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MLS youngsters fall on London trip
by Ridge Mahoney, December 12th, 2008 7AM



[MLS] American representation on both sides of the field came into play Thursday when the MLS Select/Generation adidas team finished its three-game visit to London against the reserves of West Ham United.

U.S. defender Jonathan Spector played 67 minutes and scored an equalizer in a 3-2 West Ham victory that featured two-goal games for Davide Somma of the San Jose Earthquakes and Fred Sears of West Ham at Hornchurch Stadium in east London.

Somma's goals gave the GA team leads of 1-0 and 2-1 before the fatigue of playing a third game in four days took its toll, and Sears tallied twice seven minutes apart to decide the outcome.

Somma opened the scoring in the 24th minute by playing a give-and-go with Ciaran O'Brien (Colorado), but Spector headed in a Matty Etherington corner kick six minutes later to tie the game. Somma scored again in the 35th minute after some good work by Yura Movsisyan (Real Salt Lake), who'd been unable to play in the first two games because of some visa and travel complications. Movsisyan's shot rebounded to Somma, who volleyed it back into the goalmouth past Hammers' keeper Marek Stech.

Abdus Ibrahim replaced Somma at halftime but the MLS pressure continued, and Stech's saves early in the second half prevented it from widening the lead. As the half wore on the Hammers' experience - several have played for the first team this season, though Spector has been sidelined by thigh and hip injuries - turned the momentum. England international Kieron Dyer started the match and came off early in the second half. He hasn't played a first-team match since suffering a severely broken leg in August, 2007, that required three surgeries.

Sears, who has played 10 league matches for the first team this season, swept up a poor clearance to equalize in the 69th minute. Seven minutes later, he tucked away a penalty kick after Bakary Soumare (Chicago) had brought him down.

The MLS team, which attended an EPL match and Champions' League game during its visit and was coached by San Jose's Frank Yallop, was scheduled to attend a Chelsea training session Friday before heading back to the United States. It lost all three of its games, having been beaten 1-0 by Reading reserves and 4-0 by those of Chelsea in games Monday and Wednesday.

West Ham 3 MLS Generation adidas 2
Spector (Etherington) 30, Sears 69, 76; Somma (O'Brien) 24, Somma 35.
West Ham United -- Marek Stech, Ashley Miller, Walter Lopez, Stephen Stranberg (Tom Harvey, 46), Jonathan Spector (George Grasser, 67), Holmar Eyjolfsson, Kieron Dyer (Tony Stokes, 54), Jack Collison (Conner Okus, 64), Diego Tristan, Fred Sears, Matty Etherington (Yero, 64).
MLS Generation adidas -- Josh Lambo, Tim Ward, Bakary Soumare, Rob Valentino, Amaechi Igwe, Alex Nimo (Eric Avila, 53), Ciaran O'Brien (Roger Espinoza, 73), Tony Beltran, Bruno Guarda (Anthony Wallace, 65), Yura Movsisyan, Davide Somma (Abdus Ibrahim, 46).

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