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Dempsey nets pair, Spector scores on banner day

Clint Dempsey (

There were only two American field players in action in the English Premier League on Saturday but that didn't stop them from nearly equaling the goal total of all the English Players in the EPL combined.

Clint Dempsey scored a pair of goals to help Fulham defeat Stoke City, 2-0, while Jonathan Spector added his own goal to help West Ham register a 2-2 tie against Everton.

The three combined goals was just one less than all English players produced in Saturday's eight Premier League matches. Keiran Richardson (two), Darren Bent and Aaron Lennon scored the four goals among English players in the Premier League on Saturday.

Dempsey and Spector were the only American field players to play, while goalkeeper Brad Friedel posted a shutout in Aston Villa's 1-0 win against Manchester City. Tim Howard was in net for Everton. Jermaine Jones is set to make his Premier League debut for Blackburn on Sunday, while Stuart Holden and Bolton face Chelsea on Monday.

Here are Dempsey's goals if you haven't seen them yet, and here is Spector's goal. We will post official video highlights of all three goals when they become available.

For now, tell us what you thought of today's performances by Dempsey and Spector. Impressed with Dempsey's run of form? Starting to believe in Spector being a contender for playing time in the U.S. national team midfield?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I’m really surprised that not a single person has mentioned the rise of Jonathan Spector. I love to see Deuce is coming into his full potential as a player and on his way to rightfully taking the title of the greatest US field player of his generation, but JS is a really back from the brink story. You put the cat in the midfield and all of the sudden he’s a totally different player — setting up goals and scoring them in one of the worlds top leagues. I know we need another midfielder like we need a hole in the head, but to me this is a real interesting development.

  2. Let’s be careful of the “irrational exuberance”. Unless I’m mistaken, today was only Spector’s *FIRST* EPL goal.

    (The previous two came in a Carling Cup match vs. a Man United side that perhaps had other things on its mind.)

    Not taking anything away from J.S. — I love the trend, and hope it continues @ the EPL level — but it’s doubtful he will be bumping LD out of the USMNT midfield any time soon.

    At the end of the MLS season, LD was gassed after playing two solid non-stop years of top flight soccer, and on the verge of divorce. Let’s wait and see how he bounces back with rest before we bench him for Spector.

  3. You have a point.

    Unfortunately it’s January 22 and there isn’t a really meaningful USMNT game until the Gold Cup which is about 5 months from now.

    As you know, 5 months is an eternity in soccer terms and all the players you named could out of form or injured by then. In fact it’s likely that some of them will be.

    It’s fun to play with lineups now but the most important thing I see about your potential lineup is that it shows we are developing depth so maybe the team wil be able to withstand the inevitable injuries and loss of form.

    I wouldn’t count on Donovan being left out of an important US game any time soon unless he’s hurt or in much poorer form than I’ve ever seen him. The US may have better depth all over but they still have no substitutes for him and Dempsey

  4. “You know your man is workin’ hard, he’s worth a deuce.”

    Dempsey is THE man. He is the reason Fulham have moved 4 points off the bottom. I speculate that Hughes has grown to love Clint – very similar in heart and love for the shirt.


  5. spot on mate, Love LD but sometimes we need to forget names and go with what will work at the moment. I really believe we currently posses the players to play a 4-2-3-1 formation like the Dutch. It transforms into a 4-3-3 when we attack. Dempsey and Donovan on the wings with Altidore in the middle.
    Edu-holden and Jones holding the middle.
    just a though based on the players current form.


  6. LD is one thing; MB vs Spector is another.
    Donovan-Holden-Jones-Dempsey is my preferred mid foursome.

    Since they’re both playing CM on bottom dwellers should be comparable right; fact is in very few mioddie starts Spector is showing offensive chops.

    MB is backup to Jones, Edu backs up Holden based on current form – actually let’s see how Jones looks tomorrow before making that call. Spector is backup to the backups, a utility player to fill in in case of injury to middies or defenders.

    I’ve also been advocating trying MB as LB, but if Gooch can play there in the Dutch league, then getting MB on the field as a CB is another option : )

  7. ….to top off the threats, Rangers removed Edu in the 75th minute….Heart of Midlothian score in the 77th….coincidence?? Just saying….lol

  8. Clint is turning into something else in the EPL..a beast!! The defender had no chance and just had to bring him down. Specs, oh my goodness, playing in one of the best leagues in the world and scoring goals…a player that was once written off, changes positions and delivers…the battle is going to be fierce in the USMNT midfield. I use to bash him so much….I EAT MY WORDS….AGAIN….AND AGAIN.

    It makes you wonder what other talents we have out there that are struggling or couldnt cut it because of bad field placement or that are being misused by foreign coaches, and when will we have a coaching staff that can detect and align these deficiences at the national team level… for thought

    No more “the yanks are coming”……with Deuce, Specs, Holden, Tim and now Jones..EPL WE’RE ALREADY HERE!!!!!

  9. Haha, that was me, and I stand by it. Happy he got the pair, but as long as we are hoping, let’s reach for the stars and get that hat trick!

  10. This is all contextually based on Spector’s play in the midfield, and nothing else.

    He is obviously a midfielder as compared to a defender.

  11. Donovan ended the season in pretty poor form if you ask me. If you watched the last few games played by each player, Donovan versus Spector versus Bradley, Spector has played the best against the best competition.

    And you award players who are in form. And this isn’t a run of good games in the MLS, this is a spree of scoring out of the midfield in the premiership.

    Spector is doing better in the premiership than Donovan. Ignore the name, watch the player.

  12. The only reason LD isn’t there is because he’s not currently on the field, correct? Because otherwise, I’d think you’ve been taking hallucinogens.

    I’m very happy for Spector for getting to air out his legs, however any ideas that he’s better than Landon or MBradley are delusions at best.

  13. Well said, we certainly need more working class (blue collar)players. Most of the best in the world came out of that upbringing.

  14. It is notable that Dempsey did this against Stoke. Deuce plays his best when he is fired up. Sounds like all of Fulham were fired up for this rivalry. Dempsey is exactly what we need more of in the US – working class kids who have to fight for their dreams. The seeds of these goals and his WC goals and all the rest we planted in the rough fields of Texas. I’ll take Dempsey over a thousand program-bred, suburban travel team kids any day.

  15. If we’re talking pure form like most national squads do, our starting midfield is Clint, Holden, Spector, and Edu/Jones.

    How weird would that have sounded less than a year ago?

  16. Considering Spector is just learning how to play the midfield position and is doing it in the EPL, you have to say that if he keeps playing and doing well, he has to be a contender for the MNT.

  17. I get that some teams have one, or maybe a couple, “standard” penalty takers. But sometimes these guys need to chill out and let the guys who earned them have a shot. No matter what team I’m watching it’s always annoying when some self-important d-word thinks he is the god of penalty kicks no matter how well-earned they might be.

  18. fine performances today, really looking forward to Jones tomorrow. i’m glad Dempsey got his second goal today from the spot, but if you’ve seen the highlight, i really wish he would have been able to finish in the run of play, because it was an absolutely perfect touch from a long ball to play himself into the box for what would have been a spectacular goal. still got the goal though and shawcross got sent off, he showed good nerves too to smash it in from the spot. no doubt about it, Dempsey is one bad, bad man

  19. I actually feel like we’re going to go into this Gold Cup flying. Although our defense and offense is still a project in the works, our newbies shouldn’t be overwhelmed in this tournament. Bob isn’t the new interim guy, the pool is way larger, better, and Donovan and Dempsey are in great form (as are Edu, Holden, Bradley).

    A good Charlie Davies loan will solidify this feeling.

  20. probably Murphy. Funny to think how many times Dempsey had to earn his spot at the cottage. Been the best player there all along.

  21. Heard Dempsey had to fight off a teammate to take the penalty after he earned it. Details? Who was it? You want leadership, but you also want to be careful how you claim it. Just curious.

  22. I remember someone saying they hoped Dempsey scored a brace, and someone commented back “why hope for a brace? why not just hope for a hat trick?”

    But with Dempsey history, he scores braces, not hat tricks.


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