Promotion, Relegation, and Gringos Part the Third

Marko Pantelic of Ajax Amsterdam holds the trophy after their victory against Feyenoord in the Dutch Cup final in Rotterdam

With one round of matches remaining, all the English Premier League’s honors are known save one – 1st place.

What’s Locked-in:

Champions League Participants: Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham

Europa League Participants: Manchester City, Aston Villa, Liverpool

Relegated teams: Hull City, Burnley, Portsmouth

Chelsea and Manchester United, 1st and 2nd, are still separated by one point, with both favored in their final matches.

Gringos in the Premier League

Aston Villa (Brad Friedel and Brad Guzan) fell to Manchester City, ending Villa’s Champions League aspirations.  Heavily-favored Everton (Tim Howard) couldn’t crack Stoke City’s defense. Stoke’s equally inept offense ensured a draw.  The tie ends Everton’s shot at European competition and, with the loss of revenue that entails, suggests Landon Donovan is unlikely to return to Everton.  Hull City also drew in a game they needed to win.  The 2-2 scoreline (against Wigan Athletic) relegates them to the Coca-Cola Championship and sends Jozy Altidore back to his home-club, Villarreal.  Their loss, though, paved the way for West Ham’s (Jonathan Spector) Premier League return in 2010-2011.

Coca-Cola Championship Changes

Frank Simek joins Kenny Cooper (Plymouth Argyle) in the ranks of Americans heading to the 3rd division. Sheffield Wednesday, Simek’s club, lost to Crystal Palace, dooming Sheffield’s hopes of staying in the Championship.

Elsewhere in Europe

Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 whalloped Borussia Monchengladbach 6-1 and, for the moment, climbed out of the relegation zone.  If Hannover win their last game, they’ll stay in the Bundesliga.  A tie could see them through, but not without help from Nurnberg – currently just two points back of Hannover.

In Greece, Eddie Johnson and Freddy Adu (Aris Saloniki) lost in a Champions League playoff but still have four more matches to claw themselves back into a qualifying spot.

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