the starting lineup for Fulham, while Eddie Johnson made an appearance as a late sub. The draw leaves the Cottagers six points adrift from safety, ahead of Saturday's massive match with Sunderland. Derby County had their relegation confirmed with the draw. Eddie Lewis played the full 90 minutes, while Benny Feilhaber was an unused substitute for the Rams.

Jonathan Spector and West Ham were also on the losing end this weekend, going down 2-1 to Sunderland. Spector played the full 90 minutes in the defeat.

Tim Howard and Everton face an uphill battle to a Champions League spot after they were defeated 1-0 by Liverpool on Sunday. The Toffees are now five points behind their bitter rivals for the fourth and final position in next season's competition.

Reading continue to crawl away from the drop zone after they earned a hard fought point against Blackburn on Saturday. Marcus Hahnemann kept a cleansheet for the Royals, who currently sit on 32 points.

In the Bundesliga, Heath Pearce and Hansa Rostock were the unfortunate victims of a late Wolfsburg winner. Jacek Krzynowek (who started for Poland against the U.S. at midweek) scored with virtually the last kick of the game and condemned Rostock to a tough defeat. Pearce came on just after halftime.

Hannover 96 and Steve Cherundolo played to a 0-0 draw against Stuttgart.

Oguchi Onyewu and Standard Liege remained on pace for the Belgian league title with a 1-0 victory over KV Mechelen.

Michael Bradley and Heerenveen fell to a 4-2 defeat to Ajax on Sunday. Bradley's club remains in fifth place in the Eredivisie.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Fulham Get Three Points

All five Americans at Fulham saw the field during Sunday's 1-0 victory over Everton. Kasey Keller, Brian McBride, Eddie Johnson started for the Cottagers while Carlos Bocanegra and Clint Dempsey came off the bench in the second half.

McBride's second half header was the difference between the two sides, and handed relegation-threatened Fulham an invaluable points boost. Fulham, now on 23 points, sit just 3 points from safety.

Meanwhile, Tim Howard and Everton find their UEFA Champions League hopes dented after Saturday's loss. Everton's defeat coupled with Liverpool's victory mean the Toffees are now three points off fourth place.

For Fulham, the next few weeks will be crucial: they face Newcastle, Derby, Sunderland and Reading. Everton face West Ham next week before traveling to Anfield on March 30th in a Champions League showdown.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Tim Howard and Everton were victims of an unfortunate shootout loss to Fiorentina yesterday. The Toffees fought back from a 2 goal aggregate deficit to push the tie into extra time. But unfortunately spot kicks were unkind to the English side. Everton will try to shake off the defeat ahead of Saturday's match against Fulham back in the Premier League. Howard and Everton are pursuing Champions League football next season (they'll get that if they finish fourth) and Fulham is just trying to avoid the drop, so this game is important to both teams for totally different reasons.

Also - check out's video player to see a feature on Timmy at Everton...

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Big Weekend Blowout!

Fulham earned a much needed point away to Blackburn this weekend, courtesy of some late heroics from Jimmy Bullard. The English midfielder confidently stroked an 89th minute freekick over the wall and past Brad Friedel's despairing dive to earn the Cottagers a 1-1 draw at Ewood Park. Eddie Johnson and Clint Dempsey were in the starting lineup for Fulham, which also included a familiar face between the sticks. That's right, Kasey Keller returned to the Fulham lineup for the first time since October and made four saves in the draw. Brian McBride also came off the bench for Fulham. The point stops a run of three consecutive defeats for Roy Hodgson's side, who will look to carry the momentum into next Sunday's showdown with Everton at Craven Cottage.

Speaking of Everton, Tim Howard's side kept pace with Liverpool by beating Sunderland 1-0 at the Stadium of Light. Howard made seven saves in the victory and the Toffees now look forward to Thursday's mammoth UEFA Cup tie with Fiorentina. Everton went down 2-0 to the Viola in Florence last week, so David Moyes' team will have to do at least one better this week if they hope to advance to the quarterfinals of the tournament.

Sunday was a day of highs and lows for West Ham's Jonathan Spector. Named to the U-23 Olympic Qualifying squad in the morning, the Illinois native went on to play 90 minutes for West Ham in the London derby against Tottenham. Unfortunately, the Hammers succumbed to a 4-0 defeat to their city rivals. The loss leaves West Ham in 10th place, but more worrying than their league position are the consecutive 4-0 losses they've suffered in recent weeks. They'll look to get back on form against Blackburn at Upton Park on Saturday.

One team who is finding their feet at the right time is Reading who made it two wins in a row on Saturday. Marcus Hahnemann kept another clean sheet as the Royals defeated Manchester City 2-0 at the Madejski Stadium. After seven consecutive defeat, six points from the last two games has lifted Reading out of the relegation zone and ostensibly put their fate in their own hands.

Standard Liege jumped out to stretched its lead at the top of the table to four points following its win on Friday over St. Truiden. Oguchi Onyewu marshalled a backline that held tight for a 2-1 victory.

In Germany, Hannover 96 fell 2-0 to Bayer Leverkusen. Steve Cherundolo was deployed at right back for Hannover who next face Arminia Bielefeld in their quest for a European place. You can also read a feature on Steve from Soccernet here.

Heath Pearce made his second consecutive appearance for Hansa Rostock, and helped his side to a 1-1 draw away from home to MSV Duisberg. Pearce came on as a second half sub for Rostock, who take on Hertha Berlin next Saturday.

In Holland, Michael Bradley and Heerenveen snapped out of their mini-slump and earned a solid 3-0 victory at home to NAC Breda. Bradley was on the scoresheet for his club, grabbing the winner in the 32nd minute. Heerenveen remain in sixth place in the Eredivise, tied on 48 points with Feyenoord. On Saturday, Bradley and his club face FC Gronigen, a major rival in the table for a European place. A victory on the weekend could see Heerenveen jump back into the top three, so be sure to check back next week to find out the latest...

Monday, March 3, 2008

Weekend Update!

In Germany, Heath Pearce made his first appearance for Hansa Rostock in over a month, coming on as a halftime substitute against Arminia Bielefeld. Rostock fought back from a goal down, and were rewarded with a late equalizer. The point keeps Rotsock five points clear from the relegation zone in 14th place.

Hannover, meanwhile, won for the first time in six attempts, beating Nunberg 2-1 at home. The ever-present Steve Cherundolo was again deployed on the backline for Hannover, whose win keeps them in eighth place and within touching distance of a European place.

Over in England, the plight of Fulham continued, as the Cottagers succumbed to Manchester United, 3-0. Eddie Johnson got his first ever start for the the club, providing support to captain Brian McBride up front, but Fulham were thwarted by the tough United defense.

There were happier times over in Reading, however, as the Royals stopped a run of recent defeats with an dramatic 1-0 victory over Middlesbrough. Steve Harper popped up in the box in second half injury time to pound home a Stephen Hunt crossand give Reading three much needed points. Marcus Hahnemann kept a clean sheet in the Reading goal, making saves in the victory.

Everton strengthened their claim to fourth place with a well earned 3-1 victory at home to Portsmouth. Tim Howard and the Toffees will now look forward to Thursday's big UEFA Cup Round of 16 match against Fiorentina. Everton travel to Florence to play the first leg at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, before returning back to Merseyside two weeks later.

In the Eredivisie, Heerenveen suffered its second consecutive defeat, this time away to FC Twente. Next Michael Bradley and Heerenveen face fellow European challengers Nac Breda in a six-pointer in the top half of the table. That game takes place on Saturday, but be sure to check back to the Global blog for updates on all the midweek action.