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'Excellent' Howard helps Everton clinch Europa spot
May 11th, 2009 7AM



[AMERICANS ABROAD] A 0-0 tie with Tottenham clinched a Europa League (formerly UEFA Cup) spot for Everton and marked keeper Tim Howard's 16th shutout of the season, a club record. Carlos Bocanegra scored in the French Cup final and Oguchi Onyewu hit the net in Belgium. Three U.S. products are headed to the playoffs in Mexico. Michael Bradley celebrated a crucial win in Germany. ...

ENGLAND. Everton's scoreless tie with Tottenham assures keeper Tim Howard's team of a Europa Cup spot next season and marked his club record 16th shutout of the season. Sixth-place Everton has also reached the FA Cup final, in which it faces Chelsea May 30.

"It's a great achievement by Tim to get a record clean sheets but it's not just down to him, it's a great team effort," said assistant coach Steve Round. "We are very solid defensively and Tim's an excellent goalkeeper."

In another game with Europa League implications, Fulham, with Clint Dempsey, downed Aston Villa and keeper Brad Friedel, 3-1. Fulham will qualify if it maintains its seventh place spot. Fifth-place Aston Villa has already clinched passage.

MEXICO. With Marco Antonio Vidal starting in midfield, first-year First Division team Indios of Juarez reached the Torneo Clausura playoffs with a 3-1 win over Guadalajara that knocked Chivas out of the final stage of the second-half championship.

Jose Francisco Torres played the entire game for Pachuca in its 5-0 win at Atlas that gave the Tuzos a share for first place with Toluca in the overall Clausura standings.

Vidal and Torres, both Texas products, are the only Americans competing in the Clausura playoffs.

Another Texas product, Ramon Nunez, scored for playoff-bound Puebla in its 1-1 tie with UAG. Nunez, who was born in Honduras and raised in Dallas, where he starred for the Texans, is not a U.S. citizen. He plays for the Honduras national team.

FRANCE. Carlos Bocanegra scored in the 70th minute for Rennes, which gave up two late goals to second division Guingamp and lost the French Cup final, 2-1.

BELGIUM. Defender Oguchi Onyewu scored a second-half goal in Standard Liege's 2-0 win over Club Brugge that keeps his team tied at the top of the standings with Anderlecht.

GERMANY. Michael Bradley played the full 90 as Borussia Moenchengladbach's first division survival hopes got a boost with a 1-0 win over Schalke 04. The win moved Gladbach into 15th place, one spot above the relegation zone, but it is leads its Arminia Bielefeld and Energie Cottbus only on goal difference. Sal Zizzo played five minutes for Hannover in its 1-1 tie with Eintracht Frankfurt

SCOTLAND. Maurice Edu helped Glasgow Rangers to a 1-0 Old Firm win over Celtic that put Rangers in first place. Edu limped off the field in the 40th minute after being cleated by Celtic defender Glenn Loovens, but the American midfielder returned and played the full 90. DaMarcus Beasley was not in Rangers' squad.

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