American Exports: Wooten opens Bundesliga account
AMSTERDAM — It was another full Saturday for Americans in Europe, with Kaiserslautern forward Andrew Wooten opening his Bundesliga account with the winner in a 2-1 victory at Hertha Berlin.
Making his first career start, the US youth international slammed home a defender deflection from the slot for his side's second on 38 minutes, rendering a second-half home strike as mere consolation. Though already set for the drop, the Red Devils snapped a six-game losing streak and managed their first league win since before Halloween.
Elsewhere, Timothy Chandler returned to right back as FC Nürnberg clawed back for a 1-1 share against Hamburg.
The US international was beaten over the top by the initial crosser on HSV's opener near the hour, and then helped in the build for Daniel Didavi's equalizer four minutes later. The point was enough to clinch Der Club's place in the top flight for next season.
Fabian Johnson worked left back and Daniel Williams watched on from the dugout as Hoffenheim saw slim Europa League hopes shrink further in falling 1-0 at home to Bayer Leverkusen. Johnson was among those beaten as Andre Schürrle sauntered into the area for the 79th minute decider.
Heading to the English Premier League, Clint Dempsey assisted on the fast Fulham equalizer in a 2-1 rally win over Wigan that mathematically secured their top flight survival.
Only seconds after the Latics had broken the ice on 57 minutes, the US star worked a quick pair of combo passes with Pavel Pogrebnyak, who promptly netted from just above the area. Thanks to a Philippe Senderos goal near time, the Cottagers climbed both to ninth place and the break-even point for the season.
The news wasn't so great around the league, where Brad Friedel was outshined by the opposing netminder as slipping Tottenham lost hold of a Champions League slot for the first time since early November with a 1-0 derby loss at Queens Park Rangers.
The American was beaten wrong-footed by a brilliant Adel Taarabt free kick midway through the opening frame. A second straight loss dropped Spurs to fifth and kept them winless in their last four local grudge matches.
Despite a good outing from right back Eric Lichaj, Aston Villa were forced to settle for a 0-0 draw against visiting Sunderland. With Brad Guzan serving as back-up netminder, the Villans remained winless in six and still chasing assured EPL safety.
Tim Ream worked a tidy shift in defense in Bolton's 1-1 come-from-behind draw against guests Swansea City. The result kept Wanderers in 19th and four points from the happy zone, but they still hold two games in hand on the three nearest relegation fighters.
Down one flight, Robbie Findley made his first appearance in over a month as Nottingham Forest dropped a 2-1 decision at Hull City. The 41st-minute injury sub helped the Reds boss the match, but could not keep them from a second straight defeat.
Next door in Scotland, Carlos Bocanegra and Maurice Edu each handled business for 90 minutes as Rangers moved closer to clinching second place with a 3-0 cruise at Hearts. The light Blues now hold a four-game SPL win streak for the first time since the beginning of October.
Turning to Serie A, Michael Bradley was among the top performers in Chievo's 0-0 stalemate with visiting Udinese.
The US midfielder rattled the frame with a long blast after only four minutes and expertly sparked a move that ended in a wasted spot kick just before the break. With the point, the Flying Donkeys still need to make up four places and eight points to pocket a Europa League invite.