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Dempsey strikes from long range in Europa League
by Paul Kennedy, August 21st, 2009 7AM



[AMERICANS ABROAD] Facing a fight for his starting job with the arrival of Irish veteran Damien Duff, U.S. midfielder Clint Dempsey came through with a goal on a 25-yard shot that helped Fulham win, 3-1, against Russia's Amkar Perm in the first leg of their Europa League preliminary-round series.

Tim Howard was surprisingly busy in goal for Everton, but the Toffees earned a 4-0 win over Poland's Lech Poznan -- quite a turnaround from their 6-1 loss to Arsenal at Goodison Park in their EPL opener.

Aston Villa's troubles continued when it lost, 1-0, at Rapid Vienna. The game was only 16 seconds old when keeper Brad Guzan had to pick the ball out of the game after a mistake by Curtis Davies left Nikica Jelavic with the easiest of chances. Villa has won only twice in its last 18 competitive games extending back to February.

Ryan Guy played the whole game for St. Patricks Athletic in its 3-0 loss at Steaua Bucharest.

U-20 Mikkel Diskerud played the last 20 minutes in Norwegian club Stabaek's 3-0 loss to visiting Valencia.

Dado Hamzagic, a Bosnian immigrant who went to high school in the St. Louis area and played at Saint Louis University, also came on late for Bosnian club FK Sarajevo in its 1-1 tie with Cluj.

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