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List of Americans Abroad

Keller signs with Fulham to become fourth American at the Cottage.

Beasley helps Rangers get off to good start.

Hahnemann's 10 saves stymie Man United, earn Reading 0-0 draw.

Adu negotiates with Benfica after MLS, Portugese power, agree to $2-million transfer fee.

Dalby North End romance ends with work permit denial.

Beasley reported to be near deal with Glasgow Rangers.

Bernardo's Italian training could benefit U.S. future.

Friedel, Rovers left to rue what should have been.

Onyewu is hopeful, but unsure of his Newcastle future.

Hahnemann is ranked No. 1 among Premier League goalkeepers.

Bocanegra hopeful Fulham can make late surge.

McBride's strong play makes him Fulham 'Player of the Month.'

Solid play earns Howard permanent spot, lucrative deal with Everton.

Keller clean sheet gives 'Gladbach 0-0 draw with Aachen.

Mönchengladbach used Keller shutout for rare victory.

Onyewu finally makes his move; he's loaned to Newcastle United.

Marseille must wait as Onyewu mulls Magpies offer.

Robles opts against MLS, signs with Kaiserslautern in Germany.

Onyewu move to Marseille is completed, Standard says.

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Americans Abroad

Dempsey is powerful force for struggling Fulham in 3-3 draw with Spurs.

Munga Eketebi
Clint Dempsey, here seen in the first half, figured in all three Fulham goals in a 3-3 draw with Tottenham Hotspur.
-- Fulham FC web site photos --
By Robert Wagman
  (in Washington, D.C.)
SoccerTimes

(Saturday, September 1, 2007) -- No team in the English Premier League has endured as much turmoil in the opening weeks of the new season as Fulham.

Manager Lawrie Sanchez, given carte blanche by management to improve his club, spent millions of pounds on a number of major offseason moves. However, charged with at least finishing in the middle of the standings after battling to avoid relegation a year ago, Sanchez has been forced to deal with a rash of injuries while he tries to mesh his new arrivals into the lineup.

American striker Brian McBride, who was elevated to team captain after being voted last season's team "Most Valuable Player," quickly went down with a freak injury which will sideline him for at least three months, and possibly much longer.

In a 2-1 loss to Middlesbrough August 18, McBride laced a right-footer from the top left of the penalty area into the net for a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute. As he pivoted for the shot, his left leg buckled and he immediately fell to the ground in agony.

A subsequent MRI exam revealed no fracture, but a dislocated patella (a bone in the knee joint), while also completely rupturing his quadriceps muscle where it inserts into the patella. McBride has returned to England after having surgery performed by Los Angeles orthopedist and U.S. national-team doctor Bert Mandelbaum, who repaired and reattached the torn muscle. Fulham trainer Jason Palmer hopes McBride can be back in the lineup by the busy Christmas holiday season or in early January.

An injury to Fulham goalkeeper Antti Niemi in pre-game warm-ups before the season-opener at Arsenal led Fulham to sign Kasey Keller, a four-time U.S. World Cup veteran. Along with defender Carlos Bocanegra, who was elevated to replace McBride as captain, and midfielder Clint Dempsey, who recently was moved into the starting lineup after serving as a valuable reserve, Fulham now has a contingent of four Americans. Otherwise in England's top leagues, only Reading of the Premier League has as many as two in keeper Marcus Hahnemann and midfielder Bobby Convey.

Fulham celebrates
Clint Dempsey, center, celebrates Fulham's tying goal with Diomansy Kamara, left, whose bicycle kick in the closing moments tied the match, and defender Dejan Stefanovic.

Dempsey was a hero today for Fulham, figuring in all three goals for the Cottagers, who rallied late to draw visiting Tottenham Hotspur 3-3. After five matches, Fulham is a disappointing 1-3-1 with four points, in a six-way tie for 13th place in the Premier League.

Keller was a free agent, leaving Borussia Mönchengladbach after two seasons after the club was relegated from the German Bundesliga last season.

Keller was signed to back up Tony Warner, who took over for Niemi, Finland's national keeper, but he was thrown immediately into the starting lineup for last Saturday's 2-1 setback at Aston Villa. Warner was back in net for Tuesday's 1-0 triumph over Shrewsbury, the leader of the fourth-tier League Two, in a Carling Cup second-round match.

Today, Niemi was back in the starting lineup today for Fulham, which came up with two late tallies to tie Spurs. Before 24,007 Fulham faithful at Craven Cottage against, Spurs dominated the first half and much of the second to take leads of 2-0 and 3-1 before letting the match slip away in the final 13 minutes of regulation.

Dempsey, in his third successive start (including one in the Carling Cup), after three substitute appearances, ended up as a hero for the Cottagers. With his team trailing 2-0, he narrowed the deficit to one when he raced into the penalty area for a rebound and found net with a sharply-taken header in the 42nd minute for his second goal of the season.

In the 77th minute with Tottenham ahead 3-1, Dempsey was lying on the ground when he slid the ball to midfielder Alexey Smertin, who scored off a deflection to pull the hosts again to within one. In the 90th minute, Dempsey, 24, headed a throw-in to Diomansy Kamara, whose bicycle kick popped over the head of Spurs keeper Paul Robinson, the starter for England, for a 3-3 tie.

Dropping back on defense, Dempsey blocked a shot just as the match ended.

Niemi looked dreadful, making errors all day. He gave up an early goal to Younes Kaboul after a soft shot he could not hold and was beaten to the near post on Gareth Bale's striker that put Tottenham up 3-1 in the 61st minute. In between, Niemi could only wave at Dimitar Berbatov's rocket that made it 2-0 Spurs in the 28th minute.

Niemi is Sanchez's first choice for keeper, but Keller has two weeks to earn the job with Fulham off until a September 15 road match at Wigan Athletic. While Keller practices with his new club, Niemi will be mostly absent, leaving tomorrow to join Finland for two 2008 European Championship qualifiers.

Keller made his only appearance for the Cottagers last Saturday, two days after signing, and came up on the short side of a 2-1 decision to host Aston Villa, which benefited from an own goal and won with a blast in stoppage time. Fulham played a man short after defender Chris Baird was sent off with his second yellow card in the 68th minute.

Fulham took a 1-0 lead on a long-range blast from Dempsey in the sixth minute. With Hameur Bouazza and Lee Cook out with injuries, Dempsey moved up from the midfield to start on the front line. A pass from Fulham forward Diomansy Kamara deflected off an opponent into the path of the Dempsey whose rising left-footed drive beat keeper Scott Carson and caught underside of the crossbar before going in.

Keller, 37, who made seven saves, kept Villa off the scoreboard until the 51st minute when a hard shot by Ashley Young redirected off Fulham defender Zat Knight and into the net for a 1-1 tie.

The Lions increased the pressure after Baird was banished and, two minutes into stoppage time, Villa reserve midfielder Shaun Maloney went unmarked on the left side and finished off a counter-attack with a blast to make it 2-1.

The counter began after Dempsey nearly put Fulham ahead with a header, but Carson came up with the save and made a quick outlet pass.

Otherwise, the Cottagers had a good night on defense, with Bocanegra playing especially well.

"We are having absolutely no luck whatsoever at this time and we're compounding that by making serious errors in judgment at crucial times late in the game," Sanchez said. "As good as Aston Villa are, we should have got something from this game."

Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.

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