By GIANFRANCO PANIZO
Clint Dempsey did his best impersonation of Santa Claus this past weekend as he gave American fans an early Christmas present with a goal for Fulham. Dempsey hit the third and final goal for the Cottagers during their scintillating 3-0 victory over Middlesbrough on Sunday. The Nacogdoches native has now made six consecutive starts and has played in all but nine minutes during that 540-minute span.
Elsewhere in the Premiership, goalkeepers Tim Howard and Brad Friedel were busy posting Ebenezer Scrooge-like-performances as both were stingy enough to earn shutouts for their respective team.
Defenders Oguchi Onyewu and Carlos Bocanegra will be smiling on their sleigh rides home as they each had solid defensive performances with both Standard Liege and Rennes enjoying 2-1 victories.
Jose Francisco Torres is another player who must've been inspired by the holiday spirit as he found significant playing time for Pachuca in their semifinal tilt of the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan. Though they lost, Torres played well enough to warrant 45 more minutes against Gamba Osaka in the third place match on Saturday.
One player who found a lump of coal in their stocking was Freddy Adu, who made a 15-minute sub appearance in Monaco's 4-3 loss to Bordeaux. Though he finally got some playing time, Adu earned a yellow card one minute after stepping onto the field and then gave away a needless corner kick in the 88th minute which allowed for Bordeaux to equalize.
Here is how the entire Americans Abroad did this past weekend:
Tim Howard started, played 90 minutes and made one save in Everton's 0-0 draw vs. Chelsea on Monday.
Brad Friedel started, played 90 minutes and made eight saves in Aston Villa's 1-0 win vs. West Ham on Saturday.
Brad Guzan dressed but did not play in Aston Villa's 1-0 win vs. West Ham on Saturday.
Clint Dempsey started, played 90 minutes and scored a GOAL in Fulham's 3-0 win vs. Middlesbrough on Saturday.
Jonathan Spector did not dress in West Ham's 1-0 loss vs. Aston Villa on Saturday.
COCA COLA CHAMPIONSHIP
Frank Simek did not dress in Sheffield Wednesday's 2-0 loss vs. Cardiff City on Saturday. He is recovering from a hamstring injury.
Jay DeMerit came off the bench and played 38 minutes in Watford's 1-0 loss vs. Derby County on Saturday.
Eddie Johnson came off the bench and played 1 minute in Cardiff City's 2-0 win vs. Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.
Marcus Hahnemann did not dress in Reading's 3-1 win vs. Birmingham on Saturday. He is recovering from a calf injury.
Bobby Convey did not dress in Reading's 3-1 win vs. Birmingham on Saturday.
DaMarcus Beasley dressed but did not play in Rangers' 1-0 win vs. Hibernian on Saturday.
Maurice Edu did not dress in Rangers' 1-0 win vs. Hibernian on Saturday.
Bundesliga 1 and Bundesliga 2 are both on winter break.
- Jozy Altidore did not dress in Villarreal's 2-1 loss to Barcelona on Sunday.
- Danny Szetela started, played 89 minutes and drew a yellow card in Brescia's 1-0 win vs. Grosseto on Friday.
Carlos Bocanegra started, played 90 minutes and drew a yellow card in Rennes' 2-1 win vs. Lorient on Saturday.
Freddy Adu came off the bench, played 15 minutes and drew a yellow card in AS Monaco's 4-3 loss to Bordeaux on Sunday.
- Quentin Westberg dressed but did not play in Troyes' 3-1 win vs. Metz on Friday.
- Oguchi Onyewu started and played 90 minutes in Standard Liege's 2-1 win vs. KAA Gent on Sunday.
The Danish First Division is on winter break until March.
The Austrian Bundesliga is on winter break.
- Jose Francisco Torres came off the bench and played 45 minutes in Pachuca's 1-0 loss vs. Gamba Osaka in the third place match of the FIFA Club World Cup on Saturday. He also started and played 67 minutes in Pachuca's 2-0 loss vs. LDU Quito in the semifinals of the FIFA Club World Cup on Wednesday.
American-born Players Playing for Other Countries
Giuseppe Rossi (Italy) started and played 71 minutes in Villarreal's 2-1 loss to Barcelona on Sunday.
Brede Hangeland (Norway) started and played 90 minutes in Fulham's 3-0 win vs. Middlesbrough on Saturday.
Boaz Myhill (Wales) started, played 90 minutes and made three saves in Hull City's 4-1 loss vs. Sunderland on Saturday.
What do you think of these performances? Happy that good ol' Saint Deuce decided that you were on the "Nice" list? Miss the Bundesliga action? Disappointed by Adu's 15 minute stint? Think Torres will get called into the Mexico WCQ due to all the international experience he's gaining with Pachuca?
Share your thoughts below.
Better for Eddie Johnson to actually get on the field even if just for a minute, or more hurtful to a player’s confidence than it is worth?
boyz… we have no top quality talent. As I love the US I cannot get myself to believe we will compete for a world cup with guys playing where they currently do. I need to see guys making a difference as Brad Friedel has consistentely done. Subotic is the type of player we need. How they blew that when he played for our under 17 and then not invited to u-20 is a joke and a total reflection of the US’s problem with leadership. See everyone in Columbus!
our greatest area of weakness is at holding mid, and I worry about our midfield getting knocked/run off the pitch by the Englands and Germanys of the world. If the worldcup were tomorrow, right now I’d go reluctantly with Moastroeni at holding mid, who has defensive chops and consistent composure on the ball, and two forwards. Bradley has been ineffective in the bundesliga and mediocre in recent nats outings, Kjestan (while effective offensively) is green, inconsistent, has possession issues and isn’t great defensively, and Edu hasn’t gotten any pt with the rangers and has looked tentative and sloppy at holding mid in nats play. Maybe Torres (pachua guy) could play as a second holding mid, but I don’t see him bringing much defensive bite. For the US to succeed in 2010, we badly need one or two of Bradley, Edu and Kjestan to step up and become world-class at holding mid.
Same logic applies to the striker position (with Ching in place of Mastroeni-though I might not start Ching even now). Our prospects need to develop real fast.
@ZachyT: I’m off the Donovan bandwagon. He disappears too often in games. He’s not a forward. He’s not a great distributor. His m.o. is running at people out of midfield where he can use his speed, but we have other options at that position. Just saying we should at least think about Landon not being a lock for the starting lineup.
Also, that Pachuca kid is named Jose Francisco Torres. I see he and Beasley battling it out for the LWM spot.
Spector Boca Gooch Cherundolo
Pearce Boca Gooch Cherundolo
Howard will be starting as our no1.
Boca, Gooch and Cherundolo will. Pearce and Spector will fight it out for leftback.
Bradley and Kljestan should easily have their places but Edu could be in Kljestan’s spot too. I know Dempsey will be starting. He has worked too hard and shown results for him not to be. Torres is working hard and Adu has shown brillance but not as much as we expected. Should fight it out. I see Cooper only starting with Altidore up top if Donovan is kept as a winger.
For sure Donovan will start. Either paired with Altidore or right behind Altidore/Cooper. Our defensive line should look like Pearce, Boca, Gooch and Cherundolo and backups like Spector, Marshall and Wynne. I expect Califf and Parkhurst to fight for a backup spot.
Wow Ives that was a really cheesy article
Pachuca kid == Torres, José Francisco Torres
Freddiefootballer, our coach is wonderful. we do need better USSF or youth soccer development programs…fans will take care of themselves as our talent and success increase.
Isaac, your last post is exactly what I expect to see if everyone were to stay in the form they are in today for the 2010 world cup.
Brentmcd, Donovan should and will be starting.
Isaac, really? Adu starting over Sacha…especially after the week he has had. Don’t forget about the Pachuca kid. He will be there to replace Beasley if he gets hurt, Sacha will sub or start in the middle. Sacha got young player of the year award correct? Adu has been floundering.
You guys got to quit putting Adu in your future line ups, at least until he proves himself like Sacha, Pachuca kid, Bradley, and Altidore all have. They have earned consideration for starting roles.
Matt Damon, you forgot about that kid who plays for pachuca. Left wing should look like Beasley (Pachuca kid). He is super awesome starter for first divison mexican league and is playing well…where as adu is…well i’m sure you have heard.
Hey everyone complaining about Subotic, we still haven’t heard from the man. But listen, we didn’t lose the pachuca kid to mexico. He will be a superstar. Chalk that up to Bradley. Subotic would have gone serbia no matter what. Bradley has assemembeled a good group of team players that love U.S.A.
sorry for grammar/spelling. hungover. see Dempsey! above.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS IVES
Rossi, and if it’s true, Subotic are just the first of several “free agents” we’ll lose over the next ten years or so, I believe. We’re not considered a world soccer power, and don’t have the infrastructure and fan support to be attractive…yet. We need, as was mentioned above, a better USSF, better coach, better youth system, and need consistent results at the WC to be more appealing.
With that said, if Subotic chose Serbia, great, now we can finally move on….
Not much difference from the 4-4-2 I posted except that Kljestan will be more obligated to get into the attacking and Bradley will be wide open in case Sacha finds himself in deep crap.
I always wanted to test this kind of lineup
Dempsey was an attacking midfielder for New England before we put him on the right. I like his imagination and Donovan will play somewhat more withdrawn. Something like this
Adu and Dempsey might switch back and forth and it might just have Dempsey on the right with Kljestan as the starting right attacking midfield. Actually, Kljestan would more like be on the left since he’s more comfortable there.
First off Matt there is still a year and a half left before we should be making ANY kind of geusses at the lineup for 2010. Things change. EJ went from 4 goals in his first two caps goaless in 24 caps in not much time.
Bocaaaaaaa. He signed with Rennes and quickly got into form and was a part of their massive defense that led them to now 2nd in the league. Impressive.
Our starting XI for 2010 should be
Pearce(Spector) Boca Gooch Cherundolo
Bradley Kljestan (Edu)
Dempsey Adu (Beasley)
Best goalkeeper in Premier League
Edwin Van DerSar
Without a doubt Friedel is the best. Surely he has to be, right? He will be leading Aston Villa to the Champions League
Dempsey is slowly but surely becoming a legend. He helped keep Fulham up in 07 and was their top league scorer last season by scoring 6 goals in the first half of the season as a striker. Now if he can bag a few more goals, he will be forever part of the starting XI. He’s had 2 this season, 1 as a sub whereas AJ has had just 3 or 4. Does he plan to score any time soon?
Clint Dempsey will be helping Fulham to reach the Intertoto Cup, but wait that competition is over next year. Sucks.
Merry Christmas everyone
Welcome to Serbia Neven. It’s a smart choice to play in a strong national team with world class players from Manchester United, Chelsea or Inter Milan.
without subotic, we’re stuck with that loser lightweight gooch. We’ll never win another game! Panic, panic, panic!
oh god here come the blame stories….the whining….people our center back pool is FINE!!!!….be glad we dont have a problem back there instead of at the forward position.
Lost another one ……..
Eddie Johnson got one minute! Time to call him in for the Mexico qualifier!
Posted by: A.S. |
that was funny……….
CONGRATS TO USSF, Lost another one to Ditech….
Biggest MISTAKE by USSF, not Hiring Klinsman.
IF he was the USA Coach, I bet he would have these players playing for the USA.
WHO Wants to play for BOB!
Wow. This one sounds serious. Good luck if he is going to play for Serbia. I respect his decision and as sad as it is seeing a potential star leave us, I’ll look forward to seeing how he does.
I hope Subotic has fun never ever ever ever ever ever playing in a world cup…EVER!
Eddie Johnson got one minute! Time to call him in for the Mexico qualifier!
Good to see that Szetela is getting some serious minutes.
any news on whether there are front runners emerging to sign Sacha Kljestan?
Anybody know why both Beasley and Edu are not seeing any time on the pitch lately?
freddy to fullham!
Dempsey can do forward for Fulham but not the U.S……thats odd…but cool! If Fulham does go to the UEFA Cup, I’m sure Dempsey will have a huge impact.
Villa got a lucky bounce to win that match, but they wouldn’t have even had that opportunity if not for Friedel. He was crucial on Saturday.
I’m thrilled their doing so well, because I don’t think it’s any mistake that they are playing so well with him in goal.
Probably could use some defensive help, though.