Fulham, West Ham add ‘keepers, as Stekelenburg and Adrian arrive

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Two English Premier League sides added to their ranks on Wednesday, as West Ham and Fulham both picked up new goalkeepers.

The Hammers have brought in Real Betis stopper Adrian, the 26-year-old will join West Ham on July 1 after his contract with Betis runs out.

While as we revealed in the Transfer Rumor Roundup yesterday, Dutch international Maarten Stekelenburg has completed his move to Craven Cottage from AS Roma. The giant Dutchman has worked with Fulham’s manager Martin Jol before at Ajax and was keen to make the switch to West London.

“I am very happy to be joining Fulham, and to have everything sorted out so early in the summer, so I can really focus on preparations for playing in the Premier League next season,” Stekelenburg said. “It’s good that I’ll be joining Martin [Jol] again, he knows my capabilities very well, so I am just looking forward to joining up with the team in pre-season and enjoying some time with them prior to the new season starting.”

While Adrian was equally excited to be moving to the EPL.

“I am extremely happy and ecstatic to have joined such a legendary and historical club. I am really looking forward to being able to kick-off my career in the best league in the world with West Ham.”

Both ‘keepers will likely be first choice at their respective new clubs. But is that a little bit harsh on the old guys who played so well for large spells last year? Jussi Jaaskelainen was one of the league’s best ‘keepers and made more saves than any other goalkeeper last term. He was also runner-up as West Ham’s player of the year and at the age of 38, the Finn may still have a few years left in him.

While there will be a close battle for the No. 1 shirt at West Ham, no such challenge should be present at Fulham. 40-year-old ‘keeper Mark Schwarzer has made 170 appearances for the Cottagers but he hasn’t been offered a new deal and looks to be heading out of the club this summer when his contract expires.

Schwarzer wasn’t too optimistic about staying at Fulham when asked recently while on international duty with Australia, and Stekelenburg’s arrival has all but dashed any lingering hopes the Socceros ‘keeper may have had of prolonging his Fulham career.

Decent goalkeepers are hard to find and despite a few mistakes here and there over their lengthy EPL careers, Jaaskelainen and Schwarzer are top notch ‘keepers. Replacing them with promising youngsters isn’t always the right thing to do.

But Adrian and Stekelenburg have been playing regularly in La Liga and Serie A, so I think, reluctantly, it may be the end of the line for two of the EPL’s goalkeeping stalwarts.

USMNT AT HALF: Dempsey, Gomez trade goals in chippy first half

AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco
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Christian Pulisic and Clint Dempsey combined for another goal, and the USMNT leads Panama 1-0 in a World Cup qualifier Tuesday in Panama City.

A physical, chippy first half didn’t see many clear cut chances and was 0-0 after 38. minutes.

[ STREAM: Live on Telemundo Deportes ]

The first 10 minutes were a bit frenetic, with the U.S. focused on adventurous first touch passes when it managed to earn the ball from Panama.

That feel wasn’t aided by the officiating, as Cesar Ramos was inconsistent in a very physical opening half-hour.

Then, the breakthrough. Dempsey moved to within a goal of Landon donovan’s all-time mark thanks to Pulisic, who cooked Felipe Baloy and held off Roman Torres before laying off to the veteran. 1-0, 39′.

The lead lasted all of three minutes, as Gomez pounced on a loose ball with the Yanks’ back line at sixes and sevens off a long throw-in. Gomez turned off Jermaine Jones and lost Villafana to bury his chance behind Howard. 1-1, 44′.

STREAM LIVE: USMNT looks for 3 more points in Panama

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
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The United States looks to finish the international break in an automatic qualifier spot in the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying table when it faces Panama in Panama City at 10:05 p.m. EDT Tuesday.

A lot of the faces are the same from the 6-0 demolition of Honduras in California on Friday, though John Brooks and Sebastian Lletget are out with injury.

Jermaine Jones replaces Lletget while Tim Ream moves into the fray for Brooks. Geoff Cameron played Friday’s match with a minor injury, and moves out of the XI for Graham Zusi.

LINEUP

USMNT: Howard; Villafana, Gonzalez, Ream, Zusi; Bradley, Jones, Nagbe; Pulisic, Dempsey, Altidore

Subs: Bingham, Rimando; Beasley, Besler, Camron, Zimmerman; Acosta, Arriola, Bedoya, Kljestan, McCarty, Pulisic; Wondolowski

Reyes header gives Mexico three points in T&T (video)

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Diego Reyes’ 58th minute header off a corner kick gave Mexico a lead it wouldn’t give up in a 1-0 win over Trinidad and Tobago at Hasely Crawford Stadium in World Cup qualifying on Tuesday.

The win gives Mexico a table-topping 10 points, seven ahead of last-place T&T.

[ MORE: Honduras 1-1 Costa Rica ]

The Soca Warriors were in fine, stingy form early, and looked to have gone ahead on the counterattack when Joevin Jones belted a left-footer into the Mexico goal.

The linesman, however, ruled that Jones was offside. He almost certainly was not, as Mexico’s supreme luck in CONCACAF play continued for at least one night.

Hector Herrera hammered a shot off the far goal post early in the second half as Mexico attempted to grab control.

T&T goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams jammed Miguel Layun’s shot over the bar moments before the breakthrough from Reyes.

Williams then saved Javier Hernandez’s 64th minute offering as Mexico looked to put three points to bed.

Joevin Jones won a free kick in the 76th minute that gave a brief moment of light to T&T’s hopes, but Jones hit the wall and Mexico cleared the ball.

Honduras holds Costa Rica 1-1

AP Photo/Moises Castillo
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Honduras did the United States a favor by taking a point from visiting Costa Rica in Tuesday’s CONCACAF World Cup qualifier in San Pedro Sula.

Anthony Lozano pushed a 35th minute chance past an indecisive Keylor Navas, as Los Catrachos set the stage for a hopeful three points.

[ STREAM: T&T-Mexico, Panama-USMNT ]

Vancouver Whitecaps center back Kendall Waston’s haphazard defending helped allow the goal, but he scored off a late Costa Rica corner kick to ensure Costa Rica will finish the international break in second place.

With four points, Honduras moves ahead of Trinidad and Tobago and the United States before both sides play Tuesday.

Costa Rica beat the U.S. 4-0 in 2016, while the Yanks battered Honduras 6-0 on Friday.