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Americans on Display in Fulham-Everton Match

I kept hearing the Star-Spangled Banner in my head during Fulham’s critical 1-0 victory over Everton today as six Americans, five of whom currently still play for the national team, took part in the game. Kasey Keller, the US all-time leader in wins and shutouts, posted another of each at the club level for Fulham and his opposite number, Tim Howard, the present and future in goal for the national team, only conceded one goal.

Who scored the goal for the Cottagers? None other than Brian McBride, the only American ever to score in more than one World Cup. McBride was replaced late in the game by another American, Clint Dempsey, who has arguably been Fulham’s best player all season. McBride’s goal was straight out of his personal scrapbook, a trademark header in front of the net that didn’t look pretty, but got the job done.

Carlos Bocanegra also came on as a substitute for the home team and didn’t acquit himself too badly, and Eddie Johnson started the game alongside McBride up front and had a few chances.

Fulham desperately needed the three points today and they got them, moving themselves to within reach of safety, something I predicted for this club before the season started. Everton, on the other hand, dropped points they couldn’t afford to drop with Portsmouth and Aston Villa charging hard for 5th place behind them, and the Toffees’ schedule gets considerably trickier in the next few weeks.

One thing I know is the fortunes of both Fulham and Everton depend largely on the Americans on both clubs’ rosters. Tim Howard is going to have to come up big in goal for Everton, which, to be fair, he has done all season, and Fulham will be in dire need of goals down the stretch, something Johnson, McBride, and Dempsey are all capable of providing.

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  1. Ivan

    March 19, 2008 at 3:33 am

    i don’t completely understand these opinions on Mr Johnson. perhaps its because i’m not an american and do not watch the MLS often. He was slated by a few callers on 606 but i thought he played okay in what is a poor team.

  2. Kartik

    March 17, 2008 at 10:08 am

    Eddie Johnson is garbage. Seriously if he plays well in the PL over a long period of time it’s just proof that the PL isn’t the best league in the world. Honestly, the guy ALWAYS ran out of gas when it got hot and more physical later in the MLS season. He’ll be either hurt soon or back in the reserves.

  3. Dave M

    March 16, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    I root for Fulham because of all the Americans – I would find it shaming if the best that the USA can provide couldn’t get the job done (and “the job” is only survival at this point). Should they go down, it will be bad news for this crop of players – they need the experience playing against the best competition in the world – and also for other American “stars” – clubs in England may be less likely to come calling.

  4. Kent

    March 16, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    They’re in a precarious state and Laurie Sanchez had ’em ALL screwed up. With that said, they had some bad luck (see: West Ham) and a really tough run of their schedule there for a couple of months. They CAN stay up and their remaining fixtures (many against fellow bottom dwellers) give them opportunities to actually escape the relegation zone.

    Fulham is American-laden. But Everton? Sorry man, Howard’s great and all, but Everton’s fortunes go much beyond the success of Howard.

  5. tampasoccer

    March 16, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    Impressive Johnson. Worked very hard, unlucky not to score. I hope they stay up for the sake of all the Americans on the team. It will be very hard, though, despite today’s win.

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