American Exports: Guzan shines late, Villans post huge win
AMSTERDAM – Several Americans pitched in with good performances across the pond on Sunday, headlined by Brad Guzan backstopping Aston Villa out of the drop zone with a 2-1 home victory over West Ham United.
After finally being beaten by a own goal in the 87th minute, the former Chivas USA star preserved his side's first win in nine EPL games with saves on Kevin Nolan and Carlton Cole deep into stoppage time. The Villans, who haven't been relegated since 1987, also posted their first win in the friendly confines since November.
Elsewhere, Tim Howard and Everton slipped to sixth place following a 2-0 loss at EPL leaders Manchester United.
The US star made two of his four saves to keep United's Jonny Evans from piling on after the break. Howard remained winless in six visits to former home Old Trafford, while also waving goodbye to a seven-match unbeaten run across all competition.
Over in the Bundesliga, Michael Parkhurst made a solid Augsburg debut off the bench in a 1-1 draw with 10-man guests Mainz 05.
The US international came on for injured right back Ronny Philp just before the break, providing 47 minutes of relief as the hosts rallied for a share to remain unbeaten since the winter break. Relegation fighters Augsburg pulled to within a point of the survival playoff spot, now held by Hoffenheim.
One league below, Andrew Wooten notched a pair of assists to help Sandhausen vault out of the basement with a 4-1 victory over visiting St. Pauli.
With Joseph Gyau watching on from the away dugout, Wooten set up the eventual winner when tripped raiding the area and David Ulm did the resulting honors from the penalty spot. The American attacker snared his joint team-best third assist of the season just after intermission, re-working the right to pick out Juho Mäkelä on the doorstep.
The win, Sandhausen's first since November, lifted them to within three points of the safety line. Meanwhile, St. Pauli held firm in 13th place.
Down south in Serie A, Michael Bradley worked 66 capable minutes in midfield, leaving before the main damage was done in a 3-1 defeat at Sampdoria.
The No. 4 shirt patrolled his areas well, but without providing a cutting edge moving forward. Ninth-place droppers Roma have now fallen in four of the last five road games and are winless in six league contests overall.
The Eredivisie news wasn't any better, with Jozy Altidore seeing yellow on a frustrating afternoon as 10-man AZ Alkmaar dropped a 3-1 decision at Feyenoord.
The team's top gun went scoreless in consecutive games for the first time since early December despite his robust effort in a chippy contest. The result dipped AZ down to 11th as they suffered their first league series sweep to the Rotterdammers in 10 seasons.
Next door in Belgium's Jupiler League, Sacha Kljestan held down central park as Anderlecht fought back for a 2-1 win at Waasland-Beveren. The Mauves fluffed their tabletop cushion back up to eight points with five rounds remaining before the championship playoff.