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Soccer Monday: Your Running Commentary

ClintDempseyFulham (Getty)

Chelsea had championship aspirations heading into the season, but a few stumbles have left the big-spending Blues trailing the Manchester clubs and now stand closer to falling out of top four than challenging for the top spot.

If Chelsea is going to stay ahead of the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool, they will need to beat London rival Fulham in today's Boxing Day clash. Clint Dempsey has been rolling for the Cottagers, and he will look to burn the Blues yet again, as he has done before in his Fulham career.

Manchester rivals City and United are in action as they keep battling for first place, as City faces a trip to Albion to face West Brom, while United takes on Wigan.

Today will offer some big match-ups for other Americans, as Brad Guzan leads Aston Villa against Stoke City, while Jonathan Spector faces his former club as Birmingham takes on West Ham United in League Championship action. 

If you will be watching today's action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Today's TV schedule is after the jump):


8am– Fox Soccer Channel- Chelsea vs. Fulham

10am– ESPN2- Manchester United vs. Wigan

10am– Fox Soccer Channel- West Bromwich Albion vs. Manchester City

10am– Bolton vs. Newcastle

10am– Liverpool vs. Blackburn

10am– Sunderland vs. Everton

12:30pm– Fox Soccer Plus- Birmingham City vs. West Ham United

2:45pm– Fox Soccer Channel- Stoke City vs. Aston Villa


10am– Fox Soccer Plus- Arsenal vs. Wolves

Noon– Fox Soccer Channel- Swansea City vs. Queens Park Rangers

2:30pm– Fox Soccer Channel- Norwich City vs. Tottenham



  1. That was the opening game.

    Either he healed or the injury continued to hamper him.

    If Howard’s injury somehow hampered him during the remaining games or resulted in diminished performance, either he should should have made way for Guzan or BB should have sat him down.

    If we did not have the best performing keeper possible, and the results seem to say we did not,then someone was unprofessional and let the US down.

    The Howard who played in the remaining WC games after the England game was not the Howard everyone has been seeing lately.

  2. I don’t see how you can say “he’s not the designated goal-scorer” for Fulham.

    If Clint then who is?

    And don’t tell me Zamora or Andy Johnson who are Fulham’s versions of Emile Heskey and Josh Wolff (good forwards who were not great scorers).

    From Wiki:

    The five most prolific goalscorers currently at the club as of June 13, 2011 are:

    Clint Dempsey – 43

    Bobby Zamora – 34

    Danny Murphy – 22

    Zoltan Gera – 17

    Simon Davies – 17

    That was in June and I’m pretty sure Zamora hasn’t passed Clint since then.

  3. clint will be 29 in march. he has 3-4 really good years ahead of him because PACE is not his game. (see landon)

    it is all about smart passing, finding the place in the defense to attack and holding the ball up to let his teammates get forward.

    he does all of these things very well.

    he can play at this level till he is 33.

    landon at 33 will be much slower and no longer able to play at the top.

    looking forward to our young guys stepping up over these next 3 years anyway.

  4. I guess you did not watch the US play in the 2010 World Cup. Howard has his off games too.

    Guzan just needs to get back into it. He is the only US keeper who can realistically presure Howard. Howard needs to be pushed to stay sharp.

  5. Hmmm…. He looks quick coming off his line, but I’ve been thinking he is slow to react to shots. He’s either too busy dancing on his toes or he’s caught flat-footed. The guy is big. Actually bigger than Howard, but his slow or nervous reactions means he plays smaller, covering less ground and reaching fewer balls.

  6. “Scored the MOST AUDACIOUS goal ever by an American in the Europa League (chipping Juve) that lead his team to the Cup Final.”

    It was a great goal. It’s interesting you focus on this particular achievement. The Europa league has only been in existence in it’s present form since 2009.

    The fact is not that many other Americans (Sacha, Gooch)have ever played in it. So it’s not like Duece has much in the way of competition.

  7. I take you saw him when he played for NYRB.

    When Clint gets to be 35 and finds himself surrounded by inferior players on a bad team and is playing on one leg than, then you can be “honest”.

  8. Guzan looked quick and confident in his shutout, & got good reviews on the player ratings sites. I hope he impresses & keeps playing at villa or elsewhere after Given comes back. He’s spent too long on the Villa bench.

  9. Dempsey won the Bronze Ball. (09 Confed Cup)

    He has scored more goals than McHead (whom everyone once said was the best that ever did it).

    Has scored in back to back World Cups.

    Rescued FFC from relegation twice!

    Scored the MOST AUDACIOUS goal ever by an American in the Europa League (chipping Juve) that lead his team to the Cup Final.

    His CV is still growing …

  10. Just watched 45 minutes of Stoke v Villa. Makes me miss MLS. Despite (because of) defensive problems, games in our league are never this boring. C’mon guys, don’t make me turn to my home renovation projects for entertainment.

  11. “Dempsey has the talent to play for a CL team. If he does, he is soon to be the greatest American player ever”

    In 2005 DMB scored 4 goals in 12 CL games for Guus Hiddink’s PSV and helped take Arjen Robben place. DMB helped them to the semifinals that year.

    Yet I don’t see anyone putting DMB in any “greatest American” discussions.

    Clint will have to do more than just be on a CL team to out do DMB’s accomplishments.

  12. He is already eligible to play for the US and is indeed not cap tied.

    He could play tomorrow if he wanted to…at least from what I understand he hasn’t played in a youth WC or qualifying so he could play for the US without his 1 time switch if I’m not mistaken, from what I’ve read if it’s just youth games players can play in friendlies and then play for another country.

    But the key here would be to find out how interested he would be, if he’s a good Left Back, there’s tons of possibilities for him in the US! lol

  13. Clint has played for 5 managers at Fulham and 2 for the USMNT. None of them have deployed him at striker full time and Fulham keeps looking for strikers on the transfer market.

    There must be a reason.

  14. I can’t wait to see that movie. And his haircut back when he scored that goal could rival Stuey’s, if I recall correctly.

  15. Why not just start it now. Berbatov to MLS, but only to LA Galaxy or NY Red Bulls. I think 15K goals is conservative. Figure Berbatov can get at least 10 vs Chivas USA every time out.

  16. Starting for any Premier League team at 17 years old is something of significance. At left back and against Liverpool no less. I’m not saying he’s the American Ashley Cole of the future, just that he should be watched closely, especially since he is still eligible for a U.S. call-up and might be swayed.

  17. Clint deserves every bit of praise thrown his way.

    However, you and those of you who insist on trashing other American players to lift up Dempsey can’t appreciate how different the landscape was for American players in Europe by the time he went over.

    Keller, Friedel, Reyna, DMB, JOB and Donovan just name a few all had to face much greater prejudice than he did.

    In 1999 Donovan went to Leverkusen pretty much out of high school at time when they were champions of the Bundesliga and heavy into European competitions.


    Six years earlier Donovan was a high school kid facing heavier competition and greater pressure than a two year pro like Dempsey first faced at a mid to lower table perennial, in Fulham that already had had two very successful American players (Boca and McBride)to help pave the way for him.
    Reyna went to Leverkusen straight out of UVA and faced equally tough competition as Donovan did.

    Clint has had and should continue to have a great career. But why you guys have to keep dissing Americans who faced equal or greater obstacles and accomplished as much if not more than Clint is very lame.

  18. Jay DeMerit scored the winner to ensure that Watford got promoted to the EPL in 2006 vs Leeds. He’s also got a pretty cool bio-pic due out in January(?). Does this put him in the running?…;)

  19. Easy, there. He’s a kid who has one start for the worst team in the league. That isn’t anything to get excited about. Even if he is a quality player, there’s no reason to think he has any interest in leaving Wales for the US.

  20. He’s finally settled in, but he still seems to be struggling a bit with the speed of the game. But his quality is definitely showing, and is starting to make up for it.

  21. When he scored that hat-trick, Liverpool were managed by Hogdson, 16th in the table (2 points above 18th-placed Wigan). Hicks and Gillet were still in charge and ‘Pool “fans” were burning American flags. By the time Dagliesh came in, Liverpool had reached the lofty 12th place. They finished the campaign 6th, much improved to reach mid-table form after their terrible start to the season.

    In short, my statement stands.

    Berbi, come to Cali! Really, we want you in L.A.

  22. Whoever the commentators are, they’re ruining the game. The refs haven’t gotten much wrong. The guys in the booth were crying for a foul against Yakubu at about 30 minute, when he slipped and fell down into Agger And the offside on Rodriguez was fine. They were crying about “giving the benefit of the doubt to the attacker.” He was off, even given the poor camera angle they were basing their “analysis” on.

    These “former player types, especially the ones who played in English, don’t know what the #$^% they’re talking about. Same goes for the fans.

  23. Beat me to it. He should be eligible for a Klinsmann call-up. Not sure that he has any desire to play for U.S. though (would have to think he’d want to play on a more competitive international squad than Wales…)

  24. Tennessee-born Adam Henley got the start for Blackburn today. Granted, it is Blackburn, but here’s a player who hasn’t been senior capped for either U.S. or Wales yet (he’s only 17). Keep an eye out, potential left back…

  25. “EPL, in it’s current state, is the most competitive league in the World”

    What do you mean by competitive?

    Blackburn won 1 title a million years ago
    Chelsea and Arsenal have won 3 titles a piece

    Man U has won 12 titles

    Man City might win this year but it took them spending about a Billion pounds to do so.

    There are 20 teams in this league but every year there are three to four teams at most with any real shot at winning the championship.

    This is “competitive”?

    You have a better chance of being elected President than Fulham has of winning the EPL.

    Look up Reyna’s Ranger teams.Check out their rosters. They were far from a joke.It’s hard to compare eras but I’m confident they could have handled the present era Fulham.

    Reyna was named to the 2002 World Cup all star team,very select company. Only Donovan, who was named best young player for that same World Cup has received a honor nearly as prestigious. Look up those honors, they are very impressive.

    Dempsey has been very impressive but he is a very unique kind of player and should not really be compared to other US players.

  26. Does Adam Henley count as American, he played in the youth setup for Wales but was born in Tennessee, started for Blackburn at left back today against Liverpool, is only 17.

  27. I was going to write that Berbatov is the Scott Farcus of strikers, but it’s Christmas and I should be nice. He is beautiful to watch, but he has really been most effective against weaker clubs. He has disappeared against strong defenses. He should come to MLS, where he could score about 15,000 goals before retiring at 47.

    Please, Bruce, sign him up. He’s totally laid back enough for California!


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