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Fulham's Americans Fighting Relegation

Even without Kansas City forward Eddie Johnson, who's currently negotiating a transfer to the club, Fulham FC of the English Premiership is recognized across the world for its considerable American contingent. Former U.S. international Brian McBride is the club's captain, while current U.S. internationals Clint Dempsey, the club's leading scorer with six goals, and Carlos Bocanegra, who's held the captain's armband in McBride's absence, also feature regularly. Veteran Kasey Keller was Fulham's starting goalkeeper before suffering an injury earlier this season. McBride also suffered a long-term injury at the start of the season and has only just returned to training. The aforementioned Johnson, another striker, would be Fulham's fifth American and third American forward-it would also make the U.S. the club's undisputed second most-represented country, ahead of Northern Ireland, which also has four players.

Five players and five potential starters at an EPL club would be quite an achievement for a country that's routinely ridiculed as an also-ran in the global game of soccer. However, that achievement would be mute if Fulham doesn't start winning games. Currently 19th in the EPL table with 15 points from 22 games, Fulham is now five points deep in the relegation zone. To be fair, injuries to the likes of McBride, last season's top scorer, and Keller have hampered the Cottagers' season, but there is a long way to go and lot of work to do to stave off relegation. Perhaps Eddie Johnson can provide the necessary firepower to make up for McBride's absence?

Read the whole story at New York Times Blog »

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