Former UCLA star Brad Friedel notched his sixth shutout of the season as Aston Villa toppled visiting Newcastle United over the weekend to provide a little insurance in its bid to avoid relegation from the English Premier League.
Friedel made three saves in the 1-0 victory, gaining just his second clean sheet since October as the Birmingham-based Villans -- Prince William's favorite team -- improved to 9-13-10, good for 14th place, five points above the drop zone.
The 18th-, 19th- and 20th-place teams at season's end will be reassigned to the second-tier Championship next season.
Aston Villa, founded in 1874 and owned since August 2006 by Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner, has spent more than a century in England's top league, more than every other club except Everton.
Friedel, 39, has had a solid season and is in negotiations to renew his contract. Things haven't gone so well away from the field, with the goalkeeper forced to file for bankruptcy in Britain and owing more than $9 million from his failed Premier Soccer Academy in Lorain, Ohio, near his hometown outside Cleveland.
Friedel, according to a report in the Lorain County Chronicle-Telegram, defaulted on loans and lost his home in the area after his youth academy, which included a residency program, went out of business during the economic downturn. The properties, valued at nearly $7.2 million, will be offered in a sheriff's sale April 27.
INJURY ROUNDUP: Pasadena's Yura Movsisyan is sidelined with an undefined injury that might require a trek from Russia, where he plays for Krasnodar, to Germany for treatment. He's missed two matches since he was hurt in Armenia's March 26 draw against Russia in a European qualifier, a game in which he went the full 90.
Irvine's Bobby Wood is sidelined at 1860 Munich with an ankle injury suffered during the U.S.' failed run at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship.
Irvine's Benny Feilhaber returned from injury for Denmark's AGF Aarhus, coming on in the second half a 1-1 draw at Vestsjaelland.
ETC.: RSC Anderlecht, with Huntington Beach's Sacha Kljestan on the bench, dropped another playoff-round match in Belgium's Jupiler League, falling, 3-0, at Club Brugge. That's two losses and a 1-6 scoreline for Les Mauves after posting the best record in the 30-game regular phase. They'll get first-place Racing Genk, just two points ahead, on Friday. … Santa Monica's Dallas Moore scored his third goal of the season to start United Counties League Premier Division leader St. Neots Town on an 8-1 demolishing of Cogenhoe United. … Elsewhere in non-league England, Santa Monica's Jay Denny and Hednesford Town heads into the second leg of the Southern League Cup final with a 2-1 advantage vs. Hemel Hempstead Town.
AREA PLAYERS IN EUROPE
D CARLOS BOCANEGRA (Alta Loma/UCLA)
Club: Saint-Etienne (France, Ligue 1)
Last week: 90 minutes at left back as seventh-place Les Verts (10-9-11) drew, 2-2, Saturday at Auxerre
Season: 26 league games (26 starts) with 2 goals, 28 games (28 starts) with 2 goals in all competitions
Next: Saturday vs. 13th-place Nancy (10-13-7)
M MICHAEL BRADLEY (Manhattan Beach)
Club: Aston Villa (England, Premier League)
Last week: Was not on the game-day roster for Sunday's 1-0 victory vs. Newcastle United
Season: 2 games (1 start) in all competitions for Aston Villa; 22 games (20 starts) with 4 goals for Borussia Moenchengladbach (Germany)
Next: Saturday at 18th-place West Ham United (7-14-11)
M/D JAY DENNY (Santa Monica)
Club: Hednesford Town (England, Southern League Premier Division)
Last week: 90 minutes in a 2-1 victory at Hemel Hempstead Town in Tuesday's first leg of the Southern League Cup final; 90 minutes for the third-place Pitmen (23-9-5) in a 4-1 win Saturday vs. Bedford Town
Season: 37 league games (37 starts) with 1 goal, 11 domestic cup games (10 starts) with 1 goal, 48 games (47 starts) with 2 goals in all competitions
Next: Tuesday vs. Hemel Hempstead Town in second leg of the Southern League Cup final, Saturday at 18th-place Weymouth (11-18-8)
M MAURICE EDU (Fontana)
Club: Rangers FC (Scotland, Premier Division)
Last week: 90 minutes as the second-place Blues (22-5-2) won, 2-0, Tuesday at St. Johnstone, 70 minutes, with a first-half yellow card, in Sunday's 1-0 win at Hamilton
Season: 25 league games (19 starts) with 2 goals, 39 games (32 starts) with 5 goals in all competitions
Next: Wednesday at 10th-place Aberdeen (9-19-4), Saturday vs. 11th-place St. Mirren (7-18-7)
M BENNY FEILHABER (Irvine/UCLA)
Club: AGF Aarhus (Denmark, 1.Division)
Last week: 64th-minute substitute as the first-place Dettvie (14-1-4) drew, 1-1, Sunday at Vestsjaelland
Season: 16 league games (15 starts) with 4 goals, 19 games (17 starts) overall with 7 goals
Next: Wednesday vs. eighth-place FC Roskilde (7-8-4), Saturday at 14th-place Viborg FF (6-11-3)
G BRAD FRIEDEL (Bay Village, Ohio/UCLA)
Club: Aston Villa (England, Premier Division)
Last week: 90 minutes with 3 saves for the 14th-place Villans (9-13-10) in a 1-0 victory Sunday over Newcastle United
Season: 32 league games (32 starts), 54 goals allowed, 94 saves, 6 shutouts; 37 games (37 starts), 66 goals allowed, 115 saves, 6 shutouts in all competitions
Next: Saturday at 18th-place West Ham United (7-14-11)
M SACHA KLJESTAN (Huntington Beach)
Club: RSC Anderlecht (Belgium, Jupiler League)
Last week: Did not play for the second-place Mauves (19-5-8) in a 3-0 loss Sunday at Club Brugge in their second playoff-round match
Season: 18 league games (13 starts) with 2 goals, 26 games (21 starts) with 3 goals in all competitions
Next: Friday vs. first-place Racing Genk (20-5-7)
D DALLAS MOORE (Santa Monica)
Club: St. Neots Town FC (England, UCL Premier Division)
Last week: Started, played 74 minutes, and scored first goal as the first-place Saints (30-1-5) won, 8-1, Saturday at Cogenhoe United
Season: 12 league games (12 starts) with 2 goal, 14 games (14 starts) with 2 goal in all competitions for St. Neots Town; 13 games (13 starts) with 1 goal for Halesowen Town (England)
Next: Saturday at second-place Kings Lynn Town (27-2-4)
F YURA MOVSISYAN (Pasadena/Pasadena City College)
Club: FC Krasnodar (Russia, Russian Premier League)
Last week: Did not play because of injury as third-place FCK (2-0-2) won, 1-0, Saturday at FK Amkar Perm
Season: 2 league games (0 starts) with 1 goal, 3 games (0 starts) with 1 goal in all competitions for Krasnodar; 25 games (20 starts) with 14 goals for Randers (Denmark)
Next: Saturday at 11th-place Kryliya Sove (1-1-1)
F MATT TAYLOR (Irvine/UCLA)
Club: Rot Weiss Ahlen (Germany, 3. Bundesliga)
Last week: 90 minutes for 16th-place Rot Weiss (9-14-9) in a 5-0 loss Wednesday at SV Sandhausen; started, played 76 minutes in a 2-0 victory Saturday vs. Bayern Munich II
Season: 24 league games (24 starts) with 13 goals, 25 games (25 starts) with 13 goals in all competitions
Next: Saturday at fifth-place SV Wehen Wiesbaden (14-8-10)
F BOBBY WOOD (Irvine)
Club: TSV 1860 Munich (Germany, 2. Bundesliga)
Past week: Missed U.S.'s 2-0 quarterfinal loss to host Guatemala on Wednesday at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship and seventh-place 1860's 4-0 victory Saturday over Energie Cottbus
Season: 5 league games (0 starts), 23 games (14 starts) with 7 goals in all competitions
Next: Saturday at 12th-place FSV Frankfurt (10-15-4)