Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Yanks Conquer England! I'm veering back and forth covering Americans coming and going from the E.P.L., but here's a quick post about some success for Americans in recent E.P.L. play. Earlier tonight, Jay DeMerit snapped a header home, to give cellar-dwelling Watford a rare win over Blackburn, in the teams' make-up of a game that literally was washed out originally. DeMerit was not in the lineup for Watford's last match, so this game-winning effort was doubly sweet for the native Green Bay cheesehead. Of course, the goal beat Blackburn's star goalie, American Brad Friedel -- but, we shouldn't feel too badly about that, as Friedel has had his share of highlights during this season.

On Saturday, Clint Dempsey made his first mark in English play. Dempsey got off to a quick start, coming on as a substitute with ten minutes to play, and his new Fulham squad trailing Tottenham Hotspur 1-0. According to the Fulham match report, Dempsey "made a good early impression, making two excellent tackles." Dempsey started the play of the match. After making a good tackle, the former Revs star knocked a back heel pass to a teammate, Michael Brown. Brown struck a long, errant pass into the Spurs' penalty area, but the attempted clearance by Spurs was intercepted by another American, Brian McBride. McBride's shot found the arm of a Spurs defender, resulting in a penalty kick for Fulham...and the game-tying goal. Deuce looks like he's going to fit in nicely there.

For fans of Mexican futbol, this news might be interesting: National team star Jared Borghetti is back from his English adventure. In Cruz Azul's opening match of the Clausura season, Borghetti got the first goal. His header put Cruz Azul ahead of Pachuca. There really is no one as good in the air as Borghetti, though Americans can still offer up McBride as a decent challenger for that honor. Borghetti also did some good work with his feet -- on defense, no less. He stole the ball from a Pachuca player along the sideline and then sent the loose ball towards the middle, starting a play that ended with the game-winning goal, in a 3-2 result.

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