UNSUPPORTED BROWSER
More Sports

Dempsey's absence leads American plots as European seasons start

People keep wondering where Clint Dempsey, after all of his success, gets the inspiration to maintain the permanent chip on his shoulder. Well, events like the ones that have transpired in the last week certainly play a part.

Even after a season in which he scored 23 goals in all competitions, with his 17 league goals tied for fourth-most in the Premier League and accounting for more than a third of Fulham's total, Dempsey did not command the interest or respect in the transfer market he might have expected as he entered the final year of his contract with the club, and, as a result, he has been frozen out at a place where just months ago he was considered a hero.

After proclaiming his wish to play at a Champions League-level club and following Fulham manager Martin Jol's claims that he refused to play for the club in its season opener and wants out, Dempsey is left with a hope and a prayer as the Premier League season enters its second week. Dempsey's ominous tweets from Friday -- "There are two sides to the story" and "The truth will come out soon" -- likely mean there is more than meets the eye. All the public knows is what Jol and Fulham have been saying, which is that a toxic situation has developed, one that resulted in Dempsey reportedly being fined ahead of the season opener, but one that won't end with him being let go at a discounted rate. Unfortunately for Dempsey, Fulham holds the leverage.

The timing of everything is what makes the situation so dire. With less than two weeks until the close of the summer transfer window, Dempsey is facing a race to the deadline or else risks being forced to save face at Craven Cottage, where he'll have to win back over his teammates, coaches and the Fulham faithful until at least the winter. So what exactly are Dempsey's options? Unless a surprise suitor makes a late charge, it does not look like he has many.

Arsenal has new funds after selling Robin van Persie to Manchester United and Alex Song to Barcelona and could use more attacking firepower, but it would not be very much like Arsene Wenger to invest a decent amount of money (about $15 million or so) in a 29-year-old whose value will not be increasing. Liverpool's interest in Dempsey exists, based on a summer inquiry into his services by the club, but Jol said that no concrete offer had ever come forth from Anfield despite Dempsey's alleged claims that he was headed there.

Few mention Tottenham as a possible destination, but wouldn't White Hart Lane be an ideal landing spot for the already London-based Dempsey? If not for Chelsea winning the UEFA Champions League title, the club would be in this year's Champions League and is expected to contend for one of England's berths yet again. In the meantime, Spurs will be a favorite in the UEFA Europa League. They happen to have a glaring need for depth up top, and with the money the club is bound to receive for Croatian playmaker Luka Modric, they could make Fulham a very fair offer for Dempsey's services as the transfer deadline approaches. No, Dempsey isn't an out-and-out striker, but his ability to play in a withdrawn role is well documented, and the crossing ability of Gareth Bale and Kyle Walker from either side would be perfect complements for his aerial ability.

While the timing is rough on the club end, it could also complicate his national-team standing for the time being. U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann has adhered to a strong standard of not turning to out-of-form players for games that matter. When Jozy Altidore was late to join the U.S. national team camp in May after being off for a few weeks following the conclusion of AZ Alkmaar's season, he was an afterthought for the lineup and was ultimately nothing more than a second-half substitute in the pair of June World Cup qualifiers because of his fitness level.

Dempsey has not trained with Fulham's first team all preseason, and with important World Cup qualifiers looming Sept. 7 and 11 against Jamaica he risks giving Klinsmann the undesirable option to leave him behind while turning to others with more stable club standing. With all of the unknowns surrounding Dempsey's current conundrum, one thing can be for certain. When he does make his return to the field, whether it be for Fulham or a new employer, he'll do so with yet another point to prove.

Aside from the Dempsey saga, this past week was marked with a number of goals for Americans playing abroad, including two more from Altidore, who is on a tear to start the new season in the Netherlands. In addition to his double, the Scandinavia-based contingent of Alejandro Bedoya, Clarence Goodson, Michael Parkhurst and Conor O'Brien all found the scoresheet. Here's how they and the rest of the Americans abroad fared this past week as seasons in Europe begin to get underway (season statistics encompass all competitions):

Premier League

Geoff Cameron, D, Stoke City - Not in the 18 for Stoke's 1-1 draw with Reading on Saturday. Cameron was in the process of finalizing his visa and should be able to make his Premier League debut against Arsenal this weekend, according to comments made by Stoke coach Tony Pulis.

SEASON: 0 games

Clint Dempsey, M/F, Fulham - Not in the 18 for Fulham's 5-0 victory over Norwich City on Saturday.

SEASON: 0 games

Brad Friedel, GK, Tottenham - Started, played 90 minutes and made one save in Tottenham's 2-1 loss to Newcastle on Saturday.

SEASON: 1 game, 1 start, 2 goals allowed

Brad Guzan, GK, Aston Villa - In the 18, did not play in Villa's 1-0 loss to West Ham on Saturday.

SEASON: 0 games

Tim Howard, GK, Everton - Started, played 90 minutes, made four saves and earned the clean sheet in Everton's 1-0 victory over Manchester United on Monday.

SEASON: 1 game, 1 start, 0 goals allowed, 1 clean sheet

Eric Lichaj, D, Aston Villa - In the 18, did not play in Villa's 1-0 loss to West Ham.

SEASON: 0 games

League Championship

Conor Doyle, F, Derby County - In the 18, did not play in Derby's 2-2 draw with Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.

SEASON: 0 games

Robbie Findley, F, Nottingham Forest - Not in the 18 for Nottingham Forest's 1-0 victory over Bristol City on Saturday.

SEASON: 0 games

Stuart Holden, M, Bolton - Not in the 18 for Bolton's 2-0 loss to Burnley on Saturday.

SEASON: 0 games

Will Packwood, M, Birmingham City - Started, played 63 minutes in Birmingham's 1-1 draw with Charlton Athletic on Saturday.

SEASON: 2 games, 2 starts

Tim Ream, D, Bolton - Started, played 90 minutes in Bolton's 2-0 loss to Burnley.

SEASON: 1 game, 1 start

Robbie Rogers, M, Leeds United - Not in the 18 for Leeds' 1-0 victory over Wolverhampton on Saturday. Rogers was transfer listed by the club and is in the midst of attempting to find a new home prior to the closing of the summer transfer window.

SEASON: 0 games

Jonathan Spector, D, Birmingham City - In the 18, came on as a 63rd-minute substitute in Birmingham's 1-1 draw with Charlton Athletic.

SEASON: 1 game

Zak Whitbread, D, Leicester City - Not in the 18 for Leicester City's 2-0 victory over Peterborough United on Saturday.

SEASON: 0 games

League One

Mike Grella, F, Scunthorpe United - Started, played 90 minutes in Scunthorpe's 3-0 loss to Crawley Town on Saturday.

SEASON: 2 games, 2 starts, 1 goal

Frank Simek, D, Carlisle United - In the 18, came on as a 90th-minute substitute in Carlisle's 1-1 draw with Stevenage on Saturday.

SEASON: 1 game

Bundesliga

Timmy Chandler, D, FC Nurnberg - Started, played 120 minutes in Nurnberg's 3-2 extra-time loss to fourth-tier Havelse in the first round of the DFB Pokal (German Cup) on Sunday.

SEASON: 1 game, 1 start

Steve Cherundolo, D, Hannover 96 - Started, played 62 minutes in Hannover's 6-1 victory over Nottingen in the first round of the DFB Pokal on Sunday.

SEASON: 3 games, 3 starts

Joe Gyau, M, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim - Not in the 18 for Hoffenheim's 4-0 loss to BAK 07 in the first round of the DFB Pokal on Saturday.

SEASON: 0 games

Fabian Johnson, M/D, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim - Not in the 18 for Hoffenheim's 4-0 loss to BAK 07.

SEASON: 0 games

Jermaine Jones, M, FC Schalke 04 - Not in the 18 for Schalke's 5-0 victory over Saarbrucken in the first round of the DFB Pokal on Sunday.

SEASON: 0 games

Danny Williams, M, TSG 1899 Hoffenheim - Not in the 18 for Hoffenheim's 4-0 loss to BAK 07.

SEASON: 0 games

David Yelldell, GK, Bayer Leverkusen - In the 18, did not play in Leverkusen's 4-0 victory over Carl Zeiss Jena in the first round of the DFB Pokal on Saturday.

SEASON: 0 games

2. Bundesliga

John Anthony Brooks, D, Hertha Berlin - Not in the 18 for Berlin's 2-1 loss to fourth-tier Wormatia Worms in the first round of the DFB Pokal on Sunday.

SEASON: 2 games, 2 starts

Alfredo Morales, D, Hertha Berlin - In the 18, came on as a halftime substitute in Berlin's 2-1 loss to Wormatia Worms.

SEASON: 1 game

Andrew Wooten, F, FC Kaiserslautern - Not in the 18 for Kaiserslautern's 3-1 victory over Hansa Rostock in the first round of the DFB Pokal on Sunday. Wooten has yet to feature for Kaiserslautern's first team but has three goals in three matches for the reserves.

SEASON: 0 games

Serie A

Michael Bradley, M, AS Roma - Bradley scored in a club friendly against Greek club Aris, adding to a preseason goal tally that also included one against Liverpool. Roma begins the Serie A season this Sunday against Catania.

SEASON: 0 games

Eredivisie

Jozy Altidore, F, AZ Alkmaar - Started, played 90 minutes and scored two goals in AZ's 3-1 win over Heracles on Sunday. Altidore's smart run off the ball into the area was rewarded by a cross that he finished to open the scoring in the 16th minute before icing the game in stoppage time with a well-placed left-footed shot from distance to mark his second straight game with two goals.

SEASON: 2 games, 2 starts, 4 goals

Pro League

Sacha Kljestan, M, RSC Anderlecht - In the 18, came on as an 82nd-minute substitute in Anderlecht's 2-1 victory over Mons on Saturday.

SEASON: 6 games, 1 start, 1 goal

Primeira Liga

Oguchi Onyewu, D, Sporting Lisbon - Not in the 18 for Sporting's 0-0 draw with Vitoria Guimaraes on Sunday. Onyewu was also left off the club's UEFA Europa League competition roster last week, a sign that his place with the club is up in the air after a resurgent 2011-12 season in which he had recaptured his past form.

SEASON: 0 games

Caleb Patterson-Sewell, GK, Vitoria Setubal - Started, played 90 minutes in Vitoria Setubal's 2-2 draw with Nacional on Sunday.

SEASON: 1 game, 1 start, 2 goals allowed

Tony Taylor, F, Estoril Praia - Started, played 61 minutes and picked up a yellow card in Estoril's 2-1 loss to Olhanense on Friday.

SEASON: 1 game, 1 start

Bundesliga

Terrence Boyd, F, Rapid Vienna - In the 18, did not play in Rapid's 3-0 victory over Sturm Graz on Saturday.

SEASON: 6 games, 6 starts, 3 goals

Third Division

Carlos Bocanegra, D, Rangers - Started, played 90 minutes in Rangers' 5-1 win over East Stirlingshire on Saturday.

SEASON: 4 games, 4 starts

Liga MX

DaMarcus Beasley, M, Puebla - Started, played 90 minutes in Puebla's 3-0 loss to Morelia on Friday.

SEASON: 6 games, 6 starts

Jonathan Bornstein, D, Tigres UANL - Not in the 18 for Tigres' 2-1 loss to Tijuana on Friday.

SEASON: 1 game

Edgar Castillo, D, Tijuana - Started, played 90 minutes in Tijuana's 2-1 victory over Tigres UANL on Friday.

SEASON: 5 games, 5 starts

Joe Corona, M, Tijuana - Started, played 69 minutes in Tijuana's 2-1 victory over Tigres UANL.

SEASON: 5 games, 5 starts

Michael Orozco Fiscal, D, San Luis - Started, played 90 minutes and picked up a yellow card in San Luis' 1-0 loss to Chivas de Guadalajara on Saturday.

SEASON: 6 games, 6 starts, 1 goal

Greg Garza, D, Tijuana - In the 18, did not play in Tijuana's 2-1 victory over Tigres UANL.

SEASON: 4 games, 3 starts

Herculez Gomez, F, Santos Laguna - Started, played 51 minutes in Santos Laguna's 2-1 loss to Pumas UNAM on Saturday.

SEASON: 5 games, 5 starts, 2 goals

Jose Francisco Torres, M, Pachuca - Not in the 18 for Pachuca's 1-0 loss to Toluca on Sunday.

SEASON: 5 games, 5 starts, 1 goal

Superliga

Charlie Davies, F, Randers - In the 18, came on as a 72nd-minute substitute in Randers' 1-0 victory over Silkeborg on Saturday.

SEASON: 5 games

Clarence Goodson, D, Brondby - Started, played 90 minutes and scored an 84th-minute equalizer in Brondby's 1-1 draw with FC Copenhagen on Saturday. Goodson got his head on the end of a cross from the left to the far post to pull Brondby even.

SEASON: 5 games, 5 starts, 1 goal

Conor O'Brien, F, Sonderjyske - Started, played 90 minutes and scored a goal in Sonderjyske's 2-1 loss to Odense BK on Monday. O'Brien ran onto a ball just outside the area and laced a left-footed shot into the upper left-hand corner of the net to slice his team's deficit in half.

SEASON: 6 games, 6 starts, 2 goals

Michael Parkhurst, D, FC Nordsjaelland - Started, played 90 minutes and scored the game-winning goal in the 75th minute of Nordsjaelland's 1-0 victory over AGF Aarhus on Sunday. Parkhurst got forward and finished with a blast from inside the area to deliver three points to his club. For Parkhurst, he has already set a season high for goals while abroad with his two strikes in four games.

SEASON: 4 games, 4 starts, 2 goals

Tippeligaen

Chad Barrett, F, Valerenga - Valerenga was off this past week and plays Molde on Sunday.

SEASON: 2 games, 2 starts

Steve Clark, GK, Honefoss - Honefoss was off this past week and plays Tromso on Sunday.

SEASON: 19 games, 19 starts, 21 goals allowed, 7 clean sheets

Sean Cunningham, D, Stabaek - Stabaek was off this past week and plays Haugesund on Sunday.

SEASON: 21 games, 21 starts

Mix Diskerud, M, Rosenborg - Rosenborg was off this past week and plays Viking on Sunday.

SEASON: 1 game

Josh Gatt, M, Molde - Not in the 18 for Molde's 2-1 victory over Sandefjord in the quarterfinals of the NM Cupen (Norwegian Cup) on Saturday.

SEASON: 16 games, 13 starts, 5 goals

Allsvenskan

Alejandro Bedoya, M, Helsingborg IF - Started, played 90 minutes, picked up a yellow card and scored a goal in Helsingborg's 2-1 loss to Elfsborg on Saturday. Bedoya scored on a bicycle kick from close range in the 37th minute to give Helsingborg the lead at the time and mark his debut with the club after signing there for the remainder of the season from Rangers.

SEASON: 1 game, 1 start, 1 goal

Ryan Miller, D, Halmstad BK - In the 18, came on as a 78th-minute substitute in Halmstad's 5-2 victory over Ronneby in the second round of the Svenska Cupen (Swedish Cup) on Saturday.

SEASON: 20 games, 19 starts

Brian Span, M, Djurgarden IF - In the 18, did not play in Djurgarden's 5-1 victory over Dalstorps in the second round of the Svenska Cupen on Monday.

SEASON: 5 games 1 start 1 goal

SI.com

Drag this icon to your bookmark bar.
Then delete your old SI.com bookmark.

SI.com

Click the share icon to bookmark us.