Dempsey, Friedel help Tottenham to rare road victory at Manchester United.
By Robert Wagman (in Washington, D.C.)
(Wednesday, October 2, 2012) -- A pair of Americans were key contributors to Tottenham Hotspur which ended more than two decades of futility with its first home victory over Manchester United since December 1989.
Impressive goalkeeping down the stretch by American Brad Friedel and what proved to be the decisive goal by United States withdrawn forward Clint Dempsey proved to be the difference as Tottenham edged United 3-2 Saturday in the English Premier League before 75,566 at Old Trafford.
Some of the Tottenham Hotspurs players had not been born the last time the London club traveled north and came away with a triumph from Old Trafford, going 0-23-5 in the interim. Spurs do not have a home win over United in the last 11 years.
It was not easy for Spurs, despite taking advantage of a flat United side for a 2-0 lead at halftime on goals by defender Jan Vertonghen in the second minute and midfielder Gareth Bale in the 32nd..
A stern lecture by manager Alex Ferguson and the insertion of Wayne Rooney on the front line led United to come out with new intensity after intermission, but goals by midfielder Nani in the 51st minute and withdraw forward Shinji Kagawa in the 53rd, sandwiched Dempsey's strike in the 52nd, leaving Spurs in the lead 3-2.
Spurs held on to their advantage despite facing extraordinary pressure - United had five strikers on the field by game's end -- thanks in part to several of their shots hitting the framework and the effort of Friedel in his 310th consecutive start.
Friedel stopped a bullet from Nani in the 78th minute, a rocket from Paul Scholes in the 82nd minute and saved his best save to deny Patrice Eura in the 87th.
The victory capped a good week for Spurs. Last Wednesday, they overpowered Carlisle of the third-tier League One 3-0 in a Capital One Cup third-round match. Dempsey went 90 minutes, but Fridel sat and watched Italian Carlo Cudicini in goal.
United States striker Jozy Altidore scored his most impressive goal for AZ Alkmaar and assisted on another in a 3-3 draw with RKC Waalwijk Sunday in the Dutch Eredivisie.
On his goal, he took the ball with his back to the goal some 40 yards out. He turned on one defender, beat two others and fired a hard low shot that was unstoppable. In the 88th minute, he headed a cross back into the center of the box where Adam Maher put it away to secure the tie.
Altidore has eight goals in five league games for AZ, which is off to a slow 2-2-3 with nine points for 10th place in league.
In the English Premier League, U.S. keeper Brad Guzan remains the starter for Aston Villa and made a pair of saves in a 1-1 tie with visiting West Bromwich Albion at Villa Park.
U.S. defender Eric Lichaj dressed, but didn't play for Villa.
Yesterday, Lichaj entered in the 86th minute and went the next 34 minutes as Villa upset Manchester City 4-2 in extra time of a Capital One Cup third-round match.
U.S. keeper Tim Howard looked sharp in making four saves for a 3-1 victory for Everton over Southampton.
Last Wednesday, in the biggest upset in the Capital One Cup third round, Leeds United of the second-division League Championship defeated reserve-heavy Everton 2-1. Jan Mucha was in goal for Everton with Howard on the bench.
U.S. defender Geoff Cameron went the distance for Stoke City in a 2-0 decision over Swansea City.
U.S. midfielder Maurice Edu remained on the bench for Stoke.
Another young American is starting a professional career with a Premiership team. U.S. under-20 keeper Cody Copper, 19, moved from the Ispwich youth development program to Southampton, signing a three-year contract. He will start out training with the first-team keepers, while playing on Southampton's entry in the new Under-21 Premier League.
In the League Championship, the only Americans to play this weekend were defender Jonathan Spector who went 90 minutes and midfielder-defender Will Packwood, who played 80 minutes for Birmingham City in a 1-0 victory at Brighton.
The two also started yesterday against host Cardiff City in a 2-1 loss. Spector again went the distance and Packwood was replaced 52 minutes in.
U.S. defender Tim Ream dressed, but did not play for Bolton Wanderers in a 1-0 loss Saturday to Crystal Palace or a 2-2 draw with Leeds yesterday.
American defender Zak Whitbread dressed, but didn't play for Leicester City in it s2-1 win over Middlesbrough on Saturday or a 2-0 shutout of Huddersfield Town yesterday.
Irish-American forward Conor Doyle did not dress for Derby County and midfielder Stuart Holden continues to rehab his knee for Bolton.
In the third-division League One, American defender Frank Simek played 90 minutes for Carlisle United in a 2-0 loss to Crawley Town on Saturday.
American forward Mike Grella played the final two minutes Saturday for Scunthorpe United in its 2-1 loss to Portsmouth. He went eight minutes yesterday in its 3-1 loss to Tranmere.
American midfielder Robbie Rogers did not dress for Stevenage either Saturday or yesterday.
In the German Bundesliga, German-American midfielder Jermaine Jones played the first 75 minutes and received a yellow card for FC Schalke 04 in its 2-2 draw with Fortuna Dusseldorf.
A pair of German-American midfielder defenders, Fabian Johnson and Danny Williams each went the distance for TSG 1899 Hoffenheim in a 0-0 draw with FC Augsburg. Williams received a yellow card.
U.S. defender Steve Cherundolo went the distance for Hannover 96 in a 1-0 loss to Hamburg.
German-American defender Timmy Chandler went 90 minutes for 1. FC Nürnberg in its 2-0 loss to VfB Stuttgart.
American keeper David Yelldell did not make the game-day roster for Bayer Leverkusen, a 2-0 winner over SpVgg Greuther Furth.
In the second-tier 2. Bundesliga, German-American defender John Anthony Brooks played the final five minutes for Hertha Berlin in a 2-2 draw with MSV Duisburg on Monday night.
German-American defender-midfielder Alfredo Morales did not dress for Hertha.
German-American striker Andrew Wooten dressed, but did not play for SV Sandhausen in its 4-0 loss to 1860 Munich.
American midfielder Joe Gyau dressed, but did not play for St. Pauli in a 3-0 loss to SSV Jahn Regensburg.
In Spain's first-division La Liga, U.S. defender Oguchi Onyewu dressed, but did not play for Malaga in a 4-0 victory over Real Betis.
In the second-tier Segunda Division, U.S. defender Carlos Bocanega played 90 minutes for Racing Santander in its 1-1 draw with Numancia.
In Italy, U.S. midfielder Michael Bradley has returned to training after a thigh injury, but did not dress for AS Roma, which went on to lose 4-1 to Juventus.
In Austria, German-American striker Terrence Boyd played the first hour, earning a yellow card, for Rapid Wien in its 2-0 win over Wacker Innsbruck.
In Belgium, U.S. midfielder Sacha Kljestan dressed, but did not play for Anderlecht in its 3-0 whitewash of Lokeren.
In Norway, American midfielder Mikkel Diskerud played 90 minutes and scored a goal in for Rosenborg BK in its easy 5-2 win over Haugesund. He also received a yellow card.
American keeper Steve Clark played 90 minutes for Hønefoss BK in a 0-0 draw with Sogndal.
Chad Barrett was on the bench for Vålerenga, which defeated Fredrikstad 2-1 on Monday night.
American winger Josh Gatt has an injured hamstring and was not available to Molde FK for a 4-3 triumph over Stabæk IF.
American defender Sean Cunningham did not dress for Stabæk.
In Denmark, Icelandic-American Aron Johannsson went 90 minutes and scored another goal for AGF Aarhus in a 2-1 decision over Odense BK. He is now the leading scorer in all of European top divisions with 11 goals in 11 matches.
American defender Michael Parkhurst played 90 minutes for FC Nordsjælland in its 3-0 decision Saturday over Esbjerg.
Yesterday, he again went the distance when FCN was soundly beaten at home by Chelsea 4-0 in their opening Champions League in the Parkstadion, Gelsenkirchen. FCN managed to keep it close for 79 minutes, but Chelsea exploded for three goals in the final 11 minutes.
American midfielder Conor O'Brien went 90 minutes Monday night for SønderjyskE, which defeated FC Midtjylland 3-1.
U.S. defender Clarence Goodson was sidelined by a red card suspension for Brøndby IF's 3-2 loss to Randers FC.
American striker Charlie Davies dressed, but did not play for Randers.
In Sweden, American midfielder Alejandro Bedoya played 90 minutes for Helsingborgs IF in its 3-0 victory over Atvidabergs.
In Mexico, American defender Edgar Castillo went the distance for Club Tijuana in a 1-0 decision over Queretaro.
American midfielder Joe Corona dressed, but did not play for Tijuana while American defender Greg Garza did not dress for Tijuana.
U.S. midfielder DaMarcus Beasley played the first 69 minutes for Puebla in a 1-1 draw with Pumas.
U.S. midfielder José Torres played the final 26 minutes for Pachuca, which edged Chivas de Guadalajara 1-0
U.S. defender-midfielder Michael Orozco Fiscal played the final 10 minutes for San Luis in a 0-0 draw with Tigres UANL.
American defender Jonathan Bornstein did not dress for Tigres.
U.S. striker Herculez Gomez dressed, but did not play Santos Laguna in its 3-1 win over Atlante.
Robert Wagman is SoccerTimes senior correspondent.
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