Another round of games, another chance to discuss the involvement of the EPL, or Premier League alumni in MLS. And another chance to check on the American involvement ‘across the pond’ in England.
The most high-profile American involvement was Danny Williams, who had an impressive display for Reading as they heroically battled Arsenal into extra-time in a thrilling FA Cup semi-final that ultimately Reading lost. Williams showcased his strength and speed throughout as he gave the FA Cup defending champions a tough test. There will however be one American at least on the bench in the FA Cup final. Brad Guzan is preferred as backup to Irish veteran Shay Given as Aston Villa’s cup goalkeeper, and so is unlikely to feature.
Tim Howard shut out relegation threatened Burnley, as Everton won 1-0 in the Premier League. In the Championship former Red Bull Tim Ream helped Bolton come back from behind twice to 2-2 draw with Brentford, denting Brentford’s promotion hopes.
Former Rangers and Stoke City defender Maurice Edu was credited with an assist in C.J Sapong’s 86′ minute equalizer in Philadelphia Union’s 1-1 draw with New York City. English duo Lloyd Sam and Bradley Wright-Phillips also got in on the action, with assists each in the 2-0 New York Red Bulls win over San Jose Earthquakes. Mike Grella scored the second, the 28 year old having played for a number of English sides including Leeds, Brentford and Bury before returning to America to play in MLS. Both Red Bulls goals came in the first half to ensure that the Red Bulls are the only team yet to be defeated this season. Good times for Red Bull fans!
Giles Barnes led the line for Houston Dynamo but was unable to get on the score-sheet, despite having four shots on target. The game finished 1-1 against D.C United. As usual, DaMarcus Beasly was also involved; the 121 time American international formerly of Manchester City and Rangers.
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Kei Kamara grabbed a goal and an assist in a 3-0 win for Columbus Crew against Orlando City. This meant a defeat for Englishman Adrian Heath who is in charge of Orlando. Ex-Stoke City’s Brek Shea and on loan Middlesbrough player Seb Hines both started in defense for the losing side. Another player involved also with links to Middlesbrough is Emanuel Pogatetz, who was on the winning side in this one.
In the chaotic weather disrupted and poorly organized FC Dallas 3-2 Toronto game, Englishmen Robbie Findley and Luke Moore featured for Toronto coming off the bench as second-half substitutes. Michael Bradley picked up a yellow, and Jozy Altidore was unable to get on the score-sheet. Obafemi Martins was able to in Seattle’s 3-1 win over Colorado with a returning Clint Dempsey notching an assist in Lamar Neagle’s first half goal. Englishman Tyrone Mears picked up a yellow for Seattle.
Krisztian Németh scored for Sporting Kansas City as they fell 2-1 to LA Galaxy. Dom Dwyer was given the assist alongside Benny Feilhaber. Dwyer was also booked in this game as was former Wigan midfielder Roger Espinoza. Robbie Rogers started in the Galaxy defense but there was no Robbie Keane in this one. They will hope that the Irishman is back in time for their clash with New York Red Bulls.
WINNERS: Kamara (goal and assist, good run of form), Danny Williams (standout performer)
LOSERS: Giles Barnes (four shots on target, no goals), Adrian Heath (another Orlando loss)
There we have it for another week of EPL-MLS crossover and everything in-between. See you next week.