Tuesday November 16th, 2010

With the opening of the European transfer window less than two months away, the United States' friendly against South Africa on Wednesday will be an excellent time for a few Americans stationed abroad to receive some much-needed exposure.

Even though Bob Bradley elected to go with a primarily domestic-based roster of Major League Soccer players whose respective seasons are over, he also selected a few European-based players who haven't seen a whole lot of playing time during their respective 2010-2011 campaigns, most notably goalkeepers Brad Guzan and Dominic Cervi and defenders Jonathan Spector and Gale Agbossoumonde.

Guzan, Cervi and Spector could use the exposure the most. Guzan, forever entrenched behind fellow American Brad Friedel at Aston Villa, probably won't be moving anywhere because of the security blanket he provides manager Gerard Houllier at Villa Park. For Guzan, though, who typically starts only in cup play, another strong showing on the international stage would continue to boost his value should a keeper-needy team come calling with an appealing offer.

Cervi is in a similar boat. The 24-year-old Oklahoma native has made the bench a handful of times as a backup but has yet to feature for Scottish power Celtic this season. He could greatly benefit from a loan for the remainder of the season.

The same can be said for Spector, a fullback who has become an afterthought at West Ham after a dip in form cost him his starting job both there and for the U.S. national team.

Agbossoumonde, who turns 19 on the day of the friendly, is one of the United States' brightest centerback prospects. He was a casualty of bad timing and underfunding at Portugal's Sporting Braga and has been without a team for the first half of the European season, training with Portuguese second-division side G.D. Estoril Praia instead. A strong performance to demonstrate that his skills haven't diminished would help his cause as teams in the top tiers of Europe take stock of their defensive inventory ahead of January's transfer window.

While the outcome of Wednesday's match against South Africa might not mean much in the long or short run, some of the individual performances for the men in red, white and blue most certainly could.

In addition to those four, the other Americans abroad that Bradley selected were Aston Villa's Eric Lichaj and the Scandinavia-based trio of Clarence Goodson, Mikkel Diskerud and Alejandro Bedoya.

As for some of the national team regulars who will not be making the trip to Cape Town, a few turned in banner weeks, led by Bolton's Stuart Holden, who scored his first Premier League goal. Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley and Benny Feilhaber also got on the scoresheet to highlight the week for the Americans playing abroad (season statistics encompass all competitions):

Premier League

Clint Dempsey, M/F, Fulham -- Started, played 90 minutes in Fulham's 1-0 loss to Chelsea on Wednesday. Dempsey challenged Petr Cech's goal a couple of times, including a shot from distance that forced a fingertip save in the 72nd minute and an audacious bicycle kick attempt from outside the area in the 83rd minute that went wide left. Dempsey also drew a straight red card on Michael Essien after appearing to be stomped on by the Ghanaian midfielder in second half stoppage time. On Saturday, Dempsey started and played 90 minutes in Fulham's 0-0 draw with Newcastle. SEASON: 15 games, 12 starts, 5 goals

Brad Friedel, GK, Aston Villa -- Started, played 90 minutes and made one save in Villa's 3-2 victory over Blackpool on Wednesday. Friedel also started, played 90 minutes and made two saves in Villa's 2-2 draw with Manchester United on Saturday. SEASON: 14 games, 14 starts, 53 saves, 19 goals allowed, 4 clean sheets

Brad Guzan, GK, Aston Villa -- In the 18-man gameday roster, did not play in Villa's 3-2 victory over Blackpool on Wednesday. Guzan was also in the 18 but did not play in Villa's 2-2 draw with Manchester United on Saturday. SEASON: 3 games, 3 starts, 12 saves, 5 goals allowed.

Marcus Hahnemann, GK, Wolverhampton -- Started, played 90 minutes and made three saves in Wolves' 2-0 loss to Arsenal on Wednesday. Hahnemann also started, played 90 minutes and made three saves in Wolves' 3-2 loss to Bolton on Saturday. SEASON: 13 games, 13 starts, 43 saves, 23 goals allowed

Stuart Holden, M, Bolton -- Started, played 90 minutes in Bolton's 1-1 draw with Everton on Wednesday. Holden started a counterattack that led to Ivan Klasnic's 79th-minute opening goal. Before that, he was denied of his first Premier League goal by fellow American Tim Howard, who came up with a superb save on Holden's goal-bound header off a corner kick. Holden also started, played 90 minutes assisted on a score and broke through on a different American keeper, beating Hahnemann for his first goal in the 67th minute of Bolton's 3-2 victory over Wolverhampton on Saturday. Holden worked an excellent combination with Kevin Davies and Chung-Yong Lee before finding himself with a clear look at an empty net from about eight yards out. The score gave Bolton a 3-0 lead at the time and turned out to be the game-winning goal. "Let's hope it's the first of many goals," Holden said on Bolton's team website. "It's a bit of a weight off my shoulders. I was putting a little bit of pressure on myself to get off the mark, because I do want to chip in with my fair share of goals." SEASON: 13 games, 12 starts, 1 goal

Tim Howard, GK, Everton -- Started, played 90 minutes and made two saves (including Holden's shot) in Everton's 1-1 draw with Bolton on Wednesday. Howard also started, played 90 minutes and made three saves in Everton's 2-1 loss to Arsenal on Sunday. SEASON: 13 games, 13 starts, 31 saves, 13 goals allowed, 4 clean sheets

Eddie Johnson, F, Fulham -- In the 18, did not play in Fulham's 1-0 loss to Chelsea on Wednesday. Johnson was also in the 18 and came on as an 89th-minute substitute in Fulham's 0-0 draw with Newcastle on Saturday. SEASON: 7 games, 1 start

Eric Lichaj, D, Aston Villa -- In the 18, made his Premier League debut as a 90th-minute substitute in Villa's 3-2 victory over Blackpool on Wednesday. Lichaj was also in the 18 and came on as an 88th-minute substitute in Villa's 2-2 draw with Manchester United on Saturday. His other three appearances this season have come in cup play. SEASON: 5 games, 3 starts

Jonathan Spector, D, West Ham -- In the 18, did not play in West Ham's 2-2 draw with West Brom on Wednesday. Spector was also in the 18 but did not play in West Ham's 0-0 draw with Blackpool on Saturday. SEASON: 2 games, 2 starts

Championship

Conor Doyle, F, Derby County -- In the 18, did not play in Derby County's 2-0 victory over Ipswich Town on Tuesday. Doyle was also in the 18 and came on as an 85th-minute substitute in Derby County's 2-0 loss to Leicester City on Saturday. SEASON: 8 games, 2 starts

Zak Whitbread, D, Norwich City -- Not in the 18 for Norwich City's 1-1 draw with Millwall on Tuesday or for Norwich City's 3-3 draw with Reading on Saturday. SEASON: 0 games

League One

Mike Grella, F, Carlisle United -- Started, played 66 minutes in Carlisle's 3-1 victory over Crewe Alexandra in the North Sectional quarterfinals of the Football League Trophy on Tuesday. Grella also started and played 90 minutes in Carlisle's 3-2 victory over Southampton in league play on Saturday. SEASON: 7 games, 4 starts, 2 goals

Jemal Johnson, M, Milton Keynes Dons -- In the 18, did not play in Milton Keynes Dons' 2-0 victory over Brentford on Saturday. SEASON: 12 games, 4 starts, 1 goal

Anton Peterlin, M, Plymouth Argyle -- Not in the 18 for Plymouth Argyle's 2-1 loss to Exeter City in the South Sectional quarterfinals of the Football League Trophy on Tuesday or for Plymouth Argyle's 1-0 loss to Tranmere Rovers in league play on Saturday. SEASON: 5 games, 4 starts

Frank Simek, D, Carlisle United -- Started, played 90 minutes in Carlisle's 3-1 victory over Crewe Alexandra in the North Sectional quarterfinals of the Football League Trophy on Tuesday. Simek also started and played 90 minutes in Carlisle's 3-2 victory over Southampton in league play on Saturday. SEASON: 18 games, 18 starts

La Liga

Jozy Altidore, F, Villarreal -- Started, played 90 minutes and scored an 89th-minute goal in Villarreal's 2-0 victory over Club Polideportivo Ejido in the second leg of their Copa del Rey fourth-round tie on Wednesday. Altidore received a pass a few yards out from the goal mouth and tapped home the sitter to ice the match. Villarreal won on aggregate, 3-1, and advanced to the Round of 16. Altidore was in the 18 but did not play in Villarreal's 3-1 loss to FC Barcelona in league play on Saturday. SEASON: 9 games, 6 starts, 2 goals

Serie A

Oguchi Onyewu, D, AC Milan -- Not in the 18 for Milan's 3-1 victory over Palermo on Wednesday or for Milan's 1-0 victory over rival Inter Milan on Sunday. SEASON: 0 games

Bundesliga

DaMarcus Beasley, M, Hannover 96 -- In the 18, did not play in Hannover's 1-0 victory over Mainz 05 on Saturday. SEASON: 3 games

Michael Bradley, M, Borussia Monchengladbach -- Started, played 90 minutes and scored a 70th-minute goal in Monchengladbach's 4-0 victory over FC Cologne on Saturday. Bradley's 20-yard blast from straightaway took a deflection and found the back of the net to give Monchengladbach a 2-0 lead. SEASON: 14 games, 14 starts, 3 goals

Steve Cherundolo, D, Hannover 96 -- Started and was sent off in the 68th minute of Hannover's 1-0 victory over Mainz 05 on Saturday. Cherundolo picked up yellow cards in the 57th and 68th minutes of the match to leave his team short-handed for the final 22 minutes of the win. SEASON: 13 games, 13 starts

Ricardo Clark, M, Eintracht Frankfurt -- In the 18, did not play in Frankfurt's 0-0 draw with Werder Bremen on Saturday. SEASON: 3 games

Jermaine Jones, M, FC Schalke 04 -- Started, played 63 minutes in Schalke's 2-2 draw with VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday. SEASON: 14 games, 13 starts, 1 goal

Daniel Williams, D, SC Freiburg -- In the 18, did not play in Freiburg's 1-0 victory over TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on Sunday. SEASON: 5 games, 2 starts

2. Bundesliga

Luis Robles, GK, Karlsruhe SC -- Started, played 90 minutes and made four saves in Karlsruhe's 1-1 draw with FC Erzgebirge Aue on Friday. SEASON: 6 games, 6 starts, 24 saves, 11 goals allowed, 1 clean sheet

Dave Yelldell, GK, MSV Duisburg -- Started, played 90 minutes and made five saves in Duisburg's 2-2 draw with Alemania Aachen on Sunday. SEASON: 14 games, 14 starts, 36 saves, 10 goals allowed, 6 clean sheets

3. Liga

Matt Taylor, F, Rot Weiss Ahlen -- Saturday's scheduled match between Rot Weiss Ahlen and Stuttgart II was postponed to a later date. SEASON: 9 games, 9 starts, 6 goals

Ligue 1

Carlos Bocanegra, D, St. Etienne -- Returned from a four-game absence (neck injury), started and played 90 minutes in St. Etienne's 2-0 loss to AJ Auxerre in the quarterfinals of the Coupe de la Ligue on Tuesday. St. Etienne's scheduled match against Valenciennes on Saturday was postponed to a later date. SEASON: 9 games, 9 starts

Charlie Davies, F, FC Sochaux -- Not in the 18 for Sochaux's 1-1 draw with Brest on Saturday. SEASON: 0 games

Eerste Klasse

Sacha Kljestan, M, RSC Anderlecht -- Started, played 90 minutes in Anderlecht's 1-0 loss to Westerlo in the Beker van België (Belgian Cup) Round of 16 on Wednesday. Kljestan was in the 18, came on as a 90th-minute substitute and picked up a yellow card in Anderlecht's 2-1 victory over Gent in league play on Sunday. SEASON: 13 games, 11 starts, 3 goals

Liga de Honra

Bryan Arguez, M, G.D. Estoril Praia -- Not in the 18 for Estoril's 1-1 (4-3 on penalties) aggregate victory over Rio Ave in the second round of the League Cup on Wednesday or for Estoril's 2-1 loss to Trofense in league play on Saturday. SEASON: 1 game, 1 start

Greg Garza, D, G.D. Estoril Praia -- Not in the 18 for Estoril's 1-1 (4-3 on penalties) aggregate victory over Rio Ave in the second round of the League Cup on Wednesday or for Estoril's 2-1 loss to Trofense in league play on Saturday. SEASON: 0 games

Tony Taylor, F, G.D. Estoril Praia -- In the 18, did not play in Estoril's 1-1 (4-3 on penalties) aggregate victory over Rio Ave in the second round of the League Cup on Wednesday. Taylor was also in the 18 but did not play in Estoril's 2-1 loss to Trofense in league play on Saturday. SEASON: 10 games, 2 starts, 3 goals

Premier League

Dominic Cervi, GK, Celtic FC -- Not in the 18 for Celtic's 2-0 loss to Heart of Midlothian on Wednesday or for Celtic's 1-0 victory over St. Mirren on Sunday. SEASON: 0 games

Maurice Edu, M, Rangers FC -- Started, played 43 minutes in Rangers' 3-0 loss to Hibernian on Wednesday. The loss was Rangers' first in 12 matches (10-1-1) in league play. Edu exited just before halftime and had to be taken off the field on a stretcher after taking a hard tackle and suffering an injury to his left knee. An MRI revealed no major damage, but Edu was held out of Saturday's 2-0 victory over Aberdeen, and according to Rangers' team website, manager Walter Smith said that Edu will be held out for a few games to let all soreness and bruising heal. An injury to that same knee in 2009 caused Edu to have surgery and miss seven months of action. SEASON: 17 games, 15 starts, 2 goals

Super League

Freddy Adu, F, Aris Salonika -- Not in the 18 for Aris' 1-0 loss to Iraklis on Monday. SEASON: 0 games

Primera Division

Edgar Castillo, D, San Luis -- In the 18, did not play in San Luis' 1-0 loss to Cruz Azul on Saturday. San Luis finished the Apertura season in second place in its group, clinching a spot in the eight-team playoffs. San Luis will meet America in a two-legged series with the games to be played on Nov. 17 and Nov. 20. SEASON: 9 games, 1 goal

Herculez Gomez, F, Pachuca -- In the 18, did not play in Pachuca's 2-1 victory over Necaxa on Friday. With the victory, Pachuca cemented its spot as one of the top two third-place teams among the three groups, thus clinching a spot in the playoffs. Pachuca will meet Monterrey in a two-legged series with the games to be played on Nov. 18 and Nov. 21. SEASON: 12 games, 1 goal

Sammy Ochoa, F, Estudiantes Tecos -- In the 18, came on as an 83rd-minute substitute in Tecos' 1-0 loss to Santos Laguna on Saturday. Tecos finished last in its group and will miss out on the playoffs. SEASON: 14 games, 6 starts, 2 goals

Jose Francisco Torres, M, Pachuca -- Started, played 90 minutes in Pachuca's 2-1 victory over Necaxa on Friday. SEASON: 14 games, 9 starts

Marco Vidal, M, Pachuca -- In the 18, came on as a 55th-minute substitute and picked up a yellow card in Pachuca's 2-1 victory over Necaxa on Friday. SEASON: 10 games, 7 starts

Primera Division

Michael Hoyos, M, Estudiantes La Plata -- Started, played 45 minutes in Estudiantes' 2-1 loss to Tigre on Saturday. SEASON: 9 games, 5 starts, 1 goal

Superliga

Michael Parkhurst, D, FC Nordsjaelland -- Started, played 90 minutes in Nordsjaelland's 1-0 victory over Horsens in the quarterfinals of the Landspokal (Danish Cup) on Thursday. Parkhurst also started and played 90 minutes in Nordsjaelland's 2-1 victory over Lyngby in league play on Sunday. SEASON: 14 games, 13 starts

Chris Rolfe, F, Aalborg BK -- Not in the 18 for Aalborg's 2-0 loss to Esbjerg in the quarterfinals of the Landspokal on Tuesday or for Aalborg's 2-2 draw with FC Midtjylland in league play on Saturday. SEASON: 0 games

Danish First Division

Benny Feilhaber, M, AGF Aarhus -- Started, played 90 minutes in Aarhus' 1-0 loss to FC Midtjylland in the quarterfinals of the Landspokal on Wednesday. Feilhaber also started, played 90 minutes and scored on a game-winning penalty kick in the 90th minute of Aarhus' 1-0 victory over Viborg in league play on Sunday. SEASON: 18 games, 17 starts, 7 goals

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.