Monday, October 1, 2012

Dempsey's 1st goal for Tottenham & US Abroad

After finishing tied for the 4th highest goal-scorer in the Premier League last season with 17 goals (23 goals total for Fulham in all competitions), Clint Dempsey ultimately secured a move to EPL 4th place finisher Tottenham.  (The London club would have been playing Champions League football this season had it not been for Chelsea's unlikely CL championship and subsequent auto-qualification.)  After his drawn-out transfer saga, which included an overreacting Fulham manager Martin Jol and an apathetic Liverpool side, the Spurs made a deadline day move for him.  Fortunate for Clint, they had just sold their playmaker Luka Modric to Madrid for a pretty penny.

After coming off the bench for his first Tottenham appearance, Dempsey impressed Villa-Boas enough to crack the starting lineup for the next 4 straight games.  Then against Manchester United at Old Trafford, Dempsey's 52nd minute goal ended up being the game-winner as Tottenham beat MU 3-2.  They made history at Old Trafford by finally winning for the first time in 23 years (since 1989).  Perhaps it is no coincidence that Tottenham couldn't find a W its first 3 matches without Dempsey, but has now won all 3 that he's started, including the momentous one over MU.

For him personally, it was the first time Dempsey has won at Manchester United in over 5 years as well as his first goal against them.  This is hopefully a sign of great things to come.  But regardless, he has climbed higher up the EPL ladder than any US field player before him.

In other US players abroad news, Michael Bradley made a historic move of his own this offseason, going to perhaps the 4th biggest Italian club.  Think about it this way, Bradley now plays Italy's national sport for Italy's capital city: Rome.  He even started AS Roma's first Serie A match and assisted on a goal vs Catania, before sitting out subsequent games with an injury.  He is far and away the most successful US player ever in Italy.

Jozy Altidore is turning heads, having scored one of the most beautiful goals of his career this past weekend when he slalomed through 5 defenders before striking it home.  It was already his 8th goal of the year for the Dutch Eredivisie club, AZ Alkmaar, especially compared to the also impressive 19 he scored for them all last year.  Now if he could only find that form with the US...

US players in the EPL this season:
Tim Howard - Everton
Brad Friedel - Tottenham
Clint Dempsey - Tottenham
Eric Lichaj - Aston Villa (why isn't this RB getting call-ups from Klinsmann?)
Brad Guzan - Aston Villa (started last 4 EPL games)
Geoff Cameron - Stoke
Maurice Edu - Stoke (hasn't played)

Serie A:
Michael Bradley - AS Roma

La Liga:
Oguchi Onyewu - Malaga (hasn't played)

Steve Cherundolo - Hannover 96
Fabian Johnson - Hoffenheim
Danny Williams - Hoffenheim
Jermaine Jones - Schalke 04

Other notable:
Carlos Bocanegra - Racing Santander (Spain 2nd Div)

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