English in Action: Weekend 21-22 March

As he so often is, Bradley Wright-Phillips was the stand-out performer in a busy weekend for Englishmen abroad. The forward has carried his form over from last season as he bagged a goal and an assist to guide the New York Red Bulls to a 2-0 victory over DC United on Sunday. The 30-year-old showed a ice-cold composure to control and long ball and slot home before setting up his compatriot Lloyd Sam to wrap up the victory for the Red Bulls.

The New York duo were among eight Englishmen who featured in the MLS the past weekend. Featuring for the other team in the Big Apple, Manchester City loanee Shay Facey did not have the full debut he was dreaming of. The young defender picked up two yellow cards during the second half of New York City’s goalless draw with Colorado Rapids to earn career-first red card.

Elsewhere in the US, Sporting KC’s Dom Dwyer and Portland Timbers’ Liam Ridgewell faced each other as their sides battled to a 0-0 draw, which was the same scoreline over in the match in New England where Nigel Reo-Coker featured for Montreal Impact. Seb Hines‘s Orlando City suffered their first MLS loss as they went down 1-0 to Vancouver Whitecaps and Giles Barnes and co. at Houston Dynamo secured an impressive draw away to last year’s champions LA Galaxy.

There were two other English players on the score-sheet across the globe. Adam Burnaby-Atkins‘ second goal of the season was enough to secure a 2-2 draw for Dender in the Belgian Third Division. The 19-year-old midfielder is in his first season in Belgium, having previously featured for DC United’s academy in America.

The other goalscorer was Saul Hapin of Hawke’s Bay United in New Zealand but his first half penalty was not enough to prevent a 2-1 loss at home to Team Wellington. English ‘keeper Josh Hill also featured for Hawke’s Bay.

Another appearance of note was Khurram Shazad, who debuted for Austrian third-tier side WSG Wattens. The young forward entered the game as 55th minute substitute and saw his side won 1-0 over bottom club Bizau. Shazad is a former US college student, having attended Young Harris College in Georgia.

In Slovakia, Trenčín went top of the Super Liga table after a 3-0 win over DAC. 22-year-old midfielder James Lawrence played the entire match, his 15th appearance of the season.

In the Singapore S. League, Craig Fagan is still looking for his first goal for Brunei-based side DPMM FC, as he made it three starts without registering a strike. However, Steve Kean’s DPMM did still manage a 2-2 draw with Home United.

Finally, Medy Elito played the last 16 minutes as VVV Venlo secured a late draw away to Fortuna Sittard. The result means Venlo remain just one point outside the play-off spots in Holland’s second tier.

English in action: 22nd November

Top flight domestic football was back yesterday, as players returned from their international breaks. Nine Englishmen were involved yesterday.

Belgium: Club Brugge 4-2 Waasland-Beveren (Pro League)

English midfielder Jonny Rowell and his Waasland-Beveren team-mates faced the unenviable task of an away trip to top of the table Club Brugge.

Rowell played for Hartlepool United in England before making the move to Belgium in 2010, where he has been ever since. He has featured in the country’s top three tiers since the move and he currently plays in the top division with Waasland, the Pro League.

The Englishman started the match and his side held their own in the first half, going into the break level at 1-1.

However, Brugge were just too strong in the second half and ran out eventual 4-2 winners. Rowell played 88 minutes before being replaced with a few minutes to go.

Belgium: OH Leuven 0-0 Eendracht Aalst (Second Division)
Dropping down a division, another English midfielder started in Belgium. John Bostock was in the starting line-up as his side OH Leuven hosted Eedracht Aalst, who sat four places lower in the table in 10th place.

Despite having scored five goals in his first ten games for Leuven, Bostock was unable to score for a second game in succession as the game ended goalless. The 22-year-old did pick up a booking though.

Belgium: Dender 0-1 Gullegem (Third Division)
Adam Burnaby-Atkins made it a hat-trick of English midfielders who started in Belgium. The 18-year-old featured for Dender as they hosted Gullegem in the Belgian third tier.

Burnaby-Atkins had previously featured in DC United’s academy in America but is now in his first season of senior football in Belgium. This match marked his tenth appearance of the season but unfortunately for him, he was substituted at half time as his side lost 1-0 and remained in the bottom two.

Cyprus: Othellos 2-1 Ayia Napa (1. Division)
More renowned as hotspot for English tourists, Ayia Napa is also home to a top tier football club and their English defender Michael Felgate. He started for Ayia Napa as they travelled Othellos.

The 23-year-old was making his seventh start of the season and is a regular once again in the Ayia Napa line-up, having been in the side in the 2012/13 season as well.

It looked like it was going to be a clean sheet for defender Felgate but with just four minutes remaining, Brazilian striker Thiago Santos bagged a brace to secure victory for Othellos and condemn Ayia Napa to defeat.

Italy: Atalanta 1-2 AS Roma (Serie A)

Arguably the most high profile of all the English players abroad is former England international Ashley Cole. He started in defence for Roma as they travelled to Atalanta.

Despite Roma’s defence being breached in the very first minute of the match, Cole and co. managed to keep it tight at the back for the rest of the match as Roma secured victory with two first half goals.

Cole played the full ninety in his eighth league start of the season for Roma.

India: FC Goa 2-0 Pune City (Indian Super League)
Jermaine Pennant continued to have a miserable time in the Indian Super League as his his side Pune City lost again.

The English winger was starting his third consecutive game but it resulted in a third consecutive loss.

Goa took the lead in the 6th minute and wrapped up the victory with a second in second half stoppage time. By that point, Pennant was off the pitch, having been replaced by former French international David Trezeguet in the 83rd minute.

New Zealand: WaiBOP 3-1 Wanderers (ASB Premiership)
Yesterday saw the ASB Premiership’s bottom two clubs play each other, both looking of whom were looking for their first points of the season.

English midfielder Jerahl Hughes started for WaiBOP. The former Yeovil Town player, who made one appearance in League One in 2007, was making his debut for the New Zealand side, having joined them in the summer from Conference side Whitehawk.

Hughes saw his side go 3-0 up before Wanderers pulled one back but by which point, it was too late and WaiBOP had their first win of the year. The 25-year-old Englishmen played 74 minutes before being replaced.

Portugal: Trofense 0-5 Belenenses (Taça de Portugal)

English goalkeeper Matt Jones is enjoying a brilliant season between the sticks for Belenenses. His side are currently fourth in the Portuguese Primeira Liga and have now secured passed to the last 16 of the cup with an emphatic 5-0 win over Trofense.

Jones kept a clean sheet as his side ran rampant against their lower division rivals. Trofense are currently bottom of Portugal’s second tier and the cup offered them no escape as they were put to the side by Belenenses.

Slovakia: Trencin 3-1 Senica (Super Liga)
Trencin’s English defender James Lawrence continued to impress as he remained solid in defence to help his side defeat Senica 3-1.

Lawrence started in defence as his team hosted Senica in a 2nd versus 3rd battle. He played the full 90 minutes as they won to keep the pressure on MSK Zilina who are currently top of the Slovakian Super Liga.