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Dempsey returns to action for Fulham
January 4th, 2014 6:19PM
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[AMERICANS ABROAD]Clint Dempsey made his first appearance for Fulham since his return on loan from the Seattle Sounders, starting in its 1-1 tie at Norwich City in the third round of the English FA Cup. Geoff Cameron,Tim Ream, Eric Lichaj and Jozy Altidore all started in FA Cup wins, while Sebastian Lletget, 21, made his debut for West Ham in a humiliating 5-0 loss at Nottingham Forest. Herculez Gomez and Joe Corona began Mexico's Torneo Clausura in Tijuana's starting linuep. For more on how the Americans contending for World Cup spots fared over the weekend.

Leading Scorers (2013-14):
18 Aron Johannsson (AZ)
12 Terrence Boyd(Rapid Vienna)
8 Sacha Kljestan
(Anderlecht)
(Goals in all club competitions.)

Dempsey went the distance for Fulham, which along with Norwich made wholesale changes from their teams that played on New Year's Day.

LLETGET DEBUT.Californian Sebastian Lletget, 21, made his debut for West Ham on Sunday in a humiliating 5-0 loss at second-level club Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup. The Hammers have been hit by injuries and suspensions and have a League Cup semifinal against Manchester City on Wednesday, so they fielded a team full of reserves.




MEXICO UPDATE.Joe Corona, Herculez Gomez and Greg Garza started for Tijuana in its 0-0 tie at Atlas. Edgar Castillo, a starter for the last year and a half, began the game on the bench, but new Xolos coach, Cesar Farias, brought him on for Corona for the last 20 minutes on the left side of midfield.

-- Cruz Azul's news signings, Jose Villarreal and Michael Farfan did not dress for its 0-0 tie with Monterrey.

-- In the Liga Ascenso, Sonny Guadarrama scored one goal and set up another for Necaxa in its 4-0 win over Altamira, which started for Portland keeper Austin Guerrero in goal.

ROMA HUMBLED.Michael Bradley did not play in Roma's 3-0 loss at Juventus, its first defeat of the season that leaves it eight points behind Juve.




RUMOR MILL.The Mirror reported on Sunday that Stoke City was close to signing Icelandic-American Aron Johannsson from Dutch club AZ. Johannsson had moved from Danish club AGF during last winter's transfer window and has scored 18 goals in all competitions for AZ since the start of the 2013-14 season. The Dutch Eredivisie is currently on winter break.

Of the three Americans at Stoke, Geoff Cameron, Maurice Edu and Brek Shea, only Cameron is a first-team regular. Juan Agudelo's move as a free agent to Stoke was thwarted when his application for a work permit was denied. The Mirror reported that Stoke manager Mark Hughes eyes Johannsson as a replacement for giant Peter Crouch, who is expected to join Crystal Palace this month.

U.S. World Cup Contenders:
IN BRIEF:
32
players.
---------------
20
in action.
8
started.
2
came off bench.
6on bench.
3
did not dress.
1
long-term injury.

GOALKEEPERS:

Brad Guzan (on bench), Aston Villa (England), 1-2 vs. Sheffield United
Tim Howard (on bench), Everton (England), 4-0 vs. Queens Park Rangers

DEFENDERS:
DaMarcus Beasley (90 minutes), Puebla (Mexico), 2-2 at UNAM
Geoff Cameron(90 minutes), Stoke City (England), 2-1 vs. Leicester City
Eric Lichaj (57 minutes), Nott. Forest (England), 5-0 vs. West Ham United
Tim Ream (90 minutes), Bolton Wanderers (England D2), 2-1 vs. Blackpool
Edgar Castillo (sub: 20 minutes), Tijuana (Mexico), 0-0 at Atlas
---------------------------------------------------------------
Oguchi Onyewu (on bench), Queens Park Rangers, 0-4 at Everton
Michael Orozco (on bench), Puebla (Mexico), 2-2 at UNAM
---------------------------------------------------------------
John Brooks, Hertha Berlin (Germany) Winter Break
Timmy Chandler, Nuremberg (Germany) Winter Break
Steven Cherundolo, Hannover 96 (Germany) Winter Break
Michael Parkhurst, Augsburg (Germany) Winter Break

MIDFIELDERS:
Joe Corona (90 minutes), Tijuana (Mexico), 0-0 at Atlas
Danny Williams (sub: 18 minutes), Reading (England D2), 0-1 vs. Brighton & Hove Albion
---------------------------------------------------------------
Alejandro Bedoya (on bench), Nantes (France), 0-2 vs. Nice
Michael Bradley (on bench), Roma (Italy), 0-3 at Juventus
Maurice Edu (did not dress), Stoke City (England), 2-1 vs. Leicester City
Stuart Holden (long-term injury), Bolton Wanderers (England D2), 2-1 vs. Blackpool
Brek Shea (did not dress), Barnsley (England D2), 1-2 vs. Coventry
Jose Torres (did not dress), Tigres (Mexico), 0-3 at Club America
---------------------------------------------------------------
Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg) Offseason
Josh Gatt, Molde (Norway) Offseason
Fabian Johnson, Hoffenheim (Germany) Winter Break
Jermaine Jones, Schalke 04 (Germany) Winter Break
Sacha Kljestan, Anderlecht (Belgium) Winter Break

FORWARDS:
Jozy Altidore (90 minutes, 1 assist), Sunderland (England), 3-1 vs. Carlisle United
Clint Dempsey(90 minutes), Fulham (England), 1-1 at Norwich City
Herculez Gomez (90 minutes), Tijuana (Mexico), 0-0 at Atlas
---------------------------------------------------------------
Terrence Boyd, Rapid Vienna (Austria) Winter Break
Aron Johannsson, AZ (Netherlands) Winter Break
Bobby Wood, 1860 Munich (Germany D2) Winter Break


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