Friday, November 30, 2007

Around the Continent...

Friday's Bundesliga game kicks off a full slate of European league games this weekend. In fact, the action got under way elsewhere this afternoon as well with Oguchi Onyewu and Standard Liege taking on Anderlecht in the Belgian League. That game finished in a 0-0 stalemate, and as a result, Standard climb to the top of the table for now.

Saturday, Jonathan Spector and West Ham United travel across London to Stamford Bridge where they will take on Chelsea in the Saturday lunchtime kickoff. That's lunchtime in England of course, and here that game will be on bright and early Saturday morning. Be sure to set your alarms for the 7:30 a.m. ET kickoff on Setanta.

Later on Saturday morning, Tim Howard minds the nets for Everton as his club travels to Fratton Park to take on Portsmouth. Both sides are in excellent form, with Portsmouth unbeaten in their last five matches, and Everton's only blemish coming from their 2-1 defeat in the Merseyside Derby. Kickoff is a 10:00 a.m. ET, and you can follow text updates here, or catch the delayed broadcast at 2:30 p.m. ET on Setanta.

At the same time, Reading travel to Middlesbrough and Derby County make the journey north to Sunderland. Both these games would seem to have significant implications for the relegation battle this season, as all four of these teams reside in the lower half of the standings. Derby, led by new manager Paul Jewell, will be looking to climb off the foot of the table against a Sunderland side that was thrashed by Everton last weekend. Benny Feilhaber will hope to make it two appearances in a row following his substitute cameo against Chelsea. For Reading, Bobby Convey tallied an assist in last weekends heartbreaking 2-1 defeat to Manchester City, and will likely retain his place in the starting 11 along with goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann. Neither of these games are televised live, but the Reading game can be seen on FSC at 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.

The other big game on Saturday is in Portugal, where Freddy Adu and second place Benfica host first place FC Porto at the Estadio da Luz. Both clubs are undefeated in the Portuguese League, though Benfica are four points behind the leaders.

On Sunday, Heerenveen and Michael Bradley play away to NEC Nijmegen. Last time out, Heereveen lost for the first time in five matches against De Graafschap, but they still remain in fourth place in the table. To continue their pursuit for a UEFA Cup berth, they'll need to earn a win against an NEC side who have lifted themselves off the bottom of the table in recent weeks.

And finally, Monday afternoon action pits Clint Dempsey, Carlos Bocanegra and Fulham against Champions Manchester United. The game is televised live on Setanta, with coverage beginning at 2 pm ET. We'll have more for you throughout the weekend, so make sure to keep checking back here for the latest highlights and results...

Friday Bundesliga: Hansa Rostock v Hannover 96

The News: Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 travel to face Hansa Rostock and Heath Pearce in Bundesliga action on Friday. The game will be televised live at 2:30 pm ET on Gol TV.

Of Note: Hannover 96 is coming off of a tough loss against Schalke 04 last week and will look to get their charge for a European place back on track. Meanwhile Hansa Rostock have slipped down the table of late, but they are undefeated in their last five games at home. Cherundolo missed this past weekend's game due to lingering effects from an ankle injury sustained against South Africa, however he should return for today's game. On Sunday, Heath Pearce came on as a second half sub for Rostock who fell, 2-0, to Hamburg.

Up Next: The game kicks off at 2:30 pm ET. As we mentioned, its being shown live on Gol TV, and you can read a match preview here.


The News: Dan Califf and AaB endured a tough 3-2 loss away to Tottenham last night.

Of Note: AaB stormed out to a 2-0 lead, but were unable to hold out in the second half. Three goals from Tottenham in the second period condemned the Danish side to their first loss in the UEFA Cup.

Up Next: For the next match in the UEFA Cup, AaB host Getafe on December 6 at 2:45 pm ET. A result in that match is imperative for Califf and his club, who have only one point thus far in Group G.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

UEFA Cup: Tottenham vs. Aalborg BK

The News: Dan Califf and AaB face Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur tonight at White Hart Lane. And here's a question for all you people that slaughter our trivia in the MNT Blog: have you ever seen Dan Califf play for his club team? We're guessing no, but today you can right that egregious wrong! That's right, FSC will be airing this game starting today at 2:30 pm ET so be sure to take a long lunch hour and catch some of the action.

Of Note: AaB drew their first and only match against Anderlecht, while Tottenham have won one and lost one thus far in Group G play. The two clubs have never met before in a UEFA tournament, and AaB will be looking to continue their improbable run through this year's competition. The Danish side were the unfashionable choice in the last round against Sampdoria, but after eliminating them, and tying Anderlecht in their opening match of the group stage, AaB see no reason to believe why their good form can't continue. Last time out for Tottenham, new manager Juande Ramos commandeered a 2-0 away win for Spurs over Hapoel Tel-Aviv in his first UEFA Cup match.

Up Next: The match kicks off at 2:45 pm ET, and you can read previews of it here and here. If you're unlucky enough to not be near a TV this afternoon, you can also follow along with live text updates at

Injury Update

DaMarcus Beasley has been ruled out for the rest of the season after scans revealed signficant knee ligament damage. The injury was sustained in Tuesday's Champions League game, when Beasley collided with Stuttgart goalkeeper Raphael Schäfer early in the second half. Beas' speed and pinpoint accuracy on set pieces will be missed by manager Walter Smith, who will now need to find reliable cover on the flanks of Rangers attack for the next five months.


The News: Freddy Adu and Benfica were eliminated from the UEFA Champions League witha 1-1 draw against AC Milan.

Of Note: Adu came off the bench in the 88th minute, but couldn't find the late game heroics his side needed to keep alive their hopes of progressing to the knockout stage. Benfica still retain hopes of qualifying for the UEFA Cup, but in order to achieve that feat, they'll have to beat Shakhtar Donetsk on the final day.

Up Next: Benfica face two massive games in quick succession, when they host league leaders Porto on Saturday before traveling to Ukraine on Tuesday to face Shakhtar.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

New Manager at Derby

Eddie Lewis and Benny Feilhaber have a new manager at Derby Country, after Paul Jewell was appointed to the position earlier today. The former Wigan man replaces Billy Davies, who departed the club on Monday afternoon. Jewell will now prep the squad ahead of Saturday's massive game against Sunderland. Read about the new hire here.

Champions League: Benfica vs. AC Milan

The News: Freddy Adu and Benfica host AC Milan at the Estadio da Luz in a vital game for the Portuguese side.

Of Note: Benfica have yet to lose in the Portuguese league, where they currently sit in second place, but they haven't managed to transition domestic success to the bigger stage of the Champions League. With only one win from three games, Jose Antonio Camacho's side is rooted to the foot of the Group D table. Yet there is still a fair amount of hope, as the Eagles are only three points away from second place. Any kind of result against AC Milan tonight would set the tone for rest of Benfica's charge toward the second round. Freddy Adu scored during his club's 3-1 victory this weekend, and he'll hope to get on the field for tonight's big game.
Up Next: The match kicks off at 2:45 ET. You can read previews of the match here and here, and follow along live text updates at


The News: Beasley was injured during Rangers' 3-2 loss to Stuttgart last night in the Champions League. The winger was removed from the game in the 47th minute after a collision with Stuttgart's goalkeeper. The extent of his injury is currently unknown, though knee ligament damage is the projected diagnosis. We'll be sure to report on more news when it becomes available.

Of Note: The loss leaves Rangers on seven points, though they still remain in second place in the group. Lyon's tie with Barcelona puts them level on points with Rangers, however the French Champions' inferior goal differential puts them below the Glasgow side in the Group E table.

Up Next: The Matchday 6 showdown between Rangers and Lyon at Ibrox will determine who advances to the knockout stages of the Champions League. Rangers only need a draw to qualify, while Lyon have to win in order to reach the stage they've been to for the past four years. Rangers last qualified for the knockout round in the 2005-06 season. Manager Walter Smith has already conceded that Beasley will be out of action for that match.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Champions League: Stuttgart vs. Rangers

The News: Champions League action resumes tonight when DaMarcus Beasley and Rangers travel to Germany to face VFB Stuttgart.

Of Note: The German Champions, having not yet hit the heights of last year, are already eliminated from the Champions League, however Rangers still have all to play for in Group E. Currently on seven points, the Glasgow club could insure their passage to the next round with a win tonight and a loss by Lyon, who face Barcelona at the Stade Gerland. Rangers were victorious over the weekend, as were Stuttgart, and the sides sit at second and seventh in their respective domestic tables. Beasley had an assist in the win on Saturday against Falkirk, and he spoke to Rangers' website about the possibility of qualifying for the next round of the Champions League. Beas should be starting tonight, and he'll look to add to his tally of two goals thus far in the Champions League.

Up Next: Read previews of the match here: BBC, UEFA. The game kicks off at 2:45 ET, and you can follow along with live text updates at

Monday, November 26, 2007

Weekend Wrap Up


Benny Feilhaber made his fourth appearance of the season for Derby, coming on in the 83rd minute of a 2-0 loss to Chelsea. The result meant that Derby remained bottom of the table, and four points away from safety. Today, manager Billy Davies has been let go by the club, who will look to right the ship ahead of Saturday's six pointer with Sunderland.

Fulham and Clint Dempsey drew 2-2 at home to Blackburn. Though all the headlines have been about Fulham's propensity to concede late goals, a point against obstinate Blackburn can't be too discouraging. Carlos Bocanegra was an unused substitute for the game. In other news for the Cottagers, captain Brian McBride is nearing a return from injury.

Tim Howard and Everton administered a 7-1 thumping to Sunderland. With a 3-1 lead at half-time, the Toffees were never in danger of dropping points, and they'll take that positive momentum into next Saturday's match against surging Portsmouth. The two clubs have been a few of this season's surprises in the Premier League, and both will be looking for a win as they surge toward qualification for Europe.

Jonathan Spector made a late substitute cameo for West Ham United, who drew 1-1 with Tottenham Hotspur. The Hammers got out of jail when former player Jermain Defoe had a penalty saved by West Ham 'keeper Robert Green, to keep the draw and the point for West Ham.


Heerenveen and Michael Bradley were victims of a 3-2 loss against De Graafschap on Saturday. Heerenveen had previously won four games in a row in the Eredivisie, but were undone this weekend despite a late fight back. Having been eliminated from the Dutch Cup, Bradley's club now faces a week off, before returning to action on December 2 against NEC Nijmegen.


Oguchi Onyewu and Standard Liege had the weekend off, but they'll be in action on Friday in a top of the table clash in Belgium. Gooch and Standard will face first place side Anderlecht on Friday night. Standard Liege sit in second place, one point behind the leaders, and they'll attempt to maintain their unbeaten record in the Jupiler League.


The News: Bobby Convey assisted on Reading's only goal, but a late winner from Stephen Ireland gave Manchester City the 2-1 win.

Of Note: With Reading down 1-0, Convey squared a delicate ball across the top of the box for James Harper to first-time into the top corner. The score after 90 minutes of play remained 1-1, but in injury time Mancheter City midfielder Ireland hit a spectacular full volley past a helpless Marcus Hahnemann. The loss drops Reading to thirteenth place.

Up Next: Reading host Middlesbrough on Saturday the 12th. In the bottom end of the table, three points separate seven sides (these two included), so this weekend's match will be an important one for both sides.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


The News: Fredua strikes again, this time putting the final nail in the coffin against Académica de Coimbra with a 90th minute goal.

Of Note: The goal is Adu's second in league play and fifth in all competitions since joining Benfica. The 18-year-old started on the bench, but came on in the 62nd minute for Nuno Gomes and hit a left-footed strike from the top of the box that just trickled in after going off the 'keepers glove and the right post. The victory keeps Benfica solidly in second place with 25 points, six ahead of Sporting Lisbon, but still a point behind leaders FC Porto, who also have a game in hand.

Up Next: Freddy and the rest of the boys will be looking to have a great week of training as they get set for a formidable task when they face AC Milan in the Champions League on Wednesday, Nov. 28.


The News: Beasley and Rangers remain in second place in the SPL after a 3-1 victory today over Falkirk.

Of Note: Beasley was in the starting lineup for the Glasgow side, and his corner kick picked out Carlos Cuellar for the opening goal after the 20 minutes. Rangers doubled their lead early in the second half, and though Falkirk did narrow the gap soon after, a third goal from Kris Boyd ensured the three points for Walter Smith’s team.

Up Next: Rangers travel to Germany on Tuesday where they will face off against VFB Stuttgart in the Champions League.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Yes, we said we were on hiatus, but there was one final piece of news before the official international break began today…hey we don’t stop writing until our players stop making international headlines.

The News: Danny Szetela picked up his first minutes with Racing Santander’s first team when he started against Málaga on Wednesday.

Of Note: The 20-year-old midfielder cracked the starting lineup and played 66 minutes in Racing Santander’s 0-0 draw in the fourth round of the Copa del Rey. Szetela helped keep Málaga off the board in the away leg of the home-and-home while making his debut for the first team.

Up Next: After the international break, Racing returns home to take on Valencia in La Liga. The team will be looking to get back on track after falling, 0-1, last weekend at Deportivo la Coruña. The second leg against Málaga will be at home on January 2, 2008.

Monday, November 12, 2007

MNT Blog: Go!

With this weekend’s results behind us, the U.S. Soccer Global blog will be taking a break coinciding with the international games around the world.

But wipe those tears off, friends! As you may have noticed, the MNT Blog is firing back up as the guys are landing and getting acclimated to South Africa ahead of Saturday’s match in Johannesburg.

While you won’t hear from us at the Global Blog for a little while, we’ll definitely be spending our vacation by keeping up with all the happenings in the Southern Hemisphere, and we suggest you do the same. Goodbye for now!


The News: Tim Howard made seven saves for Everton in a 1-1 draw against Chelsea on Sunday.

Of Note: Howard kept Everton in the game with some superb goalkeeping, but it looked as if Didier Drogba’s header would be the difference in the closely contested match. However, that was until Everton’s Tim Cahill hit a bicycle kick to rival Taylor Twellman’s. The Australian international’s superb goal came in the final minute of play, and ensured that the points were shared between the two sides.

Up Next: The international break! Awesome! After that, Everton host Sunderland on November 24.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


The News:
Michael Bradley scored the winning goal in Heerenveen's 1-0 victory over Vitesse Arnhem on Sunday in Dutch Eredivisie action.

Of Note: Heerenveen, who were away from home, would have likely settled for a draw after star striker Afonso Alves was red carded in stoppage time of the first half. However, just minutes after half-time break, Bradley popped up to snatch the winner for his side, who vaulted into fourth place with the victory. The goal was Bradley's fifth of the season, and his third in Eredivisie play. 

Up Next: The international break halts league action for a week, and after that, the Dutch leage will take a longer vacation than most: Heerenveen's next match is on December 2nd against NEC Nijmegen. 

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Short Update...

A brief wrap up of the goings on for Saturday’s league games…

Fulham slipped to defeat against Liverpool at Anfield, despite holding out for the majority of the game. Fernando Torres came off the bench to score the winner for the home side in the 81st minut, as the Cottagers were again plagued by giving up a late goal. Four minutes later, Steven Gerrard converted from the spot to put the result out of reach for Fulham, who started both Clint Dempsey and Carlos Bocanegra.

At Pride Park, Jonathan Spector was in the starting lineup for visiting West Ham and his team ran rampant over Derby County. The final score was 5-0, and Spector was behind West Ham’s third goal. It was his shot off a corner kick that led to an eventual own goal by Eddie Lewis. There remain some questions over who will claim the goal, but for now it looks as if the own goal ruling stands. We’ll be sure to keep you informed if the men in suits decide differently, and award Spector what would be his first goal in English football.

In Germany, Heath Pearce made a brief cameo for his club, Hansa Rostock, during their 3-2 win over Energie Cottbus. Pearce came on as a sub in the 86th minute. Meanwhile, Steve Cherundolo and Hannover 96 were on the losing end of a 1-0 game against Hertha Berlin.

Friday, November 9, 2007


Some interesting games on TV this weekend, in what will be the last few days of club soccer prior to the final international break of the year:

(All times ET)


9:45 a.m.: Derby v. West Ham (Setanta) – Derby, despite their poor form, remain a mere two points away from safety. As such, they’ll be looking to get some points in what looks like a winnable game at home against West Ham. Eddie Lewis and Benny Feilhaber were both absent from the squad which lost last week to Aston Villa, so they’ll be looking to get into the team for Saturday afternoon’s kickoff. Meanwhile, Jonathan Spector has made three consecutive appearances for the Hammers, and will hope to figure into Alan Curbishley’s plans again this weekend.

12 p.m.: Liverpool v. Fulham (FSC) – As many of you will undoubtedly remember, in the last meeting between the clubs, Clint Dempsey scored the goal which not only won the game for Fulham, but also went a long way toward lifting his club out of the relegation battle at the end of last year. This year, Dempsey already has four goals for the Cottagers, including the game winner last week. Both he and Carlos Bocanegra, who returns from suspension on Saturday, will have to be at their best as Fulham travel to Anfield to face a Liverpool side that demolished Besiktas 8-0 in the Champions League.


7 p.m.: Chelsea v. Everton (Setanta, delayed) – This game could very well be the pick of the weekend, as it features two teams who have found some form at the same time. Everton, as previously mentioned in the blog, have won five in a row, while the Avram Grant era at Chelsea seems to be quietly gathering speed. Tim Howard is virtually a sure thing to start in goal for the Toffees before he jets off the next day to join up with Bob Bradley and the team in South Africa. It’s too bad this game is aired on a ten hour delay, so make sure to stay away from all forms of communication until Sunday night!

Quick UEFA Cup Wrap Up

Everton and Tim Howard made it six points from two games after last night’s UEFA Cup victory over Nürnberg. The Toffees left it a bit late, but goals from Mikel Arteta and Victor Anchibe handed the English club a deserved 2-0 victory. At the back, Tim Howard and the defense kept an important clean sheet that will undoubtedly boost confidence ahead of Sunday’s mammoth clash with Chelsea. Everton couldn’t be better positioned for that match, with five victories on the trot and Australian international Tim Cahill getting back to his best after injury.

Dan Califf and Aalborg BK claimed a late draw against Anderlecht, after Mattias Lindstrom equalized for the Danish side in the 86th minute. After the international break, Califf and his club will put their European credentials to the test, as they take on Tottenham, who are the favorites of the group. First, however, they’ll turn their sights back to the Danish league, and prepare to face FC Nordsjælland on Sunday.

As a side note, both Califf and Howard are part of Bob Bradley’s initial 17-man roster that will travel to South Africa later this month.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

UEFA Cup Preview

Everton and Tim Howard travel to Germany to face Nurnberg in a game that kicks off at 3 p.m. ET. The two clubs come into tonight’s match with extremely contrasting fortunes: Everton have won four in a row as they push up the Premier League table, while Nurnberg have endured an appalling start to the season and currently sit in the relegation zone in the Bundesliga. Nonetheless, the UEFA Cup is a different competition all together, and the slate is clean for the German club, who will play their first group match today. Everton, on the other hand, have already played one group match against Larissa, where the Toffees triumphed 3-1. Read up on some facts about the match here and be sure to follow live text updates of the game at

Aalborg BK, led by American defender and club captain Dan Califf, plays its first group stage game tonight against Belgian side Anderlecht. AaB (as the Danish side is abbreviated) has already played nine European games this season, as they had to qualify for the UEFA Cup through the Intertoto Cup. Califf and AaB defeated the heavily favored Serie A side Sampdoria in the qualification round in order to be drawn into group G. As you may remember, the MNT Blog spoke to Califf about that victory over Samporia during the recent camp in Switzerland. You can read about all the pre-game happenings here, and be sure to follow the game when it kicks off at 1:15 p.m. ET here.


The News: DaMarcus Beasley was in the starting lineup for Rangers last night, but Barcelona were the better side and came away with a 2-0 victory.

Of Note: The result leaves Rangers in second place in Group D with seven points. Significantly, Stuttgart suffered defeat last night at the hands of Lyon, which means that at the very worst Rangers will qualify for the UEFA Cup. However, the French Champions now sit just behind Rangers on six points, and the final group day match between the two sides (at Ibrox on Dec. 12) could decide who advances to the knockout stage.

Up Next: Rangers have no game at the weekend, which means they head into the international break a bit early. Their next match is against Falkirk on November 24.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

South Africa Squad Released

Because the MNT Blog isn’t back from hiatus yet (just wait until next week!), we’ve decided to point you to the South Africa squad for this month’s friendly via the Global Blog.

The U.S. takes on South Africa in the Nelson Mandela Challenge Cup on Saturday November 17. Kickoff at Ellis Park is 4 p.m. local (9 a.m. ET), and the match will be broadcast live on FSC and Galavision.

Manager Carlos Alberto Parreira has called together a strong team to face the United States in Johannesburg on November 17th. Headlining the squad is Blackburn Rovers’ Benni McCarthy who, after a slow start to the season, is starting to relocate the form that has made him one of Europe’s most feared strikers for the past few years.

Other notable inclusions in the squad are Bradley Carnell, a defender with German side Karlsruhe. His club have surprised everybody so far in the Bundesliga, and currently reside in fourth place, after only being promoted this season.

Winger Steven Pienaar is a teammate of Tim Howard’s at Everton, and the 25-year old is making an impression on Merseyside this season, where he is on a season-long loan from Borussia Dortmund. He is also the subject of this tremendously-scored highlight video chronicling his time at Ajax.

Parreira has brought in players from five different countries across Europe, including five from Germany and three from England. The team is also comprised of ten players based in South Africa’s Premier Soccer League.

Stay tuned for an upcoming roster release for the U.S. team, which we’ll have on later this week.


The News: DaMarcus Beasley and Rangers travel to Catalonia tonight to face Barcelona at the Nou Camp. With 16 appearances and four goals, Beasley has settled nicely into Glasgow. (In case you haven't seen it, we visited Beas last month to get a feel for his role at Rangers - watch the all_access video here)

And in case you haven’t seen it yet, we visited Beasley in the lead up to the Old Firm game in October. It is that kind of experience that Beasley and Rangers will have to draw on if they look to get something out of tonight’s game.

Of Note: Both clubs come into this match at the top of Group E after their draw at Ibrox two weeks ago. In that game, Beasley came off the bench for Rangers. However, after starting on the wing during his club’s victory this weekend, he’ll hope to reprise that role tonight in one of the world’s most famous stadiums. Barcelona won this weekend, and worryingly for Rangers, Frank Rijkaard believes that the recently-criticized Ronaldinho is returning to his best form. Walter Smith has indicated that Rangers will be playing for a draw, which would suit their qualification hopes just fine. Beasley also spoke to Rangers’ website about tonight’s big match, and the prospect of qualifying for the next round.

Up Next: The match kicks off at 2:45 p.m. ET, so be sure to read the match preview here. The game will be shown live on ESPN Deportes, and re-aired on ESPN Classic at 5 p.m. ET. You can also follow live updates on


The News: Freddy Adu was an unused substitute in Benfica’s 1-0 loss to Celtic last night.

Of Note: A lone Aidan McGeady goal was the difference between the two sides, as the Glasgow club prevailed in a tightly contested Group D Champions League match. With the loss, the pressure is mounting significantly for Benfica and Adu, and they will need points from their next two games against Shakthar Donetsk and AC Milan to have any hope of qualifying for the knockout round. Check out full highlights of the game here.

Up Next: Benfica will try to steady the ship win they face Boavista in the Portuguese League on Sunday. Adu and Benfica are yet to lose in the league this year, while Boavista, by contrast, are winless and hovering near the relegation zone. After the international break, Benfica will host AC Milan in a Champions League match where they must achieve a result.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


The News: Freddy Adu and Benfica take on Celtic today in a Champions League Group D match at Celtic Park.

Of Note: The teams last met two weeks ago when Benfica defeated Celtic, 1-0, at the Estadio da Luz. Adu came on as a second half sub in that game, and was part of the passing build up which lead to Benfica’s late goal. With that victory, the Portuguese club reignited its hopes of qualification for the next round, and it now sits only three points behind joint-leaders AC Milan and Shakhtar Donetsk. Celtic could equally use a victory tonight, and they’ll rely on a rowdy home crowd to help them achieve a positive result. You can read previews for the match here and here, and can also follow live text updates at

Up Next: Kickoff is slated for 2:45 p.m. ET, and since the game isn’t on TV, we’ll be sure to link you to highlights as they come on the internet. How do you feel about Benfica’s chances to progress to the next round? They’ve got some tough games ahead….What about predictions for tonight’s fixture?

Monday, November 5, 2007


The News: A strained calf muscle has ruled Jay DeMerit out of action with Watford for the next month.

Of Note: DeMerit was stretchered off the field during Saturday’s loss to West Brom and immediately substituted. At first the extent of his injury was unknown, but after tests on DeMerit’s leg, it was revealed that he will be unfit to play for around a month. The confirmation of the injury means that DeMerit is unlikely to participate in the U.S. team’s trip to Johannesburg to face South Africa later this month.

Up Next: Rest and rehab for DeMerit, who will look to return to the field in December prior to Watford’s busy holiday schedule. In regards to the South Africa trip, stay tuned to, as later this week we’ll be releasing the full roster for the November 17 friendly.

Sunday, November 4, 2007


With a 2-0 win on Saturday, DaMarcus Beasley and Rangers made it two victories in a row before they travel to Spain for their crunch Champions League match with Barcelona. Beasley retained his place in the starting eleven as Rangers hosted Inverness at Ibrox, and it took only seconds for the home side to gain the lead through Kris Boyd. With their early advantage, Rangers didn’t look back, and the result was put out of reach for the visitors with an additional goal in the second half.

Over on the Iberian Peninsula, Freddy Adu again came off the bench for Benfica, who needed more late heroics to earn a 2-1 win against Paços Ferreira. This time the goal came from Greek international Kostas Katsouranis, after he tapped in a rebound off a Rui Costa free kick in the 84th minute. Adu came off the bench in the 81st minute for his fourth consecutive appearance for Benfica, who will travel to Glasgow to face Celtic this week. Check out highlights of the game here.

Tim Howard and Everton made it four wins in a row with their 3-1 victory over Birmingham on Saturday. The Toffees were in danger of dropping points, after Birmingham’s Olivier Kapo tied the game for Steve Bruce’s side in the 80th minute. However, late goals from Lee Carsley and record-signing Yakubu stole victory for an Everton team that now sits at eighth in the table, just shy of a qualification spot for Europe. Speaking of Europe, David Moyes’ team will travel to Germany this week, where they’ll face FC Nürnberg on Thursday in the UEFA Cup. You can see highlights of this weekend’s game here.

Jonathan Spector again came off the bench for West Ham early in the second half, this time with the Hammers defending a 1-0 lead against Bolton. Unfortunately, however, a late stoppage time goal from Bolton's Kevin Nolan meant that the game finished in a draw and the points were shared. Full highlights of the game here.

Meanwhile, Derby County’s troubles are mounting, as they went down 2-0 to Aston Villa. Neither Eddie Lewis nor Benny Feilhaber appeared in the game.

In the Championship, Watford suffered their first loss of the season, crashing to a 3-0 defeat at home to West Bromich Albion. After only 10 minutes, Jay DeMerit collided with an opposing player and had to be stretchered off with what looked to be a calf injury. We’ll keep you updated as we hear the prognosis.

Also in the championship, Sheffield Wednesday earned a 2-1 victory over Plymouth, as Frank Simek made his return to the starting lineup after a brief layoff through injury. The win moves the Owls away from the relegation zone, and they’ll look to further climb the table when they host West Brom on Tuesday.

Michael Bradley and Heerenveen beat PSV 2-1 to move up to fifth in the table. Bradley was again in the starting lineup for Heerenveen, whose victory ended a bad week for the Eindhoven club: on Wednesday, manager Ronald Koeman departed the club to take over at Valencia.

Standard Liege and Oguchi Onyewu drew 0-0 on Saturday against Excelsior. Despite remaining undefeated on the season, the draw sees Gooch’s club fall to second place, one point behind Club Brugge.

Saturday, November 3, 2007


The News: Clint Dempsey scored his fourth Premier League goal of the season in Fulham’s 3-1 victory over Reading on Saturday.

Of Note: Dempsey tapped home a Shefki Kuqi header in the 72nd minute, and the goal proved to be the game-winner. Fulham have had a nasty habit of conceding late goals this season, but this time they were doing the attacking in the second half, and David Healy’s 90th minute goal made sure of the three points. With the victory, Fulham jump to 13th place in the league, putting some breathing room between them and the relegation zone. For Reading, Marcus Hahnemann took the loss in goal, as they remain one point above Fulham in 12th place. Bobby Convey made his return to the Premier League from injury when he came on as a sub in the 76th minute.

Up Next: Fulham have a tough stretch of three games coming up. On Saturday, they’ll travel to Anfield to take on Liverpool, in a game that will be shown live on FSC. After the international break, they’ll take on Blackburn and Manchester United over the Thanksgiving weekend. Reading, meanwhile, are at home to Arsenal on Monday the 12th.

Friday, November 2, 2007


(All times are ET)


5:30 pm: Fulham v. Reading (FSC, delayed) – Clint Dempsey and Fulham host Bobby Convey, Marcus Hahnemann and Reading in this matchup between two teams seeking to push themselves into the top half of the table. For the Cottagers, Carlos Bocanegra is suspended due to yellow card accumulation, and his team will need to figure out a way to stop conceding late goals, which has been a plague throughout the season. Meanwhile, Convey is included in the squad as he continues his recovery from injury, and Hahnemann, if he starts in goal as expected, will make his 50th premier league appearance for the club. You can read a match preview for the game here.


11:00 am: West Ham v. Bolton (FSC) – Jonathan Spector and West Ham host struggling Bolton at Upton Park on Sunday in a battle between the 11th and 19th placed teams. Spector has appeared in West Ham’s last two games, and with the Hammers’ injury list growing rapidly, he could find himself in the starting lineup for this weekend’s game. You can read a match preview for the game here.

As always, we’ll be bringing you highlights and news items as they happen throughout the weekend. With a full schedule of games around Europe, there will undoubtedly be some action to report on. Which games are you looking forward to? Any predictions? Let us know by leaving some comments…

Thursday, November 1, 2007


The News: DaMarcus Beasley was inserted into the starting lineup for Rangers’ cup match against Motherwell and played the full 90 minutes in a 2-1 victory.

Of Note: Nacho Novo and Kris Boyd were on target for Rangers, who move on to the semifinals of the competition. Beasley had a hand in the second goal for the Glasgow club, pouncing on a loose ball and starting the move forward which eventually resulted in Boyd’s strike.

Up Next: Rangers welcome Inverness to Ibrox on Saturday, before hopping on a plane to the Nou Camp, where they will face Barcelona on Wednesday night.


The News: Michael Bradley scored his fifth goal of the season, but it proved to be only a consolation as Heerenveen went down to Ajax 3-1 in Dutch Cup play.

Of Note: Heerenveen traveled to Amsterdam to face Ajax in a third round cup match, and ultimately couldn’t pull off an upset against the Dutch giants. Down early from a Johnny Heitinga goal, Heerveen fought back, but a Hedwiges Maduro strike put Ajax up 2-0 at halftime. In the second half, it was more of the same frustration for Heerenveen and a Klaas-Jan Huntelaar goal put the result out of reach before Michael Bradley got on the scoresheet in the 71st minute.

Up Next: Heerenveen have no time to hang their heads, as they host league-topping PSV Eindhoven on Saturday. DaMarcus Beasley’s former club is thus far undefeated in the league, and Heerenveen will look for a result to shake up the standings in the Eredivisie.


The News: Freddy Adu continued his run of good form, scoring from the penalty spot, and looking dangerous throughout the game, however it wasn’t enough to stave off defeat, and Benfica eventually went down 2-1 in the game to Vitória Setúbal.. With the loss, Benfica was eliminated from the Portuguese Cup 3-2 on aggregate goals.

Of Note: Adu made it two goals in two games, when he converted a penalty for Benfica in first half stoppage time. The goal was his fourth on the season, and third in the cup competition. In the second half, Vitória stormed back, grabbing an equalizer shortly after the break. Their constant pressure eventually paid off, and Edinho popped up seven minutes from time to bag the goal which eventually sealed the tie. For Adu, he started and played 85 minutes, but that will be scant consolation, as his side are now out of the race for the Cup title.

Up Next: Benfica and Adu will look to get back on track this weekend, when they face Paços de Ferreira, the side currently in fifteenth place in the league. Next Tuesday, Benfica travel to Scotland to face Celtic in Group D Champions League action.