TSG has World Cup fever today…bear with us. Clint Dempsey officially on the bench for Fulham in the Europa…
After seeing Clint’s early celebrations (including the “Carlton” from Fresh Prince), the next video I’d like to see is a Top 10 USMNT goal celebrations of the last 10 years.
TSG’s always interested in supporting those who spread love for the beautiful game, and especially members of the USMNT. So, we reached out to the man at the controls of 723FootballFilms (Rob) and asked him a few questions.
Update 01/19 afternoon:
That was a close call.
The official statement today from Fulham FC.
“During the Blackburn Rovers fixture on Sunday 17 January, Clint Dempsey sustained moderate damage to a ligament in his right knee. Following the results of a scan, early indications are positive in that no operation is required. At this stage it is thought that the injury will not prevent him from featuring for Fulham, prior to the end of the season.
Whilst obviously disappointed, Clint is focused on his rehabilitation and will work hard, in line with medical advice, to return at the soonest opportunity.”
This quote by Bob Bradley from US Soccer.com:
“The news about Clint’s injury is positive, especially given the fact that he will not require surgery,” said U.S. head coach Bob Bradley. “We are confident that Clint will be ready to be an important part of our team during the World Cup.”
Not a vacation, but not surgery either.
Just had the exchange with TSG Contributor Chris over IM:
Chris: What do you think of the phrase ‘moderate ligament damage’ & ‘should be playing again before May?’
Not to step on Matthew and Shaun’s cleats and their upcoming Lando – Deuce debate, but the “two-face” comment from Antonio in the recent The Deuce Abides! post reminded me of a question TSG asked of both Alexi Lalas and John Harkes last month at ESPN.
The former USMNTers were asked (separately) whether they thought Clint Dempsey’s lackluster post Confederations Cups play for the national team versus his stellar EPL campaign was a result of the lack of quality on the US side when compared to Fulham. It should be noted that when the question was asked to John Harkes, a notorious Dempsey critic, he first responded “Do you really want me to answer that?” as chuckles spread throughout the room. Don’t worry, TSG pressed on.
Surprisingly, the former USMNT teammates gave two completely different answers. John Harkes first noted that from a “player’s perspective,” playing for club is completely different that for country. He then went on to lay most of the blame at the feet of Coach Bob Bradley. Said Harkes,
What is your role? How is that defined? That’s the manager…the manager of the team…Some of the best managers in the world get the best out of every player…they find a way…play to their strengths…you can’t undervalue the tactical alignment of certain players and how they complement each other on the field.
We’ll just use this column today to update Americans in the Premiership and all other mild goings-on during a global holiday week.
• One game in the book thus far, Jonathan Spector subbed in for Herita Ilunga at leftback in the 20th min. Specs, who’s been per our last columns, the 5th defender looked a little bit rusty and slow.. He did however, get beat for a Jermain Defoe strike attempt that Defoe rushed to the rebound and knocked home late in the 2nd of the 2-0 loss.
Specs is looking more and more like a central defender to me these days or a right back that needs cover in defending against the Defoes and Robinhos of the world.
Another game note, TSG fave Luka Modric (pictured as well) had a beaut of a goal in his first starting assignment since coming back from a broken leg.
• Clint Dempsey is playing a more reserved role on the left flank today against Chelsea. Zoltan Gera has gone up to the forward role and already produced, giving Fulham a 1-0 lead 20 mins in at the Bridge. Dempsey would have gotten beat up on his crossing and down the line runs today against the Blues. Update: 2-1 Drogba, with an onslaught by Chelsea in the 70th minute decade. Goal for Didier, own goal on Smalling for Fulham. 2-1 Blues.
• Hurry up Landon Donovan, it took Everton 82 minutes, the last 20 or so with Burnley down a man to score at home against the EPL newcomers. Yikes! Disclaimer in that Luis Saha is out of the 18 for this one–shows you his impact. The game closes 2-0 Everton, seven saves for Big Timmy Howard and a late goal from South African Steven Pienaar.