The Washington Post

Wednesday kickaround: Landon Donovan vs. Brad Friedel, Americans abroad, Robbie Rogers to Leeds, Venezuela roster, Crew signs Ben Speas

*Remember when Brad Friedel caused a stir last month with poorly chosen comments about former World Cup teammate Landon Donovan? Friedel said Donovan took “the easy road” by remaining in MLS. Well, since then, Donovan has taken the road, so to speak, to England for a two-month loan with Everton. Today, he and the Toffees face Friedel and Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane.

The match is also momentous for Everton’s American keeper, Tim Howard, who is expected to make his 250th Premier League start. Coverage begins at 2:45 p.m. ET on Fox Soccer Channel and (online pay service).

More U.S. and MLS news.....

*Other Americans abroad in action today: Defender-midfielder Jonathan Spector and Birmingham host Ipswich, while defender Oguchi Onyewu and Sporting Lisbon host Nacional in the first leg of a Taca de Portugal semifinal.

*U.S. national team midfielder Robbie Rogers, out of contract with the Columbus Crew, will join Leeds United in England’s second tier, assuming he receives a work permit.

*MLS players Emilio Renteria (Columbus) and Alejandro Moreno (Chivas USA) were named to Venezuela’s squad that will face the U.S. national team Jan. 21 at University of Phoenix Stadium.

*As expected, University of North Carolina junior midfielder Ben Speas, MVP of the College Cup last month, has signed a homegrown contract with the Crew.

Steven Goff is The Post’s soccer writer. His beats include D.C. United, MLS and the international game, as well as local college basketball.

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