Dempsey assumes Fulham lead in goals, provides draw with Birmingham.
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
(Tuesday, November 30, 2010) -- American Clint Dempsey netted his fifth goal of the English Premier League season, heading home the equalizer for Fulham in a 1-1 draw with visiting Birmingham City Saturday at Craven Cottage.
With six goals overall, Dempsey is the Cottagers' leading scorer.
Fulham has been left without much of an attack with injuries to Andrew Johnson, Bobby Zamora and Mousa Dembele.
Birmingham took the lead on Sebastian Larsson's goal in the 20th minute. In the 53rd minute, a Fulham corner kick across the goal-mouth was headed back toward the near post. Dempsey came roaring in and climbed high over a defender to head home his tying tally.
U.S. striker Eddie Johnson came off the Fulham bench in the 73rd minute and had a great chance to win the game in the late going when he burst through the Birmingham defense only to see his angled shot go into the side-netting.
On November 21, Dempsey went the distance in a 4-1 loss to Manchester City at home. Johnson was not dressed.
Fulham is 0-2-3 during a five-match winless streak. The team is 2-4-9 with 15 points, sitting is 17th place, one point and one position above the relegation zone.
Two places worse and in the drop zone are the Wolverhampton Wanderers and their American goalkeeper, Marcus Hahnemann, has paid the price. He has been benched in favor of Wayne Hennessey, whom he had originally been brought in to mentor after replacing him last season.
On Saturday, with Hennessy playing no better than Hahnemann had, Wolves finally found some offense and defeated Sunderland 3-2.
Wolverhampton Manager Mick McCarthy told England's Guardian newspaper that putting Hahnemann on the bench was one option to try to shake up his drifting club. "Marcus had no problem with it. He was absolutely terrific," McCarthy said. "I'll be sticking with Wayne. I wouldn't have just put him in for one game and if we'd got beaten and he'd made a mistake, changed it. That would have been grossly unfair. He's got to be given another chance. He was our number one, the top jolly, wasn't he? He had a tough time and then Marcus came in. But we'd not kept a clean sheet, we'd not been winning games and it was my decision to change it."
On November 20, Hahnemann had a pair of saves, but Wolverhampton fell 2-1 to Blackpool.
Wolves are tied for 19th and last place at 3-9-3 with 12 points.
U.S. keeper Tim Howard had two saves for Everton in a 4-1 loss Saturday to West Bromwich Albion.
On November 22 at Stadium of Light, Howard gave up a pair of goals to 19-year-old Danny Welbeck, but a late goal by Mikel Arteta allowed visiting Everton to escape with a 2-2 draw with Sunderland.
Welback, on loan from Manchester United, scored in each half, the first time by touching in a hard cross at the far post in the 23rd minute. In the 70th minute, he controlled a cross from Kieran Richardson and looped a header over Howard and into the net
After Everton drew level on Mikel Arteta's tally in the 82nd minute, Welbeck twice came close to a hat trick. Howard had to get down to keep out Welbeck's curling effort and then watched him miss just wide on an effort in stoppage time.
Everton is only a point ahead of Fulham in 16th place at 3-5-7 with 16 points.
U.S. keeper Brad Friedel made three saves for Aston Villa, but was let down often by his defense in a 4-2 setback to Arsenal. It was much the same story November 21 when Friedel made two saves in a 2-0 loss to Blackburn Rovers.
In both games, American keeper Brad Guzan and defender Eric Lichaj were on the bench, but did not play for Villa.
U.S. midfielder Stuart Holden did not dress for Bolton Wanderers, wjo drew 2-2 with Blackpool on Saturday. He was recovering from a thigh injury suffered November 20 in Wanderers' 5-1 demolition of Newcastle United. Holden played an important part in Bolton's surging attack.
U.S. defender Jonathan Spector did not dress for West Ham United (2-7-6, 12 points), tied for last despite being a 3-1 winner Saturday over Wigan Athletic.
On November 20, Spector was on the bench for a 3-0 loss to Liverpool.
In the second-division League Championship, American forward Conor Doyle dressed, but remained on the bench for Derby County, which lost 2-1 Saturday to Burnley. This followed a 3-2 win over Scunthorpe United.
American defender Zak Whitbread remains sidelined for Norwich City with an injured calf and missed a 4-1 victory over Ipswich Town Sunday and, prior to that, a 1-1 draw with Leeds United.
In the third-tier League One, American defender Frank Simek played 90 minutes for Carlisle United, which defeated Tamworth (of the fifth-division Nationwide Conference) 3-2 Saturday in the second round of the FA Cup.
Before that, he went the distance in a 2-1 loss to Walsall, receiving a yellow card.
American attacker Mike Grella did not dress for Carlisle. In the loss to Walall, he went the distance, scoring his team's goal.
Prior to not playing this past weekend, American striker Jemal Johnson came on for the final 17 minutes of Milton Keynes Dons' 4-1 loss to Sheffield Wednesday.
American midfielder Anton Peterlin did not dress for Plymouth Argyle in its 2-1 loss to Brentford and then did not play last weekend.
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.
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