By FRANCO PANIZO
It was not a dream debut by any stretch, but it was one that Zak Whitbread is unlikely to forget any time soon.
A day after being loaned out to Derby County from Leicester City, Whitbread started and went the distance in a wild game in which he scored for the Rams. The injury-prone centerback scored in the 12th minute to help pull Derby out of the early 2-0 hole they fell into before the Rams conceded twice more before the end of the first half. Fortunately for Whitbread and Derby, three unanswered goals in the second half saw the club avoid defeat with an unlikely 4-4 draw.
Things were worse for Sacha Kljestan and RSC Anderlecht in the UEFA Champions. Anderlecht suffered a 3-0 defeat at home to Olympiakos on Thursday that leaves the Belgian club in last place of Group C with no points from two games. Kljestan started and went the distance in the lopsided defeat.
Several players saw the field for Club Tijuana on Tuesday, but they, too, were ousted. Tijuana lost on the road to Club America, 2-0, in a match that saw four Americans receive playing time. Edgar Castillo started and went the distance for Xolos, Herculez Gomez started and lasted 72 minutes, Joe Corona came off the bench and played the entire second half and Paul Arriola contributed with 28 minutes off the bench.
Here is how the Americans Abroad fared during the midweek action:
UEFA Champions League
- Jermaine Jones did not dress in Schalke 04’s 1-0 win vs. FC Basel in the Champions League on Tuesday.
- Sacha Kljestan started and played 90 minutes in RSC Anderlecht’s 3-0 loss vs. Olympiakos in the Champions League on Thursday.
UEFA Europa League
- Brad Friedel dressed but did not play in Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-0 win vs. Anzhi Makhachkala on Thursday.
- Terrence Boyd started, played 90 minutes, and received a yellow card in Rapid Vienna’s 2-2 draw vs. Dynamo Kiev on Thursday.
- Aron Johannsson started and played 90 minutes before coming off in stoppage time in AZ Alkmaar’s 1-1 draw vs. PAOK Salonika on Thursday.
- Jonathan Spector started and played 90 minutes in Birmingham City’s 4-0 win vs. Millwall on Tuesday.
- Will Packwood did not dress for Birmingham City. He is recovering from a leg injury.
- Tim Ream started and played 90 minutes in Bolton Wanderers’ 0-0 draw vs. Blackpool on Tuesday.
- Stuart Holden did not dress for Bolton Wanderers. He is recovering from a knee injury.
- Zak Whitbread started, played 90 minutes and scored a GOAL in Leicester City’s 4-4 draw vs. Ipswich Town on Tuesday.
- Eric Lichaj started and played 90 minutes in Nottingham Forest’s 1-1 draw vs. Charlton Athletic on Tuesday.
- Danny Williams did not dress in Reading’s 1-1 draw vs. Barnsley on Tuesday. He is recovering from a toe injury.
- Edgar Castillo started and played 90 minutes in Club Tijuana’s 2-0 loss vs. America on Tuesday.
- Herculez Gomez started and played 72 minutes for Club Tijuana.
- Joe Corona came off the bench and played 45 minutes for Club Tijuana.
- Paul Arriola came off the bench and played 28 minutes for Club Tijuana.
- Greg Garza dressed but did not play for Club Tijuana.
- Jose Torres started, played 120 minutes and missed his penalty kick in Tigres UANL’s 4-2 penalty shootout loss after a 2-2 draw vs. Monterrey in the Copa MX semifinals on Wednesday.
- Jonathan Bornstein dressed but did not play for Tigres UANL.
- Joaquin Alonso Hernandez did not dress in Monterrey’s 4-2 penalty shootout win after a 2-2 draw vs. Tigres UANL in the Copa MX semifinals on Wednesday.
- Freddy Adu did not dress in Bahia’s 2-0 loss vs. Corinthians on Wednesday.
What do you think of these performances? Impressed with Whitbread’s Derby County debut?
Share your thoughts below.