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Will Fulham's Americans Stay or Go?

"Team America," or Fulham FC, lost again this weekend, and with just seven games left to play in the English Premier League season, relegation is looking more and more like an inevitability. As USSoccerPlayers' Graig Carbino says, "barring a mini-miracle," Fulham will be playing second division soccer next season, which means that most of its American stars will be looking elsewhere for employment this summer.

Brian McBride, Kasey Keller and Clint Dempsey are all more than 80 percent likely to leave if Fulham is relegated, Carbino says. McBride and Keller are getting on in soccer years, and the well-traveled Keller will almost certainly be the first to leave. The question is whether he waits until Seattle's debut season in 2009 to return to the U.S. Similarly, McBride is too old to be playing the Championship, and Dempsey is too experienced. Forced to play out of position for most of the season, Dempsey will likely sign for another Premier club in the off-season.

Carbino says Carlos Bocanegra is 50-50 about staying at Fulham, but as U.S. captain, he needs to be somewhere where he'll play regularly. He hasn't played well this season and needs to rediscover his form before the transfer window opens in June. Eddie Johnson, on the other hand, is new to Fulham and new to English soccer. He needs the experience and will almost certainly stay no matter what happens to Fulham.

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