Time almost up for Clint Dempsey to make Fulham impact


From a personal, bigger picture perspective, Clint Dempsey’s loan to Fulham may turn out to be just what the doctor ordered.

He will come into camp for Seattle Sounders fit, presumably sharp and ready to make the impact that he failed to make as a celebrated, prodigal son a year ago. Clearly, as MLS matters go, Dempsey needs to make some hay, or this thing will be a buffet portion of “bust.”

Let’s assume for now the guy is going to score some goals, set up a few more, and fulfill some of those big expectations.

But the man surely would have liked to have done a little more during his two-month stay back at Craven Cottage, a place near and dear to the Deuce heart. Dempsey talked recently about the ins and out, ups and downs of this thing recently.

The only way all this could be bad personally for the Texas native: if his time in West London comes and goes without helping Fulham escape the relegation mire, it could provide more ammunition to the doubters who said all along his move back into MLS was a flawed strategy. (It wasn’t; a lot of things go into these choices, as we’ve talked about before.)

The raw numbers so far from his Fulham stay look like this:

  • 5 starts (all but on in Premier League)
  • 1 appearance off the bench
  • 0 goals

There is still time to turn this loaner frown upside down – but not much. He has two matches remaining in which to make an impact, to do something that would potentially launch an escape run for the small budget side that has managed to remain up recently, never mind the stacked odds of doing so over a long run.

Dempsey has played, more or less, every other match for Rene Meulensteen. As he didn’t make the lineup in Saturday’s helpful, perhaps even historic draw at Manchester United, look for Dempsey to feature Wednesday as Liverpool visits West London. (There’s a mid-week round of Premier League matches … ye fantasy players have been warned.)

After that, a match at West Brom is it. Then it’s back to the United States for the last few days of preseason work with Seattle.

Newcastle’s Krul on crutches after injury in Dutch win

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 03:  Tim Krul of Newcastle United looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Newcastle United at Etihad Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
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Newcastle United’s horror start under Steve McClaren just got worse.

Magpies No. 1 goalkeeper Tim Krul is on duty with the Netherlands, and was forced from the Dutch’s 2-1 win at Kazakhstan in Euro qualifying action.

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Krul left the game after landing awkwardly on his knee, and left the stadium on crutches.

Newcastle’s back-up keepers are Karl Darlow, new from Nottingham Forest, and veteran Rob Elliot.

The Magpies are in 20th place, without a win through eight Premier League matches.

McClaren’s crew just finished a brutal run of matches that saw Newcastle face Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United.

VIDEO: Marco Verratti plays a brilliant pass to Eder for Italy goal

PALERMO, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 06:  Marco Verratti of Italy in action during the UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier match between Italy and Bulgaria on September 6, 2015 in Palermo, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
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Italy took a 1-0 lead over Azerbaijan through the in-form Eder in the 11th minute, but the true leg-work (see what I did there) came from bite-sized midfielder Marco Verratti.

The PSG playmaker pinged a beautiful long ball over the top of the Azerbaijan defense that fell right at the feet of Eder, who let the ball settle itself and touched home confidently past Kamran Arhayev for a 1-0 lead.

The goal is the second of Eder’s national career in just five caps, having scored on debut against Bulgaria back in March. He has six goals in seven matches for Sampdoria so far this Serie A season.

Italy needs three points in this match to ensure qualification to Euro 2016. A win would guarantee them a place in the field, while anything less would mean there is work to do in the final match on Tuesday against Norway.


Later in the match, Stephan El Shaarawy gave Italy a 2-1 lead just before halftime, his second career international goal and his first since September of 2012 which came in his third career start.