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The Official 2010 Pre- World Cup Thread


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[quote][size="5"][b]Holden offered tryout at Burnley[/b][/size]

[size="1"]by Paul Kennedy, Monday, Jan 4, 2010 7:00 AM ET[/size]

[AMERICANS ABROAD] U.S. international Stuart Holden will head to English Premier League club Burnley for a tryout, Dynamo chief operating officer [b]Chris Canetti [/b]told FOX 26 Sports.

But his prospects of signing were complicated by the news that Burnley manager [b]Owen Coyle [/b]is the top choice to become the new Bolton Wanderers manager.

Coyle invited Holden to come to Burnley this week and discuss a move to the Clarets. Holden is expected to work out with the club.

Holden also attracted the interest of Rangers and Aberdeen in his native Scotland and Burnley rival Blackburn and has an offer to remain in MLS with the Houston Dynamo.

Holden's status as a free agent and his British passport make him an attractive player to clubs in Britain.[/quote]

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[quote][b][size="5"]Johnson loaned to Greek club Aris[/size][/b]

[size="1"]by Paul Kennedy, Monday, Jan 4, 2010 7:00 AM ET[/size]

[AMERICANS ABROAD] Eddie Johnson has been loaned by Fulham to Greek club Aris for the remainder of the 2009-10 season. It's the second year in a row the Cottagers have shipped out the American striker. He spent last season at Cardiff City.

Johnson was one of five players whom Fulham has advised for English Premier League clubs will be available for sale during the January transfer window in order to cut its salary expenses.

Johnson has made only two league appearances this season, both off the bench, and he has not played since October. He played six games for the Cottagers after arriving in January 2008 and then was loaned out last season to second-level Cardiff City.[/quote]

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[quote][b][size="5"]Guzan saves another penalty

[/size][/b] [size="1"]by Paul Kennedy, Monday, Jan 4, 2010 7:00 AM ET[/size]

[AMERICANS ABROAD] Brad Guzan did it again, stopping a penalty kick by David Dunn in Aston Villa's 4-1 win over Blackburn Rovers in the third round of the English FA Cup on Saturday.

Guzan's stop in the 31st minute kept Villa head and followed five penalty saves, including four in the shootout, against Sunderland in the League Cup earlier in the season.

Guzan should be in goal again on Tuesday when Villa meets Blackburn in the semifinals of the League Cup.

"He has made another great save from the penalty and you are now almost expecting him to save penalties, which is rather unfair on him," Villa manager Martin O'Neill said. "He was disappointed with the goal they scored but we've got a Carling Cup semifinal with Blackburn on Tuesday and he is as big a reason as anyone why we are there. I'm delighted with his contribution but Brad Friedel is also playing excellently for us."

Guzan, who stays on the bench while compatriot Friedel starts in EPL games, had saved three penalty kicks to lead Villa to the Peace Cup title over Juventus last summer.[/quote]


[quote][b][size="5"]Wins for Howard and Dempsey[/size][/b]

[size="1"]by Paul Kennedy, Monday, Jan 4, 2010 7:00 AM ET[/size]

[AMERICANS ABROAD] Tim Howard's Everton and Clint Dempsey's Fulham both won English FA Cup third-round games against lower-division opposition, but they were both pushed to the limit.

Jay Demerit, 90 minutes, Watford (0-5, at Chelsea)
Chelsea was up 3-0 after only 22 minutes.

Jozy Altidore, sub, 17 minutes, Hull (1-4, at Wigan)
The match was already lost when Altidore came on.

Clint Dempsey, 90 minutes, Fulham (1-0, Swindon, D2)
Swindon keeper David Lucas twice foiled Dempsey.

Brad Guzan, 90 minutes, Aston Villa (4-1, Blackburn)
Blackburn finished the game with 10 players.

Tim Howard, 90 minutes, Everton (3-1, Carlisle, D3)
The match was tougher than the final score indicated.

Frank Simek, 90 minutes, Sheffield Wednesday, D2 (1-2, Crystal Palace, D2)
The winning goal, by substitute Calvin Andrew, came after Simek failed to clear a long ball.[/quote]

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[quote][size="5"][b]Can Johnson succeed in Greece?[/b][/size]

THESSALONIKI, Greece -- Like most Greek cities, Thessaloniki has always welcomed strangers with open arms. The locals have thrived on the constant flow of goods and information from east to west and back again, taking advantage of their ability to adapt to changing environments and integrate foreign influences. It all gives Greece's second city a unique cosmopolitanism far removed from the brutal sprawl of Athens. Named for [b]Alexander the Great[/b]'s half-sister, Thessaloniki is alive, beautiful and energetic. Some of the finest Byzantine churches outside of Istanbul give Egnatias Street a kind of glow, as do the lovely lighter-skinned Macedonian women. On clear mornings, Mount Olympus is visible to the south, and in the evenings, the Turkish-influenced restaurants buzz.

So there's the good news for [b]Eddie Johnson[/b], who just joined local club Aris on loan from English Premier League side Fulham: If he had to be banished to the provinces, he could've done worse than coming here. Much worse.

The bad news is the whole soccer thing, and the difficulties Johnson will face trying to resurrect his career in the Greek Super League.

Contrary to popular opinion, this is not a league where many foreigners have honed their skills or made their names. The Greek league sports a rugged schedule of games played in front of sparse crowds, unless you're playing for one of the big three Athens clubs: Olympiakos, Panathinaikos or AEK. If you're not, you might as well play a video game, because that's the only chance you've got of winning any titles.

Then again, Johnson isn't coming here to win trophies, is he? He's coming here to play, with the freely admitted hope of earning one of those up-for-grabs striker spots on [b]Bob Bradley[/b]'s World Cup roster. Johnson made only four appearances for Fulham in the fall, so [i]any[/i] playing time (much less regular goal-scoring), even for a relatively small club like Aris, would go a long way.

It's hard to think of a more perfectly named soccer club than Aris. Founded in 1914, it was named for the Greek god of war, more commonly spelled "Ares." The heroic moniker has helped some, as Aris is one of only three teams outside of Athens to be crowned domestic champions. (One of the Athenian triumvirate has won all but six of the national championships since 1928.)

But Aris has won nothing since 1946. (Well, they did win the Greek Cup in 1970, but that doesn't really count for much in my book.) Worse, it's not even king of its own domain, playing second [i]bouzouki[/i] to Thessaloniki's other side, PAOK (which won two of those three non-Athenian championships since 1946). In fact, Aris' soccer team is probably not even as well-respected as the club's basketball team, which dominated Greek basketball in the 1980s.

But the club recently made an interesting strategic decision. Much like the city it represents, it has taken on a decidedly international flavor. Argentine coach [b]Héctor Cúper[/b], hired in November, has the most international roster in the Super League, including six Argentines, three Brazilians, three Spaniards, a Frenchmen, a Bolivian, a Slovakian, a Tunisian, an Albanian, an Irishman (huh?) and now an American (maybe two, if the rumors about [b]Freddy[/b] [b]Adu[/b] pan out) alongside a handful of Greeks.

This globalist approach, in conjunction with the tough league, could be Johnson's salvo. The side, currently in sixth place, is struggling to find the net; its top scorer, [b]Javier Cámpora[/b], has only four goals.

EJ has always had the tools to be devastating -- speed, size, strength and technique. He hasn't always put it together correctly, too often running with the ball when he should pass and move or vice versa, but he did score a ton of goals in MLS. Aris' willingness to play football means a striker like Johnson could clean up running onto through balls or attacking spaces.

But more important, I hope Johnson's arrival in Thessaloniki, this little city with an outsized history, will reignite his attitude. I still remember his absurd penchant for crediting his sports psychologist for the goals he scored in Kansas City.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for psychoanalysis and therapy, but come on! Successful athletes possess something no shrink can unpack: an inner fire. It's like porn: You know it when you see it. It's in the crazed lunge to get to that cross before the defender, the brave slide to reach a loose ball before the goalkeeper, the desperate hounding of a center back going toward his own goal. Johnson might still have some of this, but I haven't seen it recently.

The Americans who have succeeded in Europe have all carried a massive chip on their shoulders: [b]Clint Dempsey[/b], [b]Claudio Reyna[/b], [b]Brad Friedel[/b]. It's like they had something to prove. What does Johnson have to prove?

An unfortunate twist of timing means I won't be able to ask him that question yet. But on Tuesday night, I'll be in a café near Aristotelous Square, watching the Atromitos-Aris match with some fans here in the city, wondering if Johnson's visit to Thessaloniki will bear as much fruit as it has for others.[/quote]

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[size="4"][quote][/size][b][size="4"]Dempsey scores golazo in comeback bid[/size]

[/b] [size="1"]by Paul Kennedy, Wednesday, Jan 6, 2010 7:00 AM ET[/size]

[AMERICANS ABROAD] Clint Dempsey should come off the bench every game for Fulham. The American came on in the second half of the makeup EPL game at Stoke City on a snowy Tuesday night with the Cottagers trailing 3-0 and scored on a dipping volley from 40 yards in the 85th minute to cut the margin of defeat to 3-2.

It had been an all-around bad evening for Fulham, which gave up three goals in the first 37 minutes and lost in-form Bobbie Zamora with a fractured dislocated shoulder.

Dempsey came on for Zamora after the break, assisted on Damien Duff's goal and twice came close to scoring for Fulham before he struck with a wicked shot from distance.

He again threatened in stoppage time but was denied by Stoke keeper Steve Simonsen.

"It is a bad day when you lose and it is a bad day when you lose Bobby Zamora ...," said Fulham manager Roy Hodgson. "It is a very expensive game for us."

Zamora and Dempsey are tied for the team lead with six goals.[/quote]

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[quote][size="3"][b]US opens training camp looking for answers[/b][/size]

CARSON, Calif. (AP) — Five months before the United States makes its sixth consecutive World Cup appearance, coach Bob Bradley is searching for starters. Forward Charlie Davies is likely to miss the tournament because of injuries sustained in a car crash last October and defender Oguchi Onyewu is sidelined until spring following knee surgery. Bradley also is hoping to find players to provide consistency.

Bradley began the search Tuesday with the start of the team's annual training camp for players from Major League Soccer and Scandinavian clubs on winter break.

Bradley cited the competition between Chivas USA's Jonathan Bornstein and FC Dallas' Heath Pearce for a spot at left back as an example of the intensity he expects to see.

"Certainly, when you have Heath and Johnny Bornstein in the same camp, they understand," Bradley said. "They've been battling each other for a few years, so I'm sure that's going to continue."

With most of the team's regular starters -- such as Landon Donovan, Tim Howard and Clint Dempsey -- in Europe, Bradley invited 25 players from Major League Soccer and five from clubs in Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

"There's a solid nucleus; we're trying to add the right depth," Bradley said. "The hope is that we see some players who are making progress and are going to be in the mix as we make decisions later this year."

The Columbus Crew's Robbie Rogers hopes to be in Bradley's mix for a place on the 23-man World Cup roster.

"I want to show that I have something to add to the team," said Rogers, who has played nine games for the United States. "I know the team needs some players who are creative, who can attack with speed but also work hard.

"Whenever you're in front of these coaches, you want to be sure you're professional and you're good for the team."

Being good for the team means adapting to the style Bradley has brought since becoming the national coach in 2007.

"We know what kind of team we are and how we can win games," midfielder Benny Feilhaber said. "We've really got to depend on good defending and trying to take our opportunities when we have them."

The camp will end with an exhibition against Honduras on Jan. 23. The U.S. has been attempting to schedule a February home match against Mexico.

"There are a number of conversations going on with different teams," Bradley said. "We'll need to have something to make sure that the players who are here are kept in the right kind of form, the right kind of fitness."

The United States plays the Netherlands in Amsterdam on March 3, the only date before May that European clubs are required to release players to national teams.

The U.S. also is trying to schedule May exhibitions to prepare for its World Cup games against England (June 12), Slovenia (June 18) and Algeria (June 23).


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[size="4"][b]Donovan hopes Everton spell will keep him in shape[/b][/size]

[size="2"] [size="1"]The Associated Press
Tuesday, January 5, 2010; 8:25 PM [/size][/size]

LIVERPOOL, England -- Landon Donovan began his 10-week loan at Everton hoping to prepare for the Americans' World Cup opener against England on June 12.

The 27-year-old Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder, voted Major League Soccer's Most Valuable Player last year, joined U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard on the Toffees, his fourth stint with a European club but his first in England.

"I am ready to enjoy it and I want to personally get myself sharp while I am here," Donovan said Tuesday. "Tim Howard has had nothing but great things to say about this team, so I am excited. Going into a World Cup year, this experience will keep me sharp."

Manager David Moyes hopes Donovan can assist Everton's attack, with the team 11th in the standings at 5-7-7.

"In the Bundesliga it was a little different in style so I will have to get used to the style here," said Donovan, who was on loan at Bayern Munich last year.

"I think the Premier League will suit my style of play. I like a fast-paced game. I like to take changes quickly and I think that will suit me here."

The heaviest snowfall in northern England in decades caused Donovan's news conference to be canceled Tuesday.

Also Tuesday, Donovan warned that American preparations for the World Cup could be damaged by a looming MLS work stoppage. The league's labor contact expires Jan. 31 and the international union, FIFPro, claimed that 80 percent of MLS players don't have guaranteed contracts.

"The league shutting down MLS in February would do real damage to the development of the game in the United States and to our efforts to prepare for South Africa," Donovan said in a FIFPro statement. "It is difficult to understand why the owners would take this course, when all we are asking for are the same rights enjoyed by other players around the world, not just in the biggest leagues, but in leagues of all sizes."


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[quote][size="5"][b]Adu joins up with Johnson at Aris[/b][/size]

[size="1"]by Paul Kennedy, Thursday, Jan 7, 2010 7:00 AM ET
[/size] [img]http://m.socceramerica.com/publications/82/USA-Adu-v-tt5.jpg[/img]

[AMERICANS ABROAD] Freddy Adu is headed to Greek club Aris for an 18-month loan from Benfica -- his third loan move of the last year. He joins fellow American Eddie Johnson, on loan until the end of the season from Fulham.

Adu's move follows the end of his loan with Belenenses. He had been on loan to French club Monaco.

Aris' agreement with Benfica includes an option of buy.

Adu and Johnson join a team heavily by foreign players. Only six of the 27 players on Aris' roster are Greek.

Besides the United States, nine other countries are represented on the Aris' roster: Argentina (7), Spain (3), Brazil (3), Albania (1), Bolivia (1), France (1), Ireland (1), Slovakia (1) and Tunisia (1).

Aris is coached by Argentine veteran Hector Cuper, who took over in November. He is best known for taking Valencia to consecutive Champions League finals in 2000 and 2001.

Cuper, 53, replaced outgoing coach Iomar Mazinho in November. He most recently served as Georgia's national team coach.

Aris is fourth in the 16-team Super League after 16 games.

2004 D.C. United 30-5
2005 D.C. United 25-4
2006 D.C. United 32-2
2007 Real Salt Lake 11-1
2007-08 Benfica 11-2
2008-09 Monaco 9-0
2009-10 Belenenses 3-0[/quote]

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[size="5"][b]Beasley keen to extend his stay at Rangers[/b][/size]
[size="1"][url="http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/football/spl/2010/01/07/"]Jan 7 2010[/url][/size]

DAMARCUS BEASLEY has urged Rangers to pick up the phone to his agent if they want to keep him at Ibrox next season.

The United States international is out of contract in the summer, meaning he is now free to speak to other clubs who are interested in his services.

A future at Rangers looked unlikely a couple of months ago when the winger found himself on the periphery of the squad after failing to force his way back into the team after recovering from injury.

However, Beasley enjoyed a sensational return to action last month when he was thrown back into Walter Smith's plans to great effect, with his impressive form coinciding with an excellent run of results.

Unfortunately, injury struck again and he is now battling his way back from a thigh tear which has kept him out of the last three games.

He says reclaiming his place in the first team is his priority but reiterated his desire to remain at Rangers - if club bosses make a move to keep him.

"I've not spoken to Rangers or anybody else about what I'm going to do after the six months," said Beasley.

"I'll see what goes on and what happens in the last half of the season.

"I've never said I want to leave so if they came to me, my representatives would sit down and talk to them and see what is the best thing for me.

"If the best thing is for me to stay, I would be more than happy to stay.

"I've only played five or six games so it's kind of hard for me to talk about contract talks.

"I just want to play and get back in the team and show why they bought me."

Asked whether he will exercise his right to speak to other clubs this month, he admitted: "I don't know yet.

"I'm just trying to get back in the team and get fit. What happens in January will happen, but I'm not looking to leave.

"If something came along that I couldn't pass up, then so be it. But, at the same time, I'm not looking to leave. I want to stay."

Kris Boyd and Pedro Mendes are among those who have been linked with January departures and, although his own future remains uncertain, Beasley insists retaining key personnel this season is crucial to retaining their SPL crown.

He said: "When you look at the team now, if a couple of guys get injured, we're pretty thin in every position. We need our guys to stay.

"With myself and Pedro Mendes and Steven Naismith to come back into the team, it's going to create problems for the gaffer to pick who is going to play but it's a good problem to have.

"We need everyone to stay - Boydy, Pedro. All the people that have been mentioned, we need them to stay and help us to regain the title and be back-to-back champions."


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This is completely whacked out. South Africa better put a full effort in security this summer.

[b] [size="5"]Togo footballers shot in ambush [/size][/b]

[b]Gunmen have fired on a bus carrying Togo's football team to the Africa Cup of Nations in Angola, wounding players and reportedly killing the driver.[/b]

The attackers opened fire with machine guns on the vehicle in the oil-rich territory of Cabinda, where rebels have been fighting for independence.

The Angolan government called the incident an "act of terrorism". There are reports of serious injuries.

Togo is due to play its first cup game in Cabinda on Monday.

Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor was on the bus but is unhurt. In a statement, Manchester City said Adebayor had been "shaken by the terrible events" but was "unharmed".

The bus was travelling to Cabinda from the squad's training ground in the Republic of Congo when the shooting happened.

"This was an act of terrorism," Cabinda affairs minister Bento Bembe told Reuters news agency.

Competition officials said they had not known that the Togolose team had decided to drive directly to Cabinda.

They said they had expected the squad first to fly to the Angolan capital, Luanda, and from there to Cabinda.

[b]Shot 'like dogs'[/b]

The head of the Togolese football federation told AFP news agency that the driver had died.

Togo striker Thomas Dossevi told France's RMC radio that several players were "in a bad state" after the attack.

- machine-gunned! I don't know why. I thought it was some rebels. We were under the seats of the bus for 20 minutes, trying to get away from the bullets."

The identities of those injured - who also included team staff - are not known.

Togo are due to play Ghana, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast in their group matches. Their first game is against Ghana.

Midfielder Alaixys Romao told RMC Togo were now likely to pull out of the 16-nation tournament.

"No-one wants to play," he said. "We're not capable of it.

"We're thinking first of all about the health of our injured because there was a lot of blood on the ground."


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Clints goal at Fullham was out of this world. That was nice. Hopefully he keeps it up for the WC and he might find himself on an Arsenal.

Lando starts for Everton today. Hopefully he makes a big splash
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[b][b]ARSENAL 2-2 EVERTON[/b][/b]

[b][b][size="5"]Donovan shines in Everton debut[/size][/b][/b]
[size="1"]By Kevin Palmer[/size]

[size="1"]January 9, 2010[/size]

The opening day of Landon Donovan's mid-season holiday in the Premier League was not quite as advertised in the brochure.


[b][size="1"]Everton's US forward Landon Donovan makes his debut in the snow[/size][/b]

The bright lights of England have long been a dream for the warm-blooded Californian who has proved himself to be a class act to his American audience for many a long year; but he could never have imagined that his debut in the land that gave football to the world would come in such frosty circumstances. Team USA's all-time record goalscorer has spent much of his first week in England answering questions about his previously less than cordial relationship with L.A. Galaxy team-mate David Beckham, with the duo apparently now best of friends and sharing notes on what Donovan could expect during his brief stay at Everton. Presumably, Becks had not prepared Donovan for sub-zero temperatures that have plummeted to depths few in England have experienced for decades and, with the winter blast ripping through the Premier League fixture list, this game at the Emirates Stadium was the last one standing in the 3pm kick-off slot. It meant Donovan had the eyes of a few more millions trained on his opening day in the Premier League and he wasted little time in setting about his task of proving his worth as David Moyes' side went in search of revenge after the 6-1 humbling Arsenal handed out to them on the first day of the season. Employed on the right side of the midfield, Donovan's first task was always going to be getting to grips with the pace and power that oozes from every Premier League game and the tactics Everton employed for this game meant there was no time for the American to settle. With the snow tumbling down in front of us as the first whistle blew, Donovan quickly adapted to the leap in class as he looked to combine with the every-dangerous Tim Cahill and Everton's sole front man Louis Saha. Indeed, he warmed to the task well. Okay, so he may not have taken hold of the first half in the manner he does for the Galaxy, yet such lofty ambition was always unattainable on a day when Everton's chief job was to close down Arsenal at every opportunity, in a desperate bid to cut down the flowing football that they strive to produce. Young Arsenal defender Armand Traore was given plenty to ponder as Donovan ran at him with intent from the off and, such was the impact Everton made in this game, that it was little surprise when the visitors snatched a lead after just 12 minutes. This reporter has not been alone in noting the Gunners' inability to deal with set-pieces in the past and it proved to be their undoing once again as a Donovan corner routine created the opening goal. The fact that little Leon Osman was the man who scored meant there were plenty of questions being asked of the Arsenal backline once again. Everton continued to impress until Arsenal snatched a fortunate equaliser as Denilson's shot deflected off the unfortunate Osman, yet the visitors could be content with their efforts in the first-half and they came out after the break in equally positive mood. Donovan so nearly lit up the start of the second half with his first goal in the Premier League as his 52nd minute shot had uncertain Arsenal keeper Manuel Almunia scrambling, only for it to fly just wide. The images before us as we shivered in the press seats during the second half were truly unique in this reasonably new arena. With the snowfall gathering in momentum, it felt as if you were watching this game on a grainy television from a different age and Donovan may have been relieved to take leave of the stage as he was replaced after 68 minutes. The Everton fans who made the trip to London gave their newest hero a rousing ovation as he left the field and the congratulations from manager Moyes suggested he was content with his efforts, though the real drama in this game was to take place after Donovan had trotted off the pitch. Everton had not won at Arsenal in their last 13 visits, but Steven Pienaar looked to have changed the course of history as he burst through on goal nine minutes from time and lifted the ball past Almunia, yet luck was to desert Moyes' men just when the dared to believe victory was secured. It needed another deflection on Tomas Rosicky's 92nd minute shot to hand Arsenal an equaliser, much to the chagrin of a disappointed Moyes. "It should have been our day and we deserved to win this game," he said. "We created enough chances to be ahead at half-time and had plenty of possession as well, which is no mean feat against this Arsenal side. Both Arsenal goals were deflected and when you look at the game overall, we had chances to win the game with a bit of comfort. I don't mind it snowing every week if we play like that." Moyes reserved special praised for his debutant. "I thought Donovan did very well," he stated. "He cramped up, so we had to take him off and the cold probably didn't help him. Landon was a threat to Arsenal all day and he did a great job out on the right. Landon offers us plenty of options and that is why we are delighted to have him." A clearly agitated Arsene Wenger conceded his side were fortunate to escape with a point. "Everton stopped us from playing and it was closer to 3-1 in the end than it was to us getting a draw," he admitted. "Our spirit allowed us to get a point and we have to take something from that, but I admit we were a bit lucky.
"The conditions were the same for both sides, so we cannot use the snow as an excuse and you have to say Everton's commitment made life very difficult for us. They put their body in the way of everything and will be disappointed not to win." The climate did little to help Arsenal produce the sort of football they are capable off, but this was a day when their opponents adapted better to the elements than they did. If this is the point that edges the Gunners towards an unlikely title challenge, they were very lucky to get it. [b]

MAN OF THE MATCH: Tim Cahill.[/b] The Everton talisman gave Arsenal plenty to think about all afternoon and his role in the second goal was pivotal. [b]

EMPTY PEWS:[/b] Several Arsenal regulars decided not to make the trip to the Emirates Stadium in the icy conditions as there were plenty of unused seats around the ground. Those who braved the freezing temperatures were entertained by a fine game, though the claim from the stadium announcer that 60,053 had made it to the ground seemed hard to believe. [b]

EVERTON VERDICT:[/b] David Moyes is getting many of his injured stars back in contention and his side appear to have rediscovered the bite that makes them such a threat. This was so nearly a glorious victory. [b]

ARSENAL VERDICT: [/b]Criticising Arsenal generally inspires plenty of abuse from the 'In Arsene We Trust' campaign, but their inability to deal with set-pieces meant Everton always fancied their chances in this game. Title winning sides simply don't have such an obvious weakness in their repertoire. [b]

DONOVAN VERDICT:[/b] The American will improve over the course of his loan spell at Everton, but this was a decent first day. He was so nearly part of an historic Everton victory.[/quote]

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Stuey has a serious chance to impress in Bolton. He is already a creative guy, but the fact that the manager took him to Bolton says a lot about how serious this loan is. I hope he sets the world on fire and ends up being bought. He doesn't need to be playing in the MLS if he can see serious time in Europe. He seems like the kind of guy that can develop the grit to play in the EPL.
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[quote name='JC' date='12 January 2010 - 07:01 PM' timestamp='1263344488' post='856750']
Stuey has a serious chance to impress in Bolton. He is already a creative guy, but the fact that the manager took him to Bolton says a lot about how serious this loan is. I hope he sets the world on fire and ends up being bought. He doesn't need to be playing in the MLS if he can see serious time in Europe. He seems like the kind of guy that can develop the grit to play in the EPL.


I follow him on Twitter and he seems like a good guy. Plus he is active in the Houston community. If a move to Europe happens on a permanent basis the people of Houston would lose an asset but it would be great for US Soccer. Plus he has an appeal to an English side since he holds a British passport (I've read) and I guess originally he is from Scotland.
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[quote][size="5"][b]Johnson debuts for Aris in Greek Cup win[/b][/size]

[size="1"]Thursday, Jan 14, 2010 7:00 AM ET[/size]

[AMERICANS ABROAD] Eddie Johnson, on loan from English club Fulham, made his debut for Greek club Aris, coming on as a substitute late in its 2-0 win over Asteras Tripolis in the round of 16 of the Greek Cup.

Freddy Adu, who joined Aris on loan from Portuguese club Benfica, has yet to be cleared to play.

Argentine forward Javier Campora and Spaniard and Toni Calvo scored for Aris.

Aris' next game is a league game against Ioannia on Sunday. [/quote]

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[quote][size="5"][b]Guzan moves closer to date at Wembley[/b][/size] [size="1"]

Friday, Jan 15, 2010 7:00 AM ET[/size]

[AMERICANS ABROAD] With a little assistance from the post, goalie Brad Guzan earned a shutout in Aston Villa's 1-0 win at Blackburn Rovers in Thursday's first leg of their English League semifinal series.

Villa took the lead in the first half when James Milner scored on a counterattack after Guzan's unconvincing clearance and it held on for the win.

Young Croatia Nikola Kalinic was unlucky, hitting the same post twice, first with a header, then a curling shot.

Villa will host Blackburn in the second leg at Villa Park next Wednesday.

The winner of the Villa-Blackburn series will face champion Manchester United or Manchester City at Wembley Stadium on Feb. 28.[/quote]

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[quote][size="5"][b]USA set to face El Salvador in Tampa[/b][/size]

[size="1"]Friday, Jan 15, 2010 7:00 AM ET[/size]

[DATEBOOK] The United States will face El Salvador in its second friendly in preparation for the 2010 World Cup when they meet Feb. 24 in Tampa, one of 18 cities that will be included in the U.S. bid to host the 2018/22 World Cup.

The USA will be without its foreign-based players for the match, its second-to-last match before the naming of the roster for the World Cup.

Kickoff at Raymond James Stadium is set for 7 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN Classic and TeleFutura.[/quote]

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[quote][size="5"][b]Bolton undecided on contract for midfielder Holden[/b][/size]

BOLTON, England (AP) — American midfielder Stuart Holden completed a trial at Premier League club Bolton, and manager Owen Coyle is deciding whether to offer him a contract. While the 24-year-old Houston Dynamo player has been training with Bolton this week, northwest rival Blackburn is also reportedly interested.

Coyle, who took charge at Bolton last week, is still reviewing if his relegation-threatened squad needs reinforcing during the January transfer window.

"He has just come off an outstanding season in the MLS with Houston Dynamo, he's a US international, so all we have to figure out now is if he will enhance the squad," Coyle said in Friday's editions of the Bolton News. "He's obviously got talent, good technique and quick feet."

Holden, who is set to go with the U.S. to the World Cup, is available at no fee for Bolton, which is in the Premier League relegation zone.


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[quote][size="6"][b]January player moves

[/b][/size] [size="1"]Saturday, Jan 16, 2010 10:30 AM ET[/size]

[AMERICANS ABROAD] Bryan Arguez became the third U.S. U-20 international soccer agency Traffic has shipped to Portugal. Arguez will join U-20 teammate Tony Taylor at second division Estoril. For all the January deals, from Freddy Adu's latest loan deal to Jeremiah White's move to Saudi Arabia, his fifth country in seven years ...

Freddy Adu (Belenenses, Portugal to Benfica, Benfica, Portugal), loan return
Freddy Adu (Benfica, Portugal to Aris, Greece), loan
Gale Agbossoumonde (Traffic to Braga, Portugal), loan
Matthew Allen (Sandefjord, Norway to free agent)
Bryan Arguez (Hertha Berlin, Germany to Traffic), free transfer
Bryan Arguez (Traffic to Estoril, Portugal), transfer
Colin Burns (Ljungskile, Sweden to Sarpsborg, Norway), free transfer
Danny Califf (Aalborg to Philadelphia Union), free transfer
Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy to Everton, England), loan
Herculez Gomez (Kansas Wizards to Puebla, Mexico), free transfer
Eddie Johnson (Fulham, England to Aris Greece), loan
Ryan Miller (Ljungskile, Sweden to Halmstads BK, Sweden), free transfer
Troy Perkins (Valerenga, Norway, to D.C. United) free transfer
Chris Rolfe (Chicago Fire to Aalborg, Denmark), free transfer
Tony Taylor (Traffic to Estoril, Portugal), transfer
Nate Weiss (Adolfsberg IK, Sweden to FK Jelgava, Latvia), free transfer
Zak Whitbread (Millwall, England to Norwich City, England), transfer
Jeremiah White (AGF Aarhus, Denmark to Al-Ettifaq, Saudi Arabia), free transfer [/quote]

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[quote][size="4"][b][url="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/leagues/premierleague/everton/7004133/Everton-2-Manchester-City-0-match-report.html"]Donovan gets good reviews after Everton win[/url][/b][/size]

[b]Landon Donovan[/b] played 91 minutes -- he was subbed during stoppage time - for Everton in its 2-0 win over Manchester City on Saturday. The Telegraph reported that, "The Landon Donovan appreciation society was growing, too, chorusing 'USA' with gusto when the American broke away from [b]Vincent Kompany[/b], only to direct his chip wide."

[url="http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2010/jan/16/premier-league-everton-manchester-city"]The Guardian[/url]'s [color="#ff0000"]Paul Wilson[/color] wrote that, "The American showed a good understanding with the Frenchman [[b]Louis Saha[/b]] from the start, notionally playing on the right but in practice roaming all across the front line, and demonstrated not only a willingness to take corners and restarts but also to find [[b]Marouane[/b]][b] Fellain[/b]i's head with most of them." [url="http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/premier_league/everton/article6990774.ece"]The Times[/url] of London gave Donovan a rating of 7 (out of 10) -[/quote]
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[quote name='JC' date='17 January 2010 - 12:46 PM' timestamp='1263754000' post='857838']
If Clint tore a ligament in his knee..i'm going to cry. This is the worst news possible. This team is crumbling before our eyes.

Davies, Gooch, Clint.

Yeah, this sucks.

[quote] [size="1"][i]January 17, 2010[/i][/size]
[b][size="4"][b]Dempsey hurt in Premier League game[/b][/size][/b]
[size="1"]Associated Press[/size]
LONDON -- Clint Dempsey faces a long layoff after injuring a knee during Fulham's 2-0 loss at Blackburn on Sunday, the latest blow to American preparations for the World Cup.

The U.S. forward sat on the field in the 61st minute of the Premier League game after falling, then pointed at his right knee before a trainer came out and examined him. Dempsey limped off and was replaced.

"Clint will be scanned tomorrow, but we feel it might be a posterior cruciate knee ligament, which would be very bad for us and he would be out for a while," Fulham manager Roy Hodgson said. "It's a concern up front because Clint Dempsey is very useful for us."

And for the United States, which begins its World Cup campaign in South Africa against England on June 12, then meets Slovenia six days later and Algeria on June 23.

U.S. team spokesman Michael Kammarman said the U.S. Soccer Federation training staff had been in contact with Dempsey, and the severity of the injury will not been known until after an MRI exam determines the exact ligament hurt and whether there is other damage.

The U.S. team is already likely to be without forward Charlie Davies in South Africa because of injuries sustained in a car crash last October, and defender Oguchi Onyewu is sidelined until spring following knee surgery.

The U.S. opens its 2010 schedule on Saturday against fellow World Cup qualifier Honduras in Carson, Calif., then meets the Netherlands in Amsterdam on March 3, the only day before May that clubs are required to release players to national teams.

Dempsey's injury is also a major blow for Fulham, which is missing forward Bobby Zamora until March while he recovers from a shoulder injury. Dempsey had produced Fulham's best scoring chance Sunday in the first half at Blackburn when his overhead kick hit the crossbar.

"The doctors are pretty good these days -- I would like to see them to be wrong more often," Hodgson said, trying to make light of the situation. "Often their initial diagnosis appears to be the correct one when the scan is made."

[size="1"][i]Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press[/i][/size]


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[quote][size="5"][b]Donovan's Everton shut outs Man. City

[/b][/size] [size="1"]Monday, Jan 18, 2010 7:00 AM ET[/size]

[AMERICANS ABROAD] Landon Donovan put in his second solid performance for Everton, which defeated Manchester City, 2-0, Saturday to extend its unbeaten streak to six games and move up into a tie for 11th in the English Premier League.

South Africa midfielder Steven Pienaar scored on a free kick and France striker Louis Saha converted a penalty kick.

In the second half, Belgian Marouane Fellaini and Australia midfielder Tim Cahill hit the woodwork.

Donovan delivered a couple of corner kicks that created good scoring chances and in the 20th minute he broke through the Man City defense before chipping a ball over keeper [b]Shay Given [/b]that went just wide.


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[quote][size="4"][b]Americans lose in Germany; Johnson makes Greek league debut[/b][/size]

[size="1"]Monday, Jan 18, 2010 7:00 AM ET[/size]

[color="#ff0000"][AMERICANS ABROAD][/color] Both [b]Michael Bradley [/b]and [b]Steve Cherundolo[/b] were on the losing end when the Bundesliga returned from its winter break last weekend. Their teams lost at home to teams at the bottom of the standings. [b]Eddie Johnson[/b] debuted for Greek club Aris while his teammate [b]Freddy Adu[/b] stayed on the bench. [b]Marcus Hahnemann[/b] saved a penalty kick during a Wolves' loss.

[b]Michael Bradley[/b]/Borussia M'Gladbach (90 minutes): Gladbach 1 Bochum 2
Gladbach fell at home to a Bochum team that entered the game in 16th place and moved out of the relegation zone with the win. Gladbach stayed in 11th place.

[b]Steve Cherundolo/[/b]Hannover 96 (54 minutes): Hannover 96 0 Hertha Berlin 3.
Hannover dropped into the relegation zone with a loss to last-place Hertha, which had won just once previously this season.

[b]Landon Donovan[/b]/Everton (90 minutes): Everton 2 Manchester City 0

[b]Tim Howard[/b]/Everton (90 minutes): Everton 2 Manchester City 0
Everton ended Man City's four-gamee win streak.

[b]Clint Dempsey[/b]/Fulham (62 minutes): Blackburn 2 Fulham 0.
Dempsey will undergo a scan on Monday to assess the severity of his knee injury.

[b]Jonathan Spector[/b]/West Ham (90 minutes): Aston Villa 0 West Ham 0

[b]Brad Friedel[/b]/Aston Villa (90 minutes): Aston Villa 0 West Ham 0

[b]Marcus Hahnemann[/b]/Wolves (90 minutes): Wolves 0 Wigan 2
Hahnemann saved a penalty kick by Hugo Rodallega.

[b]Jay DeMerit[/b]/Watford (90 minutes): Doncaster 2 Watford 1.
Watford is 14th in the second division.

[b]Eddie Johnson[/b]/Aris (12 minutes): Ioannina 0 Aris 1.
Johnson made his league debut after making a late appearance as a sub last week in the Greek Cup. Freddy Adu stayed on Aris' bench.

[b]Jose Francisco Torres[/b]/Pachuca (29 minutes): Pachuca 3 Estudiantes 0
[b]Edgar Castillo[/b]/Tigres (90 minutes): Puebla 0 Tigres 1
[b]Herculez Gomez[/b]/Puebla (38 minutes): Puebla 0 Tigres 1
The 6-year MLS veteran who joined Puebla from Kansas City made his Mexican league debut.


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