By CALEB SONNELAND
Welsh side Swansea City booked its place at Wembley after a frantic ending to its 3-1 victory over Nottingham Forest in a League Championship playoff semifinal at Liberty Stadium.
The two sides entered the second leg of their tie knotted at 0-0 on aggregate and were clashing for a chance to play in the league's promotion final against either Cardiff City or Reading.
All looked lost for Forest, however, after ending the first half 2-0 down following goals from Leon Britton and Stephen Dobbie.
Despite some second-half action from both teams, neither was able to find the back of the net until Forest manager introduced striker Robert Earnshaw, a former player for Swansea's rival, Cardiff.
Earnshaw made an immediate impact after only two minutes on the field as he smashed a first-time effort home to pull one back for Forest and keep the game alive.
Dramatic scenes unfolded in stoppage time, as Earnshaw lashed a shot off the far post (one of three for Forest in the match) and Lewis McGugan played several threatening balls into the area, but nothing came to fruition.
In a last-ditch effort to find an equalizer, Nottingham keeper Lee Camp ran the length of the field to join the fray for a corner kick; however, Swansea cleared the ball to Darren Pratley who, with Camp charging back to his own net, scored from about the center line to finish off Forest and send Swansea to the playoff final at Wembley.
U.S. international striker Robbie Findley was not on the matchday roster for Forest and his hopes of playing in the Premier League next season ended with the loss.
Here are some other stories from around the soccer world:
FRIEDEL ATTRACTING PREMIER LEAGUE INTEREST
American goalkeeper Brad Friedel could be preparing for his final match with Aston Villa, as the 39-year-old has yet to accept a fresh contract offered by the EPL side and has a throng of other top-flight suitors.
Out of contract this summer, Friedel has reportedly attracted the interest of fellow Premier League clubs West Brom, Tottenham and Liverpool. The Reds are said to be leading the race to sign the him, according to Sky Sports.
Despite Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina declaring his desire to stay with the club, the Merseysiders are reportedly keen on picking up Friedel to bolster their squad.
USWNT'S TARPLEY OUT OF WOMEN'S WORLD CUP
Lindsay Tarpley has been ruled out of this summer's Women's World Cup after tearing her ACL in an international friendly with Japan in Columbus, Ohio.
Expected to play a significant role for the team, Tarpley will now have to begin her rehabilitation while the rest of her team continues on without the skillful midfielder. Tarpley had previously been a part of the last two gold-medal U.S. Olympic squads as well as the 2007 Women's World Cup team.
Tarpley, 27, has netted 32 goals in 125 appearances for the national team, and replacing her could be a big issue for head coach Pia Sundhage.
BEASLEY EYING MLS RETURN?
U.S. international midfielder DaMarcus Beasley could be sizing up a return to MLS after struggling to make an impact in the Bundesliga with German outfit Hannover 96, only making four appearances this season.
His agent, Lyle Yorks, has confirmed that Beasley is weighing up his options over the summer, one of which could be a return to the MLS, where he initially made a name for himself with the Chicago Fire.
If Beasley were to return to MLS, Chivas USA would have the first crack at his rights. The Goats and the Philadelphia Union sit respectively atop the league's allocation order after both passed on fellow U.S. international Benny Feilhaber.
A return home, however, isn't his only option, as Yorks also said that there is interest from the Dutch Eredivisie, where Beasley spent a solid couple of years with PSV Eindhoven.
What did you think of the Swansea/Nottingham Forest game? Who do you see Swansea facing at Wembley? Think Liverpool is a good fit for Friedel? What do you think of the USWNT's chances without Tarpley? Should Beasley leave Europe for MLS?
Share your thoughts below.
No, she’s a Revolution fan. Talks about them all the time.
No, it’s just his favorite Swiss club.
I can’t really see him going to a team that’s just looking to pick him up to ‘add depth to the squad’. If Reina were to leave, then it’d be a different story. One would think that when he’s ready to be put out to pasture, he’ll come back to MLS for a few seasons, as his bff Kasey did.
seriously, tracy chapman. who are you my angst ridden, poetry writing, english major GF from 11 years ago?
Look at his squad, full of young boys.
It was Chivas and Union that passed. RSL had nothing to do with it.
I thought RSL and Union passed on Benny, not Chivas. Was there some behind the scenes dealing that I’m forgetting about?
At DP $ no, but as a humbled returnee yes.
In Beasley’s minutes with USMNT last fall, he still looked better than half the guys out there.
But he’s only available half the time because of his injuries.
Maybe a player/coach role? Beas has more CL-level experience than anyone around USMNT. Well, except for Klinsi ; )
Now now, Spector played decently when he got on the field. Sadly, this was probably his best season. On another note, anybody know the validity of the Donovan Roma rumors?
Are sure the award wasn’t for “Only Performance of the Year”?
On another note, Jonathan Spector won the Best Individual Performance Award (for the Man U game) at the Hammer’s award’s ceremony the other night. Congrats for him.
A Cardiff-Swansea battle to enter the Premiership would be a derby of fairly epic proportions. I hope Cardiff wins today.
Plus had a good show at Hull and in competitions like the Peace Cup.
If Friedel leaves and they get someone else over Guzan, who has put in his time there, Guzan should peace out of Villa.
No thanks. It would be cool if Beasley was anything close to what he used to be, but he’s not. Seems hard to believe that he’s about the same age as Donovan. DMB is just worried about collecting his Euro pay check right now and running his jewelry line.
Yorks must be a crazy good agent because I have no friggin clue how the hell he pulled that off with Hannover.
I partially tore my ACL and it hurt like hell. Only pain I’ve ever had that was worse was than it was when I had ulcers. I think I might have tore some of my meniscus too though.
If you were an MLS GM, would sign Beasley? I hope the answer would be F*&K NO!
+ many big numbers
I’ve popped my ACL, it doesn’t hurt that much, especially compared to a badly sprained ankle. The morning when you wake up with a 1/2 thick screw drilled into your femur is not pleasant however
I think DB’s days with the nats are behind him… but it would be cool to see Beasley and Donovan running the wings at home depot center. LA will probably have a DP spot freeing up after this season (and even if Beasley doesn’t deserve DP money, AEG would probably pay it anyway)
Cannot imagine the scene if the promotion final is Swansea vs. Cardiff. Be good to see at least one Welsh team in the EPL.
Condolences to Tarpley. Really sucks. Although it didnt look bad, I could tell she wanted to cry (not from pain but from the realization of no WC) so I knew it was bad.
USA looked bad even though they won. They need Tarpley. Damn.
Hope Friedel gets another contract so he can get his A$$ out of bankruptcy
classic response..Epic even. 🙂
If Friedel transfers would that give Guzan the position or would they buy someone else?
Also, the two options listed are both terrible for him. West Brom must be offering a ton of cash to get him to play there.
He’s not lazy, just old (relatively speaking) and oft-injured. Between injury and age, he has lost a couple steps and when your entire game depends on being the fastest guy on the field, you turn out like Beasley has lately.
Rapids announcing new jersey sponser tomorrow. Think fast car!
Exactly. What is wrong with Beasley? I’ve been waiting for so long I think he doesn’t want to play. Which means coming back to MLS is not what he’d want to do because then his lazy butt would have to start games instead of collect pay checks….
Liverpool is dumb, he would ride the bench.
Of the choices spoken of Spurs are easily the best, he would start and he would have a high chance of Champions League football next year, plus he will get Europa right away.
The playoff finals for League One and League Two has been moved to Old Trafford. The Championship final is still at Wembley. It is being played on Monday, May 30 instead of over the weekend due to the Champions League final on May 28.
Would love to see Freidal and all of the other yanks leave Villa. Rumor has it that Green going to Villa. I like Spurs (Gomes has to go).
Too bad about Tarpley. It is always horrific to get taken out right before an Olympics or World Cup and lord knows we need her on this squad.
Agreed. His display against AC Milan years ago in the Champions League, remains, imho, one of the few greatest performances by an American field player ever (at the club level.) I think he could make some noise in MLS but I doubt anyone wants to bet DP money on him given his form and injury history. It seems unlikely he’d pass up any chance to stay in Europe.
The promotion final is at Old Trafford, not Wembley this year.
Scotland killed him
“Wenger likes young boys”? What is this? An ENglish tabloid?
what happend to beasley man???? this guy used to me the most dangerous winger on the Nats… he hasnt gone a full 90 in probably 2-3 years… that said id love to see him make a comeback some how… given his once prominant role id like to see him play again for the Nats,and we could use the depth… maybe just for friendlys tho or in a sub role…
Arsenal are happy with that Polish kid. I don’t see them making a move unless they can get a young, highly rated keeper. As I say this, there will probably be more rumors about Schwarzer.
No, Wenger likes young boys…
Isn’t there some other Premiership club which could use an experienced, high-quality keeper? I can’t think of the name, starts with an A?
Um yeah, unless Friedel is retiring, he’d better not be off to Liverpool.