Tuesday February 22nd, 2011

Tim Howard's penchant for stopping penalty kicks and Nicolas Anelka's penchant for missing crucial ones converged Saturday on one fateful FA Cup moment.

With Everton trailing after an early Leighton Baines miss in a penalty kick shootout with Chelsea, the United States' No. 1 keeper tilted the scales back in the Toffees' favor. Anelka went to essentially the same spot he chose when he missed the deciding penalty in the 2008 UEFA Champions League final against Manchester United, and Howard was all over it, making an athletic, diving save to his right to breathe new life into Everton's FA Cup hopes.

Everton didn't miss after Howard's save, and Ashley Cole skied his attempt way over the bar, allowing Everton to advance to the fifth round while avenging its loss to Chelsea in the 2009 FA Cup final.

Some 2,700 miles away and a day later, Freddy Adu re-emerged on a soccer pitch.

After almost nine months of inactivity, Adu started for his new club, Caykur Rizespor in Turkey's second division, and he played a leading role in helping his team to victory. Adu set up Rizespor's second goal in the 3-0 result with a tight through ball to his left. More importantly, he played. Period.

Adu's Eurotrip career path, which is going on four years, has taken him to stops in Portugal, France, Greece and now Turkey, yet he hasn't been able to find any semblance of stability. Adu has 11 more games over the next three months to make a favorable impression before facing more uncertainty upon the conclusion of his loan from parent club Benfica in May.

Until then, he seems poised for something that was expected to be a given for him at this point. No, not greatness. Regular playing time.

Here's how Howard, Adu and the rest of the Americans playing abroad fared over the past week (statistics encompass all competitions):

Premier League

Michael Bradley, M, Aston Villa: Aston Villa did not have a match this past week. Season: 23 games, 20 starts, 4 goals

Clint Dempsey, M/F, Fulham: Started, played 90 minutes in Fulham's 1-0 loss to Bolton in their FA Cup fifth-round matchup on Sunday. Season: 32 games, 29 starts, 10 goals

Brad Friedel, GK, Aston Villa: Aston Villa did not have a match this past week. Season: 30 games, 30 starts, 97 saves, 47 goals allowed, 5 clean sheets

Marcus Hahnemann, GK, Wolverhampton: In the 18, did not play in Wolves' 1-1 draw with West Brom on Sunday. Season: 17 games, 17 starts, 59 saves, 28 goals allowed, 1 clean sheet

Stuart Holden, M, Bolton: Not in the 18 for Bolton's 1-0 victory over Wigan Athletic in their FA Cup fourth-round replay on Wednesday. Holden started, played 90 minutes and picked up a yellow card in Bolton's 1-0 victory over Fulham in their FA Cup fifth-round matchup on Sunday. Holden received his yellow for pulling Dempsey's jersey from behind in the final minute of stoppage time, which halted a Fulham counterattack. Season: 25 games, 23 starts, 2 goals

Tim Howard, GK, Everton: Started, played 120 minutes and made eight saves in Everton's 1-1 (4-3 in penalties) victory over Chelsea in their FA Cup fourth-round replay on Saturday. Howard's save of Anelka's penalty kick gave hope to Everton, which advanced to the fifth round of the competition against Reading. Season: 29 games, 29 starts, 82 saves, 39 goals allowed, 5 clean sheets

Jermaine Jones, M, Blackburn: Blackburn did not have a match this past week. Season: 20 games, 19 starts, 1 goal

Jonathan Spector, M/D, West Ham: In the 18, came on as a 73rd-minute substitute and assisted on the final goal in West Ham's 5-1 victory over Burnley in their FA Cup fifth-round match on Monday. Season: 14 games, 11 starts, 4 goals

Championship

Conor Doyle, F, Derby County: In the 18, did not play in Derby County's 0-0 draw with Scunthorpe United on Saturday. Season: 11 games, 4 starts

Mike Grella, F, Leeds United: Not in the 18 for Leeds' 2-2 draw with Norwich City on Saturday. Season: 12 games, 7 starts, 3 goals

Brad Guzan, GK, Hull City: Started, played 90 minutes and made four saves in Hull City's 1-1 draw with Ipswich Town on Saturday. Season: 12 games, 12 starts, 55 saves, 13 goals allowed, 3 clean sheets

Eddie Johnson, F, Preston North End: Started, played 65 minutes in Preston North End's 2-2 draw with Watford on Tuesday. Johnson also started and played 55 minutes in Preston North End's 1-1 draw with Queens Park Rangers on Saturday. Season: 16 games, 5 starts

Eric Lichaj, D, Leeds United: Started, played 90 minutes in Leeds' 2-2 draw with Norwich City on Saturday. Season: 10 games, 8 starts

Zak Whitbread, D, Norwich City: Started, played 90 minutes in Norwich City's 2-2 draw with Leeds United on Saturday. Season: 9 games, 7 starts

League One

Anton Peterlin, M, Plymouth Argyle: Plymouth Argyle did not have a match this past week, but it was docked 10 points because of its financial standing, is currently at the bottom of the table and seems destined for relegation to League Two. Season: 5 games, 4 starts

Frank Simek, D, Carlisle United: Started, played 90 minutes and picked up a yellow card in Carlisle's 1-0 victory over Oldham Athletic on Tuesday. Simek also started and played 90 minutes in Carlisle's 1-0 victory over Swindon Town on Saturday. Season: 38 games, 38 starts

League Two

Jon-Paul Pittman, F, Wycombe Wanderers: Started, played 90 minutes, picked up a yellow card and scored a 31st-minute goal in Wycombe's 3-2 loss to Southend United on Tuesday. Pittman came off the bench as a 61st-minute substitute in Wycombe's 2-1 loss to Accrington Stanley on Saturday. Season: 9 games, 4 starts, 3 goals

Bundesliga

DaMarcus Beasley, M, Hannover 96: Not in the 18 for Hannover's 3-0 victory over Kaiserslautern on Saturday. Season: 4 games

Timothy Chandler, M/D, FC Nurnberg: Started, played 90 minutes in Nurnberg's 3-0 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt on Friday. Season: 7 games, 2 starts, 1 goal

Steve Cherundolo, D, Hannover 96: Started, played 90 minutes in Hannover's 3-0 victory over Kaiserslautern on Saturday. Season: 23 games, 23 starts

Ricardo Clark, M/D, Eintracht Frankfurt: Not in the 18 for Frankfurt's 3-0 loss to FC Nurnberg on Friday. Season: 7 games, 4 starts

Daniel Williams, D, SC Freiburg: Not in the 18 for Freiburg's 2-1 victory over VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday. Season: 5 games, 2 starts

2. Bundesliga

Edson Buddle, F, FC Ingolstadt 04: Started, played 66 minutes in Ingolstadt's 2-0 loss to SpVgg Greuther Furth on Friday. Season: 5 games, 4 starts, 1 goal

Luis Robles, GK, Karlsruhe SC: Started, played 90 minutes and made one save in Karlsruhe's 2-1 victory over FSV Frankfurt on Sunday. Season: 17 games, 17 starts, 63 saves, 33 goals allowed, 4 clean sheets

Bobby Wood, F, TSV 1860 Munich: In the 18, did not play in Munich's 2-0 loss to FC Augsburg on Friday. Season: 3 games

Dave Yelldell, GK, MSV Duisburg: Started, played 90 minutes and made two saves in Duisburg's 1-0 loss to FC Union Berlin on Saturday. Season: 27 games, 27 starts, 67 saves, 22 goals allowed, 10 clean sheets

3. Liga

Matt Taylor, F, Rot Weiss Ahlen: Started, played 84 minutes in Rot Weiss Ahlen's 2-1 victory over Kickers Offenbach on Saturday. Season: 16 games, 16 starts, 10 goals

Ligue 1

Carlos Bocanegra, D, St. Etienne: Started, played 90 minutes in St. Etienne's 2-1 loss to Marseille on Saturday. Season: 22 games, 22 starts, 2 goals

Eredivisie

Oguchi Onyewu, D, FC Twente Enschede: Started, played 90 minutes in Twente's 2-0 victory over Rubin Kazan in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League Round of 32 tie on Thursday. Onyewu also started and played 90 minutes in Twente's 1-1 draw with NEC Nijmegen in league play on Sunday. Season: 6 games, 6 starts

Super Lig

Jozy Altidore, F, Bursaspor: Started, played 34 minutes in Bursaspor's 4-1 loss to Gaziantepspor on Saturday. Altidore exited the match with an ankle injury, but according to reports out of Turkey, the injury is not considered serious, and Altidore should be in contention to play in Friday's match against Bucaspor. Season: 15 games, 9 starts, 2 goals

1. Lig

Freddy Adu, M, Caykur Rizespor: Started, played 84 minutes and had an assist in Rizespor's 3-0 victory over Orduspor on Sunday. The game was Adu's first since May 19, 2010. Season: 1 game, 1 start

Eerste Klasse

Sacha Kljestan, M, RSC Anderlecht: In the 18, did not play in Anderlecht's 3-0 loss to Ajax in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League Round of 32 tie on Thursday. Kljestan started and played the first half of Anderlecht's 2-0 loss to KVC Westerlo in league play on Sunday. Season: 24 games, 19 starts, 3 goals

Liga de Honra

Bryan Arguez, M, G.D. Estoril Praia: Not in the 18 for Estoril's 2-0 victory over Oliveirense on Saturday. Season: 1 game, 1 start

Greg Garza, D, G.D. Estoril Praia: Not in the 18 for Estoril's 2-0 victory over Oliveirense on Saturday. Season: 1 game

Tony Taylor, F, G.D. Estoril Praia: In the 18, did not play in Estoril's 2-0 victory over Oliveirense on Saturday. Season: 16 games, 3 starts, 4 goals

Premier League

Dominic Cervi, GK, Celtic FC: Not in the 18 for Celtic's 3-0 victory over Rangers on Sunday. Season: 0 games

Maurice Edu, M, Rangers FC: Started, played 90 minutes in Rangers' 1-1 draw with Sporting Lisbon in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League tie on Thursday. Edu also started and played 90 minutes in Rangers' 3-0 loss to Celtic in league play on Sunday. Season: 28 games, 21 starts, 4 goals

Primera Division

Daniel Antunez, M/D, Estudiantes Tecos: Not in the 18 for Tecos' 1-0 loss to Atlante on Friday. Season: 2 games, 1 start

Jonathan Bornstein, M/D, Tigres UANL: In the 18, did not play in Tigres' 0-0 draw with Monterrey on Saturday. Season: 4 games, 4 starts

Edgar Castillo, D, Puebla: In the 18, did not play in Puebla's 1-0 victory over Chiapas on Sunday. Season: 4 games, 3 starts

Herculez Gomez, F, Pachuca: Started, played 65 minutes in Pachuca's 4-1 loss to Chivas de Guadalajara on Saturday. Season: 7 games, 3 starts

Sonny Guadarrama, M, Atlante: In the 18, did not play in Atlante's 1-0 victory over Estudiantes Tecos on Friday. Season: 5 games

Sammy Ochoa, F, Estudiantes Tecos: Not in the 18 for Tecos' 1-0 loss to Atlante on Friday. Season: 0 games

Jose Francisco Torres, M, Pachuca: Started, played 90 minutes in Pachuca's 4-1 loss to Chivas de Guadalajara on Saturday. Season: 4 games, 3 starts

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