AMSTERDAM — Americans laced them up all across Europe on Sunday, with Jermaine Jones overcoming a cut to the head to go the distance in Schalke's 4-1 rout of beleaguered hosts Kaiserslautern.
In addition to a head bandage gained near the half hour, the US midfielder added the accessory of captain's armband with 13 minutes left in the game. The victory was Schalke's seventh from an eight-match home unbeaten streak in league and gives them a 10-point advantage for the Bundesliga's final Champions League berth.
On the other side, Olympic strike hopeful Andrew Wooten worked the final 28 minutes for Kaiserslautern to no avail.
Elsewhere in Germany, Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 snapped a three-game league slide by blasting FC Cologne 4-1. With the captain pitching in a strong outing, the Reds moved back to within a point of a Europa League slot.
In English Premier League action, Zak Whitbread had a tough day at the office as Norwich City fell 1-0 at Newcastle. The American defender was outraced to a cross by Magpies winter addition Papiss Cisse for the early opener and later had a fine headed bid for the equalizer tipped over shortly after intermission. Now winless in four, the Canaries dropped to 13th place.
Over in Serie A, Michael Bradley had a solid day, but Chievo twice surrendered the lead to settle for a 2-2 draw at Bologna. The visitors opened the scoring in the 26th minute when Marco Andreolli shoved home the deflection of Bradley's free kick. The result kept the Flying Donkeys grounded in 11th place.
Turning focus to the Eredivisie, Jozy Altidore and AZ Alkmaar were held to a 0-0 stalemate by pesky guests NAC Breda. The US striker put in 76 minutes as the Cheese Farmers saw their league lead reduced to one point even as they extended their AFAS-Stadion unbeaten run to 27 gamnes across all competition.
Next door in Belgium, Sacha Kljestan enjoyed an active shift as Anderlecht had their Jupiler League penthouse cushion trimmed to six points by a 2-2 share at Sint-Truiden. The US midfielder had consecutive chances to score cruelly denied early in the second half.
Greg Seltzer covers American Exports exclusively for MLSsoccer.com.