MLS- Toronto FC

Evening Ticker: Spector bags a brace, Hahnemann loses starting job and more



On a snowy night at Upton Park, Jonathan Spector emphatically ended his poor run of form.

Given the chance to start for West Ham for the first time in more than three months, Spector scored twice in the first half of his club's shocking 4-0 victory over his former team, Manchester United, in the quarterfinals of the Carling Cup on Tuesday.

Spector scored his first goal moments after being whistled for offside, which negated a would-be West Ham goal that he helped set up. He ran onto a chip from Victor Obinna in the area and nailed the header to open the scoring in the 22nd minute.

Fifteen minutes later, he pounced on a loose ball in the box, finishing with his left foot to double the lead. Spector, who played a central midfield role as opposed to fullback, had only scored once in his professional career before Tuesday's brace.

Highlights of the goals and a few more stories from around the soccer world are after the jump:


Marcus Hahnemann has seen this story play out before. Only the last time he was on the other side.

A year after winning the starting goalkeeper job at Wolverhampton from Wayne Hennessey, Hahnemann finds himself on the bench after manager Mick McCarthy has elected to stick with Hennessey as his starter after making the change ahead of Wolves' 3-2 victory over Sunderland on Saturday.

Wolves has yet to record a clean sheet this season, leading McCarthy to make the switch. He told The Guardian (UK): "(Hennessey) had a tough time and then Marcus came in. But we'd not kept a clean sheet, we'd not been winning games and it was my decision to change it. I think I've justified it."

After Hahnemann, 38, won the starting job from Hennessey last season, he performed well enough to earn a spot on the United States national team roster for the World Cup. He has been rumored to be considering a return to Major League Soccer, and this development wouldn't figure to sway his thinking in the other direction.


Jose Mourinho's week was further dampened after UEFA handed down a one-match suspension and a fine of almost $52,000 after the organization found him to be guilty of ordering two players to purposefully get sent off in Real Madrid's last Champions League match.

Mourinho allegedly told Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso to get second yellows so they would be suspended for Madrid's meaningless group-stage finale as opposed to picking up another yellow down the line and missing a knockout-stage match.

Mourinho will be banned from the touch-line for Madrid final group stage game against AJ Auxerre. If he is found of "improper conduct" again within the next three years, an automatic one-game suspension will go into effect.

Ramos and Alonso were fined, but they won't be forced to miss any more matches after sitting out the game against Auxerre.


Another trade has gone down in the Major League Soccer offseason, with Toronto FC shipping midfielder Joseph Nane to the Colorado Rapids in exchange for a third-round draft pick in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft.

Nane played in 11 league matches in his rookie season out of Old Dominion University.


Impressed with Spector's performance? Hope Hahnemann returns to MLS? What do you think of the punishment handed to Mourinho? Like the trade for Colorado and/or Toronto?

Share your thoughts below.

  • kimo

    One thing about Spector that makes him attractive as a MF is he’s a long strider with the ball…Gerrard-like in open space (not saying he’s Gerrard…just similar dribbling in open space). He has deceptive pace at full speed…not necessarily quick but dangerous at full speed. His lack of quickness has hurt him as a back, imo. He has the athleticism and physical presence to be a force in the middle, imo. He’s more of a natural attacker than MB or Edu. He was a convert from a stiker position. Not sure how it all plays out…but it makes things fun…


  • Leo

    I love how we is all talkin’ `bout Jon Spector and not about Mourin-who? Where was you lads when our boy was down? Dust `im off, wouldya? That’s a good lad.

    Seriously, what a superb performance by Spector. Makes me proud to be an American.


  • Dennis

    I have always thought that what limited his playing time at West ham was that he does not seem to have the instincts of a defender and too often got caught not paying attention to the player he should have been marking. He has always been able to strike the ball well and is solid in the air, skills that can be very useful going forward. Je is not unlike Bornstein in that regard. I think that Spector probably strikes the ball better, but Bornstein is better dribbling under pressure.
    Moving forward, that lack of total concentration is less of a liability for both players.

    Too bad that does not help the national team situation at left back, but I think it would improve both of their professional careers.


  • Ben

    It can’t just be me who is thinking that Spector has been played out of position all this time. I’ve certainly ripped him in the past, but maybe the poor play was due to poor coaching rather than Spector. Personally, I’ve always been slightly perplexed, as spector has all the tools, about his play. However, maybe his problem is just that he doesn’t have the lateral quickness to deal with speedy, tricky wingers. Of course, for the past few years that is all coaches have asked him to do. A couple years back, I wanted to play center D. Clearly, he is more comfortable in the center of the park. In other words, he isn’t a rightback, and if he is being played there in the future, I’m not blaming him anymore, only the coach.


  • Ben

    I’m with you. The one thing that he lacks is that quickness to deal with wingers. He isn’t slow or a bad athlete by any stretch, but he should be in the middle of the field, whether defending, midfield, or, apparently, attacking.


  • Ben

    Don’t to be hard on yourself. I’d say this is a good indication that Spector is not an outside back, which is what every coach wants him to be.


  • Ben

    Technical ability is never wasted on centerback. Personally, I’d like to field an entire team with technical ability.


  • ThaDeuce

    Wow, that second goal was AMAZING. Do we have another central midfielder to put into our already too many options line-up?


  • ThaDeuce

    and demspey vs. Chelsea, a brace against the full team, one in the 90th minute, in the rain…how sweet.


  • ThaDeuce

    whoa! I never thought of that before! He can definitely play right wing! He has speed, the ability to take on players down the wing and put in crosses, he is accurate, and he can mark almost as good as a right back! why the hell not?? If we need deuce or landon up top, this is seriously something to consider.

    who do we play in the center??? -Jones-Holden-Edu-Bradley


  • ThaDeuce

    Very interesting nuggets in that video- the coach said ” we changed his postion in the training to midfield a month ago and he has done well in the training, so today he got his chance and just like every professional player you need to speak only on the pitch and i think he spoke very well today.”

    So spector has been training for midfield for over a month, his left back days are over!!

    Also, to call a young American soccer player “he is a professional, he is always trying, trying hard, even when he is not playing, when he is not even in the squad.” awesome to hear about that ethic from a coach compared to what we usually talk about with altidore and adu : ).


  • ThaDeuce

    well, for the next world cup jones should not play as he will likely be too old to contribute effectively… we’ll just have to see what happens over the next 3 years to torres, bradley, edu, holden, and any new whippersnappers, but it could happen like this year with all the injuries.


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