A quick look back at why Fulham FC has long been known as “Fulhamerica”

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During the 2012-13 Premier League Season, Stoke City looked to be wrestling the title of “America’s Premier League” team away from Craven Cottage.

The balances could tip back to Fulham now that Shahid Khan, Pakistani by birth but owner of the very-American Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League, has assumed control of the little West London team on the Thames.

Geoff Cameron, Maurice Edu and Brek Shea remain at the Britannia for Stoke City, while Fulham is fresh out of Americans. (On the senior team at least. Don’t forget, Emerson Hyndman, grandson of FC Dallas manager Schellas Hyndman, is a valued midfielder in Fulham’s youth development system.)

But Stoke has some catching up in order to match the historic rate of import of American who have come and gone at Craven Cottage. The quick rundown:

  • Marcus Hahnemann, 1999-02: Coming over from the Colorado Rapids, Hahnemann played just two matches in goal for Fulham. But the time there did help create a career in England, one spent mostly in the land’s second  tier.
  • Eddie Lewis, 2000-02: Playing time was similarly sparse for the midfielder, although he did see action a little more frequently over the first two seasons, before Fulham gained promotion into England’s top tier.
  • Carlos Bocanegra, 2004-2008: Playing at center back and left back, Bocanegra was the first American to truly establish himself as a Craven Cottage fixture, playing 116 games there over four seasons.
  • Brian McBride, 2004-2008: The same time Bocanegra was patrolling the back, Brian McBride was ensconcing himself as a legend up front. So beloved was the man who hit 33 times for Fulham over four seasons that they later named a lounge at the ground after him.
  • Kasey Keller, 2007-2008: Unlike the others, Keller was an established figure in European soccer when he arrived into West London. The longtime U.S. international took over as starter from the injured Antti Niemi, but was soon injured himself and eventually spent just one season at Fulham.
  • Clint Dempsey, 2007 – 2012: Clearly the star of the “Fulhamerica” show.  “Deuce” punctuated five highly successful seasons at Fulham with that amazing campaign of 2011-12, after which he finished fourth in FWA Footballer of the Year balloting behind Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Paul Scholes.
  • Eddie Johnson, 2008-2009: Johnson never quite caught on, playing out his original contract on a series of loans spells to three other clubs.

AT THE HALF: Manchester derby scoreless after 45 minutes

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After 45 minutes, the final Manchester derby of the 2016-17 Premier League season — the one that’ll go a long, long way toward deciding which of the city’s sides will finish in the top-four — is scoreless, but not without incident.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE, HERE

The game’s best chances thus far fell Manchester City’s way, as Sergio Aguero missed a clear-cut chance after 10 minutes — Kevin De Bruyne whipped in the perfect ball to the back post, and Aguero put it wrong side of David De Gea‘s post.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Ander Herrera has, once again, be Manchester United’s danger man, combining well with Marcus Rashford and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, but Claudio Bravo made the one save he was forced into during the first half. One thing to keep an eye on during the final 45 minutes: Rashford picked up a knock very early on, and struggled to move around the field after that.

STREAM LIVE: The Manchester Derby

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The third Manchester Derby of the season is the first away from Old Trafford, as Manchester United visits Manchester City (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday.

There’s much on the line, as the sides sit just two points apart in the race for the Top Four. Man City would leapfrog third-place Liverpool with a win, while United could join the Reds on 66 points with a match-in-hand.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE, HERE

Sergio Aguero starts for Man City, with Gabriel Jesus on the bench.

On the other side, it’ll be a physical middle-third guarded by Ander Herrera, Michael Carrick, and Marouane Fellaini. Wayne Rooney and Jesse Lingard start on the bench.

LINEUPS

Manchester City: Bravo, Zabaleta, Kompany (C), Otamendi, Kolarov, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure, Sterling, De Bruyne, Sane, Aguero. Subs: Caballero, Sagna, Fernando, Navas, Clichy, Gabriel Jesus, A. Garcia

Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Blind, Darmian; Herrera, Carrick, Fellaini, Mkhitaryan; Rashford, Martial. Subs: Romero, Shaw, Fosu-Mensah, Tuanzebe, Young, Lingard, Rooney.

Ex-Liverpool CEO shares biting story of Suarez transfer

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Ian Ayre’s got jokes.

The former Liverpool CEO lifted the lid on some transfer stories during a Merseyside lecture this week.

Of note, Ayre admitted that the club thought Dele Alli demanded too much given what he had produced when the Reds has the chance to sign him as a 16-year-old, and said that Liverpool could’ve landed Alexis Sanchez but the player wanted to live in London (“We couldn’t move the football club to London, unfortunately,” he quipped).

The best part relayed by Sky Sports had to do with Luis Suarez, and shows the relentless nature of the transfer market. Clearly Barcelona had interest in Suarez before the fiery striker bit Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup, because, well…

“I remember the sporting director of Barcelona calling me during that game, immediately as Suarez bit the player, and he said to me ‘my friend, he’s bitten somebody, how can this be the price?’ I said ‘he’d already bitten somebody when you first bid!'”

We’re sure there’s a certain amount of storytelling in there, but undoubtedly some truth.

Given Barca paid a reported $84 million for the striker, the asking price couldn’t have started that much higher.

Men in Blazers podcast: Chelsea tops Spurs, Top Four predictions

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Rog and Davo return to discuss Chelsea’s FA Cup semifinal victory over Spurs, update their Top Four predictions (again), and dive into the depths of the relegation zone. Plus, the very important movement to change “Hudson Street” to “Ray Hudson Street.”

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