Tuesday August 24th, 2010

In what was a rather quiet week for American soccer players abroad, aside from Sacha Kljestan's second goal for RSC Anderlecht and Clint Dempsey's returning to the starting lineup for Fulham, one up-and-comer managed to make some serious career headway.

Aston Villa right back Eric Lichaj made his debut with the first team, playing the full 90 minutes in Villa's 1-1 draw at Rapid Vienna in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League qualifying tie on Thursday.

Lichaj, who signed a three-year contact with Villa earlier this month, held his own by most accounts. Interim manager Kevin MacDonald fielded a squad featuring many young, inexperienced players who haven't seen the pitch much, including backup American goalkeeper Brad Guzan. MacDonald's post-match comments indicated that he thought the collective effort was impressive, considering his young guns were up against a hostile crowd in a major European competition and managed to walk away with the advantage heading into the second leg.

"I am very proud indeed," MacDonald told Aston Villa's team website after the draw. "Sometimes it is not just the play, it is reacting to the place that you are playing in that gives them an education.

"If you play somewhere like (Vienna) it will help them play in some of the big Premier League grounds where the atmosphere is electric as well."

Lichaj reverted to his role as unused substitute on Sunday in Aston Villa's surprise loss to Newcastle, but his first hurdle at the Premier League club has been cleared. Here is how the rest of the Americans Abroad fared this past week (season statistics encompass all competitions):

Premier League

Clint Dempsey, M, Fulham -- Started, played 61 minutes in Fulham's 2-2 draw with Manchester United on Sunday. SEASON: 2 games, 1 start

Brad Friedel, GK, Aston Villa -- Started, played 90 minutes and made five saves in Villa's 6-0 loss at Newcastle on Sunday. SEASON: 2 games, 2 starts, 6 saves, 6 goals allowed, 1 clean sheet

Brad Guzan, GK, Aston Villa -- Started, played 90 minutes, picked up a yellow card and made four saves in Villa's 1-1 draw with Rapid Vienna on Thursday. In the 18, did not play in Villa's 6-0 loss at Newcastle on Sunday. SEASON: 1 game, 1 start, 4 saves, 1 goal allowed.

Marcus Hahnemann, GK, Wolverhampton -- Started, played 90 minutes and made one save in Wolves' 1-1 draw at Everton on Saturday. Hahnemann's counterpart in goal for Everton was U.S. national team starter Tim Howard. SEASON: 2 games, 2 starts, 3 saves, 2 goals allowed

Stuart Holden, M, Bolton -- Started, played 90 minutes in Bolton's 3-1 victory over West Ham on Saturday. SEASON: 2 games, 2 starts

Tim Howard, GK, Everton -- Started, played 90 minutes and made one save in Everton's 1-1 draw with Wolves on Saturday. SEASON: 2 games, 2 starts, 2 saves, 2 goals allowed

Eddie Johnson, F, Fulham -- Not in the 18-man gameday roster for Fulham's 2-2 draw with Manchester United on Sunday. The club's signing of Belgian striker Moussa Dembele this week does not bode well for Johnson's chances of climbing the depth chart at Craven Cottage. SEASON: 0 games

Eric Lichaj, D, Aston Villa -- Started, played 90 minutes in Villa's 1-1 draw with Rapid Vienna in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League qualifying tie on Thursday. In the 18, did not play in Villa's 6-0 loss at Newcastle on Sunday. SEASON: 1 game, 1 start

Jonathan Spector, D, West Ham -- Not in the 18 for West Ham's 3-1 loss to Bolton on Sunday. SEASON: 0 games

Championship

Conor Doyle, F, Derby County -- Started, played 72 minutes in Derby County's 2-1 loss to Coventry City on Saturday. SEASON: 2 games, 1 start

Mike Grella, F, Leeds United -- In the 18, did not play in Leeds' 3-1 victory over Millwall on Saturday. SEASON: 2 games

Zak Whitbread, D, Norwich City -- Not in the 18 for Norwich City's 2-0 victory over Swansea City on Saturday. Whitbread is still recovering from a calf injury suffered in a preseason friendly and has yet to feature for the first team this season. SEASON: 0 games

League One

Anton Peterlin, M, Plymouth Argyle -- Not in the 18 for Plymouth Argyle's 2-1 loss to Walsall on Saturday. SEASON: 2 games, 2 starts

Frank Simek, D, Carlisle United -- Started, played 90 minutes in Carlisle's 4-1 victory over Milton Keynes Dons on Saturday. SEASON: 3 games, 3 starts

League Two

Jon-Paul Pittman, F, Wycombe Wanderers -- Started, played 74 minutes in Wycombe's 0-0 draw with Oxford United on Saturday. SEASON: 3 games, 2 starts

La Liga

Jozy Altidore, F, Villarreal -- In the 18, came on as a 74th-minute substitute in Villarreal's 5-0 victory over Dnepr-Transmash in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League qualifying tie on Thursday. Altidore replaced American-born Italian international Giuseppe Rossi to make his first appearance for Villarreal since Dec. 14, 2008 (Altidore spent the 2009-2010 season on loan at Hull City). Villarreal's first league match is on Aug. 29 against Real Sociedad. SEASON: 1 game

Serie A

Oguchi Onyewu, D, AC Milan -- Season has not yet begun. First league match is Aug. 29 against Lecce.

Bundesliga

Michael Bradley, M, Borussia Monchengladbach -- Started, played 90 minutes in Monchengladbach's 1-1 draw with Nurnberg on Saturday. SEASON: 2 games, 2 starts, 1 goal

Steve Cherundolo, D, Hannover 96 -- Started, played 90 minutes in Hannover's 2-1 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday. SEASON: 2 games, 2 starts

Ricardo Clark, M, Eintracht Frankfurt -- In the 18, did not play in Frankfurt's 2-1 loss to Hannover 96 on Saturday. SEASON: 0 games

Jared Jeffrey, M, FSV Mainz 05 -- Not in the 18 for Mainz' 2-0 victory over VfB Stuttgart on Sunday. SEASON: 0 games

Jermaine Jones, M, FC Schalke 04 -- Started, played 90 minutes in Schalke's 2-1 loss to Hamburg SV on Saturday. SEASON: 2 games, 2 starts

Daniel Williams, D, SC Freiburg -- In the 18, came on as a halftime substitute in Freiburg's 3-1 loss to St. Pauli on Saturday. SEASON: 2 games

2. Bundesliga

Kenny Cooper, F, TSV 1860 Munich -- Not in the 18 for Munich's 3-2 loss to VfL Bochum on Monday. Cooper is still out with an injured ankle. SEASON: 0 games

Luis Robles, GK, Karlsruhe SC -- In the 18, did not play in Karlsruhe's 4-1 loss to SpVgg Greuther Fürth on Sunday. SEASON: 0 games

Matt Taylor, F, FSV Frankfurt -- Not in the 18 for Frankfurt's 2-1 loss to Arminia Bielefeld on Friday. SEASON: 0 games

Dave Yelldell, GK, MSV Duisburg -- Started, played 90 minutes and made four saves in Duisburg's 3-1 victory over VfL Osnabruck on Sunday. SEASON: 2 games, 2 starts, 7 saves, 1 clean sheet, 1 goals allowed

Ligue 1

Carlos Bocanegra, D, St. Etienne -- Started, played 90 minutes in St. Etienne's 0-0 draw with Stade Rennes. Bocanegra, who didn't feature in St. Etienne's last match, got the start at left back against his former club, Rennes. The matchup also pitted Bocanegra against U.S. World Cup nemesis and Rennes striker Asamoah Gyan, although Bocanegra and his defensive unit were able to keep Gyan off the scoreboard this time around. SEASON: 2 games, 2 starts

Charlie Davies, F, FC Sochaux -- Not in the 18 for Sochaux's 0-0 draw with Lille on Sunday. SEASON: 0 games

Eerste Klasse

Sacha Kljestan, M, Anderlecht -- Not in the 18 for Anderlecht's 2-2 draw with Partizan Belgrade in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League qualifying tie. Kljestan returned to the lineup over the weekend, started, played 90 minutes and scored the opening and eventual game-winning goal in the 32nd minute of Anderlecht's 3-0 victory over KSC Lokeren in league play on Saturday. Trailing the play, Kljestan made a darting run down the center of the pitch, received a well-timed cross from the right from Guillaume Guillet and precisely bounced a 10-yard header into the net. SEASON: 5 games, 4 starts, 2 goals

Portuguese Liga

Gale Agbossoumonde, D, Sporting Braga -- Not in the 18 for Braga's 1-0 victory over Sevilla FC in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League qualifying tie on Wednesday or for Braga's 0-0 draw with Vitoria Setubal in league play on Saturday. SEASON: 0 games

Samir Badr, GK, FC Porto -- Not in the 18 for Porto's 3-0 victory over Racing Genk in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League qualifying tie on Thursday or for Porto's 3-0 victory over Beira-Mar in league play on Sunday. SEASON: 0 games

Greg Garza, D, Sporting Lisbon -- Not in the 18 for Lisbon's 2-0 victory over Brøndby in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League qualifying tie on Thursday or for Lisbon's 1-0 victory over Maritimo in league play on Sunday. SEASON: 0 games

Premier League

Dominic Cervi, GK, Celtic FC -- In the 18, did not play in Celtic's 2-0 victory over FC Utrecht in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League qualifying tie on Thursday. In the 18, did not play in Celtic's 4-0 victory over St. Mirren in league play on Sunday. SEASON: 0 games

Maurice Edu, M, Rangers FC -- Started, played 90 minutes in Rangers' 3-0 victory over Hibernian on Sunday. SEASON: 2 games, 2 starts

Primera Division

Edgar Castillo, D, San Luis -- Not in the 18 for San Luis' 3-2 loss to Tecos UAG on Friday. SEASON: 3 games, 1 goal

Herculez Gomez, F, Pachuca -- In the 18, came on as a 66th-minute substitute in Pachuca's 2-2 draw with Monterrey on Saturday. SEASON: 4 games

Jose Francisco Torres, M, Pachuca -- Started, played 80 minutes in Pachuca's 2-2 draw with Monterrey on Saturday. SEASON: 3 games, 3 starts

Marco Vidal, M, Pachuca -- Not in the 18 for Pachuca's 2-2 draw with Monterrey on Saturday. SEASON: 1 game

Primera Division

Michael Hoyos, M, Estudiantes La Plata -- Not in the 18 for Estudiantes' 0-0 draw with Banfield on Friday. SEASON: 0 games

Premier Division

Ryan Guy, F, St. Patrick's Athletic FC -- Started, played 90 minutes in St. Patrick's Athletic's 0-0 draw with Sligo on Friday. Started, played 85 minutes in St. Patrick's Athletic's 3-2 victory over Sporting Fingal on Monday. SEASON: 24 games, 22 starts, 3 goals

Superliga

Michael Parkhurst, D, FC Nordsjaelland -- Started, played 19 minutes but departed with an apparent shoulder injury (according to Nordsjaelland's team site) in Nordsjaelland's 4-0 loss to FC Midtjylland on Monday. Parkhurst was taken to the hospital, and further details about the severity of the injury will be forthcoming. SEASON: 6 games, 6 starts

Chris Rolfe, F, Aalborg BK -- Not in the 18 for Aalborg's 2-0 loss to Esbjerg on Saturday. SEASON: 0 games

Marcus Tracy, F, Aalborg BK -- Not in the 18 for Aalborg's 2-0 loss to Esbjerg on Saturday. Both Rolfe and Tracy continue to battle back from injury in their quest to re-crack the matchday roster. SEASON: 0 games

Danish First Division

Benny Feilhaber, M, AGF Aarhus - Started, played 90 minutes and picked up his second yellow card in as many weeks in Aarhus' 2-0 victory over FC Roskilde on Friday. SEASON: 3 games, 2 starts

Allsvenskanliga

Alejandro Bedoya, M, Orebro SK -- Started, played 90 minutes in Orebro's 1-0 victory over AIK on Monday. SEASON: 18 games, 18 starts, 1 goal

Tippeligaen

Mikkel Diskerud, M, Stabaek IF -- Started, played 77 minutes in Stabaek's 4-0 victory over Hønefoss on Sunday. SEASON: 21 games, 20 starts, 3 goals

Hunter Freeman, D, IK Start -- Started, played 90 minutes in Start's 2-2 draw with Viking on Sunday. SEASON: 19 games, 19 starts, 1 goal

Clarence Goodson, D, IK Start -- Started, played 90 minutes and scored an own goal in Start's 2-2 draw with Viking on Sunday. SEASON: 17 games, 17 starts, 2 goals

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