American Exports: Brad Friedel, Clint Dempsey, Spurs in tough spot after Europa League quarter first leg
AMSTERDAM – Brad Friedel and Tottenham Hotspur have work to do in the return leg after opening their Europa League quarterfinal tie with a 2-2 rally draw against visiting Swiss champs Basel on Thursday.
The veteran netminder notched fives saves, with the best denying Valentin Stocker a late free-kick winner. Friedel was overrun on the away side's 30th-minute opener and then had to watch a well-placed corner kick header fall agonizingly past his reach only five minutes later, but the hosts managed to clawed back to even by the hour mark.
AMSTERDAM – Rosenborg midfielder Mikkel Diskerud opened his season account on Monday, bagging the home side's second goal in a 4-0 cruise past Brann.
Just past intermission, the US international saw his rebound turned home for the opener. Scant moments later, Diskerud doubled the lead by capping an excellent team move from the slot. The rout lifted Rosenborg into the Tippeligaen penthouse through two rounds.
AMSTERDAM – A handful of Americans suited up overseas on Friday, with Charles Kazlauskas scoring the opener and earning the penalty kick for Helmond Sport's 2-1 winner against 10-man derby rivals FC Eindhoven.
Kazlauskas (above, in red) buried a back post feed to break the ice in the 50th minute, ringing up his fourth goal of the season. Only two minutes later, he drew a red card foul in the area and Helmond top scorer Emrullah Güvenc deposited the ensuing penalty kick.
LA Galaxy fans may want to get used to the teenaged frontline of Jose Villarreal and Jack McBean that Bruce Arena trotted out in Saturday's 1-0 win over Colorado. Because it looks like the man they replaced, Designated Player Robbie Keane, could be on the shelf for a bit.
AMSTERDAM – Birmingham City midfielder Jonathan Spector's ankle exam has come up negative for ligament damage, meaning he should be available when the Blues return to action with a March 29 Championship visit to Crystal Palace.
The US international was removed just four minutes into Saturday's league win at Middlesbrough after being hacked down by Faris Haroun's rash tackle. The club initially feared the worst, but by Tuesday, Spector was down to nursing some lingering pain and bruising.
A total of 38 MLS players from 15 countries have been selected to their respective national teams ahead of the upcoming World Cup qualifiers and friendlies this week. Unsurprisingly, most of the players selected are in the CONCACAF region, and most of them are from the United States, though Canada, Honduras and Jamaica each have four MLS representatives.
Although Canada won't be featuring in the qualifiers, they will face Japan in a friendly in Qatar on Friday (noon ET, streamed on Sportsnet.ca).
AMSTERDAM – Brad Friedel and Tottenham Hotspur reached the Europa League quarterfinals despite a 4-1 loss at Inter Milan on Thursday, squeaking through on an extra-time away goal by Emmanuel Adebayor.
The former US star notched 12 saves, including a dazzler on Fredy Guarín near the break and another on Antonio Cassano during the second overtime session. Compatriot Clint Dempsey, however, did not dress for the visitors.
AMSTERDAM – With the traditional fall-to-spring leagues and cups rounding the final turn into the European backstretch, it's time to take inventory of everything at stake for Americans working overseas.
Realistically, that topic heading should be in singular form. Sacha Kljestan's Anderlecht are the only club fielding an American that is in good position to hoist league silver.
AMSTERDAM – Conor O'Brien and FC Nordsjælland missed the chance go clear in the race for Denmark's second Champions League invite on Monday, settling for a 1-1 draw at FC Midtjylland.
After wasting a fine set-up from the American at the quarter-hour, Uffe Beck hit for his first Wild Tigers goal near the break.
The visitors would concede with 20 minutes left, however, leaving FCN with a two-point advantage over third-place AC Horsens.
Geoff Cameron couldn’t help Stoke City hold off Newcastle United’s rally for a 2-1 defeat at St. James’ Park on Sunday.
The former Houston Dynamo man went the full 90 at right back for the Potters, but was helpless as Papiss Demba Cissé scored two minutes into injury time to grab the winner for the home team. Stoke have now lost seven of their last nine Premier League contests and now sit just nine points clear of the drop zone.
Brek Shea was in the 18 but did not feature for Stoke.