One of the worst kept secrets around is almost out, as Fulham boss Rene Muelensteen spilled the beans on Friday morning.
The Cottagers newly-appointed head coach revealed that U.S. international captain Clint Dempsey is currently undergoing a medical with his old side, and will join Fulham on loan during January and February as long as the medical goes smoothly and an agreement is reached with the Seattle Sounders.
Considering Deuce’s deal with Major League Soccer and Seattle included a clause to spend the offseason on loan, it seems likely that this move will be confirmed in the next few days and Dempsey could suit up for Fulham as early as January 1 in the Premier League.
After injuring his ankle while on duty with the USMNT in Scotland back in November, we haven’t heard too much from Deuce about his proposed loan move back to England.
But now it seems as though everything is in place for the 30-year-old forward to return back to Craven Cottage, and to the club where he spent six fantastic years establishing himself as a top attacker in the Premier League.
During Dempsey’s time at Fulham they reached the Europa League final and often finished comfortably in and around the top half of the PL, however this season the Cottagers are embroiled in a relegation battle and need all of Dempsey’s expertise to dig them out of trouble.
Ahead of the World Cup next summer, and after several nagging injuries since his move from Tottenham to Seattle last August, Dempsey will want to get regular games under his belt. He’s likely to get that at Fulham, a club where he’s still revered as a hero after being their leading goalscorer in his final season and scoring 36 times during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 campaigns.
With Dempsey’s loan deal a formality, finally “Fulhamerica” is back on the map….
In some ways, all managers are the same: intelligent football men messing around with the puzzle that is winning matches.
But to listen to Jurgen Klopp’s introductory press conference is to get a different view. While some managers sound like they create the puzzles, or even create the game itself, Klopp speaks of the challenge with reverence.
[ MORE: Klopp unveiled as “the Normal One” ]
In other words, it seems unlikely we will be hearing him utter phrases designed at painting himself as a Picasso of the pitch, rather that of a museum curator.
For example, here’s the new Liverpool boss on the club’s history.
From JPW on Merseyside:
“Twenty-five years ago [since the last league title] is a long time,” Klopp said. “History is only the base for us, [we shouldn’t] keep the history in our backpack all day. I want to see the first step next week and not always compare with other times. This is a great club with big potential. Everything is there. Let’s try to start a new way. Everything is different – I don’t know it all but I’m a pretty good listener.”
The “normal one” speaks like an honor student, not the know-it-all professor demanding students regurgitate facts from the book he wrote and tossed on the syllabus.
And perhaps this is the manner in which the Reds will add a new, positive chapter to their storied history.
Broadcaster and New York soccer hero Shep Messing caused quite a stir with his comments during the Red Bulls/Impact match on Wednesday, and those words have cause plenty of reaction in MLS.
If you missed it, Messing claims that New York City FC is ready to move on from Jason Kreis after just one season, and that Seattle coach Sigi Schmid is set to swap jobs with the NYC boss.
Messing also claims that Caleb Porter could end his disappointing run in Portland to head back to college soccer.
Kreis and Schmid disagree. The latter says he loves the Sounders and is committed to bringing an MLS Cup to Seattle. Kreis was just flabbergasted.
“I was watching the game last night, and it caught me completely by surprise. I thought that was an absolutely ludicrous statement and unfounded,” Kreis said after training Thursday. “I have no knowledge of that information at all, and I kind of scratch my head because at the end of the day I’m very happy here.”
So is there any truth here? The Porter part makes sense, especially if the Timbers fail to make the postseason again and the brash coach wishes to go back to a place where he’s had success.
As for Schmid and Kreis, that’s a curious one. Maybe NYC’s star studded roster would like a change, and Schmid has more success with big egos. And Kreis would thrive just about anywhere, but why would NYC ditch a man who built this from scratch? They’ve invested so much in the ex-RSL legend.