Americans Abroad Review: Agudelo, Boyd score; Ream honored by Bolton

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So let’s start with the positive, since there weren’t a heck of a lot of highlights involving Americans on the pitch in Europe and south of the border this weekend.

Juan Agudelo was the Man of the Match in his final match on loan for FC Utrecht in a 2-1 win over Vitesse Arnhem on Saturday, scoring a goal and “setting up” the otherHe registered six shots, three on frame, burying the match-winner in the 78th minute. While Steve de Ridder simply picked up a rough first touch from Agudelo slot home for the first goal, Agudelo’s marker came from a strong run and deft finish.


Juan Agudelo by goalsandmore

Terrence Boyd scored again for Rapid Wien, his 34th minute tally holding up as the match-winner in a 2-0 win over relegated FC Wacker Innsbruck. Rapid has a six-point lead on Austria Wien for second in the table after Boyd went 80 minutes in the win.

Ale Bedoya went 90 minutes for Nantes as they picked up a point but couldn’t catch Toulouse, drawing the club 1-1.

In Norway, Mix Diskerud went all 90 for Rosenborg, but his club wasted a chance to make an early-season charge for the top of the table. Molde won 2-0 and now has a four-point lead on No. 4 Rosenborg. Bob Bradley‘s Stabaek will look to get back in the win column with a victory on Monday, which would boost them level with Diskerud’s squad.

Sacha Kljestan didn’t play for Anderlecht in Belgium (they beat Club Brugge 1-0), while Aron Johannsson didn’t appear for AZ Alkmaar.

The Premier League was kind to Yanks as well, save for the No.1 goalkeeper. Tim Howard was beaten thrice, at least once regrettably, as Everton fell 3-2 to Manchester City.

Geoff Cameron had a nice day with another 90 minutes as Stoke City stomped Fulham 4-1 to send the Cottagers into the Championship. Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan finally got some support in front of him as the Villans topped Hull 3-1 to give them almost certain PL status for another year. Jozy Altidore played the final 25 minutes as Sunderland shocked Manchester United 1-0.

Jonathan Spector and Tim Ream dueled in the Championship, with the latter’s Birmingham City club earning safety in the 2-2 with the former’s Bolton club. It was quite a week for Ream, who was voted as Player of the Year by both Bolton’s team and supporters.

Oguchi Onyewu and Sheffield Wednesday lost 2-1 at Yeovil Town, but “Gooch” was solid on the whole in 90 minutes of play.

Danny Williams didn’t play for Reading due to injury as the club missed out on the final playoff spot, while Zak Whitbread finally got some playing time for Derby County on the final day in a 1-1 draw against Leeds United.

In Germany, Fabian Johnson proved versatile at left back for Hoffenheim again in a 3-2 loss to Borussia Dortmund, while John Anthony Brooks played 90 — picking up a yellow card — as Hertha Berlin fell to Werder Bremen 2-0.

Irregular heartbeat the cause of Carrick’s recent absence

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Manchester United captain Michael Carrick hasn’t played for his club since Sept. 20, a confounding period of more than two months now, and the reason for the 36-year-old midfielder’s absence has finally come to light: an irregular heartbeat.

[ MORE: Mourinho slams critics (again), gives injury updates ]

The condition, which Carrick announced himself on Friday, was first detected after Man United’s League Cup victory over Burton Albion. He has since undergone a cardiac ablation, a procedure to scar or destroy tissue in your heart that’s allowing incorrect electrical signals to cause an abnormal heart rhythm, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Carrick was named the new United captain this summer following the departure of Wayne Rooney. As told in the above statement, he is working toward full fitness and once again being available for selection in Jose Mourinho’s side.

Hooray for modern technology and medicine, which allow otherwise baffling medical conditions to be diagnosed, treated and recovered from in a matter of weeks or months.

Moyes: West Ham “low in confidence,” encouraged by crowd

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David Moyes is just trying to buy himself a bit of time with the West Ham United fans, who were roundly unhappy at his appointment — and the board which hired him, of course — an undertaking toward which he made a small step on Friday.

[ RECAP: West Ham come back to earn a point vs. Leicester ]

Following the Hammers’ 1-1 draw with Leicester, Moyes joined the Sky Sports broadcast crew field-side at the London Stadium. While acknowledging it’s still early days in his tenure, Moyes knows he’s got very little time to build momentum after being appointed manager of a bottom-three side mid-season.

“I thought [the players] worked great in the second half, I think that’s why the crowd reacted so well. I think they are low in confidence. The results haven’t gone [well] and they’ve lost a manager. When it’s like that, it’s difficult. You need some things to go for you now and again.”

As for the Hammers’ most mercurial player, Marko Arnautovic, Moyes has taken a rather hardline approach with the Austrian attacker, and he believes it’s already paying dividends:

“I thought he played really well for us on Sunday, without getting an awful lot of praise for it. Everybody’s said that he hasn’t run, so I said to him, ‘If you don’t run, I won’t play you.’ So, he’s running [now.]

“I don’t think you want to play against Arnautovic if you’re a fullback, because he’s got power, he’s got pace. He probably prefers to play on the left-hand side, but at the moment we’ve got people who want to do that role, so we’re happy to play him on the opposite side. We want him to be a big player, [the club] spent big money on him. We need him to score goals, make goals. He helped us tonight.”

West Ham 1-1 Leicester: Hammers marginally improved

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  • Albrighton opens scoring in 8′
  • Kouyate brings Hammers back in 45′
  • Moyes’ first point as West Ham boss

The tangible takeaway was small — a single point — but the overall sentiment appeared my larger for West Ham United, as David Moyes‘ side came from behind to secure a 1-1 draw with Leicester City at the London Stadium on Friday.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

It didn’t take long for the Hammers’ boo birds to re-emerge and for the spotlight to return squarely — and blisteringly hotly — onto the club’s (already, after two games) beleaguered manager. Jamie Vardy broke down the left side of the penalty area, cut a left-footed cross back toward the penalty spot, and Marc Albrighton arrived at the right time to redirect the ball through traffic with an outstretched right foot.

Kasper Schmichael was forced to make one spectacular save during the first half, in the 25th minute. Manuel Lanzini‘s free kick floated to Angelo Ogbonna at the back post, where the Italian headed downward and inside the post. Schmichael quickly scrambled across the face of goal and pushed the ball away with two hands.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

Then, the strangest event occurred: for just the sixth time in 25 games since relocation in the summer of 2016, West Ham scored a first-half goal — with only seconds to spare. Again, it was a set piece from which the Hammers posed their greatest threat. Lanzini lofted another beautiful ball to the top of Schmichael’s six-yard box, this time from a corner kick, where Cheikhou Kouyate rose above the rest and headed the ball off the back of Danny Simpson and into the back of the net.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

With the two sides seemingly pleased to split the points, the second half featured very little notable action — in terms of scoring chances, that is.

Riyad Mahrez, who spent all summer trying to engineer a move away from Leicester, was subbed out by manager Claude Puel in the 70th minute. The Algerian international and 2015-16 Player of the Year appeared to be far from pleased, as he and Puel made no eye contact nor gave any acknowledgement of one another when Mahrez walked past Puel and made his way to the bench. Rekindled rumors are right around the corner.

The draw leaves West Ham (10 points), who are now six games without a win, 18th in the league table, now level on points with West Bromwich Albion who currently sit just outside the relegation zone. Leicester (14 points), meanwhile, leapfrogged Newcastle United for 11th.

Zenit face racism charge after banner honors war criminal

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NYON, Switzerland (AP) Russian club Zenit St. Petersburg is facing a UEFA racism charge after its fans displayed a large banner honoring convicted war criminal Ratko Mladic.

Two Serbian clubs, Red Star Belgrade and Partizan Belgrade, were also charged for similar offenses of supporting Mladic at Europa League games on Thursday.

UEFA said Friday that all three clubs faced charges of “racist behavior.” No dates were set for disciplinary hearings.

Zenit fans unfurled the banner, about 10 yards in length, during Thursday’s 2-1 Europa League group-stage win over Macedonian club Vardar Skopje.

The game took place the day after former Bosnian Serb military chief Mladic was convicted by a United Nations tribunal of genocide and other crimes in the wars following the collapse of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s.

Mladic and other Serb leaders have broad support from Russian nationalist groups, which often see them as allies.

Red Star fans drew 0-0 at BATE Borisov in Belarus, while Partizan beat Swiss club Young Boys in their Europa League games.

Partizan also faces a range of charges for incidents in Belgrade including “field invasions” and “improper conduct” by fans.