Brad Friedel withstood an Everton onslaught Sunday to outduel fellow American Tim Howard and post his second shutout of the English Premier League season in Aston Villa's 1-0 triumph.
Friedel, a former UCLA star who retired from the U.S. national team following the 2002 World Cup, made six stops -- including a superb save on a second-half Louis Saha volley -- as the Villans (2-1-0) bounced back from last week's 6-0 embarrassment at Newcastle United and a midweek loss to Rapid Vienna that eliminated them from the UEFA Europa Cup, Europe's No. 2 club competition.
Howard, the U.S. starter in the nets at this summer's World Cup, made four saves for Everton (0-2-1) but was beaten by Luke Young in the ninth minute. Young, who netted his first goal in more than two years, turned down a move to Liverpool -- Everton's archrival -- earlier this month.
Everton outshot Aston Villa, 23-15, and held possession for 68 percent of the game and took 18 corner kicks. The Blues' best chance was a Steven Pienaar blast off the crossbar.
"If ever supporters doubted the desire of the players to win again, then that performance will have put that belief back into them,” Aston Villa interim manager Kevin MacDonald told reporters after the game. “We rode our luck a bit but had four or five decent chances, and if we had been more clinical, the score could have been 4-2 or 4-3 to us.”
Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner congratulated the team in the locker room after the game, and MacDonald said he would decide by Tuesday whether to inform Lerner, also the Cleveland Browns' owner, his potential interest in succeeding Martin O'Neill, who resigned as manager five days before the opener.
Frontrunners for the job, according to the British media, are Alan Curbishley, Slaven Bilic, Gareth Southgate, Martin Jol and Ronald Koeman. U.S. coach Bob Bradley and former England and Mexico national team coach Sven-Goran Eriksson have expressed interest, too.
Bradley met with U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati last week to discuss a potental extension to his contract, which expires at the end of the year. Gulati also met with German legend Juergen Klinsmann, the likeliest candidate if Bradley is not retained.
Klinsmann, who was part of West Germany's 1990 World Cup championship team and also starred at the 1994 and 1998 World Cups, guided Germany to third place at the 2006 World Cup and was head coach at Bayern Munich in 2007-08. (Chivas USA head coach Martin Vasquez was one of his assistants.)
Klinsmann lives in Huntington Beach.
AREA PLAYERS IN EUROPE
D CARLOS BOCANEGRA (Alta Loma/UCLA)
Club: Saint-Etienne (France, Ligue 1)
This week: Played 90 minutes at left back in a 3-1 victory over Lens. Dimitri Payet's hat trick pushed Les Verts (2-1-1) to fifth place.
Season: 3 games (3 starts)
Next: Sept. 11 at first-place Tolouse (4-0-0)
M MICHAEL BRADLEY (Manhattan Beach)
Club: Borussia Moenchengladbach (Germany, Bundesliga)
This week: Played 90 as Die Fohlen (1-0-1) romped, 6-3, at Bayer Leverkusen, their first win over the Werkself since March 1994 -- 26 games in all. Gladbach is in sixth place
Season: 2 league game (2 starts); 3 games (3 starts) with 1 goal in all competitions
Next: Sept. 11 vs. Eintracht Frankfurt (0-2-0)
D JAY DENNY (Santa Monica)
Club: Hednesford Town (England, Southern League Premier Division)
This week: Played 90 minutes for the Pitmen (3-2-0) in a 2-0 loss Tuesday vs. Cambridge Town and a 3-0 win Saturday at Didcot Town
Season: 5 games (5 starts)
Next: Monday vs. Leamington and Saturday at Truro City
M MAURICE EDU (Fontana)
Club: Rangers (Scotland, Premier Division)
This week: Came off the bench in the 83rd minute for newcomer Vladimir Weiss as RFC (3-0-0) won, 2-1, over visiting St. Johnstone. Rangers is second on goal difference to archirval Celtic
Season: 2 games (2 starts)
Next: Sept. 11 at Hamilton (1-2-0)
M BENNY FEILHABER (Irvine/UCLA)
Club: AGF Aarhus (Denmark, 1.Division)
This week: Played 90 minutes in a 1-0 Ekstra Bladet Cup win Wednesday at Odder IGF and in a 3-1 league victory Saturday over visiting FC Vestsjaelland as the Whites improved to 3-0-1
Season: 3 league games (3 starts) with 2 yellow cards, 4 games (3 starts) overall
Next week: Sunday at Kolding FC
G BRAD FRIEDEL (Bay Village, Ohio/UCLA)
Club: Aston Villa (England, Premier Division)
This week: Did not play in 3-2 playoff loss Thursday to Rapid Vienna, which eliminated the Villans from the Europa League; played 90 minutes and made six saves in a 1-0 victory over visiting Everton as Aston Villa (2-1-0) climbed to fourth in the EPL
Season: 3 games (3 starts), 6 goals allowed, 12 saves
Next: Sept. 13 at Stoke City (0-3-0)
M SACHA KLJESTAN (Huntington Beach)
Club: RSC Anderlecht (Belgium, Jupiler League)
This week: Did not play in Tuesday's 2-2 European Champions League playoff draw against Partizan Belgrade, in which the Belgian champions were eliminated on penalties, nor in Saturday's 0-0 league draw against visiting Zulte Waregem that left Les Mauves et Blancs (3-0-2) in fourth place
Season: 3 league games (2 starts) with one goal; 5 games (4 starts) with 2 goals in all competitions
Next: Sept. 11 at St. Truiden (2-2-1)
D DALLAS MOORE (Santa Monica)
Club: Halesowen Town FC (England, Southern League Premier Division)
This week: Played 90 minutes in a 3-1 win Tuesday vs. Banbury United and a 1-1 draw Saturday vs. Cirencester Town as the Yeltz improved to 1-0-4
Season: 5 games (5 starts)
Next: Tuesday at Stourbridge and Saturday vs. Hemel Hempstead Town
F YURA MOVSISYAN (Pasadena)
Club: Randers (Denmark, SAS-Ligaen/Superliga)
This week: Played 90 minutes as the Horses (2-1-4) drew, 0-0, with visiting Sonderjyske
Season: 7 league games (6 starts) with 2 goals; 12 games (11 starts) and 7 goals in all competitions
Next: Sept. 12 at FC Midtjylland
F MATT TAYLOR (Irvine)
Club: Rot Weiss Ahlen (Germany, 3. Bundesliga)
This week: Transferred Wednesday from second-division FSV Frankfurt (no appearances this season); did not play in a 3-3 draw with first-place Kickers Offenbach that left the Red and Whites (0-1-5) in 14th place
Season: 0 appearances
Next: Sept. 11 at Eintracht Braunschweig