Crossing the Pond: EPL and MLS #2


Call it Football or Soccer, the sport is the same and the game is played on both sides of the Atlantic. That means there are various British (and Irish) players in America and Americans in Britain. In addition, various former Premier League, or EPL players are now playing in MLS, so in ‘Crossing the Pond’ we have a look at these connections.

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Starting with Orlando, ex-Stoke player Brek Shea was unlucky to see his Orlando City side fall 1-0 to a late, late D.C United goal courtesy of D.C United’s returning Silva. Shea was joined in defense by Seb Hines formerly of Middlesborough. Irishman Sean St. Ledger did not make it off the bench.

In the Premier League, it was a tale of two goalkeepers as Brad Guzan could not prevent Manchester United from hitting three against his Aston Villa side. One of those three was an outstanding goal from Wayne Rooney in what turned out to be a weekend of great goals. More on that in a minute.

The other premier American goalkeeper in the league (sorry Brad Friedel, you are still a legend!) Tim Howard was however in fine form as he helped guide Everton to a 1-0 win over high-flying Southampton. One of the standout moments in the match was this world class save, that was definitely going in had he not intervened:

Stoke City’s Geoff Cameron started against leaders Chelsea, but despite the headlines being taken by a Charlie Adam wonder goal the result went to Chelsea.

Another contender for goal of the weekend, if not season (there were a LOT of extremely good goals this weekend in the Premier League) came from ex-Toronto FC forward Jermaine Defoe who won the Newcastle-Sunderland derby with a wonderful long range shot at the end of the first half. Toronto Fans will be wondering why he could not do the same for them.

In the Championship, American international Danny Williams was not in action for Reading due to suspension, as the Royals were denied a win by a 90th minute Cardiff goal. Also in action this weekend was Bolton’s former Red Bull defender Tim Ream, who helped his side to a 1-1 draw late to save their embarrassment against relegation threatened Blackpool thanks to their veteran Icelandic striker Eidur Gudjohnsen.

Back in MLS, Bradley Wright-Phillips was enjoying the weekend off with no Red Bulls game being played. This also meant no game-time for his teammate Lloyd Sam either. There was however game-time for Preston born Luke Mulholland, who won the free kick for Real Salt Lake that led to the Javier Morales stunner to take the lead against San Jose. He showed his strength defensively in a good display for him.

Chicago Fire downed Toronto 3-2, with Shaun Maloney hitting his first MLS goal. He played an important part in setting up the other goals too making it a good game for the Scotsman. It was also a winning weekend for Liam Ridgewell, who helped his Portland Timbers side to a 3-1 win over FC Dallas. He was however booked, but he won’t mind as the Timbers won.

Elsewhere Robbie Keane’s LA Galaxy fell 2-0 to the Vancouver Whitecaps. Keane did not register a shot on goal in a frustrating game for the veteran Irishman. Former Newcastle United and Birmingham City striker Obafemi Martins scored the only goal as Seattle defeated Houston. Dom Dwyer started for Sporting Kansas City against Philadelphia Union and scored in their 3-2 win over Philadelphia Union.

Overall, a good weekend for the American connections in the Premier League, as was for the British connections in MLS. A clear sign that football is in good health on both sides of the Atlantic.

Next: Match Recaps: MLS Week 5