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Americans Abroad: Carling Cup Rewind


It was a busy Tuesday in England as the Carling Cup was in full swing, but it wasn't much of a busy day for Americans.

U.S. World Cup teammates Jonathan Spector and Stuart Holden saw action on Tuesday, with Spector playing a full 90 minutes in West Ham's 1-0 win vs. Oxford United. The fact that Spector started has to be seen as promising considering he didn't dress for the Hammers' most recent league match.

Holden played 24 minutes in Bolton's 1-0 win vs. Southampton just three days after playing 90 minutes in the Wanderers' 3-1 win against Spector's West Ham.

Mike Grella was on the bench for Leeds' 2-1 loss to Leceister City, but did not play. Former San Jose Earthquake striker David Somma (who was born in South Africa but attended high school in the United States) scored Leeds' lone goal.

Marcus Hahnemann took a break and didn't dress in Wolves' 2-1 win vs. Southend, while Zak Whitbread continues to recover from a calf injury that forced him to miss Norwich City's 3-1 loss to Blackburn.

Fulham and Everton are in action in the Carling Cup today, with Tim Howard likely to take a break for Everton, and Clint Dempsey unlikely to start after starting in Fulham's 2-2 tie vs. Manchester United. American striker Eddie Johnson could be in action for the Cottagers, and if he isn't then it's safe to say his days are numbered at the London club.

Encouraged by Spector's start? Starting to wonder if Mike Grella needs to make a move? Think Johnson will get the call for Fulham today?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I might be encouraged if it weren’t for (a) they played Spector on the left and we know he isn’t too strong there and (b) Grant was quoted in the papers this morning as needing to find a right back and a striker before the transfer window closes. He can’t seem to get a shot at right back and he clearly can’t perform at the level required in the EPL at left back. If I were Spector’s agent, I’d be shopping….

  2. Anyone would be subpar if you are second fiddle to Ruud Van Nistelrooy when he was in his prime at United. Forlan did not see the pitch because of who was ahead of him. Imagine playing at United when they had Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke, or at Newcastle United when Alan Shearer was there. You either was the next best thing since slice bread or you would be regarded as surplus.

  3. I know your being sarcastic but at least he is eligible kind of unlike that Bradley Johnson fiasco, that was pretty funny.

    I don’t know for sure for sure how far away he is from citizenship, but its an option. He did well on loan at Lincoln City last season but that was League Two.

    He moved to the USA when he was 11 and has a greencard.

    He’s also eligible for SA and Italy.

  4. If he can’t beat out Winston Reid in a “fair” evaluation then he deserves the bench. Reid is unimpressive as they come

  5. Watt has been starting for Leeds in the league and doing well, 3 starts 1 assist. I’m not surprised he got into the game.

    Grayson has said he will send Grella on loan soon. He needs to play. No way he gets ahead of Somma. Grayson even said before Somma’s hot streak that Grella would go out on loan, now its even more likely.

  6. “Former San Jose Earthquake striker David Somma (who was born in South Africa but attended high school in the United States) scored Leeds’ lone goal.”

    Call him up to the U.S. National Team. He has a connection to the United States and he scored a goal in a foreign league. Bob Bradley is so dumb for not taking this guy to the World Cup.

    (sarcasm for those who can’t tell that I’m not serious)

  7. Do you know a better evaluator of talent?

    Can you guarantee that if those two had stayed at Old Trafford they would have experienced the same success they have had since leavig?

  8. Maybe Spector playing means he is in Grant’s plans or maybe it means they are shopping him. Who knows. He has a new coach to impress. Hopefully he does. He is a promising player but has deficiencies that he needs to fix to beat out Faubert.

  9. I was disappointed to see Sanchez Watt come in for Becchio in the Leeds/Leicester game. However it does make sense. Watt is 19, on loan from Arsenal, and he plays for the English youth teams. A Carling Cup match is a great opportunity to get Watt on the field.

    I hope Grella doesn’t think he needs to jump ship quite yet. I feel like it’s worthwhile for him to keep fighting for playing time. He did well last year off the bench and you never know when an opportunity might arise (look at this Conor Doyle kid). And it’s not like he’s got a full resume of experience/goals to impress a new club with.

  10. Count me in the camp that thinks Spector needs to move to the inside. Looking at the elite international teams, they have extremely athletic fullbacks (Ramos, Lahm, Alves). I’m not saying we have anyone near that talented, and I’m not calling for Wynne. I’m just saying Spector fits better centrally. SAF thought so.

  11. I believe Stuart Holden came on as a sub for Bolton.

    (SBI-Yes he was, missed that on my initial scan through yesterday’s scores. Thanks.)

  12. RE: Spector’s start

    As you spell out in the Wolves/Fulham/Everton games, these cup games typically see starters rested and reserves playing. Seems to me that a more likely conclusion is that Spector is a reservist now.

    That said, a clean sheet for his defensive side must help his cause.

    (SBI-The point was more the fact that he was used in this match, which would suggest he has a future with the club. There had been some speculation that he might be off-loaded. This start would suggest otherwise, though it could be used to showcase him for a move.)


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