Americans put on different shows in respective debuts abroad
New York Red Bulls' Tim Ream showed no fatigue in his first Bolton match
Robbie Rogers experienced a scare after an injury in his match with Leeds United
Robbie Findley and Matt Taylor each netted goals in their own outings abroad
All debuts are not created equally. For three Americans playing abroad, that much was made clear this past weekend.
After weeks of patiently waiting his turn following the completion of his transfer to the Premier League, former New York Red Bulls center back Tim Ream stepped onto the field in a Bolton uniform, starting and playing all 90 minutes in Bolton's 2-0 victory over Millwall in the FA Cup. Ream was solid overall, from his distribution to his marking, helping the Trotters advance to the quarterfinals of the FA Cup for the second straight season. Ream showed no signs of a lack of fitness despite his long stretch of inactivity, and his skill set has made a favorable impression on Bolton manager Owen Coyle.
"When Tim came over for a week's trial, you could tell he'd had a few weeks off, but equally you could tell he was a naturally fit lad, and so it proved," Coyle told The Bolton News over the weekend. "I've got no doubts about Tim's ability and what he'll be able to cope with -- he's young, he's athletic, he's quick and very comfortable on the ball.
"It's a very different style of football to the MLS, and that's what he'll have to adjust to quickly, but there's a challenge to each and every one of us when we cross the white line to play a game of football. Each and every week will be a different kind of challenge to Tim, but he has got the tools to deal with it."
While Ream's debut marked an emphatic arrival, Mikkel Diskerud had a solid, though not stellar, debut in his first match while on loan for Belgian outfit KAA Gent. The U.S. Under-23 midfielder, who will be joining Caleb Porter's latest pre-Olympic qualifying camp this week in Texas, earned a start in the place of injured captain Bernd Thijs and held his own over a 76-minute performance in a 1-1 draw with KSC Lokeren.
Diskerud is essentially playing for a contract at Gent, as his cash-strapped parent club, Norway's Stabaek IF, does not figure to be a stable place for the future. Should Diskerud impress in his subsequent performances for Gent, the club will have further incentive to exercise its option to buy his contract outright. A permanent leap to the Belgian league, which has done wonders for Sacha Kljestan and where Gent is in position to qualify for the playoffs and potential berths in either the UEFA Champions League or Europa League, would be a fine step forward for the 21-year-old central midfielder.
On the far other end of the spectrum from Ream and Diskerud is Robbie Rogers, who experienced the ups of running onto a playing field in England for the first time and the downs of being stretchered off soon after following a frightening moment.
Rogers made his Leeds United debut, coming on in the 79th minute of a wild affair against Doncaster Rovers. Although Leeds battling back from a 2-0, second-half deficit to win 3-2 in the final moments was the lasting headline, the experience wasn't nearly as enjoyable for Rogers. While leaping for a 50-50 ball in stoppage time, Rogers and Doncaster's Tommy Spurr collided head-to-head, and the U.S. winger went down in a heap, laying motionless on the ground while medics came to tend to him.
He was carried off the field, and, according to a source, he suffered a concussion and was taken to the hospital for precautionary reasons. Rogers is said to be OK, but the danger involved with coming back from a concussion too soon means it might be a few games before he sees the field for appearance No. 2.
Between the debutants and those already with plenty of experience, here is how all of the Americans playing abroad -- including goal-scorers Robbie Findley and Matt Taylor and the administration-bound trio at Rangers -- fared this past week (season statistics encompass all competitions):
Clint Dempsey, M, Fulham -- Fulham did not have a match this past week. SEASON: 34 games, 34 starts, 16 goals
Landon Donovan, M/F, Everton -- Not in the 18 for Everton's 2-0 victory over Blackpool in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Saturday. Donovan missed the match with the flu as his successful loan spell to the Toffees came to a close. He provided a spark on the right wing for Everton by assisting on six goals in nine games and being named the club's Player of the Month for January, doubling the feat he accomplished the last time he was on loan with Everton in 2010. He will return to the Los Angeles Galaxy to join his parent club for preseason training. SEASON: 9 games, 9 starts
Brad Friedel, GK, Tottenham -- In the 18, did not play in Tottenham's 0-0 draw with Stevenage in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Sunday. The two clubs will replay the match on March 7 to determine which team moves on to the quarterfinals. SEASON: 24 games, 24 starts, 92 saves, 24 goals allowed, 10 clean sheets
Brad Guzan, GK, Aston Villa -- Villa did not have a match this past week. SEASON: 9 games, 8 starts, 30 saves, 8 goals allowed, 2 clean sheets
Marcus Hahnemann, GK, Everton -- In the 18, did not play in Everton's 2-0 victory over Blackpool in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Saturday. SEASON: 0 games
Tim Howard, GK, Everton -- Started, played 90 minutes, made five saves and earned the clean sheet in Everton's 2-0 victory over Blackpool in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Saturday. Everton will play Sunderland in the quarterfinals of the tournament. SEASON: 28 games, 28 starts, 69 saves, 27 goals allowed, 8 clean sheets
Eric Lichaj, D, Aston Villa -- Villa did not have a match this past week. SEASON: 1 game, 1 start, 1 goal
Tim Ream, D, Bolton -- Started, played 90 minutes in Bolton's 2-0 victory over Millwall in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Saturday. Bolton will play either Tottenham or Stevenage in the quarterfinals of the tournament. SEASON: 1 game, 1 start
Zak Whitbread, D, Norwich City -- Not in the 18 for Norwich City's 2-1 loss to Leicester City in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Saturday. Whitbread is still nursing a hamstring injury, one that could ultimately prevent him from being called up by Jurgen Klinsmann for next week's U.S. national team friendly against Italy. SEASON: 15 games, 15 starts
Conor Doyle, F, Derby County -- Not in the 18 for Derby County's 1-0 loss to Reading on Tuesday or for Derby County's 4-0 loss to Southampton on Saturday. SEASON: 6 games, 1 start
Robbie Findley, F, Nottingham Forest -- In the 18, came on as a halftime substitute in Nottingham Forest's 2-1 loss to Middlesbrough on Tuesday. Findley also came on as a halftime substitute and scored an insurance goal late in Nottingham Forest's 2-0 victory over Coventry City on Saturday. Findley did well to get in behind the defense, chest down a lob into the center of the area from Andy Reid and one-time a low shot home for an 86th-minute goal that capped the scoring. SEASON: 25 games, 13 starts, 6 goals
George John, D, West Ham -- Not in the 18 for West Ham's 1-1 draw with Southampton on Tuesday. John has still yet to make a matchday roster for West Ham's first team as his loan from FC Dallas winds down. His next chance to see the field is Tuesday against Blackpool. SEASON: 0 games
Daniel Potts, D, West Ham -- Not in the 18 for West Ham's 1-1 draw with Southampton on Tuesday. SEASON: 4 games, 4 starts
Robbie Rogers, M, Leeds United -- Not in the 18 for Leeds' 2-1 loss to Coventry City on Tuesday. Rogers was in the 18, came on as a 79th-minute substitute and was carried off the field in second-half stoppage time after a collision in Leeds' 3-2 victory over Doncaster Rovers on Saturday. SEASON: 1 game
Jonathan Spector, M/D, Birmingham City -- Started, played 90 minutes in Birmingham's 0-0 draw with Hull City on Tuesday. Spector was in the 18 and came on as a 13th-minute substitute in Birmingham's 1-1 draw with Chelsea in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Saturday. The two sides will replay their match on March 6 to determine which club moves on to the quarterfinals. SEASON: 39 games, 38 starts
Mike Grella, F, Brentford -- Not in the 18 for Brentford's 2-1 loss to Colchester United on Tuesday or for Brentford's 4-0 victory over Carlisle United on Monday. Grella and the club agreed to terminate his contract last week, and he remains a free agent in search for a new club. Because he is not under contract to another team, he is not bound by the closed transfer window and can sign with another team at any time. SEASON: 16 games, 3 starts, 4 goals
Frank Simek, D, Carlisle United -- Started, played 90 minutes and picked up a yellow card in Carlisle's 0-0 draw with Tranmere Rovers on Tuesday. Simek also started and played 90 minutes in Carlisle's 4-0 loss to Brentford on Monday. SEASON: 9 games, 9 starts
Anton Peterlin, M, Walsall -- In the 18, did not play in Walsall's 2-1 loss to Oldham Athletic on Tuesday. Peterlin was also in the 18 and came on as a second-half, stoppage-time substitute in Walsall's 2-0 victory over Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday. SEASON: 27 games, 20 starts
Jon-Paul Pittman, F, Oxford United -- Not in the 18 for Oxford United's 2-1 victory over Dagenham & Redbridge on Tuesday or for Oxford United's 0-0 draw with Bristol Rovers on Saturday. Pittman is out for at least the next three weeks with a hamstring injury. SEASON: 17 games, 5 starts, 4 goals (4 games, 1 goal with Crawley Town)
Timmy Chandler, D, FC Nurnberg -- Started, played 82 minutes in Nurnberg's 2-1 victory over FC Cologne on Saturday. SEASON: 22 games, 22 starts, 1 goal
Steve Cherundolo, D, Hannover 96 -- Started, played 76 minutes and picked up a yellow card in Hannover's 2-1 victory over Club Brugge in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League Round of 32 tie on Thursday. Cherundolo was not in the 18 for Hannover's 4-2 victory over VfB Stuttgart in league play on Sunday. Cherundolo missed the match with a minor calf injury. SEASON: 20 games, 19 starts
Joe Gyau, M, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim -- Not in the 18 for Hoffenheim's 1-1 draw with Mainz 05 on Friday. SEASON: 1 game
Fabian Johnson, D/M, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim -- Started, played 72 minutes in Hoffenheim's 1-1 draw with Mainz 05 on Friday. SEASON: 21 games, 17 starts, 2 goals
Jermaine Jones, M, FC Schalke 04 -- Started, played 90 minutes in Schalke's 1-1 draw with Viktoria Plzen in the first leg of their Europa League Round of 32 tie on Thursday. Jones, who is still serving his eight-game domestic suspension, was able to compete in the European competition for his first appearance with Schalke since Dec. 21. He was not in the 18 for Schalke's 4-0 victory over VfL Wolfsburg in league play on Sunday. SEASON: 17 games, 13 starts
Alfredo Morales, D, Hertha Berlin -- In the 18, did not play in Berlin's 1-0 loss to Borussia Dortmund on Saturday. SEASON: 6 games, 3 starts
Daniel Williams, D/M, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim -- Started, played 90 minutes in Hoffenheim's 1-1 draw with Mainz 05 on Friday. SEASON: 19 games, 13 starts (1 game, 1 start with SC Freiburg)
David Yelldell, GK, Bayer Leverkusen -- In the 18, did not play in Leverkusen's 3-1 loss to Barcelona in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie on Tuesday. Yelldell was also in the 18 but did not play in Leverkusen's 4-1 victory over FC Augsburg in league play on Saturday. SEASON: 1 game, 1 start, 1 save, 4 goals allowed
Ricardo Clark, M, Eintracht Frankfurt -- Not in the 18 for Frankfurt's 6-1 victory over FSV Frankfurt on Saturday. SEASON: 1 game, 1 start
Luis Robles, GK, Karlsruhe -- Not in the 18 for Karlsruhe's 2-0 victory over Energie Cottbus on Friday. Robles was set to enter negotiations with the New York Red Bulls, but MLS reversed its original ruling that Robles could be considered a "discovery" signing and instead deemed that he would have to go through the league's allocation order, which negated his interest. Robles qualified for the allocation order by virtue of his one cap during the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup. He was also on the U.S. roster as the third goalkeeper during the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup. SEASON: 5 games, 5 starts, 14 saves, 13 goals allowed
Matt Taylor, F, SC Paderborn 07 -- In the 18, came on as an 81st-minute substitute and scored a 90th-minute equalizer in Paderborn's 2-2 draw with Dynamo Dresden on Friday. Taylor headed home from close range after a lob into the area was crossed over to him by the far post to level the score and rescue a point for Paderborn. It was Taylor's first goal since posting a hat trick against his former club, fourth-tier Rot Weiss Ahlen, in the first round of the DFB Pokal (German Cup) back on July 30. SEASON: 16 games, 5 starts, 5 goals
Michael Bradley, M, Chievo Verona -- Started, played 90 minutes and picked up a yellow card in Chievo's 1-0 victory over Genoa on Sunday. SEASON: 24 games, 22 starts
Charlie Davies, F, FC Sochaux -- In the 18, did not play in Sochaux's 0-0 draw with AJ Auxerre on Saturday. SEASON: 1 game
Quentin Westberg, GK, Evian Thonon Gaillard -- In the 18, did not play in Evian's 2-2 draw with Caen on Saturday. SEASON: 3 game, 3 starts, 8 saves, 3 goals allowed, 1 clean sheet
Jozy Altidore, F, AZ Alkmaar -- In the 18, came on as a 76th-minute substitute in AZ's 1-0 victory over RSC Anderlecht in the first leg of their Europa League Round of 32 tie on Thursday. Altidore was also in the 18 and came on as a halftime substitute in AZ's 3-0 loss to FC Utrecht in league play on Sunday. SEASON: 34 games, 22 starts, 11 goals
Oguchi Onyewu, D, Sporting Lisbon -- Started, played 90 minutes and picked up a yellow card in Sporting's 2-2 draw with Legia Warsaw in the first leg of their Europa League Round of 32 tie on Thursday. Onyewu also started but was subbed off in the 27th minute with a sprained right knee, according to Portuguese reports, in Sporting's 1-0 victory over Pacos de Ferreira in league play on Sunday. SEASON: 27 games, 27 starts, 5 goals
Mikkel Diskerud, M, KAA Gent --Started, played 76 minutes in Gent's 1-1 draw with KSC Lokeren on Saturday. SEASON: 1 game, 1 start
Sacha Kljestan, M, RSC Anderlecht -- Started, played 90 minutes in Anderlecht's 1-0 loss to AZ Alkmaar in the first leg of their Europa League Round of 32 tie on Thursday. Kljestan also started and played 80 minutes in Anderlecht's 3-1 victory over Westerlo in league play on Sunday. SEASON: 34 games, 34 starts, 4 goals
Alejandro Bedoya, M, Rangers FC -- Not in the 18 for Rangers' 1-0 loss to Kilmarnock on Saturday. SEASON: 25 games, 19 starts, 4 goals (16 games, 15 starts, 4 goals with Orebro SK)
Carlos Bocanegra, D, Rangers FC -- Started, played 90 minutes in Rangers' 1-0 loss to Kilmarnock on Saturday. SEASON: 27 games, 27 starts, 3 goals (1 game, 1 start with St. Etienne)
Dominic Cervi, GK, Celtic -- Not in the 18 for Celtic's 5-0 victory over Hibernian on Sunday. SEASON: 7 games, 7 starts, 37 saves, 8 goals allowed, 2 clean sheets (all with Greenock Morton)
Maurice Edu, M, Rangers FC -- Started, played 90 minutes and picked up a yellow card in Rangers' 1-0 loss to Kilmarnock on Saturday. For Edu, Bedoya and Bocanegra, their futures are firmly up in the air after Rangers was forced to go into administration. Edu was a transfer target for Sochaux during the winter window, and he figures to have no shortage of suitors come this summer, especially given Rangers' financial frailty. Edu will be entering the final year of his contract with Rangers, who will be hard-pressed to pass on the chance to gain value for the central midfielder while the opportunity is there. As for Bedoya and Bocanegra, they just began their respective three-year contracts with Rangers in the fall, and their situations are a bit less concrete. Bedoya has been injured and largely inactive in his tenure with Rangers and would not likely fetch much on the transfer market in terms of heading to a team that would continue the upward trajectory of his career. The sporting director for his former club, Orebro in Sweden, has publicly said in Swedish media reports that he's open to Bedoya returning to the team. Bocanegra, meanwhile, has emerged as one of the vocal leaders on Rangers, and, out of the three Americans, it would be most surprising to see him moved, barring a transfer request. SEASON: 32 games, 30 starts, 3 goals
DaMarcus Beasley, M, Puebla -- Started, played 75 minutes in Puebla's 2-1 loss to Morelia on Sunday. SEASON: 7 games, 5 starts, 1 goal
Jonathan Bornstein, D, Tigres UANL -- In the 18, did not play in Tigres' 0-0 draw with Atlas on Saturday. SEASON: 2 games, 2 starts
Edgar Castillo, D, Tijuana -- Started, played 90 minutes and picked up a yellow card in Tijuana's 2-0 victory over Queretaro on Saturday. SEASON: 7 games, 7 starts
Joe Corona, M/F, Tijuana -- Started, played 84 minutes and picked up a yellow card in Tijuana's 2-0 victory over Queretaro on Saturday. SEASON: 6 games, 3 starts
Michael Orozco Fiscal, D, San Luis -- In the 18, did not play in San Luis' 0-0 draw with Chivas de Guadalajara on Saturday. SEASON: 6 games, 6 starts
Greg Garza, D/M, Tijuana -- Not in the 18 for Tijuana's 2-0 victory over Queretaro on Saturday. SEASON: 1 game
Herculez Gomez, F, Santos Laguna -- In the 18, came on as a 79th-minute substitute in Santos Laguna's 1-1 draw with Monterrey on Saturday. SEASON: 4 games
Sonny Guadarrama, M, Atlante -- Not in the 18 for Atlante's 2-1 loss to Estudiantes Tecos on Friday. SEASON: 1 game
Jose Francisco Torres, M, Pachuca -- Started, played 90 minutes and picked up a yellow card in Pachuca's 1-0 loss to America on Sunday. SEASON: 7 games, 7 starts