The Premier League was off, but the FA Cup was on and Germany returned to action as the number of Americans in action overseas was high and mighty.
Juan Agudelo made his FC Utrecht bow as a 58th minute substitution but was not able to help his new club avoid a shock defeat to No. 15 in the table Roda JC Kerkrade. He was the only sub made by his side in the match, and registered one shot over his 32-plus minutes. And as the on-loan from Stoke kid made his European debut, another Potter was introduced by the Philadelphia Union in Maurice Edu.
PSV Eindhoven was able to do what plenty of Eredivisie sides have not: stop Aron Johannsson. He was held scoreless for the first time in a few matches as PSV jumped to No. 6 in the table and banished Johannsson’s AZ Alkmaar side to No. 8 with a 1-0 decision.
In FA Cup fourth round action:
– Everton gave Tim Howard a rare day-off as the Toffees squeezed Stevenage for an easy 4-0 win. Everton hosts Swansea in the next round.
– Jozy Altidore played all 90 minutes as Sunderland needed everything it had to hold off lower league side Kidderminster in a 1-0 decision. Manager Gus Poyet said, “It was not a classic” and that “it became boring and difficult to watch.” The Black Cats will host Southampton in the next round.
– Clint Dempsey wasn’t in the Match Day 18 for Fulham’s 1-1 draw with Sheffield United, as he was saved for the midweek PL relegation scrap at Swansea. The two sides with dance again on Feb. 4, with the winners getting the victor of a Nottingham Forest/Preston North End replay.
– Gooch with the goal! Oguchi Onyewu netted the game-winner as Sheffield Wednesday toppled Rochdale 2-0 to earn a fortunate fifth round date with Charlton Athletic.
– Duane Holmes (Huddersfield Town), Tim Ream (Bolton) and Will Packwood (Birmingham City) all saw their sides crash out to stiff, higher competition.
In France, Ale Bedoya and Nantes rebounded from their 5-0 squashing at the hands of PSG two weeks ago to draw Stade Reims. The home stalemate kept the Canaries ahead of their opponents, and Bedoya played 76 minutes, credited with one of his side’s best chances when he was denied in the 66th minute.
Timothy Chandler fired home as FC Nurnberg toasted Fabian Johnson’s Hoffenheim squad by a 4-0 score. MLSSoccer.com described the goal:
Midway through the opening frame, the FCN right back picked the top corner from about 24 yards for his first tally since September of 2012. Soon after, Chandler went close with a lefty try from distance. Johnson, just back from injury, was replaced as Hoffenheim left back at halftime.
The injury to Johnson is not a kind one: his broken hand could cause him problems for both club and country.
There was no Jermaine Jones for Schalke again in their 3-0 win over Hamburger SV.
In Mexico, Puebla blew a 2-0 lead and fell 3-2, with 90 minutes each for DaMarcus Beasley and Jonathan Orozco. Edgar Castillo played the full match as Club Tijuana won yet again at home, 1-0 over Morelia.
Sacha Kljestan did not play as Anderlecht won a huge Belgian battle against Club Brugge, 2-0.
An effective Brek Shea has extended his loan deal with Barnsley through April.
Former LA Galaxy midfielder Michael Stephens is on trial for Bob Bradley at Stabaek in Norway.