Posts Tagged ‘Clint Dempsey’

It’s Dempsey’s Turn: Deuce’s 17 for the USMNT

In the last two days, USMNT fans have been treated to some great goal compilation videos of Landon Donovan and Jozy Altidore. And now comes Clint Dempsey’s 17 strikes for the USMNT.

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.

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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.

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Dodging The Bullet: Deuce Gets Mini Vacation

Say It Ain't So! Say It Ain't So!

Update 01/19 afternoon:

Whew!

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.”

Reprinted from FulhamFC.com

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?’

Matthew: I think that’s best we could have hoped for. I think that as long as it wasn’t the ACL then that’s a good thing.
I think the silver lining is that Demps will be fresh. Probably the best news we could have hoped for.
Thanks to TSG Contributor BW for sending the Deuce news our way.

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Two Perspectives: Two-Faces

How can the USMNT get this guy on the plane to South Africa?

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.

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The Deuce Abides!

Sheer mustard from Clint as Fulham tried to climb back into today’s 3-2 loss to Stoke.

What a shot! Good night John Harkes’ boombosa!

Monday-P-L: Specs Gets In, More…

We’ll just use this column today to update Americans in the Premiership and all other mild goings-on during a global holiday week.

Specs: Shaky in return at LB today

• 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.

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Part III: Davies Still Repairing, Who’s Striking?

(Part IV of the series coming real soon….)

Two months ago to the day, TSG wrote one of our more popular columns: “With Davies in Repair, Who Strikes?

We followed this column with Part II that suggested that the answer to the USMNT striking problem may lay not with the players themselves, but with a different formation that took into account the rejiggered talents of the team that Bob Bradley could currently field.

So where do we sit today? Sixty odd days after the USMNT began addressing the issue for the South African replacement–sniffle–for one Charles Davies we’re still left with a lot of head scratching, if not even more.

Cakes: "I'm the man, but I'm still curious who's the man in front of me?"

TSG’s biggest question on the day and biggest requirement? How does the new look upfront impact Landon Donovan who clearly has the class now to be a difference maker, but needs the team and strategy tailored to his style. (Just ask Clint Dempsey about this….)

On our Landon issue, no current answers. With Landon absent for both friendlies, we learned little about potential replacements in Eddie Johnson and Jermaine Defoe Jr.–I mean Jeff Cunningham–who were called in to be considered for the role.

Cunningham scored in his starting debut, but was also knocked off the ball on multiple occasions. Eddie showed a little bit of pace, but a troubling lack of creativity in one-on-one situations. Further, since that friendly, EJ was moved to the discount rack at Fulham, buried on the bench and likely available to and at the mercy of the first suitor. No playing time for the potential South African hopeful.

Worse for the USMNT, it appears that Jozy can’t get a handle on things in Davies absence either, being wildy erratic and nearly invisible in the two friendlies–whether Jozy has been told to roam the offensive 1/3 or play hold-up is not known–what is known is that whatever role he was inhabited in Friendlyville it certainly didn’t breed confidence or create systemic opportunities.

JZA’s club situation has not shed any light on his future contributions either.

So going forward in this column, we’ll take a different tack in reviewing the possible players and combinations.

We’ll do the following: We’ll give some general priorities that Bob Bradley has favored through qualification. We’ll give our take on how the offense changes with various personnel and finally we’ll interject about the USMNT’s group stage opponents in helping us with our evaluation.

General priorities:

Complement Mr. LA Galaxy Landon Donovan.

Let me lead this segment with a broader question: Should it be Landon Donovan or Clint Dempsey who the team is built around?

Wow! Did you see that question coming?

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Do We Have Some More Insight on Clint?

Not sure how I missed this.

According to the Daily Mirror this past Monday (a 5 out of 10 on the quality newspaper scale), Fulham manager Roy Hodgson and USMNT cap Bob Bradley are working together to ensure that Clint remains fresh and fit for both Fulham and the States.

Dempsey....getting warn out....

Say what?! This is like a scene out of bizarro Seinfeld–usually all you hear about are clubs and countries fighting like kids in the schoolyard over player usage. Arsenal wants reparations for Robin Van Persie. Harry Rednapp expresses exasperation at Fabio Capello calling up injured players. Even Hodgson himself is in a row with Ghana over the use of John Paintsil this December.

The record speaks for itself, it’s never cordial….except as it would appear here.

A few months ago, TSG did a piece on Clint invoking the velvety tone of Marvin Gaye. The theme of our tune? Asking Clint, “What’s Going On?”

Do we have our answer now? Is Clint merely burnt out from over usage?

Players like David Beckham, Robinho, etc are known for not having a full tank to go a full 90….is Demps any different….should he be treated different?

Doesn’t sound like Clint’s getting burned out from this, very reputable, blog evaluating his EPL campaign thus far. (Note, the Brian McBride Award here as well.)

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