Dempsey avoids surgery, his World Cup hopes remain intact.
By Robert Wagman
(in Washington, D.C.)
(Thursday, January 21, 2010) -- United States midfielder Clint Dempsey might play in this summer's World Cup yet.
After injuring his right knee in Fulham's 2-0 loss at Blackburn Rovers, an MRI exam revealed Dempsey will not need surgery for what was feared to be a tear of the posterior cruciate ligament.
Dempsey leads Fulham with seven goals, six in the English Premier League. "Early indications are positive in that no operation is required," Fulham said in a written statement. "At this stage it is thought that the injury will not prevent him from featuring for Fulham prior to the end of the season."
Fulham's Premier League season ends May 9 at Arsenal.
The news was obviously a relief to officials of the U.S. men, who are closely monitoring central defender Oguchi Onyewu's recovery from knee surgery and striker Charlie Davies, who broke two bones in his right leg and suffered a lacerated bladder in a car accident.
"The news about Clint's injury is positive, especially given the fact that he will not require surgery," U.S. coach Bob Bradley said. "We are confident that Clint will be ready to be an important part of our team during the World Cup."
Dempsey has become one of the Americans' most dangerous attackers with 17 goals in 60 international appearances, including scoring in each of the U.S.'s last three matches in the 2009 Confederations Cup, where the Americans finished a surprising second.
U.S. captain Landon Donovan is considering trying to extend his loan from Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy to Everton of the EPL after performing well in the first two appearances of his 10-week loan and being warmly received by the Everton fans.
"I've been made to feel so welcome and when you're welcome like that you don't want to let anyone down," he told the Liverpool Echo. "It's a sharp contrast to how I felt last year when I was at (Bayern) Munich. It's a little more individual and selfish there. Here they make you feel part of a family and you keep going because you don't want to let anyone down.
"The future is out of my control. I want to enjoy this experience. That means I show up for training and I'm ready. I show up for the game and I'm ready. But who knows what will happen in the future. Football's funny and you never know what could happen. If I look back after 10 weeks and say I really want to stay, then maybe I can make that happen. If I say OK, it was good, but I'm ready to go, then I can go, but for now I'm taking it week by week."
Any extension of the loan would cause Donovan to miss the beginning of the MLS season, assuming management and players work out their contract impasse.
For the second straight match, Donovan started at right wing and turned in a solid effort as host Everton defeated red-hot Manchester City 2-0 at Goodison Park.
Donovan again played a strong two-way match, running the flank and getting involved in the attack, while dropping back to make some good defensive stops. He also took most of the team's corner kicks and most were well-delivered.
Everton used a goal on a free kick by midfielder Steven Pienaar in the 36th minute and forward Louis Saha's penalty kick in first-half stoppage time to build a 2-0 advantage at the break. U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard was not called on to make exceptional save among his four stops, while controlling his box well.
In a nice gesture to Donovan, Everton manager David Moyes took him out with about a minute left in stoppage time to allow the home fans to show their appreciation with a nice ovation.
In a meeting of teams with three Americans, Aston Villa tied West Ham United 0-0 Saturday in a defensive struggle. American keeper Brad Friedel made only one save for Villa. As is usually the case, fellow American keeper Brad Guzan was on the bench behind him.
American Jonathan Spector manned the West Ham defense.
Guzan was not sharp last night, but host Villa moved to the Carling Cup final with a 6-4 triumph over Blackburn Rovers for a 7-4 aggregate victory.
After falling behind 2-0 on a pair of goals by Nikola Kalinic, Villa roared back on goals by five different players, including a penalty kick, plus an own goal that put Villa ahead for good at 3-2.
Villa will meet Manchester United or Manchester City in the title match.
Elsewhere in the EPL, it was another frustrating week for U.S. keeper Marcus Hahnemann now he is established as the Wolverhampton starter. He made seven saves, including three on point-blank shots, but Wolves fell 2-0 to Wigan Athletic.
Wolves played down a man after Richard Stearman was sent off with his second yellow in the 45th minute. Hahnemann saved the ensuing penalty kick from Hugo Rodallega, but could not stop shots by James McCarthy in the 60th minute and Charles N'Zogbia in the 73rd.
U.S. striker Jozy Altidore was excused from Hull's 0-0 draw away at Spurs as he tried to make contact with relatives in Haiti.
In the second-tier English League Championship, U.S. defender Jay DeMerit went the distance for Watford, which fell 2-1 at Doncaster Rovers.
American defender Frank Simek dressed, but didn't play in Sheffield Wednesday's 2-1 win at Barnsley and Tuesday's 2-1 defeat of Blackpool.
In the third-division League One, American defender Zak Whitbread played the final nine minutes for Norwich City, which blanked Colchester United 5-0.
American striker Mike Grella played the final five minutes of league-leading Leeds United's 2-0 loss Saturday at Exeter City.
Grella started and played 83 minutes Tuesday in a 2-1 loss to Carlisle in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy competition.
Johnson plays, Adu awaits Aris debut
American forward Eddie Johnson, on loan from Fulham, made his debut in a pair of matches with Aris Thessaloniki of Greece. Fellow American, midfielder Freddy Adu, on loan from Benfica of Portugal is also a recent Aris acquisition and is waiting to see his first action.
On Sunday, Johnson came on as a 79th-minute substitute for Argentinean forward Javier Campora in Aris 2-0 downing of Pas Giannina. The prior Wednesday, he made his Greek debut, entering in the 80th minute for Aris, which topped Asteras Tripolis 1-0 in the Greek Cup Round of 16.
On Sunday, it looked like Adu might be used, warming up on the sidelines when a group of rowdy Aris fans invaded the field. The referee stopped the match for more than 15 minutes around the 60th minute and when play was resumed, Adu was called back to the bench.
Midfielder Ricardo Clark moved from MLS's Houston Dynamo to Eintracht Frankfurt of the German Bundesliga, where he was on trial for a week. He signed for the remainder of the season with Eintracht Frankfurt reportedly having an option to extend the deal for three more years.
Clark was obtained because Markus Steinhoefer moved to Kaiserslautern and Bosnian Zlatan Bajramovic is injured. "If Ricardo can adapt to the Bundesliga, he will be a useful player to us," Eintracht manager Michael Skibbe said on his club's web site. "He is a good runner, powerful and is good on the ball."
Another former Houston midfielder, Stuart Holden trained with several English teams, most recently Bolton Wanderers, but unsigned, the American came to a deal with Sporting Braga, which is tied for the Portugese Liga lead with Benfica.
In the Bundesliga, U.S. defender Steve Cherundolo was pulled in the 54th minute of Hannover 96's disappointing 3-0 loss to Hertha Berlin. Although Hannover dominated the early going, it soon found itself behind last-place Hertha. Cherundolo came out for an attacking midfielder as Hannover tried to make a comeback.
After the match, Andreas Bergmann was fired as Hannover coach. The north Germany club has not won since the end of October and the defeat at home to Hertha drops it into the relegation zone.
U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley went 90 minutes for Borussia Mönchengladbach which dropped a close 2-1 match to Bochum.
In the 2. Bundesliga, TuS Koblenz, drew 2-2 with 1860 Munich. Both clubs received relatively good news in that their Americans, Koblenz keeper David Yelldell and 1860 forward Kenny Cooper are both reported recovering from respective mediate collateral ligament injuries. Both are hoped to return to play in late February.
American striker Matt Taylor played 34 minutes for FSV Frankfurt in a 5-0 loss at Duisburg.
American Luis Robles remains in his role as backup keeper and didn't play for Kaiserslautern in a 3-0 setback at Greuther Fuerth.
In France's Ligue 1, U.S. defender Carlos Bocanegra, who has been in and out of Stade Rennes lineup, did not play as his struggling club went with three in the back for a 1-1 draw with Lens.
On Tuesday, Bocanegra went the distance in a 0-0 road draw with Saint-Etienne.
In Scotland, U.S. midfielder Maurice Edu went 90 minutes for Glasgow Rangers in a 1-0 decision over Hamilton Academicals. American midfielder DaMarcus Beasley, who has been slow to recover from a thigh strain, was not dressed for Rangers.
Edu and Beasley both were held out as Rangers used mostly reserves in a 2-0 victory over Hamilton in a fourth-round replay in the Scottish Cup.
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.
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