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Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Donovan debuts, Howard steals the show


Tim Howard
Tim Howard became the fourth goalkeeper to score in the Premier League when the American put in a wind-blown clearance for Everton during Wednesday night's 2-1 loss against Bolton.

Landon Donovan made his 2012 debut for Everton on Wednesday versus Bolton, but Tim Howard stole the headlines with a surprising long-distance goal. Here are five notes on Howard's stunning accomplishment.

•  Howard became the fourth keeper to score a Premier League goal, striking from his own penalty area in the 63rd minute. Howard is the second American goalkeeper to score. Blackburn's Brad Friedel had the other goal, at Charlton Athletic in 2004 (watch it here). In contrast to Howard's long-distance strike, Friedel's goal was a 90th-minute equalizer from short range off a corner kick.

• Unfortunately, Howard and Friedel shared the same fate after their moments of glory. Bolton got goals from David Ngog and Gary Cahill to defeat Everton on Wednesday, while Charlton's Claus Jensen scored in the 92nd minute to beat Blackburn in 2004.

• The most recent keeper to score in the Premier League was Paul Robinson, who struck for Tottenham in March 2007 against Watford. Danish great Peter Schmeichel was the first to do so, for Aston Villa against Everton in 2001. Oddly enough, three of the four keepers lost the game in which they scored, with Robinson the only one to win.

• Howard's goal came from 102 yards away, making it by far the longest goal of the Premier League season. In fact, it was longer than the two previous longest goals this season combined. Samir Nasri's 43-yard goal versus Norwich City held the mark. Howard more than tripled the length of Everton's previous long-distance goal this season, which was Roysten Drenthe's 29-yard tally versus Fulham. All but two of Everton's 19 other goals this season came from inside the box.

• Bolton has now surrendered nine Premier League goals to Americans, second-most of any team. Brian McBride has four of the nine goals, followed by Clint Dempsey with three and Claudio Reyna with one. Only Everton has allowed more, giving up 10 goals to eight different Americans. Howard himself gave up four of them.