Are you worried about Clint Dempsey yet? The American captain did very little upon his heralded return to Major League Soccer last season and has struggled to find any semblance of his form at Fulham.
Think we’re exaggerating? Take a look at the stellar man-marking by Dempsey that lead to the free-headed game-winning goal, embarrassing Fulham in extra time of their FA Cup ouster against League One’s Sheffield United yesterday.
And photography can play tricks, but look at this photo of Shaun Miller heading home in the 119th minute after slipping Dempsey… who is not even in the frame.
It’s poor, and comes on the heels of eight goals conceded, none created and four-straight Premier League losses with Dempsey back at Craven Cottage. Which, of course, follows one goal in 12 appearances for the Sounders.
In fact, since scoring 3 goals and posting an assist in back-to-back matches for the States against Belgium and Germany, Dempsey has appeared 24 times in total for the Yanks, Seattle and Fulham. He scored the lone goal in a 3-1 loss to Costa Rica and recorded a goal and an assist in the last two matches of October for Seattle.
That’s it for his point production, and while there’s much to be said for how, at most, only the final two players pick up tally marks on the stat sheet, there’s plenty of reason for concern here (even for a gamer like Dempsey).
He’s been backed by Fulham teammates who say he’s out to prove a point, and our own Kyle Bonn further detailed his Fulham struggles last week. Something’s gotta give for the 30-year-old.
Cause if he’s not flying in Brazil… what’s happening to the US in Group G?
Los Angeles FC selected five players in the MLS Expansion Draft, including Costa Rican national team star Marco Urena.
Whether they’ll make their way to the City of Angels is another story.
The first pick from general manager John Thorrington was goalkeeper Tyler Miller from Seattle Sounders.
[ MORE: Benitez on NUFC struggles ]
Going next was Latif Blessing from Sporting KC, an electric attacker who netted thrice with an assist last season.
Next was Urena from San Jose and the Costa Rican national team, a huge addition, and then Columbus left back Jukka Raitala before closing up the draft with Raheem Edwards from Toronto FC.
LAFC has already announced the signings or acquisitions of Carlos Vela, Walker Zimmerman, Carlos Alvarez, Monday Etim, and Guillermo Vizcarra.
The club will also loan Omar Gaber from Basel and Rodrigo Pacheco from Lanus.
Chelsea visits the John Smith’s Stadium to face Huddersfield Town in one of three Premier League fixtures this chilly Tuesday in December (Watch live at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).
The Blues are now 14 points back of Manchester City, and three points clear of fifth place.
Meanwhile there are a pair of matches on NBC Sports Gold: Burnley looks to keep pace with its Top Four ambitions when it hosts struggling Stoke City, while in-form Crystal Palace seeks a home win that would move it out of the drop zone. In its way? Dangerous, attack-minded Watford.
Burnley vs. Stoke City — 2:45 p.m. ET [ STREAM ]
Huddersfield Town vs. Chelsea — 3 p.m. ET [ STREAM ]
Crystal Palace vs. Watford — 3 p.m. ET [ STREAM ]
ZURICH (AP) FIFA has banned Colombia midfielder Edwin Cardona for five matches for making a discriminatory gesture with his eyes toward a South Korean opponent.
FIFA will allow Cardona to serve the ban in friendly games, so he should be available for Colombia’s World Cup opener against Japan on June 19.
[ MORE: Pep on post-derby celebrations ]
Cardona has also been fined 20,000 Swiss francs ($20,150) because of the incident last month in a friendly in Seoul.
Cardona apologized at the time, saying he “didn’t mean to disrespect anyone, a country or a race, but if anyone felt offended, or interpreted it in that way, I am sorry.”
Spurs finally got a bit of good news this weekend with a blowout of Stoke City.
That was a followed by a tough draw against Juventus in the UEFA Champions League, and bad news on an old injury.
[ MORE: Benitez on NUFC struggles ]
Center back Toby Alderweireld is going to be gone into February, extending his time on the sidelines with a hamstring injury suffered Nov. 1 against Real Madrid.
Spurs were 6-2-2 in league when Alderweireld went down, and are just 2-2-2 since the injury. The Belgian has missed losses at Arsenal and Leicester, draws against Watford and West Brom, and wins over Crystal Palace and Stoke.
Tottenham did win both of its UCL matches since the injury.