American Exports: Tim Howard helps preserve victory as Everton move into Champions League place

Everton's Tim Howard

Photo Credit: 
Reuters

AMSTERDAM – A pair of US national team stars enjoyed Sunday victories across the pond, with Tim Howard expertly backstopping Everton into fourth place for at least 26 hours with a thrilling 2-1 triumph at Swansea City.

The Toffees netminder notched three saves, but it was the pair after Ross Barkley's tie-breaking 84th-minute free kick that were truly crucial. Howard brilliantly denied a tricky Pablo Hernández try and a Roland Lamah volley to preserve the full points.

The late heroics from Barkley and Howard also kept Everton streaking; they are now undefeated in 10 league games and in their last five on the road. Though they again grabbed tentative hold of England's final Champions League slot, anything but a Chelsea loss to Arsenal on Monday night will see them fall once again behind the Blues.

Also, Brad Friedel served as Tottenham backup for a 3-2 win at Southampton. With three victories in four, Spurs held firm in seventh place.

Over in Serie A, Michael Bradley put in his typical time-keeping show as AS Roma played rude 4-0 hosts to Catania.

The US star led all players in passes completed and passing accuracy to help the Romans maintain nearly 65 percent of possession on the day. Bradley also paced all match midfielders in combined tackles/steals/interceptions with an impressive sum of 19, though he did pick up a yellow card shortly before intermission.
 
Still unbeaten through 17 rounds of the Scudetto chase, Roma stayed five points shy of leaders Juventus.