There was a larger-than-usual contingent of Americans Abroad in action this Monday, as the English League Championship and leagues in Denmark, Belgium, Norway, and Germany all had matches throughout the day.
In Norway, Mix Diskerud helped his case for a potential national team call-up this summer, scoring in the 53rd minute of his side Rosenberg's 4-0 win over Brann.
The UEFA Champions League group stage is within reach for two Americans, but their teams will
need to overcome first-leg deficits if they are to maintain hopes of competing on Europe's biggest
stage and join the likes of Americans Jermaine Jones and Michael Parkhurst in the tournament
American defender Zak Whitbread signed a two-year deal with Leicester City, the club announced on
Tuesday. Whitbread joins as a free agent after seeing out his contract with Norwich City. "We're
really pleased with the business we have been able to do so far this summer," Leicester manager
Nigel Pearson told the club's official site.
Zak Whitbread's career has hit a most unwelcome bump in the road.
The American centerback was released by Norwich City on Thursday after another injury-plagued
campaign. Whitbread, 28, made 21 appearances for Norwich as the club finished midtable in its first
season back in the Premier League.
Staring relegation in the face, Bolton will only avoid the drop to the Championship if they win
their game at Stoke City and Manchester City tops Queens Park Rangers on Sunday. Tim Ream should
resume his role in central defense for the Trotters, and he will need to help shutdown the likes of
Peter Crouch and Kenwyne Jones to give Bolton a chance at staying in the EPL.
Liverpool have won just two of their last ten Premier League games. However the Reds away record is
better than their home record and Norwich are not in the best form either, having also won just two
of their last ten fixtures.
Bolton Wanderers took a step in the right direction in their efforts to avoid relegation by
beating Aston Villa earlier this week, but grabbing another result this weekend could be vital if
they hope to stay up.
Bolton begin their home stretch to the season with a visit to Sunderland, where a win could go a
long way in helping Tim Ream and his team secure another season in the Premiership.
Clint Dempsey just cannot and will not stop scoring.
Just as Fulham looked set for defeat against Chelsea in their Monday match-up, Dempsey headed
home the equalizer to give Fulham a 1-1 draw. The goal was Dempsey's third in his last two games
and gives him 22 across all competitions this season.
Eric Lichaj celebrated his return to the Aston Villa lineup with a goal in their loss to Chelsea,
while Clint Dempsey scored his 19th of the season in Fulhams's win over Zak Whitbread and Norwich
Manchester United extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to four points after a
5-0 thumping of Wolves at Molineux, while Newcastle United moved to within ¬ five points of a
Champions League place after they beat Norwich City 1-0.
Sir Alex Ferguson's men barely had to get out of first gear as they were always in control at
Molineux once they took the lead in the 21st minute through Jonny Evans's first goal for the
Sacha Kljestan and Brek Shea have been called in as emergency replacements for the U.S. men's
national team after a rash of injuries and illness hit the roster originally called in by Jurgen
Landon Donovan (bronchitis), Timmy Chandler and Jose Torres (both injured) will miss Wednesday's
friendly against Italy, and have been replaced by Kljestan and Shea.
Sporting Kansas City's quest to repeat as Eastern Conference regular season champions began
today with a 2-1 pre-season victory against the San Jose Earthquakes in the pre-season opener for
Kansas City midfielder Konrad Warzycha delivered the game-winning goal, converting a free kick
to break a 1-1 deadlock.
Frigid temperatures and snowstorms across Europe are starting to take their toll on the soccer
Saturday's anticipated match between Roma and Inter Milan has already been postponed because of
snow blanketing Rome. The Cesena-Catania match has also been called off, and that is in addition to
four midweek Serie A games having to be rescheduled because of the snow.
Sir Alex Ferguson celebrates his 70th birthday today and his Manchester United will try to give
him a present in the form of a victory and sole possession of first place when the Red Devils take
on struggling Blackburn today.
Manchester United pulled even with Manchester City during the most recent set of Premier League
matches, but can pull ahead with a victory against a Rovers side that has endured a nightmare
season under manager Steve Kean.
With the word that Landon Donovan is heading to Everton in January, the Toffees are suddenly
feeling confident about their chances of climbing back into the top half of the English Premier
League standings. If they can make that move before the new year will depend largely on whether Tim
Howard and Co.
If Tim Howard and Everton are to extend their seven-game unbeaten streak on Sunday, they will have to do so against one of the hottest offensive teams in the Premiership right now.
The Toffees are set to host Chelsea in their final match of 2012, and Howard will likely need to put forth a big performance in order to stymie a team that has scored 14 goals in their last three games across all competitions.
The proposed exit of Leicester City midfielder, Lee Peltier, has exposed just how flawed the
Foxes' transfer policy was last season.
The previous summer, Leicester spent over ¬£10m on nine new players, in a bid to reclaim a place
in the Premier League. Their plan backfired spectacularly, with boss, Sven Goran Erickson, sacked
by October, leaving a squad unfamiliar with each other to battle on their own.
Hey, the UK press got one right! A couple of outlets got wind last night, and I can now confirm
that Zak Whitbread is a Leicester City player. He just signed the deal, a two-year contract with
club option for a third season. It should be announced by the club in the next couple of hours. A
full MLSS report is already in the editor's basket.
Hello ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the hump-day edition of the Musket Rounds. The New
England Revolution aren't the most newsworthy team around, but the recent announcement of their US
Open Cup opponents has at least given us something to harp on. Like how, for example, it's going to
be held in Harrisburg, and I obviously can't go.
This is some of the most powerful stuff I have ever seen written on soccer!
Wayne Drehs of ESPN with an incredible report (words, photos, audio & video) on Bob Bradley and his
life in Egypt as the national team manager! I love this!
-Drehs also writes about Bradleys relationship with the teams star player Mohamed Aboutrika.